In November 2007, and for two years before that, Open Future Limited was a vague idea in John Veitch's mind. By January 2008, over 100 people had contributed to the site. In the four years since then the site grew in many different ways as the problem of the closing future we now have, became more accurately defined. This is a journey of learning and discovery. You are invited to share that exploration wherever you live in the world. Open Future™ hopes that the development of this site can help you on your personal journey. We are pleased so many other people have helped us along the way.
The conclusions Open Future™ comes to are the responsibility of John Veitch. The selection of the twelve transitions to focus on was his although the Eight Steps to Sustainability that James Gustave Speth recommended in his book "Red Sky at Morning" (2004), were the foundation for that.
I hope that many people will take the opportunity to engage with the site and add to the content. Many pages have feedback links and we would like to see them used.
As we develop Open Future™ Limited intends to find related products to sell, and our consulting services are available. If you are a potential customer, the business part of the site is here..
If the Open Future™ site is to grow we need seven things from other people. These may be things that you can provide. Here's a simple list.
1) Many External Links pointing to this site
You will see that many pages on this site have external links to people we think are doing good work. If you think any of the pages in this site represent good work and you can provide an outward link from your blog or web site, it all helps. When John Veitch first began to develop web sites, before search engines, the entire web was built like that. That's why they call it a web. Search engines are too powerful in some ways. Quietly do what you can to build a web people can "surf" again. (Let us know, we will try to return the favour.) These little arrows are useful. Local FileExternal File and this is a video link.
2) Take the Message to the CEO and Company Directors
It's quite apparent that all around the world the people who are currently "our leaders" are the last to get the message about how business as usual threatens our future. At the same time access to the Internet and social networking is changing the possibility map. Social networks change what people are learning and who they see as authoritative sources for new information. Social networks give people access to new mentors and partners and help-mates. Social networks encourage you to develop your OWN voice, a very radical idea indeed.
3) We want to build a Strong International Networking Process
We need to bring together the best minds and the strongest ideas to build a networking process that adds real value to people's lives. We seek to be a resource source for the best ideas. The best ideas, are widely distributed, little nuggets of wisdom and inspiration hidden in a mass of disinformation.
4) Identifying Key People
Every community of practice (COP) has it's established leaders. Those who write regularly are most easy to find. Key people identify themselves. None of us were in the beginning knowledgeable and skilled. There are rewards for engagement in a COP over a long period of time. Immersion in the problem allows you deep insight into the situation long before you can explain what you are discovering. The ability to talk about your growing understanding develops slowly.
5) Mentors and Mentees
We all learn and develop more effectively if we can choose for ourselves good mentors. Choosing a mentor is a skill seldom taught. Each of us also has a role in becoming a mentor to others.
6) Communities of Practice
Generally we should all seek to find communities of practise about whatever interests us. They do exist, and sometimes you can find them by searching on the Internet. But COP's are often semi-private, and access is gained via existing members. Your first step in finding suitable groups might be to find an individual who shares your ideas and to ask that person which COP's he/she can recommend.
7) Building the Useful Common
The size of the useful common is one significant measure of our real wealth as a community. The culture of any community has huge resources. Sometimes those resources are openly available for use, but sometimes they are protected by rules, and sometimes by lock and key. This web site is one small contribution to the useful common.
Humanity faces the greatest possible challenge. We are participants in the greatest political, technical and social revolution in the history of mankind. That's our privilege and our mission. Each one of us is part of that revolution, unwilling though we may be. Much of what happens we will have no control over. What each of us can do is take possession of, and control of, our small part in the process. The choices we make will either sustain for a short time the status quo, or contribute to a new practise and understanding.
We can change only ourselves. Our behaviour and our conversation, enables or disables the people around us. Our choices create relationships that build the future. We are not in control of the future, but we are not without the ability to make a difference either.
The twelve transitions Open Future™ has defined outline our task. All of them are things we can think about in practical ways and make decisions about. We have to make our thinking real in the world. There's work to do.