• Chronos, Kairos and The Future We Deserve

    by  • September 24, 2010 • Everything Else • 5 Comments

    Kairos (καιρός) is an ancient Greek word meaning the right or opportune moment (the supreme moment). The ancient Greeks had two words for time, chronos and kairos. While the former refers to chronological or sequential time, the latter signifies a time in between, a moment of undetermined period of time in which something special happens.

    I’m at a loss to know what to do next with The Future We Deserve. It’s been a very successful project so far, but it is late. “100 visions of the future in 100 days” was the core of the idea, and we’d raise $2000 to pay for whatever needed done to make it happen and print some copies.

    Here’s what happened: 45 who had signed up to write for the book missed the deadline. Including me.

    Now, being late to your own party is one thing, but missing the deadline for your own book is quite another! It’s been a turbulent year for me, with Buttered Side Down going down, Haiti, Pakistan, the Irish trip and so on. I’ve thought a lot about my pieces. I’ve read other people’s pieces. I’ve raised my own standards more than once in response to what other people have written… but I have not managed to write what I wanted to say in response yet.

    The Future We Deserve is going to be late.

    The pressure of writing to that title has gummed up several people’s thinking works, and we need time. 100 days is out the window. The new deadline is Halloween 2010 and I will be publishing with however many of the 100 pieces we have by that date – if The Future We Deserve is 95 pieces rather than 100, such is life. There will be a soft deadline a week before Halloween, on 24th of October, which is the deadline I’ve put on the site.

    I hope this gives all of us time to participate, and get The Future We Deserve just right.

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    Vinay Gupta is a consultant on disaster relief and risk management.


    5 Responses to Chronos, Kairos and The Future We Deserve

    1. September 24, 2010 at 3:07 pm

      I think that it’s absolutely right to extend – and not at all surprising that the initial deadline slipped – for a diffuse, collaborative project like this anything else would have been remarkable.
      I think beyond trying to bring the project together, it will also be valuable to think more about what could have gone better. For me, something that seemed to be inadequately supported was a discussion space for contributors. That’s not to say that there wasn’t one – there were a couple of options. But, I don’t think we’ve managed to involve many of those who signed up as much as would have helped make the project a success. So what would a more effective ideas space look like next time?

    2. September 25, 2010 at 10:50 am

      Good decision. It’s going well, and glad to see the time is being taken to do it well.

      Or maybe that’s just a justification for my own half-finished contribution.

    3. September 25, 2010 at 10:54 am

      “It’s been a turbulent year for me, with Buttered Side Down going down”

      As in going under, or as in “what’s going down?”

    4. liam breslin
      October 10, 2010 at 11:31 pm

      Well, I have submitted my few words on berlin as suggested,
      I await Halloween!

    5. Jim
      October 17, 2010 at 8:24 pm

      Can you send out a reminder email? I’m glad I saw this, and hope to push out 500 words by 10/24 (that’s midnight, right? Hawaii time?)

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