• Next steps

    by  • January 13, 2011 • Everything Else • 1 Comment

    So I’m hoping to carve out February to do the final round before we can launch The Future We Deserve. It’s been a longer and more drawn out process than I’d thought, partly because I’ve surprised myself in three ways.

    1. The material seriously upended some hidden assumptions I had about the future, and made me question a lot of my basic assumptions about futurism. I’ve had to chew hard, because I thought I was an expert, and all of us turned out to be much smarter than any of us. So I’ve been grinding on that in the small hours.
    2. It’s thrown me directly into the abyss between my pessimism about what is happening, and my optimism about what could happen. Trying to find a philosophical stance which admits how big that gap is and leaves me a functional human being is also causing me to grind in the wee small hours.
    3. I’m trying to figure out how to turn a book about the future into action on the future. And 1> and 2> hve really seriously turned 3> on its head. So I’ve been taking my time, trying to figure out what I advise people to do at the back of the book. The “productive epilogue” – the part where I/we say “and here’s what you should do about it” – has pretty much frozen me.

    I’m trying to make something which spreads from the book, into other efforts and real changes, and I thought I knew how to do that, until I started reading.

    Bigger and later.

    On Saturday I’m on my way to Belgium for the Burning Ice festival, at which there will be Many Hexayurts. My lease is up at the end of the month, and I’m pondering an out-of-London relocation. I’ve done two years here, and nothing’s really taken – I’ve failed to fully ground here. I’ve built a lot of really strong friendships and some amazing professional networks, but at a fundamental level I’ve advanced my thinking by 9 for every 1 part that actually turned into a viable project. I need a break out of town to rest and regroup, work on the book, and plot strategy.

    At a fundamental level, I’ve failed to get any kind of solid anchor on the State in either the US or the UK. I’ve made some friends and got into a number of deep discussions about the nature of the problem and what to do, but lack the fundamental leverage to get my vision into the world by influencing the State, which has been my strategy for many years.

    It just doesn’t work.

    So at that point it’s kind of time to figure out what’s next.

    Anybody got a cabin in the woods I can borrow for six weeks starting beginning of February? :)

    On that note, back to packing for Belgium.

    flattr this!


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


    One Response to Next steps

    1. eric patton
      January 14, 2011 at 12:28 pm

      A project like Hexayurt vastly disturbs the status quo. Even if people do want to help, there’s bound to be vested interests you’ll be going up against in a space as large and vague as “the US and UK”.

      Maybe if you geotargeted down to the city level or deeper. Got in touch with specific community/religious/political leaders for that area. Then you could get demographic (religious/gender/race/income/age) information to understand how to enact the change. Once you have this information you can nail down who is seriously hungry and has the desperation to hear your offer. Do you have a profile of exactly who you’re pitching this thing too?

      The David v. Goalith war against the status quo is sexy and it almost never works unless you have a strong team filled with nothing but A players. Small teams only work if they have A players, they can’t afford people who aren’t great. And you don’t REALLY know if they’re A unless you work with them.

      Most of the “State” like the Pentagon is a relationship based organization. They exist to manage perception, relationships and feelings. Quick execution of tasks is secondary. What they do accomplish is driven once again by relationships. Don’t expect a SWAT team response when you’re talking to office workers.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *