Are you an agent of change?
According to Dr. Riel Miller, learning to become a future-making agent is a skill worth our time and effort. And here’s a little secret, I am in the process of becoming a woman of change, and I’d love for you to learn with me. Let me explain. UNESCO partnered with Dr. Miller to develop a project called Imagining Africa’s Future. This effort has enacted local intelligence with the lifeblood of those who are impacted the most by the future, our youth. Understanding the determinants of the future and building the capacity to be in alliance with time and intention enables us to foster human empowerment.
It can feel arbitrary to talk about the future. We don’t want to get it wrong. We live with incredible uncertainty like climate catastrophe, women’s rights issues, wars, and human oppression. If you are anything like me, you crave solutions to problems. You want to know the shape and structure of what’s around every corner, yet the future is not linear or pre-determined. As humans, we have the remarkable ability to learn. Therefore, we can build our capacity to imagine futures filled with cooperation and planetary thriving.
Dr. Miller describes how poverty of the imagination keeps us entrapped in old systems of oppression. We will continue to mimic what’s been done if we do not re-imagine different outcomes. “Democratizing the origins of people’s images of the future opens up new horizons in much the same way that establishing universal reading and writing changes human societies.” – Global Futures Literacy Network.
Empowering everyone to use the future more effectively isn’t about creating fantasy. It’s effective for determining what’s on the horizon and navigating toward future making. Understanding how to prepare for a crisis or series of problems and overcoming challenges is the directive of our time. Future literacy says when we know how to use the future, we become better at utilizing what would otherwise be invisible, innovative, and transformational. Learning by doing is an act of future making.
I look forward to seeing your futures unfold.
Photo credits: Aaron Burden (boy reading), John Cameron (red sign)