Thursday, 11 October 2012

This is a part of the painting 'The Allegory of Good and Bad Government' (approximately from around the year 1338, 1339) made by Ambrogio Lorenzetti. It's about the effects of good government on town and country.
I was inspired by this painting thanks to Carolyn Steel's TEDtalk about how food shapes our cities. She shows this painting when she's talking about the balance between cities and country. What would Ambrogio have painted if he lived right now?  Watch it here.

Monday, 8 October 2012

3 trends from the 2013 Trendspeech in which young people are the precursor

'TrendRede 2013 outlines negative vision of the future' was one of the headlines I read in the Dutch paper 'de Spits' when I was traveling to the 'TrendRede 2013' (which means Trendspeech 2013) itself. 'De Spits' was pretty early with this anouncement and seemed to find this sentence enough to summarize the speech and its already published version. But I must say that, after I heared the TrendRede live, I was far more positive than this 'de Spits' headline.

The TrendRede 2013 celebrates what we can achieve by joining forces at a local level, firstly zooming in and then zoom out. We shouldn't depend on big companies but get to work ourselves. Young people seem to take this step easier than adults. Their entrepreneurship, dedication and their ability to adapt easily to the multidimensional reality is something adults can really learn from.

Here are the three trends from the TrendRede 2013 in which young people are the absolut precursor, and the rest will follow.

1. Dividing lines disappear

The TrendRede 2013 tells us that we are exploring the different dimensions of reality. This means that we need to look at problems and chances from different angles, which will make the dividing lines between them disappear.
Youth already lives in this multidimensional world and are perfectly comfortable with it.

Conversations at school blend smoothly into answering a whatsapp message and then they continue to chat on Facebook, either on their smartphone or the tablet or PC. Youth doesn't seem to worry about the blurring lines between individual and 'virtividual'. What we mean by 'virtividual' is: the human being who sees the virtual world as a real world where he can develop himself and chase its dreams. These worlds are already so far blended with eachother that youth lives in a combination of both worlds. 

2. Dedicated attention

There is a need for craftsmen who can work from the core of their profession. Dedicated creators, such as the TrendRede describes them. An example of one in the TrendRede is Epke Zonderland. He is the living proof that the combination of talent and dedicated attention can lead to a new level of craftsmanship. Boundaries are invisible by shifting this combination and make the impossible possible.

Click here to view the winning gymnastics performance that Epke did at the Olympics of 2012 in London.

What you don't hear in this clip is that commentator Hans van Zetten afterwards said something in order to encourage every little boy in the Netherlands to chase their dreams: 'Boys of the Netherlands, it is possible! Even if you live in the Netherlands, so go to work! Set a goal!'

A boy who achieved his dream thanks to dedicated attention is the 9 year-old Caine from Los Angeles. He built, entirely out of cardboard, his own arcade. Unfortanetely there were few pedestrians who passed the spot where he built the arcade, so the only thing missing were the customers. But one day one customer came into the arcade and that customer made Caine's greatest wish come true. 

3. The data gold rush

Because of technology, knowledge, communications and capital becomes widely available for everyone, but really everyone. Young people have grown up with this and are able to distinguish relevant from not relevant. For example, the 15 year-old Jack Andraka developed a cheap and effective test by using Google during his biology classes. And with this information in his mind he started experimenting. With this he won the most prestigious science award for high school students.