The Need For A Grand Vision Of The Future


During my Society30 presentation for the Netherlands Tourist Board (NBTC) in May 2014 I ran into Thijs de Groot and after some conversation I invited him to share his vision with us…


“I believe that everything in the Universe is connected. Individual actions, including our thoughts, affect and influence people. Our organizations and politics are no different, just on a grander institutionalized scale.

I believe that humanity has reached a point where critical junctions approach rapidly and choices need to be made. I see a decade of great instability ahead. Humanity as a whole seems mostly subconsciously aware that with destroying nature, depleting natural resources and exterminating animals, we’re over-stretching the earths capacity to sustain us and life around us. I’m not worried about earth so much as I believe that we will have to pay the price for our behavior, and it won’t be cheap! Atlas shrugged will get a different meaning: earth will shake like a dog that wants to dry after a nice swim and *poof* so much for mankind – nice project, not a great success, moving on.

Today however, on spaceship earth, the balance of power shifts to the East as the natural flow of Nature and man does, but the current centralised power structure will not let go of deteriorating power without a kick or punch. The natural flow of flexes and change will not be allowed to run its course. Just like the corrupt and broken banking system is artificially being held together bound to collapse under it’s disfunctioning and unfair character. Failing systems are not allowed to fail and alternative better systems are either not thought of or are deliberately held back. Drop out rates at school are highest ever, students are checked out, uninterested in their education, focused on fastfood and fast entertainment: creating the ideal non resisting, all accepting majority, willing to invest more and more, to maintain the unsustainable race for growth and more, more.

Money is purely a means of exchange: you get it by giving something back. The money earned equivalent to the energy, time and effort put into something is completely out of balance. A new equilibrium needs to be created that justly reflects reasonable exchange. The systems that have provided stability in the past, won’t offer stability now or in the future. Pension, savings- and investment structures loose value rapidly and are replaced by flexible systems where change will be – even more – the constant. Countries and big corporations driven by profit and power hunger will over-leverage resources and destroy natural assets at an ever greater rate without taking responsibility for future generations. Financial systems are unjust and unstable, inequality worldwide is bigger than ever, climate is heating up or cooling down, raging storms become more violent, unpredictable and in surprising places.

The challenges are huge however our solutions can be even grander!

The mindset for the future needs to understand and see that destruction of earth, animals etc is actually a destruction of ourselves. We’re cutting with a knife in our own arms, every time we do harm. The mind to achieve the level of problem solving and creative development needed is not a mind driven by money. Deep convictions, personal areas of deep passion and enabled capabilities of individuals through linkage into the right networks of peers will unlock this creative storm of positive influence and change.

Our Universe expands at an increasing rate. This started straight after the big bang and continues to this day. With it, technological innovations and possibilities also grow at an ever increasing rate. Subject to the law of Moore, our lives have changed from local and linear to global, I would say universal!, and exponential. Innovation and speed are good, they offer new opportunities for sure but the pace at which change happens makes it difficult for people, organisations and political institutions to adapt to the new realities which are old even 6 months down the line.

To ensure that technological progress remains prosperous, sustainable and inclusive for all, we need to dedicate ourself and our energy to creating a collective will and vision of what our Future should look like. Rightly and consciously applied technology delivers comfort, peace and stability, wrongly and dumbed use results in stress, anxiety, uncertainty and disruption. Technological innovations need an ethically sound value eco system that serves the majority not the minority. A minority based milieu will lead to misure and corruption by suppressing the many to the few. Current technologies have given us much pleasure and amazing possibilities but it has also plunged many of us into a stressful 24/7 online/ 200+ email a day mode. Who’s driving whom? Is technology still serving us or have we become slaves of the technology?

I don’t believe in slowing down the progress of people, contrary I believe in each and every individual being the spot where the whole Universe comes together. People and companies are struggling to make sense of new developments, are unsure what is coming at them and their organizations and will be looking for clarity and direction with regards to actions to take. Bridging the gap between what is and what will be is the great task at hand.

I ask you what do you want to get out of life, which future life do you want to leave for your children and what are you willing to put in? What will your contribution to the grand vision of the future be?

-People have a hard time accepting anything that overwhelms them- Bob Dylan. 
So let’s create the blueprint that gets us from the 21 century into the next, together. “
Thijs de Groot.
Thijs de Groot is Partnership Development Manager for the NBTC, Holland marketing, and can be reached through Twitter @thysdegroot


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