What if We Decided to Reboot the World?

A city skyline in twilight. Credit: Max Bender/Unsplash

A city skyline in twilight. Credit: Max Bender/Unsplash

Technology is increasing at an exponential rate. We know this. The phrase is repeated over and over again on endless refrain. Insurance agencies, MIT professors, accounting organizations, Google’s Director of Engineering — everyone is talking about it.

But it’s not just technology that’s changing. Experts assert that our climate is in the midst of a massive shift, as are many of the world’s oldest economic and social institutions. All of these vectors of change are converging and leading to a future that looks nothing like the past. The case has been made, and the data has been analyzed. The findings are virtually irrefutable.

But what’s often left out of these conversations is a discussion of the things — or, more pointedly, the thing — that’s actually driving this change: Humans and their choices.

The smartphone didn’t create itself. Neither did Facebook. The dodo didn’t just randomy decide to go extinct, and our planet certainly didn’t choose to warm itself. Currency didn’t take a vote and resolve to dabble in the digital world. In each of these cases, humans made decisions that led to these outcomes. In each of these cases, humans could have made different decisions, and we would have had different outcomes.

Put simply, change isn’t something that just happens. It is, in many cases, something that humanity has the power to create — to direct and redirect. So, what if we identified the most disruptive technological, economic, sociocultural, environmental, and political vectors of change, decoded where they are taking us, and then imagined alternative visions of the future and how to get there? What if we decided to take one of these alternate paths and reshape technology, the economy, our systems of governance, or all of the above? What kind of world could we create?

Over 200 individuals from all avenues of society — researchers, business executives, policy experts, and more — have gathered to try and answer these questions.

The Boma France Campfire, hosted at Châteauform' Campus Saint Just, brought these individuals together to analyze trends, discuss the futures that we want to bring to life, and begin building a roadmap for how to get there. From new systems of governance to new rules for warfare, from new kinds of value systems and new kinds of artificial intelligence systems, from new kinds of business to new kinds of business leaders, check out the articles below to get all the insights and ideas to come from this gathering.