George Coleman on Being Human

To be or not to be.

I think therefore I am.

The world is, of course, nothing but our conception of it.

Man is nothing else but what he makes of himself.

Since the dawn of time, we’ve constantly asked the same fundamental question: what is it to be human?

It’s a question that’s exercised some of the greatest minds in history, and goes to the very heart of our innate craving to understand the world around us and our role in it.

Whilst the philosophical debates will undoubtedly continue to rage around us ad infinitum, we arguably are entering the defining epoch for being human.

In geological terms, we are in the Anthropocene era, where human activity is the single biggest influence on Earth’s geology and ecosystems. But turn the telescope around, and our evolution as a species can be seen in similar terms. Or more specifically, rapid advances in science, technology and innovation are having the most significant impact on who we are today, and will be in the near future, than at any period in our history.

Since we first learned to use crude tools and the advent of language, humans started to transcend their natural state. We’ve been influencing our own evolutionary path for millennia. But what’s new is the incredible exponential pace, scale and impact of change.

We now have the capability to edit genomes, build intelligent machines and use technology to augment our physical selves in ways that would have seemed fantastical to our predecessors. Our social selves and behaviours are shifting, taking us into new and, at times, unchartered territory. All this has far reaching consequences for culture, society, businesses, government and economies.

At Creation we’re a bunch of creative problem solvers with an insatiable inquisitiveness about the human condition. It’s essential to helping us craft marketing ideas on behalf of brands that inspire people to think and behave differently. It’s what gets us out of bed every day. We wanted to share our passion and spark debate, so we decided to ask a wide range of thought-leaders to give us their views on the state of being human.

We’ve curated content around three themes: Rise of the Machines, the Social Self and the Augmented Self. And since we’re Open Minds, we gave our contributors free range to interpret the brief. We believe diverse and unlimited perspectives are at the root of creativity.

This project is ongoing, and the current set of articles are our opening salvo. We’ll be constantly publishing new content, so please do keep on following us.

And if you would like to contribute, then please drop us a line at hello@creation.io. All thoughts and opinions welcome.

George Coleman

President, Creation