Where’s the vision?

Well, we are clearly a divided nation.

Though perhaps not because we are so different, but rather, because we lack a vision for the future and the path and courage to pursue it. It is far easier to just accept the jargon and labels of the blue side or the red side because it fits more than the other. But they both fit like irritating burlap bags, just one is cut slightly better for whatever reason. Not a single one of us fits perfectly in this digital framing. And our world is way too complex and changing way to fast to be able to think the solution is black or white — or in this case red or blue. When all we focus on are the differences between the two, we fail to take the time to discuss the things we agree on and build upon those. I am certain that we all want a better future for our children, but we won’t take the time or we don’t have the patience or we don’t have the courage to argue about what that future could be.

Unfortunately, we may be facing one of the most difficult times of all of human history — a time when technology is moving exponentially and disrupting many parts of our lives, our businesses, our industries and society as a whole — even what it means to be human is coming to question. At this extraordinary pace of change, our current systems, which were established hundreds or thousands of years ago don’t work. Our current linear mindsets have a difficult time processing what is actually happening. The future scares us because we don’t know where it is taking us and the only visions for the future that we have from media or hollywood are dystopian, terminator, zombie apocalypse scenarios. More than that, we all feel the changes happening and nothing scares us more than change. And when we fear change, we cling to what we know — which is the past (“the devil you know…”). I think this is reflected in the election tonight. Many people are rightfully afraid of the exponential pace of change we are undergoing and want to hang on to anything that reminds them of a simpler time. Unfortunately, the pace of change will never again be as slow as it is right now and it will not be getting any less complicated any time soon.

But we can and will forge a new path forward. Instead of focusing on the painful disagreements between blue or red, let’s turn our attention to uniting on a long-term vision. A vision for a future that we may not see, but our children will. It will be an incredibly difficult and painful journey to create this vision and it will require great patience and courage to unite around it, but I believe this is the one thing that we have responsibility to our children for.

I believe in an abundant future — one where everyone has equal access to extraordinary education, healthcare, food, clean water, and shelter and can pursue their own path to happiness from there — whether it is to become a billionaire or a musician or a priest or an astronaut. Our great nation was founded on a similar principle: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” If we bring that founding principle into the future, I believe we can create a world where we do not fight over scarce resources and where the ideals of equity can be redefined — as Peter Diamandis likes to say: “moving from a world of haves and have nots, to a world of haves and super-haves”. Through my work at Singularity University, interacting with amazing companies, people, and exponential technologies around the world, I am certain that we can create this future. But it can not be done in isolation or just at NASA or just in Silicon Valley or just by Democrats or just by the U.S.. Creating this future will require all of us — as a global community — because whether we like it or not, we are all in this together (or at least until a few of us leave the planet or upload our brains).

This is no time to panic, it is time to get to work.