My (something like a) Manifesto
The modern age, the time that I know, love, hate and live in, is a result of mostly profit driven progress, flawed social norms and lack of global foresight. Human centred development brought us all the pleasures money can buy so we don’t have to worry about much else then how to make the money. Capitalist consumerism is the religion we live and die for. We wage wars and destroy lives and the planet for it.
It’s been brewing for some time now. There have been people who realised the insanity of it. Not just ‘hippies’ who decided to detach themselves from it by going off grid but also thinkers, designers, engineers, inventors who proposed alternatives. These incredibly smart people showed us how we could live and prosper in a fairer and sustainable society. Life-centred, not human centred society.
For majority of our recent history we have largely ignored these visionaries and their ideas (Buckminster Fuller, Victor Papanek, Jacque Fresco). Or we killed them if their ideas seemed to threaten the status quo (Nikola Tesla, Alan Turing, Aaron Swartz…)
What gives me hope and what makes me really excited about the future is that we are starting to accept radical ideas. ‘Disruption’ is the buzzword of today. We see that smart people can actually make big systemic changes with quite a little. Green energy, circular economy, smart contracts are all concepts that are slowly coming to pass. AI, synthetic biology, nano technology or space travel are about to fundamentally shake up how we live and work. In order for disruptive ideas to be accepted, they still need to meet the criteria of capitalism though. Money is still what gets things built and keeps them running.
I want to spend my life and career by bridging the gap between all the social and environmental issues that we face and all the incredible inventions and discoveries of science and engineering. And I think the way to do it is by being a designer and entrepreneur. Understanding the opportunities of modern technology as well as human needs and desires and connecting them is a job of a designer. However there needs to be a viable business proposition in those connections too.