How to share a manifesto of the mind with a 2 pint haze and only 30minutes to go before your noodles arrive? Perhaps not the question you’d imagine me to open with, but with the print deadline looming less than 24hrs away, here we go!
We live in a unique time, “yeah every generation says that”, but sniff deeper, think about it. We’re at the meeting point of a multitude of revolutions; pop your industrial revolution in your super polluting guilt pipe and meet the biotech, quantum and information revolutions! Lets call them the three megalomaniacs, all competing to take control of our near future. So what’s wrong with this picture? Well it’s the most recent peak on the evolutionary journey of ‘one of’ the most intelligent viruses nature has spawned. We call it the human race. Spin back the last 200yrs of humanities first album and we’ve managed to go from a promising start, to an attempt at destroying the recording studio before we’ve recorded our first song. Through our addiction to progress, greed, capitalism, innovation and most poignantly: ‘technology’, we’ve managed to sway the ‘balance’. From natures defyingly beautiful, seemingly endless, sustainable harmony, to a point where we look remarkably like a viruses spreading across the giant living organism that gave us life: Earth!
At this point I should stop and request you don’t judge me. Firstly I’m not a hippy in your stereotypical sense. I’ve spent 17yrs playing capitalism, chasing the greed and wanting for material pleasures. However I realised all along I was searching for gratification and change not pleasure; trying to innovate, be an artist, technologist and positively impact on the world, to find my way to reharmonise humanity with nature. If that makes me a hippy then so be it 🙂
So what does balance mean to me? Let’s over simplify: technology has caused the problem, it’s not going away and people won’t willingly sacrifice or compromise their way of life. Therefore (unless there is an apocalypse where we all retreat to the Tolken like warmth of the woods) we must use technology to reharmonise our race, the human race, with nature! So there it is, enjoy the silicon on the beach, hang on did someone say meta?…
Seriously though we all need to change, that includes you. At the tender age of 16 I had an epiphany, one that changed my life forever, without this moment in time I wouldn’t be writing and you wouldn’t reading this now. I sat surfing the internet on a crackling 14400 modem watching the pages of text slowly load. Then I hit a web page and suddenly music started playing, ‘No Doubt Don’t Speak’, so I didn’t speak, instead I watched images and animated gif’s load, mind blown at the potential of this new world. This triggered me to thinking how you can change the world. I started with the obvious one’s: politician, business leader, but what about the media the arts? Who listens to politicians I thought? The people listen to the media. I made a decision then to climb within the media to a point where I could have a say and try to make things better. The journey from here was rapid and very ‘New Media’ as the ancients called it. I cover this part of the story elsewhere. However, long story short: I started a web company, moved to London, got bored with screens, looked to intuitive and more natural forms of interaction, started making software and hardware that was physical and broke away form the screen, pulling you back into the real world. Started uploading some of this to youtube, got swamped by big global brands and advertising agencies, made money, tried to spend this money being more innovative, talked at TED a few times, starting running my own TED events, bought a house, moved back to Bournemouth, realised it was becoming like Shoreditch from 15yrs ago, decided to talk at silicon beach. The end, but no, it’s just the start. My first baby ‘seeper’ has (I hope) flown the nest and now I have the well earned luxury of gazing on the future and executing how, I hope, I can help it along, this is where you all come in!
By now my noodles are half eaten and getting cold, there’s an open bottle and another member of our species waiting for me. So I must punt forwards boldly to a conclusion. My 16yr old vision still stands true. Media, advertising, communication and in particular brands rule the world. That means: it’s your fault! advertising, PR and business people, but more importantly it’s your/our duty to make things right again. Nobody should question the simple fact that nature is the master of all design, technology, innovation, efficiency [insert your business/career challenge here] and evolution! Everything we need to know in order to create a sustainable planet is right in front of us, some people call it ‘biomimicry’, others living off the land. Whatever it is to you, we all must use our skills, power, knowledge influence and most importantly passion to create dramatic change in the way we live, work and CONSUME. This isn’t a warning, it may already be too late, who’s going to want Nike trainers or nice perfume when nature continues to bite back with ‘natural’ disasters. If you have, know of, or plan to bring, a child into this world, then think about how they might look back on our generation. We could be the one’s who created awesome and pretty technology so we could all look at cats and american TV whilst our planet implodes! Or we could be the one’s who woke up and fixed things!
The world’s an amazing place if we harmonise with what it’s been doing millions of years before us (and no doubt will be millions of years after us). Let’s put down our smartphones and leave a legacy! It begins here.