The Futility of Predictions

…particularly, when we live in a world where “we can’t anticipate what the economy will look like next week.”  I paraphrased that last bit (and, admittedly, out of context yet) from this video of Sir Ken Robinson’s discussion about uprooting the current model for education.   He talks again about the disconnection of our times:  how we live in a world of exponential change and yet we still view life through mental models geared for the industrial age.  His focus in this piece is on the education sytem.  He shares some controversial views and some fascinating views in an attempt to challenge much of what we “know to be so” and encourages us to create from a place where we don’t necessarily know things to be so…in other words, from a place not so entrenched with practices built for a past-age.  A much more difficult place to be reactive about – a much more natural place to be creative with – since it’s not quite as grounded in the past.

The 11 minute video is a visually and intellectually engaging piece.


4 thoughts on “The Futility of Predictions

  1. Hey there Botgirl! Ahhh thanks for the book recommendation, Bg. I’m finishing up “The Alchemist” and will pick up “Gamestorming.” It’s not so easy to adopt a new mental model, but it’s seems a huge paradox in life these days that despite the influx of constant change, our mental models remain so very rigid…in so very many areas of life, not just education. If that’s true, I’m not sure what that means: are there only a few (individuals, institutions, mechanisms, etc.) who truly innovate, who are active in creation while the vast majority reacts?

    1. I think that the desire to see things in new ways is one of the keys to actually having that happen once in a while. If not, new information just gets sorted into our existing buckets. But even with that intention, if we work within a risk-averse culture or one which is regimented under rigid processes, it’s really hard to take our little spark and light a fire that gets the whole pot boiling.

      My human counterpart sometimes facilitates workshops for people within organizations who are tasked to make big changes within their enterprise. But even when working with “change agents” we must first pay attention to removing the blinders from our own eyes before helping others see differently or more clearly. It usually takes a couple of metaphorical Zen cuffs to the side of the head to shake up perception enough to break free. Humor and visual thinking are a great ways to elicit such shifts. My favorite source of material is Demetri Martin who has a show on Comedy Central that you can download on iTune.

      1. Thank you for sharing the work of your human counterpart, Botgirl. It is challenging work! (Having had the experience of co-facilitating a strategy development process for several years, I have a sense of what that kind of work can be like. It can be quite like “trying to fight your way out of a pillow” as colleagues used to say to me.) Context and values have a huge influence on how things are perceived, even if we desire to see things in new ways. If we try to look at the future through the context of past experiences, the past will always reassert itself and try to serve as the foundation for the future state inspite of all the desire to re-think or re-imagine. Changing values or beliefs is no easy thing. But I do wonder about that in a different way now. With change the normal course of things these days and so incredibly fast, it’s kind of interesting to wonder which set of past experiences will hold the greatest sway…since change is altering so many experiences so rapidly now. Yet, no matter how fast change is, I still believe that there needs to be a constant…something that holds things stable and flexible. I do think it’s probably less the idea of community in and of itself and more the reality of the values shared between persons that, when acted upon, actually serve to define the community. A shared purpose is pretty powerful. If that shared purpose is tethered to the past and past experiences, the community then self-selects itself out of a possible new future or way. It will be interesting to see what happens with the new SL ceo.

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