Chapter 14. Resources - Media and Tools for Better Futures

Videos – Sites

There are so many great websites now curating future important videos. Let me suggest just two for a start. Let me know of others you’d like to see here.

BigThink
Big idea hunters. Videos as lenses for viewing personal and global success.
TED and TEDx
Compelling ideas in technology, entertainment, and design. Scripted storytelling with a social message. I’ve done a TEDx preso (How the Television Will Be Revolutionized, TEDx DelMar 2010) and I recommend all foresight speakers do one as well. It’s great practice in condensed storytelling.

Videos – Series

There are many excellent documentary series available now. As streaming services take on the cable monopolies, we are now entering an era of Peak TV. Let me start with two obscure but insightful ones that you might not otherwise watch.

People’s Century, Episodes 1-26, BBC, 1995. Get off the internet, or via Amazon DVD. A brilliant and deeply Big Picture overview of the 20th Century and its drivers, cycles, and trends, in twenty-six one hour episodes. I’ve blogged about two of its episodes, Episode 7, Breadline, and Episode 24, God Fights Back. You might start with those articles. Any video series that looks in depth at societal changes over a century, as this one does, will give you what futurists call “topsight” on both big cycles, including economic booms and busts, and liberalization and conservative retrenchment, and big trends, like accelerating science, technology, and entrepreneurship, in ways very few others do.

Who Rules America? Episodes 1-6, Danny Schechter, 2012. Amazon Streaming. Predictably, as of 2017 this documentary has had little viewership, and has no ratings on IMDB. The topic of plutocracy is generally avoided by the public, as it is depressing, unless you understand how we’ll get out of it, as we covered in Chapters 2 and 3. Nevertheless it is vitally important to understanding where we are today, and how much Political, Social, and Economic change we can realistically expect in coming decades (usually less than we think), versus the far faster and more powerful Science and Technology domains, which plutocrats thankfully cannot strongly control. They try to control them, but they can’t. Science and technology have become too powerful and unpredictable, and they get exponentially more so every year. The title of the documentary comes from a groundbreaking book by sociologist G. William Domhoff, Who Rules America? The Triumph of the Corporate Rich, 1967/2015, now in its 7th edition, which I also recommend. Watch these over six dinners, get quietly angry at the way commercial interests have taken priority over community and human interests in so many sectors of our society, including innovation and evidence-seeking, then get busy doing things that will accelerates digital empowerment, like building our next generation personal sims. Increasingly, we’ll be able to use S&T to create the kind of societies and organizations we truly want.

Videos – A Starter List of Individual Titles

A Force More Powerful: A Century of Non-Violent Conflict, Steve York (1999). Great overview of the deepest power in every society: collective decisionmaking. When conditions get too bad, we usually band together and create change, following a few opinion leaders. Lobby sims will make such collective action much more effective in coming years.

Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru, Joe Berlinger (2016). An excellent overview of the mindset and methods of one of the most effective peak performance coaches in the world. Netflix, Amazon. If you like what you see, read Awaken the Giant (1991/2013) next. It gives you the essentials of his philosophy in one brilliant book on personal adaptive foresight (learning, seeing, doing, and reviewing). No one is perfect, but you can get better every day. As Tony would say, if you’re not growing, you’re dying. It’s your choice between those two states, every day.

See GlobalForesight.org’s Foresight Media pages for more foresight periodicals, books, articles, studies, blogs, websites, newsletters, audio, video, and other educational material.