Chapter 9

Beyond The Horizons

The scale and scope of the challenges our civilisation faces cannot be limited to incremental evolutionary risk management alone. We will have to venture beyond the known, knowable, and unknowable horizons, redefining what it means to be human, as well as our relationship with the planet, technology and with each other.

The three horizons are systematically designed to sustain, conserve, and mitigate current and future perceived liabilities. There is an urgency to deal with the COVID-triggered damage now, yet there is a simultaneous need to manage emerging and new risks in order to reduce the future exposure and strengthen our resilience to respond to new crises. While the horizons chart pathways to address different types of risk, they fundamentally require a different approach to public investment structured across intangible and tangible assets. This is necessary to reduce future liabilities and provisions for risk, as well as fostering both direct and indirect growth in public revenues and wealth. However, we believe that the scale and scope of the challenges our civilisation faces cannot be limited to incremental evolutionary risk management alone. Even if leveraged by systemic innovation, this is likely to prove insufficient to overcome the technological, cultural, governance, emotional, and organisational leaps that are necessary.

Beyond the Horizons moves upstream to address the systemic origin of these risks, reconfiguring the sources that generate them. Their foundations are defined by ideologies that shape our human relationships. We have made the future a slave to our immediate needs, nature a hostage to our economic exploitation and efficiencies, and technology an insufficiently understood mechanisms for centralisation and control. Inequality and nepotism underpin how we conceive of our societal relationships and expose the broken social contract that leaves many exposed and vulnerable. In this context, the pandemic is a product of our relationship with nature, but a broader view of the cascading risks are also a function our relationship with:

  • The future where austerity measures cripple healthcare systems.
  • Ourselves where the broken social contract, poverty, and inequality all increase the risk of COVID-related mortality.
  • Technology where a lack of digital infrastructure widens inequality, affecting those who cannot access basic services or centralised power.

This mission of embracing and discovering the full capacity of being human, seeking to transform our sense of self as a species, drives technological innovation and seeds new economies. We must move forward collaboratively, providing ourselves with a window to look up in the sky and wonder at our place in the stars︎︎︎.

A Way Forward: Turning shared interests to new ways of Governing in the Age of Emergence ︎

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