Everybody likes the future.

Developing a vision is a science that is called futuring. “What if” questions, making up scenarios.

The future is made today. That means that someone has thought of something today that will change the world tomorrow. Perhaps here in this room.

An original thought that was never thought before. That has never been tried.

We call someone like that a pioneer. A special breed of people, sometimes unhappy, because their thoughts are so … unlikely, so far out, so inconceivable … that everyone disagrees.

But then that pioneer, with a lot of perseverance and 10000 hours of work makes something, visible.

That is picked up by a trendsetter, a professor or the like.

Professors are surrounded by early adopters and tweets and facebooks and linkedins and then suddenly it is on the front page and the mass follows, followed by slow adopters and laggards.

People who in their teens were pioneers become slow adopters by the age of 50. With some exceptions of course. But in general, adopting needs a flexible mind and body, and flexibility is a characteristic that wears out with advancing age. Unless … it is said that during a brainstorm, you get the best ideas from men under 35 and from women of all ages … if they dare to speak up.

Anyway, you get wiser, but stiffer. More conservative. Nothing new under the sun.

In order to grow, a tree needs a stem, stiff with some flexibility, and a lot of leaves.

Does a tree grow bottom up from the roots or top down from the leaves? Who votes for bottom up? Who votes for top down?

He grows top down … the young leaves create growth. They catch CO2 and with some photosynthesis add Carbon to the tree.

The old stem supports and nourishes them.

I like this metaphor very much.


Therefore, we open a section on futuring. How to research the future scientifically. How to research our future scientifically. It would be nice to receive contributions. future@woncaeurope.org

And a section of opinions. Contributions can be sent to opinion@woncaeurope.org - soon.