It’s easy to lose hope these days. Trends point to a world that is devolving, not evolving. Still, not all is lost. As days lengthen, trees leaf out and flowers bloom this spring we will look to some of the movements, inventions and ideas that suggest surprising possibilities. Hope is surprising after all, and so is life when we open our eyes to the Biggest Picture of it. Let’s be part of the surprise and do some futurescaping. Here’s what we’ll be talking about each week…

April 28 - Digital Photography: Seriously?!? This doesn’t sound remotely spiritual… why would we talk about it? Well, it isn’t the digital photography itself, but what it represents. Catching a shot or video on your phone has snuck up on us as film and cameras have faded away so quickly, yet almost silently, and we miss the revolution within it. What it reminds us of is less about pictures than a futurescape that could be and maybe already is. Now that is reason to have hope!

May 5 - Making Mistakes: What’s the most sure way to fail? Not by making a mistake but by repeating a winning strategy. To be honest, both rise or fall with our ability to learn from why something works or doesn’t. The myth is that mistakes could and should be avoided. They can’t and shouldn’t. The growing willingness of people to embrace mistake-making for the growth in it is a bright spot on the futurescape. Imagine that your problem is that you haven’t made enough of them! Now that is reason to have hope!

May 12 - Educating Girls: Just in case you don’t think this is news, it unfortunately is. We’ve been limping along tapping only half of our population for their contribution to our world. That’s like walking around on one leg as a society. It’s not only women we are missing out on either, it’s people of different colored skin, culture, origin, language and ability. Some people see a different vision and are futurescaping our world to make everyone’s best contribution available for all. Now that is reason to have hope!

May 19 - Systems Thinking: We’ve played Whack-a-Mole with the world’s problems for millennia. Somehow we’ve thought that we could fix things one at a time, as if our challenges were isolated from one another. Well, all sorts of people - from educators to doctors, sociologists to physicists - are seeing things differently. They are futurescaping a world by not just recognizing but utilizing the connectedness, not separateness, of all things. Now that is reason to have hope!

May 26 - Hearing Voices: Seriously, people who hear voices are considered delusional. Is that why we’ve filtered most of them out? Ok, this isn’t about psychological disorders, but unnecessary societal order. It has been convenient to make the world the echo chamber of those already in power, but it has also cheated us of the full story of our world. New echoes from a futurescape that hears voices long silenced are beginning to reverberate today. Now that is reason to have hope!

June 2 - Choosing Inconvenience: If someone were to tell you that they could fix all your problems, but you wouldn’t like it, would you let them do it? That is, in fact, why our most intractable problems are never solved. Not because we can’t, but because we won’t. We like the problem we know better than the solution we don’t. Some people are futurescaping with a different vision, however, setting aside what is convenient for what just might work. Now that is reason to have hope!