Are you ready for 2020?

Woman using laptop and computer
Lisa Portolan
Mon 25 Nov

This week in The Shaker we're talking about the future. With the end of 2019 quickly approaching, most media outlets are looking to recap the media trends of 2019 and the themes which stamped their authority on the social, cultural and political domains for the year that has passed. We're quick to say Ciao! to the year that still currently is, even in the final week of November, when there is a considerable amount of time left of it! Our tendency to be retrospective rather than grounded in the present is part of the human condition. Afterall, how can we predict what's to come without evaluating what has been? Without agregating that hard evidence, how can we forecast where we are heading? The capacity to map out the future is a highly prised skill across industries, but more generally something that we wish we could do more of as human beings: otherwise we're left vulnerable. How can you look to the future, or know what is to come without assessing the past? Moreover, how can you maintain an eye on the future with a foot in the present? 

This week we're talking about exactly that. In December we're hosting two events in Canberra (10th December) and Sydney (12th December) with Nils Vesk. Renowned author and futurist, Vesk is going to be providing us with insight into 2020. What are the trends we can expect to see in the year that will be? And how can we prepare? Alongside this, he will be teaching attendees how they can become futurists, and how they can bring this skill to the workplace, and beyond. We will also be hosting a podcast with him on our channel, and providing some top tips from our contributors on how they prepare for the future. Finally, we'll be featuring a piece from Indiana Holley, owner and founder of Three Feathers Living, about innovation and the future, and how you can best integrate the skills you need for a forward thinking approach into your everyday. 

So, lot's of future predictions to come this week - which might put you ahead of the game. 

Interestingly, with all this talk of "futurists" - I started to consider, what makes for a futurist? After all there are no university degrees that specifically train students to become equipped in the skills they need to discern future trends. What exactly makes for a Nostradamus or a Tony Stark? An understanding of past trends, and a capacity to expand on them in lateral ways? A way to consider things in unexpected ways? Fixated with the question, I even asked family and friends what they thought. What qualified others to be a futurist? There were a range of descriptors from: demographers, to urban planners, to seers.

It's an unsettling trade: a combination of two things which are in direct contract. The need to understand and interpret facts in order to see trends (to make predictions grounded in fact), and some magic (the ability to see something which is ephemeral). The two things would usually stand together as a binary: a contrast between the rational mind and the embodied (the felt, the experienced, the stuff that you describe as "a gut feel"). The marriage of the two seems to be the perfect union of ying and yang. Accordingly, if you  have too much of one or the other, the equation becomes unbalanced. The left side won't equal the right side. 

Perhaps this is the answer? A little of column A, and a little of column B. The capacity to combine the rational and the imagined. 

Alongside all this naval gazing, at The Shaker we're also looking to keep our approach pragmatic but energetic. We still have a little over five weeks left of this year, and that is indeed, a length of time. In which anything could happen. Anything. We're often stuck in either the past or the future, but we seldom acknowledge the only lived reality which actually exists, the present. What more could occur right now? Our contributors are also going to provide us tips about keeping things present. 

Seems an easy feat, but it's trickier than you would think. 

Happy Monday entrepreneurs, let's kick start the week with some energy and drive to get things done, remain motivated and gather momentum across these last five weeks!