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Build Back Better – Toward an Emergence Vision

By Shlomo Maital

   In the US, Israel and other nations, we are seeing a disastrous collapse of leadership. There is no vision regarding the future, and how we are to emerge from the pandemic. Churchill once said, if you’re going through hell – keep going. But where? How? Our leaders shrink into the shadows and fall silent. Let someone else take the blame.

   Here is a blueprint for emergence. Start with a mantra – three words. Build back better. No, we will not go back to the ‘good old days’, they actually weren’t that good, as the virus proved. We will build back – but better.

   How?   We start with a careful audit, by experts. What were the range of social, political, educational and economic failings before the pandemic? Inequality, apathy, ill health, poor schools…   write the entire list.

   Second, strategic plan. How can each of these ills be repaired? And most important, how can we use creativity, with minimal resources, to tackle the problem? Schools can shift to project-based learning – that won’t require huge new resources, kids will thrive.

   The Bible says (Psalms) in Hebrew, without vision, a nation literally falls to pieces:

      . אין חזון יפרע עם    

So  Give us a vision. Build a strategic plan. Tell every part of society where they fit into it and what they must do. Do it bottom up – canvas all of society for ideas. Get people to pull together. Today, in Israel, each interest group – small business, artists, performers – demonstrates on their own, with the guiding principle: the squeakiest wheel gets the most grease. A bad system.

   Crises produce new leaders. I eagerly await the new leaders who will step and bring us their vision – and help us implement it.

2020 Vision: What Does 2030 Hold in Store

 By   Shlomo Maital

     20/20 means that you can see things at a distance of 20 feet that normal eyes see at that distance. 20/100 means, you need to be 20 feet from something to see it, when normal eyes see it at a distance of 100 feet. In the metric system, 20/20 translates to 6/6.

         So if we all had 20/20 vision to see what the year 2030 holds in store, what would we see and what can we say about it, as we greet the New Year 2020?

         The New York Times International Edition comes to the rescue today. Some dozen public figures weigh in.

   * Edward Snowden, who stole crucial NSA files and software, thinks the Internet will become a weapon of the rich, and berates server farms for gobbling massive amounts of electricity.                   * Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang want us to put “people ahead of profits” and rethink how we work and create jobs. * editor Ezra Klein wants us to stop killing 70 billion animals for food each year. *  Mark Blyth, politics prof, thinks the only issue for the new decade will be climate change…and thinks we’ll continue to wail about it and do nothing.*  Caity Weaver, NYT author, sees ads becoming more and more personalized (“in 2030 the only ads I encounter will be for products I would kill to buy”)…[say, who in the world would ‘kill to buy’ anything??]. * Mike Gallagher, Republican congressman, warns that in 2030 there will be a Chinese Communist Internet. * Alexandra Scaggs, financial analyst, warns that we will have to become legal businesses in order to work in the gig economy, which dominates. * Stacey Abrams (Democrat candidate from Georgia, possible VP candidate) sees America becoming majority/minority by 2030 (i.e. minorities will rule, there will be no single majority ethnic group); * Jami Attenberg, novelist, sees community bookstores thriving. * Dambisa Moyo, economist, warns against the population explosion that will bring world population to 9 billion by 2030. *  Gary Kasparov, chess master, warns the world is moving to a post-truth fake news reality, like that he grew up with, in the old Soviet Union. Min Jin Lee, novelist, thinks that by 2030 religion will have a stronger hold on young people. * P.W. Singer, cybersecurity specialist, thinks everything in our lives will be networked, in smart cities. Larry David, comic writer and producer, thinks “the next big trend will be outright, brazen lying”.

     And, the icing on the cake, in a separate “Strategies” blog   Jeff Sommer warns us, again, that “stock market forecast are less than worthless” (why less? Because people believe and act on them, this does damage).

     Some, all or none of this might come to pass. ‘

     So, as we greet the new year and new decade –   take special good care of your loved ones, surround yourself with people you love and admire, do good, cause no pain, challenge yourself daily, find ways to create value and stay relevant, look after your health, and be happy.   And if you do, the coming decade will take care of itself.

Blog entries written by Prof. Shlomo Maital

Shlomo Maital