.Brian Beedham, foreign editor of The Economist for a quarter of a century, died this week, aged 87 F or nearly all the 25 years leading up to the collapse of communism in 1989, two intellects dominated the pages of The Econ- omist. They were Norman Macrae, as dep- uty editor, and Brian Beedham, as foreign editor. Their marks were influential, endur- ing-and quite different. Norman, who died in 2010, relished iconoclasm, and orig- inal ideas sprang like a fountain from his ef- fervescent mind. Brian, bearded, tweed- jacketed and pipe-smoking (or pipe-pok- ing), held ideas that were more considered. It was he who provided the paper’s atti- tude to the post-war world. In that world, nothing was as important as seeing off communism, which in turn could be achieved only by the unyielding exercise of American strength. This view was not in itself unusual. What made it re- markable, and formidable, were the clarity, elegance and intellectual power with which it was propounded. No issue demanded the exercise of these qualities more than the Vietnam war, and probably none caused Brian more an- guish. A man of great kindness, and with- out a hint of vanity or pretension, he was far from being either a heartless ideologue or a primitive anti-communist (though he never visited either Russia or Vietnam to put his opinions to the test). But his unwa- vering defence of American policy drew criticism from both colleagues and readers. Why did he persist in pounding such a lonely trail, even after it had become clear that the American venture in South-East Asia was doomed? The short answer was conviction. His anti-communism was born of a love affair with America. As a young man, at Leeds Grammar School and Oxford, his politics had been leftish. They might have stayed that way. But in 1955 ambition bore him from the Yorkshire Post to The Economist where, after a few months, he won a Commonwealth Fund fellowship and with it a year study- ing local politics in the South and the West of the United States. In America Brian dis- covered a national ideology based on indi- vidualism, bottom-up democracy and an active belief in liberty that meant pro- blems could be solved at home and na- tions could be freed abroad. This was ex- actly in tune with his own emerging ideas. The dispassionate romantic Coming from drab, class-ridden, 1950s Brit- ain, Brian might have stayed. But he felt in- dubitably British. The Suez crisis was be- ginning just as he left for America in August 1956; he so strongly backed the in- vasion of Egypt that he volunteered his ser- vice to the British military attache in Wash- ington, ready even to give up his new American adventure to fight for this hopeless cause. And though he later became enthusiastic about direct democracy (an en- thusiasm, like that for homeopathic pills, which was fostered by his links with Swit- zerland through Barbara, his wife), he was a monarchist to the end. Suspicious of intellectuals, Brian rel- ished exposing the soft, less-than-rigorous- ly-thought-out (he was fond of hyphens) orthodoxies of the liberal left. As foreign editor, he liked to draw unsparing compar- isons between the Soviet Union and the Nationalist regime in South Africa: to deny freedom on the basis of ideological convic- tions, he argued, was no less objectionable than denying it on the basis of colour. It was no doubt Brian’s command of words that helped to make him our Washington correspondent in 1958 and then, in 1963, foreign editor. In this role he wrote leaders on all manner of topics, often argu- ing a difficult case: for nuclear weapons, say; for supporting Israel (another of his unshakable causes) when sentiment was running otherwise; or indeed for the do- mino theory itself, which was never so ringingly defended. Brian was equally skilled as a sub-edi- tor. Articles that arrived on his desk with no clear beginning, end or theme were turned, apparently effortlessly, into some- thing perfectly sharp and coherent. More annoyingly for authors, articles that were perfectly coherent were sometimes turned with a few tweaks, deft as a paw-dab from one of his beloved cats, into pieces that said something quite different from what had been intended. A statement of fact might be qualified by “it is said” or the American invasion of Cambodia would become a “counter-attack”. These intrusions could be difficult to square with The Economist's tradition of open-mindedness; especially as Brian’s own mind was more contradictory than it seemed. His favourite conversation-part- ners were men like Henry “Scoop” Jackson and Richard Perle, hawkish intervention- ists; but he also had an acquaintance, al- most friendship, with at least one kgb man at the Soviet embassy in the 1980s. Away from work, the world he was analysing weekly was kept at bay. He did not own a television set, and found the best use of computers was to listen to American civil-war songs. Some of his pieces were pounded out on an ancient Ol- ivetti in a turret of Barbara’s family castle in the Alps, surrounded by peaks and clouds. Deep down he was a romantic, capable of great human feeling, whose head con- stantly seemed to remind him to keep a rein on his heart. He wrote sympathetical- ly and perceptively about Islam, and mov- ingly about refugees-especially boat peo- ple, and especially if they were Vietnam- ese. They were making his point for him....The Economist May l6th 2015

.................................................................................................................................................................america's media crisis started with its biggest brands...Help teachers and children generatethe most exciting jobs creation game? A 21st C mashup of a board game like monopoly, a quiz like trivial pursuits, and both a mass media and an app such as jobs creation sharkette tank?. more : why not blog your peoples search for world record jobs creators ..last 7 years of generation of changing education
1 the board - maps of large continents and small islands, of super cities and rural villages, transportation routes for exchanging what people make connected to webs like Jack Ma's gateways where 3000 people co-create live for a day before linking in their networks (Notes on valuing freedom and happiness) join 25th year of debating whether we the parnets and youth can change education in tine to be sustainable
2 rules of jobs-rich trading games - lifelong grade 1 to 69, beginners to experienced connecting many previous games - eg game 1 if your region has no access to a seaport, how are trading dryports developed
3 backup every trial game ever played including successes & failures, searchable by valuable collaboration factors; geographically neighbouring, match particular skill (eg electrical engineerings) around the world
3.1 cases and the cultural lessons from future history that worldwide youth will need to translate if they are to be the sustainability generation
3.2 unexpected joys; eg often the most exciting innovations for linking the sustainability generation come from communities that had the least connections - eg some of the games best players are the women and girls who developed bangladesh as 8th most populous nation starting with next to nothing at independence in 1971; case sino-english translation of world record book of jobs creators- can you help us translate this into other mother tongues - isabella@unacknowledgedgiant.com us we chat line 240 316 8157 - click to diary of good news youth journalism trips 8 to china, 1 korea, 3 arab emirates, 13 bangladesh 1 to japan

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Bezold’s History and Future of Anticipatory Democracy and Foresight: Part 2

Click here for Part 1. At the IAF 40th Anniversary and in a recent article published in the World Futures Review, Clem Bezold described the history and the future of anticipatory democracy and foresight. Below we share some highlights from these. For the full article, please click here.

On the Rise of Equity and Maturing of Humanity

IAF’s approach to foresight is influenced by our commitment to equity.
Most foresight is done by and for governments and organizations with a unitary focus. The disaggregated impact on different populations are seldom assessed. Ignoring such disparities perpetuates inequities. 
Yet we have witnessed in our work and beyond a growing awareness of and support for equity (and sustainability) in many forms. With this sensitivity to disparities among affected populations, there is increasing awareness of the need for appropriate tools that consider disparities and equity in policy — and recognition that foresight should contribute to that. 
As futurists, we see the indicators of a significant long-term shift in re-defining and supporting equity. This shift at times gets overrun by counter trends and events, like the Trump election and the killing by police of unarmed black men. But “equity rising” is a fundamental trend that is occurring—a growing awakening to fairness or equity, including health equity. Differences among races, income classes, or other groupings that are avoidable and unfair are getting more and more attention.
As it did with slavery, humanity is changing its mind about fairness. In the 1840s, many people in the United States would say that slavery is just the way it is. By the 1860s, the movements and counter movements had grown, led to the Secession of the South, the Civil War, and the Emancipation Proclamation. Society changed its mind about slavery, albeit, the hard way.
Now society is changing its mind about equity or fairness more broadly. In the twentieth century, the Civil Rights Movement had to overcome the segregation and discrimination that followed the ending of slavery. Likewise, women’s rights—voting, education, employment, and pay were put in place. More recently lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) rights, particularly gay marriage, have been put in place. In all of these cases, the unfairness did not totally disappear. But it was no longer legally acceptable.
There are indicators of this trend toward equity in official definitions and goals. On the global stage, these include the World Health Organization’s “Health for All” vision in the 1990s, declaring that achieving true health for a community or a nation required meeting certain values: equity, solidarity, sustainability, ethics, and gender rights. (I had the honor of working with WHO in Europe, North America, and South America on this Health for All revisioning process). Similarly, the Millennium Development Goals and the successor Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include health equity among the globally accepted audacious goals.
In the United States, the nation’s “Healthy People” objectives evolved since the late 1990s to “eliminate health disparities” (for Healthy People 2010), “achieve health equity, eliminate disparities, and improve the health of all groups” (for Healthy People 2020), and more recently “eliminate health disparities, achieve health equity, and attain health literacy to improve the health and well-being of all” (proposed for Healthy People 2030).
This rise of equity is also visible in the directions and funding support from the RWJF, The Kresge Foundation, the Kellogg Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation among others. These and other indicators of this trend of rising support for equity reinforce Martin Luther King’s comment that “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”
Aligned with this trend, IAF projects consistently explore pathways to increasing equity and sustainability. For example, the Disparity Reducing Advances Project sought to identify the most promising advances for bringing health gains to low-income and underserved communities and to accelerate the development and deployment of these advances to reduce disparities. Another example is the Health Equity and Prosperity—An American Freedom and Justice Project that was led by Jonathan Peck. It brought together multiple partner organizations and convened hundreds of people to stimulate leadership in health equity. 

On Future Tasks for Foresight and Anticipatory Democracy

Societies and nations need foresight processes. Some of the national foresight efforts mentioned in Part 1 are ongoing, as are some global foresight efforts to identify challenges and opportunities and develop shared visions and goals. However, there are some trends in particular that foresight and anticipatory democracy must consider and contribute to:
  • Work and the Economy Are Being Transformed - Job loss to automation is estimated to range from 14.5 to 47 percent of U.S. jobs by 2030. There will be new jobs created in the process, but probably far fewer than those lost. Furthermore, distributed manufacturing or 3D printing will change many sectors, leading to a “zero marginal cost economy” where the marginal cost of producing something is nearly zero, and it sells at that price. AI will similarly lead many services to be made available at very low cost. This is expected to reduce the income and profit that can be generated in many sectors, and therefore drive high structural unemployment and increase the demands on safety net programs. Simultaneously, it will become more important that all, young and old, develop their own sense of personal meaning and that they are “contributing” throughout their life, whether through paid work, raising families, caring for older persons, or other volunteering.
  • “Abundance Advances” Need to Be Made a Reality - That is, the range of technologies for low-cost in-home and in-community energy production and storage; local manufacturing (3D printing) of home goods, home building components or whole homes; in-home and in-community food production (from community gardening to urban/vertical agriculture; from conventional growing to aeroponics, cultured meat, 3D printed food). These need to be developed and deployed in sustainable and equitable ways. 
The intersection of job loss to automation, tax and finance reform, income and safety net systems, including housing, and optimizing abundance advances—all require significant foresight.

What about the role and future of anticipatory democracy (A/D) itself?

A/D is foresight with active citizen participation. One central part of A/D are community future efforts. In the 1978 Anticipatory Democracy book, we documented those, primarily in the United States. These community goals and futures efforts have continued under various names, and their frequency has ebbed and flowed around the world. The Unites States, Canada, Latin America, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand all have had significant examples of thoughtful community futuring activities and goal setting. Some of these have focused on the future of their community overall, others focused on specific topics, such as health and wellness, or the environment. In the last two decades, equity and sustainability have been growing themes in the analysis and goal setting of these efforts, reflecting the “equity rising” trend.
We continue to observe the power of vision and shared goals in many community efforts, most recently in our Human Progress and Human Services 2035 project. Two of our local partners, for example, had developed widely shared community visions and goals—San Antonio and San Diego. They have real advantages over other communities in improving their residents’ well-being and accelerating positive change.
Going forward as a nation, we will need to have widespread participation in developing shared vision and effective designs to deal with the key challenges we are facing. This is important for giving each of us, as citizens and voters, thoughtful, meaningful choices to reflect on, including how the transformations we face—social, economic, and technological—will be rolled out. 
A/D needs to help ensure that economic and social transformations work for all. This includes having the opportunity, for all, to make meaningful contributions. That is a significant task going forward, particularly in the face of huge unemployment, and the establishment of a guaranteed basic income. How might each of us pursue opportunities and make our contributions?
In conclusion, I believe that humanity is maturing. Foresight and A/D can help us individually and collectively understand what might happen, explore and invent positive options, clarify our values, and develop shared visions and goals. That is for me where A/D and foresight should be and are headed. It has been an honor, great fun, and very fulfilling to have traveled on these paths over our forty years at IAF.

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