Friday, February 22, 2008

Futureme: A Conversation in the Future

Any idea that connects with the future grabs my attention. It’s there in the aspirational urgency of Saatchi & Saatchi’s belief that 'Nothing is Impossible', as well as in the famous statement by Alan Kay, “The best way to predict the future is to invent it”.


With a brand new grandchild, I guess I am particularly focused on the future. I often find myself thinking about the world Stella will step into. I intend to post some thoughts on what I call 'Stella’s Future' over the year. I'll be starting next week with some Trend Dreams. To give you a taste, here’s a site that draws together the Past, Present and Future that I talk about in Lovemarks in a very direct and personal way. FutureMe allows you to write an email to yourself in...the future. That’s it. You write your email, choose a date in the future for delivery and then send it. Later, on the date you selected, your FutureMe will receive the email. If you want to see what people write you can check out examples on the site. This simple idea has kept tugging at me. It draws on the fundamental human desire to connect with the mystery of what is to come and to secure some instant of attention in the future for the passions and aspirations of today. There’s another practical reason it appeals. Focus. The discipline of writing to your future self is the perfect way to crystallize your ideas and, even better, when you read these ideas in a couple of months or years, to assess how your thinking has changed, whether goals that were important at the time were achieved and what’s next. Give it a go.

8 comments:

Piotr Jakubowski said...

A Digital Time Capsule!

I'd say it's a great use of technology to address something that has fascinated us for years. The concept of time capsules has been around for years!

Maybe you should send a future email to the head of Saatchi in 100 years!

Chris said...

Do it all the time Kevin and it often works. But I was interested to know why my POV as received was not used in your Guitar Hero piece?
Bracket Boy.

Renea Mackie said...

This might sound weird but many people believe there is no such thing as linear time. Everything happens simultaneously and we simply shift focus from one point to the next.

Let's imagine for a moment if that scenario were true. We could each become our own adviser. Writing a letter to ourselves in the past could highlight our strengths and weaknesses and help us to refine our overall character. In theory, we would purposefully and simultaneously evolve.

Susan Plunkett said...

Evolving implies linear time doesn't it renea?

Pete Rive said...

Hi Kevin, I love this idea. You might like to take a look at a brilliant futurologist Ray Kurzweil, www.kurzweilai.net and his book The Singularity is Near. It is amazing to consider that in just 3 years they are predicting a super computer with the same processing power as the human brain, and by 2020 that same computer will cost $1k. I have a fun course I am co-teaching a design paper this year at Victoria University with Ross Stevens, and Doug Easterly called Design Led Futures - we will be asking the students to cast their imagination 80 years into the future - can it be done? It's certainly going to be interesting to see what the students come up with!

Renea Mackie said...

Hi Susan. An evolution outside of linear time would be a series of moments happening simultaneously. The linear aspect, being an illusion. We comprehend progression as a series of steps, one after another but each moment might be parallel and a chosen point of focus. One could still grow and expand within those parameters. It's a possibility ... well, a thought at least. I'm no scientist ;-).

Kevin Roberts said...

Chris – I’m glad you embrace the future! Your POV was included, please see the post.

Kevin Roberts said...

Thanks for the comment Pete. You might like to look at a post I did a while back on an aboriginal concept called the Everywhen.