The Working Principle: Start with the future and reverse engineer!

The future is often referred to as unpredictable. There is no crystal ball that can tell us exactly how it will look. But that also means that we can take part in shaping the future. Our philosophy at DareDisrupt is, therefore, to lean into the future and actively consider what we believe in and want to create, rather than wait reactively for it to occur. Put differently, the future is malleable – yours to own and yours to envision – a vantage mentality we hope you find empowering. By embracing and engaging in this process, the step to spread this thinking is an apparent one. Inspire and empower the ones around you, the ones you work with, the ones you create for with the belief that their future is malleable.

 

During this year's journey, we work from the outside-in, starting by creating an understanding of the future. We explore signals that occur on the edge and in the periphery to derive potential value shifts in society and together with you determine whether they are relevant. Together, we go from a dauntingly complex topic to an enhanced collective understanding and ideas suitable to pursue in the aftermath of our journey. The sum of these dialogues taking place over the next row of events, becomes your collective vision for the future - what you believe will happen and what future you seek to build. Like this, we can set the direction for where you want to go and design a way forward.​

 

We call this imperative - start with the future, and reverse engineer!

The paradigm of exponential acceleration! The development of raw performance for digital products can be expressed by an exponential curve. We have discovered that the number of calculations that can be performed by a computer (for the same price) doubles every second year. The smartphone that is currently in your pocket is already several thousand times faster and over a million times smaller and cheaper than the world’s fastest computer in 1968. Realising this is essential to understand the speed of development that we see today and to comprehend the future.

 

A plethora of technologies is beginning to benefit from this development because they, too, have gone digital. These include cognitive computing such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, biotechnology, 3D/4D printers, VR, AR, blockchain, solar power, battery technologies, and more. By going digital, these technologies can take advantage of the enormous computational power that digitalisation brings to the table and when digitalisation becomes the driving force, things grow exponentially. All of these technologies present new opportunities for, and new demands on, how we navigate with aid and forced displacement and understanding them is key to navigating the future. 

But exponential growth is difficult for people to intuitively understand. We tend to overestimate the rate of change in the short term and underestimate it in the long term. We get thrilled in the short term, before getting disappointed and disillusioned when rapid results fail to show, and finally, get surprised 10 years further down the road when change hits us like a freight train. As you are browsing the website, try to imagine – are these trends developing exponentially or linearly, or are they stable? What will change, and what will remain? We ask of you to include the exponential mindset as one of the key tools in your toolbox for looking into the future. The digital revolution has led us to what is known today as the information society. The key element that sets apart the digital revolution from the first and second industrial revolutions, is the introduction of digitisation. Digital products have a number of characteristics that distinguish them from the physical products we are familiar with. A digital product can be replicated ad infinitum without any loss of integrity and can be transported to the other side of the world in a matter of seconds. Digitisation forces us to rethink and expand our view of the problems to be solved, the markets we can reach, and the new ones we can create. As such, the digital revolution requires us to think 10X. 

Creative crossings is a way of describing the creation of new technology, a new product, a new process, or a new procedure, by crossing two or more existing technologies. This convergence and intersection of different technological trajectories is an important concept that needs to be understood to fully appreciate the implications of global trends and developments. It is often through interaction with other technologies that new, previously unseen, and surprising possibilities emerge. In our dynamic and network-based society, powerful solutions are rarely the product of a siloed invention on its own, but in the often surprising opportunities that arise from combining properties of different types of inventions – such as the very local permaculture solution for water recycling, with machine learning that identifies other beneficiaries around the world in need for the very same solution.

Value shifts occur when our value sets change leading to new behaviour. Future value shifts are intrinsically difficult to imagine since we tend to take the value sets of our present time for granted. We need to understand when the technology might be good enough. New and disruptive innovations rarely compete on the same parameters as current solutions – at a first glance, they are inferior in some areas but satisfy new needs that the traditional solutions might have overlooked. Recently we have seen the COVID-19 pandemic accelerating some of these value shifts, such as the deployment of e-Therapy and remote work, or local 3D printing of ‘good enough’ medical equipment. Here, we dare to take in what seems totally irrelevant. We dare to be inspired by radical thinkers. 

The Framework: Exponential acceleration, creative crossings & value shifts

When researching, analysing, and imagining the future – we are especially on the lookout for three characteristics, namely: exponential acceleration, creative crossings and value shifts. Combined, they provide a powerful framework for understanding the broad tendencies in society. These are used in the megatrends and the futures, for creating an understanding of the developments we see, and during our work together, we will go even deeper into exploring what these concepts mean for the future, and the future of the digital divide and forced displacement.

Theories for understanding the future

In this part of the platform, you will discover the theories that make up the ontological frame for the DRC Global Event. These theories are intended as a framework for making sense of the future. We ask you to keep them in mind when reading the macrotrends and futures, as they are made available.

Read from top to bottom, or use the navigation menu to your left to navigate around, and if you have reflections - note them down!

© 2021 by DareDisrupt for DRC