9. 2020 – YOU DON'T NEED EYES TO SEE, YOU NEED VISION*
The last time I scored 20:20 for my eyesight test must have been in my early teens. Since then, it's been a series of spectacles and contact lenses that have helped me see the world around me. And as we enter 2020, the first year of this third decade, twenty-twenty vision takes on a different and crucial meaning.
We have observed with increasing resolution how the world has changed and been changed in the first 20 years of this new millennium. Whether or not you take the Trumpian view of 'ugly' windmills and 'unproven' climate change or engage in the initiative of a Norwegian teenager, there is no disputing the fact that the planet is presenting the human race with significant challenges. Challenges that can only be overcome through vision, technology (which, paradoxically, along with an insatiable consumerism, is a root cause of the challenges) and innovation.
So where can we begin
as individuals in playing a role in what is actually an urgent collective task?
Ultimately, despite the sincere and praiseworthy initiatives of individuals
like Greta Thunberg, we have to rely on the political forces to share these
visions. If I eat less meat and drive a hybrid or electric car - or no car at
all - but my neighbour, buoyed by greater prosperity, doubles his meat intake
and purchases the 3.8-litre
Porsche 911 Carrera he has always longed for (and which produces four times the
advisory limit of CO2), then perhaps you may wonder what's the
point. Why bother? It's like the passer-by who drops litter next to the litter
bin that has been provided for that litter. Is it laziness? Is it a form of
rebellion? Is it simply ignorance?
While I don't believe in coercion, I do think we need to convince people of the importance of 'sharing', of responsibility that goes beyond our own bubble. The recent rise of extreme forms of populism in politics appears to be tearing up all the efforts of the past 75 years or so to cooperate and collaborate for a more stable geopolitical world. But now we see America first! Brexit! Calls for an independent Catalunya! Provocations by both East and West. Conflict seems to be in the ascendancy. And yet, pockets of collaborative hope do exist.
What has all this to do with CPLS? Everything. Our work is collaborative and it's all about conveying vital messages about the challenges and the solutions, and about engaging public authorities, academia, the research world and the public at large in initiatives. We help provide a mouthpiece for private and public players in the technology and innovation sectors who work together in an open, collaborative setting to find solutions to securing a future in which we can rise to these challenges and overcome them. No bubbles, no walls, no barriers. Driving forward in solar-powered vehicles, growing healthier as we age, becoming more and more engaged as citizens in urban planning. As individuals - copywriters, editors and translators - we can and do contribute to getting a 2020 vision of the future into the public eye.
*quoted from the Faithless song 'Reverence'