Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Futurist - The need for sods to wake the fudge up.

And so in my long drawn silence, I've been reading.

It's been extremely informative and down-right scary. Like for instance how despite strides of development, the very basic concepts of the blind leading the sighted continue.

Like how we still believe in handing over the power to the few who we still aren't completely convinced about. We believe we are convinced, mind you, but we're far from it.

It is in this chaotic and loony present tense that I tripped upon a few academic and online news posts about Futurists. The new radical thinkers who are pan-industry wizards of change.

I envy the blokes (both genders...both genders!)

I mean, here they are, travelling the world making schmucks sit up and listen. Or not.

All I care about is that they get to put 'fuelling change' on their bios.

How much of change am I fuelling? Am I doing anything to help change at all?

I maybe, and I probably don't know it yet, but then again, what exactly am I changing.

My job, in spirit is to alter perceptions and champion causes, efforts and everyday breathing for companies, people or services. Most enlightened souls wouldn't find it very inspirational work.

I have the ability to really downplay what I do. Let's just say with an informed mind there's always the down (read dark) sides to deal with.

But that's a whole different post.

So change...

I read up on a certain Mr. Rohit Talwar, Futurist and CEO of his Fuel for Change company called Future Forward, if I'm correct. There are a couple of versions circulating the Internet. I just went with the one I saw on the most recent interview.

A highly effective speaker and also a respected futurist, links on his work and associations led me to the PATA (Pacific Asia Travel Association) - say what? - CEO Challenge.

So what is the PATA CEO Challenge this year?

It was the first opportunity for the entire travel and tourism industry in Asia Pacific to agree to practical solutions to confront climate change. Tourism

Ah yes, the much debated, advertised, spoken about, championed, lampooned, celebrated theme the past few years.

I'd like to share the Facilitator's Blog by Anna Pollock and Rohit Talwar for you to read.

If none of you ever get to the website or read up on the facts (no surprise or hate coming your way - promise!), here's a section of Anna Pollock's post entitled 'On Seeing Red' you might find interesting:

"...It’s relevant to our Challenge (of saving our planet), not just because the majority of commercial actors and influencers consider climate change a risk and an opportunity but because tourism and aviation are identified as two of six sectors in the red danger zone – not just because the relatively high risk of damage but because the level of preparedness is considered relatively low and negative effects likely underestimated..."

So what are the the other four you ask? Health care, Transport, the Financial sector and Oil & Gas.

You're off-setting your carbon miles are you? Well, blimey, cor and accha to you! Seriously, it isn't enough that we just take up the next highly publicised half-solution and then sleep at night.

There is technology and you can make up the difference on emissions through carbon offsets...BUT...as Rohit Talwar right points out -

"Saying ‘I'm going to emit so much carbon a year and then put money into a project that has a 20 year life cycle', so I'm pumping it out now and not getting it back for 20 years. It's not quite right.

People say that they've got zero emissions because they've offset, they haven't. Typically if somebody offsets over a 10 or 20 year project then they are only really offsetting 10% a year or 5%.

The planet's going to go through a natural cooling cycle over the next 10 years and that will mask some of the impact of climate change. Pressure will come off, because people will see that the temperature is not going up.

Then what will happen is we'll have a big spike at the other end and by then it will be too late, because the damage will have been done so severely over the next 10 years. It's a major challenge."

So, when you click on something, please think before you do and click on something that makes sense to the amount you're ripping from the planet.


- Full and free public access to PATA CEO Challenge 2008: Confronting Climate Change proceedings is available right here!

- Rohit Talwar's interview on tourism / aviation waking up to the realities of climate change, but is enough being done? can be viewed here - Fast Future Ventures CEO Rohit Talwar about how to achieve sustainability.

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