It's the future, Jim, but not as we know it...

There's more to tomorrow than robots, flying cars, and a faster internet.
22C+ is all about Deep Futures, futures that matter. Welcome to futures fantastic, unexpected, profound, but most of all deeply meaningful...

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Marcus T Anthony TEDx Talk 2012

In March at the Hong Kong TEDx conference at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University I gave a talk called "Cosmos, Psyche and Our Brilliant Futures". In the talk I make some bold predictions about the future, especially in relation to the way an improved understanding of the non-local nature of consciousness will play a seminal role in science, education and society. Previously I posted the first three minutes of the talk here on 22cplus. This video includes the entire twenty minute talk. I hope you enjoy the talk, and feel free to leave comments.



Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sohail Inayatullah: Leader-Sage

Today's post is an interview with futurist Sohail Inayatullah. Sohail is one of the most influential futurists in the Futures Studies field. He has worked with governments and organsiations all around the world, and his thinking has greatly infuenced futurists everywhere (including me!). Incidentally, Sohail was the supervisor for my doctoral thesis, which I completed with the University of the Sunshine Coast in Australia in 2007. Here I ask him about the idea of the leader-sage.

Sohail was born in Pakistan, but moved to the United States at the age of six. He did his PhD at the University of Hawaii, and spent several years there before emigrating to Australia, where he now lives on Queensland's beautiful Sunshine Coast with his wife, futurist Ivana Milojevic, and their two children.

1.    Did you feel drawn to your current position as a leader? Was it a rational or intuitive decision?

I don’t think I am a leader in the conventional sense. My metaphor is that of planting seeds, and nurturing and nourishing them, ensuring that there is an ecology of possibility for every seed.

I don’t think this was rational, it was more of a calling. As a teenager, I was drawn to two areas of life – spirituality and social change, the latter through an understanding of how the future was being changed and how we can enhance our agency by using the future more wisely.

The work in both areas took decades of being an apprentice, and now I feel that my main work is not the theory or methods of social change – as a speaker or as a writer – but about being mindful, about being authentic in every situation.

I find if I have fun then the audience has fun. I see planting seeds as that of not teaching others but working with others to discover deeper aspects. Most people can smell pedagogy, when then are being forced to learn or when there is a situation of dominator hierarchy, which differs from functional hierarchy.

The leadership aspect is emerging as I take my own authority, ie plant the seeds but also have the courage to protect the young seeds and to remove that which may threaten the eco system, ie work with the predators to see other possibilities.

2.    Do you use intuition in making professional decisions? Can you give one or two solid examples?

All the time – moving to Australia was intuitive – however, again, it was almost obvious, that is, there was a new stream emerging, it made rational sense to go on this stream, and I was almost pushed into it. Other choices had for all practical purposes disappeared.

Meeting my wife to be in Andorra and falling in love, flying to Serbia from Hawaii, those were all intuitive – a new path emerged and I went with it.

3.    What’s the biggest professional decision you ever made using your intuition, and what was the outcome?

Certainly moving to Australia and getting married are big ones. I think becoming involved in futures studies was also intuitive, I was drawn to the work and energy of Professor Dator. Others truly mocked me, and suggested I go to law school or do something more serious, but I felt all along this was the right path.

There have been many job offers or possibilities from around the world, and in each case, it did not seem right – and each time later I could see I had made the right decision. Though possibly if I had gone, things too would have worked out.

I guess at a deeper level, it is not about right or wrong intuition but what Carlos Castenada said – find a path with heart.

I would also like to see intuition being a hypothesis, even as we are drawn, called, in particular directions.

Intuition and the rigour of the intellect go hand in hand.

I often, when perplexed, ask my future self, for assistance, asking ok, from the viewpoint of the 80 year old self, what should I do now, what is right.

When I go against my intuition, problems do arise. Once in a job interview, rationally I should have taken the job, but half way through, I had to get out of it, I did not know why, but I knew I did. The interviewer was puzzled but compassionate and I escaped.

4.    Do you have any sense of higher agency in your life? Is it personal (e.g. God, spirit guides), impersonal (For example, a general universal consciousness)?

Yes, it has two dimensions – an impersonal one, and for me, a personal agency – the inner god self if you will. Both for me are required, the one is more important rationally, and the other for our more tender emotional self.

5.    Do you think more conscious leadership is important for the future? Why?

I work with hundreds of organizations and I find that mindful, spiritual leadership is a likely new emergent river. It is being present to all of one’s selves, to engage in watching the mind, but also it is about ensuring alignment with our multiple selves and desires toward to greater purpose – toward the way we wish the world to be.

6.       Who do you consider to be a genuine or even great leader-sage, and why?

-          Someone you have worked with;

Certainly, my own professor, Jim Dator, I would see like that – while an atheist, he always demonstrated the spiritual qualities of deep inclusion. He also knew what was right for each student. It was tailored. Johan Galtung also exhibited similar traits.

-          Someone from history or current affairs.

My own spiritual teacher, guide, P.R. Sarkar, to me is certainly a sage-leader. He imagined a different future, developed ways and organizations to realize it, and was fearless and full of humor. Being in his presence created bliss in me and others.

6.    Do you use any specific decision-making tools or processes which incorporate the intuitive mind? What are they?

I use the CLA model or causal layered analysis, and focus on helping individuals develop their inner stories, and especially to challenge the conflicted story. This requires intuition and insight.

One teacher I worked with recently changed her narrative from mother goose, taking care of others to Charlie’s Angels, that is, an angel that can kick-ass. She still takes care of others but now is working on boundaries and thus taking care of herself and others, and not allowing rubbish to get in the way.

Visioning the future also requires intuition as one goes to a different self and imagines what one truly wishes.

7.    Finally, have you had any defining life experiences that have shaped who you are today, and that contained some kind of spiritual or intuitive aspect?

Certainly learning meditation was defining –it wasa peaceful, direct intuitive experience of the infinite in the now: a gentle and deep silence where everything is fine.

Sohail Inayatullah and Ivana Milojevic's web site is