In this month’s Forever Now, Nick Massey, Chief Exec reflects on plans for the future and how we perceive it…

“In the year 4545, You ain’t gonna need your teeth, won’t need your eyes, You won’t find a thing to chew, Nobody’s gonna look at you”

I hope that when Zager & Evans topped the UK charts in 1969 with their one hit wonder ‘In the Year 2525’, they had their tongues firmly in their cheeks when they penned this third verse. But it makes you think doesn’t it? Do any of us think much longer than the near future? What you might do when you retire? Are you going to renew your season ticket next season? What’s for tea?

When I was growing up the future was all about the Millennium – the Year 2000. It’s all we focused on for about 20 years. It came. It went. No biggie. Nowadays what future date do you have in mind? If any? Even the question what are you going to do when you retire, isn’t really pushing the boundaries of science fiction is it? How, or perhaps rather more specifically when, do you see the future?

25 years from now?

In 1989 when Back to The Future Part 2 was released we saw Marty McFly & Doc Emmett Brown hurtled forward in time to the simply impossible to imagine date of October 21st 2015! The film foresaw flat-screen TVs, hands free video game controllers and internet video chat systems. Well I can’t see anything like that happening in the next 5 months can you?
50 years from now?

Well Ray Bradbury predicted the earbud headphone in his 1953 novel Fahrenheit 451 and by the year 2000 we all had them.

100 years?

The first sci-fi discussion of video phones was published in Modern Electrics magazine in 1911 and included a device called the “telephot” that let people have eye contact while speaking across long distances.

The earth is 4.6billion years old and civilisation about 130,000 and we talk about the future in periods of 10, 20, 30 maybe at a stretch 100 years. But what about 1,000 years or 10,000 years? The future in which our children’s grandchildren, and their grandchildren’s grandchildren will hopefully exist. Surely as a civilised society we need to start thinking about what sort of world we want to leave behind. Surely we want that world to be a kind, gentle and caring place and if we don’t believe in the future, quite honestly, what’s the point.

We’re at a unique point in time. A time when our generation needs to recognise that we need to look after our communities and make sure that they are great places for future generations to live work and love. Let’s not let ourselves down, the future isn’t far away. Let’s care enough to act.

See you soon,

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