The 200 Year Present

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The 200 Year Present


“200 Year Present”

In the final session of the day, those who came to the Futures session were offered a guided journey adapted from the School of Internaitonal Futures’ Century Triangle. Shutting down their eyes and relaxing into their chairs, they took a few deep breaths and were transported to the many different pasts and futures of their communities. They were invited to reflect on their communities lives in 100 years into the past and 100 years into the futures. They also reflected 10 years back, and 10 years forward.

Some saw water flowing with rich oxygen bubbles Others experienced a reconnection with the pasts of distant relatives and eras in time. Some spoke of feeling disoriented on where they stood in the flow of time.

Some themes and observations that emerged were:

  • Communities: Ideas about communities and the ways in which they have been enacted/embodied have changed significantly over the last one hundred years, and will tremendously in the futures. How do we define communities and what purposes do they serve? The ways we each define and perceive community today differ vastly from how our grandparents did. We each also have different conceptualizations of what community means to each of us. Our communal interactions have become significantly complexified and while we might belong to larger, more varied, and farther reaching communities, is the essence of community still strong and meeting our human and planetary needs?
  • Time: It felt disorienting for some participants to move through time in such a way. Part of that can be attributed to the speed of the exercise and how it was facilitated (it’s usually a journal exercise). Even so, participants did get the feeling that threads of time and existence are farther reaching than the past and present moments, extending far into the futures - and perhaps back again. Perceiving time as a linear construct that only flows in one direction and events as finite rather than ongoing processeses can be limiting in how we understand change and determine responses in/effectiveness.
  • We are currently living in the futures created by events 100, 10 years, even one year or one day from the past - and we are simultaneously creating the futures that we and future ancestors will live in the many tomorrows. There are also alternative pasts, presents, and futures lived by other people that shape ours and vice versa. The world is truly pluriversal - while it is universal because we are all entangled in this earthly existence.
To close the session, Sophia shared a quote she is endlessly inspired by:

“Tomorrow belongs to those of us who conceive of it as belonging to everyone; who lend the best of ourselves to it, and with joy.” - Audre Lorde

If anyone wants to share (anonymously), in any form (words, pictures, songs, etc.) what came up for you, I think we’d all love to hear your reflections as time was so limited. Here’s a space to do it:

100 years in the Past:

  • 1920s Mexican Revolution , the land belongs to the people who work it - Zapata

10 years in the Past:

  • Founding hackerspace community in CDMX: the internet belongs to those who share it

10 years into the Futures:

  • The future belongs to those who dream it

100 years into the Futures:

  • Adapting, migrating, remembering

Century Triangle “200 Year Present” Activity Template for full activity:

DevSummit23Notes-sessions5-200YearPresent01.png DevSummit23Notes-sessions5-200YearPresent02.png