Future Cool Column
Why 52 matters in our future

The new answer is 52!

Max Thinius is regarded as Europe’s leading futurologist. He researches and works on topics ranging from digitalization, social development, economy, financial market, urban and regional development, to health, nutrition, education and politics.

From this holistic view, many possibilities of the future often become visible – and his FUTURE COOL column, of course.

»The future is cool if we implement the idea of 52 consistently.«

“The answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything is 42.” – Supercomputer Deep Thought in Douglas P. Adams ‚Hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy‘

What Deep Thought also says is that to get the right question to that answer, you need a new supercomputer, and that is the Earth itself. It will take it 10 million years to calculate the answer. Well, by now the Earth is about 4.6 billion years old. So it could be that it has not only provided us with the right question, but also with new answers. Especially when it comes to the future. And the answer to the question about the future is 52!

52 is the new 42

The question to the answer is also well known: what do we need to do to keep the Earth, our lives, our society, life, the universe and everything else in balance? 52! Meaning: we must always give a little more than we take. The level of our actions must always be slightly in the green. It is no longer enough for us to be climate neutral we have to be climate positive. It’s not enough that we do a little something for the social well-being of our employees, we must really care about it. Why? Because otherwise we won’t have a liveable environment and employees in the future. 52. That means we have to make sure in all areas of life that we achieve at least a small positive effect of improvement.

When we are mobile, when we feed ourselves, when it comes to our health, our education, our togetherness, participation, finance, global economy … everything – and all the rest as well. But why not 100? Because we cannot turn our world to 100 overnight. Neither the social nor the economic systems around the world can do that. But from now on we can turn everything in such a way that we move it in a positive direction. By the way, this leads to an exponential effect that continuously increases. So, the effect is getting bigger and bigger.

The best super computer there is: our planet (Photo: Nasa)

Let’s think in a new way. When we start a business or locate in a city, we should consider having at least a small positive effect on the city’s climate. Not to damage it less, but to improve the climate. Also, the social climate. Every company has the task of changing the social structure in which it operates for the better. By the way, in cities like Copenhagen, this has become “normal”.

When we produce food for ourselves, we should consider that we are giving a positive effect to the soil on which it grows. Through a new humus-based regenerative agriculture, for example, which is implemented as locally as possible. And when we eat meat, we should not raise animals purely for consumption, but always integrate them into the system of this regenerative agriculture.

When we pass laws, we should give preference to ethical principles over economic optimisation. Depending on the law, how can we improve social welfare or the environment? And we should avoid lazy compromises. For example, a current law that allows pesticide manufacturers to kill “only” 10% of bee colonies … what’s the point? We know what pesticides do to our environment, so we should consistently cut them down and use the new possibilities of regenerative agriculture, with digital support.

Give more back than you took out ...

All these examples, and there are infinitely many for every area of life, are already possible today. We could use them right now to shape our future! We just don’t do it because we are too comfortable, greedy and live in ignorance (but that could easily be fixed).

The future is cool if we implement the idea of 52 consistently. Everything we need already exists. We just need to implement it, scale it and keep the positive effect for people, the environment and also the economy in mind. If you want to know more, please feel free to contact me via the link below.

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