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The Year of Change: top 5 Just Imagine blogs of 2020

When Just Imagine welcomed 2020 back in January, our first blog of the year was all about leading in times of change. Who would’ve guessed that theme would become so omnipresent for the whole year? We certainly didn’t. Let us take the time to reflect on what transpired these past 11 months and the lessons we have learned through our most popular blogs in 2020.

Just launched: Just Imagine’s new ebook and first audiobook

‘Just Imagine: what lies at the heart of a sustainable future?’ is an anthology of blogs about climate change and sustainability, viewed through the lens of L Frank Baum’s classic The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Read the ebook or listen to the audiobook now.

The next thousand years: an inconceivable idea?

How do we even begin to imagine the year 3020? Will today’s ideas bear fruit in future generations? Even if we don’t live in a world of permanence, we can plan our buildings and our corporations with the mindset that everything we do can have a perpetual repercussion echoing throughout all generations. Besides, what CEO or structural engineer doesn’t like the idea of building a masterpiece that future generations will gaze at in wonder and ask: “How did they do that?”

Globalisation: World, we have a problem

COVID-19 has triggered a nationalist response – but does this mean we go backwards to move forwards and lose all the benefits and progress that a globalised world and economy has brought us? The problems facing us are not simple problems and solving them requires a global solution for true resolution. So how then do we end the bad stuff of globalisation, but hang on to the good stuff?

When the world comes to a grinding halt, what do you do next?

Who could have imagined the world coming to a grinding halt? Yet here we are. So, what do we do when the almost unimaginable becomes our new reality? When a disruptor, in this case biological rather digital, rewrites the business plan for almost every organisation on the planet? Join us as we imagine this new world in which success will require a design mindset and new ways of thinking about our assets and customers.

Gravitating towards anti-gravity

Perhaps it is a law of attraction, but we are constantly looking for the next way to defy gravity. It’s as if our whole being craves that sense of freedom we feel when we are not weighed down. Lazily suspended in the Dead Sea, soaring in space, flying in planes – and then also jumping out of them. Swings, trampolines, scuba diving – all in some way give us that sense of weightlessness and the liberating feeling that comes with it. Even Archimedes had his eureka moment while floating in a bathtub. What other possibilities can our cities unlock if we combine engineering with ‘magic’ and make everything float?

The Singularity: last we looked, it’s not too late

In the ‘not so long ago’, science fiction movies were filled with weird and wonderful (and pretty impossible) scenarios and exciting plot lines. It was thrilling, entertaining, and while the entire humankind was almost always in grave danger, we never believed that it would happen to us because, well… it was fiction, it’s not real…or so we thought. Now today, when the credits roll, we take a little longer to mull over the what if and ponder about the increasingly blurred lines between science fiction and science fact.

EQ is the 21st century superpower

From Cleopatra to New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern, leadership styles have changed dramatically through the centuries. Ankle deep in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, today’s leaders face a constant need for reinvention to navigate the trove of managerial trends in the corporate world. Automation is outstripping manufacturing jobs faster than you can say ‘Tesla’, machine learning is reorganising traditional processes, and workforces are being unbundled and reassigned. But what if AI fundamentally changed the role of a leader?

Tomorrow’s engineers need to look up… literally

In 1968, American ecologist Garrett Hardin coined the famous term: ‘Tragedy of the Commons’. It was the idea that mankind is essentially unable to meet the challenge of upholding a world in healthy balance when it depends on some form of altruistic behaviour that would favour the common good. Unfortunately, Hardin has been proved right – over 50 years later with global warming breathing hot on the backs of our hard-pressed humanity in concert with dwindling resources, the Marxist principle of “to each according to his own needs” has proved dangerously subjective.

Africa’s Revival: Foretelling or fairy tale?

It’s the year 2050. The sun bleeds red across the African sky and then plunges the little town into darkness all too soon. A mother and child sit at the kitchen table to work through the homework of the day. They swipe through online worksheets and watch a tutorial for supplementary learning – all part of government’s recent and highly successful campaign to provide ‘outstanding education for all’. Further in the distance, a high-speed train with high-speed internet is whizzing past. The city streets that its commuter passengers walked on today, once derelict and dangerous, are now safe and interconnected corridors thriving with healthy nightlife and culture. In the morning, industry leaders and politicians from different nations will meet to strategise and co-craft policy to shape the new Africa – an amalgamation of 54 countries operating in one unique, self-sustaining rhythm.

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