Five Minutes into the Future: An Argument for Taking a Longer View

Bran Ferren, chief creative officer of Applied Minds, LLC explores how geodesign is becoming a new form of storytelling that will elevate the importance of key issues and global topics.

Jan 24th, 2013

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00:01I'd like to talk to you about three things this morning, assuming I don't use up all my time...

00:04...talking about completely irrelevant topics.

00:08One, that I believe that we're at a moment in the evolution of this nation, the United States of America...

00:16...and of our planet, where we have to have a different type of conversation and, unfortunately... that's become quite unfashionable.

00:23So I'd like to talk to you about the merits of being unfashionable. I've been asked to talk a little bit about...

00:29...innovation and I would enjoy that because I think this is actually necessary to get geodesign from the shiny object...

00:38...cute toy stage to the "it really actually matters to society and civilization and where we're all going."

00:45Now by the way, if you don't do that, I would argue, it will happen anyway.

00:49So if you all just sit there grinning and have nothing to do with, you know, leaving here inspired... the people you've met and the projects they're doing and go create in the marketplace to make...

01:00...geodesign happen, it will happen anyway, but it will take longer and as a result, especially the old farts might miss it.

01:08So part of what I want to talk to you today about is, you could actually make a really big difference personally... how fast this all happens.

01:17And the fact that geodesign is now being talked about, which means people are actually considering it... being a thing is an important step forward and that that conversation is sustaining.

01:29But then the question is, What are you going to do about it?

01:31So I'd like to talk about, what do you want to do, you know?

01:33How do you actually make things actionable in a way that can have impact and a difference... the course of human events, and I also put a little list together because...

01:45...I did the first time around, and I was asked to do it again, your new big six.

01:49What are the six things, if you believe anything I tell you in this talk, that you might want to focus on...

01:53...and think about as how you make them happen.

01:56Just to actually do you.

01:59To me, this notion of design - I mean, design is a great privilege.

02:03Excuse me, I have my daughter's latest cold.

02:08My daughter is in a preschool where we live and she is a human petri dish.

02:13So she gets and brings to me and sneezes in my face with a big smile... excuse me if I start dripping during the [UNINTELLIGIBLE] of this.

02:22It was actually an interesting thing, you know, this "you're getting older" thing.

02:26When I signed her tuition check to her preschool - best as I can understand, preschool is where...

02:30...they teach them to eat crayons.

02:32So I think if you summed up the curriculum, that's basically it.

02:37And the check I sent was exactly the same as my tuition to MIT.

02:40So you know, when you have those kind of calibratory moments where you're saying, "Ooh, we're not in Kansas anymore."

02:49Anyway, stated simply, I think there are only three types of design.

02:55And everything we see in urban design, architecture, et cetera, is some combination of those three...

02:59...primal, first principal forms of design.

03:02The first one is what I would reality-based design, where understanding a sensibility of human beings...

03:07...and what they appreciate, you create things that feel real.

03:10You're in a room like this, try to give a sense of openness and air and daylight.

03:14You're outside, corridors of trees, green spaces, vistas, the underpinnings of [UNINTELLIGIBLE], a whole bunch of other things... do you create things which are [UNINTELLIGIBLE], that's reality-based design.

03:24How do you bring nature into the equation or how do you exclude it from the equation...

03:28...depending on what you're trying to achieve, and that's reality-based design.

03:33The next big element of design is fantasy-based design, where you basically say, screw that...

03:38...I'm doing anything I want, and I want to create worlds and visions and fantasies and whether it's a theatrical...

03:44...Cirque du Soleil vision, a Disneyland vision of a place to bring your family and share experiences that...

03:50...are positive and create lifelong memories, whether it's a restaurant which creates a romantic ambiance...

03:57...or some combination of other things, fantasy-based design is basically saying, Reality isn't good enough...

04:03...I've got a better idea of what could be, and we will cause that set of impressions to happen.

04:09And then the third type of design is bad design.

04:12Unfortunately, it is the dominant form of design and everything I've seen is some combination of...

04:18...these sort of three primal forces.

04:21And as design professionals, I would argue that avoiding bad design might actually be something... hang your hat on as being fair, but the problem is doing that in the real world is really, really hard...

04:35...because most of you don't wake up in the morning and say, "Let's go design something bad."

04:40But you do, as do I.

04:42And it's been a long time since people have decided to crawl in out of the, you know, rain, and find shelter.

04:49How many great houses have you seen?

04:51Why, out of hundreds of millions of houses, you know, all over the place, why are a handful of them great houses?

04:58Why are spaces that you're in, such a small number of them great spaces?

05:01If it turns out that it's very hard, and you actually have to come to a series of understandings and the...

05:07...forces of nature, the forces of government, the forces of a whole bunch of things conspire to maintain...

05:12...the status quo, and the status quo is bad.

05:15And so as a result, making things that are fundamentally different or better is difficult.

05:20You have to tell a compelling story to get someone to sponsor you.

05:24You have to convert code authorities, a whole bunch of other things, who basically...

05:29And you look at things like the Federal Acquisition Regulations, which govern how the Department of Defense buys things.

05:34It's an encyclopedia-sized volume, and basically, anytime someone screwed the government...

05:40...they made a rule that said you can't do that.

05:43It's not anymore elegant than that; there is no big idea; it's just, oh, well, we got screwed because someone to put the thing...

05:49...on the left rather than the right, so you basically write a thing saying, you know...

05:53...the requirements all specify that you do this and this [UNINTELLIGIBLE], and if you don't, they're in violation... don't pay them, you send them to jail, you do a bunch of other things.

06:00And so, that's how most zoning happens, you know. You have preemptive zoning that says, well...

06:04...we're not going to allow toilet in structures.

06:08Well, if you're an artist, you occasionally pee, and it's actually nice to have a toilet.

06:14I live in a city that doesn't allow toilets structures.

06:16Because why? Because the sense is, a hundred gypsies will move in and establish themselves...

06:24...[UNINTELLIGIBLE] of your toilet as the coalescing factor in this artist's studio.

06:30Preemptive zoning - it's all around. Every building you see in every major city is subject... a whole bunch of those sorts of things.

06:36So it doesn't matter, that's from a civility, sensibility, public health, a bunch of other reasons...'s probably a good idea to have a toilet in a little building you're going to spend a lot of time in.

06:45You can't have it in the town I live in because of those sorts of things.

06:50So there's a lot of that that goes on.

06:53And the inability of designers who may have great talent in visualization...

06:59...may have great talent in how do you assemble ideas... do you assemble ideas, of how do you make things with high touch, high tech, any number of things like that...

07:06...they often don't have the ability to tell the story in a compelling enough way to get enough people lined up... be able to make the miracle to make the things happen.

07:15And so, how do we help them?

07:17How do we create a set of things which actually helps them tell those stories, and I would argue that's one...

07:22...of the underpinnings of geodesign - it's telling the story.

07:25I would also argue that a set of iterative tools that allows you to do that changes the way you design.

07:32The ability to rapidly iterate...the ability...

07:34Just like you look at film editing.

07:36Computers and film editing - I started editing films when you basically had UNINTELLIGIBLE...

07:41...or Moviolas, and you wanted to change a shot, it took 20 minutes to go find the shot.

07:46You cut it too many times, you damaged the film, you had to make a new work print.

07:50Every time you make a new work print, you handle the negative, you might screw up the original negative... there a lot of pressure - don't do that.

07:55So it forced you to be thoughtful.

07:59It also precluded you from wanting to experiment a lot, just because there was a price to pay... opportunity cost for experimentation.

08:07The good news and the bad news - computer editing came in overnight and it changed things.

08:11And the good news is you can do a hundred different assemblies, you know, do them in minutes, look at the results.

08:17The bad news is it was no longer important to be thoughtful, because there wasn't a consequence to being unthoughtful.

08:23And this sort of question of the consequences of being thoughtful versus not is an important one...

08:29...especially because many of the fundamental issues facing the future of our planet have very long time constants.

08:36And the problem with things with long time constants is we are living in a nation of short-attention-span people.

08:43The kinds of dialogs that happen today - you know, there are people Tweeting about this conference right now.

08:49You can't Tweet more than 140 characters because it was designed not to be able to do that.

08:55It is difficult to express a coherent thought in that much time, so as a result, most Tweets are not coherent thoughts.

09:02And we sort of put it together and we add our own version of coherence.

09:06But the problem is where we are heading, especially in the United States of America, and I always speak...

09:13...about that because it's the only country I know really well.

09:15I travel a lot, but I know this country reasonably well.

09:19And part of the challenge with this short-attention-span thinking is we are at a stage, what I would argue... is impossible to have a sustained public dialog on a complex subject.

09:31And as a result, we don't, and we make decisions based upon hyperbole, on popularity...

09:37...on public rumor, on bullshit, on a whole collection of other things, but not actually a reasonable...

09:44...public dialog and debate about a complex topic, because in a short attention span world, we actually want...

09:51...short, concise, brief, get-to-the-point answers; and without having it - now this has been a long trend.

09:57You know, you look at the past hundred years, whether it's the invention of the postcard - you know, turn of the century.

10:03Someone had to invent it - it's too long to write a letter; do a postcard.

10:06If you make it little, then nobody feels like, you know...

10:09The postcard was a Tweet.

10:11It just happened a hundred years ago.

10:13And the concept of this Tweet was, you only make it this big, and yeah, you could write really small...

10:18...but there's a limit to how small you can write and still see it, so it was a way of basically saying...

10:22...just get to the point and, you know, tell me you love me or do so something like that, and send this thing off.

10:28There has been, you know, Reader's Digest.

10:31Have you heard of it? How many of you read it?

10:34Interesting. You'll notice a very few number of hands; probably 10 hands in the room went up.

10:38It is the most widely circulated magazine on earth.

10:41Here's Reader's Digest.

10:43I have never looked at Reader's Digest except in a doctor's waiting room.

10:46And then I'm afraid to touch it, so I literally just looked at it.

10:53Yet, it's vastly popular.

10:54CliffsNotes. Remember Cliff? You know.

10:57The '50s, right about the time CliffsNotes was, well, gee, you're going to school, you have to get a degree.

11:02How many of you used CliffsNotes?

11:04Oh, a lot more than Reader's Digest.

11:07You know, why?

11:08Because you had to pass the course, you wanted to learn something, but you certainly wouldn't want to...

11:12...take the time to read that great work of literature or, you know, other thing like that, because you don't have time.

11:18You got a lot of things to do, and this is the pressure of modern life.

11:21Word processing - again, you know, letter writing and such.

11:24When you had to write a letter, and if you made a mistake, you had to either start again, or big X or blot it out.

11:32If you had to correct, or used carbon... you know, there's a whole bunch of things.

11:35So progress and innovation and technology makes the dialog shorter.

11:41Television commercials - used to be, television commercials were 90 seconds or 60 seconds long at the beginning of television.

11:47Why? Because the advertisers of the day looked at this fabulous new communications and storytelling...

11:52...medium and said, you can't tell a successful message about selling a product in less than 60 seconds.

12:00Now you look at a 60-second spot, it looks like a miniseries...

12:03...because a normal spot is 30 seconds or 15 or 10 or 5.

12:07Why? Because our brains have been rewired to accept information faster.

12:14The good news is, you get a lot more done.

12:16The good news is, in professions where there's a lot of specialization, you get deeper and deeper and deeper and deeper.

12:21The bad news is, becoming a generalist becomes increasingly impossible because... can't take get deep enough in any of the subjects to actually make a contribution other than being an observer.

12:32And at the same time, quality of life is deteriorating.

12:37That would be alright because you can sort of opt in and out. Actually, you can't.

12:41Try not answering your e-mail for a week or a month and watch what happens, okay?

12:47First of all, you go into withdrawal and you're [UNINTELLIGIBLE].

12:49Second of all, you know, the idea that you're going to get back on e-mail and actually have to look at the...

12:54...50,000 things that, you know, arrived in the 20 minutes you were off.

12:58There is a pressure, and this pressure changes society. It changes the way we think. It has impact... has a whole collection of other things.

13:06The real problem is, the big issues facing our urbanization, we saw it before, we got...

13:12...a hundred years before oil runs out, DNA of the automobile hasn't changed in a hundred years.

13:17What are we actually planning to do about that?

13:20Nuclear energy, you know.

13:23Group says the best thing since sliced bread; it's the only way that's going to get us through.

13:25Another group says, forget it, not there, [UNINTELLIGIBLE].

13:29These are difficult things. The ozone layer. Global warming.

13:32These are issues where the consequences of your actions have very longtime constants.

13:39And as a result, you're not going to see anything really happening based upon the little decisions you're doing here.

13:45And in a world of short attention spans, that creates a real problem.

13:49Because there is no appetite in political leadership to want to do something unpopular here that will get you...

13:56...not reelected, et cetera, et cetera, because you're actually affecting something out there.

14:01There isn't a great appetite for that.

14:03Short-attention-span nations work on crisis, and you go from one crisis to the next; you find the designated victim... blame for the crises; you move on to the next thing.

14:12That's where we are now.

14:14Why am I bringing this up?

14:15Because I think actually geodesign, which to me is a form of storytelling that combines geography...

14:23...combines the databases of everything that is geotemporally locatable in the world - whether it's events...

14:30...devices, places, things, and all of that.

14:32With modeling and simulation, whether that's real time or hyper-real time, to be able to look at it...

14:38...and visualization - to be able to look at and tell the stories and examine the consequences of your actions.

14:46So that if your models are right and you get people to believe it, we actually take a moment to get people... understand that science actually has some relevance in this, and that when we want to talk about...

14:56...something like global or something like that, there's actually science that matters and you have to take the time... understand it, and if you're a leader who's going to make a decision in it, you have to take the time... understand the subject, or you have to trust someone who has taken the time to understand the subject...

15:11...because the dirty little secret in all of this is there are no quick, easy answers to long, complex problems.

15:18Or at least, we haven't found any of them.

15:20And, just as any of these new technologies that are introduced into your life, such as e-mail, Tweeting, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera... cetera, adds value to your life and empowers you to do a whole bunch of things, build social networks... things that you haven't done before, you pay a price for it.

15:36 Now, if the price you're paying for it is something that's reversible, meaning I'm just going to...

15:40...stop Tweeting or I'm going to do something else, great.

15:43If it's something like you burnt the ozone layer off the planet by, you know, clumping it up...

15:48...with chlorofluoromethane and, you know, a bunch of other things...

15:51...well, you know, nobody did that intentionally.

15:54And, in fact, if one scientist didn't happen to look at this...

15:58...then we might still not know that it was going on until, oh, what is this ozone [UNINTELLIGIBLE], why is it happening?

16:04The problem is, on these complex topics, why don't we know about it?

16:08Because at any given moment in time, the number of people thinking about it might be zero, or one, or three, globally.

16:16There's just nobody thinking about it.

16:18And that's why this empowerment of individuals is actually very, very important.

16:23Because you may be the one or one of your kids may be the one that gets around to noticing something...

16:28...that nobody else noticed because the time constants are so long, you don't even see signs of it for 20 or 30 years.

16:34Once you've seen signs of it, it might be irreversible.

16:37Or you might be able to just catch it.

16:39Or there's a price you're going to have to pay, which is a big price to turn the thing around or do something else.

16:45So that's why geodesign matters.

16:48I would argue that this ability to look into the future, show people the future, have it influence your design process...

16:56...[UNINTELLIGIBLE] you can rapidly iterate and look at alternatives, it changes the way you design.

17:01And not only does it change the way you design, but it changes the way you execute design because...

17:06...ultimately it lets you tell the story in a way assuming you take the time to learn the subject... the credibility, validate the models - a whole bunch of things.

17:15Nothing worse than modeling in simulation where basically, it gives you the correct answer to the wrong question...

17:21...and we see a lot of that going on.

17:24But basically, once you get it right, this becomes an enabler, and why does it become an enabler?

17:29Because one of you in this room was qualified to get the model right.

17:33You got the model right, that knowledge shared across all of your geodesign platforms.

17:38Just like the network affected the smart cars.

17:46And then by the way, that, plus an insight of yours and an insight of yours, ends up being really relevant...

17:49So that bit of insight and knowledge didn't have to be re-created again everywhere, it's shared everywhere.

17:53...for a problem none of you ever heard about or understood; but this person does and because it's on the network...

18:00...they are able to understand that and put it together, and in fact, an entire community can form around...

18:05...that whole new subject area; and I would argue, that's the power of geodesign.

18:10It's this network extension of shared intelligence where basically the insights of individuals can be shared...

18:17...among others and that can be used as the foundation to build upon it.

18:20So it's nice to say we'll build better cities, we'll understand transportation, the toxic waste plume... know, we can [UNINTELLIGIBLE] it a little of that.

18:28But I would argue, getting it right just as the Apple store, and this notion of apps, and this notion of wireless...

18:36...mobility, has totally transformed how we think about mobile communications, et cetera, and by...

18:41...definition, transforming the way we think about our planet, and education and transportation and commerce...

18:47...and a whole bunch of other things like that.

18:49On one level, it's doing that; on the other level, it's introducing the option for cyberterrorism...

18:54....and cyberwarfare and a whole collection of other things.

18:56With any of these innovations come corresponding problems.

18:59The time constants are such that you're constantly going back and forth between the yings and the yangs of it.

19:04Understanding the [UNINTELLIGIBLE].

19:05I mean, I was there when the Internet was getting started and, you know, I had e-mail when I was at MIT in 1970...

19:11...but we weren't thinking now about how my kid, you know, 40 years in the future, is going to be learning...

19:18...on one level about her world and building friendships, et cetera, and learning about ballet...

19:22...and a whole bunch of other things that she learned all by herself, because all I am is a better version of Siri.

19:27She tells me what she's interested in; I do data entry; "Thank you, Daddy" - she takes it away...

19:32...and, you know, she's perfectly happy.

19:35I wouldn't have thought about the enablement and what happens when this is how they've grown up in...

19:39...a networked world and understanding it.

19:41I also wouldn't have thought about predators and folks like that who can be out there wanting to do her harm...

19:47...and how am I going to protect her from that?

19:49It's a very difficult set of challenges that you balance, but the answer is not to remain stationary and don't embrace it.

19:56What geodesign is going to do is, on one level, I believe, be the greatest gift for humanity that we have ever experienced.

20:03It is going to be the underpinning just as the Internet, I believe, is the most important technological...

20:09...advance since language.

20:11Far more important than reading and writing.

20:13I said in the past, I think reading and writing gets 250 years; it's a fad, it's over...

20:17...unnecessary, replaced by something else.

20:19Storytelling is fundamental; I think we're wired to be able to do that.

20:22But reading and writing, poof - it'll be gone.

20:25Right now you have, you know, how many people around the world?

20:30Seven billion.

20:33We know exactly how many there are because someone's paying for each and every one of them.

20:37You know how many?

20:38Six billion. Okay?

20:40Now, she has four of them, so it does skew the number slightly, et cetera, but there's something...

20:49...very fundamental and important going on.

20:52And the empowerment that ideas like geodesign have, just as the founders of the Internet, understood this is about...

21:02...connecting everyone on earth and understood that and came up with the architectures of IP...

21:06...and a collection of other things to be intrinsically scalable so that even though, at a time it was done...

21:12...there were a few hundred computers in the world, we could actually now anticipate billions of computers... the world and it was scalable and you can actually change the architecture as we're doing.

21:22...[UNINTELLIGIBLE] six so that we extend this space of address so that it's scalable, et cetera...

21:27...scalable solutions that are important.

21:30So what do you do about this?

21:33How do you actually move forward? [UNINTELLIGIBLE].

21:35You're designers; you're design professionals, [UNINTELLIGIBLE] folks and that.

21:38What's it take to get this stuff done?

21:42And, you know, I was interested - I was on the army science board a long time ago and they commissioned...

21:46...a study on future leaders.

21:48And this was when scenario planning was popular so you basically picked two axes you think are important...

21:55... you know, it could be sales and cost of goods - and you basically look at this quad chart... see what are your possible futures?

22:03Why? Because it means if one of these futures starts happening, at least you've gone through the intellectual...

22:08...exercise of understanding what it might be about and how.

22:12And, the two axes - because the army is really good at measuring things, okay?

22:17So they have things; they know your intelligence, your inseam, how long it takes you to answer a question... fast - everything about you is measured and recorded.

22:25And the two things they thought important for leadership was intelligence.

22:29So they start with intelligence and basically said, okay, one of you is the smartest, one of you is the dumbest.

22:37So just like this, we could measure this, you pick a metric; one of you in this room is the dumbest, one of you is the smartest.

22:42And we could, you know, plot a distribution of you there.

22:45Is it a bell curve? Is it skewed?

22:47You know...hard to know.

22:48And the other was motivation.

22:51So basically, they went from the laziest person, you knew, over here to the most energetic person over here.

22:59It seemed for the army, these were two reasonably good metrics, what happened.

23:03Now, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that if you picked in this room, the dumbest, laziest person...

23:11...there is one of you here.

23:16Hence one of you met them at the beginning of this session.

23:23Probably, if you're looking for the global leader of tomorrow to make the vision of our new cities and world...

23:29...and planet and sustainability and the things all we would agree are important, you don't start with the laziest...

23:34...dumbest person in the room, okay?

23:38And, you know, the interesting thing is, it's not the worst.

23:43It turns out if you pick the dumbest and most energetic person in the room, this can actually be a lot worse.

23:53How many of you have been in organizations run by a dumb, energetic person?

23:58Okay! I rest my case.

24:02And it also turns out, perhaps paradoxically, that the best leaders don't come from here.

24:10Smart and energetic. Why?

24:12Because these people are a huge pain in the ass.

24:16They can do everything better than everybody else in the organization, they're always right, they're this... know, and this kind of thing.

24:22And you know, basically, just kind of annoying to work for these people because, yes, they may... visionary and great leaders and all that but, you know, give it a rest, okay?

24:30This is just that.

24:33It turns out that the best organizational leaders in the army came from this.

24:38People who were smart and kind of lazy.

24:43Why? Because they build self-correcting systems.

24:46So they build teams, they provide leadership, they give guidance; they want to stay at the golf course, okay?

24:53They want to relax and know everything's working fine, and any potential problem that can happen...

24:58...this self-correcting process with the teams who have been empowered corrects itself.

25:02So it turns out, smart, lazy people actually make the most effective leaders in that situation.

25:07Problem is, what do you do with this information? Recruit smart, lazy people?

25:11You know. Then you have an organization where everybody phones it in and pretty soon, there's just nobody... actually do real work.

25:18So the problem is, looking at these issues, understanding these issues is not really good enough.

25:23You actually have to have a construct that allows you to be thoughtful, allows you to generate communities...

25:31...of talent that come around and provide a vision that's self-correcting that puts them there.

25:35It's a different way of creating a market.

25:38It's a way of creating an intellectual market within your organization that has the power and the ability to be...

25:44...definitionally better than you, as the leader, are.

25:46If you do it right, just as the App Store model caused the products of Apple to be better than...

25:52...anything at Apple could be designed internally. Because why?

25:56You got everything that's designed in Apple internally, plus you have the added-on layers...

26:02...of all the apps being designed by clever, interesting people on top of it.

26:05This has got to be better than just this or just that.

26:08So that ability to combine things.

26:10So the problem is, and this is the unpopular part of the discussion, is if we're going to address these...

26:18...big, global issues facing us, and whether that's disease, whether it's education, whether it's fresh water...

26:26...whether it's you know, you name it; it's this a whole list of really big issues that we have to deal with... warming, et cetera, et cetera.

26:32If you're going to get that done, you actually have to take a long view.

26:37Right now, organizations develop a plan.

26:41How many of your organizations have a five-year plan?

26:45How many have you have ever thought seriously farther than 18 months into your five-year plan?

26:50Not one hand.

26:51Okay; that's what spreadsheets were made for.

26:53You punch it in Excel; you have reasonable growth expectations, outcomes, et cetera; it runs the numbers...

26:58...say yeah, [UNINTELLIGIBLE]; oh, no, that looks like we're being too ambitious; dial it down a little; this does this.

27:03But nobody thinks in a next-quarter short-attention-span business environment.

27:05And I think that's actually a quite good way to think about our planet and about global extinction...

27:07You know, if you're thinking out 18 months, you're doing well.

27:11And many people are thinking, next quarter or 20 minutes or 5 minutes into the future.

27:17So the problem is, I would argue, that we actually need to start a different type of dialog, and for this planet...

27:24...we need - pick a number - a 250-year plan...

27:28...just as we need a 250-year plan for the country and a 250-year plan for geodesign.

27:33Borrowing from the military, that thinks about modern warfare differently.

27:37Old days, they used to think about attrition.

27:39You beat the enemy senseless until they stopped fighting you; that was the basis of war.

27:44We've now switched to something which we think is a new idea - Sun Tzu probably thought it was new idea...

27:49...a few thousand years ago - but it's called a effects-based warfare, where you basically start with an interesting premise...

27:56....which is, you know, what is my current state?

27:59State of affairs or the topic to worry about.

28:01What is your desired end state, and then how are you going to get there?

28:10...and about a whole bunch of things.

28:11Here we are now.

28:12If we pay attention, we know where we are now.

28:15We can actually take a census, understand where we are, the statistics and all that.

28:19Let's look forward 250 years; where do we want to be then?

28:24Now we know a bunch of things will happen.

28:25We'll run out of oil.

28:26We'll do this - yeah, we'll find more, we'll run out of it again, we'll do a whole bunch of things.

28:29So you know, there's not going to be this; there's not going to be that.

28:31There's going to be a collection of things.

28:33Where do you want to be in 250 years?

28:35What's the end state?

28:36I would argue that having the discipline to just sit down for a day and think about that will change...

28:42...your whole thought process.

28:44If you get it right, it doesn't mean you're going to know exactly what the future is any more than in scenario...

28:49...planning, you know exactly what the outcomes are, but having a sense that it's over there, and having a...

28:54...sense that, in 250 years, you'd like to address these things at least gives you an intellectual template...

29:01...and a road map to test your ideas against.

29:04It also gives you a way of having a different type of conversation, saying that, well, on one level...

29:09...there's the time and pressure of the near term.

29:11The mid-term and the near term, the projects you have to deliver, the things you're being gauged upon.

29:16Right now, most of us don't have a metric to gauge that against the long-term end state that we would like to end up in.

29:22So it might turn out to be a great idea; it might not.

29:25But I would argue, having a 250-year plan...

29:27...enabled by geodesign would give one a framework, give our leaders a framework...

29:33...give our urban planners a framework, give our architects, our zoning people the framework to say... know, people have been thinking about this; people continue to think about it.

29:41That same network effect in geodesign, the more work people do on the long-term plan, the more that body of knowledge increases...

29:48...that becomes the template that other people can build and learn from.

29:51And pretty soon, you're on the path to doing something, I would argue, that could be really important...

29:56...which is provide an intellectual and creative framework for the design communities to use in what is...

30:01...the end state that we're trying for.

30:04Now, will you get it wrong?

30:06Of course, you'll get it wrong, so by definition you need to incorporate the notion of...

30:11...agility and flexibility into this 250-year plan so that, as you get something wrong... can react to it easily and quickly and be able to come up with, frankly, a better idea, and say...

30:23...oops, we got this wrong, we have new information - plug it into the model; the model changes...

30:28...we now understand there's something we actually missed.

30:30That's the power of distributed network simulations and such.

30:34Once you figure out what it is, it also means that people with wild ideas can plug it into the model...

30:40...and everybody can learn from that.

30:42When I say "plug it into the model," it means, gee, I have a model of how trees grow, and how people move...

30:48...and how cities sprawl and how the rains move, et cetera, et cetera.

30:52So the idea is, you can create a vision of the future and get to see, will it happen? Will it not?

30:59What did you get wrong? What did you get right?

31:01I would argue, the very act of doing that, building these models, will show you things you never thought about.

31:07And you didn't realize the effects of this because you have to think about not just the first order effect...

31:12...of what you design - if you're talking about designing cities and worlds in our future - but the second...

31:17...third, and nth order effects, which are often not obvious at the time you do it.

31:22It sometimes takes time.

31:23You have to go live with it, you gotta see what - you know, the people who designed the projects...

31:26...didn't think they were building ghettoes.

31:28They thought they were building something which was an efficient process and urbanization to do something.

31:33It's just they didn't understand a set of social dynamics of how people in cities would behave.

31:37And so now that we do, you say, Okay, well, we understand this tends to happen.

31:41It doesn't mean you can't have an innovative idea where you think you can reinvent the project...

31:45...and do it in a way that's fundamentally better and superior.

31:48Great! Plug it in, try it out.

31:51If it doesn't work in the model and you're a good enough storyteller, get someone to sponsor you doing it...

31:57...and then we all get to see.

31:58That's part of this ongoing experiment that the design is about.

32:02So, I'm running late on time.

32:06The organizations that you have to build to do this - it's important that you understand...

32:11...the people in your organization and your customers.

32:14And the people in your organization are like you.

32:17Why? Because if you built your organization, you hired the people you like, and you didn't hire the people you don't like.

32:22And if you were hired, it's because they hired you because you're like them, and it didn't.

32:27And we talk about how we love and embrace change; we don't, nobody likes change, it's annoying, it's disruptive.

32:33We talk about how innovation is essential.

32:35It isn't; it's mainly just a big pain in the ass, and most people don't like it and don't want to have anything to do with it.

32:40You know, every company on earth says you have to get out of the box; what they mean is...

32:44...we need a new box, and I want to as quickly as possible get you from the old box into the new box.

32:49But importantly, this notion of, how do you build organizations that do this, I would argue, there really are...

32:58...two types of people in the world who build organizations in their own image.

33:03Two types of people?

33:04I guess people who believe there are two types of people in the world and people who don't would be one of them.

33:09Express the vision to me in a PowerPoint deck called a preliminary requirements document.

33:10So you know, there's this sort of thing, but I digress.

33:14The first type is what I would call a requirements person.

33:17Requirements person believes in a generally quite quantitative process to how you get business of design done.

33:26You put together a team; you empower this team.


33:30What does empowering mean?

33:31No one knows, but you can't have a team that isn't empowered and expect them to be effective... you sprinkle water on them and you empower them - in my case, Diet Coke, and go forth.

33:40You give them terms of reference, et cetera.

33:42Any well-empowered requirements-based team believes that, in order to be effective, you have to be measured... they will bring out a set of metrics, because if you can't measure it, you can't manage it, et cetera, et cetera.

33:54They are encouraged to go off and speak to the customer because they are admonished...

33:58...that they never speak to the customer [UNINTELLIGIBLE], look at best practice, see what they're doing in Bolivia... know, go around and look at all of the great projects and come up with, you know, a vision.

34:14You do that.

34:15You put it together, you submit it to senior management, and it's based upon questioning the customer...

34:19...research and development, prototyping, a whole bunch of due diligence that you do for it...

34:24...good economic modeling, et cetera.

34:25It is immediately rejected - faster than the speed of light, in fact, is it rejected. Why?

34:30Because it's too expensive and it's going to take too long.

34:33So you start a process called value engineering, which means, go back to the customer...

34:36...and tell them, I know you said you have to have all these things, but it's going to take too long... can't afford it - what can you live with?

34:41The integrated process team, IPT, that's been put together to do this project, one by one, people are leaving.

34:47This is boring, nobody's taking it seriously.

34:49Finally you're down to the last two people at Esri responsible for this grand vision and...

34:56...they're spending most of their time looking for the tallest building in Redlands to throw themselves from... order to, in protest to, you know, the fact that the grand vision for geodesign and how we're going to...

35:09...productize this, is not going to happen.

35:12As if by magic, it gets approved. Why?

35:15Well, it's interesting.

35:16Because actually no one has ever seen the moment of approval in a requirements-based organization. Why?

35:21Because nobody in a requirements-based organization has a "yes" vote but everybody has a "no" vote.

35:27So the only reason something happens is someone forgot to say no.

35:31Somewhere in the organization, they forgot to say no.

35:33The door slammed shut, it blew from the in basket into the out basket.

35:37There was a photograph taken once of this process happening.

35:40Some people think it was Photoshopped, but nonetheless, we don't know how projects are approved, but it happens.

35:47In which case, the work product from the IPT is tossed over to the transom to some group of people...

35:53...whose job it is to execute.

35:55They say, what is this piece of crap?

35:58We tried this three times; it's never worked in the past, nothing you're saying is any new, it's not going to work in the future.

36:04We say, what are you talking about? You were part of the IPT that made this.

36:09They say, We never borrow good people in the IPTs; they've got real work to do, so we disavow all knowledge...

36:14...of this thing, but we'll build it anyway.

36:17They build it, time goes on, it gets tossed over another transom to the customer, who says, What the hell is this?

36:23This has nothing to do with anything we talked about; it's not even recognizable.

36:27But we'll try it.

36:28They try it; one of two things happens.

36:30Either it's a huge success, in which case, everybody basks in the reflected glory of a well-executed requirements program...

36:36...and life moves on, people are promoted - life is good.

36:39And understand, in these organization where nobody can say yes/no, know, a behavioral model... that you are never rewarded for success but you are always punished for failure.

36:50And you wonder why in government organizations that you're working with to get things done...

36:54...that the bureaucrats you're working with don't love your great new plan?

36:57It's because, if anything goes wrong with your plan, they will be punished and a career-ender.

37:03And if you're plan goes right, they will get no credit for it, you will credit for it.

37:08So all you're doing is driving up risk and cost and a whole bunch of other things...

37:11...which is why it's in their DNA not to approve your grand plan for the new city.

37:16Anyway, does that process sound familiar to any of you?

37:18I'm sure none of you have experienced it.

37:20But I'm here to tell you, there's a fundamentally different process, which I always call the big idea process... compared to other requirements' process.

37:27And I'm not saying one is better than the other.

37:29But in big-idea organizations, you never have teams; you basically have visionaries.

37:34You have people who are anointed as being the visionary du jour because they had something that was a success.

37:40Motion picture business, star architects, other folks like that, the person is a superstar because they did...

37:45...something really great, they were acknowledged for it; we trust that they'll find a way to pull this whole thing together.

37:50You never talk to the customer.

37:52Because the sense is, the customer will only give you a mild, incremental improvement...

37:56...if that, on what you already have.

37:58You want to invent a smartphone, go to a BlackBerry user and say, What would you do to make the phone of the future?

38:05How many of them do you think would say, "Get rid of all the buttons, make the screen three times as high...

38:09...get me half the battery life, make the battery not interchangeable, create an App Store, and give me multi-touch"?

38:16Okay? How many BlackBerry users do you think - how many groups of users would ever come up with that?

38:22And the answer is, none of them would.

38:25And in fact, most of the people that resisted switching over to iPhones and the next generation of smartphones...'s because everything about it ran against their grain, and everything they loved about their device, they took away.

38:37Now, why do they change? Because they don't have a choice.

38:41Because, you know, they die; you know, there's a whole bunch of things that happen - they basically do that.

38:46They're embarrassed by their girlfriends or children or other things into, what are you doing with that diesel phone?

38:55You basically wear them out, is why people change.

38:57Well, there's a whole other community that embraces it.

38:59I urge you to raise...Clayton Christensen's Innovator's Dilemma, talking about in companies... companies keep going to the fancier, higher-margin things, because the people come in from the bottom...

39:09...and take the commodity businesses, which they don't want anyway because...

39:12...there's is no margin, and then someone comes in and takes theirs and they keep going.

39:16Problem is, as you go up this food chain, because here's where you get the margin...

39:20...where you can actually make money, the size of the market keeps going down until eventually, you have no market.

39:25You can't move down the food chain because...

39:27...your cost of business is up and you go poof.

39:30And that's what's happening; look at the Eastman Kodaks, look at the General Motors; look at the companies that have been there.

39:35Can they survive these near-death experiences?

39:38Sometimes. Poloroid didn't; a whole bunch of them haven't.

39:41There are almost no companies that are more than a hundred years old.

39:43Time constants. Why?

39:45Because it's hard to be more than a hundred years old because everything that made you great is the thing...

39:49...that prevents you from being different in this innovative new world.

39:54So what's the point?

39:56Big-idea organizations - they look at the world entirely differently.

40:00They have a team. The job of a team is to get the vision of the grand fromage to happen.

40:02And then, by the way, let's go pick the actors that were in the highest-grossing films of all time.

40:06The guy or gal who's the director - you know, you work on a Steven Spielberg movie...'re a three-time Academy Award ... you know, director of photography, musician, et cetera, et cetera - you know...'re not there to do your movie; you're there to do Steven Spielberg's movie.

40:19And your job is to use your creative talent to make it better, and if you're the director of photography...

40:24...make it beautiful; if you're the set designer, make it beautiful.

40:27And any of you get run over a truck, the union will have a replacement there that afternoon to look at the dailies...

40:32...and they'll keep shooting and life will be good.

40:34And it goes on.

40:36And, you know, every so often, people say, this is a hit-driven business, you know, and a bunch of things will flop and all it takes is one hit.

40:43You know, one out of 10 films in the movie studio, it works.

40:46The rest of them are going to be dogs, it doesn't happen.

40:49So how do you do this, then?

40:51How do you put things together?

40:53Because the grown-ups say, wait a minute, you know, why don't you go some due diligence?

40:57Go find out, what are the highest-grossing films of all time.

41:00Find out what they've got.

41:07Get me some of those, let's put it together, put a requirements document together, and let's make a movie, okay?

41:12So that's why people design our cities; let's put the requirements together for the city, we'll do a... charette, we'll put the whole thing together, here's what matters, overlay it, with all the rules, okay.

41:20So, your answer would be, Leonardo DiCaprio, you know; a dinosaur or some blue guy, you know...

41:30...and a thing; and a boat, okay.

41:32Highest-grossing films - those are the things. We got it, boss. Here's a big three... we're ready to go.

41:39And all of a sudden, look back and say, what are you kidding me, this is going to cost too much...

41:42...we'll never get this, take too long, et cetera.


41:46We'll get rid of the blue guy; [UNINTELLIGIBLE] DiCaprio on the boat; what kind of movie do you want to make?

41:50Ask the audience, you know.

41:52Well, you ask the audience and they generally say, Don't look at us, we're not the professionals...'re the creative people, you know.

41:58But I can tell you the one thing - we love surprise endings.

42:01Okay. Everyone you ask about what your favorite kind of movie is, surprise ending is very high on the list.

42:06How many of you like surprise endings?

42:07Good. Right. Okay.

42:08Would you do Titanic?

42:10I mean, you knew the ending, right?

42:11The boat's going to sink.

42:14Anyone walk in to see Titanic, that didn't expect at some point in the damn movie, the boat's going to sink.

42:20Okay? It's a given.

42:22Reality is, you don't make the great movies.

42:25You don't make anything based upon a bunch of requirements.

42:27A bunch of requirements, asking the audience, doing all of that, following rules, playing by the rules...

42:32...might get you a little run in extension.

42:34You had something that's really popular here; you could have version 2, version 3, version 11, et cetera.

42:40Pretty soon, you run out.

42:41You want innovation, you need big ideas.

42:43Big ideas come from individuals, not teams of people who can inspire people, terrorize people...

42:49...some combination of things to bring their force of will to bear to get their ideas and visions to happen.

42:55Some of you in this room are those visionaries, and geodesign to you will be an empowerment tool that allows...

43:01...the people who are there to help you move forward.

43:04You realize, you're not going to succeed without them helping you and so you play by the rules... order to get that to happen.

43:10...If you're not one of those creative people who's going to [UNINTELLIGIBLE] thing, go find one, because they're...

43:15......a very powerful force to get the big ideas that have changed our world to happen.

43:20Architecture is full of them; urban planning, a whole bunch of things.

43:23Someone just has an idea.

43:24Everyone says it's impossible, it'll never happen - they make everybody's life miserable, put their life, their...

43:30...reputation, their finances, their family on the line, to get the thing to happen, because that's how these people work.

43:37So what's the problem?

43:38Let's just get a few of each, we'll put together the 250-year plan, and we can move out.

43:43Problem is, these people, the requirements people who build most of our world, the big-idea people...

43:49...who develop the ideas, hate each other, okay.

43:53So, requirements people, big-idea people.

43:57The requirements people the big-idea people are undisciplined babies, irresponsible...

44:03...completely disruptive to how the organization works and simply shouldn't be tolerated.

44:08Okay. Suffice to say, the big-idea people think the requirements people bring the life force out of the room.

44:14They don't even have to say a word; their mere presence precludes the possibility of a creative outcome.

44:21Problem is, if you, the future designers of our cities and our world, don't solve this problem and get...

44:28...those two groups to play well together, you cannot build cities without requirements people.

44:33It will not happen.

44:34Those are the people that run the world, run the government, and run the things that you need to get a yes from.

44:40It doesn't matter if you're on time, on budget, you design something really bad and awful and it will never... better than really bad and awful, and you're not going to get there by filling out the requirements.

44:51There's a common misconception in the requirements organizations, that simply having the right requirements... you the correct outcome or a creative outcome or an innovative outcome.

45:00There is no evidence to suggest that's true.

45:02I know of no example of a requirements process that has ever yielded a creative or innovative output...

45:07...because it's not what it does.

45:09Why is that a problem?

45:10Well, it's a problem because sometimes you need real innovation, which is what we need in our society...

45:15...and our planet right now.

45:17We had a pretty good run without requiring innovation.

45:19I said before, innovation is really annoying.

45:22If you manufacture penicillin, do you want innovation?

45:24Do you want everyone in the company leaving their personal imprint on the molecular structure of your drug?

45:29Probably not.

45:33Designing our cities is much like that.

45:35You build buildings, you want to be just the same as the others.

45:38They want to be safe; they want to be this, they want to be that.

45:40The fact is, the end state is never where you want to be.

45:44That's the course we're on now, and we've got to fix it.

45:47I'm looking at you to fix it, and I think the big principles that you have to look at in this are, first of all...

45:54....understanding, big ideas are not due to the United States.

45:58Bill of Rights, remember that?

46:00Pretty big set of ideas.

46:01You could argue, it was the 250-year plan.

46:04It was done about 250 years ago; it's working just as well now as it did the day that it's authored, and... created, much like the smart and lazy speaker, it created a self-correcting mechanism to run this nation... and created, incidentally, a global, a world market for freedom, freedom rights...

46:24...independence, a whole bunch of things which other people built their constitution, other elements on.

46:29It's a very powerful, fundamental idea.

46:31It is an algorithm; it is a thing which allows you to go back and look at it.

46:35It can be debated; it has some ideas that were strong; some that were weaker; some that have to be...

46:40...contemporized, as we're looking at with gun control and a whole collection of things, due to the...

46:45...changes in behaviors of society and consequences that take a long time constant to figure out, but it was an important idea.

46:52So I think you need to design the bill of rights for our planet, and I think you need to use geodesign to do it.

47:00I think we have to come up with a fairly simple set of principles that, 250 years from now, when people look back...

47:06...they're going to say, gee, that was a remarkable document that those people put together, just as...

47:10...Bill of Rights was, because it provided a self-correcting process that became more and more relevant as time went on.


47:19Because the Bill of Rights doesn't talk about why it's illegal to park your horse out in front...

47:23...of the capitol building overnight.

47:26Okay? That's how urban planning, rules - it's none of that.

47:30It basically says, here's what's important to human beings.

47:33Because the thing to keep in mind is, rules of thumb like Moore's Law, tell us that every 18 months...

47:40...a number of transistors, which we can equate to the processing power of a computer, is going to double... constant cost, or the cost is going to drop in half for constant computing power.

47:51It's worked for 30 years, it's going to continue to work.

47:52You know how much computing power you're going to have and have available.

47:55Ferren's Law is that human beings in our cities and our planet isn't governed by Moore's Law...

48:00...and the time constants of how people change and societies change and cultures change, on the macro level...

48:06...takes a very long time.

48:07And we care about the same things we've always cared about, which are love, companionship, our families..., shelter, safety, those fundamental things.

48:16And that's what you need to do when building the bill of rights for our planet.

48:20I would argue that geodesign is the organizing principle in what will become the toolkit that allows you...

48:25...first of all, to do that; to create the marketplace for sharing the intellectual and creative ideas... provide the platforms that the innovators can test their ideas against; and, at the same time, to provide a path...

48:37...forward so the near-term projects, which is what all of us as design professionals are involved with...

48:42...on a daily basis, can be judged against some goal and road map for the greater good.

48:49I think if I had to give you a big six, it's in the midst of the chaos that comprises most of our modern life...

48:54...and contemporary design process, encourage taking time to have a long-term plan...

49:00...and spend a little bit of your life with some time reserved to think in the long term.

49:05Two, be brave and willing to take on hard, long-term problems even though it's unfashionable...

49:11...and all of the forces of nature and of the design world and the practices you're working in...

49:16...are going to punish you rather than reward you for that.

49:20There is an opportunity cost; it will not happen if you just allow things to run their course.

49:25Use science combined with engineering and design to rise above the rhetoric... start and sustain a public dialog - emphasis, public dialog - on the topics that really matter... that we can actually have a debate and a discussion; and if people are being asked to make sacrifices...

49:44...which they will - people will make sacrifices from their world view of where they are now... order to make the future happen.

49:52They're not going to do that unless you've taken the time to tell the story in a compelling way...

49:57...where they realize why it's worth making a sacrifice.

50:00You talk to anyone who's a parent, and they will make a sacrifice - can I have the slide, plese?

50:06One slide I brought you.

50:08That's my daughter Sarah with the gang she runs.

50:12And you know, that's what we're doing all of this for.

50:17We have to protect the people who don't have the power to protect themselves.

50:20We have to protect the species that don't have the power to protect themselves.

50:24We have to work against the self-interest groups that may, in fact, not align with the long-term plan that's beneficial.

50:32Why? Because a different set of mechanisms run, that corporations that exist as a multinational corporation... maximize the profits to their investors.

50:42A person running that in the United States goes to jail if they don't take seriously running to maximize...

50:48...the profits for their investors.

50:49Nowhere is there a bill of rights for the planet that someone says, But by the way, it's okay if you pay attention... these things that matter.

50:58There needs to be, because otherwise, I would argue, the forces of nature that cause one set of entities [to be] successful...

51:04...will by definition suppress another set of entities.

51:07Some of those entities need to be protected from suppression.

51:10Some, by the way, should just go away, and it's just fine.

51:13There are a whole bunch of thing where, you know, not everything should be preserved in our planet, and we have to understand that.

51:18I think we have to create aspirational role models so kids like my daughter have people to look up to... say, I want to be like that when I grow up.

51:26And the role models can't just be musicians and can't just be drug dealers in the inner city...

51:31...and they can't just be celebrities.

51:33They have to have people who have had an impact on our world.

51:36One of the things geodesign can do... help elevate the presence of those people so we create role models so that we actually have the feed stock...

51:45...intellectually and creatively in the geodesign community necessary to take it to these next stages.

51:50Because if you can't attract the best and the brightest, you're done.

51:53They're going to move somewhere else, and this stuff is not going to happen the way it ought to.

51:59I think you have to lead by geodesign; I think you have to use it as a tool to educate our educators... educate our politicians, to educate our political and media leadership, so that they understand...

52:12...the consequences of their action.

52:14But rather than just say this is all doom and gloom so might as well just stay home and kill yourself...

52:18...that actually, here's something we can do about this.

52:21You have to be, on one level, realistic about understanding the science and mechanisms [of] what's really happening.

52:27On the other end, you have to be proactive and positive about how are we going to get our way out of this.

52:32Because nobody is interested in hearing more bad news.

52:35You want to pick what's wrong with our country at the moment, everything you hear is bad news.

52:40In order to have good news, you have to, I would argue, have this aspirational end state...

52:45...which is understandable and, with hard work, achievable; because everyone I know who has a family...

52:52...will make enormous sacrifices for their family.

52:55We do all of this for our kids.

52:56That's why we need to do geodesign; it's for our kids.

53:00It's not for anything else.

53:02It's giving the world back in a slightly better way than the way we found it.

53:08To do this, I would argue, as geodesigners, you are going to be entrusted, the geodesigners of the future...

53:14...with the same power over our life and death that our doctors have...

53:17...just with a longer time constant, okay?

53:20So they make a mistake, your surgeon makes a mistake, and you hear those words...'d really not like to hear, "Oops," you know?

53:28You know, not good.

53:30The mistakes you make in planning and designing our cities may take a hundred years...

53:34...until someone understands the consequences of those actions.

53:39Hippocratic Oath for geodesign - first, do no harm.

53:43Really sort of understand what you're doing and the effect and, by the way, you're going take chances, you're...

53:48...going to do things, but if you know this is going to create long-term harm and damage, it is not okay to do it...

53:54...even though you're being paid to do it and there's a lot of pressure that says you should do it. It's not okay.

53:59You need to have a long-term vision.

54:01I'm recommending 250 years, but something that is a living document that is the expression...

54:07...of the best, brightest, and most creative people thinking about this subject in a way that is comprehensible to others.

54:13The others who make decisions and the others who have to live by those decisions, called "our people."

54:18And the species who don't happen to be people but are also living inhabitants of this planet...

54:23...who we have the custodianship over.

54:26We have the power to make them go away; we have the power to protect them; it is our obligation to life to protect them.

54:33Consider the second, third, and nth order effects of what we create.

54:38Not in a way that it paralyzes you.

54:39Because you can get into this analysis/paralysis mode, where we're going to study this for the next hundred years.

54:44I'm not suggesting that at all.

54:46What I'm saying is, understand the consequences of what you're doing.

54:51But you have to think more about what you're doing than did you check off all the boxes...

54:56...gee, I've got [UNINTELLIGIBLE], you know, super palladium platinum rating.

55:00I've got this, I've got a whole bunch of other things.

55:02But the net result is the city will have no water in 50 years, and therefore maybe this isn't...

55:08...actually the right place to go build this new city.

55:11You have to think about that.

55:12And finally, I would take your charge seriously as the custodians of our planet and that storytelling... the most powerful tool you have to send the messages of your insights forward.

55:28We're not on this earth very long.

55:30You know, a mere blip; you look at the history of our planet.

55:35Try to leave it a little better than how we found it.

55:38You know, just, that's part of the profession.

55:40Your job is to really just, at the end of the day, [UNINTELLIGIBLE] place is a little better than when you found it.

55:44And if we all do that, if we take the time to be thoughtful, if we work to build consensus...

55:51...because on one level you have the paradox of the great visionaries - don't actually want to listen to anyone.

55:56It's just their plan they want to execute.

55:58At the same time, nobody's going to let them do it if it's going to be on a global scale without building a consensus.

56:04So, you've got to build it.

56:05And you, Mr./Ms. Visionary over here, have to realize your vision is never going to happen unless... build the sort of consensus necessary to make it happen; and you, the people who are going to go build it...

56:16...have got to realize it doesn't matter what your budget, schedule, and time is; if it turned out to be a bad idea...'re going to fail.

56:23And as a result, you're going to fail in the domain we're talking about; we're going to fail...

56:27...our planet's going to fail, our society's going to fail.

56:30I've taken far more too much time.

56:33Really appreciate the opportunity to get back to talk to you.

56:35But, please don't do this for me, do it for her.


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