Future Files – Preface to the Korean Edition

Something I’ve just written for readers in Korea but I think parts of it are universal…

Korea is a country that interests me. Unfortunately I have never been but I am a follower of the country, particularly due to Korea’s love affair with technology. I am also an avid reader of Oh My News, which is referenced in the media chapter. Indeed, the quote by William Gibson that “the future is already here; it’s just unevenly distributed” is almost an advertisement for Korea.

There are things happening in Korea right now that are happening almost nowhere else and it will take years for other countries to catch up. Most of these things are good, others less so, but that’s just something we’ll all have to get used to in the future.

One of the mistakes people commonly make when thinking about the future is to assume that there is a single future. This isn’t true. There will be multiple futures, co-existing simultaneously, and people will travel between each of these futures. Another mistake is to assume that the future is completely unwritten. It isn’t.

We can invent the future and I firmly believe that now, more than ever, it is our duty to select a preferred future and to work as hard and as fast as we can to ensure that a world that we want to live in is firmly on the horizon.

Hopefully, readers in Korea will be as fascinated by what’s to come as readers have been in other countries. There is more that unites us than separates us and the things that really matter to people — things like love, recognition and respect — are universal irrespective of age, income, career or location.

A final point is that predicting the future is quite easy. All you need to do is walk around with your mind wide open. What’s really difficult is trying to figure out what’s going on right now. This book is about the future but it is also about now.

At the time of writing this preface the global economy is doing exactly what I predicted that it would in the chapter of money. I am not saying this to be clever. I am simply stating that things have changed and that the future is in some ways much more uncertain than it was a year ago. Having said this I still believe that the fundamentals remain unchanged. We are not witnessing the end of an era, merely the start of a new direction.

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