Envisioning Prosperity: A Series on Possibilities

Envisioning Prosperity: A Series on Possibilities

Wendi Pickerel

“If you can’t discover what’s keeping you in, the will to get out soon becomes confused and ineffectual.” – Ishmael, D. Quinn

How do you reach for astonishing outcomes? You begin with imagination, a vision, or an abstract narrative that eventually helps you to manifest seemingly impossible goals: the Burj Khalifa – a 2,722 ft (829.8 m) tall sky scraper with 163 floors, Opportunity – a ten-year running mars exploration rover expected to last only 3 months, or a quarter-mile long container ship.

In 2014, war, poverty, environmental destruction, repression, disparity, racism, and economic havoc are all major characters in our social narrative.  Every day we consume stories about how these challenges predispose us to a dire future. So I’ve been wondering — are we consuming so many narratives of failure and fear that one of our key problem solving skills, imagination, is hampered? Is there a grand narrative of failure hobbling our personal and collective responses to these threats? Do we need more inspiring narratives in order to find our way to an astonishing, equitable, and sustainable future?

In the coming months I will post summaries of philosophies, solutions, alternative visions, and narratives of prosperity reimagined, prosperity based on more humane and sustainable systems and solutions than those we depend on now. I don’t believe blogging about possibilities will solve our big, complex problems but it might add something to the conversation on how we meet our challenges. Pete Seeger said, “…any one of us might be the grain of sand to make the scales go the right way, instead of the wrong way.”[1] So here’s to hopping over to one side of the scale rather than plunked down in the middle, dismayed.



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