Preparing for the Future, We Must Understand our Present


Seeing more clearly, our future through the lens of the present...As part of the IBM Futurist programs, #NewWayToWork and #NewWayToEngage, I’ve received great access to some of the brightest folks around IBM. To talk with them, learn from them and become friends with them. Is IBM perfect, no, of course not, no one is. People have bad days, some people have bad attitudes and some are just bad ass! Everyone is different, which is why I appreciate the chance to meet so many different people in my life’s journey.

But truly, one of the best parts of being in both programs, is the access to other futurists, many of whom were already friends, some of which have become my friends.  Next week, I get a chance to get together with them again as part of TED at IBM, as well as with other soon to be friends whom I not only never met, but in some cases never even heard of before this event. People who give me hope, who inspire me, who have ideas that will make mine better and with whom I hope to reciprocate in appreciation of their gift.

In preparation for next week’s event, they asked many of us to answer a bunch of questions about the world today and what’s really important to us. This is important, because to understand the world in which we live (and the organizations in which we work), we must make visible and understand our common and disparate values. What we each hold dear, or even sacrosanct. The answers below, while simple in some cases and maybe obvious in another, also tells a bit about the story of that person. At least if you actually know them it does in a more meaningful way.  See for yourself and scroll past it to see a personal addition, a photo of the only personal item I would take with me on a long term space mission.

 

So what is the one thing I would bring with me? Did you read it in the presentation or just skip? No matter, it is this note my mom left for me one night when I flew home after living away in Philadelphia for a couple years. If you are interested in learning more about my mother, just ask my fraternity brothers about the time she stayed in the frat house and how she touched their lives. Or you can read it from her own words in this book she wrote on her life with Cerebral Palsy.

From across the whole of my life, it’s the most precious thing in, other then my wife Kristie, but she’s a great human, not a great thing 🙂 Anyway, just felt like sharing as I am feeling overwhelmingly grateful at this moment for an amazing week in DC and looking forward to another great week ahead back in San Francisco, with my friends, old and new, as we look to the future together.

My Mom's note I carry with me everywhere.

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