Foresight and hindsight

Seeing as I’m trying to at least blog 30 posts in June, it would be smart if I match my tag to others – DOH! Anyway, having set things right I’m back on track… And this is my second for the day as a means of keeping my numbers up.

Today I took part in the first of four workshops on strategic foresight for public libraries – it was great! I think my brain was bleeding by the end of the workshop though, hence the decision to not work at home tonight.

One of the exercises was to look at things that were acceptable 20 years ago that now are not. It was a trip down memory lane! Interest rates on housing at 17+%, boom boxes, kids playing under sprinklers, typewriters…..

Later in the day we identified key events and how they have shaped our society. In my group we enjoyed hearty debate about why at any given time war is ravaging countries somewhere in the world, and yet we are so desensitized to what is occurring. The planes hitting the twin towers, though, is an event that struck a chord across the western world – it was a ‘JFK has been shot’ moment. Everyone can recall where they were and what they were doing when they found out about it.

I was watching ‘West wing’ when it first hit the news. The news readers were still reacting to the first plane, when on the screen behind them the second one hit. I remember going to bed later and wondering if this was the start of WWIII? The next morning I awoke knowing something was wrong but not being totally sure what it was… It took me about 10 minutes or so to recall. Everyone I know was totally glued to the TV (note – not the internet!) for the next 48 hours, gobsmacked, horrified and distraught.

Yet… This sort of horror happens continuously and raises little concern in most. A consensus was reached by my group about how lucky Australia is, as a country that has never ever been faced without devastation of civil wars, persecution, external attack or internal military hostility. In recognizing how much we take for granted, how do ensure the following generations understand the unusual ‘peace and prosperity’ of Australia and the responsibility we should have to others as a result?

As a day of questions it has only raised more. I wonder how much of my brain will be left by day 4?

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2 thoughts on “Foresight and hindsight

  1. Kelly Hall says:

    When 9/11 happened I remember trying to get onto he CNN site to find out what was going on. The CNN page kept crashing, but at the time I didn’t know if it was the website or our dialup connection. In the weeks that followed I spent much time online reading the lists of those impacted by the events – the company hubby works for had an office in the basement of one of the buildings, but also had execs on one of the planes….

    I look forward to hearing more about the strategic foresight workshops – are these to help shape a new strategic plan?

  2. Not so much a plan as a strategic framework, which will help public libraries to identify where events/trends are leading society and guide their decision-making processes to ensure the relevance of libraries.

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