22 years from now, I will be 50. There's a scary thought.
Anyway, I'll probably have teenage kids and, aside from that, I have no idea what my world will look like, mostly because I have no specific long term plans.
At least me and our government have that in common.
It seems all our government plans all run along election timelines--except for McCain, of course, who's got visionary plans to occupy Iraq for 100 years.
I think we should be thoughtful about some period in between that. Mike Bloomberg unveiled a plan for this city to cover what it would look like in 2030. It seemed like as good a an arbitrary point in the future as any. The plan was just about sustainability, but it touched on many areas of life and our economy.
I'd like to see the US unveil a similar plan for our whole country--across all of the facets of our life: the environment, energy, education, business, culture and the arts, infrastructure. Let's kick it off with a big Davos-like conference of the leaders of today and tomorrow, as well as the people who clearly aren't on leadership paths. Mix in some soccer moms and trailer park kids and maybe even an ex convict or two (given the disproportionate number of our population in jail).
Let's set some stretch goals like, "In 2030, we will have the best and most accessible education on the planet."
If we can't make that happen after 22 years of focusing on it, then at least we'll be trying. How about 22 years of work towards a zero carbon footprint economy?
Yeah...zero. Why not try?
I am a big believer in the idea that if you work you ass off towards a ridiculously big goal, even if you don't make it, you get a lot further than if you cut your potential short by thinking too small. Of course, that doesn't mean you just get up and swing for the fences every time. You can single an double a team to death and score 12 runs, but you still have to keep your eye on winning big.
However this process runs, it needs to be two things--apolitical and accessible.
If we just have politicians do this and it isn't a plan that administrations to come can't stick with, or if we just have two sides bickering on policy all the time, it will fail. This is no time for infighting.
It also needs to feel like something everyone ca get involved with. We need to organize both in person and online. Let's get back to town halls (Local USA 2030 Meetup Groups?). I liked Jeff Jarvis' idea for using Salesforce Ideas for the government.
No matter what tools we use, it needs to be talked about in barber shops, worked into school curriculums (aren't problem solving and goal setting skills that we should be teaching anyway?).
For once, I just want to feel like we know where we're going and that its a good place. That direction can't just come from Obama...we all need to be involved.