2009 – the year when everything is going to change

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Image courtesy of Maja Sten

I’m not good in predicting the future. (After all, I predicted the Los Angeles Dodgers to win the World Series in 2008. And Giuliani to be the Republican candidate.) But, I’m pretty certain about this prediction: 2009 will be remembered as the year of change.

Let’s be clear: It’s going to be rough. It’s unknown how we’ll get from here to the other side. And we don’t know how the other side will look like. What the new reality will be. Sure, we’ve heard this before: After 9/11 life was supposed to change forever. After the house of cards came tumbling down, we continued to sleepwalk through life until we ended up on this cliff. The abyss of economic, political and societal disorder. Today, a gas price of $1,80 and a Dow of 9,000 might make us feel better and lull us into thinking that the worst is over. Unfortunately, the worst is yet to come. And, the best is yet to come.

2009 is the year when social discourse, living and experimenting with new technologies, the painful realities of the global economy, new insights into our species and the breakdown of the overall consumer spending umbrella that protected us for decades will force us to change. To rethink everything we’re doing. To rework communities, cities, industries, families. And ourselves.

This year will be remembered by us as the year of change. Just like the East-Germans remember 1989 when everything changed. Or 1439 when the printing press changed the educational system, science, politics, religion. Everything. 2009 will be not the beginning of an evolution. It will be the end of an era. And the beginning of a new one. And the scary part about all this is that nobody has a road map, a compass, any guidelines.

In 2008 we began a journey. Nobody of us volunteered. But we’re all in the same boat. Destination unknown. Keep your eyes open. Listen to others. Learn from others. Trust others. Don’t follow like a sheep. Don’t get caught up in side stories. Stay focused. Keep your head high. Be open to new experiences. Don’t go to bed unless you learned 10 new things that day. Better: 100 things. Don’t be afraid. Stay hopeful. Throw all the old rules out. They don’t apply anymore. Life as we know has changed forever. Just like the explorer that set foot on new territories and encounter the unknown, we’re about to experience the same.

Here’s to 2009.

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