March 1st, 2012 – Today is the best Future Day that’s ever been. It’s also the only Future Day that’s ever been, but that’s besides the point. Future Day is the new holiday focused on celebrating all the wonderful possibilities, responsibilities, and joys that await us in the years ahead. Conceived of by Humanity+, this first annual event may yet to be in the public conscious, but it’s starting off with a bang. There are local events to be held in major cities all over the globe including Sydney, Hong Kong, Berkeley, Washington, Sao Paolo, Brussels, and Paris. Of course, it’s only fitting for such a forward-thinking holiday to be celebrated online as well, so there will be a special gathering in the virtual realm of Second Life with guest speakers like AI specialist Ben Goertzel, telecomm entrepreneur Martine Rothblatt, and transhumanist Natasha Vita-More. One day its supporters hope Future Day will be celebrated in schools, businesses, and homes all across the world. Today, however, it starts with you.
Most holidays celebrate ancient events, changes in seasons, or serve as days of recognition for special people in our society. Where, in all that nostalgia, is a healthy curiosity and enthusiasm for our future? When do we recognize and give thanks for all the amazing possibilities the future brings with it? The basic idea behind Future Day is to give everyone the excuse, permission, and time to dream, rejoice, and reflect on where humanity is headed. Ben Goertzel, one of the originators of Future Day, expounds more on the purpose of Future Day in the video below:
*The footage here is a little raw, but the opening really summarizes things well. After watching the first few minutes feel free to skip around a bit.
Now that Goertzel has sold you on the importance for a forward-looking holiday, how can you celebrate Future Day? First you can go to the FutureDay.org website and check their events listing to see if there is already a sponsored meeting in your area. If you’re too far from a local event, you can join the global virtual meetup in Second Life. Or just take the time to celebrate in your own special way. Tell everyone you see about the new holiday, and share your fears and aspirations about the future. Not just your own personal future, mind you, but the hopes for humanity as a whole. Are we building robots too fast? Not fast enough? Do you think the pursuit of genetically modified microorganisms could solve all our fuel problems? Are emerging social networks going to fundamentally shift the way we interact with one another? You never know what people will say about these all too important possibilities into you ask them. Get the conversation going! Future Day is a time for debate, conversation, and sharing dreams.
As Goertzel states in his video, Humanity+ hopes that Future Day will eventually become a global holiday. Governments will recognize it and use it to foster long-term thinking among their populations. Schools will have students working on projects that deepen, challenge, or celebrate their visions for the future. Businesses will set aside the day as a chance for all employees to consider the growth and change that will ultimately shape their company and careers. Cool people everywhere will throw costume parties and look really swank in future-themed garb. Seriously, why not? There’s no limit to the ways in which you can make this new holiday a creative and fun addition to our calendar. So get out there and get celebrating. The future is always around the corner, but Future Day comes just once each year!
Oh, and if I could submit one possible tradition for our new holiday: Everyone should buy their favorite blogger a gift.
What? It’s not for me…it’s for THE FUTURE!
Okay, well if you’re not going to get me anything, here are a few gifts for you: some amazing pics from the Future Day website to get your mind racing with the possibilities. Happy Future Day everyone!
[image credits: FutureDay.org]
[video credits: The Rational Future]