Last updated: Why we look to the heavens, even amidst the rubble

Why we look to the heavens, even amidst the rubble


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What inspires humans to believe in the future? What is it within us that makes us dream, plan, innovate, and attempt wild ideas that make others shake their heads? What is it within the spirit of humanity that spurs us to go on, despite adversity? Those are great questions, really.   

With the 20th anniversary of 9/11 approaching, as a survivor of that fateful day, the thought of ever again looking to the sky with hope was something that once seemed unfathomable.

Then an amazing woman, marriage, and two beautiful kids suddenly filled life with new optimism and possibilities. Not just my own – but more importantly – theirs.  

“For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.” -Vincent Van Gogh

Moonshot thinking: The art of the possible

Recent forays into space by private citizens – something that would’ve never been considered conceivable when many of us were children –  spurs one to wonder even more: What really is possible in the next decade or so?

What is it within humans that makes us keep considering possibility, even amidst the darkest of times?

The dreamers and doers among us don’t have the hubris to imagine that they can predict exactly what the future holds, but they do learn from history and work toward a better tomorrow.

They understand that patterns can be observed, studied, and shared, and that the true mark of being a visionary is actually inspiring others to take an idea and grow it further – as Steve Jobs once said, “they push the human race forward:” 

What will be the next major disruption in our lives?

We cannot know the answer to that, but we can embrace and shine a light upon the best of ourselves as a collective – after all, we’re all a sort of modern explorers upon this earth. 

Moonshot concepts always sound ”out there” (name one genius who wasn’t labeled a misfit), but the past is a proof point – it’s always the moonshot ideas that alter the trajectory of humanity. There is no status quo for those who are compelled to think larger and dream. 

From the arts to politics to science and beyond, it’s only the dreamers who push the concepts of what is to make what can be a reality – that’s the spirit of humanity. This is also why I find hope in technology and innovation; a huge reason I work at the NVT Future Hub at SAP.

“Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light; I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.” -Sarah Williams

The spirit of humanity: Pursuits that reflect the power of possibility + potential

Issues such as the  sustainability of the planet or the future and well-being of  the workers that inhabit it all need their moonshot moments – soon.

And the reality is that businesses play a large role in how society progresses – or devolves – in modern times. That’s incentive enough to focus more intently on both inspiring and transforming how we approach our world today, from corporate boardrooms to wide-open fields, we all share the same world, and the same skies.

The world’s biggest business issues are also human issues – for it’s humans who power those businesses – and they can’t be solved with traditional thinking or a status quo mindset.

We’re at an inflection point, and we’ve got to both work to solve the challenges of today and prepare for what lies beyond this moment – for that’s the true spirit of humanity – thinking beyond ourselves.

Empathy, compassion, innovation, and dreaming bigger all critical to how we evolve as a society.

To be successful and unlock our greatest potential, we need to look beyond what we recognize and what’s familiar. We need to look where we haven’t looked before – even if it’s uncomfortable. 

What comes next is fueled by innovation that has no boundaries and the dreamers who continue to look to the heavens and think beyond themselves.

It’s a brave new world.
Are you ready?


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