“Was bleibet aber, stiften die Dichter – what shall remain is woven by the poets”. It’s been twenty since I adopted this quote by Hölderlin as a personal motto.
As writers, we keep the fabric of the world together. We are the keepers of tradition, weaving the loose threads of the past into the present. We are also custodians of the present, we give it shape, as witnesses, so that it carries into the future. But writers – and poets, thinkers, dreamers, entrepreneurs, or innovators of all sorts – do more: we propose visions of a potential future, inventing a different world to come. And by doing so, we make it possible.
Building the future starts with a bold act of imagination, rousing our emotions, and driving us towards action. This is a critical task today, as we face the funk of COVID19, while climate change and environmental collapse continue to loom in the background. Luckily there is a growing movement to rally us around an alternative future: solar punk is creating a post-kevlar, post-black-mirror, post-apocalyptic vision of the future, one based on peer-to-peer abundance, and solidarity between humans, nature and machines. Shall we build it?
This post was inspired by a piece on Singularity Hub from my friend and FOGA co-founder @carin Ism, where I contributed a few notes