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The Road To The Future

Andreja Kodrin

Albert Einstein once said that he never thinks of the future; it comes soon enough. It seems that the relevance of his last thought is growing exponentially but the pleasure of the first has diminished decades ago. On our minor Planet of a very average star, one among the 200 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy, our population of 6.8 billion humans is reaching our planetary boundaries. For each of us, the Future matters and this Future is not unknown. It is already mapped by human past and present irreversible impact on the Planet. Hence, can we still neglect the fact that demography, economy and environment are united elements of the planetary system? Can we still convulsively hang on to the presumption that we have decades to change, and decades more to worry about the impact? The truth is, our planet Earth is in imminent peril and next years will prove decisive for the world’s climate and the world’s future. James Hansen, NASA scientist, warned us that we have a very brief window of opportunity to deal with climate change, no longer than a decade at the most for this “the most urgent fight of our lives” * .

Freeway to Sustainable Development

Evoked by many existential challenges, caused by humans, we have initiated Challenge:Future, a venture of many students, partners, and experts with different life philosophies and driven by different goals, but all committed to creating a more fair, prosperous and sustainable Future. Seeking to go beyond or further than just another student competition, we have aimed at connecting global youth, providing an environment to collaborate and think, bringing diversity into the discussion and creating the bonds. Challenge:Future strongly believe that “everybody is good at innovation if given a chance" **.

To us, innovation is not only inventing the next space shuttle; it can be directed at many other necessary solutions such as the winning “Simple, yet effective”*** solution that brings a win-win-win for the world, with a 25% decrease in travel time for metro passengers, 30% less energy consumption and 30% lower investment costs for companies, and proportionally lower usage of materials, resources and emissions of CO2. Furthermore, to C:F, social innovation is urgently required in addition to technological and business innovation. The emergence of social entrepreneurship has been manifested in many great competition ideas from homeless programs, youth activations, “glocal” micro aids, to the reintegration of prisoners into society. Last, but definitely not least, we strongly believe in the power of education. It is the weapon to solve complex imbalances and degradation of the environment and to provide the essential knowledge and skills necessary to equip a new generation who will be able to manage sustainability and embed it into core businesses and daily lives. The power of knowledge will lead a war inside of us, a battle for a new consciousness, a creation of millions of new leaders, as each of us with our selected actions and decisions is responsible for the lives of the millions worldwide.

At Challenge:Future we know already today that in the next decade, we will live in societies with unstoppable population ageing, that the majority of the world's population will be located in enormous urban areas rather than rural, that demand for water will outstrip by 40% our capacity to provide it in 2030, that the world’s developed countries will drop to less than 25% of the world’s population by 2050, that Infotech will continue to surprise, Biotech will gain even more momentum, that we will be forced to learn how to cognitively deal with our increasingly complex context, and that octopuses might soon become the most popular home pets, particularly around the time of World Cups. But anticipating the Future is not enough, you must create feasible solutions before you reach it.

The positive Vision of the Future

The first year of Challenge:Future has brought many of them, all linked to a positive vision of the Future. Having vision means survival, especially when it is backed by a great generation of youth, whose consciousness about the planet and determination for change can drive us forward. It is a generation that was born with right “apps” to survive and thrive in the next twenty years. These future leaders, businessmen, employees and customers already know that a vital paradigm shift in technology, business, society and in our lifestyles is unavoidable. And they are not waiting for the Future to come, they have already started the change.

Andreja Kodrin****

P.S.: Shortly after starting the Challenge:Future competition, we envisioned The Future Book as “food for thought”, aimed at providing a wide diversity of articles and perspectives with which you can agree or disagree, be inspired, or think skeptically about. Please remember though there is no map or guide for the Road to the Future. Thus, it must always be you who selects and decides where to go, and most importantly, dares to take a step.


****Andreja Kodrin, MSc, is the Founder and President of Challenge:Future.

*James Hansen is a world’s leading climate scientist. The quote is from his book Storms of my grand children, Bloomsbery, (2009), p.277

**Joel A. Barker, in his lecture at C:F Summit 2010 in Bled

***The title of a Challenge:Future 2009/2010 winning solution

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Maggie Peng

Maggie Peng

Well said, Andreja! This is the message of the entire C:F team as well.

26th August, 2010 @ 2:51 PM CEST

Saad Khan

Saad Khan | Action team | CF Chapters

having visions surely means survival and it also makes us realize that there is still light at the end of the tunnel. We, the youth of today shall follow that light and reach the end. :)

26th August, 2010 @ 4:58 PM CEST

Jatin Kataria

Jatin Kataria | Action team | CF Chapters

what an end of article by great Andreja... Dares to take step..

nice words that "anticipating the future is not enough, you must create feasible solutions before you reach it.. " and even nice to know about social entrepreneurship

Article is really fruitful..

seems simple but great words by Joel A Barker... just need chance to innovate .. n C:F is platform to go global..

16th September, 2010 @ 12:48 PM CEST

Dharmesh Bhadja

Dharmesh Bhadja | Action team

The journey of challenge future reveals the strength and holiness of the intention. The journey started with the intention and very few people progress with clarity of purpose and involving the energies from all the corner of the earth and now emerging as the strongest team intended for the goodness of our beautiful globe. To work together is different theme but the journey can definitely encourage any worker of the selfless motive.
Now to think small and slow is not allowed. More to this, I would like to say it is a Sean.
Reading and discussing the future book, influence my and our way of thinking and living and I can understand that a true perception will make the integration of the attempts all over the world and for this all self discipline is the key…

28th October, 2010 @ 7:19 PM CEST

Harshit Kachchhi

Harshit Kachchhi

Not to anticipate or hedge the future, to create the future which we want... Is the central idea of this article. Hats off !

A vision with sustainability will provide a better way to bring in the future and inhibit it.

As youth are the ones who can change the time, focus on creative youth is one of the ways to get done the things visioned.

All the best to us in bringing in the right matters at right place !

13th November, 2010 @ 6:16 AM CEST

Johanny Arilexis Perez Sierra

Johanny Arilexis Perez Sierra | Action team

Despite all troubles youth has to tackle nowadays, I feel so good belonging to this generation, because I feel we have the tools to overcome this and adversities to come. Although all vexation around, I see the arrangement of a worldwide movement of conscious and committed people ready to act and undertake the challenge, to dare for a different world, a possible future that works for all. C:F is a catalyst for empowering youth ideas to become true, to transform the world. Thank you Andreja and whole C:F team for translating into action your vision towards a sustainable future. All the best ;-)

1st July, 2011 @ 1:44 AM CEST

Divya Nawale

Divya Nawale | Action team

social innovation is urgently required in addition to technological and business innovation- well said indeed it is Social innovation in the form of Social media, social entrepreneurship, social leaders and social revolutions(for which Egypt is a perfect example), which will help us youth to reach towards the common goal of a sustainable future for all- in both technological and social aspects of living across the world.

10th August, 2011 @ 9:11 PM CEST



Life is an ACT that lays within the HEART of those whose ART is to actualize life

1st November, 2012 @ 2:26 PM CEST

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