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Blog

Insights, inspiration and opportunities to create a more vibrant and resilient future.

INSIGHT: Necessary Fear?

Peter Nicholson

Considering the Risks
Don’t look down. The trick, I suppose, is to not overlook the distance between you and the ground. Last Sunday night, as Nik Wallenda was preparing to walk a tightrope high above the Chicago River, I was 37,000 feet in the air, flying back from the West Coast. For a few moments, for some reason, the height felt precarious. It was a strange sensation, as if for the first time, after all the hundreds of flights I’ve taken, the possibility of falling occurred to me. A mild, momentary panic swept over me. What, exactly, kept us so far up here? I rarely consider the possibility of one of Foresight's projects failing. Innovator-designers must own a certain swagger, marginalizing doubt and convincing themselves that what is being attempted is possible. Little changes otherwise. We live at a truly remarkable historical moment, however precarious. With tech-enabled everything, and more coming, the world is our oyster. We don’t ever look down to consider the possibility of a tech-enabled fall, secure in the belief of a tech-enabled rescue. I’m not a tech-enabled pessimist, but nor am I arrogant enough to ignore the height and forget what, exactly, is at risk should our foot not find the rope on the next step forward.