He walked on stage and waited for the polite applause to die down. He smiled and readied to speak, but something stopped him. He tried to look through the lights directed at the stage and his body. He smiled and chuckled gently, as if resigned, and began.
“Hi, I am from the future. And your focus is all wrong.”
He smiled warmly, his direct verbal confrontation juxtaposed strongly with his clear intent expressed through is face and open armed gesture.
“Can I have the lights of the audience put up, or the lights on the stage dimmed?” he asked above the audience, then glanced to the side of the stage, before returning to talk to the audience. “These kinds of buildings work against us a little. It looks like I am the important person here. I am the one talking after all. From the time that I come, we all know that is wrong. So, let’s fast forward into the future a little, as the lights go up.”
The lights on the audience rose to a summer afternoon twilight, and he motioned for it to stop. “Slowly does it. We don’t want to give people temporal vertigo.”
“Thank you bringing yourselves here. Each of you has made a decision, based on what you expect to get out of the evening, about Ecosquared, me, and most importantly, the people around you. You,” he paused to survey the audience, “you, are the focus. Each one of you is listening to me, but you are aware of the person sitting beside you who is listening to me, right now, these words.” He nodded, to reflect the truth of his observations which was mutually acknowledged. “And it is in our mutual listening, that we manifest the seeds of social power. Nowhere else, but in our listening.”
Music began to play.
“How much do we engage with the music? What notes, what phrases, what sounds? What meaning? What purpose?” He took his time with each question, appropriate to the timing of the music.
“It is not what is said, but what is heard that matters. And there is much divergence in our actions and thoughts and feelings, about this music, about the state of the world, about each of our personal lives. Random brownian motion, almost. And yet, there is a lot of convergence. The food we eat, the homes we live in, the streets we live in… the natural world we all share. All different, unique, and yet forming part of the same thing. Sometimes the clash of rhythms, or discordant harmony, sometimes uplifting melody sweeping up our spirits to a wordless heightened state. In the music, in the embrace of our loved ones, our hearts touched by other’s misfortune.”
The music swelled, and he lost himself to it. Listening, his thoughts, the music. Each listening to the music, their thoughts and responses, the recent images of their family, friends, trees, bed, dinner table with rice and beans — many and varied, each unique — and as the music settled, so they found themselves once again in the audience chamber, conscious of mutual presence. And he was looking at them. Nodding, all of us, in the same experience.
“I come from the future. It is a better place. But it is not me who can get us there. We have a tool to get us there.”
A huge image of a mobile phone appeared behind him.
“The most powerful device we have every invented, the mobile smart phone. Enough computing power in any one of these that we have in our pockets, to put a man on the moon. Combine that with the telecommunication infrastructure, the internet highway network, the cloud, and we have the most powerful technology invented in human history.”
The image animated blue lines spreading from the mobile, interconnections, until a global image coalesced and softened in the background. He glanced around him, up at the screen. He shrugged.
“Powerful, yes,” he made an aside to the audience. “And left in the wrong hands, it gets us to buy more stuff we don’t need, and while some of us share selfies and opinions, billions go without education, clean water supply. You all know this. This is history, after all. This tool, the entire internet, lies within the legacy system that is traditional economics. 3000 years of legacy that have shaped every civilised social institution, politics, education, medicine, business of course. Everything.”
A few red dollar signs, Yen, pound and euro popped up on the globe, multiplying like a virus. As he spoke, the image shifted from the blue communication lines to the red pixelated dust of denominations, and green blue and brown of the natural world.
“These are the instruments, and the music being played. Interwoven, evolving over time, over the last 3,000 years. Time for a new song.”
The music changed, and on the mobile phone, the Ecosquared logo. A cheer arose from the audience.
“I am from the future. We have produced a tool to get us there. It is not a question of whether you use this tool. But how you use it. And how soon.”
A cheer came up from the crowd.
“Each of us, in our hands, determine the flow of money. Who we attend to and thank. And what gifts we make of ourselves to one another. We are the instruments, we are the musicians, and it is time for our song to be heard.”
“This music may be beautiful enough to be heard by the species on our own world, the different peoples across this planet. Our home.”