How to Create a Future We Actually Want to Live In

What will it take to save the world? That's the question we set ourselves to in our latest TED talk, which is now finally available to watch online. Because things are not okay. We are storytellers- and that’s why the futures we see depicted in media about the future like Mad Max, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Interstellar concern us even more than what we see scrolling through our social media feeds and inbox every day. Because what we imagine, we are likely to create. And if we don’t imagine futures we are excited to live in, it’s unlikely that things will get better.

Think about it- do you believe our planet and humanity will survive to the year 3000? If not, why? Is it the collapse of civil society, crumbling infrastructure, melting icecaps, accelerating automation, disappearing jobs and economic security, pandemics, extreme weather events, bioweapons, nuclear weapons, rock bottom trust levels in our political system, rising sea levels, unpayable student debt burdens, resource deserts, or the fact that we’ve recently entered the sixth mass extinction? Even if we do figure out how to survive - what will our lives look like? Will they be worth living? It seems like we are living in a dystopia, about to become an apocalyptic horror.

We think that we've found an alternative. In our TED talk, The Millennial Mindset Can Save The World, we present the shifts in values that will allow us to change the course of our future. We call this new paradigm “The Millennial Mindset” both because these values are commonly held among people of our generation and because we believe these are the shifts necessary for us as a planet and human species to make it through the next millennium.

Who are millennials? We argue that anyone shaped by this time of transition with the will and skills to imagine and create the future is a millennial: a person of this still-new millennium, learning from the last one and trying to get us to the next one. The millennial mindset embraces innovation, community-mindedness, and a liberatory frame. It’s not narcissistic or apathetic- it rejects traditions of hierarchy, oppression, stigma, identity politics, corruption, and unsustainable, exploitative strategies of development that will kill us all off long before the year 3000.

The millennial mindset is not impractical or self-indulgent- it is aligned with the economy of the future, in which uniquely human skills will be at a premium in a time of mass automation. In the new, evolving economy, we will all need to be lifelong learners- without going into debilitating debt.

This is why we are launching a new learning platform with the mission of “education for liberation.” Our digital school embraces the millennial mindset, humanities, and liberatory arts, uplifting the voices and important contributions of millennials of many ages and backgrounds to create a space of community wisdom in which to imagine futures we want to live in.

Spring Up School is a versatile learning community for the new millennium.

Our goal is to bring together thought leaders, changemakers, and lifelong learners to catalyze a shift towards a more imaginative and empathetic society.

We believe in the power of the liberatory arts (humanities, arts, social sciences) and use storytelling and dialogue to facilitate personal and collective transformation.

We view education as a mutual process- everyone has wisdom to share and something to learn.

Sign up to learn more about classes and registration at Spring Up School. Contribute. Inspire. Be part of the change necessary to create a future we can thrive in together.

As Einstein said, you can’t solve problems with the same kind of thinking that created them. We need to use our collective wisdom to solve the enormous problems we face. If we want to get some solutions, we need to lift up and center the voices and perspectives of people who have been marginalized, who have been pushed out of the center of the society of the past, because those living on the margins are closer to stepping over the edge... and leading the way to the future that awaits us on the other side.


Oh... and watch our TED talk to get started in upgrading your millennial mindset:

According to most science fiction, humanity's future is bleak. As storytellers, Nastassja Schmiedt and Lea Roth know that what we imagine we are likely to create, so in this conversational and entertaining talk they share the three components of the millennial mindset we all need to build a future we actually want to live in.