Expanding Your Vision in 2024

Expanding Your Vision in 2024

Stephen Dinan
Stephen Dinan:
CEO of The Shift Network

Have you experienced a strong sense of collective contraction in the last two years?

While innovation speeds ahead, our expectations for the future have too often diminished. There’s been a palpable return of pessimism.

The problem with pessimism? It’s actually not grounded in the deeper reality of human evolution and it’s not as helpful to create the world we know is possible.

Optimists tend to live longer and healthier lives. They forge the future by not being defined by the past. And I believe optimists are better able to be conduits for healing and new possibilities.

So let’s make 2024 the year that we shake off the collective malaise, showcase what is beautiful, emergent, and inspiring, and restore our sense of visionary leadership in advancing a culture that is based on sacred reverence for all beings.

I see us in a collective outworking of the habits of the past that no longer serve us. Exaggerated versions of our problems, while painful, often call forth visionary solutions. So we can see the dark headlines through the lens of impending evolution and re-focus our creative energy on the positive trendlines or evolutionary disruptions on the horizon and help to amplify them.

Some of the trendlines that most inspire me:

  1. The democratization of the world’s wisdom traditions. Every year it gets easier and less expensive to access the wisdom of the wisest among us. Shift is committed to advancing this and empowering a great collective emergence of true wisdom. Growth in sharing of personal transformation resources has been exponential.
  2. Rapid decarbonization of energy and transportation. While the symptoms of global warming are becoming more evident, the solutions are accelerating even faster. When I ran the numbers myself recently, it’s clear we are on track, just with current average growth, to meet global electrical demand in full with renewables by 2035! 280 million electric motorbikes and scooters are leapfrogging the developing world ahead in the electrification of transportation and cutting oil demand.
  3. The rise of psychedelic medicine – this is happening rapidly now with roots in ancient shamanic cultures and validation from modern therapeutic culture. This field will help us dramatically in areas from addictions to trauma treatment to PTSD as well as give far more ordinary citizens a glimpse of spiritual awakening that can inspire their path forward.
  4. The increase in plant-based eating in the developed world. With more sophisticated and tasty plant-based substitutes for meat and dairy, it’s never been easier to eat a more vegetarian diet, which has benefits for health, consciousness, and planet. A lighter diet for the planet is also better for us personally.
  5. Deforestation in the Amazon decreased 20% in 2023 from the previous year! Major tree-planting and reforestation efforts are blossoming worldwide.

And then there are breakthrough innovations, just on the horizon. For example:

  • A new bioceramic building material can create 500-year lifespan domes for 20% of the cost and carbon impact. It has the potential to radically change the construction industry. Geoships is a company working on these.
  • Paris is banning oil-based cars by 2030! As one of the top tourist destinations in the world, this will inspire people from around the world to clearly see the future.

The question for all of us is what to focus our attention on. Do we let ourselves be limited by collective fears, pessimism, or past failures or believe that we have an incredible opportunity to make the Shift to a peaceful, sustainable, thriving planet in the next decades?

All my inner guidance points to the latter and that the most important thing we can do is to paint visions of what is possible and put solid strategic planning and intelligence behind making them happen.

Can we envision Gaza becoming a thriving hub for innovation and the Holy Land as a model of peace for humanity by 2050? What steps will we need to take to get there?

Can we see an uplifting of indigenous cultures so they can play a more central role in a sustainable and reverential way of living more lightly on this planet?

Can the Ukraine become a place where the most effective modalities of trauma healing are applied to heal the scars after a war?

Can cities that are faced with high rates of violence become demonstrations for the shift to a culture of peace?

Can companies build into their benefit plans and product sales reforestation commitments so that regrowing the forests of this world is baked into our everyday business transactions?

What if each area of challenge we now face is a kind of curriculum for transformation and that, if we see it with visionary eyes, there are seeds of magic, destiny, and possibility that are planted, even with current suffering?

It is true that we can’t simply transcend the problems or ignore suffering, pain and hardship. But if we see their potential to catalyze transformation, we can sometimes see the current hardships with the eyes of possibility as they become catalysts for healing, awakening, and innovation.

The Phoenix is a bird that mythologically symbolizes rebirth out of the ashes of the old. I firmly believe that humanity is in a Phoenix moment and that we are reinventing ourselves and our institutions, moving towards a truly global, unified human family that can make Planet Earth a truly wonderful place to live for the vast majority of humanity.

To get there, we need collective growth in consciousness and care, which is why we focus on programs that empower growth, awakening, and healing. 

And we need visionaries in every realm who are willing to focus on the future, roll up their sleeves and put in the work required to build that better future.

So why not make 2024 the year in which we all really focus on visionary solutions?