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Book details
  • Genre:SOCIAL SCIENCE
  • SubGenre:Future Studies
  • Language:English
  • Pages:165
  • eBook ISBN:9780974715490

Hope and the Future

An Introduction to the Concept of Cultural Maturity

by Charles M. Johnston MD View author's profile page

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Overview
Hope and the Future presents a provocative examination of what being optimistic about the future ultimately depends on. It describes how we face a growing number of human challenges that require that we think, act, and relate in new ways—often fundamentally new ways. And it looks at how effectively addressing those challenges will require not just fresh ideas, but a critical “growing up” as a species—a new Cultural Maturity. This short book introduces the concept of Cultural Maturity and examines how the changes it describes will be necessary to a future that is at all healthy—and perhaps even survivable. It also looks at ways in which Cultural Maturity’s changes are already happening, and how, when we are ready for them, needed changes can seem surprisingly straightforward; indeed, like common sense. Hope and the Future is an exploration of the “new common sense” on which our future depends.
Description
Should we be optimistic as we look to the future? Hope and the Future examines what legitimate hope for the future necessarily depends on. It describes how we face a growing number of human challenges that require that we think, act, and relate in new ways—often fundamentally new ways. And it looks at how addressing those challenges will require not just fresh ideas, but a critical “growing up” as a species—a new Cultural Maturity. This short book is one of three related new works written by Charles Johnston for difference audiences with similar intent: to help people understand the times we live in and to make sense of what the future will require of us as a species. It is intended for a general audience wanting to better understand the tasks humanity now faces. Hope and the Future introduces the concept of Cultural Maturity and examines how Cultural Maturity’s changes are necessary to a future that is at all healthy–and perhaps even survivable. It also looks at ways in which Cultural Maturity’s changes are already happening, and how, when we are ready for them, needed changes can see surprisingly straightforward: indeed, like common sense. It describes how their potential is developmentally build into us. Here Charles Johnston explores the “new common sense” on which our future depends. He describes how culturally mature understanding will be needed not just to address the most critical questions before us, but simply to make sense of them. Some of the specific questions Hope and the Future touches on include: How, given the growing availability of weapons of mass destruction, do we best support a safe human future? How do we successfully address the very real possibility of environmental catastrophe? How will we make love work in the future, with gender roles and expectations today so in flux? How, in times ahead, will we deal with numerous new concerns that require global decision-making—such as terrorism and the need for stable and trustable global economic structures? How will we make the moral decisions demanded of us—given both their growing complexity and the weakening of cultural guideposts that we have relied on in times past? And most ultimately important, how do we best conceive of progress, if our actions are result in real human advancement? The concept of Cultural Maturity provides a direct answer to this last most important of questions. In doing so, it provides a compelling guiding story for going forward. It also provides concrete guidance for taking on the tasks before us. Because it is short and written for a general audience, of Dr Johnston’s new books Hope and the Future is for most people the place to start for understanding his thinking. It is also the work that is most readily adapted for use in teaching situations.
About the author
Charles M. Johnston, MD is a psychiatrist and futurist. He is best know as the originator of Creative Systems Theory, a comprehensive framework for understanding change and interrelationship in human systems, and for directing the Institute for Creative Development, a Seattle-based non-partisan think tank and center for advanced leadership training. He is the author of numerous books and articles on the future and how we can best prepare to meet it. The concept of Cultural Maturity, a key notion within Creative Systems Theory, addresses how we best understand the times we live in and make choices that support a healthy human future. The early years of Dr. Johnston's efforts, from 1975 through 1985, focused on developing and introducing the ideas of Creative Systems Theory. His book The Creative Imperative was the primary product of that first phase in his work. From 1985 through 2000, Dr Johnston turned to teaching and to further developing the ideas of Creative Systems Theory with colleagues at the Seattle-based Institute for Creative Development. Necessary Wisdom:Meeting the Challenge of a New Cultural Maturity was written as a more popular audience book on the concept of Cultural Maturity during that time. Two shorter works, The Power of Diversity: An Introduction to the Creative Systems Theory Personality Typology and Pattern and Reality, A Brief Introduction to Creative Systems Theory were written as Institute training resources and later made available in book form. From 2000 to 2012, Dr Johnston's work focused on further developing the concept Cultural Maturity and the ideas of Creative Systems Theory and documenting them in written form for different audiences. The first book in this series, Hope and the Future: An Introduction to the Concept of Cultural Maturity, is intended for a general audience wanting to better understand the tasks humanity now faces. Cultural Maturity: A Guidebook for the Future (with and Introduction to the Ideas of Creative Systems Theory) is a lengthier work intended for those interested in developing the sophisticated decision-making abilities that leadership in times ahead will require in all parts of our lives. Quick and Dirty Answers to the biggest of Questions: Creative Systems Theory Explains What It is All About (Really) is intended for people who enjoy the audacity of "theory of everything" reflection. More information on Dr. Johnston and his work can be found at the Institute for Creative Development website (www.creativesystems.org) and at the Cultural Maturity blog (www.CulturalMaturityBlog.net)
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