Game Changer 9: Self-organized Citizen Movements

Richard Lum | 11/05/2019

In the final video of our Game Changer series, FORESIGHT futurists explore how people’s access to technology, at a relatively low cost, has paved the way for a trend toward decentralization. That is, movement away from the power of the “nation state” and movement toward self-organized citizen movements.

You might recognize this as your neighbor using social media to organize rescue or relief efforts after a natural disaster. Or maybe you thought of “hacktivism” in the form of WikiLeaks or Anonymous (an internet-based collective that seeks to create mass awareness of entities it perceives as corrupt). Perhaps your mind went to the emerging power of hashtag movements like #MeToo, or the massive protests organized by teens around climate change and gun violence. Maybe you thought about people segregating themselves into communities, some of which have nothing to do with geographic borders, often in the name of safety. What about the surge in armed non-governmental militia groups? And the reviving interest in communal living?

The FORESIGHT Futures Scan uncovered 72 trends and emerging issues with the potential to impact the future for health and well-being, and synthesized them into nine major Game Changers. In this week’s video, we explore the ninth Game Changer: Self-Organized Citizen Movements.

Trends are changes over time that we can already measure.

Emerging Issues are potential trends—they haven’t happened yet, but we can detect faint signs that they could be on the horizon.

Contrast all this with last week’s Game Changer video discussing the Rise of Authoritarianism. In that light, some might welcome a rise of the self-organized. But in another light, this idea might sound downright scary and in need of some regulation. How could we harness the full potential of decentralization that accompanies self-organized movements for the benefit of health and well-being? And are we recognizing and doing all we should to avoid the potential costs?

Watch the final video in FORESIGHT’s Game Changer series and share your thoughts and ideas the comments below, or connect using #FutureforHealth and #GameChangers on social media.

Click here for a transcript of the video.

The world is changing fast. It’s time we design a future for health together.
Our work begins with FORESIGHT.