by Ed Beakley
The Fall entry page for Project White Horse depicted the technology, events and people of the 20th century, contrasted with people and crisis events of the emerging 21st century, all overlaid with the comment “how you think about the future determines what you do in the future.”
PWH offers that the dynamics of this century – 1) results and application of scientific progress – mainly information technology, 2) Globalization, 3) Mother Nature’s defense of her turf in response to man’s progression, and 4) actions of the non-state fighters of fourth generation warfare – create a linked problem set possibly un-faced by civilization to date. Effort to date has been intended to highlight key and sometimes overlapping elements and offer that when taken together they form the beginning of a minimum knowledge set necessary for adaptable response in a tumultuous new century.
Some of those elements addressed are: the work of John Boyd on the OODA Loop and analysis and synthesis; Dr. Gary Klein’s Recognition Primed Decision Making; vulnerability analysis in regard to schools including analysis of critical crisis events; and introduction of Fourth Generation Warfare as a lens for viewing not only the war on terrorism, but all aspects of crisis response.Based on this knowledge base and lessons learned from producing the website, throughout 2008, Project White Horse 084640 will explore thinking about the future in context of the idea of a resilient community, whether that “community” be a university, a city, a state, or a nation.
In order to become resilient communities, every single person in America – parents, teachers, students, police and government officials – as individual citizens and as organization members, must become our own best resource, ready to act in our own survival process, capable of effective support to First Responders, with decreased need for assistance, allowing that first response to be focused on most critical elements. As we increase our ability to respond to disasters – natural or man-made – psychologically, physically, tactically, and mentally, we directly and positively affect the crisis decision making process. We as knowledgeable adaptable citizens – we the people – become a significant participant in our survival as a nation on our own terms.
I submit that acquiring and using that skill in creation of a resilient community is first dependent upon 1) attitude- in this case incorporating the will to prepare- and equally important, 2) knowledge in areas not common or necessary in the previous century.
In preparation for the upcoming edition on Resilient Communities, links to key articles found during the research will be provided in the PWH Forum over the next few days, beginning with the following:
“Let us light a candle while we walk, lest we fear what lies ahead”
I believe that in 2060 our descendants will similarly laugh at our nightmares, while they look to the future with fear about challenges we cannot imagine.
Humanity was born naked and ignorant, bereft of either armor or weapons, on Africa’s Serengeti Plains. We have survived droughts and floods, an ice age and a supervolcano — steadily leaning and developing our powers. We have always walked into an unknown future, but our past should give us the confidence to do so with caution but not fear.