A look at what – and who – is pushing the future in new directions

PUSH 2007: SuperPower

Welcome Letter

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Welcome to Push 2007 : SuperPower! I’m thrilled by the program we have in store, thrilled that you’re here, and beyond bursting that it’s finally time for take off!

It’s going to be quite a ride that will at turns be delightful and disturbing, tender and challenging, inspiring, fun and very, very filling. What you discover along the way will be unique to each of you, though I’m confident that all will exit Push 2007 with renewed vision and purpose, and brimming with primed-for-action ideas and connections. Read More…

Before we launch, I invite you to get your bearings and review the events of the last year in terms of power. As you do, you’re sure to find its mark on every aspect of life, from the personal to the organizational, the communal to the global. Power is indeed here. There. Everywhere.

To be sure, power is an intrinsic part of the human experience, its presence universal and constant. Nothing about power is fixed, static or neutral, however. Rather power expands and contracts, slips and shape-shifts. It is this character that allows power to adapt so nimbly to the memes and modes of the moment, embedding itself in the changes that affect every level of society.

But what is power really? What are its sources? Where do we find it? And how do you discern whether you have power, or if power has you? Ask yourself, is there any exchange in which power isn’t present? Is it a necessary part of meaningful action? Is it good? Bad? Relative? Absolute?

While these more philosophical questions stew in the background, we’ll turn our attention to the functional aspects of power: the Whys, Wherefores, and Whences of global power plays. The rumblings of fear that are the backbeat of nearly every conversation about the future are significant; they reveal the dissonance between the changes people are seeing, and the reluctance they have to believing it. Push 2007 : SuperPower will turn seeing into believing through an examination of how the essential sources of power – violence, resources, people and persuasion – are being re-calibrated, causing the economic, demographic, political and ideological balance tat defined the 20th century to come undone.

This re-calibration will profoundly influence the kind of future we inhabit. Already we’re seeing terrific strain within the four constituent frames of power – Geopolitics, Energy, Demographics, and Media – inching us closer to tipping points that, if pushed too far, could flip the seats of power altogether. how we play our hand over the next 10-15 years will determine who’s at the table, as well as who’s sitting or standing.

To connect those longer term potentials with what’s happening in your world you’ll need the mightiest tools of all : knowledge, vision, choice, and action. these are the transforming agents that turn mortals into Superheroes in the quest to shape and claim the future. Push 2007 : SuperPower will get there faster that a … well, you know the rest…

Cecily Sommers
The Push Institute


POWER TRAIN: A Shifting World Order

Throughout history, technology has shaped how we see the world and its possibilities. And now that the rate of innovation and change is accelerating exponentially, we are seeing ever more radical capabilities that are altering our definitions of “world,” “life,” and “human.” What new frontiers and resources are opening up as a result, and how will it affect the choices we make? What influence will it have on how we live, and on society as a whole? Launch Video…

POWER SURGE: The Energy Revolution

There’s a lot of talk and a lot of movement around the fact that fossil fuels, so inextricably related to economic growth and environmental emergencies, are facing critical limitations in access and production. What energy source will step up to take their place? How will new – and old – sources of energy re-shuffle our economic and environmental landscapes? And as oil white-knuckles its hold on the market, who will get caught in the crossfire? Launch Video…

POWER PLAYERS: Exceeding Numbers and Expectations

Depending on where you live in the world, population is either exploding or declining, women are either gaining status and power or devolving to a position as chattel, yet wherever you live, these forces are migrating around the globe, in both numbers and influence. What economic and political impact will these groups have over the next decades? How will they make the most of the power and resources they do have, and how might they surprise the world with new alliances and power plays no one will expect? Launch Video…

POWER TOOLS: Cultural Narratives & Media

While human nature remains relatively constant over time, the tools and capacities that express who we are undergoing continual and rapid change. Our newly wired, webbed, and wikied world has created an unprecedented ability to share resources, content, and thinking, placing it on a worldwide stage for all to see. More importantly, the capacity for any individual to create and disseminate content/product/service to a global market is a subversive force against standard business models and practices. Launch Video…