Back to the Future for California

I wanted to report back from my experience presenting as top-five contestant in the Institute for the Future’s California Dreams Contest in Palo Alto this past Tuesday, May 3rd. It was great fun mixing with fellow idealists and California dreamers, and discussing potential future paths for the state of California. Several themes really seemed to emerge, including green tech and green living, arts and culture, and local food and communities.

As contest participants and event presenters, our task was to imagine California in five to ten years time. This was an interesting thought experiment that couldn’t occur without considering our current dire economic circumstances. All was not sturm und drang, though, since this was a contest after all. In fact, the high point for many of us was the grand prize winning idea (and remarkably accomplished installation) of a three-story-tall carbon scrubber “beanstalk,” as conceived by Mike Minadeo. It was my only regret as a contestant that I did not have the opportunity to explore all of the other presentations.

My entry, called The Power of Less, (no relationship to the book of this title, which I learned about after submitting my entry) reflected on the topic of constraint and our ability to turn the limitations of a slower economy into investments toward better quality of life for us all. The premise was that in spite of a severe state budget crisis and a national recession, California has enormous untapped wealth, including unacknowledged resources that are unique to our current condition. Tapping these resources will lead to unanticipated benefits, though the results may not be proven in the short term.

We’re all aware of the oft-trumpeted assets of California, such as our incredible human capital, including cultural diversity and a highly educated workforce, as well as intellectual property rights and a vast array of natural resources. And all of this is without mentioning the innovative optimism and can-do attitude so inherent to the classic Californian character. Any of these elements could translate into opportunities unimagined. And yet, there is one resource that rises above all of the others.

As I see it, as the economy continues to stall, more workers will experience the distress of layoffs and scaled back working hours. In the midst of such change, however, we will tap a new and unfamiliar asset…spare time. Like it or not, time may be our greatest trump card. Pushed out of the workforce and forced to scale back in unanticipated ways, many Californians will gain more hours for themselves, and achieve the opportunity to invest in personal growth, education, and arts and crafts. Even more importantly, many Californians will find the time to focus more attention on their families and communities. These kinds of investments pay off in the long term, as the benefits extend far beyond the occasional bump in productivity.

It is my belief that a slower economy may ultimately lead to a renaissance in three areas: community, efficiency, and green living. This renaissance will develop as Californians come to terms with the unfamiliar ethic of less-is-more. With an ever present concern about finances, Californians will attempt a more efficient use of limited assets, while finding themselves compelled toward a more astute assessment of their goals (personal, professional, and environmental).  Ultimately, I believe this effort will result in an orientation toward a healthier and more humane lifestyle for us all.

And so, my prediction for the future California is a “stepping back” to a slower, simpler time, with a resulting benefit to our personal relationships and local communities. Simultaneously, I believe we will leverage our innovative strength and thought leadership to advance the production of more efficient and ecological products and services.

Many artists find that their greatest creative achievements occur within the context of limitations and constraint. Making more with less becomes a challenge that pushes them beyond default thought patterns and stale assumptions. In doing so, they can often achieve a more disciplined execution of their inspired concepts, sometimes even surprising themselves with the result. Under similar restrictions, we, the people of California, may yet rise to the occasion and imagine a better way of living. And in doing so, we might reinvent ourselves and the California experience, yet one more time.

You can read more about the contest and our presentations on the IFTF blog of Lisa Mumbach, and you can participate in the California Dreams experience by joining the Facebook Group and contributing your own signal representing how you imagine the future of California will be.

Live well and prosper, right?


LimeTech is a creative tech company with a focus on innovation and adaptive change. We use technical know-how, design skills, and deep experience in entrepreneurship to help companies advance their business goals. Do you need IT planning, mobile app development, web design, or remote work solutions that will take your business to the next level? Get in touch today and find out what we can do for you.

 

 

California    efficiency    entrepreneurship    green technology    nonprofits    

What is a minimum viable product? [updated]

What is a minimum viable product? [updated]

We explore the questions, "What is a minimum viable product?" and "How does it help you save money and lower your risk profile when building a mobile app?"

Read more
Top 50 tech websites [updated]

Top 50 tech websites [updated]

A collection of some of the best tech websites available in 2022 Writing a blog about tech? Trying to get the dish on the latest SF startups? Don’t waste time....

Read more
LimeTech site reveal

LimeTech site reveal

We’re proud to unveil our website redesign. This is a massive new look for our brand, and the start of an exciting new chapter for LimeTech. 

Read more
FRESH TECH: December 2021

FRESH TECH: December 2021

Our monthly series — Fresh Tech — a collection of fun things on the web that sparked our interest with their fresh takes on tech.  Monthly theme: Fresh design and tips....

Read more
Looking ahead in turbulent times

Looking ahead in turbulent times

COVID-19 has brought doubt, change, and instability the world over. The virus has wreaked havoc on our health and wellness—the very foundation from which personal development and prosperity are built.

Read more
FRESH TECH: November 2021

FRESH TECH: November 2021

Our monthly series — Fresh Tech — a collection of fun things on the web that sparked our interest with their fresh takes on tech.  Monthly theme: diversity & creativity.....

Read more
Fresh Tech: October 2021

Fresh Tech: October 2021

Our monthly series — Fresh Tech — a collection of fun things on the web that sparked our interest with their fresh takes on tech.  Monthly theme: reimagine with intention.....

Read more
On remote and hybrid transitions

On remote and hybrid transitions

On remote and hybrid transitions: how the right approach can get your company ahead Millions of companies were forced to make the fast pivot to remote work in the early....

Read more
Fresh Tech: September 2021

Fresh Tech: September 2021

Our monthly series — Fresh Tech — a collection of fun things on the web that sparked our interest with their fresh takes on tech. This month, we shine some....

Read more
Fresh Tech: July 2021

Fresh Tech: July 2021

Our monthly series — Fresh Tech — a collection of fun things on the web that sparked our interest with their fresh takes on tech. This month, we continue the....

Read more
Fresh Tech: June 2021

Fresh Tech: June 2021

Our monthly series — Fresh Tech — a collection of fun things on the web that sparked our interest with their fresh takes on tech. This month, we enjoy the....

Read more
Fresh Tech: May 2021

Fresh Tech: May 2021

Our monthly series — Fresh Tech May — a collection of fun things on the web that sparked our interest with their fresh takes on tech. This month, see how....

Read more
Fresh Tech: April 2021

Fresh Tech: April 2021

Our monthly series — Fresh Tech — a collection of fun things on the web that sparked our interest with their fresh takes on tech.  April is Earth Month Wherever....

Read more
How to save money on mobile app development

How to save money on mobile app development

How to save money on mobile app development If you’ve been thinking of hiring a company to build a mobile application, you may be concerned about the potential for high....

Read more
Fresh Tech: March 2021

Fresh Tech: March 2021

Welcome to Fresh Tech, our monthly collection of fun things from around the web. In our March summary, we cover Women's History Month, Remote Work and Screen Free Saturdays.

Read more
How does a cloud migration work?

How does a cloud migration work?

How does a cloud migration work? You’ve heard the phrase “cloud migration” before, but what does it mean and how does it work? Essentially, a migration to the cloud involves....

Read more
Green information technology solutions for a better future

Green information technology solutions for a better future

Green IT, improve IT, sustain IT Implement green information technology solutions and save on energy consumption, resource allocation, and financial expenditures. Consider moving to the cloud to free up internal....

Read more
Assess your IT systems after going remote

Assess your IT systems after going remote

In the brave new world of COVID-19, remote work is the new norm. For many companies, the transition to remote work has involved a fast, hard pivot…often a painful one.....

Read more
Tech That Subtracts

Tech That Subtracts

We aren’t unique in the San Francisco area in that we often struggle with the fact that our lives have become increasingly complex, with constant demands on our attention and....

Read more
San Francisco Small Business Resources

San Francisco Small Business Resources

A Hidden Gem: San Francisco’s Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center If you own your own business in the Bay Area or you’re thinking of launching a small business, you may be surprised....

Read more

The Agile Family

Today we discuss the concept of the agile family, and whether the idea works or is just more agile silliness. Let's get into it...

Read more

Upcoming Bay Area Tech Events

It can be easy to get caught up in the daily grind and forget that when you live in the Bay Area, you have easy access to some of the....

Read more

Startups and the JOBS Act

Seems like everyone wants to get on the startup bandwagon these days. In case you were on a retreat or were completely unplugged over the past week, President Obama has....

Read more

Tech Overload? Join the National Day of Unplugging

With the mass proliferation of smartphones, many of us struggle with the obsessive urge to constantly check email and update our social media profiles. The endless opportunity for distraction may....

Read more

The East Bay Startup Scene Heats Up

We’re probably not the only entrepreneurs who have wondered why the East Bay isn’t more of a hub for innovation–especially considering the proximity to UC Berkeley and the comparatively affordable....

Read more

Multi-Touch Computing on Any Surface

A Screen-less Touchscreen from OmniTouch If you’re willing to brave the silly factor and can handle the weight of an odd projector perched on your shoulder, it is now possible....

Read more

Outsourcing Life’s Little Tasks

Got a pile of laundry and no time for washing? Looking for someone reliable to pick up your lunch? TaskRabbit.com is an online service that connects people who need to....

Read more

The Rising Trend in Standing Workstations

Lately, we’ve noticed the increasing proliferation of standing desks at a range of offices in San Francisco. This may be old news for some, since this kind of setup has....

Read more

How the iPad is Changing Business by Bringing People Together

We’ve all heard about the ways the iPad and iPad 2 tablets will help us live happier, sexier lives through our enhanced ability to know and see anything, anywhere, anytime. ....

Read more

iPad 2 to Take Over Mobile Teleconferencing

As mobile technology advances steadily, it becomes more clear by the year that we are just that much closer to being truly connected to each other. Emails and voice serve....

Read more

Contact us

Type of project
*Don’t worry – we won’t share your email.
*Don’t worry – we won’t share your email.