Project Kinect is so happy to call Madison, Wisconsin home for so many reasons. One of the biggest reasons however, is because Madison is filled with forward thinkers and positive social change makers. One of them is Rebecca Ryan. She is the founder of Next Generation Consulting, is a futurist, an author, and a public speaker. And basically, she rocks. A couple weeks ago, she published a little piece on her Facebook page, “I am a Liability to the Status Quo” that we found brilliant. Here it is in the entirety:
I am a liability to the status quo.
Last night, I was having drinks with the executive director and the chairman of a board I serve on. They shared another board member’s response to my strategic ideas: “You know,” he said hesitantly, “Rebecca’s a fighter. And she’s W A A A Y out there…” He was pointing to the future, or the edge of his vision. I’m not sure which.
I felt a little guilty about this. I wondered if I’d put our chairman or ED in a bad spot with this other board member.
So I slept on it. And I’ve come to this: if you want to preserve the status quo, if you don’t want to stretch your vision, I’m gonna make you uncomfortable. And I’m willing to fight mightily for a future that benefits all of our children. Here’s my secret: in every meeting, I imagine a row of chairs occupied by kids I’ll never meet, people who will be born long after I’m dead. And I think about what decisions I can make today that will benefit them.
That’s not “out there” in the future. That’s in here. (I am pointing to my heart.)
So screw anyone who wants to judge me because of their lack of comfort with the future or their discomfort with conflict. Future generations aren’t going to look back on us and say, “Thank you for maintaining the status quo. Thank you for continuing with your consumptive, environment-killing, selfish ways. I know that’s what made you comfortable, and I’m so glad you valued your comfort over my future.”
I’ll continue to be a liability to the status quo. And I’ll work my face off to help others do the same.
If you want to see a little more of Rebecca Ryan’s brilliance, here is a video. It is a few years old, but still embodies her forwardness, honesty, and greatness.