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The Second Manifesto: Welcome to the New Now

We are the people who will decide the future of our planet


It’s happening again. People, young and old, friendly or fearful, vibrant or forlorn, intently focused or nodding out while walking down the street of life, all feel the tectonic cultural shifts going on around them and rumbling through them. Look around. We are all now makers, creators, builders, and the people who will decide the future of the planet. The process of remaking and reinventing our lives is propelling us forward into a New Now.

Looking to the future and the past, we ask ourselves what really matters. The future is calling us forward, and some of us are acting to rebuild how everything works and create a new sustainable world. We are intent on keeping humanity human. We are feeling expansive and ready for the adventures and challenges ahead. Along the way, we’re each building our own answers from the ground up. Reinventing our lives and our culture. As we’re pulled deeper into the century stretching out before us, we’re heading into an uncharted land of transformative experiences at a time of challenge, renewal, and reinvention.

The experiential nature of living in this historical now is altering everyone on the planet. At an accelerated pace, there’s a rebirth of creating and a new joy about making things, rebuilding things, as well as the tearing down of old social systems. No person or place has been untouched, and everyone has a say. Tattoo it on your skin or frontal lobe: We Are All Creators. The creative force lives within our cells and organs. We are saying it in larger numbers every day, and we are saying it with strength and unity and individuality. Amidst the chaos and destruction, bright fresh flowers are rising up from the Earth.

One day, not so long ago, appearing in our hands and on our heads, as if by magic – the interconnectivity devices were deployed, and over time even more transformative technological leaps have promised to make us newer, shinier versions of ourselves. Leaders in technology and media have claimed this era as the Digital Age, but a more accurate name for these times we’re living through is the Age of Reinvention.

In the Age of Reinvention, whole societies and individual lives are being re-envisioned, restructured, rebooted. As our cities and societies crumble, new ways of living and interacting are waiting in the wings, ready to be switched on. New minds have been installed. Science has shown we can rewire and transform our own brain. Time and space will be overcome and readjusted to reflect our new minds and new hearts, and we’ll continue to adapt to the recurring tsunamis of environmental, societal, cultural, and global disasters and challenges.

Nighttime Garden / Collage on paper / 2015 / Russell C. Smith

We are living in a time when being stuck in the past is a form of death. The year 2020 is the start of a new decade, not just the beginning of a new year. Years accumulate and roll through our memories like pages flipping in books. Hours and days flow through our lives and we become more aware of how we fit into the changing world around us. In this New Now, we require visionaries, makers, scientists, empaths, builders, and culture-shifters in every field.

Learning from the past and time traveling through books, films, musical artifacts is a wonder and a gift. Accessing the historical brilliance of creative spirits compels us forward. But living in a cyclical past of repeating mistakes over and over isn’t sustainable, as a person or a culture. Without hesitating and without giving in to fear or willful ignorance – we’re remaking how we interact with each other and reinventing tech, art, work, relationships, love, architecture, social systems, cities, bodies, food supplies, water sources, and modes of communication.

Being alive now is unlike being alive in earlier, unconnected centuries. The eco-system of the planet is speaking to each of us. In shouts, cries, and whispers. At the same time, technology is morphing and mutating all of us. Speaking to us and transforming us in a different way. New creative strands of DNA deep within each of us have been switched on. Nature is grabbing us by the collar and hollering into our ear-budded ears. We’ve opened digital doorways with our minds, and dormant survival systems that have been waiting millennia to be turned on. The New Now supports and believes in more social acceptance for all. Since we’re all in this together.

With economic and technological disruption have come freedom, creativity, and chaos. People can experience all the effects of these three states of mind in one day, or in one hour of their lives. Dive into the creative flow state to make what you must make, and become what you must become. Making personal changes centered on creativity, flow, and freedom have become a universal imperative. Choosing our own essential imperative is included in the digital code that’s already melded with our biological code. Freedom, wonder, and creativity have leapt off the screen and live on city streets, oceans, and mountaintops.

In the Age of Reinvention, people have become more of who they were meant to be. There’s no hiding anymore and there’s no reason to waste time. Time has always been the great leveler. Now it is both the most important thing on the planet, and the most expansive and expensive thing around. Time turns on a dime and is worth billions. Time is free when you choose it to be. Time is a renewable commodity carried around in invisible luggage. Time is what’s closest to our hearts and at the center of our being. Time can be an open door to forever when you’re in a flow state, or it can be a boulder crushing your spirit when you’re a bundle of suffering. It’s time for each of us to take back our internal clocks and redefine the meaning of time in our lives.

Information surrounds us, chases after us, and forces us to be more intelligent curators of our own minds/lives. New Now and future generations will never have known a time when the Internet, smartphones, streaming, a global climate emergency, AI, clones, drones, robots, and all that’s yet to become that didn’t exist. Buckminster Fuller’s Spaceship Earth and Marshall McLuhan’s Global Village have become reality — not in a faraway future, but here and now in the early decades of the twenty-first century. The past and our future-to-be have collided and intersected, asking only one thing of us: everything.

In the Age of Reinvention real human interaction is primary. Connectivity and community may begin online, but people are hardwired to read faces, communicate ideas, collaborate on projects, and make significant and lasting changes together. The Age of Reinvention has begun, and what we do with this expanded sense of connectivity and creativity is up to each of us.

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