TEDX Youth may be over, but Thomas Frazer from creative agency Common Ventures recaps all the important bits and bobs you should know about the talks.
Of all the amazing talks at this year’s TedX Youth talks, the phrase that really resonated with me subconsciously was that of chronophobia: “the fear of time”, as discussed by design theorist Tony Fry. Though this was mainly relating to the broader notion that as a species we are not preparing for the earth’s imminent and transforming landscapes, this illusion of permanence is something that seems pertinent still in day-to-day life.
We all tend to hold on to the present and pine for the past through different forms; I listen to soppy, reminiscent music, others consume as much as their cards can handle and some even have their buttocks lifted. In our own ways we don’t want to consider losing another day which means that hardly anyone is looking past the next day, or even their next birthday, to a point where we have to relocate total cities in response to rising sea levels.
The personal application of this information is as yet unclear, especially in countries that don’t already have to start building reactionary/preventative sea walls, like in Jakarta. Obviously, not everyone is going to have the means or the skill set to help strategise and provide solutions for this changing landscape – not many people have ‘one thousand billion dollars’ in their vocabulary. However, it’s a reality with which people will have to deal in the next 50 odd years so we’re going to need to start comprehending it and realising its impact on our future economies.
The relocation of one city in Florida has been estimated to cost three and a half thousand billion dollars for example, thus we are going to have to start forecasting and accommodating for the impact it will have on our economies globally. We can’t blindly avoid acknowledging it and wait till the sea is knocking at our doorstep to start cramming for financial and mobilisation solutions. Rome wasn’t built in a day, so similarly, it can’t be moved in a day.
Identifying and challenging the human flaw of chronophobia in ourselves is not only a way to become more open-minded towards current planning and financial forecasts relating to future city relocation globally, but it will help us to simply be better people, fundamentally. If we realise how insignificant and impermanent we are as a species, we may not put as much emphasis on timeless beauty and rather accept the sagging backside. We may just be that tiniest bit nicer because in 50 years that shitty parking spot you’re fighting tooth and nail over may be 10 metres under water. In which case, even if the sea levels stay put, the world is a better place.