Year 2020 showed us that uncertainties are the only certainties we have.
It showed also that establishing goals and plans is good, but that things may not go as expected, or even happen at all.
Year 2020 taught us a lot of things and, before our very eyes, we saw the world change dramatically. From off-line to digital. From VUCA to BANI.
You may have heard about the VUCA acronym already, but what about BANI?
In this post, we will see a little more about this new term, which is the object of much talk throughout the market.
Keep on reading!
The Vuca world
In another post of our blog, we have already explained what the VUCA world is.
This acronym is composed by the words ‘volatile’, ‘uncertain’, ‘complex’ and ‘ambiguous’, and was coined in the 80s, during the Cold War period, to explain the adversities of the military universe.
At that time, such words still didn’t make as much sense to humanity in general as they do today – where things change in the blink of an eye and technology evolves exponentially.
For our human way of thinking, which is linear and handles one thing at a time, is often difficult to keep up with so many changes. But more than ever, we must exercise our brains to get used to VUCA and now to BANI too.
What is the BANI world?
The BANI world is an acronym made up of the words ‘brittle’, ‘anxious’, ‘nonlinear’ and ‘incomprehensible’. The creator of this new concept is Jamais Cascio, American anthropologist, author and futurist.
He has written several publications on the future of human evolution, education in the information age and emerging technologies.
In 2009, he entered the Foreign Policy Magazine’s list of 100 Global Thinkers, and presented a famous TED about the future of humanity in an unpredictable scenario.
The futurist participated also in a National Geographic documentary called “6 degrees that can change the world”, which investigates the effects of global warming on our planet.
Know the meaning of each word in the acronym:
In the BANI world, a system can work well on the surface, even if it’s on the verge of collapse.
Therefore, precautions must be taken not to rely 100% on operations, even if they appear reliable, flexible and unbreakable.
In our days, any market may be about to break; and this happens, most of the time, as a result of the constant maximization of profit.
In addition, when in crisis, some sectors – such as supply chain, power and global trade – can cause disruptions in several others and, consequently, in the entire world.
Information is the new oil, but too much of it creates a big problem: anxiety.
While technologies are here to help us make decisions, you will inevitably feel powerless and unable to make important choices in times of pressure and tension.
The result of this situation is passivity – seeing things happen without any action – and at the same time you feel dependent on others’ choices, even though you know that they may not be the best option for the common good.
In a world with so much information, threats and fake news, it’s crucial knowing how to deal with circumstances in a positive way. We must take some distance from situations, see the good aspects and opportunities, and develop creative problem-solving solutions.
The pandemic showed us the importance of emotional intelligence, and how it’s an indispensable factor to get rid of the crisis in a quick and serene way.
In the BANI world, cause and effect are no longer a feasible structure in all cases.
Nowadays, we feel as if we were inside a non-linear film, where things go back and forth successively, and the end doesn’t seem to be where it should be.
Therefore, devising long-term actions and plans doesn’t make sense any longer. The effects of decisions on the economy, climate issues and public health may not have a date to emerge or to end.
Many of the global warming problems we are experiencing today are a consequence of decisions taken by the industry in the 80s. Just as the challenges and barriers imposed by the pandemic have still uncertain dimensions in the future of mankind.
In the current context, there is no more beginning, middle and end. You must be prepared to move forward and back a few places in the game, at any time.
Living in a fragile, anxious and non-linear world makes most of the events, causes and decisions incomprehensible. The human being is obstinate in finding answers, but isn’t always possible to find them for everything in the current scenario.
Interestingly, having more information doesn’t mean unraveling more meaning about the things that happen. In fact, it’s the exact opposite: the noise increases, along with the difficulty to find a universal truth.
In contrast, linear human thinking and our ability to understand the world remain the same.
The BANI scenario may seem like a dystopia, as the number of anxious and depressed people grows every day.
However, we also never had so much access and tools to change things with which we disagree, and build desirable futures for everyone.
Therefore, if the only option is to move on, it’s up to each of us to study and gain strength, as a preparation for the unpredictability that lies ahead.
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