Imagining tomorrow shapes it
To create a future worth investing in requires us to look at what it might hold. It’s why we’ve created an anthology of parables set in the near future. The themes in these stories were conceptualised by RisCura’s investment experts. And then taken into rolling, human stories by a diverse group of authors from internationally acclaimed best-sellers to powerful new voices. All curated by international best-selling author Lauren Beukes.
They pose important questions about what could happen if we, as an investment industry, care or don’t care about the investment decisions we make.
Because when we imagine what the future might hold, we can better define the upshot. And then take the necessary action to ensure the investments we care for are prepared for them. After all, this isn’t only about money and numbers, it’s about the lives and futures of all the people who are impacted.
Lauren Beukes, curator
Other animals dream, some apes play pretend, but as far as we know, humans are the only animals that tell stories.
There are evolutionary reasons for that, of course: stories are for passing on knowledge, communicating ethical values, of trying to understand the world and who we are in it. Stories see a way through, they allow us to imagine, to play, to connect with big ideas and other people. They provide a different perspective.
They’re an empathy engine, a way of connecting to other lives, other experiences, other minds. The best stories engage and surprise us. They carry us away, and we in turn carry them inside us.
Stories allow us to be more than we are.
We’re living in unpredictable and uncertain times. Our whole lives right now are “what if”. It feels like we need stories more than ever, as an escape and entertainment, but also as a way of engaging with big ideas and the real, human issues that affect us most.
A year ago, RisCura approached me to curate a collection of original short stories that imagined possible financial futures or alternate realities.
I picked some of the best writers I know, whose work is bold and imaginative, deeply human, and also has something to say about who we are in the real world. They range from award-winning novelists and bestsellers to fierce new voices.
We workshopped seeds of ideas with RisCura’s team, based on their philosophy of care and recognising that rational investment decisions are underpinned by emotions when it comes to people and money. Some of the ideas were based on present day concerns like how to pay for your child’s education; others explored “what ifs” like what would happen if the retirement age was raised, or what if credit scores were public knowledge; and yet others looked to the future, exploring the blue economy around oceans or how universal basic income grants might play out.
The storytellers grew those seeds into what-if worlds that are a little different from our own, and in some cases, very much so.
They range from Angela Makholwa’s rollicking pension schemer wheeler dealer with space bikes to Sam Beckbessinger’s blue-economy love story set in the kelp forests, and an Artificial Intelligence advisor that wants to make life decisions for you, to Mohale Mashigo’s would-be retirees faking their own deaths, Bongani Kona’s moving debt slavery reality TV show, Tade Thompson’s nuanced take on a universal basic income experiment in Nigeria, and every parent’s nightmare in Charlie Human’s kid-repossession story.
They’re highly entertaining and often startling and maybe they’ll provide a new perspective on our current world, a way of thinking differently.
I hope you’ll enjoy reading them as much as I have.