NAVIGATING MICROCOSMS: Beneath and Beyond Our Own Universe

The phygital continuum has prompted us to navigate worlds that depict and reflect our lived and imagined realities.  With the powerful impact of mysterious science and marvelous art on our daily lives, we are compelled to create and imagine our cosmos as we explore and discover new stimuli for human growth.  We unceasingly traverse territories that provide us with experiences–both mundane and sublime–in our quest for an alternative universe.  The scalar extremes of our macro- and microcosms tickled our imaginations and triggered us to view both our virtual and physical realms as overlapping with and encompassing each other.

When did this journey of self-exploration begin? What provoked us to bravely steer through unchartered virtual landscapes? Why do we choose to go beyond what already exists in our minds? Our voyages have shifted from being purely physical and external (going to distant lands where we exhaust all our senses to perceive and savor the travel experience)–to becoming virtual and internal (searching introspectively using our mental and emotional faculties). 

Cecile Poignant , a popular figure in trend forecasting and brand identity, has asked in her website article feature Voyage Sonore the question: how does one make motionless trips? Collaborating with musicians, sound engineers, polyphonic artists, and filmmakers, she conceived and launched an episode from a series of hybrid events providing exciting immersive experiences which could be enjoyed at home.  Exploiting the idea of time travel, their collaborative outputs stir and seduce emotions through a highly-stimulating visual and auditory showcase of how we may redefine voids and spaces. Via hybrid experiences, the immersion is exciting and eerie–allowing us to touch base with both the tiny and the immense aspects of our inner worlds.

In our previous article What is Virtual World?, we have surveyed and scoured through the ideas reflecting the purpose and essence of a virtual world and its meaning to individuals and societies.  We examined the categories and contexts within which these imagined realms circulate as they expand and reach across generational groups and markets.  Imperatively, we also dealt on the significant role played by digitalization in its conception and creation. More than just being a form of escapism, we recognized it as a useful tool for becoming better problem solvers.

How do we see and imagine our future worlds? Scouring through past literature on the topic, we find a trove of views and visions from great thinkers and futurists from the past–their imaginations and conceptions of how we looked forward to the future.  A century ago, we already had a vision of how the executive office would have looked like fifty years down the line. Not too distant from what actually came to be, our Visions of the Future provided exciting glimpses of visionary worlds combining anticipated advancements in technology with foreseen societal shifts in demographics and lifestyles.  We take lessons from history to help us avoid bias traps and generate new ways of ideation–bridging the gap between experienced and envisioned realities.  We saw movements toward very distinct directions dictated and influenced by strong attachments to nostalgia and its interaction with forward-looking passions in uniquely artistic ways. Retrofuturism is one such vision pushed and propagated by  Then there were those who found pleasure in conversations and discussions on the ideas of Utopia vs Dystopia, taking it further and exploring the idea of Protopia–which argues that our future worlds should strive to be better, not perfect. The has heavily navigated these conflicting yet complementary foresights benefiting from the wisdom of key figures in futures thinking.  

New World Same Humans is a newsletter on trends, technology, and society. In an article featured in LinkedIn and taking inspiration from one of the fathers of futures studies, David Mattin explained how Professor James Dator’s FOUR FUTURES Framework could help us plan for what is to come. Developed half a century ago, this sensible source of reflection provided much inspiration for the possibilities and predictions of forthcoming realities. It guides and reminds us to constantly view our present realities through fresh lens.  This processual framework is basically categorized into four keywords:

  • GROWTH–direction, pace, and scale
  • COLLAPSE–failure and demise
  • DISCIPLINE–controls and conditions
  • TRANSFORMATION–transcendence and evolution

Becoming more aware of these puts us in a better position to assess our current situation as we prepare for what is next.  Individually and as a collective in a society, gaining and nurturing this mindset make us more aware and conscious of everything happening to and around us–in a more critical, sensitive, empathic, practical, and most importantly, humane way. 

We live and experience our existing realities based on what we know and how we do as inherited lessons from the past.  Are these enough ideas for us to better figure out how our futures might be like? As ACIIID has sought answers to a term reflecting these current thoughts on our imagined futures, allow us to ask you once again: what is metaverse for you?

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