I often wonder about the potential of long-term thinking. What would be possible if we all thought truly long term? Not a three-month plan. Or a one-year plan. Or a three-year plan. But a ten-year plan. What would happen then?
What if we thought BIG, and mapped our ideas and hopes and dreams out over ten years? Impossible is Nothing, as Adidas says. I think I can get down with that.
When coordinating the Ireland – Japan science research programme, I was struck by the power of the Japanese long-term mindset. I met researchers in the University of Tokyo, who were planning experiments for high performance computing infrastructure that hadn’t even been developed yet. And at a medical devices company, one of the R&D managers explained that junior researchers had to allocate some modest but significant proportion of their time to figuring out the problems we will face in 20 years. Incredible. Maybe that is why they have all those mega companies with R&D budgets larger than the size of Ireland’s.
Of course, you need to implement this kind of plan in the medium, short and immediate terms so that you can move towards the goal. Focus must be the key.
So for J Con, I am constantly swaying between what needs to happen now and trying to focus on the long term. Of course, there are a million and one things I need to do right now, to make sure the plan doesn’t fall apart before it even starts. But I’m trying to place the real goal further down the line. To think about what J Con could be, if I thought long term.
If I had a ten-year plan for J Con – anything could happen.