2020: “Changing, It Rests” (Heraclitus)
In sociology, but also in navigation, to understand where we come from and where we go, we need to know where we are.
Stephen Chbosky, American novelist, screenwriter and film director, quotes: ” We can’t choose where we come from, but we can choose where we go from there.”
Fiduciary services provider, Abacus, is based in Douglas, Isle of Man. Irrespective of their background, many people may not know where this jurisdiction is located.
In June 2016, the Island held an event called ISLEXPO. It celebrated the enterprising spirit captured by the Isle of Man’s mantra of ‘Where You Can’ and demonstrated opportunities for starting, growing or relocating a business on the Island. Above all, the Expo’s aim was to integrate the Island into a broader project, a vision that will culminate in the year 2020. A project that does not want to express the final place as to where we are going, but it just wants to outline a nearer and more immediate one.
In the past, sociologists, historians and economists enjoyed imaginary scenarios and proposing futuristic visions, along with overviews based on technical studies and data. It is therefore easy to find interesting studies on longevity, medical progress,birth rates, population studies together with scientific and technical reports in respect of IT or the biomedical sector. Rich-data papers on economics, development, GDP, energy production proceed with dissertations on the omnipresence and malleability that the future era could donate to humans. New concepts such as ‘teletravel’, ‘telentertainment’, ‘telerelationship’, are commonly used as they try to describe new stages of the processes expected in due course. These prove that everything could be possible by now.
Even though the above words can trigger a fervid imagination, equally it is fascinating to imagine where this Island, its businesses, our Company and we will be in the future.
We are continuing to produce and consume agricultural goods and producing and consuming industrial goods: our present society is actually characterised by the fact that the centre of the productive and social system is no longer the production of material goods, but new intangible assets: information, services, symbols, values and aesthetics.
The Isle of Man, and Abacus certainly, have always aimed to develop the production of ideas and services. To generate ideas we need “factories to produce the ideas”: laboratories and universities, for example.
Changes and adjustments are to be considered as an integral part of corporate essence, we should not be afraid in relation to what the future may reserve because “Changing, it rests”, said Heraclitus. The Greek philosopher claims rests by changing. A fire is constantly changing as the flame blazes up and up and never at any moment does it seem constant even if we call it the same fire. In fact, if the fire stopped changing in this way, it would die down and stop existing all together. As well as fire, so everything is dependent on its change for its existence.
Based on our mental make-up, we are designed for change, not to stand still. We are animals in a permanent mind-body movement. Our body never stops, not even at night, as our brain never stops because at night it is dreaming. That means we will be able to live our future with success because we would accept any change with great flexibility.
In the mid-twentieth century, there was a differing of views between two great architects: the well-known Le Corbusier, and Oscar Niemeyer, famous Brazilian designer.
Le Corbusier said: “Architecture is the masterly, correct and magnificent play of masses brought together in light. […] Light and shade reveal these forms; cubes, cones, spheres, cylinders or pyramids are the great primary forms which light reveals to advantage. The image of these is distinct and tangible within us without ambiguity. It is for this reason that these are beautiful forms, the most beautiful forms.” He put space first and absolute linear order.
Oscar Niemeyer replied: “Right angles don’t attract me. Nor straight, hard and inflexible lines created by man. What attracts me is the free and sensual curve — the curve that I find in the mountains of my country, in the sinuous course of its rivers, in the body of the beloved woman. When you have a large space to conquer, the curve is the natural solution.”
I strongly believe that Abacus, made of ideas and services, and Isle of Man, made of mountains and sea, would be able to live through the changes by this “free, sensual and curved” keystone.
These are the elements that I hope are leading us to 2020. This is the wish.