2021: Creating a Lexicon of Future

Ruth Glendinning
4 min readApr 30, 2021

L is for Language

It feels kind of meta to highlight the word ‘language’ in a lexicon, but it’s truly our first and most powerful shared technology.

Languages are comparable to other technologies humans have invented to survive more easily; including hooks for fishing, spears for hunting, and fire and pots for cooking. ~ Language could be humankind’s most impressive technological invention

How do those who have been living in a future that’s only now becoming real to others guide them away from what they know, into the unknown? As Buckminster Fuller rightly noted, we need to provide tools to build the bridge to what’s next.

Language goes beyond the spoken and written word

In our complex modern communication-driven world, language is more than words, and our lexicon must capture both the power and nuance: it’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it.

I picked the examples below because the originators sought to bring forward parts of themselves that might not otherwise come out.

I was especially struck by the story ‘The Language of Gender Violence’ in which the perpetrator of the violence disappears from the narrative and the impression we’re left with is that the woman has to ‘own’ the identity of being battered. It’s this kind of social narrative that has brought forward extended questioning all of our identities in today’s quickly-changing world.

I believe art installations like the sea urchin project and organizational messaging as practiced in the Philippines can create environments in which we are able to discover who else we are, deepening the complexity of the story & the participants.

Visual Language

Giant crocheted installation of urchins floats above city marina: The designers say that the concept was to create a “visual filter” and a “lacy room” of sorts where visitors can enter and feel a sense of wonder.

Seeing hovering and glowing lacy objects against majestic skyscrapers and dark water would make them pause and gaze. This momentary pause of the mundane routine of our life would hopefully give us an opportunity to find the poetry around us.

The Language of Gender Violence: Katz used a whiteboard on the platform at Mead…

Ruth Glendinning

Poet // Future Story Lab // Lexicon of Future // Anti-Fragile Playbook // Peace Economics // FundHer Network // Originator S.L.O.W. Tech // #womenswork