Are you useful? That was the question I saw and heard loudly in a dream I had in the Fall of 2013. I was so troubled by this dream that I woke my wife up and shared it with her—just a background story about myself. I see visions, I dream dreams, and they come to pass. God reveals things to me in dreams. So I usually write them down and share them with my wife.
Now I'd like to share this dream with you in this blog post.
I was dropping off food and supplies to people co-living in an old school building. They were from many backgrounds; some came from the upper middle class, and others from the very poor. I remember this family that came from a privileged lifestyle and was a new community resident. The mother, who was coming with her daughter, was worried about the people who stayed there. The mother walked in to ask for her room and supplies, and the lead community member noticed she was scared and wasn't used to living with people of diverse backgrounds and different walks of life. The lead community member welcomed her and her daughter with open arms and said, "We are all family here, baby!" I remember the people talking about how things changed suddenly with no warnings. The city became a Smart City, and they couldn't understand how everything functioned and who controlled it. The advances in technology and AI caught them by surprise. They weren't considered valuable, and work had changed and become self-directed, without a need for human interactions.
This dream took place at night. The city was bright with LED-like lights that powered the city. I noticed the town didn't look like any other city but was self-governed and intelligent. Everything ran by itself: transportation, communication, information, and highly advanced security surveillance systems. AI gathered data from the city and its residents to prevent system failures and unnecessary energy absorption. I remember that there was an autonomous bubble-shaped vehicle stationed, and I walked toward it to invest in the company that owned it. I remember just walking toward it, receiving the information about the value of the shares, and purchasing the company. There were no cash or card interactions with this buy-out. I remembered just looking at it and was able to confirm the payout.
The city wasn't running like today's cities. There was no mayor, no city officials, and no laws and enforcement. It just was. From my observations, these are the things that were invested in or deemed useful. The areas are as follows: technology and innovation, urban planning, human services, food and water, energy, and transportation. The stuff we see today is temporary; the areas of change were: the roads, utilities, automobiles, street lights, communications, buildings, and other infrastructures. Today I see pieces of the development of Smart Cities and the structure needed for them across the globe. To name of few, Drone-based farming, AI-based cyber threat detection, 5G and or 6G, automated guided vehicles, smart ambulances, and IoT technology. Based on my dream, the future cities will track or monitor people, systems, robots, wastewater, air, flooding, sewers, and almost everything. These monitoring systems must be in place, and humans will not like them. However, the future idea is to eliminate things that are not sustainable and energy efficient. Also, the city was owned and managed by companies. What?!
Now for a plan of action for people to prepare themselves. City officials need to start preparing for this shift. Again, I will use Milwaukee, WI, in this example.
- Every neighborhood needs Learning Centers that focus on the future of work, the future of banking, tech & innovation, and entrepreneurship. The Learning Centers I'm talking about are not daycares, literacy centers, and GED centers--but more like hubs.
- Labs for innovation and R&D in the inner city. Yes, in the hood, because we do a poor job at investing in ALL people within the city.
- We should not pressure schools to fulfill all the learning needs of our students. We should not waste our resources on problems the way we have in the past. Instead, we should focus on investing in processes that will prevent the problems in the first place. Politics, as usual, is not going to work.
- Safe places for healing and human development.
- Utilize every city-owned lot for innovative developments or growing food, not things or businesses that destroy communities.
The time is now!