Navigating the Liminal: Embracing Our Collective Journey Towards Evolution — Future Day 2024

philip horváth
5 min readMar 1, 2024


Image credit: DALL-E

Sometimes I grapple with a sense of despair. Observing the global landscape, it appears as though humanity is on a regressive path, as if we slipped back into the 20th century. With armed conflicts and a sudden focus on feeding the military industrial complex that Eisenhower already warned us about, it seems like we are being pulled backwards in time.

Yet, my interactions with my community of future-oriented individuals — from artists and entrepreneurs to intrapreneurs and futurists dedicated to crafting new narratives and solutions for our world — allow me to choose to be optimistic and believe in the potential for significant progress.

However, the stark contrast between this belief and the reality portrayed by the news prompts a critical question for me: Can we, as a species, truly make it?

As an optimist, I choose to believe in a 50/50 chance that humanity will still be around in 2050. 50/50 by 2050 for me stands as a symbolic crossroads, encapsulating our collective aspiration and the uncertainty that shadows it.

The Challenge of the Liminal Space

In the middle of all the current transformations, liminality, the uncomfortable threshold between what was and what could be, poses a unique challenge. It segments us into three distinct groups:

  • Those yearning for a return to an idealized, non-existent past, clinging to bygone ways of doing things.
  • Individuals caught in the inertia of the present, frozen and indecisive, waiting for someone else to “fix it”.
  • The forward-thinkers, who are determined to forge ahead, in search of like-minded souls to join their quest of actively creating the future.

The natural inclination to contract in the face of stress is a result of our innate survival mechanisms. Overcoming this instinctive resistance to creation requires deliberate effort. Resistance is the natural counterforce to creativity as Steven Pressfield pointed out in “The War of Art”.

In my own experiences, the first few minutes of confronting internal resistance are pivotal. Making the conscious choice to push through this barrier is the first step towards unlocking creativity and our capacity to be creators of the future.

Our prefrontal cortex plays a crucial role in managing fear and making decisions as Andrew Huberman pointed out in this excellent podcast on the neuroscience of fear. By actively engaging and training this part of our brain, we can shift into a mode of conscious choice, essential for overcoming the challenges we face and not freak out.

ARO: Awareness, Responsibility, Ownership

At LUMAN we teach that Leadership is a constant process of expanding one’s Awareness, taking Responsibility for what we become aware of, and consequently moving into more and more Ownership over our reality. It involves both situational and strategic practice.

In every situation where we experience resistance or conflict, the first step is stop for a moment, to check in on what we have in our field of awareness and how we can expand it by perspective taking; to then deliberately respond rather than react, so that we can come from a place of ownership. We are, after all, creators of the future, not its victims, as Buckminster Fuller pointed out.

This requires practice, it requires a strategic approach, which can start with small steps like a morning ritual, and taking the time to plan for our future, rather than just letting time slip into the future. Even, though, of course, no plan survives initial contact, and current strategy is less about five year plans than about decision trees and learning cycles.

This deliberate practice empowers us to become architects of our own dopamine pathways, in a world where external forces vie for our attention and offer fleeting rewards. We live in Dopamine Nation as Anna Lembke pointed out.

Rather than succumbing to the easy allure of social media, e.g. why not invest time in more enriching pursuits? For instance, I replaced my morning social media numbing with learning Japanese on Duolingo — and it’s really addictive. For me, even this simple step was a source of fostering more meaningful dopamine. It is an example of how we can ultimately encourage solutions that captivate and facilitate positive choices. A the moment I am super curious how we can utilize behavioral psychology for good, how we can gamify creating the future.

Making the Future Enticing

To envision a future that is both desirable and attainable, we must understand the underlying needs that drive human behavior, so we can come up with more sustainable strategies. It is crucial to recognize that diverse motivations, such as the need for belonging, can lead individuals to support various ill-intended causes. Just recently I heard about a young woman who voted for a far right political party, and that she did so, because they had the best parties and created a sense of belonging. The fragmentation seen within the progressive political spectrum, driven by individual pet issues, underscores the need for a unified vision — a purpose that transcends singular agendas and inspires collective action.

Envisioning a Planetary Species

Imagine a world where we embrace our role as a planetary species, one that honors local cultures and celebrates the diversity of our 8 billion inhabitants and the ecosystems we find ourselves surrounded with. This vision requires moving beyond the narrow confines of expecting conformity to our own ideals for acceptance and overcoming the paradox of separation and oneness. We get to move even beyond a polytopia and focus on creating eutopia, making earth a good place for all.

By embracing conflict, instead of fueling it with more arms, we can uncover the shared needs beneath our divergent strategies. This fosters a deeper understanding that, despite our differences, we are all part of the same tapestry of life. We are the embodiment of evolution, and it is imperative that we choose this path consciously if we wish to not just survive but thrive as humanity.

As we navigate this liminal space, we get to embrace this journey with open hearts and minds, committed to evolving together towards a planetary future where every single individual no matter how different they might be from us, is honored, respected, and recognized as a vital thread in the fabric of life.

Happy Future Day 2024!

Are you curious about the future? Already actively creating it? Want to learn more about transformation or share with me how you are mastering it? Please connect and reach out on LinkedIn, my website or if you are leading transformation at your company and can use some support via LUMAN.



philip horváth

culture catalyst ★ planetary strategist — creating cultural operating systems at planetary scale — tweeting on #future, #culture, #leadership @philiphorvath