Neoteny

Joi Ito on neoteny:

"Neoteny is the retention of childlike attributes in adulthood. Human beings are younger longer than any other creature on earth, taking almost twenty years until we become adults. While we retain many our childlike attributes into adulthood most of us stop playing when we become adults and focus on work. When we are young, we learn, we socialize, we play, we experiment, we are curious, we feel wonder, we feel joy, we change, we grow, we imagine, we hope. In adulthood, we are serious, we produce, we focus, we fight, we protect and we believe in things strongly. The future of the planet is becoming less about being efficient, producing more stuff and protecting our turf and more about working together, embracing change and being creative. We live in an age where people are starving in the midst of abundance and our greatest enemy is our own testosterone driven urge to control our territory and our environments. It's time we listen to children and allow neoteny to guide us beyond the rigid frameworks and dogma created by adults."

File under qualities for the 21st century.

February 27, 2010 | 09:39 PM