Bruce Sterling did not disappoint me at the closing of SxSW. A cynic futurist and gifted speaker, he has a tradition of naming the things exactly as he sees them, without dressing them up. While he usually writes with vinegar, he switches to vitriol in his talks.
The closing speech was a 45 minute ranting, where Sterling gave Exxon Mobile, the Catholic Church, politicians, Berlusconi, Google C-levels a full broadside of his legendary fuming.
“Women, cast away all the cowards from your embraces, “ gives a good idea of the tone of voice, but it got even better when Sterling invited the young generation to take over an overheating planet from the generation that let it happen: “Go away, Boomers! You need to take power, millennials. I’ll vote for ya! Move to Austin, take over the town, and create a global youth movement. Boomers, shut up, your days are gone. What you should study now is collaborative consumption. Days of rage, baby. Be realistic, demand the impossible! “
Sterling was steaming about the fact that, while nuclear power plants are burning, and the planet is heating… the people who can move the needle sit on their coach, playing with their PlayStations and Wii’s. He’s convinced that without a revolution, the necessary efforts to save the planet and invest in clean technologies that will allow us a future will never be made.
Sterling points out that it is the millennials who should grab their future now. And they have the ultimate weapon to enforce things: the power of a social net.
All they need now is rage.