Picture yourself at 11 years old in the mid-1960s. Neil Armstrong has just taken a giant leap for mankind, propelling the U.S. Space program further into orbit. Rockets fascinate you. So does learning algebra, shooting baskets, and watching the girls on the playground of a New York junior high school. In other words, you’re enjoying being a kid.
One day, that shifts. A doctor whispers to your mother in hushed tones, as you sit on the cushioned table in his office, dangling your legs off the side.
“Diabetes?” You’ve never heard that word before. No one in your family knows what to do with it, or with you, now that you’ve been diagnosed with it. So they do nothing. Nothing to help you cope with the endless needles, fears of amputations, or questions that will linger the rest of your life, which the medical community tells you will be cut short. Forget having children, you’ll be lucky to see your 30th birthday.
Might as well live it up, it is the 60s after all. Even though you go to Yale to get a degree in organizational psychology, your true love is photography. Celebrity photography. Album covers with Grace Slick, Jefferson Starship, Annie Lenox and the Eurythmics get parlayed into broader shoots with mainstream media. You become a celebrity behind the camera, capturing erupting volcanoes for National Geographic, eclipses for Smithsonian, and space shuttle launches for NASA, Time Magazine and others. Your collection becomes the basis for Corbis, which you sell to Bill Gates for a new future.
Doctors may have left you with questions about death, but photography portrayed answers to life, encouraging you to see the world’s problems through a different lens. One that pictured a vision for something greater – for your children, their children, and generations to follow. Something that would help people realize science and spirituality aren’t at odds with each other. That many of the answers already exist, often inside ourselves. And if we can tap the collective consciousness, and pair it with the beauty of science, many of the challenges of our time can be solved – on the planet, within ourselves, and throughout humanity.
That’s a basis for hope. And the genesis of Visions of Tomorrow.