2024: The New Story

Nancy Giordano
6 min readJan 1, 2024

Welcome 2024! We knew this past year was going to be a fast one, but it somehow always seems surprising we are here already (even for a futurist!). No doubt, there is a lot waiting for us in the 365 days ahead: many new things to learn, many new people to meet, many new ideas to consider, many new conversations to have and many new things to build. But before we launch into all this, we invite you to take a moment–and several deep inhales (and of course, exhales too)–to reflect upon what you have in your basket as you begin this new adventure:

What stories, beliefs, experiences, relationships, and resources are we each walking into this new year with? What/who could use a little extra compassion love? What are we ready to move away from? What maybe is missing?

Living in the Light…

I chose “Open” as my 2023 word and was thrilled that led me to visit 11 countries and spent 11 weeks outside the US on four different continents!

Though very little of this was visible to me on Jan 1st last year, clearly I learned a lot basking in the warm, healing embrace of Malaysia and the infectious, gracious energy throughout Kenya. I was encouraged by the Women’s Museum in Morocco and the many visionary builders I met at Kinnernet in France, HATCH Europe and across Latin America. I landed in Dubai at the world’s biggest gathering of futurists and was able to catch the front end of COP28. And I was invited to chat about what all of this means with people like Jack Madrid, enthusiastic and thoughtful CEO of IBPAP in the Philippines who is leading business process management for organizations across the world.

What the future needs and expects of us is becoming increasingly clear.

My mighty team rocked as we produced another energizing Careers For The Future event for college students, launched a new batch of Femme Futurists Society interviews (along with a very pretty new look)…and delivered over 30 keynote + executive team sessions. In my corner of the world, things couldn’t look better.

Dancing in the Dark…

All of this said, I also more keenly felt the losses we are all either experiencing and/or witnessing. I am so outraged at the violence innocent children are experiencing across our globe, the U.S. included. And pained at the regression women face, even in some of the most progressive circles I travel in. How can this be in 2023?? The more potential I see ahead — and there is so much! — the more angry I had become at the constructed hurdles in the way. It felt very heavy to carry the weight of both the potential and pain, and challenging to stretch across this growing gap.

Thankfully, I am surrounded by so many who are walking the same thoughtful path and who offer me kindness, inspiration and an abundance of light. They reminded me that if we ruminate on the dark, not only will our health and relationships take the brunt, but there is a danger that it pulls us into an emotional black hole…and then what good are we?

As my long, dear friend Sunni Brown/Sun Kagami put it yesterday, Star Wars is real! She also then sent me this beautiful essay she wrote about the potent Korean word haan; as she puts it “part of why haan has such power to disturb is because, for better and worse, humans are driven by story and haan brings with it a subtle but pervasive narrative, which is that something should have been different, someone should have intervened, somehow a thing that happened cannot have happened because it defies natural laws we must believe in so we can keep on living.“ Thankfully she also offers a game to help us shift out of this because if we hold too close to pain — if this becomes our overriding story — we lose our ability to experience (and share) joy. Our light goes out.

The Transition Story…

The truth is that we have been anticipating this moment for years; we could see the advancement of the liminal gap: this often uncomfortable space in which what what we are familiar with is cracking in the light of new awarenesses about the limits of our planet and the injustices that built much of it, while the new is not yet visible enough to find comfort in. We are wading in more deeply now, confronting both the loss and very real deaths of what we both knew and what we imagined would come next. We are exploring what this means for all our work as we are being asked to reimagine what a world that works for everyone looks like (as my pal Whurley puts it).

Is it possible to transcend beyond the tug of war of patching or mourning the breakdowns and pouring energies into the new? What does it take to imagine and breath life into a new story? This is the work I’m exploring and invite you join.

A Transcendent Story…
“Exponential Strategist” feels like the more accurate way to capture the work I want to do now, so I recently promoted myself. :) I don’t see the future as something abstract we need to predict; it is here. And we are each actively building it with every decision and conversation we have (with ourselves and with others), so is important that we fully embrace the responsibility that comes with this extraordinary, exponentially impactful moment in time. That we take stock of the story we are living in.

Excitedly, I will be spending more time at home this new year diving into a new documentary that I have been asked to co-produce that questions the tension between “Humanity vs Capitalism” and shines a spotlight on the emerging socieo-economic structures/metrics/stories that are shaping this new era.

I’m also hungry to learn more about our vast interconnectedness and along with Tamsin Woolley-Baker’s work on Teeming and Nora Bateson’s on Warm Data, I love my buddy Byron Reese’s new book, We Are Agora, that “asks and tries to answer whether humans are part of a larger living organism. Are we cells in a larger creature — a superorganism”? And assuming so, then of course I wonder what this understanding makes visible and more actionable that we may have been blind to until now?

We have so much more to work with than we know. And because as author Anais Nin put it “We don’t see the things as they are, we see them as we are”, if we want things to shift dramatically, it’s time we had a change of story.

While I’m still trying on my guiding word(s) for 2024, it will be somewhere in the neighborhood of “Building Beauty”. This is where my energy is going. So imagine me wrapping you in love, and let the light be with you as we welcome in this brave and bold new year…one we have so many opportunities to be proud of, together.

Xo, Nancy



Nancy Giordano

future of leadership, strategic futurist, global keynote speaker, & author of LeaderING: The Way Visionary Leaders Play Bigger → find out more at leadering.us