The Great Narrative: 10 Golden Decade Memes for 2022

Lucian Tarnowski
3 min readJan 21, 2022

Our stories shape our reality. Positive narratives are a prerequisite to a thriving future.

Society is undoubtably experiencing a crisis of hope which is being exacerbated by systemic failures. As a result, it is much easier for us to imagine a dystopian future than a positive one. The 2022 Edelman Trust Barometer continues to demonstrate the worsening world war on trust at all levels of society.

Radical hope is essential to charting our path towards a thriving civilization in harmony with all life. With this intention, I share the third edition of 10 Golden Decade memes for 2022. This began in 2020 during my 12th year in Davos for the World Economic Forum with the first Golden Decade memes and last year I published the 2021 Golden Decade memes. If these resonate with you I invite you to share them and use them in your own storytelling.

The stories we tell about ourselves will determine what we become.
We are Gaians living on an interdependent planet. There is no Planet B.
We make sense of our world through the communities we belong to. Thank you Adam Robinson for this one!
The future belongs to us all. Instead of ‘The Pitchforks are coming’ a better narrative is Billionaires financing planetary transformation for the benefit of all.
The impact of our ancestors can be transmuted into a planetary purpose.
A thriving future depends on all of us finding our purpose and unleashing our potential.
Creation is the most powerful counterbalance to entropy. Systemic transformation takes design and creativity.
We need Planetary Talent for the Planetary Age. Talent is most essential capital for change.
Transformation accelerates exponentially as we decentralize our societies and systems.
We are the generation with the capacity to transform our world from extractive to regenerative.

As with previous years, I synthesized these from many friends and systemic change leaders that I’ve engaged with largely through the United Planet Game — A game designed to develop narratives and strategies from the future. I’d like to thank everyone that has been part of this ambitious initiative thus far. A special thanks goes to Jamie Wheal and his fantastic book ‘Recapture the Rapture’ which I believe is essential reading to understand the nature of the meta crisis of meaning in society as well as solutions for a thriving future.

This week sees the completion of the virtual Davos Agenda. Earlier this month the Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, Professor Klaus Schwab, wrote to me as a member of the Young Global Leaders community with a copy of his new book he authored with Thierry Malleret called The Great Narrative. In the introduction they write:

“Why do narratives matter? As human beings and social animals, we are storytelling creatures, and the stories we tell (the narratives) are our fundamental tool of communication and transition. Narratives are how we make sense of life; they provide us with a context, thanks to which we can better interpret, understand and respond to the facts we observe. Most importantly, compelling narratives have the power to inspire us to act.”

Inspiring us to act in transformative ways is part of the mission of the United Planet Game.

These are the Golden Memes from the previous two years:



Lucian Tarnowski

Founding Curator of United Planet and the UP Game: a time travelling immersive reality game to design a thriving civilisation in harmony with all life. WEF YGL