As the world reassesses its future after a difficult 2020, a cast of unforgettable characters is ready to take society on a journey of enquiry into intriguing scenarios that will enable people to explore their future financial lives, vicariously, through story.
The provocative Upshot anthology of thought-provoking fiction for financial reality, by a group of top fiction writers and curated by internationally acclaimed author Lauren Beukes (top picture), launched online.
Beukes has a knack for foreshadowing the future. In a recent review of her latest book Afterland in the New York Times, the famous Stephen King described the pandemic novel, which had been four years in the making, as “splendid”. The Washington Post in turn said “Beukes’ tale of a mother and son in a post-pandemic-ravaged landscape is prescient and taut.”
In Upshot, Beukes is future-gazing again. The collection of seven stories she curated take society’s present concerns and translate them into future scenarios that require of the reader to think about their life and investment choices in new and revelatory ways.
Contributors include Arthur C Clarke award-winner Tade Thompson from UK/Nigeria and acclaimed authors Sam Beckbessinger, Angela Makholwa, Bongani Kona and Mohale Mashigo.
“The stories range from a rollicking pension schemer wheeler dealer with space bikes to a blue-economy love story set in the kelp forests, and an AI financial advisor that wants to make life decisions for you. Readers will also encounter would-be retirees faking their own deaths, a moving debt slavery reality TV show, a nuanced take on a universal basic income experiment in Nigeria, and every parent’s nightmare in a kid-repossession story,” says Beukes.
The anthology was commissioned by the purpose-driven investment firm RisCura.
“Upshot is an anthology of stories that contemplate an uncertain future through a financial lens. Financial decisions that may seem abstract to us today will impact us and our future world in 2050 or 2070. We need to start today to invest in the life and the world we want — the implications of our decisions are critical for us and the fate of the planet,” says Malcolm Fair, Managing Director of RisCura.
“The Upshot stories pose important questions about how we can create safe and prosperous futures through the financial choices we make. They are a call to action for the fatalist and a wake-up call for the unconscious,” he says.
Fair goes further: “When we imagine what the future might hold, we can better define the upshot and we can take action now. After all, our financial decisions aren’t only about money and numbers, it’s about the lives and futures of all the people who are impacted by those choices.”
RisCura commissioned the book, because the company has made it its mission to accelerate systemic investment practices that would ensure that the people of this world have “safe, effective and responsible savings”. The company is trusted by institutional investors and investment managers from around the world who come to them for investment advice, management and insights on how to protect and grow the savings of ordinary citizens in balance with the wellbeing of society and the planet.
RisCura provides investment decision support to clients with combined assets of more than $150 billion across both developed and emerging markets. The team at RisCura pioneered goals-driven investing in South Africa 20 years ago and still takes pride in atypical, fresh approaches to solving the world’s most pressing investment challenges.