DOBBS: And "Heroes" tonight, Second Lieutenant Emily Perez, a remarkable young woman, the highest-ranking minority female in the history of West Point. She was killed in Iraq last month, leading her troops in battle. Barbara Starr has her story.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): What her family remembers most about Second Lieutenant Emily Perez is her smile. Her parents now mourn the little girl who became, for a short while, a young commander, leading troops in Iraq.
VICKI PEREZ, MOTHER OF 2ND LT. PEREZ: When she was a little girl, she wanted to be a nun, and I told her, Emily, we're Baptists, you can't be a nun.
STARR: Last month, 23-year-old Emily became the first West Point female graduate to die in Iraq, when her convoy was hit by a roadside bomb. She was bringing medical supplies to field units. Emily entered West Point shortly before the 9/11 attacks, quickly rising to a leadership role inside the competitive cadet corps. She never planned to go to West Point, but after visiting during high school, her parents say she was hooked.
V. PEREZ: When people would say, well, what's your second choice, she would say, I'm going to West Point. And I would say well, Emily, you know -- no, mom, I'm going, and she didn't apply to any other college.
STARR: After Emily went to Iraq, her mother never stopped worrying.
V. PEREZ: I would wake up in the middle of the night, and send e-mails to her when I heard the news, and she would call -- one morning, as a matter of fact, I sent her one answer me ASAP, and about two hours later, the phone rang. Ma, you need to quit looking at the news.
STARR: The young soldier, who ran track and started an AIDS ministry at her Baptist Church became more than 50 military woman that have died in Iraq. Technically, the U.S. still does not allow women to serve in front line combat positions. Her father, Daniel, a former soldier himself, has no doubt his daughter was on the frontline.
DANIEL PEREZ, FATHER OF 2ND LT. PEREZ: Emily was one who always lived from the front
, and her thing was I'm going to be in the lead vehicle because these are my soldiers and I have to bring them back home safe.
Barbara Starr, CNN, the Pentagon.[+]
For those people immersing themselves in the discipline of strategic foresight it seems obvious that the issues facing the world are immensely threatening and that action, on an almost unimaginable scale, will be required to ensure a safe and desirable world exists for future generations. If this is so obvious to those actively developing and focusing their foresight skills beyond the ‘here and now’, then why isn’t the rest of the world also taking notice and more importantly, taking action? This is one of the frustrating aspects of the field of foresight. How do we implement strategic foresight on a global scale? What needs to be done for people to wake up, take notice and change?
The Tipping Point
, written by Malcolm Gladwell
, investigates epidemics of social change and provides a well researched viewpoint on why some ideas, fashions, trends and social behaviours gain incredibly quick acceptance and adoption whereas others pitter out before they begin.
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The truth is that strategic foresight is actually the means to an end and not the end in itself. Strategic foresight is about bringing the potential futures back to the present for interpretation to enable solutions and actions
to be identified and implemented. The outcome of strategic foresight is action
. This is where the theory of epidemics and Tipping Points may have application in implementing strategic foresight. It provides one framework in which change, whether social, behavioural, educational or individual, can be implemented quickly. [+]