In the last column here, I pointed out that a number of my Shift Age forecasts have come true. I wrote about several of them and how I get an odd sense of déjà vu when these forecasts become reality. In this and coming columns, I will revisit them – not to gloat, but to provide explanation, because people read and hear forecasts differently from explanations of the actual events they become.
In 2007, I forecast that humanity, and particularly the developed countries of the world, would enter the “reorganizational recession of 2007-2010.” Considering that this is a blog that looks into the future, it might seem contradictory to be looking back at this event, but by doing so, I can explain why it was accurate and why understanding it will help us better navigate and understand what lies just ahead.
The reason for the length, breadth and depth of the 2007-2010 recession was that it was a reorganizational recession between the Information Age and the Shift Age. Most economists look at recessions through the eyes of history, measuring whatever recession we are currently in against past recessions. Phrases such as “this looks to be another jobless recovery similar to the recessions of the 1990’s” or “the recovery will be on the back of the consumer – when the consumer starts spending, we will emerge from this recession” (both paraphrases) are common and represent economists looking at economic downturns purely through economic filters. That is why they have had to keep revising …
March 23rd, 2010
In the past year I have found that framing conversations about certain topics with the context of being of the 20th century or of the 21st century to be clarifying for most people.
I have written extensively about humanity being in transition between the Information Age and the Shift Age. Those who have heard me speak or read my writings come to understand and accept this. That said, this is a higher concept than the simple reality of the calendar. No one can dispute the numerical fact that we are 10% into the 21st Century, unless you want to debate whether the scientific concept of linear time verses the older concepts of cyclical time or chaotic time.
Once you start to look at the world, its’ institutions and both business categories and specific companies, through this 20th versus 21st century filter, things become clearer.
Here are some examples:
|20th Century||21st Century|
|Airport domestic||LaGuardia||Denver International|
|Energy||fossil fuels||alternative energy of all sorts|
|Transaction costs||significant||moving toward free|
I could go on for pages, but the lists above should both provide clarity and food for thought.
A very simple way to look at the world is through this filter as it will bring clarity as to what will last and what won’t, to what will be significant and what will not be. It is clear that companies created in the 20th century that …
December 9th, 2008
We are coming to an end of the greatest financial age of sports in history. The twelve years between 1996 and 2008 were years when the money around sports exploded beyond any precedent era. This also means that, going forward, the economics around sports in general will decline, at least for the next 5-8 years if not longer.
The bookends for these 12 years of explosive financial growth are the Atlanta Olympics in 1996 and the Beijing Olympics of 2008. The Atlanta Olympics were the first post-cold war Olympics and, being held in the U.S. created a huge marketing platform. The Beijing Olympics was the coming out party for the most populous country in the world and gave recognition to China as a major player on the world’s geopolitical and financial stages.
In 1996 cable television had become a dominant media force in the U.S. ESPN, and all of its networks, was beginning to take its’ place as the behemoth of sports television. Regional sports networks, TBS and TNT soon joined the party and it seemed that sports were everywhere on TV. The broadcast networks and all of these cable entities competed for the rights of all major sports. The fees paid to the NFL, MLB, the NBA, and the college football conferences exploded. This led to dramatically increased player salaries, advertising rates and, for the consumer, rapidly increasing cable bills. Of course it also led to much lower ratings as nothing was special any more. Even though Monday Night Football on …
November 6th, 2008
Barack Obama is now the President Elect of the United States. For all the reasons that have been mentioned across all the TV channels and in all the newspapers around the world, that is an incredible statement.
I am thrilled by this historic and transformational event. It is nothing less than that. I have much to say about this event and will do so in subsequent columns. There are shifts in consciousness, politics and perception that have already happened in the U.S. and around the world.. There are many more that will take place due to Obama’s victory on November 4, 2008. I will write about them in subsequent columns.
As a futurist, as I have often written here, there are two experiences I regularly have. The first is that people often ask me about predictions or forecasts I have made that have come true, and that is fair to ask. The second experience is often a type of dÃ©jÃ vu experience, when something I have forecast actually happens. It feels as though I am reliving it. This historic victory by Barack Obama provides me with an answer to the question and the experience of reliving a prediction.
In the Fall of 2007 I started predicting in speeches and conversations that Barack Obama would be the next President of the United States. On January 1, 2008, in this column I finally put that in writing in this column, before the Iowa caucuses. Then, on July 24, 2008 I wrote:
“On election night the headlines …
October 15th, 2008
A column here two weeks ago placed the financial crisis within a historical context. The financial meltdown is part of the disruptive transition from the Information Age to the Shift Age. We are moving through a period of turmoil when the old order is being replaced by a new order. The nation state economic model is being replaced by a new global model. We are at a time when the old ways no longer seem to work and yet the new realignments are not yet clear.
In the United States there have been three great waves that have arced over our society during the last 30 years. The incredible run up in residential real estate values since the late 1970s was the first arc. Except for a short period in the early 1980s and then again in the 1990s, the value of residential real estate seemed to go ever upward. This of course created a great sense of wealth for those that benefited. In the early part of this decade millions of households took advantage of historically low interest rates to take out billions of dollars of equity to use for purchases. This 30 year cycle obviously came to a crashing halt two years ago.
The second arc was the historic bull market in stocks that started in 1982 and, with a correction in 1987 and again in 2000, continued to its historic high in 2007. This arc also created a great sense of wealth for millions of …