December 19th, 2012
Almost three years ago, on 01-01-10 I wrote a column called “The Transformation Decade”. On this digital date I suggested that this decade would be shaped by massive transformation. The dictionary definition of transformation is “a change in nature, shape, form or character”. This means that this ten-year period will be a decade when most of humanity’s institutions will do exactly that.
Since that date, in columns and speeches around the world I have found that not only was this forecast correct, but that this definition helps people to better contextually understand the ever greater amount and accelerating speed of change.
Companies understand that if they are not changing to some degree the nature, shape or character of their businesses that they will not only fall behind marketplace changes, competitive changes and customer changes, they may not be in business in 2020. Many CEOs and others who have heard me speak about this Transformation Decade have requested that I write more in-depth about it. Well, now I have. In my new book “Entering the Shift Age” , Part Three is all about this amazing ten year period. It is available by itself as a mini-eBook .
The Collapse of Legacy Thinking
Humanity has largely powered into the 21st century thinking 20th century thoughts. Similar to McLuhan’s statement that most people drive down the freeway of life looking in the rear-view mirror, most people have been looking back to the way things were or worked in the 20th century. No …
October 28th, 2012
[ This first appeared a week ago in my Shift Age Newsletter. ]
In the first eight months of 2011, I made some economic forecasts relative to the global economic landscape. As a futurist, that is part of what I do, as people always ask me about the future, particularly economics. It is only fair to be accountable in this regard.
Here are some of the forecasts I made, with current commentary:
In January of 2011 I said that the growth rate of the US GDP would be 2% for the year. Well I got that one right. In January of 2012 I said that I thought this number of 2% growth would be the same for 2012. That looks to be on target as of now.
In early 2011 I started saying that the “Greek Debt Crisis” should start to be called the “death rattle of the Euro” and that there was a 50 -70% chance of the Euro going away Well, the Euro is still with us, but it is now abundantly clear, as I have written here and here that even if the Euro does not collapse, or more likely the Euro zone shrinks in number of countries, that Europe will be in for a no growth period for the better part of this decade. It is currently in recession and since growth is the only way out of the massive debt overhang, it will be a long time before Europe …
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 …
February 25th, 2011
In the past I have written that as a futurist, it sometimes feels like I live in a state of déjà vu. I spend a lot of time researching and looking into the future to develop the forecasts and trends that I write and speak about. I experience them, see them, and have varying degrees of certainty when I publish or present them.
Since 2011 began, so many of the forecasts and trends I predicted over the last four years are coming true, I feel as if I’m in an almost constant state of déjà vu. Now, as I spend some 22 hours traveling from Chicago to Singapore, scanning stacks of periodicals from around the world, this feeling is amplified.
I will write a lot in the coming weeks and months about all these forecasts and trends. As a futurist, I should be judged in part on how accurate I am, so it is indeed gratifying that many of the events/trends I predicted have become reality in 2011. The purpose of all these upcoming columns is to be able to point to actual events as the manifestations of what I have been speaking and writing about since 2006, when this blog began, and 2007, when I wrote The Shift Age. This will help explain the truly transformative time we are now entering. In a few years, the world will look quite different from what it did in 2010. The early evidence is everywhere in 2011.
Here are some of the trends and forecasts …
September 1st, 2010
Last November, I wrote a column here about the future of cable television. In that column from last November I forecast:
“Cable television subscriptions will experience noticeable percentage declines in the next three to five years.”
Last week it was announced that for the first time in history paid television subscriptions dropped 216,000 with cable taking the greatest hit.
The conventional wisdom of course is that this is due to the bad economic conditions of today. Of course that is a factor, but the times have been bad for the past two years. The new dynamic is what I touched upon in last year’s column; that the video viewing marketplace is fundamentally changing, that disintermediation is entering the living room with televisions with internet connectivity and that people have become increasingly comfortable with alternative screens. In addition, people have come to accept paying for what they watch. The cable television model is based upon having people pay for all the channels they don’t watch. Why would people who willingly pay for what they watch any longer except paying for channels they don’t watch?
Of course, a decline of 216,000 subscribers is nowhere near a “noticeable percentage decline”, but I believe that this first ever downturn will be looked back upon as the early indicator of the trend I forecast last year. As for the rest of that forecast from last years’ column:
“This decline will only be slowed if they [cable operators] accept unbundling and price per channel. This will cause a variety …