Take Hold of Your Future - be Futurewise - strategies for growth

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Video of keynote at Google travel industry event - structure around Futurewise - Six Faces of Global Change - see below.

We need to be Futurewise.

That means planning to change tomorrow, future-thinking at every level, taking a broad view to out-plot the opposition and grow your business.

Being Futurewise is about more than mere predictions, it’s about shaping the future, making history, having contingencies, having clear strategies, staying one step ahead.

This is an extraordinary time to be alive, at the start of a new millennium.

This millennium will witness the greatest challenges to human survival in human history, and many of them will face us in the early decades of its first century. It will also provide us with science’ and technology beyond our greatest imaginings, and the greatest shift in values for over fifty years.

While no one can predict the future, there are fundamental processes at work which have many consequences. From these we can plot out reasonable expectations - things that could happen which need to be considered and prepared for. That is the futurewise challenge.

The M Generation

Few people have woken up so far to the impact of the millennium. My children are the M generation. Their entire adult existence is being lived in the third millennium.

The M Factor will not be instant but it will be profound, far-reaching and very long lasting. Expect to see the M Factor affect every aspect of life on earth over the next 150 years. .

We are seeing it already in many countries, as a radical rethink about values and sustainability. Indeed, whenever I talk to people about the future, they talk to me of their concerns for themselves, their families, their communities and the whole world.

Making sense of our history

The human brain makes sense of the past by dividing it into inter¬vals: the day matked by the sun, month originally by the moon, year by season.

Then there are decades and centuries. So the nineteenth century becomes the Victorian era, and is seen as a single defining period with its own distinct culture and traditions. But unlike the sun or moon cycles, these time-stones are entirely artificial, set in concrete only by the diary of humankind.

They are entirely the product of a human need to pigeonhole events into neat time¬frames. And four time-events were to hit us in the same instant. New year, decade, century and millennium.

Every decade has a character

Every decade has its character. Only a millisecond of eternity separ¬ated the sixties from the seventies yet we all recognise instantly the music, style and architecture of the sixties. The same could be said for every decade in the last 100 years.

It is totally irrational to think that whole periods of human existence can be neatly framed by decades, centuries or even millennia dated from the hypothetical birth date of Jesus Christ, but they are. We all know what we mean when we say that a building is nineteenth-century. By the year 1904 people recognised that the old century was dead.

Get into the third millennium

Expect third millennial fashion, clothes, radio, television, culture, music, art and social codes. The real winners will be those who tap into this huge shift - and help define it. What television producer will want to produce second millennial TV? What clothes designer dare risk his annual collection being labelled as a rehash of tired late twentieth-century fashions or the 20 hundreds?

Every creative talent will be focused on trying to interpret what the third millennium means. Expect to see radical shifts by 2025 in every aspect of art and culture with eccentricity pushed to the limits of every extreme, before settling down into a third millennial rhythm of life.

Changes can be dramatic - look at the shifts in social customs and dress from the eighteenth to nineteenth to twentieth centuries. Do we really believe the globalised dark suit and tie will still be standard uniform in 2050? Expect not only major shifts in fashion but also revolutionary new fabrics.

So what does third millennial life look like? Faster, more technol¬ogy-dominated, data-obsessed but more intuitive, sensitive and environmentally aware.

The lesson of history is that the pendulum always swings. It is never still except for a millisecond at the outer limit of each swing. It is true that at extremes the pendulum moves relatively slowly and it is far harder to tell the current direction. It never swings true, but always twists somewhere new..... so where will it swing for you?

Adapted from Futurewise book by Patrick Dixon.


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Thanks for promoting with Facebook LIKE or Tweet. Really interested to read your views. Post below.

September 21, 2011 - 02:10

Superb inforamtoin here, ol'e chap; keep burning the midnight oil.

Join the Debate! What are your own views?



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