Reports from the Knowledge Labs about our recent findings, research topics, and interviews with lifestyle leaders who are creating their own futures.
How to stimulate your own powers of foresight. Consider the following thought provokers. Ask yourself, in these categories what are the brand new trends and forces? Which are the ones growing in importance? Which current forces are loosing their steam? Which have peaked or are reversing themselves? Which are the "wildcards" about to disrupt us in the future? POLITICAL AND TECHNICAL thought for food: Electronics, Materials, Energy, Fossil, Nuclear, Alternative, Other, Manufacturing (techniques), Agriculture, Machinery and Equipment, Distribution, Transportation (Urban, Mass, Personal, Surface, Sea, Subsurface, Space), Communication (Printed, Spoken, Interactive, Media), Computers (Information, Knowledge, Storage & Retrieval, Design, Network Resources), Post-Cold War, Third World, Conflict (Local, Regional, Global), Arms Limitation, Undeclared Wars, Terrorism, Nuclear Proliferation, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Governments (More/Less Power and Larger or Smaller Scale), Taxes, Isms: Nationalism, Regionalism, Protectionism, Populism, Cartels, Multinational Corporations, Balance of Trade, Third Party Payments, Regulations (OSHA, etc.) Environmental Impact, U.S. Prestige Abroad. SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC Food for thought:
Labor Movements, Unemployment / Employment Cycles, Recession, Employment Patterns, Work Hours / Schedules, Fringe Benefits, Management Approaches, Accounting Policies, Productivity, Energy Costs, Balance of Payments, Inflation, Taxes, Rates of Real Growth, Distribution of Wealth, Capital Availability and Costs, Reliability of Forecasts, Raw Materials, Availability and Costs, Global versus National Economy, Market versus Planned Economies, Generations: Y, X, Boomers, Elderly, Urban vs. Rural Lifestyles, Affluent vs. Poor, Neighborhoods and Communities, Planned or Organic Growth.
The Journal of 2020 Foresight
Friday, June 20, 2003
The Outpost Summary
By Steve Howard, CKO
The Knowledge Labs
Table of Contents
Chapter One: Basecamp
Chapter Two: The Ridge
Chapter Three: The Outpost
Chapter Four: The Tribal Territories
Chapter Three: The Outpost Foresight Journals
Much of what Americans value most today -- yankee ingenuity and good old-fashioned know-how – we owe to our unique pioneering spirit. The Lewis and Clark Expedition is one of America’s great sagas. It touches the American spirit. It appeals to the adventurer and explorer in all of us… Just as its mission was to acquire knowledge two hundred years ago, we too can fill in the blanks of the uncharted territories. We meet Lone Eagle in his outpost to get a glimpse of some of the blanks over the next two decades from within Cabo San Lucas’ tourist cell network.
In a tropical paradise less than 1000 miles from the U.S. Mexican border, we enjoy the relaxed atmosphere, great food and drink – where the land ends and the fun begins – where you can golf, fish, snorkel, swim or dive, kayak, surf or sail. From the days of the original beachfront resort – the Hotel Hacienda Beach Resort, in a sleepy little fishing village --number of hotels rooms available has exploded – almost doubled in the last 5 years. But, does it fit the guidelines for investing in the so-called portfolio of tangible and intangible assets? The word on the street estimates is will take 15 years before Cabo hits world-class resort development status.
Over the next two decades from 2003 to 2020, just in terms of an economic climate, we anticipate a correction, boom, bubble, burst, bust, correction, and that long bear / depression. Which translates into more urgency to make the most of the next 5 or 6 years and then figure out how to hang on for a decade. The next 5 or 6-year boom can open up your opportunities – before it’s too late -- not just for lucrative jobs or entrepreneurial ventures, but for a real change in lifestyle. How will technology allow us to live in a place we might not have considered? Will a 30-year timeshare turn out to be a good investment?
Many of California's suburbs have shown classical late maturity indicators – a different set of growth signals that come with a higher cost of living, more real estate development, growing traffic congestion and a growing number of less healthful smog days. On top of that, as the weeks and months go by more and more employers downsize their operations. As part of cost cutting programs in reaction to the state’s business climate and their industry consolidation forces, they’re moving to other more economical geographic locations.
You can see the pattern begin to materialize. Mobility is a key factor that defines a neighborhood, since life stage changes often cause people to move. Life stage changes like: leaving the nest, graduating from college, getting married, having children, being promoted, emptying the nest, and retiring. People will also move when their neighborhood no longer provides a good match in terms of affordability and needs. People with similar cultural backgrounds, needs, and perspectives naturally gravitate toward each other. People choose to live in neighborhoods that offer affordable advantages and compatible lifestyles. With a little research and intelligence gathering you can use this information to your advantage.
Learning expeditions examine whether or not a new town or area fits -- the birds of a feather feature. You can determine if a town is attracting people like you. You can tell if the people who live there are ones you'd enjoy as neighbors. As they gather information to make their own decisions, they share what they learn with each other. As current and future expedition members investigate features about an area, using the knowledge base saves them time. Because of its community of tribes feature – the network of people – it also speeds up the process of making contacts and getting introductions. From a real estate investment standpoint, you can find out if it is attracting the trend setting lifestyles of the more affluent. If it is then, the area fits your investment criteria, as well.
Learning expeditions have been identifying new communities for “Doing What They Love” by taking advantage of “Birds of a Feather” (BOF), the working title for the knowledge base construction. Whether it’s somewhere in the Caribbean, -- the Turks and Caicos Islands – or almost anywhere else in the world – you can take advantage of the 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon with the tropical resort team, or with “It’s Wired, Do What You Love Anywhere” team or the innovation-growth team, or the Idaho team, or the New Eco-topia team, or the 34 to 45 Age Group team, or the Elite Suburb team, or the Country Squires team, or any other of the dozen expeditions underway. You have the highest probability beginning in Dana Point, California, or Austin, Texas, or Parker, Colorado.
Connecting the dots. This new destination got its name from the local Indians who called it “Healing Water “ for the thermal springs that became a popular spa in the 1800s. The water reaches 153 degrees Fahrenheit and heats some of the town’s buildings. “It’s located near the Continental Divide in the San Juan National Forest enjoys abundant recreational activity supported by the melting snow flowing into summer lakes. For ski enthusiasts, a 23-mile trek brings you to Wolf Creek Ski Area on US 160 at the top of apply named Wolf Creek Pass. Year round recreational opportunities satisfy lovers of fishing, hiking, bicycling, rafting, hot air ballooning, skiing, ice-skating and snowmobiling. “ But, does it include any of the 6 trend-setting neighborhood profiles needed to invest in its real estate?
If we compare the progression of real estate appreciation from innovation, early growth, mid-growth, to late-growth and maturity to findings by the team profiling the state of Colorado do “sweet-spot patterns” emerge? You bet, Agri-Business and Big Sky Families frequent innovation towns with either a trend-setting New Eco-topia or God’s Country neighborhood. Moving up the curve to the resort ski towns both trend-setting neighborhoods show up together. Durango and Bounder include trend-setter neighborhoods, but diverge the most from the others. Boulder begins to look very similar to Reno, Nevada – while in different states, they both represent resort towns in late growth or early maturity.
From the beginning of the 1800s when Lewis and Clark explored and charted the West, a broad migration pattern headed as far as it could go -- to California.
But, between 1995 and 2000, according to the 2000 U.S. Census Data, for the first time ever more people moved out of California than migrated into California. Why? Jobs. Cost-of-living. Slower-paced lifestyle. And a variety of other wants and needs unique to each person. Many asked themselves basic questions. What preferences do we have given the current stage in our own individual lifespan? What do we enjoy about our neighborhood and area given its lifecycle? And, if we choose to work for an organization or to consult to an organization – what problems at its current lifespan do we enjoy solving? By overlapping those three lifecycles, anyone can zero in on opportunities to do what they love in a business, social, and quality of life climate that they’ll thrive in.
Of course, shifting economic cycles, bursting bubbles and political events help or hinder our ability to capitalize on those opportunities. Which is the point for spending time in The Outpost – to gather more information, get logistics worked out, and to fine-tune both personal and collective strategies. Think of it as a field location – a place where expeditions can explore various scenarios, monitor leading indicators, and figure out how to stretch limited personal resources to gain what they want. If you were on holiday, then your strategy is the whole itinerary of your vacation. The initiative may be the route you take highlighted on the map. And the tactics depend on what you hear and experience along the way about the road ahead? After a few days into your vacation journey, you can tell more intuitively how well you are doing. You can guess which shortcuts to take and which side trips to avoid. You sense how far you can go without refueling, stopping for food and water breaks. You feel more comfortable loading and unloading your vehicle at each hotel.
The lucrative fur industry and trade with the Orient drove the Europeans and North Americans to converge along the West Coast. Even before Lewis and Clark began their journey to map the Northwest Passage in 1804, Europeans had settled and colonized California. In 1768 Spain, spurred on by King Charles sense that other countries wanted California for their own, colonize the region. He sent Gaspar de Portola on expedition from Mexico to San Diego. Alexander Mackenzie became the first European north of Mexico to reach the Pacific Ocean on an overland route, beating Meriwether Lewis and William Clark who arrived at the coast in 1805. To the Europeans – the Portuguese, English and Spanish we add the two North Americans – Canada and the America.
Throughout history we can identify five economic offerings – commodities, goods, and services – the last two -- experiences, and transformations gaining strength today and tomorrow. Hudson’s Bay Company, one of the oldest, still active companies in the world, was almost 200 years old when Canada was created in 1867, roughly 20 years after the California Gold Rush. What began as a simple fur-trading enterprise evolved into a trading and exploration company that reached to the west coast of Canada and the United States, south to Oregon, north to the Arctic and east to Ungava Bay, with agents in Chile, Hawaii, California, and Siberia; a land development company with vast holdings in the prairie provinces; a merchandising, natural resources and real estate development company and, today, Canada's oldest corporation and one of its largest retailers. For the next half century or so Company officers explored and traded vigorously throughout the west and north and pushed south in a wide area from the sources of the Missouri River to San Francisco Bay.
When news leaked out, one of history’s largest and turbulent migrations ignited – the California gold rush. In 1849 the gold fever spread to ships crews, farmers, and everyone else who dreamed of abandoning their mundane life in pursuit of their own El Dorado. Commodities are materials extracted from the natural world: animal, mineral, vegetable. People raise them on the ground, dig for them under the ground, or grow them in the ground. After slaughtering, mining, or harvesting the commodity, companies generally process or refine it to yield certain characteristics and then store it in bulk before transporting to market. By definition, commodities are fungible – they are what they are. The risk is that when commodity extraction declines in economic value, profits move elsewhere to distribution and production.
Immigrants and miners flocked to the rugged Sierras seduced by tales of fortunes made during the California gold rush. The discovery of the Comstock Lode increased traffic and depleted the Tahoe Basin's natural resources to a dangerously low level. If it weren’t for the decline in the Comstock Lode, Tahoe’s forests -- the Eldorado, Tahoe and Toiyabe National Forests -- would have been destroyed during the 30 years following the Confederate War as its lumber industry strained to fuel and support the network of mines constructed under Virginia City. The region has had a hundred year love - hate relationship between the environment and development, so much so, that in 1968 the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency was established, ensuring environmentally responsible development for years to come.
Not only is the “greater Lake Tahoe region” a picturesque setting, but there's quite a bit of western history - both California and Nevada history. The whole period of the western frontier lasted just nine decades - from the beginning of the Lewis and Clark expedition in 1803 to Wounded Knee in 1890. Larry McMurty says what drove early pioneers and settlers, especially emigrants, was the intensity and depth of their hunger for land: American land, surveyed legal acreage that would relieve them of nomadism (and of the disenfranchisement of peasant Europe) and let everybody know that they were not shiftless people. Of course, to the Native Americans already living in the area, nomadism with its free access to the natural resources and hunting territories was at the core of their identity and belief system.
The second group of frontier heroes were pony express riders, stagecoach drivers, wagon train leaders, army scouts - the trailblazers who pointed the way to those who provided the communications and transportation for the wave after wave of new emigrants pouring into the western states. The St. Louis “Basecamp” was the last trace of civilization and the networking hub to exchange intelligence about what lay before the trappers, explorers, and settlers as they established “Outposts” between the “Gateway” and the California coast - throughout the established “Tribal Territories.” And it became the area for retirement for the first wave of frontiersmen as the second generation escaped to new adventures.
It isn't difficult to see the attraction that the two “Y” parks hold over today's visitors, yesterday's explorers, and the original people who hunted and lived within their natural beauty. The government set aside the two territories as national parks around the same time. Mark Twain's overland stage passed near Yellowstone in route from Missouri to Carson City, where he prospected for silver near Yosemite. The early river-based adventures in 1804 and 1811 - led by Lewis & Clark, William Price Hunt, Andrew Henry and Manuel Lisa -- paved the way. And, their online journals tell their stories as each unfolded in a much different time.
While credit for discovering the South Pass belonged to Wilson Hunt, instead of John Fremont, its discovery accelerated the mass overland migration West. Mark Twain described his overland experience in a great swinging and swaying stage with three fellow passengers. It all changed in one short decade, from a butt-busting battle of endurance for the buffest - a challenge for the most fit passenger to endure over a rock-riddled 1900-mile terrain -- to a smooth, rolling luxury hotel a decade later - “when perhaps not more than ten men in America, all told, expected to live to see a railroad follow that route to the Pacific.” And, the arrival of the Iron Horse accelerated the beginning of the end of the Native Americans' centuries-old way of life.
Looking at the 1513 - 1776 European colonization, the Eastern Native American territory in the pre-revolutionary colonization period, and the North American Native American Tribe maps while reading the expedition journals it's hard not to conclude that we Americans just pushed the native people off their land. It went from bad to worse as the first generation explorers discovered the routes connecting the rivers to trapping areas and eventually opening and documenting overland trails fueled by trade and hunting game - living within nature, ever vigilant to the weather, the wild animals, and the original people. Without reading the journals and only looking at the old maps, it's as if the territories were empty. And, now on today's maps the tribal names remain as landmarks - or even as towns - but the humans were forced onto worthless reservations.
A decade after and Hunt's adventures and Henry's expeditions, roughly from 1820 to 1830,and on behalf of a competing fur company, Jedediah Smith was the first to open the coastal trade route from California to Fort Vancouver on the Columbia River. Instead of maintaining a permanent trading post, like in John Astor's business model, Smith convinced William Ashley to bring a caravan of supplies from St. Louis and to meet the trappers at Henry's Fork on the Green River. Not only was Smith the first American to traverse California's rugged Sierra Nevada Mountains, he was the first to cross the enormous Great Basin Desert and return east, overland from California.
It wasn't Jedediah Smith or John C. Fremont, the better-known trailblazers, who discovered the critically important route through the Sierra Nevada Mountains in 1832. Hundreds of thousands of pioneers (two years after the 1830 Pre-Emption Act gave settlers the right to purchase 160 acres of public land) would follow Joe Walker’s footsteps to the golden state. And, nearly a half-century later, the transcontinental railroad seeking the best route west-would lay their tracks directly on top of Joe Walker's trail to California, and set in motion a chain of events that culminated with a dancing horse, the demise of Sitting Bull and the end of the Wild West in 1890.
In 1843, the Great Migration, a party of one thousand pioneers heads west from Independence, Missouri, on the Oregon Trail, guided by Dr. Marcus Whitman, who is returning to his mission on the Columbia River. Forming a train of more than one hundred wagons, and trailing a herd of 5,000 cattle, the pioneers travel to the South Pass. Once through the pass, they cross the Green River Valley to newly established Fort Bridger, then turn north to Fort Hall on the Snake River, which leads them to Whitman's Mission. Mark Twain, on the other hand, turns south and follows Walkers trail into Carson City. He then roams the region where Lake Tahoe defines the California and Nevada border, just before Nevada border shears off 45 degrees southeast.
Get rich schemes and tall tales – both consumed and sustained Mark Twain. Shuttling as much as he did between Carson City and Virginia City, it was San Francisco that captured his imagination – but it was Mono Lake that almost killed him – and his curiosity. In Aurora, after another adventure turned to dust, Samuel Clemens started writing articles for the Territorial Enterprise Newspaper. At a career crossroads, he came to grips with his ”Trapped and Permanently Temporary” situation after listed mining as one more on a long list of failed occupations. Like many other times, he left Aurora penniless and had to walk all the way from Aurora to Virginia City.
Boom. Bust. Boom. From lost cement mines and gold fever to Mammoth Mountains and snowboard fever. From speculators and promoters to the real McCoy who turned a lifelong passion and a Model T into an enduring recreational paradise for all the right reasons over seven decades. While the area trembles from time to time and threatens to blow up in some distant future, dynamic forces representing special interests debate the near future. More speculation? Or more compassionate conservationism? What would Dave do?
Cycles. They’re all around us. Underlying trends, largely unnoticed, carry us along in one direction for long periods of time until something new comes along – like an earthquake or volcanic eruption. Hitching our hopes and dreams to the prevailing current of time and events flowing around us is easier on us than the opposite – charging upstream against the current like salmon. The trick is to monitor the flow from time to time. Take a seismic reading. Playing out “long fuse, big bang” decisions in scenario stories – rehearsing the future, as it were – is one way to anticipate threats and opportunities before they impact our goals. Monitoring indicators along the way is the best way to tell us when events and cycle may have shifted – and when is the best time to activate “Plan B.”
Fierce self-reliance. Enduring hardships. Making do. Living with the pain and suffering. With adventure and the danger lurking around every corner. Speeding down the highway, passing town after town it's sometimes difficult to fully imagine what it must have been like for the Native American tribes and early settlers in the region. On a trip like this one, it's impossible to stop and enjoy everything, and next to impossible to fully appreciate this area's rich history - from Bishop to Independence, to Lone Pine and Big Pine, Red Mountain, Death Valley, Mojave Desert, Needles and finally to Laughlin.
At the Grand Canyon, it's not hard to view five of the different life zones found in the Northern Hemisphere, right here in one place. While you can search the four corners of the world, you won't find any other place that vividly lays out such a vast expanse of time before your very eyes. It is truly breath taking when you reflect on just the layers of rocks demarking the Earth's history dating as far back as 2 billion years ago and to a more recent era nearly 250 million years ago. The Kolb brothers explored the Canyon like so many other Native Americans, Spanish conquistadors and mountain men before them.
Novelist Tony Hillerman loves to roam this area-- known to the early emigrants from the east as the Great American Desert -- for a source of inspiration. He travels “the vast empty space, Indian reservations, mountain ranges, nameless canyons, old volcanoes and rough country where it is easy to get lost.” It’s the same general area where Cochise and his Apaches came through. Where Geronimo roamed. Where the Civil War played out after the Mexican American War and where Kit Carson called home - to the dismay of the Navajos.
Arizona was not as quickly populated as the other Western territories because of fear of the Apache and Navajo. The settlers stayed back, waiting, hesitating, wondering whether the empty, farmable, homesteadable land was finally safe. Most emigrants wanted to shed their nomadic way of life in return for surveyed legal acreage of American land. First the Native Americans objected but, then so did the Mexicans. Their disagreement ended in a war. Oh, and the Union fought with the Confederates.Kit Carson practiced the scorched earth policy of General Sherman against the Navajo Nation. And, I guess you could say things weren’t peachy for many decades, if ever.
Victory in the Mexican-American War brought a surge in patriotism with the acquisition new southwestern lands. Manifest Destiny became THE divinely-inspired mission to expand itself and its system of government from ocean to ocean and to the western frontier. One aspect of this doctrine was its principle to bring the ideals of democratic self-government to any peoples capable of it. In practice, however, this often meant excluding Native Americans. But, for eager settlers it translated into a broad desire to acquire new lands, since land could represent potential income, wealth, self-sufficiency, and freedom.
The experience of exploring Mesa Verde was like being transported into a different world, a different time. The centuries of inhabiting this area begins to slowly sink in – a time span lasting three or four times longer than the United States has been in existence. However, in the 12th or 13th century, over a period of one or two generations, the Anasazi vanished from this mesa. Because they left no written records, their story is incomplete. Their pueblos of Arizona and western New Mexico and those of the upper Rio Grande drainage greeted the Spanish expeditions into the Southwest in the 16th century. What began as a small trickle grew into a flood as several million Europeans and their descendents forced their ways upon the indigenous people of the New World over the centuries to come.
So much of the West owes its expansion to the railroad, and Durango, Colorado is no exception. Spanish conquistadores explored Colorado for riches, but instead they found a spectacular reddish-brown landscape they described as colorado - or color red. Most of the Colorado Territory came with the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 at the cost of 4 cents per acre - the land east of the Rockies. Zebulon Pike in 1806, explored the territory while Lewis and Clark made their way to the Pacific Coast at the Columbia River, explored Colorado to find the headwaters of the Red and Arkansas Rivers for two years. Pike's secret mission was to figure out how well the Spanish could defend their claims if push came to shove in the Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico and Texas general areas. But, it wasn't until August 5, 1881 when the railroad finally came to Durango's mining and smeltering center in the heydays of the gold and silver booms that the town took off.
Frederick Pitkin became a leading advocate among owners of wealthy mining interests who wanted to add the San Juan area -- one fourth of the Ute reservation -- to Colorado Territory.The Colorado War successfully removed the pesky Native American tribes -- the Cheyenne and the Arapahoe -- roaming to the east of the Rocky Mountains in the newly formed Colorado Territory. Next came the task of removing the Utes led by Chief Ouray in a series of treaties hammered out by Felix Brunot. After seven days of discussions, the chiefs agreed to accept the government's offer of twenty-five thousand dollars a year for the four million acres. As a bonus, Ouray was to receive a salary of one thousand dollars a year for ten years, or so long as he shall remain head chief of the Utes and at peace with the United States.
A relative roamed the Parker and Castle Rock region on his way back to Missouri after years working his claim on Lynx Creek near present day Prescott, Arizona. In a 1871 report on mining, he’s described as “… a fine specimen of a Western Pioneer, one of the men who have always kept in advance of railroads, and who doesn’t feel well unless separated from civilization by hundreds of miles of Indian country.” In letters he wrote back home to Missouri he describes the struggle between guarding against Indian attacks, robbers and the long distance he has to travel for supplies.
Making our way through the Colorado Ski Resort Country we stop in Pitkin County – at Aspen. As a governor Frederick Pitkin – or more specifically – his media campaign manager, William B. Vickers capitalized on Nathan Meeker’s printed stories about the Indian Agent’s failure to convert Ute Savages into model white citizens. In no time at all, Vickers embellished these and other stories into “The Utes Must Go” campaign based on paranoia. When push came to shove and Meeker was killed, the Utes like the Cheyenne, Arapaho, Kiowa and Jicarilla were removed from the state – only their names remained on maps and as town names
Leaving Aspen, Colorado we make our way past Glenwood Springs and on to I-70 again heading towards an overnight stay in Ridgefield, Utah. A local told us to stop at Green River – site of mountain men rendezvous -- our last chance to find gas for 100 miles. There we relived exploits of Father Escalente, Jedediah Smith, Jim Bridgers, Peter Skene Ogden, and John Wesley Powell. The scenery sparked a longing for sabbaticals and adventure tourism.
The Utah Territory, created with the Treaty of Guadalupe, became home of the Washoe Bunch – a non-Mormon faction in what later became the Nevada Territory and the State of Nevada. Brigham Young, the first governor was forced to resign by the U.S. Federal Government. With the arrival of the Transcontinental Railroad more new settlers arrived. .The trains also attracted the local Robin Hood outlaw, Butch Cassidy. To protect payrolls and government payments to the local tribes on reservations, the Buffalo Soldiers provided protection.
For 100 years, between 1776 and 1876, the southern Utah region surrounding Zion National Park slowly evolved through the fourth of four stages of human history. The early Euro-American explorers paved the way for the Mormon settlements. But life wasn’t easy because of “catastrophic flooding by the river (especially in the Great Flood of 1861-1862), little arable land, and poor soils made agriculture in the upper Virgin River a risky venture. But the settlers didn’t give up. For almost 40 years Mormons farmed the canyon until it was protected in 1909 and converted into a national park.
After covering some 3000 odd miles across five Western states in temperatures ranging from freezing to115 degrees of sweltering heat and at elevations ranging from sea level to 12,183 feet – we pause in the New York, New York Hotel and Casino to share the lessons we learned before saying good bye going our separate ways.
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