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, July 15, 2005
Vegas Reflections on the New American Dream
Chapter Three: The Outpost
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
“We understand that your religion is written in a book. If it was intended for us as well, why has not the Great Spirit given it to us? Why did He not give to our forefathers the knowledge of that book, with the means of understanding it rightly?
Brother, you say there is but one way to worship and serve the Great Spirit. If there is but one religion, why do you white people differ so much about it? Why not all agree, as you can all read the book?
Brother, the Great Spirit has made us all. But He has made a great difference between His white and red children. He has given us a different complexion and different customs. Since He has made so great a difference between us in other things, why may we not conclude that He has given us a different religion, according to our understanding?
Brother, we do not wish to destroy your religion or take it from you. We only want to enjoy our own.”
— Chief Red Jacket of the Seneca, 1805
NEW YORK, NEW YORK (LAS VEGAS, Nevada) "What do you mean we don't have a reservation confirmation?" we asked Karla in shock. On the last day of our journey we experienced our only major disconnect. Somewhere along the way we pulled off at a little town that boasted it was the home of the Bun Burger and had the world's largest thermometer. We were impressed, not with the town, but with the 114-degree temperature -- at least we traveled in the late afternoon. Soon on the horizon you could make out Las Vegas. We decided to find the coolest watering hole in the casino while Karla sorted out our lodging. Naturally, we reminisced about how we got here and what we experienced.
Journal 2020 Foresight: When we, at that point in time it was Eagle and Explorer on the beach in Cabo San Lucas, first met, you told me that on an Outpost Expedition we have to figure out how to proceed into the great unknown while creating better opportunities for those individuals and teams who follow us.
Eagle: That’s right.
J2020F: Let me ask all of you, have we done that? Looking back on our journey – covering some 3000 odd miles across five Western states in temperatures ranging from freezing to 115 degrees of sweltering heat and from sea level to 12,183 feet -- what lessons have you learned worth sharing with others?
Pathfinder: Well, for me personally, what attracted me to the trip was your decision to mirror Lewis & Clark’s expedition in reverse – celebrating the 200th year of their voyage of discovery – and yet the purpose was to test some of boom and bust predictions.
J2020F: You mean during the bubble boom between 2005 and 2010 and then the long deflationary – Harry Dent would say depression -- period from 2012 to 2023?
Trailblazer: I joined because anybody concerned about their future is certainly interested in how their careers, investments and lifestyle options will play out.
Eagle: I’d second that. We now know what’s driving two very different future scenarios and how to take advantage of the “last great” boom and of the bust. That’s significant.
Pathfinder: While the Lewis & Clark expedition mapped out unknown territories, we succeeded in mapping out unknown economic “territories.”
J2020F: Explorer, what about you?
Explorer: The story of the Wild West became more real. I hadn’t really considered that the frontier began and ended in the 19th century.
Eagle: Me too. In nine short decades – a little more than a lifetime – it opens with the Lewis and Clark expedition – their “Corps of Discovery” and closes with the death of Sitting Bull and Geronimo.
J2020F: That’s a tremendous amount of change for any one to experience in a lifetime!
Pathfinder: On one level I feel what survives today and what we can celebrate -- are American core values – ingenuity, know-how and the pioneering spirit.
J2020F: But, how does that insight really apply to the process of making sure we don’t outlive our nest eggs -- by managing a portfolio of both tangible and intangible assets over a lifetime – what we set out to discover with this outpost journey?
Trailblazer: Well, for one – we recognize that we don’t live in a vacuum. Our dreams for a better future and a quality of life we can enjoy and all of the plans and goals associated with making the dreams reality unfold in changing economic and political climates.
J2020F: So, while we have your own life cycle and plans, the economy has its life cycle and plans -- and it will affect our life in major ways both positively and negatively?
Pathfinder: Yes, and as we change, our neighborhoods change, our clients and employers change according to life stage events.
J2020F: So if you are a baby boomer at the empty nest life stage and you plan a change -- to move to or invest in a new town, you’ll need inside information to determine how each potential community at a specific life stage fits your criteria, right?
Eagle: And, you have hundreds of possibilities just in the eight western states. You’ll want to consider Resort Towns, Small College and University Towns, Classic Towns, Revitalized Factory Towns, Exurbs, Suburban Villages, Emerging New Cities, Large-Growth Cities, and Urban Villages.
Explorer: You can use the “birds of a feather” approach. First start with your own neighborhood profile, identify a lifestyle that describes you best, and then search the BOF knowledge-base for potential matches across the West.
J2020F: And, then what?
Trailblazer: Let’s just consider the first category, resort towns. You’ll get back a list of potential towns. Armed with their zip codes you can see if, for real estate investment purposes, they include any of the more affluent and trend-setting lifestyles.
Pathfinder: If for instance you liked Colorado as a one of the best places to consider for a lifestyle change, a real estate investment, and or an entrepreneurial venture, you can choose among a range of low-cost to high-cost towns and neighborhoods.
J2020F: So, if I understand the economic cycles influencing events from now until the end of this decade and then shifting into a different pattern over the next decade – how does that help me?
Trailblazer: You can find your own sweet spot by overlapping three other lifecycles.
J2020F: By that you mean?
Trailblazer: You have to ask yourself: What preferences do I have given the current stage in my own lifespan? What do I enjoy about my neighborhood and area given its lifecycle? And, if I choose to work for an organization or consult to an organization – what problems at its current lifespan do I enjoy solving? Is there a fit?
Eagle: For lower cost of living resort towns – innovation or early growth communities – in California you might investigate and visit Pescadero, Oakhurst, North Fork, Healdsburg or Yreka.
J2020F: What if the affordable resort town is too remote, how can you support yourself?
Eagle: As you consider moving to each location, you should keep in mind five types of business offerings – commodities, goods, services, experiences, and transformations for local or global clients and customers – thanks to broadband wired and wireless communications.
Pathfinder: I agree. The history of the real West, in community after community, tells stories of how livelihoods flourished or came to an abrupt end as goods replaced commodities and services replaced goods and now how providing experiences can revitalize towns. One of many ways to reinvent a community is by capitalizing on its core foundation story – its rich heritage made tangible to tourists, visitors and community residents.
J2020F: As we traveled across the five western states we discovered the boom, bust, and boom cycles tied to their heritage. Many of those communities were already overpriced for me, though. Take Lake Tahoe, for example.
Trailblazer: Well if you can’t afford Lake Tahoe property, then you might try either Minden or Gardnerville – early growth Nevada communities, especially Minden if you feel the New Eco-topia lifestyle cluster more effectively fits you interests.
Explorer: Or, you might enjoy Carson City or Virginia City in Nevada – made famous by Mark Twain’s adventures published in “Roughing It.”
Pathfinder: Or, you might try Bass Lake near Oakhurst at the border of Yosemite National Park on the California side of the Sierra Nevada mountain range – my personal favorite.
Trailblazer: Or, you might prefer three-county region: Madera, Douglas & Mono. There you find Esmeralda, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite and Mammoth Mountain recreational areas - the backdrop to Mark Twain's overland journey and his mining adventures.
J2020F: Today’s migration pattern reverses a centuries-old pattern of families moving from the east and Midwest to the west. Now California residents, with real estate equity, look east and south for new communities in which to invest, live, work, play and retire.
Pathfinder: You are right. Before Twain traveled by stagecoach to the region, the exploits of the first generation of American explorers, from 1800 to 1820, focused on routes connecting the rivers to trapping areas and eventually opening and documenting overland trails.
J2020F: For the fur commodity business, they established the outposts of their day -- trading posts and forts throughout the area – where factors representing fur-trading companies oversaw the trading process.
Explorer: The explorer’s stoic lifestyles were fueled by trade and hunting game - living within nature, ever vigilant to the weather, the wild animals, and the original people.
Pathfinder: Easily 1,000 trappers roamed the American West in this manner from 1820 to 1830, the heyday of the Rocky Mountain fur trade. But, settlement was off limits to eastern emigrants in the region now encompassing Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Utah and California - all claimed by Mexico.
Eagle: But settlement came. Railroad tracks accelerated the migration rate when they were built on the overland trails pioneered by early explorers, fur trappers and traders. Miners and merchants followed by the thousands to California and Nevada.
Explorer: By mid-19th century wagon trains made their way to the Great Salt Lake in Utah, into Oregon, California and Nevada on a frequent basis. Depending upon their dreams and anticipated destination they chose one of six routes from Missouri.
J2020F: Mark Twain wrote about his “Trapped and Permanently Temporary” situation by listing occupation after failed occupation in “Roughing It” while mining in Aurora. Like many other times before, he left Aurora penniless and had to walk hundreds of miles all the way from Aurora to Virginia City.
Pathfinder: Mining for commodity gold and silver, fueled by get rich schemes and tall tales, followed a typical boom and bust pattern. Now the Sierra Nevada area booms again after seven decades of skiing development.
J2020F: Which brings us back to our topic. We traveled to five of the eight Western states to visit the “Best Places” discoveries by previous expeditions. Where is the best place to live, work, invest or retire?
Trailblazer: If California is your state of choice you might want to add mountain resorts (Mammoth, Running Springs, Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear) to the only innovation appreciation town on the list – Pescadero; the early growth towns – Oakhurst, North Fork, Healdsburg and Yreka; the mid-growth towns – Sonoma, Mendocino, Morro Bay; and late-growth – Del Mar, St. Helena, Calistoga and South Lake Tahoe.
Explorer: If Nevada appeals to you and you’re serious about early growth towns, then you might explore Elko, Jackpot and Laughlin in addition to Gardnerville and Minden. Or, if the mid-growth appreciation stage attracts you, then check out Carson City. Or, finally Lake Tahoe and Reno complete the list of late growth and early maturity appreciation locations.
Eagle: Arizona and the Grand Canyon Area attract their fair share of tourists and about to be ex-Californians looking for the next hot real estate deal.
J2020F: We discovered that Arizona and New Mexico, two of the Four Corners states greet travelers to the vast empty space, Indian reservations, mountain ranges, nameless canyons, old volcanoes and rough country where it is easy to get lost.
Pathfinder: Likewise, we discovered that Arizona was not as quickly populated as the other Western territories because of fear of the Apache and Navajo. During the Civil War the Arizona territory was split in half with Prescott, Tucson and finally Phoenix competing for capital of the state.
Trailblazer: Remember, if potential income, wealth, self-sufficiency, and freedom drive you and the” Grand Canyon State” beckons you to Arizona, then you’ll want to investigate and visit Bisbee, Jerome or Page innovation towns; the early growth town of Yuma; or Sonoma in the mid-growth category.
Eagle: But, if the “Land of Enchantment” tugs at you, then consider finding out more about the innovation towns of Silver City, Angel Fire, Red River. Or check out the two early growth resort towns of Ruidoso and Las Cruces. Or, how about Taos on the New Mexico Expedition's mid-growth list and Santa Fe on the early maturity community's list?
Explorer: How about everything that the Rocky Mountains have to offer? Colorado, the third of the Four Corner states, offers the best in winter and summer seasons. In the San Juan Mountain triangle, you might enjoy an innovation town like Pagosa Springs or an early growth town like Durango, or how about a mid-growth town like Telluride?
J2020F: If you don’t like those resort towns, we’ve got a dozen more categorized by growth and real estate potential. In the innovation phase: Pagosa Springs, Redstone, Marble and Basalt. In the early growth category: Durango, Minturn and Red Cliff. For those of you interested in mid-growth investment opportunities: Telluride, Steamboat Springs, Glenwood Springs, Beaver Creek, and Crested Butte. And last, but not least, the list of late growth and early maturity towns: Copper Mountain, Breckenridge, Keystone, Boulder and Snowmass.
Eagle: Don’t forget that it was Gunnison, recognizing that newbie’s have a tough time fitting into the local, rural western community, that published their version of the Code of the West. Our Corps of Re-Discovery had to change plans in route, studying both the map and monitoring the ominous black, lightening spewing thundering. Along the way we visited Telluride, Silverton, Ouray and passed by Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Gunnison, Blue Mesa Reservoir, Woodland Park, Manitou Springs, Pikes Peak, and Colorado Springs. After a prolonged pit stop in Parker near Castle Rock, we explored Estes Park, the Rocky Mountain National Park and Boulder – all a short distance from Denver.
J2020F: To plan the last leg of our trip we decided to focus on fit. We pooled our preferences and compared our potential list of towns to Parker.
Eagle: By plugging in a resort community’s zip code into Claritas’ PRIZM segmentation window on their public website you can identify which social clusters and lifestyles can be found in the town of your choice. In Parker, Colorado an exurb outside of Denver, the expedition discovers Landed Gentry and Elite Suburbs social groups.
Trailblazer: You’ll see that Elite Suburbs social group represents one of the most affluent and well-educated clusters – high in education attained, investments and spending. The Landed Gentry are the fourth most affluent with multiple incomes from executive, professional and technology-related knowledge workers. They prefer to live in the exurbs – beyond the suburbs and dense urban areas.
Explorer: Both the Country Squires and God’s Country yearn to escape urban stress and prefer to live away from the city. Country Squires have been called “big bucks in the boondocks” by Claritas. God’s Country neighborhoods apply their dual incomes to support an active, outdoor lifestyle.
J2020F: Before we left Colorado we asked ourselves a key question. What investment choices can we find in Utah? Three innovation appreciation opportunities would include Moab, Boulder and Escalante. At the other extreme of the appreciation curve you can choose from two neighboring towns, Park City and Deer Valley.
Eagle: I really enjoyed our swing through Southwestern Utah -- the scenic rolling ranch meadows in the valleys between plateaus and mountains ridges. With almost 2 million acres, the Dixie National forest is the largest in the state and grows Utah's largest trees - primarily ponderosa pines and spruce. The elevations range from just under 3000 feet near St. George to 11,322 feet at Blue Bell Knoll on Boulder Mountain. It borders Bryce and Zion, Capital Reef, Cedar Breaks and Grand Staircase-Escalante national parks and monuments.
Pathfinder: For me it was Bryce and Zion in combination. Geologist Clarence Dutton described the rugged southern country that had been hidden in its remote surrounding. He wrote about the sense of awe, "There is an eloquence to their forms which stirs the imagination with a singular power and kindles in the mind ... a glowing response.... Nothing can exceed the wondrous beauty of Zion... in the nobility and beauty of the sculptures there is no comparison."
J2020F: Especially our experience so far in Las Vegas. I’d better check with Karla on the status of our rooms. You never know what will happen next!
Copyright ©2002 - 2006 Aarnaes Howard Associates. All rights reserved worldwide.
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