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. Got Knowledge?

<< current

The Journal of 2020 Foresight
Wednesday, July 05, 2006  

Unraveling All in the Family: Boomers, Their Parents, Gens X, Y & Z
Chapter Four: The Tribal Territories

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

“Her cousin, Jed Green and Grandma and Grandpa Green, they live in Greendale but it’s not too far; so they visit a lot. Sun Green is such a beautiful girl. Grandpa is so proud of her. Aside from Carling, Sun is really the only kid who’s still left.“

Neil Young & Crazy Horse “Greendale”

DOUBLE NICKEL RANCH. History molds generations, as generations mold history. Within the same timeframe at roughly the same age, we become a -- and are influenced by -- our generation throughout our 80- year lifespan on this planet.

Journal of 2020 Foresight: We’re familiar with four current generations profiled in the media – Boomers (born in mid ‘40s, ‘50s and mid ‘60s), Gen X (mid ‘60s, ‘70s and early ‘80s), Gen Y (early ‘80s, ‘90s and early 2000 decade) and whatever label will be applied to the generation born after ‘90s and 2000. While each is distinct in values and beliefs, one thing they all have in common, especially starting out – is, each believes the important events in their world began after their childhood – not before.

Pathfinder: Sure, in the sense that while they attend school with their same age cohorts, they can’t understand how the curriculum, especially history, relates to any part of their life as they live it. Boring.

J2020F: Guilty as charged, that is until this stage of my life. In our last conversation you described historical cycles – a high point leads to an awakening that begins to unravel and ends in a crisis – before repeating itself all over again.

Pathfinder: Right. Baby Boomers, born during the high era following World War II – fit the prophet / idealist profile, and become the elders of the Millennial Saeculum.

J2020F: A Saeculum?

Pathfinder: A saeculum roughly equals the potential lifetime of a person – approximately 90 years – broken into four seasons lasting roughly 20 to 25 years each.

J2020F: Each season follows in sequence from youth, emerging adulthood, midlife and old age. Boomer time plays out in the four turning points known as the Millennial Saeculum?

Pathfinder: Yes. According to Howe and Strauss, they came of age during an awakening, are living their midlife years during an unraveling and will spend their golden years in a crisis era

J2020F: What about their children – Gen X?

Pathfinder: Here’s what we love about the baby boomers. Both Gen X and Gen Y are their offspring, since many boomer women delayed childbirth so couples could afford to buy their first homes and launch their careers.

J2020F: I stand corrected. Let’s talk about those born between 1960s and the early 1980s – what I’d call Gen X and Howe and Strauss labeled nomads or reactives.

Pathfinder: The older brothers and sisters born to boomer parents, originally named the 13th Generation (the number of generations after the American Independence), missed the high, but began in an awakening. Today, they’ve been living in an unraveling as early adults.

J2020F: So, Gen X experiences the unraveling as early adults and boomers as mid-lifers. And both will pass through a turning point in their personal lives during the next chapter, a crisis?

Pathfinder: Yes. Boomers will live out their final years during a crisis. Gen X will move through that crisis in their middle years on their way to a new high, as the cycle repeats itself.

J2020F: Let’s see if I get this right. As Boomers and Gen X move through each turning point together, but at different ages in their life spans, Gen Y comes on the scene as the heroic or civic generation after a high and after the awakening, but in an unraveling?

Pathfinder: You got it. Gen Y, born in the last two decades of the 20th century – 1980s and 1990s. As they age, they will enter their early adult years in a crisis, midlife during a high and old age in an awakening.

J2020F: What’s in store for the kids born after 2000 – the 9/11 Generation?

Pathfinder: Well, it certainly seems like the turning point fits – a Crisis. Howe and Strauss call them artists or adaptives. Born in a crisis, they enjoy a high in their early adult years, spend their middle years in another awakening, and end their lives during an unraveling.

J2020F: OK. Living through an unraveling and transitioning into a crisis period, we’ve got Boomers (profits or idealists) in their late 40s and 50s, Gen Xers (nomads or reactives) in their mid- 20s to early 40s and Gen Y (hero or civic generation) in their teens and early 20s.

Pathfinder: Right. Boomers exercise their power in institutions and in the mass market place today. On the plus side, they, like other prophet / idealist generations before them, appeal to principles, human sacrifice and in their last stage of life become praised for their words of wisdom.

J2020F: But?

Pathfinder: But, they are known as the wagers of righteous wars.

J2020F: During the coming crisis, the Gen X nomads or reactives will ascend into leadership positions in midlife?

Pathfinder: Yes. If they follow the patterns of previous generations of nomads or reactives, they will be hard to fool, cunning in their approach preferring to meet problems head on.

J2020F: Realistic and pragmatic. And, when they pass the torch to the heroic / civic generation?

Pathfinder: Expect them to build, or re-build institutions while advocating the good life built on the foundations of technology, a strong economy, community values and positive thinking.

J2020F: Our current saeculum – that 80 to 90 year period reminds me of two things.

Pathfinder: What?

J2020F: The first is about the past, -- how long the Wild West lasted, from 1804 to the 1890s during the 19th century with the death of Sitting Bull and the capture of Geronimo, as we discovered on our vacation expedition.

Pathfinder: And, the second?

J2020F: About the future – Harry Dent’s prediction for a last hurrah economic boom ending some time in 2010 or 2012, followed by an economic crisis as the boomers hit what used to be called retirement age and the Gen X generation comes to power.

Pathfinder: You mean an upheaval when a new order replaces the old civic order -- Alvin Toffler’s “second wave” civilization transforms into his “third wave” knowledge-intensive new world economic order?

J2020F: You got it! By the way, who were some of the more famous ancestor Boomers?

Got Knowledge?
Copyright ©2002 - 2006 Aarnaes Howard Associates. All rights reserved worldwide.

9:07 AM

<$BlogCommentDeleteIcon$> (0) comments
Post a Comment
links to this post

Links to this post:


This page is powered by Blogger.