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?

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The Journal of 2020 Foresight
Wednesday, July 12, 2006  

Surfing the Third Wave: Wildest, Fastest Ride into the Future

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

“So Captain Green had to say a few things to the crew, down at the dock. There’s a little harbor in Greendale and there’s a dock and it’s an old wooden pier, falling down. They don’t use it anymore but it’s still there. It’s gonna be condemned and torn down, but it’s the last dock like it on the whole West coast. It’s just a mess but it’s still there. And there’s a fishing house there on the end where they used to clean the fish and process them.“

Neil Young & Crazy Horse “Greendale”

DOUBLE NICKEL RANCH. In Crisis you find both threats and opportunities! But the full impact of revolutionary change -- on individuals and on whole countries and continents -- has yet to be felt. The past half-century has merely been prologue – according to Alvin and Heidi Toffler.

J2020F: Just when did this other “$50 trillion third wave, knowledge-intensive economy” actually begin according to the Tofflers?

Trailblazer: During “ Strauss and Howe’s Millennial Saeculum” – the 7th seasonal cycle of Anglo-American history -- in the 1950s.

J2020F: In other words, just as the Baby Boomers were born in the “High” right after World War II ended.

Trailblazer: Right. It happened, they said, when the number of professional workers or white-collar workers outnumbered the muscle workers – “the blue collars -- for the first time.

J2020F: How will the Third Wave unfold?

Trailblazer: Well, based on the industrial revolution – not smoothly.

J2020F: Why?

Trailblazer: The Tofflers reach back to the seeds of the second wave – sewn in the European 1600s.

J2020F: And?

Trailblazer: And, the world went through countless upheavals. “Wars on end. Civil Wars in England. The Swedish invasion of Poland. The Turkish-Venetian war. The Portuguese-Dutch war in Brazil. All these and more in the single decade starting in 1650.”

J2020F: Then things got better?

Trailblazer: Hardly. "Later came Queen Anne's wars against the Spaniards, the French and Indian wars, the Cambodian war of succession and on and on…”

J2020F: And, then things got better?

Trailblazer: Nope. “-- all before we even get to the American and the French revolutions, Napoleon's sweep across Europe, the American Civil War, World War I, the Russian Revolution and, worst of all, World War II.”

J2020F: So, when the three hundred years of revolutions and wars subsided, then things got better, right?

Trailblazer: Well, sure if you don’t count: “ … flu epidemics; stock-market crashes; the decline of the large, multigenerational family; economic depressions; corruption scandals; regime changes …”

J2020F: How about …?

Trailblazer: Yes. “… the introduction of the camera, electricity, the automobile, the airplane, movies and radio; and a succession of schools of art in the West, from Pre-Raphaelitism and romanticism to impressionism, futurism, surrealism and cubism.”

J2020F: So if the third wave behaves like the second, the point is?

Trailblazer: It is almost like despite major turmoil, upheavals and life-stopping disruptions: “Nothing, not all of them together, stopped the forward advance of the industrial revolution and the spread of the new wealth system it brought. Nothing."

J2020F: And why was that? Some sort of pre-ordained destiny?

Trailblazer: No, not really. The Tofflers say, “The reason was that the Second Wave was not just a matter of technology or economics. It originated out of social and political and philosophical forces as well, and out of wave conflict in which the holdover elites of the agrarian age gradually yielded to the forces of the new.”

J2020F: So are they pessimistic? Were the Boomers in your sessions pessimistic as they kicked around the implications of both a flatter earth and the onslaught of the third wave for them – in their own lives?

Trailblazer: As the “what-ifs” got kicked around I believe both the Tofflers and the Boomers were more optimistic.

J2020F: Why? You’ve described dangerous times unfolding in The Crisis.

Trailblazer: Here’s how the Tofflers wrote about the threats and opportunities: "But, like industrialization or 'modernization,' it is an all-encompassing change of civilization. And despite stock-market swings and other distractions, revolutionary wealth will continue its inexorable advance across much of the world.”

J2020F: So, they’re confident that the knowledge-economy will wrestle control from the industrial economy.

Trailblazer: Yes. They go on, “As tomorrow's economy and society take form, all of us -- individuals, companies, organizations and governments alike -- now face the wildest, fastest ride into the future of any generation. It is, when all is said, a fantastic moment to be alive. Welcome to the rest of the twenty-first century!"

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

10:31 AM

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