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
Sunday, July 16, 2006  

Follow Your Dreams, But Plan for Climate, Lifestyle and Growth Changes

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

“This is a story of how one stupid move can change your whole life. This song happens on the highway, on the way out of Greendale. As a matter of fact, it happens right at the ‘Leaving Greendale’ sign, where the map of Greendale ends. There is no more Greendale after that. The highway ends, everything ends at that point. The map… there is nothing else, just the map, cars driving down the road get to the ‘Leaving Greendale’ sign and then they’re off the map.“

Neil Young & Crazy Horse “Greendale”

DOUBLE NICKEL RANCH. Follow your dreams. While there are hundreds of trends to track, you don’t have to track all of them. You just need to account for those that might impact your plans and decisions and then monitor them know when to activate B, C or D contingency plans.

Journal of 2020 Foresight: You monitor the implications of both macro and micro trends. Can you give us an example of how the two types come together to alter our plans?

Trailblazer: Sure, the easiest example is how an economic recession negatively impacts your employer’s business performance. And, because of advanced technologies, your job is eliminated and outsourced. That scenario leads to your layoff.

J2020F: What about something not so obvious, like, say climate change.

Trailblazer: Eugene Linden adds his two cents to the discussion that Al Gore is having with his movie, “An Inconvenient Truth.” Linden connects the dots among climate warming, extreme storms, hurricanes and floods, mosquitoes-transmitted diseases, allergies, beetle-induced wildfires, western drought conditions and water shortages – and those are the direct links.

J2020F: And, new beach front property for those in California, either from the overdue Big One – a mega earthquake -- or a jump in sea level of about 21 feet due to melting ice caps, right?

Trailblazer: I’m not sure about the first one, but the second is a possibility.

J2020F: What about indirect links?

Trailblazer: Linden says State Farm in Florida will be raising insurance rates 70% to 95%, depending upon type of housing unit. Insurers are increasing rates or pulling out of markets a 1000 miles away, because they have to “adjust to a new world in which the past behavior of hurricanes is no longer a reliable guide to the future.”

J2020F: We know from our road trip throughout California and Nevada, that for Southern California the ripple effect a hotter climate equates to less snow fall in the Sierras during the winter, a shrinking snow pack that melts faster and fails to quench a thirsty population.

Trailblazer: Exactly. As is the case throughout the West, the implications build one to another. An extended water crisis hurts housing appreciation and prices by lowering demand, triggers job losses and brings about foreclosures and perhaps a new round of bank losses.

J2020F: How does it affect energy prices?

Trailblazer: Power from hydroelectricity plants drops off from drought condition-driven lower water flows while the heat raises the demand for cooler home temperatures. Power shortages follow.

J2020F: Higher demand and lower supplies increase household expenditures on utilities.

Trailblazer: And that negatively impacts consumer spending and confidence, especially when gasoline prices hover around all time highs.

J2020F: With less discretionary income available to pay for living expenses, fewer people save enough for their retirement. And, you have to throw in additional health-related costs to a changing climate as well, right?

Trailblazer: Yes, so it’s not hard at all to see how just one change in a macro trend sets in motion micro trends that hit everyone in their wallet.

J2020F: Just imagine if two or three trends converge at the same time.

Trailblazer: As we witnessed, albeit past the timeframe, at Mesa Verde. Linden says, “Others (Jared Diamond for one) see the fingerprints of climate in the collapse of the Mayans around 900 A.D., the disappearance of the Anasazi from the American Southwest a few centuries later and the end of Norse expansion into the New World in the 14th century.

J2020: Isn’t that when we decided to take our Outpost road trip through the western United States to field-test the convergence of four demographic and technology trends?

Trailblazer: Of course it was. The first was – “Basic innovation in communication technologies is allowing more people to relocate their homes to small towns and exurbs, and telecommute to business;

The second -- baby boomers are moving into their vacation-home-buying years, which, in combination with the first trend, will stimulate demand for property in attractive resort towns;

The third -- our echo baby-boom generation is now moving into its household formation years, which will stimulate demand for apartments and rental property in the cities, and has already caused commercial property in these areas to appreciate; and

Fourth --there is a broad geographic migration towards areas of the country with warmer climates. You can expect the first three trends to be accentuated in the southwestern United States.”

J2020F: And, the bottom line, then becomes select the highest growth area -- south of the Mason-Dixon line, and to the west.

Trailblazer: And, then concentrate your research in a region based upon your climate, lifestyle and growth stage preferences.

J2020F: To figure out how you can do what you love where you want to live.

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

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