|trendSCAN November 2007|
|Written by Administrator|
|Wednesday, 22 April 2009 12:24|
In This Version:
Few Forecasts from World Future Society
Periodically, the World Future Society shares via email a few predictions from their members. Here are ten such forecasts released by the organization this fall.
Forecast #1: Generation Y Moves Overseas. Futurists Arnold Brown and Edie Weiner, believe that Generation Y, the population segment born between 1978 and 1995, may be the first generation in U.S. history to have many of its generation leave the U.S. to pursue large portions of their lives, if not their entire adult lives, overseas. The global economy makes its impact.
Forecast #2: China’s Need for Water Impacts Global Economy. The major industrial centers of China happened to be located in densely populated areas where water is more scarce. This combination will result in higher prices for those goods produced in ‘China and exported to the rest of the world.
Forecast #3: Time Over Money. During the end of the 20th century, the United States experienced a productivity boom which led to a consumer culture where people made more money and bought more “stuff”. The 21st century will see a shift from consumer culture to quality of life as workers increasingly choose to trade higher salaries for more time with their families. Nearly a third of U.S. workers recently polled said they would prefer more time off rather than more hours of paid employment.
Forecast #4: Wireless Technology Infuses into Thought Processes. Experts predict that by 2030 humans will incorporate wireless technology into their thought processes as we learn how to merge our 100 trillion very slow interneuronal connections with high-speed virtual connections via nanorobotics. This will allow us to greatly boost our pattern-recognition abilities, memories, and overall thinking capacity, as well as to directly interface with powerful forms of computer intelligence and to each other.
Forecast #5: Children's "Nature Deficit Disorder" Becomes a Health Threat. The concerns related to children and the reduced amount of time they spend in direct contact with nature is grasping the attention of futurists beyond just out profession. It is widely believed that this nature deficit shows up in lack of physical fitness and growing prevalence of hyperactivity and attention deficit among today’s youth.
Forecast #6: Viability of Asia. China for the short term and India for the long term will become even greater world powers. Experts suggest that by 2025, both countries will be stronger, wealthier, freer, and more stable than they are today. India's unique assets, such as widespread use of English, a democratic government, and relative transparency of its institutions, make it an even stronger economic contender in the world.
Forecast #7: The Robotic Workforce. Will robots replace human beings in the work world? As robots and intelligent software make the shift to the knowledge work that humans can do, businesses will "hire" whatever type of mind that can do the work--robotic or human. Your future work team may consist of you, a few other humans, and your robotic partners.
Forecast #8: The Costs of Global Warming. The costs associated with global warning-related disasters will reach $150 billion per year. The world’s total economic loss from weather-related catastrophes has risen 25% in the last decade. According to the insurance firm Swiss Re, the overall economic costs of catastrophes related to climate change threatens to double to $150 billion per year in a decade.
Forecast #9: Four Generations in the Work Force. The age range of the workforce will span four generations. Workers over the age of 55 are expected to grow as baby boomers choose not or cannot retire on schedule. Generation Y will opt in and out of full time work as they explore their options. The work world is about to become even more interesting/challenging.
Forecast #10: Disabled Americans and Public Transportation. By the year 2025, the number of Americans aged 65 or older will expand from 35 million to more than 65 People in that age group are more than twice as likely to have a disability as those aged 16 to 65. If this pattern continues, the number of disabled people living in the United States will grow to 24 million over the course of the next 20 years, imagine the increased demand for public transportation as well as special public transportation services in the coming decades.
Who’s Happy Now?
We never tire of studying happiness. The results of two studies that used differing research techniques were recently reported in The New York Times (9/26/07). One of the studies was conducted by economists Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers of the University of Pennsylvania. In this study people were simply asked how satisfied they are with their overall lives. The other study was conducted by Princeton economist Alan Kruger and used an analysis of time-use studies over the last four decades to determine levels of happiness.
The results are in and the findings from the Princeton study include…
The second study by Stevenson-Wolfers found that…
Researchers from this study noted that female high school students are feeling increased pressure related to appearance, good grades, high standardized test scores, and
Living Better with Less
Harvard trained economist, Bill McKibben, recently authored a book entitled, Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future. The underlying premise of this book is that our high powered economy is based on bigger, better, more and the results seems to indicate that more “stuff” is making us less happy, livable, and sustainable.
The author maintains that ever since the Eisenhower-era in the United States where bigger cars, faster foods, and increasing automation everywhere became the mainstay of the economy that consumers became focused upon ever-increasing levels of buying for the sake of buying. The focus of consumers’ purchasing may have lessened our collective national happiness outlook. McKibben cites research compiled at the University of Leicester that shows that the United States now ranks 23rd on the happiest citizens in the world scale. Additional studies suggest that our ever-increased rates of alcoholism, suicide, and the trickle-down impact on children with attention deficit disorder and rising levels of stress may be related as well.
McKibben asserts that this economy based on perpetual growth needs to be replaced by community-based economics where there is a shared concern for social benefits rather than individual wealth; focus on smaller, more localized based economies, and value placed upon the environment eroded by such feverous economic growth.
The three challenges facing our existing perpetual growth economic focus include:
It is the author’s hope that a new community economy would address these three challenges as follows:
Millennia Mania in the Workplace
When long-time CBS news show 60 Minutes, decides to send 76 year old correspondent, Morley Safer, out to cover the madness in the workplace as the millennial generations moves in, then you know the issue is widespread. This segment reminds us of the widespread nature of this trend and sheds some light on recommendations as well.
What should we know about the millennials?
How are companies responding?
More than half of all American adults take vacation in any given year. The ways and means of those vacations differ on the basis of various motivation profiles. These profiles can be helpful in creating yet another way to look at our participants or potential participants.
The eight segments of the travel market based upon motivational factors include:
(Source: The Ideal American Vacation Trip. Travel Industry Association as reported in Research Alert, May 4, 2007)
Questions to Ask Ourselves as a Profession?
|Last Updated on Friday, 24 April 2009 13:15|