Welcome to the future! The future of humanity and the future of publishing.
I am very excited about my new book Entering the Shift Age and the new model of publishing Sourcebooks has created, the Agile Publishing Model (APM). The APM is an innovative platform that allows authors to make their content available faster and in a more flexible format. For example, to suit your needs and interests as readers, Sourcebooks offers a variety of ways to purchase the content of Entering the Shift Age, either in individual parts (“mini eBooks”) or as a whole. (Check out “How to Purchase: The Agile Way”.) You can learn more about the APM by watching the video below.
This is part of the future of publishing. Now let’s turn toward our own future, the future of humanity.
We now live in the Shift Age, a time of transformation that will be regarded by future historians as one of the most significant periods in human history. The Shift Age is one of those inflection points or times when much of humanity will change how we live, how we think, how we interact with each other and what we do.
None of the above existed or was very prevalent in 1900. If you look at this list, then look around whatever country you are in right now, you will see that most of what dominates our places now is from the 20th Century.
Not only that, but the 20th Century, as discussed earlier, is the first century in which the global population quadrupled. So if you combine the physical changes above with the quadrupling of the population, it is clear that the physical reality of our society and economy today is largely a product of the 20th Century. Never before has humanity entered a century so fully defined physically by the prior one.
As a futurist, I see this as a highly limiting and containing reality. We live in a world largely created last century. The spaces we inhabit, the transportation that moves us around, the energy and the utilities we use all contain us in "twentieth century-ness."
The first problem with this is the concept of legacy thinking discussed in Part Three. When our entire environmental surroundings are of the 20th Century it makes it ever so much harder to think 21st Century thoughts. In a sense, our surroundings cocoon us into accepting the 20th Century foundation as the reality and then support the continued ways of thinking that came into existence with this reality.
The second, more significant problem is that, as all seven billion of us enter the Earth Century, much of all this 20th Century stuff is not sustainable, integrated, intelligent, or smart.
If you question that last sentence, pause and imagine 2100. Do you think that, in that year, your grandchildren or great-grandchildren will still think about getting the gas tank filled up to go to the mall to shop for stuff? Do you think that they will individually get into a car by themselves to drive 1–2 hours to go to a place of work at the same time everyone else does? Of course not! But because that is the world that surrounds us, we continue to have our thinking shaped by the 20th Century.