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Agile Publishing Model.

Futurist David Houle

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.


So now that we have defined who the Millennials are, let’s take a close look at how they view the world and how they will shape the coming years. Since a number of books have already been written about the Millennial Generation and their qualities, I will only focus here on the reality that they are the first of two generations to come of age and move into society in the Shift Age.

The Milllenials will be the first new adult generation of the Shift Age. As they move into their ever-more-connected place in society, the workplace, and culture around the world, they will dramatically accelerate the collapse of legacy thinking. They will initiate magnitudes of change in all areas of life. Their thinking, behavior, morals, and worldview will be the ascendant ones of the Shift Age. They will reach pinnacles of organizational power in the 2020s when the first of their generation will become leaders of national politics, multinational organizations, and cultural and non-profit organizations.

The Milllenials came into adulthood under the specter of the September 11, 2001 attacks in America. This means that for most, if not all, of their lives they have seen only war, as the wars of Iraq and Afghanistan have been going on for a significant part of their lives. Though to many of this generation these wars are indeed remote, there are tens of thousands of the older Millennials from around the world that have served in these two wars.


I had an interesting personal experience in my role as Futurist in Residence and Guest Lecturer at the Ringling College of Art + Design, where some of the most talented and gifted creative Millennials from around the world are students. In the fall of 2011, I was speaking to a class about the dynamics of the Shift Age. After of course asking them to close their laptops and take their hands off their phones, I then asked them this question:

“Why, as a Baby Boomer, did I have an emotional reaction when I woke up this morning and saw that the date was November 22?”

 Not one of them knew the answer. I was startled.

“November 22, 1963 was the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated,” I said, feeling emotion still.

I challenged them on their lack of knowledge, at which point a student said: “That may be an important date for your generation, but our date is 9-11.”

Now think about that interchange within the context of the Baby Boom Generation being the Bridge Generation and the context of legacy thinking.

This led to a discussion of their reality that, ever since they had been children, America had always been at war. Since this was a communications class and one aspect of the class was to create a class communications project, I led a brainstorming about what that project might be.

“Well, how about a project about peace?” I suggested.

Shortly thereafter a female student raised her hand and said: “But we don’t know what peace looks like.”

We then quickly came up with a project, which was to ask the question of their generation and more importantly their parent’s generation: “What does peace look like?”

The hope was to create a meme where Millennials around the world stood up and asked their elders, “What does peace look like?” “Why have we never seen peace?”

The poignancy of this interchange and question is both clear and powerful. The Millennials are coming of age and moving into and up in all areas of human endeavor with a clearly different and somewhat unencumbered view of the 21st Century and the Shift Age, an age they will largely shape.

This generation has grown up having less gender and racial bias. They have grown up with a much more global sense of themselves, they are much more collaborative and collective in their thinking, and they are coming into adulthood at a time of great economic hardship. When they see and experience the incredibly high levels of unemployment for their generation around the world, they realize that they didn’t have anything to do with it. This leads them to often disregard the suggestions, ideas, directions, and points of view of older generations. This creates a huge generational gap of worldview between the Millennials and their elders.
This view will accelerate the collapse of legacy thinking in the Transformation Decade as the Millennial Generation will not respect, embrace, or buy into the legacy thinking of the Bridge Generation and the GenX Generation.


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