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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.


In the last chapter I touched on the probable evolutionary shift in human consciousness that will be a defining part of the Shift Age. I have always thought that this might start to occur in the 2020s. When will the oldest Digital Native turn 21? 2020. When will the first of the second wave of this generation turn 21? 2031 (To bring this down to the old traditions of the physical reality, the United States will have a Digital Native as President in the 2040s, following the first or second Millennial President.)

So this coming of age of the Digital Native Generation will be one of the strongest influences on this evolutionary step of human consciousness. Of course there will people from preceding generations that will make this shift as well, but they will have had to let go of something from the past to do so.

In my speeches around the world, I regularly speak about the Digital Native Generation. I have noticed a clear distinction in audiences around the world during question and answer questions after my speeches. People who do not have children or grandchildren under the age of 15 ask the questions around the issues of whether the young are losing the ability to concentrate and whether they are becoming superficial and distracted in their thinking. This, of course, comes from the conversation in the zeitgeist that has been going on since the Internet became central to our lives. The “are we raising a generation of distracted and superficial children?” type of thinking.

Usually a parent of a child fifteen or younger will then raise their hand to comment on some remarkable thing their child learned, did, connected to, or created that was way beyond anything they could even imagine doing at the same age. Even more delightfully is the white-haired grandparent who will talk about how their three or four year old grandchild matriculated through all levels of a game on an iPad that they themselves could not master. Here is a short list of anecdotes I have heard from people.

•  A four year old who can count to twenty, knows addition, and is learning multiplication with an iPad

•  A three year old who has cracked the password to download a bunch of paid apps on his grandfather’s iPhone, in fifteen minutes

•  A seven year old who taught himself PowerPoint on his father’s iPad and asked if he could take it to school to deliver his homework that way

•  An eighteen month old who can successfully search YouTube to find his favorite animated characters

•  A three year old who opened up Skype and called his grandmother while his parents were out because he wanted to ask his grandma a question

•  Three year olds who used Google docs to collaborate on a third grade class project

Again, we must think about how differently these children are growing up and how intuitively they interact with, utilize and manipulate technology and connectivity as the do so.


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