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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.


Then, when the Information Age began in the mid-1970s things began to rapidly change. In an information and knowledge-based economy, strength was no longer a prerequisite for many jobs. This meant that performance on the job moved away from the major difference of the sexes, physical strength. Mental acuity, performance, efficiency, intelligence, collaboration and all the skills needed in this new knowledge based economy could no longer be delineated by male or female. Women had been voting for 50 years in the United States, so they had been, politically speaking, equal citizens which further highlighted the clear inequality in the workplace. Women, metaphorically represented by Rosie the Riveter had shown their capability to work the Industrial Age production lines during WWII. Old sexist stereotypes were now openly and successfully challenged in almost every industry across the board. For the first time, many skilled women, if they were allowed to, could successfully do the work and compete with men at the same skill level.

The women’s liberation movement in the developed countries of the world was also in full force at the inception of the Information Age. Women rightfully demanded equality and fought their way into all forms of institutions that had either excluded them or had greatly limited their participation: corporations, private clubs, the military, universities, and the sciences. Most famously, Title IX became law in the United States in 1972 creating equality in all levels of education, most famously in athletics. By the 1980s, when it was clear that we were in the Information Age, the landscape of gender equality has changed and fundamental change moved throughout the developed countries of the world.

So, think of a 50-year arc from 1975 to 2025, from the beginning of the Information Age to the zenith of the Shift Age. View this arc as the trajectory of women in all aspects of society. As this book is being written in 2012 we are 75% of the way through this 50-year passage. Think of all the change that has occurred in this time. An incredible amount when looked at through the longer lens of civilization as suggested in the above timeline. However, it will be easily met and surpassed by the remaining 25% to 2025. The amount of change, the amount of flow to women, the amount of power that women will gain in almost every area of human endeavor in the next 13 years will match and almost assuredly exceed the last 37 years.


There are many directional signs clearly in view to point to this ascendency of women. In higher education women are now in dominance. An important thing to note is that the Shift Age generations have much less of the sexism of preceding generations. Partly this is due to the rapid development of our screen reality, which ever more lessens any need for physical strength. The old management models of hierarchies are also giving way to more net-like structures which play more to women. These signs point to accelerating ascendancy of women between 2012 and 2025.


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