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.


The first expansion of place began with empires. Empires, such as the Roman and Ottoman empires and much later the Spanish, Portuguese, and British empires, began to connect to places beyond the home country. The British Empire was really the first global empire on which the "sun never set." Empires exported culture to the colonies on which they imposed their will. This remained the main force of exporting place until technology took hold. In fact, the beginning of place-shrinking technologies such as the telegraph, radio, telephone, and television signaled the end of the colonial era.

So all of human history has, to a great degree, been defined by place; a sense of place, the uniqueness of place, the specialness of place, a commonality of place, and the shaping that specific places supply.

Today that is still largely the case. There are many different types of place-based societies we identify with today.

  • Nationalism creates a unity around a place concept: a country. This is perhaps the largest place-based identity with real resonance that exists today.
  • Regionalism creates a unity around place within a country. In the United States, we are tied to our states, cities, and towns and relish the social aspects that come from these, such as where we went to school, the work that we do, and the sports teams we root for. In Canada, there is a great sense of province.

This concept of place is integral to our daily lives. Why does someone root for Manchester United, the Toronto Maple Leafs, or the Boston Red Sox? Well, in large part they probably either live or lived in the city or region where the team is. Much of who we are comes from where we were born, where we grew up, where we attended college, and where we work. Place is a very defining concept that shapes all our lives more than we might acknowledge.


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