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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.


President Thompson lives this vision of the essential need for a massive and continuing infusion of creativity in business and the world. Speaking about the United States he said:

When I see our country’s stagnation and economic woes, I cannot help but think that we need a creative revolution that is embraced by business and endorsed by government and educators alike

We creatively reinvented ourselves as we moved from the agricultural age to the industrial age and again as we moved from the industrial age to the knowledge age. We must take action now and re-imagine ourselves so that we are prepared for the upcoming age forming now.

Dr. Thompson went on to say:

Traditional thinking is not working. I contend that creative and innovative thinking is one of the most – if not the most- critical success factors needed for employees and businesses to succeed in the 21st century. Need evidence? According to a 2010 IBM study of 1,500 global CEOs, the most desired skill for leaders of the future is creativity.

As I have written in this book, design on all levels will be critical for humanity’s success in the Shift Age, the Earth Century, the new energy landscape and for all of us working to both retrofit the 20th century and to make Spaceship Earth a sustainable place for the centuries to come. Again, I am in complete agreement with Dr. Thompson in this regard:

There has probably never been a better time to be an artist or designer than in today’s economy. Indeed, if a business is to thrive in our future economy, art and design will play a critical role—if not the critical role- in the future of commerce. I want to see an artist or designer have a seat at every board of directors’ table in America. That would be refreshing. That would definitely change the game and fuel our economic future.

Dr. Thompson speaks largely from the view of a college president. He is right that there needs to be a greater emphasis on creativity and design at that level as that is when young people make their first career decisions. However, creativity must be emphasized, cultivated and praised at all levels of education, from pre-school through all levels of higher education. Currently the institutions of education do a better job of stamping out creativity—that STEM legacy of the Sputnik time—than they do of fostering it. Time for that to change!

The collapse of legacy thinking discussed in Part Three will be accelerated by artists and designers who will simply think and see things differently. The 20th century was a left brain century. The 21st century is a right brain century. Going forward, if humanity is at the fork in the road of Utopia or Oblivion as as suggested by R. Buckminster Fuller decades ago, is not new and ongoing creative design essential to successfully go down the road to Utopia?


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