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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 2011, Shift Ed: A Call to Action for Transforming K–12 Education, my friend and co-author Jeff Cobb and I called for nothing less that transformation of education at this level. Transformation is the only way. Reform is too little too late. The way we think about the school year, the school day, the way students can move as quickly as they want through subject matter, and the connected technology increasingly available to all will largely alter the thinking and therefore the landscape of K–12 education in the United States and around the world.

Since the spring of 2011 I have travelled the United States speaking to K–12 educators at the national, state and district levels. I speak to a vision of transformation to challenge them follow it or create their own. What is so incredibly exciting is that educators are stepping into the process with relish. Legacy thinking is now being challenged. As we wrote in the book, there is a phase transition taking place a school and a district at a time. True transformative leadership and change is probably still at the single digit level in terms of number of schools, but feels that by 2015 it will be well into double digits.

A prime example of a phase transition is water. At 211 degrees it is water but a liquid; at 212 it is water but steam.

School superintendents everywhere are simply initiating transformation. They are asking themselves and their staffs challenging questions. They are engaging school boards and civic leaders to stand with them for transformation. They are simply changing technologies and initiating cloud computing for schools. To witness the direction and speed of transformation in K–12 education, it is only necessary to travel across the country to see some of the ways superintendents are implementing transformative leadership.

Dr. Karen Woodward, Superintendent of the Lexington One school district in South Carolina—who wrote a change vision for “Shift Ed”—has provided an iPad to each of the 8,000 high school students in her district and is working to extend that to middle school. This increases collaboration, lowers textbook costs and accelerates a learning process more in tune with highly interactive touch screen life in the Shift Age. She has her school board working closely with her as the changes are palpable and measurable, a key ingredient that is essential. I met with most of her school board and they are completely involved with helping Dr. Woodward implement change. Dr. Woodward is a prime example of the essential need to have the Superintendent be in a close, dynamic and collaborative relationship with the school board.


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