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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.


Higher education will undergo transformation between now and 2020. The 500-year-old university model will change more in the next ten years than it has in the last 100.

Major Shifts in Education


As we have discussed earlier in the book, the speed of change has accelerated to the point where it is environmental, as I explained in the first part of the book. It is no longer one of the dynamics that we must manage, change is the environment in which we live. Old methods of teaching old subjects may remain part of most colleges and universities’ curricula, but increasingly the pace of learning will increase and the need to alter the curriculum is clear. Due to this rate of change, many of the students currently in college will go on to work in industries and careers that do not even exist today. This of course has been the case for decades. There were no college graduates from the 1960s or 1970s that were taught about creating websites with HTML, or graduates of the 1980s who learned about the digital creation of content. Many of the students of today will live and work in a country that is a different one than where they received their higher education. How will the curriculum change to address these two realities?

The curriculum is rapidly moving away from the traditional academic verticals of the past and into a much more cross discipline, student centric model. A good example of this is what President Anthony DiGiorgio has been doing at Winthrop University in South Carolina. When we first met in 2011, President DiGiorgio explained to me that reading my book “The Shift Age” had been one of the triggers that prompted him to reassess the long-term vision for Winthrop as an institution. In an email sent to me he explained:

We realized we had to emphasize global learning, encouraging thinking across disciplines, the capacity to work in teams on complex problems, and use technology fluently. In this new age we had to address growing student interest in individualized majors, inter-disciplinary studies, sustainability, global studies, digital communications and faster-pace degree attainment.

Most of our faculty use digital content and on-line discussion options as part of their classes now because that’s how Digital Natives learn best. In short, “nimbleness” is a word we use a great deal more than ever before.

Many of these points (inter-disciplinary studies, global studies, faster-pace degree attainment, nimbleness and ever more digital content and on-line learning) will be fully integrated into higher education in the coming decade.


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