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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 DiGiorgio is actively implementing this vision at Winthrop but he is by no means alone in his efforts. Around the world other university presidents are drastically updating the old model of higher education, altering and in some cases jettisoning decades old practices to embrace the wave of transformative change going on today. It has become clear that holding on to what was and what used to be is a competitive liability in a rapidly changing educational landscape. If higher education is to educate and prepare students for their future, it can no longer be based upon outdated models of the past.


Accelerating Electronic Connectedness is beginning to play a huge role in this change. Laptops are used in most college classes today. Research can be done at lightning speed, as can collaboration with classmates via the Internet. On-line courses of all kinds are now becoming mainstream in higher education. The direction of education is toward a “blended learning” model that combines the traditional classroom experience with the on-line experience to create a new more integrated approach that reflects what is going on in the world today.

Major universities are now putting hundreds of video courses and lectures on-line, for free. This raises the first conflict that will lead to a hybrid model in the next few years. The conflict is simple. If anyone anywhere in the world can consume 120–150 credit hours worth of the best courses of a university on-line for free- perhaps in a year—what is the value of a four year cost of $200,000 to take those same courses on the campus of the same university? Is the socialization of the young adult worth the price differential? The socialization and maturation that young people experience at college is of course extremely important. However it is being called into question when many courses can now be accessed for free. To what extent do parents and students want to go into debt for a four year socialization process? Is the knowledge gained from the video courses worth nothing? So is this university in the knowledge business or the housing and socialization business?


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