Skip navigation.

Communities: Citizens of Sustainability

For years, advocates of sustainable corporate practices have focused on green marketing. They have documented a growing segment of consumers with so-called green values and have created high-value products that appeal to these consumers. This strategy has catapulted Whole Foods into a leadership role in retail food and has perhaps inspired Wal-Mart to follow suit.

Asia: Chinese Consumer Collectives

The emergence of the Chinese middle-class is changing the world. The next ten years will see the growing impact of a distinctly Chinese form of Consumer culture—new kinds of urban buying collectives, rooted in China’s socialist legacy and enabled by communications technologies. Serving there new consumer collectives will require distinctly new strategies in product development, marketing, the retail experience, and customer service.

Politics: Participatory Panopticon

Participatory panopticon is a world in which we record our lives as well as the lives of those around us. Where everything is potentially on the record, often from multiple perspectives; not only is privacy a thing of the past but potentially secrecy as well. Such a world isn’t necessarily intentional; instead, it’s the emergent result of individually reasonable technological and social choices, choices we have made, and are continuing to make today.

Demographics: Extreme Longevity

A growing number of scientists are working to uncover the biological clues as to why we age—and what we can do about it. In an age of accelerated technological change, it’s easy to forget that demographic changes, particularly those related to age and longevity, are slow. However, they are relentless and can have a tremendous impact over the long term. A population that regularly lives to be 110 or 120 in robust, active bodies must confront some fundamental questions about how societies are structured. Economic issues of retirement, financial planning, and social security may be the most obvious, but basic questions about human relationships may be more profound. What does it mean to be married for “as long as you both shall live,” when you may be living for another 100 years? What kind of relationship can one have with great-great-great-grandchildren or –grandparents?

Finance: Intangible Reforms

Many influential investors, seeking improved ways of detecting undervalued companies, have identified intangible assets as the ultimate creators of future value. New tools have emerged for quantifying these alternative capitals. Think about the increase in companies incorporating corporate social responsibility (CSR) metrics into their public communications. Natural and social catastrophes will be in the forefront of driving stronger alternative capitals. As we become more aware of the increasing uncertainty and vulnerability of the following years, we will look at intellectual and/or social capital as drivers for protecting our surroundings.

Economics: Ecoscience in the Marketplace

Science and commerce have long been intertwined. From the 17th century, when Isaac Newton was pioneering mathematics and physics while serving as Master of the Mint, to today, when academics-turned-entrepreneurs are familiar figures in high-tech regions, science has been a resource ad influence on economies and industry.

Over the next few decades, ecoscience will help make the business case for saving the planet.

2007 Ten-Year Forecast Perspectives Executive Summary

The Future is a passage through worlds we've yet to imagine.

Human transitions are accomplished through passages – whether culturally sanctioned personal rites of passage or huge migrations that, only in retrospect, can be seen as movements from one way of life to another.

Syndicate content