Well, here we are in 2012. There is much about change and expectation in the air. This is the year of the quadrennial presidential election in America, the ongoing drama about the future of the Euro and the next stage of the Occupy movement. We continue to suffer the on-going debt overhang and hangover from drinking too deeply from 20th century business models and ways of thinking. The rate of change is ever accelerating and is now environmental. Change and the anticipation of change is in the air and coursing through the global consciousness. And yes, 2012 is the year of the Mayan Prophesy.
I will address all of these topics and more this year. It really will be a year to face and accept that we are truly in a new decade, century and age. Looking back, wanting to go back, and wishing for the time when it all seemed to make sense must be jettisoned. 2011 has been summed up as a year of incredible change. From the vantage point of 2014 it will seem like the ancient history of early beginnings. Get ready and develop more fully the quality of adaptability. Any strongly held resistance to change may well bring obsolescence, failure, depression and ultimately irrelevance.
This futurist will provide what I see ahead and will, as the tag line of this now six year old blog says, provide “a future look at today”. In addition to this blog and my Shift Age Newsletter, I am writing two new books to be published by years end. These books will not only be about the future, they will be published in an entirely new model as of course the book publishing industry is in a state of transforming itself from the way it has been to the ways it will be.
So, stayed tuned, open your eyes and minds, loosen your strongly held positions and accept that we are all alive in the most transformative of times.
Now for a couple of things to touch on as the year begins, one looking back and the other looking at the present.
As a professional speaker and futurist it was a deep honor to speak at the TEDx conference in Pittsburgh, brilliantly coordinated by Leadership Pittsburgh. This is one of the many TEDx conferences around the world licensed by TED and TED.com. The theme of this conference was “Power”, presented in five sections. I was honored to lead off the first section called “Ascendant Power” with a presentation called “Flows.”
There were incredible people and incredible presentations the entire weekend of November 19-20, 2011. My thinking was changed during that weekend. I strongly recommend that you go to the conference site and take a look. Your thinking might change as well.
CES, the Consumer Electronic Show, is currently going on this second week of January 2012. CES is one of the biggest conventions in the world with more than 140,000 attendees. It has been a very significant convention as it is when the electronics industry shows the world what will be the next big things by the end of the year. It is beyond a gathering of tribes of gadget folks and content folks. It is usually hosting lots of live media feeds, local news reporters breathlessly reporting to the viewing audiences back home all the cool things they can buy next Christmas.
Well, the best days of CES are long gone even if more people attend. Its’ significance diminishes every year. This is due simply to the ever accelerating rate of change and innovation which brings transformative products to the marketplace weekly. I attended CES a year ago and all the breathless hype was about how everyone would soon be watching 3-D TV at home, the coming of 3-G and about all the tablets from companies like HP and Blackberry that would threaten the dominance of the iPad. Uh, sure. The only tablet that is doing that to any degree is the Kindle Fire, announced in September by Amazon and selling well now.
This is not a criticism of CES it is just that the rapid rate at which transformative products come to market has rendered getting together with 100,000+ of your closest friends every January a residual iconic event of the 20th century. What was cool and cutting edge for a year is now cool and cutting edge for a month.
The year is 2012. Hang on and be fluid.