This document was conceived from a foundation built on four key ideas:
- Our societies are currently undergoing an important rupture with the past.
- The understanding of this rupture and the subsequent mutation of society requires an analysis and synthesis of information from three main sources, which reveals the major battles yet to come.
- The technological filter : the battle for credibility of content and effectiveness of services.
- The economic filter : the battle about demand, and thus territories and markets.
- The societal filter : the battle for culture and language.
- The Internet will become the public place space wherein we will negotiate power. This will involve the convergence and use of networked computers, the television shows we watch, new online markets, smart and interconnected mobile devices and ubiquitous social and military information networks
- The principal characteristic of this new and emergent society will be the speed with which innumerable citizens engage their voices. This will principably occur via the Internet, in social networks, and will involve them expressing their frustration and concerns vis-a-vis the incompetence of the political elite and the arrogance of many of the current economic elite.
The crises we can anticipate
Currently, five interrelated major crises are in one or another stage of development. These crises unfolding simultaneously are creating the perfect storm or the alignment of the planets, whereby everything seems to happen at more or less the same time :
- The current financial and economic crisis
- Peak oil, the BP spill and the overall energy crisis
- Global warming, climate change and the ecological crisis
- The massive geopolitical conflicts of which the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are but a part of the overall scene
- The generational crisis, wherein baby boomers continue to hold onto positions of power and relative economic well-being whilst generations X and Y have had to adapt through various means .. delaying careers, living at home for much longer periods, etc.
The new mechanisms
Throughout history, societies have progressed from crisis to crisis by both creating and evolving new means and mechanisms for adapting. Her are several which are on the scene today :
- The mobility-enabling architecture of Internet
- Social networks
- New forms of consumer electronics
- The ubiquitous use of smart mobile devices
- The increasingly bottom-up modes of communications that people are insisting upon
- The fact that millions of citizens are finding ways to use their voices
- The growing impatience of the Internet-savvy younger generations and their ability to seek, share and synthesize information in ways very different to those brought up without the digital environment.
- Geo-location and the surprising essential uses to which that capability is put
- The economic model of proximity
- Mass customization and the appearance of numerous niches of economic activity