The Next 40 years
I am happy to announce that a new publication is out: "Surfing the Sixth Wave: Exploring the next 40 years of global change". It is a fruit of research project me and my colleague Sofi Kurki started a year ago in Finland Futures Research Centre. Our aim to trace the pattern of how future emerges by framing the present situation into the larger context of social and environmental change. Eventually, we look it through the looking glass of Finnish business and society, since our principal clients are Finnish industry, in particular forest industry and financial services industry. However, a lot of that work was actually done in California, Silicon Valley, since we wanted to explore the new emerging value-models, technologies and aspirations in the place which is known to be a melting pot of new ideas.
In the report, we project some of developments we find peculiar for the next decades, shaping the operating environment of the companies as well as public sector and citizens. We paint the picture of the sixth wave (2010-2050), which is full of opportunities because of some compelling needs, while there simultaneously looms unparalleled risks for those who are not sensitive enough for change that is needed, and, eventually, for us all if we cannot collectively become more intelligent in how we use our resources.
So we do paint a big picture - no doubt - but we also investigate some rather concrete developments. We explore some of the possibilities that are out there for our forest and fibre know-how, possibilities that could create a massive source of prosperity for Finland, if we were brave enough to invest those new fields of use of biomaterials. We also look at the chances of financial industry to renew its mission. We look into the issue of resource efficiency, health sector and so forth. We also look at the dark side of the story: climate change, the dramatic decline of our ecosystems and other pressing predicaments.
We still do leave a lot for future investigation. This year we are going to run a number of workshops and delphis to get more deeply into the heart of the matter: how could we empower change to happen that could lead us to new age of intelligence, where we eventually start to come grips with how to live decently on this Earth using our resources wisely, thereby creating opportunities for meaningful action.