Thinking about 2012

What should business be prepared to address in the next decade? The Global Business Network asked fifty well-known people and has shared selected quotes on their site. The whole lot will appear in What’s Next? Exploring the New Terrain for Business.

These quotes grabbed my attention:

    If you made a model of the ideal global economy, does it make the most sense to have only a few specialists make the things we need and have them ship those things to wherever they’re needed, or does it actually make more sense to have many local origins for those things? Kevin Kelly

    In China, they’re discovering that when you redecorate your bathroom and get ten pairs of platform shoes and a nose job, you’re still unhappy. Orville Schell

    The way to create healthy, vibrant economies and societies is through diversity. We know that scientifically. Any system that loses its diversity loses its resiliency and is more subject to sudden shocks and changes from which it can’t recover. The corporatization of the world is the loss of diversity—it’s forcing uniformity upon people. Paul Hawken

    That’s what this Cultural Revolution is about: How everything fits together than now appears disconnected. It’s the search for coherence in what is increasingly incoherent. We’re trying to get into the box. We are trying to create a new box. Thinking outside the box turns out to be so yesterday. Joel Garreau

    You can’t have part of the world where there’s a small, aging bubble of Western elites and then this massive, throbbing, younger, and increasingly impoverished group of people. Jaron Lanier

    The question is whether we’ll have a youth culture with old demographics. Youth culture, geezer bodies—does that work? Kevin Kelly

    I believe we are heading toward a single global culture. That’s a very scary thought to most people because they see that if they’re not part of the dominant culture, then their culture will be wiped out, their values will be wiped out, the things that are important to them will be wiped out. Yet, I think that it is absolutely inevitable. Danny Hillis

    There’s a perfect storm coming at the 100-nanometer level. Information technology, biotechnology, and nanotechnology are all converging on that scale. Stewart Brand

    Education is where medicine was about 100 years ago. A hundred years ago, most of medicine was empirical—somebody tried it and figured out whether it worked or not. Gradually, over the last century, medicine has become half scientific and half empirical. Over the next few decades, I suspect the same thing will happen with education. William Calvin

    If you get microbiologists drunk, or at least a few beers into them, it’s not rare for them to say they’ll have aging solved in 20 years. Robert Carlson

    I think by any rational standards you’d have to say that the proposition we call China is a mass of almost insoluble contradictions. I could be wrong, but 1.3 billion people trying to have a lifestyle like Orange County? Can you imagine just the environmental consequences of that? Orville Schell

    I think this may be a theme for the decade—that we’re going to take packages of things and unbundled them and reassemble the parts. It happens with cultures and biological organisms. It also happens with governments. Danny Hillis

Posted by Jay Cross at October 19, 2002 04:44 PM | TrackBack

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