Friday, August 11, 2006

More thoughts on the future

Everyone always wishes they could predict the future. Some folks are better than others at identifying elements of the future that are sure to change. Two such folks, Seth Godin and Eamonn Kelly have lists available. Here's Godin's Manifesto "Polkas, Pyros and Point Ds" from ChangeThis).

Assume that:
Hard drive space is free
WiFi-like connections are everywhere
Connection speeds are ten to one hundred times faster
Everyone has a digital camera
Everyone carries a device that is sort of like a laptop, but cheap and tiny
The number of new products introduced every day is five times greater than it is now
Wal-MartÂ?s sales are three times as big
Any manufactured product thatÂ?s more than five years old in design sells at
commodity pricing
The retirement age is five years higher than it is now
Your current profession is either obsolete or totally different
What then?

Eamonn Kelly's latest book, Powerful Times, helps us think about the future by thinking about "seven dynamic tensions." They are:

Clarity and Craziness
Secular and Sacred
Power and Vulnerability
Technology Acceleration and Pushback
Intangible and Physical Economies
Prosperity and Decline
People and Planet

Of course, you have to read the whole book to understand these tensions, but the list provides a sense of categories. So.Whenen we think about philanthropy and the future, can we liscertaintieses the way Godin does or identify tensions as does Kelly?

Here's a start on a list of certainties, ala Godin:

There will be significantly more philanthropic resources in the NW hemisphere than there are now
Most philanthropic resources will be held in small pots by many people
Data on giving will bubiquitousus
Giving will depend on passion
Transactions will be easy and fast
Change will be hard and slow
Individuals will have less privacy
Intellectual property will be managed differently
Appropriative technology and behaviors will flourish

And a start on a list of tensions, ala Kelly:

Privacy and transparency
Indigenous and external
Connected and isolated
Elderly and youthful

To paraphrase Godin, Now What?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good thoughts. You are on a roll these days. I hope you can break the silence inside the firewall of what I think of as decorous philanthropy. Open a door, ok? There are plenty of people outside established philanthropy with far more lift and energy and real creativity than you often find inside the sacred precints.

What can you do online and off to connect, convene, instigate?