September 23, 2013

Mark Stephenson - From Industrialism to a Networked Society

Mark Stephenson, a possibilist, futurologist and author of 'Optimists Tour of the Future' recently featured on Radio 4's show, 'Bremner's One Question Quiz, What Does the Future Hold?' He laid out some fascinating insights into what the future holds. Here's an example:
"As we move out of industrialism, we become a much more networked society. Our political system is not built to deal with long term thinking. As we become more and more connected, people are coding their way around those inefficiencies. By, for instance, taking their town off grid, therefore getting together and actually doing stuff. Networks of people who are designing healthcare in their community; Redesigning the energy supply in their community. I think we're moving to a world where we become citizen and state." 
Mark then made reference to Douglas Adams who had said that there were three types of technology:
1. Technology invented before you were born which you don't think of in technology. Like sewers and paper.

2. Technology invented between the ages of 0 and 35 which you get super excited about. For many, this is the Internet, mobile phones, etc.

3. Then there's the technology developed after you're 35 which you see as pointless and which makes you angry.  

Mark said of that:
"For my generation that's things like 3D tv and Twitter; I've got friends who are literally furious that Twitter even exists."

Mark further said:
"The people who determine the strategic direction of a nation or an organisation are usually in the last category. Yet most of the population are in the second category and so you get institutional bewilderment."

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