In 1970, Alvin Toffler's Future Shock altered the world's thinking by arguing that society was facing a "future shock," a certain psychological state of individuals and entire societies -- namely that the world had "too much change in too short a period of time." Toffler popularized new concepts such as "information overload" and the "third wave." His insights resulted in a US president to commission a special report, inspired cultural and artistic creations, and gave a powerful new concept to the social sciences.
Could Lynda Gratton's Shift: The Future Work is Already Here have a similar influence in the way we perceive the world and work? It's certainly too early to see, but from judging the arguments made and the quality of thought put into the book, there is great potential.
A faculty at the University of London's Business School, Gratton looks at current developments of the world, and predicts what it would look like in 2025. A workbook created is available for download that offers readers an opportunity to think more deeply about how to go about crafting one's working future. Follow the three steps and ten questions to make the Shift yourself - Download The Shift workbook. Free of business jargon or economic models, the book is offers refreshing look at what might be, not what the world should be. This book is an excellent companion for any librarian and information worker who is truly interested in how information, data, and the web is altering our work and our lives
1. Force of Technology - Ten pieces of this technological puzzle includes: technological capability increases exponentially; five billion become connected; the Cloud becomes ubiquitous; continuous productivity gains; social participation increases; the world's knowledge becomes digitalized; mega-companies and micro-entrepreneurs emerge; avatars and virtual worlds; the rise of cognitive assistants; technology replaces jobs.
2. Force of Globalization - Eight storylines that emerge: 24/7 and the global world; the emerging economies; China and India's decades of growth; frugal innovation; the global educational powerhouses; the world becomes urban; continued bubbles and crashes; the regional underclass emerge
3. Force of Demography and Longevity - Four trends will emerge: the ascendance of Generation Y; increasing longevity; some baby boomers grow old and poor; global migration increases
4. Force of Society - Seven developments will reshape our way of living: families become re-arranged; the rise of reflexivity; the role of powerful women; the balanced man; growing distrust of institutions; the decline of happiness; passive leisure increases
5. Force of Energy and Resources - Three emerging trends in energy that will affect the way we work: energy prices increase; environmental catastrophes displace people; a culture of sustainability begins to emerge