Every year, the Institute for the Future (IFF) explores the big news of the next decade. These are the stories that make the focal points of change and consolidation. They will give the future its broad outlines, set the context for strategy and policy, and ultimately create the artifacts of daily life. The Map of the Decade imagines these stories as artifacts of the future.
The six major categories are: people, places, ecologies, markets, practices and tools. Every time a big story breaks, there are several smaller stories that surround it. It is those smaller stories, according to the IFF, that add up to the big directional changes. How do the signals you find in the map and in your observations drive the big stories?
The map is dotted with issues that cannot be solved by "either/or" thinking but require new strategies that go beyond simple problem solving. Let me give you a tangible example of group economy. Alex Hillman, one of the voices and organizers of our recent blog|Philadelphia, just signed the lease for Independents Hall, a co-working arrangement that will allow him and a group of independent entrepreneurs to share a space, making it easier to energize and assist each other.
This may be the beginning of a series of new initiatives of this kind.
What you're looking at here is the map for 2006. The six big stories for 2007 are:
- A Planet at Risk
- Marginal Mainstreams
- Participatory Culture
- New Commons
- Molecular Vision
- Looking Long
For a closer look at the actual content, you will need to purchase the map. However, we could start a conversation here about the smaller stories that surround these and do some forecasting of our own. As I wrote elsewhere, the future is now. Shall we take a look at participatory culture and new commons? What do they look like in 2007 and what will that mean for the future?