You know I’m obsessed with the concept ofÂ communities,Â ecosystems, as I’m convinced it’s a long-time trend that is disrupting, bits by bits, our ancient world made out of companies, states and organizations that adapt too slowly and too badly to theÂ empowered people grouped in communities, across genders, race, countries (end of the lyrical intro, it’s more nuanced in reality obviously).
I’ve literally burnt my eyes reading the National Intelligence Council, a branch of the CIA, latest report on “Global Trends 2030”. It’s bright, easy to read, full of bridges between demographics, economics, sociology and environment studies, and gives a neat outlook of big trends, a few catalyzers that can change our world, and different scenarii. If you liked Asimov’s psychohistory, you will love this report, accessible fully online at gt2030.com.
Trends and futurology here embrace geopolitics and the way some will gain or loose in the next two decades. There are many factors, from the growth and age of the population to its mobility, from the recent natural gas fracking frenzy to the possible relationships between the US and China. New leaders are bound to grow also, from Indonesia to Mexico or Turkey, when other, such as Europe, Russia or Japan, will keep depressing slowly but surely.
My interest in linking my own theories about community & ecosystems to this book is that many trends suggest that we’re only at the beginning of a world where groups, networks, and new power units such as cities or the Anonymous will gain in importance.Â
Two of the four “trends” (described as long-term tectonical movement that won’t change) favor the rise of the communities.Â
- First, with the emancipation and empowerment of the individual. One is more rich, more healthy, more educated and more mobile than before, with more freedom from traditional bodies such as states, companies, religions, trade unions, families and even love (see this convincing piece of The Economist on the rise of “singletons”)
- Then, with the “diffusion of power”, a concept which explains how the power is going from states to regions and cities, from the West to a more multipolar world, and from center, and from centralized bodies to networks of people, interests, across traditional borders. Internet and social media show well how a tool can empower this new dispersion (I also recommend to check out Don Tapscott’s new networks of collaboration)
Among the “catalyzers”, described as questions whose answer will push our world in different directions (but still within the frame given by the trends), the adaptation of the actual governance to a fast-changing world is yet another sign that communities and ecosystems could play a bigger role. If present-day governing bodies, from the UN to states, can’t adjust, chances are other forms of power will fill the void.
Again, I highly recommend this report, for it gives a clear set of trends and possibilities in which to grow your own ideas and ventures.