2007 Ten-Year Forecast
The Future is a Passage Through Worlds We’ve Yet to Imagine
Human transitions are accomplished through passages—whether culturally sanctioned personal rites of passage or huge migrations that, only in retrospect, can be seen as movements from one way of life to another. These passages are often stormy, frightening, chaotic. They call on previously untapped human abilities, both personal and cultural, to navigate through worlds that appear to be disintegrating, hopefully to put the pieces back together in a new configuration, a new kind of living.
We suspect that, like migrants, we humans are all beginning a long trek through strange territories we have only rumors of. The rumors come in many forms from many sources, some more reliable than others. While science-fiction images of cyborg cultures and long- standing tales of apocalypse seep into our imaginations—and even lead us down particular roads—more measured forecasts help us put together the intelligence we need to make rational, if also unex- pectedly innovative, choices at each step.
This year, TYF presents ten new Perspectives. They can help us begin to imagine the worlds we will pass through in the coming decades, as well as the world we will create through that passage. But perhaps more important, we point to some fundamental shifts in the imaginative tools we will need to get there.