The Rio Olympics
The Rio Olympics are the first true Shift Age Olympics. While the Beijing Olympics were the first of this new age, the Rio Olympics were the first selected in the Shift Age. The Rio Olympics point to the fact that we are not only in the global stage of human evolution, but that the major players of the 21st century will different than those of the 20th.
In the past two years, I have spoken all across North America about the fact that it is not just China and India that will rise in influence in this new century but that Brazil will also be a central player. Brazil has been called “a country of the future” for decades. That future is now. They are the fifth largest country in the world both in population and size. Depending on the source they are either the 8th, or 10th largest economy. My forecast is that they will become the 5th largest economy in the next 10-15 years so they will be triple fives.
It was of course inevitable that Rio win the Olympics. South America has never hosted an Olympics, a fact that says a lot about the 20th century in addition to the politics of the euro-centric IOC. This was a powerful argument in and of itself. What really won the competition, is that the Brazilian proposal was valued at $14.4 billion dollars, three times the amount of the Chicago bid. It is this $14.4 billion that will in part address the poverty, crime and infrastructure needs of Rio. If graft can be avoided, always an issue historically in Latin America, there is a real chance that this expenditure can directly address the city’s social and economic short comings.
More than three years ago, in a column about the World Cup, I pointed out that everything is moving toward a global organization. Economics comes first, followed by culture and politics. The selection of Rio is an exclamation point to that. The future of humanity in this new century will be a global future, not a continuation of the European and North American lead 21st century.
Last March, after a speaking trip to Brazil, I wrote two columns about how a vision created a “capital for the 21st century“. Then, last summer I pointed out that the future of Detroit could be seen in Brazil. Simply put, looking at Brazil is one way to see the future. The impact that Brazil has had on the world stage over the past 50 years will be dwarfed by the impact the country will play globally between now and 2050. They will lead with culture, closely followed by economics.
The transition from the Information Age to the Shift Age is accelerating. The Shift Age is the global stage of human evolution. The word globalization has, up to now, been an economic term. It is now also about culture and politics. Rio winning the Olympics is just another signpost.
Welcome to the 21st century, the Shift Age and the global stage of human evolution.