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The Shift Age Newsletter

Welcome to the Shift Age Newsletter #7
To subscribers of past newsletters I apologize for the several month gap since the last newsletter. Staff changes, the publication of Volume 2 of the Shift Age Trend Report, and a literal explosion in number of speaking engagements affected the timely publication of the newsletter. To the hundreds of new subscribers who have joined since the last newsletter: Welcome! The Shift Age Newsletter will now be published eight times a year.

The Transformation Decade

On January 1, 2010 I wrote a column on my blog, naming the 2010-2020 decade the “Transformation Decade”. The column was an immediate viral sensation on Twitter and was republished on several other blog platforms. It was clear there was an immediate resonance to this name.

Now, it is true that a decade begins with the number 1. The last decade, which we are still technically in, started with the year 2001. Humanity however seems to be odometer obsessed as evidenced by the 1999-2000 New Year frenzy. So, at the end of the 2009, when the media started the frenzy about what this new 2010-2020 decade would be, I decided to get out in front of it and give it a name. I have been using the word transformation in my writing and speeches for the last three years as that is what I see occurring. We are in a time of great transformation.

I have reprinted this column below. Please note that it was written on 01-01-10. Zeros and ones are the binary digits of the Information Age. This means that 2010 and 2011, the first two years of the Transformation Decade, are digital years. Think about the dates of October 10, 2010 or November 11, 2011 – 10-10-10 and 11-11-11! In the future, some will say that these were the last two years of the Information Age. I suggest they are the appropriate first two years of the Transformation Decade which is the first full decade of the Shift Age.

To the right is the video I made after all the response to the original column.

This new decade, 2010-2020, will be known as the Transformation Decade. The definitions of transformation are several: the act or process of transforming, the state of being transformed, change in form, appearance, nature, or character.

Don’t those definitions feel like what has been already going on in your life and the world? Many of us have already been living in this state. Many of us have only recently felt the impending alterations, disruptions and reorganizations that have begun. Everything seems to be in a transforming state of shift.

We are entering the first full decade of the Shift Age, even though it has already taken root in the last 4 years. This new age has launched incredible shift and upheaval already. This current Great Recession can only be fully understood when seen as the reorganizational recession between two ages, the Information Age and the Shift Age. It is not unlike the recessions of the 1970s, which was the decade of transition between the Industrial and Information Ages. Almost everything is in a state of shift, in a state of being transformed.

Think about all that is going on in your life and in the world. The way we communicate has and will continue to change in form, appearance (our gadgets are vastly different that even five years ago) and character (how many of you text or tweet regularly versus even three years ago). The shape of our relationships is changing. The shape of how we work, how we live and how and in what we travel are all changing. The economy and the workplace are changing and being reshaped.

In the next ten years there will be a level of transformation probably unmatched in human history:

- humanity’s relationship to communication technology is rapidly changing and will bring on-going transformation socially, culturally and economically.
- Media will be completely different that it is today. We are only at the initial creative destruction phase of it now.
- Economic metrics will need to be transformed both on national and global levels
- How countries define defense will be transformed given the shape changing nature of our enemies and the threats that face us.
- Energy and energy use will be transformed from the 20th century ways we look at it and use it still today. Alternative and renewable energy development and use will create great new wealth and will transform landscapes and how we live
- Education is no longer serving the needs of people and society; it will be transformed. K-12 education will be dramatically transformed in the next ten years. For a large part of the population it will become K-14.
- The medical breakthroughs around the corner will make 2010-2020 the most transformative decade in medical history. This is not just due to the actual discoveries, but to what they will make us face and the moral decisions we will confront for the first time. We will all have the affordable ability to know our unique complete genetic map. We will move into the age of personalized medicine as a result. We will have fore knowledge of probable personal health conditions in the future. That will transform how we live. The concept of pre-existing conditions will largely go away as we were born with them genetically. Do you get married if you and your intended partner’s respective genetic maps are not a good match? Does knowledge trump love? Who gets to make the decision as to who gets to live forever in an over crowded world? We will have the capability to make such decisions. How do we develop the ability to do so? There will be transformation across the board in health care and medicine.

We will undergo personal transformation as well. Our consciousness will change in dynamic ways. Our relationships, our work place, our view of life and even the definition of life itself will be transformed.

The workplace will be transformed as the place part becomes less and less relevant. Human beings will only need to be in the same place to collaborate, as work is increasingly defined as collaborative.

- The Internet and our rapid fire use of mobile digital devices to access it has created a pulsing, synaptic place of unprecedented interactivity that on a global scale is starting to feel like a global brain. It is a live, morphing place called the Neurosphere that is not only transforming us now, but could well be the technological model for a new level of human consciousness in 10-20 years. That is an evolutionary level of transformation. An Evolutionshift. It may be hard for you to envision, but we are rapidly moving in that direction.

The list could go on and on as to what will be transformed. Take a snapshot look at your life now with all your relationships, ways of thinking, ways of living and ways of looking at the world I promise you that when you take the same snapshot in ten years you will astounded as to the transformation that will have occurred. The speed of change is now both constantly accelerating and environmental. It may feel uncomfortable as familiar things and ways of living are disintegrating. Transformation, to varying degrees, is always uncomfortable. We are and will be transformed in the next ten years.

We have entered the Transformation Decade.


Oprah.com of course is the extremely successful web site for Oprah and all her wonderful media properties and brands. The site has recently gone through a significant redesign and upgrade providing more useful content, increased functionality and a very contemporary look.

The great news to report here is that shortly after the new site was launched, I was invited to become a “featured contributor on Oprah.com”. A new column of mine gets published every other Friday. This of course is both a great honor and a great opportunity. We are all feeling a bit anxious and unnerved by the great upheavals, rapid changes and uncertainty in the world around us. I attempt to address and frame these new life landscapes through my eyes as a futurist. I hope you take some time to both read some of these columns and join in the conversation by signing up and offering up comments. The direct link to my columns is: www.oprah.com/davidhoule

Discount Subscription Offer for the Shift Age Trend Report

This issue of the newsletter is the first one for several hundred new subscribers. To welcome you – and for existing subscribers who missed an earlier offer – I would like to offer you a $50 discount in the subscription price for the Shift Age Trend Report. The normal annual subscription price is $275. If you subscribe following the instructions below your permanent rate will be $225. You will never pay more.

1. go to https://www.davidhoule.com/shiftstore/

2. Click on “Get Your Trend Report”
3. Follow instructions as to how to enter a promotional code. The newsletter subscription discount promo code is FSANSX
4. Make sure to set up a password so that you can access archives, videos and future Trend Reports

I hope you enjoy this media rich attempt at creating a new publishing model.