What a year 2012 was! The economic and geopolitical problems plaguing much of the planet at the beginning of last year have, without exception, intensified as we move into 2013.
Never in our 33 years of trend forecasting have we experienced a year that rang out on such a downbeat note and a New Year that is ringing in with so muted an upbeat.
Though we had forecast most of the troubling trends – and are well aware of the intransigent problems at their roots – we see positive solutions and opportunities even as the world lurches further into crisis; solutions and opportunities that you will read about only in The Trends Journal:
1. War: Call them what you will – civil wars, uprisings, protests, Arab Spring, terrorism, rebellions – when we add them up they equal the “The First Great War of the 21stCentury.” Yet, even now, as the conflicts proliferate, only The Trends Journal recognizes that they are not only connected, but also cumulative.
2. Peace: From our trends catbird seat we see the ships of state heading on a collision course that will wreak global havoc. But if the Captains (Presidents, Prime Ministers, Chancellors, Kings and Emirs) follow the course we chart, not only will much of the world escape the worst ravages of war, we will sail toward a prosperous and peaceful future.
3. The Next Great Awakening: The American Revolution had its roots in a powerful, little celebrated religion-inspired movement called “The Great Awakening.” We, at The Trends Journal have already determined that the stage has been set for a Second American Revolution that will draw its inspiration from a new “Great Awakening.” However, while the “New Awakening” we are forecasting will have a spiritual basis, it will not be “Christian specific,” and the Revolution it engenders will be fought with hearts and minds, not bullets and armies.
4. A Fracking Future: Is energy independence in store for the United States and other nations with rich shale gas deposits? While it will certainly create the millions of high-paying jobs that fracking proponents promise, will it also create the environmental “Frackenstein” that opponents of fracking fear? In an agenda-free, in-depth report, our science editor weighs the complex pros and cons.
5. Millenials In Motion: The Millennials, born from around 1980 through 2000 and some 77 million strong, are slated to become the first American generation to be financially worse off than their parents were. We’ve labeled them “Generation “Eff’d.” For them, the perpetual growth and abundance once perceived as an American birthright has been replaced by a bleak future and an economy of constraint. We analyze what they want, how to sell them, and forecast what to expect from them.
6. Bonds Away!: The Bond Bomb is ready to explode … threatening to make the real estate and dot-com bubbles, even the Great Recession, look like “market corrections.” Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, economist and former assistant Secretary of the Treasury (under Ronald Reagan), sees a road to financial collapse that will make investors wish that the Mayan Prophesy had come true!
7. New Millennium Education: The digital revolution has clearly begun to reshape our brick-and-mortar education system. But the New Millennium Education trend we forecast is a megatrend in the making, one that will entirely reconfigure our schools and our ideas about what education “looks like” and can be. While there is general agreement that the education system must adapt to the Digital Age, the magnitude of the coming change is not fully appreciated. Entire new professions will develop and a range of creative entrepreneurial opportunities will arise to meet the challenges and profit from the opportunities.
8. Secession Progression: A year ago, we forecast secession movements springing up around the world. The trend has grown from ripple to groundswell as citizens become increasingly hostile to their unresponsive governments. Following the re-election of Barack Obama in the US, over a million people signed petitions in favor of seceding from the Union. Worldwide, there are some 250 secessionist movements. As governments focus upon saving only the too-big-to-fail, people will rise up against nations seen as “too-big-to govern” and “too-broken-to fix.” The evidence for a secession trend is obvious, but the media and politicians ignore or deride it.
Plus Top Trends 2013 in technology, the Internet, cyberspace, food, wellness and nutrition that will present challenges for the off-trend while presenting opportunities to the trend-savvy.
Here’s what Gerald predicted for 2012, very accurate!!