Futurist Reveals The 10 TENsions That Will Define 2010

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The Next Decade, Driven By Extraordinary Accelerating Change, Will Be Best Called the TENsions. Leading Global Futurist Ross Dawson Identifies The 10 TENsions That Will Define 2010, The Opening Year Of The Decade.

Ross Dawson, Chairman, Future Exploration Network

“The accelerating pace of change – economic, social, and technological – means that we are inevitably entering a decade best called the TENsions.”

“We are entering the decade of TENsions,” says Ross Dawson, a world-leading futurist and author. “The accelerating pace of change – economic, social, and technological – means that we are inevitably entering a decade best called the TENsions.”

Dawson, who is chairman of international futures think-tank Future Exploration Network and recognized as one of the world’s leading keynote speakers on the future of business, has identified the 10 defining TENsions for 2010.

1. Optimism - Fear
Many companies and workers are now daring to be optimistic as they put 2009 behind them, look forward to opportunities, and worry about getting left behind if things improve rapidly. Yet with the shock of the onset of the financial crisis still fresh, any optimism is subject to being shattered, resulting in wild swings in confidence.

2. Institutional work – Independent work
While many lost their jobs in 2009, sparking a rise in home-based work such as direct selling, many others gave up self-employment to return to the workforce. Over the long term more people are making the shift to work independently, by desire or necessity. However the temptations of self-employment can be replaced by desire for a steady pay packet, pulling people both ways.

3. Hyperconnected – Disconnected
The mobile Internet will explode with Google Phone and Android adding to iPhone’s success. For many work and play will happen wherever they happen to be. Others will reject the always-connected world, while some are being left behind due to the cost. The gulf between the hyperconnected and disconnected will increase.

4. Openness - Privacy
Young and old are getting used to sharing thoughts, photos, videos and more with the world at large – there is an inevitable and powerful trend to more openness and sharing. Yet the backlash is strong, with some choosing to pull out of social networks, pushing for greater privacy legislation, and crying out against pervasive government surveillance.

5. Youth – Experience
In the workplace there will be a premium placed on switched-on young people, who have high expectations of reward for their contribution. Yet many organizations are trying to work out how they will survive the loss through retirement of the massive contingent who have decades of experience. Many companies will not manage the generational tensions well.

6. Death of Media – Birth of Media
Literally hundreds of newspapers around the world have shut their doors in 2009. Broadcast TV is struggling. Advertising has slumped. Yet as traditional media staggers, a new world of mobile media, social media, video everywhere, and new business models are opening a new era in which media is at the center of the economy.

7. Immigration – Borders
Virtually every developed country is facing a natural population decrease with dire implications for fiscal policy and the economy. The tension between immigration, backed by the business community who want to drive growth, and borders, by those fearing social fragmentation and ecological impact, is becoming a key issue in almost every wealthy country.

8. Climate Activists – Climate Doubters
The gulf is widening between those who believe everything we can do to avert disastrous climate change may not be enough, and those who don’t believe or don’t care. The chasm will yawn wider between countries, between companies, and between individuals.

9. Innovation – Copying
In a global economy in which almost everything is a commodity, the only source of real value is innovation. However every innovation is copied almost instantaneously, all content flows outside commercial channels, and it is sometimes hard to distinguish between the original and the copy. The faster the pace of copying, the greater the drive to innovation.

10. Me - Everyone
In 2010 people who were born after the creation of the World Wide Web will first join the workforce. The nub of generational change today is about the tension between personal opportunity and expectations, and acting with the greater good in mind. How well can people focus both on their own well-being and that of society and the planet?

Ross Dawson is globally recognized as a leading futurist, keynote speaker, and bestselling author. He is chairman of leading international futures think-tank Future Exploration Network, while his prescient books include Living Networks, which in 2002 anticipated social networks and Twitter.

Global demand for Dawson’s inspirational keynotes has resulted in him delivering speeches across six continents, while clients of his consulting firm include many of the world’s largest banks, consultancies, and technology firms.

As a highly influential – as well as entertaining – futurist and commentator, Dawson’s insights have been frequently featured in CNN, ABC TV, USA Today, New York Times, The Guardian, and many other global media.

To organize media interviews with Ross Dawson on the TENsions or any other aspect of the future, please contact Jessica Nelson or Ross Dawson at Future Exploration Network.


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