Three paths to future linked

AS A futurist daring to go where few men have gone before – into the future – I bump into some interesting minds.

While a few are just mumbling to themselves, the majority are engaging in serious debate about what it all means and where is it all going.

Generally – and trend forecasters deal in generally – the next century is described by three scenarios, each with its own title. Each is linked and all are true.

The Century of the Pacific comes out of the realisation that after 200 years of world trade dominance by the North Atlantic nations of Europe and America, there is a shift in world trade power to the Australasian nations bordering the western and southern Pacific.

This region embraces Japan in the north, across China and as far west as India and south through South-East Asia to include Australia and New Zealand. Definitely Australia.

This heresy to most American-based multinationals is supported by global organisations such as the World Bank, which predicts half the world’s wealth will be in the Australasian region within thirty years.

This may explain why the US-led International Monetary Fund recently destabilised some Asian economies resulting in unwanted foreign ownership of their commercial assets.

Because economic power and cultural influence always go hand in glove, the Century of the Pacific means the 500 years of cultural dominance by the

values and attitudes underlying Christianity will be modified by the Confucian values predominating in the Australasian region.

While all great philosophies about humans share more beliefs than not, there are significant differences already impacting the way we do business.

The world is already moving from the male paradigm or world view (aggressive, competitive, win-lose, left-brain rational, quantitative values) to the female paradigm (nurturing, cooperative, empowering, win-win, right brain intuitive, qualitative values).

This explains why the second title for the coming century is the Century of Women, or preferably, the Century of Feminine. (Honest, guys, I did not create this title – global male futurists did).

It is not about gender but about operating from the feminine traits that all humans have.

The notion of working together in a supportive way to find the win-win, leads us to the third title for the coming century – the Century of Healing.

Most thinking people recognise the world is not a healthy, happy place. The International Union of Scientists, including seventy Nobel Laureates, says we have thirty years at the max before planet Earth begins to irrevocably die.

Society is degenerating daily in all the major urban centres in the world. We must do things differently.

Futurist ex-Nixon economist Robert Toehold identified this title and made it known to millions of people around the world.

His message given, Robert passed away on 27 November, knowing the Healing Century is already underway. Vale Robert Theobald, 1929-1999, and thank you.

• Ann Macbeth is a futurist and principal of Annimac Consultants.

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