- Massive trade deficit, soaring personal and government debt, a housing bubble, runaway military expenditures, and skyrocketing healthcare costs with employers' insurance plans covering less and less these days (the usual)
- Globalization 3.0 and the commoditization of knowledge-work & knowledge-workers
- Peak oil supply will have been breached (some say it has already, others say it will happen anywhere between 2004 and 2010), resulting in soaring oil prices (far more than they are today) and the race for efficient mass production & distribution of low-cost alternative energy sources
- Retirement of the "baby-boom" generation (starting in 2007 and peaking between 2010-2020) and its impact upon social security reserves (because of ERISA) and US supply of knowledge-workers
- Global warming and depletion of the environment will reach the point of no return sometime between 2010 and 202o (if you believe Al Gore in the recent documentary "An Inconvenient Truth")
- Likelihood of global pandemic flu (possibly bird-flu, but possibly any other kind of flu) happening within the next 5-10 years, and its global impact on medical and industrial/business supply chains (how far away will we be from harnessing nano-biotechnonology when it hits?)
I gleaned all of this just from browsing a bunch of books on amazon.com, like the following:
- The End of Oil : On the Edge of a Perilous New World; by Paul Roberts
- The Coming Economic Collapse : How You Can Thrive When Oil Costs $200 a Barrel; by Stephen Leeb, Glen Strathy
- Second Great Depression; by Warren Brussee
- Empire of Debt : The Rise of an Epic Financial Crisis; by William Bonner
- The Great Bust Ahead: The Greatest Depression in American and UK History is Just Several Short Years Away. This is your Concise Reference Guide to Understanding Why and How Best to Survive It; by Daniel A. Arnold
There are LOTS more saying the same things. On the other hand, a few authors hold out hope that we will finally focus on some of the right things (like the environment and alternative energy sources, and turning to nature itself for innovation):
- Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things; by William McDonough, Michael Braungart
- Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution; by Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins, L. Hunter Lovins
- Biomimicry : Innovation Inspired by Nature; by Janine M. Benyus
These things are all converging together (coming to a "head") within the next 10 years. I wonder what the state of Agility will be like then ...
- Will little/no inventory be desirable amidst the threat of global supply chain disruptions due to pandemic health crisis?
- Or will agile business partnerships and the resulting "agile business ecosystems" somehow be "autonomic" by that time.
- As for oil and transportation, might not the threat of pandemic flu end up fueling "virtual" travel and telecommuting?
- Or will that just give people more time to use their cars for non-work reasons.
- Who will want to go to the mall or the grocery store if they're worried about contracting life-threatening illnesses?
- What about emerging markets that are going to "boom" but haven't yet? (Many say nanotechnology and biotechnology will do this eventually - but when?)
I won't be eligible for retirement for ~30 years, and within ~15 years I want to be able to finance a college education for my two children (less than 2 years apart in age). All this sort of makes me want to say "Beam me up Scottie!", or "Why oh why didn't I take the blue pill!"