FUTURIST Magazine Releases Special Report on Trends Shapping Tomorrow's World

April 29, 2008 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
THE FUTURIST mgazine and The World Future Society have released a 33-page report examining key trends in technology, management, labor, energy, values, lifestyles and other vital areas, entitled 55 Trends Shaping Tomorrow's World. The report was written jointly by science writer Owen Davies and Marvin Cetron, a former White House advisor, current president of Forecasting International, and a WorldFuture 2008 confirmed speaker.

"For more than four decades, Forecasting International has conducted an ongoing study of the forces changing our world. One of the values of tracking major trends over such a long period is that we usually can see whether sudden shifts are indicators of seismic transitions or merely temporary anomalies or fads. This has made it possible for us to anticipate many specific developments in fields ranging from terrorist studies to the future of commercial laundries," write Cetron and Davies in the report's introduction.

Among the trends covered:
* The changing nature of family: "In the United States, one-third of Gen Xers have returned home at some point in their early lives. Among the millennial generation, the figure is even higher," they write.

* The Dry Century: "By 2040, at least 3.5 billion people will run short of water, almost 10 times as many as in 1995…. The water table in Beijing has fallen nearly 200 feet since 1965…. By 2050, fully two-thirds of the world's population could be living in regions with chronic, widespread shortages of water."

* Global aging: "Worldwide, the elderly (defined by officials as age 65 and older) numbered 440 million and represented 6% of the global population in 2002. Their numbers will nearly double by 2020 and more than triple by 2050, to nearly 17% of total population, according to the U.S. Census Bureauís International Data Base…. Japanís over-65 population will be 22% of [its] total [population] in 2010 and nearly 37% in 2050."

* Gender equality: "There were nearly 10.4 million women-owned U.S. businesses in 2006, up 42% from 1997. The increase was nearly twice the national average for all businesses. Women-owned firms currently employ 13 million people and generate $1.9 trillion in sales…. In Britainís top 20 firms, 90% now have at least one female director on their boards, reports the U.K. Department of Trade and Industry. In the United States, women comprised 14.6% of the directors at Fortune 500 companies in 2006."

* The death of privacy: "In Britain, an estimated 4.2 million surveillance cameras watch over streets, office buildings, schools, and shopping centers. On average, Britons are caught on camera an estimated 300 times per day…. In large and medium-sized cities around the world, spaces that remain unwatched by video cameras will continue to shrink."

* Time scarcity: Once thought to be a purely American problem, time-pressure has become a fact of life across the developing world. "In a recent survey by the Chinese news portal Sina.com, 56% of respondents said they felt short of time. That 64% said they were never late and were intolerant of other peopleís tardiness suggests a new cultural challenge to the traditional Chinese concept of a leisurely existence."

All of these findings, facts, and forecasts plus dozens more were included in the report, originally released as part of the March-April and May-June 2008 issues of THE FUTURIST magazine. An individual report can be obtained from the World Future Society in either print or online PDF format for $10 at www.wfs.org.

Cetron will be presenting at this year's annual World Future Society Conference, WorldFuture 2008, to be held at July 26-28, 2008, Hilton Washington, Washington, D.C.

Editors: For more information on 55 Trends Shaping Tomorrow's World, THE FUTURIST magazine, or the World Future Society, feel free to contact director of communications Patrick Tucker 301-656-8274 ext. 116, ptucker@wfs.org. More information about the World Future Society can also be obtained from the Societyís Web site, www.wfs.org.