Some long-term forecasts

The Trends Research Institute in Rhinebeck, N.Y., regularly examines over 300 trend categories. Each year, it picks the 10 biggest changes in social, economic, and political structures.
This year’s group is:
•The Energy Revolution
•New Millennium Religion
•New Millennium Family
•Whole Health Planning
•WWWMD-1 (World War of Weapons of Mass Destruction)
•Renaissance 2000
•Virtual Education
•Cold War II
•The New Politics
•The Home
Several of these have moved up in rank from previous years; others are new.
Personally, I would like to see more peace and more equal opportunity in tomorrow’s world. That is now what Gerald Celente and his Trends Researchers forecast. Here are just three of their predictions (more another time).
New sources of energy will be unleashed to drive the engines of commercial power and the tools of everyday life. Within a decade, technology breakthroughs will end dependence on coal and oil.
Laboratory work and published, peer-reviewed studies support the reality of “free energy.” Among the new energy sources are:
•low-energy nuclear reactions (LENRs)
•Zero Point Energy (ZPE)
•hydrocatalytic hydrogen power.
I hadn’t heard of these yet. But I’m sure we all will–soon. Celente says the energy revolution will go far beyond past concepts and is difficult to grasp.
The effects on all our social structures will be as revolutionary as those resulting from the discovery of fire and the invention of the wheel.
Cold War II
Globalization has opened markets and borders. But it will not unify the world’s nations under a single banner, ideology, or common purpose.
Developing nation economies crashed in the ’90s despite a powerful world economy, The neo-capitalist former communist countries, especially Russia and China, feel worse off now.
Pressure is building among the disenfranchised millions. Economic conditions are deteriorating among the globally underemployed, unemployed, and impoverished. Those doing well with the current open market policies stifle exploration and debate of economic justice.
The “global economy” is a powder keg already. Will it blow in a decade or two?
Virtual education
Schooling will be computer-powered–a lot of students of all ages will learn from home or in satellite “home rooms.”
As broadband technology comes on stream, it will transform education. Hardware will provide the machinery; innovative software will facilitate an educational revolution.
Students will interact with teachers and classmates in three-dimensional, holographic virtual classrooms.
Changes may be slowed by resistance from academics who want to protect their jobs, special interest groups that sell services to schools, and politicians hustling constituencies.
Bricks and mortar will be sold or vastly transformed. Internet universities will bid fiercely for students. Superstar teachers will command top dollar from on-line students while average and traditional teachers will be out of work.
Linda Wiens is a planning consultant, workshop facilitator, writer, and president of Northwestern Ontario’s Quetico Centre.

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