Twenty-One Trends for the 21st Century:
Out of the Trenches and into the Future
A book by Gary Marx
Published by Education Week Press, Editorial Projects in Education,
Available from www.edweek.org/go/21Trends
In this new book, author, international speaker, education leader, and futurist Gary Marx presents individual chapters about an array of massive trends that have profound implications for everyone, including our students, schools, colleges and universities, communities, organizations, states/provinces, and nations. He also suggests ways to address them. Those trends include:
- Generations: Millennials will insist on solutions to accumulated problems and injustices and will profoundly impact leadership and lifestyles.
GIs, Silents, Boomers, Xers → Millennials, Generation E
- Diversity: In a series of tipping points, majorities will become minorities, creating ongoing challenges for social cohesion.
Majority/Minority → Minority/Minority Diversity = Division ↔ Diversity = Enrichment Exclusion ↔ Inclusion
(Worldwide: Growing numbers of people and nations will discover that if we manage our diversity well, it will enrich us. If we don’t manage our diversity well, it will divide us.)
- Aging: In developed nations, the old will generally outnumber the young. In developing or less-developed nations, the young will generally outnumber the old.
Younger → Older Older → Younger
- Technology: Ubiquitous, interactive technologies will shape how we live, how we learn, how we see ourselves, and how we relate to the world.
Macro → Micro → Nano → Subatomic Atoms → Bits
Megabytes → Gigabytes → Terabytes → Petabytes → Exabytes → Zettabytes (ZB)
- Identity and Privacy: Identity and privacy issues will lead to an array of new and often urgent concerns and a demand that they be resolved.
Knowing Who You Are ↔ Discovering Who Someone Thinks You Are
What’s Private? ↔ What’s Not?
- Economy: An economy for a new era will demand restoration and reinvention of physical, social, technological, educational, and policy infrastructure.
Industrial Age Mentality → Global Knowledge/Information Age Reality
Social and Intellectual Capital → 21st Century Products and Services
- Jobs and Careers: Pressure will grow for society to prepare people for jobs and careers that may not currently exist.
Career Preparation ↔ Employability and Career Adaptability
Energy and Environmental Sphere:
- Energy: The need to develop new sources of affordable and accessible energy will lead to intensified scientific invention and political tension.
Energy Affordability, Accessibility, Efficiency ↔ Invention, Investment, and Political Tension.
- Environmental/Planetary Security: Common opportunities and threats will intensify a worldwide demand for planetary security.
Personal Security/Self Interest ↔ Planetary Security,
Common Threats ↔ Common Opportunities
- Sustainability: Sustainability will depend on adaptability and resilience in a fast-changing, at-risk world.
Short-Term Advantage ↔ Long-Term Survival
Wants of the Present ↔ Needs in the Future
- International/Global: International learning, including relationships, cultural understanding, languages, and diplomatic skills, will become basic.
Isolationist Independence ↔ Interdependence
(Sub-trend: To earn respect in an interdependent world, nations will be expected to demonstrate their reliability and tolerance.)
Education and Learning Sphere:
- Personalization: In a world of diverse talents and aspirations, we will increasingly discover and accept that one size does not fit all.
Standardization → Personalization
- Ingenuity: Releasing ingenuity and stimulating creativity will become primary responsibilities of education and society.
Information Acquisition → Knowledge Creation and Breakthrough Thinking
- Depth, Breadth, and Purposes of Education: The breadth, depth, and purposes of education will constantly be clarified to meet the needs of a fast-changing world.
Narrowness → Breadth and Depth
Public and Personal Leadership Sphere:
- Polarization: Polarization and narrowness will, of necessity, bend toward reasoned discussion, evidence, and consideration of varying points of view.
Narrowness ↔ Open Mindedness Self Interest ↔ Common Good
- Authority: A spotlight will fall on how people gain authority and use it.
Absolute Authority → Collaboration Vertical ↔ Horizontal
Power to Impose ↔ Power to Engage
- Ethics: Scientific discoveries and societal realities will force widespread ethical choices.
Pragmatic/Expedient → Ethical
- Continuous Improvement: The status quo will yield to continuous improvement and reasoned progress. Quick Fixes/Status Quo → Continuous Improvement
- Poverty: Understanding will grow that sustained poverty is expensive, debilitating, and unsettling.
Sustained Poverty ↔ Opportunity and Hope
- Scarcity vs. Abundance: Scarcity will help us rethink our view of abundance.
Less ↔ More What’s Missing? ↔ What’s Possible?
- Personal Meaning and Work-Life Balance: More of us will seek personal meaning in our lives in response to an intense, high tech, always on, fast-moving society.
Personal Accomplishment ↔ Personal Meaning
These trends were identified by author Gary Marx, president, Center for Public Outreach, Vienna, Virginia, 703-938-8725, firstname.lastname@example.org. His book, Twenty-One Trends for the 21st Century: Out of the Trenches and into the Future, includes observations from a distinguished international Futures Council 21. Copies are available in print and electronic forms from:
Education Week Press: www.edweek.org/go/21Trends (print and electronic)
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Twenty-one-Trends-21st-Century-Trenches/dp/1939864046, (print and Kindle)
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/twenty-one-trends-for-the-21st-century-gary-marx/1119436648, (Nook).