The people who tend to profit most and lead the rest are those who begin addressing the problems and possibilities of the future before the future arises. While most still considered ourselves riding the waves of the "industrial revolution" era, a few innovators and forward thinkers such as like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs saw the rise of personal computing and the coming "information age." On the heals of this, people with Google and dot.comers looked on the horizon and recognized the transformation taking place. Most did nothing.
However, there were clues for everyone else.
In Newsweek, on January 3, 1983 we might have read "...information superhighways being built of fiber-optic cable will link Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, D. C. in a 776-mile system on the East Coast."
Or we might have seen the New York Times on October 26, 1993 state, "One of the technologies Vice President Al Gore is pushing is the information superhighway, which will link everyone at home or office to everything else—movies and television shows, shopping services, electronic mail and huge collections of data
Or on April 12, 1993 see the Time Magazine cover story which announced "The Info Highway: Bringing a revolution in entertainment, news and communication."
YES, it is clear that the Information Society has come and it affects our lives every single day. (Possibly every few minutes for those of us who are addicted!) And of course, our deluge of and demand for information won't just go away anytime soon.
HOWEVER, who's asking the "What's next" question now?.... WHAT COMES AFTER THE INFORMATION SOCIETY?? Or are we simply living in the final frontier?
According to Rolf Jensen, the director of the Copenhagen Institute for Future Studies, "What comes next is the Dream Society. It's a new society in which businesses, communities, and people as individuals will thrive on the basis of their stories, not just on data and information."
In his book, The Dream Society: How the Coming Shift from Information to Imagination will Transform Your Business, Jensen argues that the Information society will "morph" into the Dream society. "Harsh logic" and overwhelming amount of uninterpreted data will force the need and growing demand for those people and companies who can "appeal to our hearts, not to our heads." He states, "When this has happened, the prevailing societal model in the affluent countries will no longer be the Information Society, but the Dream Society. Now is the time to add emotional value to products and services."
Any marketing expert will agree with Jensen that consumers buy with their hearts and "rationalize with their heads afterwards." And the businesses that thrive in the Dream Society will be the ones that discover and engage the hearts of their people and their customers and clients. These businesses will syphon out the scores of irrelevant data and tell stories. They will dream dreams and help others do the same. And "Most likely the medium of the Dream Society will be the picture."
What markets will become more and more vital in the dream society according to Jensen?
1. "The Adventure for Sale" Market: Those appeal to our desire for adventure. From nature adventures and cruises to sports and film that takes somewhere exciting.
2. "The Togetherness, Friendship and Love" Market: Companies and groups that can create authentic community will thrive.
3. "The Care" Market: Companies and groups that meet emotional needs and give, show and display compassion, comfort and bestow healing will become more vital. Those that can bring help and happiness will thrive. This will also include humanitarian organizations that bring people and organizations together on behalf of the hurting and the oppressed.
4. "The Who-Am-I" Market: Companies and groups that help people discover and engage their identity and even express that identity will thrive. People will seek an image, brand or recognition in the absence of traditional communities, national identities or ethnic affiliations. Who will help those brands define, create and market themselves?
5. "The Peace of Mind" Market: As change continues to constantly increase, companies and groups that "In an insecure and changeable world, there is a demand for peace of mind," writes Jensen. Those share these mind stories and create the environments where people can rest emotionally and even find relief from the pace of technology and information will gain market share and help people in tangible ways.
So, what does it all mean? First, there's a HUGE OPPORTUNITY for today's creative types, the artists, the designers, marketers, the storytellers and the dreamers to shape and make a difference in this new dream world. Secondly, those companies, organizations, churches, non-profits and individuals that authentically find their own hearts, passions and dreams will bring those to others and not lack for an audience of those who need that as well.
Personally, I think dreaming is serious business. What do you think?
Idea: Share this post with your team. Could make for a cool discussion, huh? The kind of discussion that may even change the world!
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