Shift Age [NOOK Book]


The Shift Age is about humanity's new ere. As the Information Age gives way to the Shift Age, we are entering a time of
transformation and change that offers both great risk and incredible opportunity. Originally published in 2007, David Houle
identifies and explains the dynamics and forces that already have reshaped and will continue to reshape our world for the next
20 ...
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Shift Age

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The Shift Age is about humanity's new ere. As the Information Age gives way to the Shift Age, we are entering a time of
transformation and change that offers both great risk and incredible opportunity. Originally published in 2007, David Houle
identifies and explains the dynamics and forces that already have reshaped and will continue to reshape our world for the next
20 years. He comments from the front lines of the Shift Age on issues and topics that affect our lives. We have entered the final,
global stage of humanity's cultural, social and economic evolutionary journey: The Shift Age
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Fills a useful niche between the technical emphasis of Kurzweil and the societal aspects of Toffler."
—Dennis Bushnell, Scientist

"An enlightening view of the muck and miracle of it all. I highly recommend this eye-opening book."
-Susan Jeffers, Ph.D., Author of Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway and Embracing Uncertainty

"A must-read for anyone who is interested in where humanity is headed in coming generations. This book provides an overview of how our progeny will live, work, and play in coming decades. If you want to learn more about what the future of our daily lives portends, read The Shift Age."
-Bob Citron, Co-founder and Executive Director, Foundation for the Future

"The Shift Age lifts us out of the rapids of techno-change and helps us see the course of the river we've been rafting in."
-Howard Bloom, Author of The Lucifer Principle: A Scientific Expedition into the Forces of History and Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century

"The Shift Age is an invaluable compass for aligning the work of complex organizations with the rapidly changing needs and expectations of each organization's stakeholders. Author and futurist David Houle has a knack for 'seeing around corners' in a way that both informs long-term strategic planning and provides a context for day-to-day decision-making. Never has that talent been more essential than it is now. Long before I met David, The Shift Age became mandatory reading for executive staff at Winthrop University, and it continues to be a vital orientation resource for new trustees as well."
- Dr. Anthony J. DiGiorgio, President, Winthrop University, Rock Hill, S.C.

"David Houle's Shift Age offers an outstanding proposition: the Information Age is ending with the emergence of an age of constant change. Read this book!"
- Reese Schonfeld, Co-founder of CNN, CNN Headline News, and Food Network

"The Shift Age is a well-written and pivotal book by a sharp-eyed futurist with a gift for being ahead of the curve."
-Richard Noyes, former Associate Director of the Center for Advanced Engineering Study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

"Every aspect of our lives is being impacted by the rapid and radical acceleration of technological change. David Houle's important book The Shift Age is a fascinating navigational tool that will help guide you as you speed into a future that even our imaginations cannot adequately prepare us to steer through."
-Jack Myers, Editor and Publisher of

"At last a book that explains where we're going and how we got there-written in plain English and designed for short-attention-span readers. Houle writes for all of us who buy more books than we read. After reading just a few of these commentaries, even we luddites can predict what's about to happen and understand the transformations that are now upon us."
-Bob Sirott, NBC5 Chicago News Anchor and WGN Radio Host

"David Houle shares with us such profound thoughts about and a vision for the future of humanity in his recent book, The Shift Age. I found the optimism of the human spirit that permeated in this book extremely refreshing. It's an amazing book and a must-read!"
-Dr. Feng Hsu, Senior NASA Engineer, Head of Technical & Technology Risk Assessment and Management at NASA GSFC

"Celebrated futurist David Houle is the perfect guide to show us the next great period of human development. Houle introduces us to The Shift Age, the post-Information Age world of global connectedness and individual freedom. To paraphrase another noted futurist, "Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy ride."
-Charles Memminger, Columnist for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and Author of Hey Waiter, There's an Umbrella in My Drink!

"Capturing the dynamics, distress, and decisions we all face, The Shift Age is the travel guide for the future."
-Tom Hudson, Managing Editor, First Business TV

"The Shift Age is a treasure for those of us who decide what to do on the basis of compelling visions of the future."
-Leo J. Shapiro, Founder and Chairman Emeritus, Leo J. Shapiro & Associates

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402273919
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/1/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 244
  • Sales rank: 504,598
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

David Houle is a futurist, strategist and keynote speaker. Houle is consistently ranked as one of the top futurists and futurist keynote speakers on the major search engines. Houle won a Speaker of the Year award from Vistage International, the leading organization of CEOs in the world. He is often called the "CEOs' futurist" having spoken to or advised 2,000+ CEOs and business owners in the past four years.
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Read an Excerpt


THREE YEARS AGO I set out to write a book about the future; you hold the result in your hands. The goal was to present a clear picture of the current dynamics shaping our world and to then project them forward to suggest what may lie ahead.

The thesis of Part of I of this book is that humanity is entering a new age, the Shift Age, which will be a time of great transformation for us all. As this thesis took shape, an avalanche of corroborating evidence confirmed my belief. Developments in many areas of human endeavor clearly pointed the way.

While the longer trend lines needed more research, the more immediate manifestations of these trends were everywhere. The desire to comment on them was the genesis of my futurist blog ( that has as its tagline “A Future Look at Today.” Two or three times a week I post columns that discuss news, events, and trends. Launched in early 2006, this blog quickly developed a loyal readership. Now, some 200 posts later, many of these columns are included in Part II of this book, grouped by general subject matter into chapters. These groupings and the editing they have undergone should make them fresh to even the most regular readers of the Evolution Shift blog. They provide commentary on the Shift Age, reporting from the front lines, as we move into a time of great change, much risk, and the promise of a new golden era for humanity.

We live in an age of information and media overload, which influences how we read books. Over the past three years I have had discussions with numerous people about how they read the books they buy. Many people were frustrated they were not able to read more because of the other demands on their time. Many admitted they bought more books than they read. Others would start long books but never finish them because so much of their reading had to be done in short bursts that the thread of the book was lost. I often heard that books need to be written so they can be consumed in the staccato rhythm of an “always on” life. I took these comments into account in writing this book. Most chapters are short, and the longer chapters are comprised of short chunks. Most of the columns in Part II can be read in 5 to 10 minutes. I hope you make the commitment to read the entire book. Know that it has been structured so that you can.

Finally, this will be the first of several books about the Shift Age and the future. I plan to expand upon and go deeper into some of the bigger concepts and trends of this new age with a follow-up Shift Age book. Then I plan to have a book published on the 2010-2020 decade, which could well be one of the single most transformative decades in human history. There might also be a third book that looks at a probable monumental transformation in human consciousness that could well usher humanity into a new golden age. These books, as they are about the future, may well be published in new ways and formats. So stay tuned, as we face the future together.

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Table of Contents




Part I: The Shift Age

Chapter 1: The Shift Age in Context

Chapter 2: The Threshold Decades

Chapter 3: The Shift Age

Part II: Commentary on the Shift Age


Chapter 4: Going Global

Exit Greenspan, the Economist's Rock Star

The World Cup Points the Way

Made in China

It Is All Global

Debt, Credit, Obligations, and Trust

Damaged Brands

Chapter 5: Technology and Transformation

Sometimes It Is Easy to See the Future: A Futuristic Pocketful

Happy Birthday, PC!

Sometimes It Is Easy to See the Future: Head to the Beach for a Day at Work

Always Faster

Sometimes It Is Easy to See the Future: Is It Real?

Cell Phones Are Transformative

The Future of Video Games

Technology Advances, Privacy Declines

Berkeley and Nanotechnology

A Cell Phone Milestone

Moore's Law Lives On

The iPhone Starts It Up Again

A New Cell Phone Milestone

Chapter 6: Energy and Global Warming

Solving the Energy Problem and Saving Ourselves

Europe All the Time, New York When It Needs To

A Walk on the Beach

Once Again It Starts in California

National Defense Becomes Green

Make Global Warming an Economic Issue

Three Cheers for Titanium Dioxide

A Man Who Is Working to Save the Planet

We Have Only Just Begun

Change the Language, Change the Thinking

Sputnik: 50 Years Later

Chapter 7: Our Automotive Future

An Electric Car

A Man Who Wants to Change the World

The Quest for the Perfect Battery: Part One

The Quest for the Perfect Battery: Part Two

The Compressed Air Car

Chapter 8: A Time of Disintermediation

Disintermediation: A Buzzword to Bring Back

Disintermediation: A Deeper Look

Watching Video, Selling a Home, Buying Insurance

The Political Party in the United States: A Candidate for Disintermediation?

Guilty Pleasures

Disintermediation Is Rarely Partial

Say Good-bye to the 6-percent Commission Rule

Chapter 9: Intellectual Property, the Wealth of the Shift Age

Intellectual Property Is the New Valuation

A Historic Day for Intellectual Property

The Financial Exchange for the 21st Century

The Merchant Banker of Intellectual Capital

Chapter 10: The Morphing of Media


High-touch Media

A Media Milestone

Three Deaths of a Media Icon

A Book Convention: In the Year 2025

Chapter 11: Culture at the Beginning of the Shift Age

In the Future, Let's All Get Caught Napping

Coffee and Caffeine

The New Coffee Culture and Why It Reflects Our Changing World

New and Threatening Becomes Acceptable and Mainstream


Water Redux

A 20th-century Habit

Time Capsule for 2057

Expanding the Definition of Life

A Happiness Index

2007: Looking Back and Looking Forward



About the Author

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Customer Reviews

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( 1 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2012

    Pay attention ... everyone should know about this author

    I was blind before reading this book and had no idea futurism even existed ... OK well maybe a little, ages ago I read Future Shock. Truth is that since then I had not paid attention. The world is in a perpetual motion of shift change, and the rate of change is almost becoming indescribable. Incredibly, the author sorts through the muck and identifies the changing categories. I strongly suggest you read anything by this author. I did a bit of research and understand a new one is coming off the press (same publisher - Sourcebooks), now.

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