[Paleopsych] World Future Society: Top 10 Forecasts from Outlook 2005

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Top 10 Forecasts from Outlook 2005

Each year since 1985, the editors of THE FUTURIST have selected the most
thought-provoking ideas and forecasts appearing in the magazine. Over
the years, Outlook has spotlighted the emergence of such epochal
developments as the Internet, virtual reality, and the end of the Cold

Here are the editors' top 10 forecasts from Outlook 2005:

     1. Skills for tomorrow: In the future, even more emphasis will be
placed on skills that cannot be automated. These "hyper-human" skills
include caring, judgment, intuition, ethics, inspiration, friendliness,
and imagination. Instead of a "secretary," for instance, you might
become an "administrative response specialist" by developing your
situation-management and problem-anticipation skills. --Richard W.
Samson, "How to Succeed in the Hyper-Human Economy," Sep-Oct 2004, p. 40

     2. Skills for right now: Can you work in a team? Solve complex
problems? Communicate clearly in print and in person? These are skills
that employers are increasingly demanding, according to Syracuse
University public-affairs professor Bill Coplin, author of 10 things
Employers Want You to Learn in College. Among the skills that will help
keep workers marketable in the near term are self-motivation, time
management, strong oral and written communication, relationship
building, salesmanship, problem solving, information evaluation, and
leadership. --Futurist Update, Feb 2004

     3. Worm shortage ahead. Increasing worldwide demand for fish is
creating a shortage of worms to supply anglers and fish farmers. To
supplement dwindling fresh-worm supplies from local worm farmers,
exporters are developing new high-tech worm-storage methods such as
cryogenics. --Environment in Brief, Nov-Dec 2003, p. 7

     4. Winning the battle against the desert. For less than a dollar a
tree, Tunisia is planting 40 million trees a year to combat
desertification. The government-sponsored "green wall" project uses
military manpower to keep costs low; soldiers are also being deployed to
help nomads adapt to farming. Observers believe Tunisia's program could
serve as a model for its Saharan neighbors. --World Trends & Forecasts,
Government, May-June 2004, p. 6

     5. All-day eating. Rigid distinctions among breakfast, lunch, and
dinner--and of the times of day they occur--are fading as individuals
fit their dining habits around more flexible and fluid work and life
schedules. Restaurants accommodating these blurred dining habits will
offer a mix of big, little, and medium meals during all hours. --Art
Siemering, "Cooking Globally, Eating Whenever: The Future of Dining,"
May-June 2004, p. 52

     6. Coral reef loss may rival that of rain forests. Hurricanes,
disease, climate change, pollution, and overfishing are decimating the
coral life on many of the world's reef ecosystems. The loss of 80% of
Caribbean coral reef cover in the past three decades exceeds the rate of
tropical forest loss. Researchers now predict that, with global climate
change, coral reef ecosystems will se greater changes in the next 50
years than they have faced in the last half million years. --World
Trends & Forecasts, Environment, Jan-Feb 2004, p. 14

     7. The global wage gap is closing. Rapid income growth in China and
southern Asia is helping to narrow average income inequality worldwide.
This represents a turnaround over historic trends, according to Penn
State sociologiest Glenn Firebaugh. --World Trends & Forecasts,
Economics, Mar-Apr 2004, p. 7

     8. Children's aggressiveness may increase as they spend more time
with video games than television. Because gaming is more participatory
than watching TV, children exposed to violence in video and computer
games are more at risk of acting out on aggressive impulses. --World
Trends & Forecasts, Society, July-Aug 2004, p. 16

     9. Older workers could help expand the business day. A steadily
growing cadre of older workers could expand the productive working days
of businesses. Older people--whose numbers are rising rapidly--tend to
be early risers and at their sharpest in the morning. An early-riser
work shift of 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. could expand commerce in cities as
more businesses offer services for the early birds. --World Trends &
Forecasts, Economics, May-June 2004, p. 19

     10. Water "wars" could prevent the real kind. Working out their
conflicts over water may help countries and regions resolve other
conflicts. Cooperation among Israelis, Jordanians, and Palestinians on
water issues in the Jordan River basin, for instance, involves processes
of negotiation and decision making that could serve as a model of
collaboration, says one researcher. --World Trends & Forecasts,
Government, Mar-Apr 2004, p. 9

Outlook 2005, originally published in the November-December 2004 issue
of THE FUTURIST, is available as a special 12-page report for $4 ($3.60
for Society members), cat. no. R-2425.

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