Call for Revolutionary Thinking Problem of prediction Summary text 6

Call for Revolutionary Thinking Problem of prediction Summary text 6

Call for Revolutionary Thinking Problem of prediction Summary text 6

 Summary written text


1. Call for Revolutionary Thinking

We live in an ageing world. While this has been recognized for some time in developed countries, it is only recently that this phenomenon has been fully acknowledged. Global communication is “shrinking” the world, and global ageing is “maturing” it. The increasing presence of older persons the world is making people of all ages more aware that we live in a diverse and multi-generational society. It is no longer possible to ignore ageing, regardless of weather one views it positively or negatively.

Demographers note that if current trends in ageing continue as predicted, a demographic revolution, wherein the proportions of the young and the old will undergo a historic crossover, will be felt in just three generations. This portrait of change in the world’s population parallels the magnitude of the industrial revolution – traditionally considered the most significant social and economic breakthrough in the history of human kind since the Neolithic period. It marked the beginning of a sustained movement towards modern economic growth in much the same way that globalization is today marking an unprecedented and sustained movement toward a “global culture.” The demographic revolution, it is envisaged, will be at least as powerful.

While the future effects are not known, a likely scenario is one where both the challenges as well as the opportunities will emerge from a vessel into which exploration and research, dialogue and debate are poured. Challenges arise as social and economic structures try to adjust to the simultaneous phenomenon of diminishing young cohorts with rising older ones’ and opportunities present themselves in the sheer number of older individuals and the vast resources societies stand to gain from their contribution. This ageing of the population permeates all social, economic and cultural spheres. Revolutionary change calls for new, revolutionary thinking, which can position policy formulation and implementation on sounder footing.In our ageing world, new thinking requires that we view ageing as a lifelong and society-wide phenomenon, not a phenomenon exclusively pertaining to older persons.


If the fact and trend that we are living in an ageing world continues, the demographic revolution, as powerful as the industrial revolution, will bring both challenges and opportunities to the society and will be a life long and society wide phenomenon.


2. The Problem of prediction

As far as prediction is concerned, remember that the chairman of IBM predicted in the fifties that the world would need a maximum of around half a dozen computers, that the British Department for Education seemed to think in the eighties that we would all need to be able to code in BASIC and that in nineties Microsoft failed to foresee the rapid growth of the Internet. Who could have predicted that one major effect of the automobile would be to bankrupt small shops across the nation? Could the early developers of the telephone have foreseen its development as a medium for person-to-person communication, rather than as a form of broadcasting medium? We all, including the ‘experts’ seem to be peculiarly inept at predicting the likely development of our technologies, even as far as the next comparing the technology of the Internet with the development of other information and communication technologies and by examining the earlier development of radio and print. But how justified I might be in doing so remains an open question. You might conceivably find the history of the British and French videotex systems, Pres-tel and Mini-tel, instructive. However, I am not entirely convinced that they are very relevant, nor do I know where you can  find information about them online, so, rather than take up space here, I’ve briefly described them in a separate article.


We all, including expert, seem to be unlikely to predict the development of our, even recent, technologies, though you could compare them with earlier technologies and find relevant information.

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