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LOOKING BACKWARD, LOOKING FORWARD: PART 1

FIVE BIG FORCES SHAPING OUR SOCIETY

JANUARY 1, 2013

Introduction

On the cusp of another year, it is customary to take stock of the past and what it might mean for the future. There is an ample inventory of newsmakers, events and personalities assembled by the media and pundits. What I wanted to do here is look beyond these more specific things and look for the broader social forces producing really important changes in our society and our future. To qualify for this list, the forces must be beyond the obvious news of the day and they must be operating in ways that are either largely hidden from mainstream discussion or even working in ways opposite to the received wisdom. Another feature which will distinguish this list is that there is at least some empirical evidence supporting the contention that these are crucial forces. All of these forces are rooted in longer term trends and have implications for the foreseeable future. While these five forces are by no means discrete nor are they an exhaustive list of the engines of our future, I believe they are all either misunderstood or not receiving attention commensurate with their importance to our lives. These forces are rooted largely in the realm of culture, social organization and the economy. In our wrap up, we will relate these forces back to the current state of politics and why the political realm is increasingly incapable of recognizing let alone solving the critical challenges of our time.

In Part 1 of this series, we look at Canada’s shifting class structure.

Click here for the full report: Looking Backward – Part 1 (January 1, 2013)

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