Today, streams of personalized information bombard us with sound-bites and screenshots that tell us how to be happy or healthy or how to succeed in life. The citizen is under incredible pressure, a pressure that is centered on the « ME ».

The ambient morosity this has aroused is beginning to bring out various forms anger all around the planet. More and more often this anger uses various tactics of direct actions against governments which are fearful about the force and repercussions of public opinion. If the anger continues and grows, movements of civil disobedience will appear and, if this anger is pushed to its limits, different forms of anarchism will emerge.

Nothing is written … but the pot is boiling.

As can be seen in the diagram below, the forces of change in the knowledge-based society are driven by spiralling forces that push the new society.

Information that is shared and exchanged builds public opinion. It acts as a form of energy or fuel for decision-making and taking action.

The following schema sets out an economic value for each intangible element of the previous scheme, i.e. describing the activities that could boost the Net economy by creating new types of jobs and even enterprises (the ROI : Return On Investment).

What will be the cost if there is no plan?
(A country vassalised economically and culturally?)

The mutations we are living through are deeper than we think because they are created by an exponential population curve that has only recently begun to reveal its tangible force.

In year one AD 250 million human beings inhabited the planet, in 1800 it was 1 billion, and 213 years later it is more than 7 billion. This has been described as an accursed exponential curve (Alfred Sauvy, Growth, 1973) :

This curve imposes several changes on society, generally :

The electronic components

According to an IBM 2010 study, the number of electronic components in the world will experience four exponential leaps in growth :

  • Computers: there are more than 3,000,000,000 right now.
  • Mobile phones and tablets: these devices are currently doubling.
  • there will soon be 100 billion intelligent sensors or embedded systems (objects, sensors and 3rd generation robots),
  • Radio circuits (RFID): one day there will be one trillion (with the arrival of Internet 3).

The revolution will not be computer-driven but rather led and developed by electronics.

  • Sarnoff’s law (n + n):
    The audiences of television grow as channels or channels are added.
  • Moore’s Law (nx2):
    The computer processing capabilities for data doubles every 18-24 months.
  • Metcalfe’s Law (n2):
    Networks grow to the cube of the number of their users.
The paradigms (or major transitions)

1960 Computer revolution: people discover the power of computing.

1980 The microcomputer revolution: people discover multimedia from the office and home.

1990 The Internet revolution: people discover communication in a global network.

2005 The Cloud: People are beginning to discover smart cities.

With every leap forward, there is more information and a new societal complexity that demands a greater fluidity of the brain in citizens (human enhancement).

Internet users

There are 2.4 billion today (23% of the world population).

There may be 5 billion in 8 or 10 years (66%)?

After the threshold of 33%, society will no longer be the same: democracy, economy and culture will undergo profound changes (2020?).

The transitions

All this allows us to develop hypotheses about what was before and what could be coming next :

Industrial society = knowledge-based society
Holocene = anthropocene
Communications society = information society
American hegemony = multi-polar power
Personalization = responsibilization
Predominance of the West = New « New World »
Anonymous users = user traceability
Aggregation of audiences = segmentation into niches
production economy = services economy
production economy = services economy
Mass network = mesh network
Hierarchy = wirearchy
Word of mouth = memes screen-to-screen

From the Gutenberg Galaxy to the Marconi Galaxy
Marshall McLuhan, 1962.

Another important transition has recently been identified: closed societies are becoming open : The great division of the 21st century is not between North and South, East and West (the United States and China) Or in religions, but between open and closed societies (Hillary Clinton, 2012).

The future is likely to be found in concepts such as OpenGov, the Open Economy and the Open Society.

We are witnessing emergent characteristics and forms appear as such transitions are enabling politics to force mutations on societies around the world in 2016-2017 ;

Closed government = Open government
Digital city = intelligent city
Integration of IT = integration of usage
Connection and distribution = needs, wishes, desires
Seeking economic values = social values

After 2030, 2020(?)

Throughout history people have sought to foresee and understand the future: shamans, diviners, magis, prophets and, more recently, several think tanks.

Among the groups of forecasters, the Club of Rome offers an impressive continuity of reflection. Its Stop Growth ? report (1972) presented several disturbing assumptions. Today, forty years later, another report using the same model of simulation, but modernized (World 3), produced an analysis that still supports the same initial hypotheses and conclusions.

The diagram above, presented in a report by the Smithsonian Institute (2012), confirms the worrying future that was diagnosed in 1972. Forty years ago, world leaders did not like the first report because they found it too catastrophic, notably because the report involved too many hard challenges.

Where are we at today?

If we do nothing, the 2030s are likely to witness the implosion of our civilization. Increasingly, however, many consider the forecast of some degree of implosion by 2020 to be more likely, especially if nothing is done to reverse the trend. (See the parallel between this current of thought and that of the 6th extinction).

The World is on track for disaster
Smithsonian Institute, 2012.