Summary of Powerful Times

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Powerful Times book summary


8 Overall

7 Importance

8 Innovation

8 Style


Eamonn Kelly’s predictions aren’t as simple as those offered by some futurists, but that’s because he’s trying to be realistic about the complexity of "powerful times." And while Kelly’s ideas aren’t simple, they are clear. You can take any one of his predictions, such as the growing importance of water or the rise of consciousness about the sacred, and work through the implications for business and home life. In fact, Kelly explicitly asks readers to do so. His afterword poses a series of questions about how individuals and organizations are experiencing the changes he enumerates and invites readers to share their ideas within their organizations and on his Web site. Kelly emphasizes that humanity has just begun to feel the effects of many of the high-profile changes of recent decades, and that they haven’t yet worked their way through the global economy. If the book has a weakness, it is that it’s so focused on the United States. Kelly’s treatment of Western ideals in general, and of U.S. military and political aims, seems to take America’s self-image for granted. getAbstract recommends Kelly’s book to policy wonks, executives involved in change management and, in general, anybody seriously planning for the future.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why the future won’t look like the past;
  • How seven pairs of social forces are intersecting to shape both the present and the future; and
  • How to plan for global change.

About the Author

Eamonn Kelly is CEO of Global Business Network (GBN), and co-author of What’s Next? Exploring the New Terrain for Business and The Future of the Knowledge Economy.



"Powerful Times"
Today is a time of great "cognitive dissonance," as popular notions about the world seem less and less relevant to what’s actually happening. Complexity and ambiguity seem to be constantly increasing. Policymakers face questions with sweeping implications...

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