The Nature of the Future

The Nature of the Future

Dispatches from the Socialstructed World

Free Press, 2013 more...

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  • Innovative


Behold a future in which “amplified individuals” live in “socialstructed” societies, using advanced networking to solve socioeconomic problems using massive amounts of data and disrupting traditional institutions and norms. In this speculative exploration, Marina Gorbis, executive director of the Institute for the Future in Silicon Valley, challenges you to imagine a postindustrial economy where machines work while people apply reasoning and creativity to advance society. Although Gorbis uses futuristic scenarios and limited Silicon Valley examples to make her argument – rather than more rigorous research – she vividly portrays a future in which people alter society through increased knowledge, better technology and interconnected communities. getAbstract recommends her vision to business leaders, investors, entrepreneurs, academics and policy makers who are trying to predict how socioeconomic and technological changes will affect the future.


“Socialstructing” and “Microcontributions”

Society is in the midst of a technological revolution, a powerful shift away from a world of industrial production and toward a new age of economics that values social connections and emotional rewards – a phenomenon known as “socialstructing.” The “amplified individual,” a man or woman who has access to collective intelligence and who is empowered by technology, stands at the core of this coming transformation in society and the global economy.

In the past, formal institutions such as universities, governments, hospitals, corporations and banks were responsible for organizing and safeguarding important societal structures. In the future, society will benefit from microcontributions from giant networks and connected communities. Using new social tools and technologies, these networks and communities will create value and wealth that disrupt today’s conventions, monetary frameworks, education, politics and health care. As the amplified future emerges, new individually designed and personally driven networks will give ordinary people access to communities and knowledge once available only to members of large or private institutions...

About the Author

Marina Gorbis, the executive director of the Institute for the Future in Silicon Valley, is a frequent speaker and guest blogger on future organizational, technological and social issues.

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