Chapter 7. Acceleration – Guiding Our Extraordinary Future

II. Global Progress: Five Goals, Ten Values, Many Trends

In this section, we’ll look deeper at these proposed Five Goals of complex systems. We’ll argue that these goals are not only central to adaptive living systems, but to the most adaptive groups, organizations, societies, and technologies. They are also, in my view, among the best ways we can presently define and measure social progress.

Kelly 2016

Under each goal we’ll also consider two potentially universal social values that seem closely associated with those goals, and a sample of three global sociotechnological trends that seem particularly important to advancing each goal at present. That will give us Ten Values and Fifteen Trends that seem to be among the top processes for us to understand, manage, and lead in our modern exponential world.

Unlike the goals and values, which seem to me to be particularly universal, these fifteen trends are an incomplete set. But they are the most important global trends I can presently envision when I contemplate each goal and its related social values. You can consider these fifteen trends to be my own evo devo-derived version of the twelve global trends that Kevin Kelly proposes in his prescient and very thoughtful book, The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 (Socio-)Technological Forces that Will Shape Our Future, 2016.

Here then are the top goals, social values, and global trends that should be understood and managed by the modern foresight leader, in my view. We’ll discuss each of these goals, social values and trends in the next five sections.

1. Innovation. Social values: Freedom and Creativity

Global trends:
Urbanization: Our Urban, Productive and Efficient Future
Democratization: Our Open, Shared and Crowd Future
Demonetization: Our Abundant and Affordable Future

2. Intelligence. Social values: Insight and Diversity

Global trends:
Augmentation (IA): Our Smarter and More Powerful Personal Future
Intellification (AI): Our Smarter and More Powerful Tech Future
Simulation: Our Virtual and Dematerialized Future

3. Interdependence. Social values: Empathy and Ethics

Global trends:
Globalization: Our Connected, Interdependent Future
Personalization: Our Local and Independent Future
Civilization: Our Ethical and Less Violent Future

4. Immunity. Social values: Power and Security

Global trends:
Miniaturization: Our Nano and Quantum Future
Quantification: Our Data-Rich and Transparent Future
Immunization: Our Identity, Privacy- and Complexity-Protecting Future

5. Sustainability. Social values: Order and Truth

Global trends:
Deconsumption: Our Simplified and Sustainable Future
Redistribution: Our Equitable and Rebalanced Future
Saturation: Our Slower and More Regulated Biological Future

Let’s turn now to the first goal, Innovation, and explore Innovations two social values and three of its most important driving trends in our modern accelerating society.