Since more than 30 years, there has been a discussion on what will succeed industrial era as we know it. We’ve talked about the coming of a post-industrial, post-ford, knowledge, information or networked society.
Since the very foundation of Kairos Future, we’ve been dedicated to understanding the regional implications of this megatrend. With partners and clients we’ve studied the future for small towns and regional centers, and the consequences for cities and regions in the periphery as well as the future of mega-cities. We’ve looked into the future of industry and the future of living preferences. We’ve published books, held expert workshops and given presentations in Sweden and abroad, and we’ve dug deep into the statistics of regional transformation trying to find the parameters with the highest explanatory power.
Economy isn’t what it used to be, and neither are regions.
A couple of years we summarized our research efforts in the conclusion that the best narrative for the emerging society is the T. Since success and performance in today’s networked and knowledge-based society is so closely linked to the ability to “connect” to the global information and knowledge pools and networks (the horizontal line), and to concentrate and accumulate specialized expertise and skills (the vertical), the shape of the future is T. That T also stands for thinking makes it even better, as the ability to produce “concepts” rather than undifferentiated products and services, seems to be the prime driver of performance in business today.
The question is, what does this mean to different cities, towns and regions? And how can a municipality, city or region increase its T-ishness enough to be able to compete successfully among its peers?