3 Trends Affecting Our Future

[According to the Aspen Ideas Festival][a] — I’d like to get invited to one of these things one day (or, maybe, it’s a matter of being able to afford to go — I suspect that will remain beyond my reach for quite some time), there are three large trends that should effect how we consider the future:

1. the rapid, astonishing pace of urbanization
2. climate change (which has proved somewhat of a threat to cities)
3. globalization

Judith Rodin observes:

> These three factors form a crucial social-ecological-economic nexus, one that has huge—and, frankly, frightening—implications, especially for cities. The shocks and disruptions we experience today, like floods, wildfires, acts of terror, and pandemics, will only get more frequent, more intense, and more dangerous for more people. At the same time, cities also must confront chronic stresses, like crime, which develop more slowly than shocks but are equally devastating over time. We can’t continue to delude ourselves that things will get back to “normal” someday. They won’t. It’s a losing game to continue to devote our resources to recovering from disasters that, by now, we should know to expect.

And then concludes:

> The good news is that today we have the tools, the networks, and the know-how to become more resilient. We at The Rockefeller Foundation define resilience as the capacity of individuals, communities, organizations and systems to survive, adapt, and grow in the face of shocks and stresses, and even transform when conditions require it.

Rodin works with the Rockefeller Institute which is funding a *100 Resilient Cities* initiative. It sounds interesting. My own work in _The Makers of Things_ is an examination of the resiliency to be found in agricultural economies.

[a]: https://medium.com/aspen-ideas/the-next-big-idea-for-the-next-decade-9d7d7dc6856a

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