Yesterday, on April 1, 2009, not as an April Fools Day gag but as a serious forecast I posted my Quarterly Forecast for 2009 Q2, titled “Economic Turn-Around Leads to Slow Recovery.” As far back as my 2009 annual Outlook article and video for 2009, I have run counter to the prevailing wisdom on the length of the current global recession, by suggesting that it will bottom out sooner than most expect, and that by year’s end we will be on the recovery.
A recovery will begin sooner than most experts thought because of three interrelated factors – a build up of available cash via increased savings and months of withdrawals from the equity markets, national and international economic stimulus efforts beginning just now to have an impact (which will grow over the next six months), and a growing understanding by investors, with available cash, that investing in new technologies and business models is the way forward. Check out a recent Business Week for an exploration of game changing ideas for business.
The downside, which I explain in the article, is that to say we will begin a recovery does not imply that we will snap back to some kind of old normal. On the other side of a turn-around is something new, a revised economy will take a long time to develop. To understand this, you must begin to grasp how the current deep economic recession is not caused by the financial crisis – rather the financial crisis is a symptom of deeper causes, which include disruptive trends in energy, technology, and global culture that have been building for decades, and converged in the global casino we have called the financial system. We can fix the financial mess, difficult though that may be, but the disruptive trends remain – ever more expensive energy and technology developments capable of disrupting traditional industries and global culture.
The bottom line in my Q2 2009 Forecast is this:
We have entered a new energy era, in which global economic growth is necessary to fix the debt problem, but the same growth will drive up energy prices, which will lead to a new bust, in a probable cycle of rinse and repeat for the near future.
In addition, Internet and wireless technologies have developed and spread globally to the point that their long-forecast disruptive effect on publishing, music, sales activities of all kinds, as well as organization structures, are now coming to a bifurcation point.
On the other side of this recession will emerge different ways of conducting business and pursuing economic development.
While you are at it, check out this slide deck from a recent speech on the Future of Technology, receiving good viewership at SlideShare.
Glen Hiemstra is a futurist speaker, consultant, blogger, internet video host and founder of Futurist.com. To arrange for a speech contact Futurist.com.