December 31, 2000

To mark the approach of 2001 the World Future Society has published a special report on 50 major trends that will shape life in the twenty-first century.

The economy of the developed nations will remain exceptional, at least for the next five years, according to the report prepared by Marvin J. Cetron, president of Forecasting International, and his collaborator, Owen Davies. Longer term, they expect that the former Soviet Union and India will emerge as the fastest-growing new markets.

Other highlights from "50 Trends Now Changing the World":

As the pace of technological change accelerates, many industries will face much tighter competition. At the same time, entry-level and low-wage workers will be scarce.

Values are changing rapidly. Society will increasingly take its cue from generations X and dot-com, rather than the baby boomers.

The work ethic is declining. Tardiness is increasing and the abuse of sick-leave is common. The erosion of the work ethic could have a negative impact on future corporate performance.

Time will become the world’s most precious commodity. American workers already spend about 10% more time on the job than they did a decade ago.

The emphasis on preventive medicine is getting stronger. People will be more inclined to control stress as they realize that 80% to 90% of all diseases are stress-related.

The worldwide loss of biodiversity will be a growing worry for decades to come. Half of all drugs used in medicine are derived from natural sources, including 55 of the top 100 drugs prescribed in the United States.

The World Future Society is a nonprofit scientific and educational association with 30,000 members interested in possible social and technological developments in the years ahead.

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