The Next Hundred Years: Man's Natural and Technological Resources; a Discussion Prepared for Leaders of American Industry

The Next Hundred Years: Man's Natural and Technological Resources; a Discussion Prepared for Leaders of American Industry

The Next Hundred Years: Man's Natural and Technological Resources; a Discussion Prepared for Leaders of American Industry

The Next Hundred Years: Man's Natural and Technological Resources; a Discussion Prepared for Leaders of American Industry

Excerpt

There are few things that are more difficult for most of us to do than to look into the future. We can make our plans for next week or next month or even for the next fiscal year. But to peer five or ten years into the future, much less fifty to a hundred years, requires an exercise of imagination which is difficult at best--and in most cases out of the question. There is little time for such imaginings, and their practical value, attended by uncertainties as they are, seems remote.

Forecasts of the future have nonetheless an attraction for an of us. Our curiosity, if nothing else, encourages us to inquire into the shape of things to come. This is the only way we have of experiencing a future beyond our own life span.

The modern corporation, as contrasted with an individual, is a long-lived entity. A successful corporation will, it can be hoped, still be in existence one hundred years hence, after all its existing personnel--and indeed their children and grandchildren too--have gone. Yet it is becoming increasingly evident that the success of a corporation and the success of a nation, a century hence, will depend on what it is doing today. Therefore an increasing interest is to be found among corporation executives in trying to peer into the future and to ask how company policies today can best be adapted to potential future developments.

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