Magazine article The Futurist

The Futurist Bookshelf: New and Noteworthy Books and Featured Titles and Authors

Magazine article The Futurist

The Futurist Bookshelf: New and Noteworthy Books and Featured Titles and Authors

Article excerpt

VALUES AND LIFESTYLES

After the Baby Boomers: How Twenty- and Thirty-Somethings Are Shaping the Future of American Religion. by Robert Wuthnow. Princeton University Press. 2007. $29.95.

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Wuthnow examines how Generation X and Generation Y relate to religion, and finds both similarities and large differences from how their baby-boom parents related to it. Wuthnow projects declines in church membership, continuing rifts between religious conservatives and liberals, decreased interest in dogma and evangelicalism, and a growth in individualistic, improvised approaches to spirituality. Wuthnow also examines how the development of the Internet and changing social mores may impact congregation life and religious practices in general.

BUSINESS

The Age Curve: How to Profit from the Coming Demographic Storm. by Kenneth W. Gronbach. AMACOM Books. 2008. 268 pages. $24.95.

Is your business ready for the next big demographic sea-change? Marketing consultant Gronbach notes that every generation of consumers presents a different set of challenges to the businesses that want to market to them: Generation Y is unlike Generation X, who differs markedly from the baby-boom generation, etc. Businesses that understand the next up-and-coming generation of consumers can expect to flourish; businesses that do not will suffer. In the text, Gronbach explains how to tailor products and sales to see for demographic shifts. He offers profiles of each generation and shares strategies for marketing to each; lists of the markets and products that stand to gain in upcoming years, and the ones likely to fall on hard times; and suggestions for finding skilled workers in the face of an impending worker shortage.

FUTURES STUDIES

All Tomorrow's Cultures: Anthropological Engagements with the Future. by Samuel Gerald Collins. Berghahn Books. 2008. 140 pages. $32.43.

Anthropologist and ethnographer Collins describes the great importance of futures studies in the field of anthropology, especially in light of the ongoing global pull between the forces of worldwide cultural homogenization and those that strive to preserve local cultures. He relates how anthropologists can forecast cultures of the future by studying those of the present and, vice versa, better understand present cultures by examining their models of those cultures' futures. He goes on to describe the current state of futures studies and common futures methodologies in both the U.S. government and academic.

FUTURES STUDIES

Future Savvy: Identifying Trends to Make Better Decisions, Manage Uncertainty, and Profit from Change. by Adam Gordon. AMACOM Books. 2008. 320 pages. $24.95

Success in today's business climate requires anticipating what will take place in your industry and throughout society. Forecasts are everywhere--newspapers, magazines, think-tank reports, and other media offer educated guesses every day on where today's developments might lead. But how useful are these forecasts? Which ones should you pay attention to? Which ones should you ignore? Gordon answers these questions, sharing his expertise as a consultant and futures studies analyst. He guides you on ways to identify trustworthy forecasts and filter out poor or biased forecasts. Armed with this information, you will be better able to discern opportunities and threats.

ECONOMICS

Futurecast: How Superpowers, Populations, and Globalization Will Change the Way You Live and Work. by Robert J. Shapiro. St. Martin's Press. 2008. $26.95.

Globalization is inevitable, and it will carry big implications for populations around the world, says economist Shapiro. He looks ahead to the year 2020 and forecasts the comparative growth and decline that will take place in various economies in North America, Europe, South Asia, and Eurasia. He calls for all economies to embrace globalization and to reject regulation and social-welfare programs. …

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