The Corporation of the Future
The corporation is a portion of society, and it follows, then, that if there are all-embracing changes society will be undergoing in the coming decades the corporation will, of necessity, be molded by those changes.
As an example, if humanity is so foolish as to involve itself in a thermonuclear war in the near future, then the changes the corporation will undergo will be such that there would be no need to write this essay at all. Its future will be worth no discussion.
We will assume that this will not happen and that no other catastrophe will take place. An overoptimistic assumption, perhaps, but it is one we will make.
In that case, our safest bet is that the era of high-technology communication, in the beginning of which we are now immersed, will continue to develop and amplify.
We may look forward to more numerous and more versatile communications satellites, laser beams replacing microwaves in space and providing millions of times as many audio and video channels, optical fibers carrying light replacing copper wires carrying electricity, and elaborate computerization making the world more responsive to our needs.
The consequences will be many, startling, and, to a large extent, possibly unforeseeable. (There is no embarrassment in saying this, even though I am a futurist, for all recent history shows that the consequences of advancing technology have always provided surprises to even the wisest and most prudent thinkers.) What is more, they may well be noticeable, and even overwhelming, in a remarkably short period—say, by the millennial year 2000, long a target-year of imaginative writers and now only a few years off.