I’ve just finished working on a thought leadership paper, Technology 2020, for The Futures Company with my colleague Andy Stubbings, and we’ve published an extract in the company’s quarterly newsletter, FutureProof (free, but registration required). I’ve republished this as it appears in FutureProof below the fold. In a couple of lines, I draw on Carlota Perez’ view of technology change to argue that we need to understand the ICT revolution as a long wave – following the same pattern as previous dominant technologies – which is nearing the end of its period of dominance. And secondly, that looking at the previous technology waves, it is only now – close to the end of the wave – that we will start to see new business models which will stick.
In the early 1970s, the architect Theo Crosby wrote a book called How to Play the Environment Game in which – in the days before the ‘environment’ was associated with biosphere or sustainability – he picked apart the ways in which planning and development had become a ‘game’ in which developers and planners managed the system for their mutual benefit and excluded the public.
His book has been in my mind because I’ve been watching, close-up, the machinations of Hammersmith and Fulham Council as it appears to collude with developers in rebuilding large chunks of the borough as highrise while trampling on the requirements for affordable housing laid out in the Borough’s core strategy (opens pdf), “that 40% of all additional dwellings built between 2011-21 should be affordable”.
And while, of itself, this is only the subject of local grief, there are some wider lessons.