The Bund Sightseeing Tunnel in Shanghai.
Photo: Mathias Kniepeiss/Getty Inmages
Futurist David Houle says the years ahead will be ones in which just about everything you know will change—and that's nothing to be scared of.
This new decade, 2010 to 2020, will be known as the Transformation Decade. The definitions of transformation are several: the act or process of transforming, the state of being transformed, change in form, appearance, nature or character.

Don't those definitions feel like what has been already going on in your life and the world? Many of us have already been living in this state. Many of us have only recently felt the impending alterations, disruptions and reorganizations that have begun. Everything seems to be in a transforming state of shift.

We are entering the first full decade of the Shift Age, even though it has already taken root in the past four years (more on that in future columns). Our current Great Recession can only be fully understood when seen as the reorganizational recession between two ages, the Information Age and the Shift Age. It is not unlike the recessions of the 1970s, which was the decade of transition between the Industrial and Information Ages. Almost everything is in a state of shift, in a state of being transformed.

Think about all that is going on in your life and in the world. The way we communicate has and will continue to change in form, appearance (our gadgets are vastly different from even five years ago) and character (how many of you are on Facebook, text or tweet regularly versus even three years ago?). The shape of our relationships is changing. The shape of how we work, live and travel are all changing. The economy and the workplace are changing and being reshaped.

All of these changes can leave one feeling disoriented or apprehensive. Many people feel this way. Usually those feelings are a precursor to transformation and shift.

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