Shift Happens

Shift Happens – Are You Ready?

This is a wake up call. The future does not unfold in a logical and predictable fashion. You have to be prepared for drastic changes that will upset your plans for the future. You have to do everything necessary, today, to secure your future. So that when Shift Happens, you will be able to take control of your life. We don’t have to accept shifts in our lives, we learn to deal with it.

When shift happens, it can be disruptive, resulting in the loss of jobs and opportunities. It could even result in a lower standard of living. The only way to mitigate the effects when shift happens is to increase and diversify your income. Many people have done this by seeking non-traditional ways of earning an income like starting your own business. In this website, you will find such opportunities. When the going gets tough, the tough gets going….

Background on Shift Happens

This thought-provoking presentation was created by Karl Fisch (from the faculty of Arapahoe High School in Centennial, Colorado) and modified by Scott McLeod; titled “Did You Know? Shift Happens”. This first placed winner of the World’s Best Presentation Contest 2007 organized by really puts things into perspective — and makes your head spin at the same time. It shows how economic globalization, demographics, and rapid technological changes are shifting the status quo of our world. It was basically created to elicit greater government funding for education and research in the USA as well as to get educators and students to think about what they really need to know to succeed in the 21st century. The scenario in version 1.0 is deliberately bleak, to generate public support for education and research funding in much the same way as Al Gore’s “The Inconvenient Truth” has done for global warming. This however, is not solely a US problem. It will affect every nation in the world.

In a time of drastic change, it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists.
— Eric Hoffer

Did you know? also known as Shift Happens” begins this elegant exploration of the exponential rate at which our technology is expanding. The amazing statistics here will shock and concern you:

An American student will have as many as 14 jobs by the time he or she turns age 38.

It’s estimated that 40 exabytes (that’s 4.0 x 1019) of unique new information will be generated worldwide this year. That’s estimated to be more than in the previous 5,000 years.

By 2023, a $1,000 computer will exceed the computation capability of the Human Brain . . .

This reminds me of a story I would tell to people who assumes that tomorrow is a long string of yesterdays. It goes something like this…. “The factory of tomorrow will be run by a man and a dog. The man’s job is to feed the dog. The dog’s job is to make sure the man does not touch the machines.” If the above prediction about computers comes true, machines will certainly be able to do most of the lower and middle management jobs. It would also assume that machines will be consuming the products they make as humans won’t be able to afford them. For humans to survive, they would have to create breakaway countries or states that would outlaw such factories and products or face starvation and possibly extinction. Let’s hope corporations and governments will act responsibly and know where the real money and value comes from.

The amount of new technical information doubles every two years, which means students attending a technical school will learn information that will be outdated by their third year.

The number of words in the English language is 540,000 — that is FIVE times the number of words present during Shakespeare’s time.

The Top 10 Jobs that will be in demand in 2010 didn’t exist in 2004.

The number of text messages sent and received each day exceeds the population of the planet.

Shift Happens is a timely invitation to re-visit many of our assumptions. And with it, the suggestion of a final question: what role will each of us play in this dynamic “shift”?

In its presentation, Shift Happens makes a lot of assumptions, like governments being unable to mitigate adverse impacts to their economies, or factors like trade protectionism, energy crisis, wars, commodity shortages which can change the course of these predicted futures. Factors like the greying population, consumer awareness, climate change may also impact on technological developments. In addition, some countries are not destined to achieve global power and influence because they lack some of the critical characteristics of a superpower. At one time, Japanese products were predicted to dominate world markets. However, laws and international agreements have scaled back Japan’s global ambitions somewhat.

In summary, expect unexpected changes (shifts) and be prepared to make changes. Some changes will be good; some changes will be bad. When shift happens, sometimes shit happens.

Watch the Shift Happens (sometimes Shit happens) 1.0 and 2.0 slide presentation on YouTube:

Karl Fisch 2020 Vision – Predictions of Technological Change (you may have difficulty watching this 15 minute video in its entirety during US peak time Internet usage. If you have this problem, watch the Google Video during off peak hours. Shit Happens!):

© – shift happens

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