Thursday, January 18, 2007

A massive, non-technology driver of change - Exhibit I

Change drives innovation. Despite all the hype, the most massive change isn't always driven by technology, though that is what we tend of focus on. My book, Swamp Fox Insights, leads off with this observation.
Ours is a time of profound change that holds the seeds of almost unlimited opportunities for those with the vision, courage, and ability to seize them.

Fundamental demographic shifts are creating enormous opportunities and risks by thoroughly reshaping institutions from universities, to manufacturers, to grocery stores. New markets and competitors are emerging from the globalization of our economy. From nano-materials to new energy sources, science is creating the raw material of the future at an unprecedented pace. Fortunes will be made and lost attempting to commercialize innovations with global impact.
So how about this for a demographic shift. The New York Times reports, "51% of Women Are Now Living Without Spouse."
At one end of the age spectrum, women are marrying later or living with unmarried partners more often and for longer periods. At the other end, women are living longer as widows and, after a divorce, are more likely than men to delay remarriage, sometimes delighting in their newfound freedom.

In addition, marriage rates among black women remain low. Only about 30 percent of black women are living with a spouse, according to the Census Bureau, compared with about 49 percent of Hispanic women, 55 percent of non-Hispanic white women and more than 60 percent of Asian women.

“This is yet another of the inexorable signs that there is no going back to a world where we can assume that marriage is the main institution that organizes people’s lives,” said Prof. Stephanie Coontz, director of public education for the Council on Contemporary Families, a nonprofit research group. “Most of these women will marry, or have married. But on average, Americans now spend half their adult lives outside marriage.”
Talk about profound change. Someone is going to make a fortune.

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