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  • Doug Burke Data

Alvin and Heidi Toffler (Futurists and the Fourth Wave)

Updated: Jun 20, 2018


It's been 10 years since the iPhone came out. Has society ever been the same? Why have so many changes occurred? Where do we go from here?

Information economy . . . product demassification . . . knowledge as the primary source of wealth creation

These ideas were described by Alvin and Heidi Toffler years ago. They were ahead of their time but time eventually caught up with them.

Their gift was explaining the tough part - - why things change.

In their book The Third Wave the Toffler's outlined three types of societies, based on the concept of “waves” — each wave pushing the older societies and cultures aside.

First Wave - growing food to eliminate scavenging and nomadic lifestyle, emergence of farm communities and villages, cooperation between people, time having little meaning

Second Wave - formation of cities, rise of factories, creating an abundance that could be sold to others, large-scale mass production, recognition of time

Third Wave - globalization, knowledge work, demassification of production, use of knowledge and time as tangible corporate assets.

We are now solidly in the Third Wave. Accelerating the use of data to make better, more informed decisions.

I am proud to have met Mr. Toffler several times over the years. He was always gracious and informative. Once I asked him "What is the Fourth Wave?". He said it involves biology (genomes, DNA, cloning) and is the next stage of human evolution.

Based on recent headlines, they nailed it again.

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