The Contemporary Era is already a matter of the past. It finished by the end of the last decade and the “New Digital Age” has subtly come into our lives, but directly impacting each and every one of our daily activities.
Without realizing it, we begin a New Year in the same way we say goodbye to past years. It is already stacked in our minds, and almost falling into oblivion. But one thing’s for sure: we, full of good intentions and broken promises, are willing to face the New Year 2013 challenge.
One of the most common and rhetoric exercises we all do around this time is to set goals for the New Year. Objectives that we tend to forget to review or evaluate them in a critical and constructive way on its completion in order to learn something new. And I honestly think that this exercise should be prior to set ourselves new challenges, which are often product of an unrealistic Christmas euphoria that will lead us, “once again if time and strength do not prevent it”, to a sense of frustration and discouragement. But just in case we want to still remember them by the end of the year.
Last year has been really complicated in every respect, especially in referring to social, working and economic factors. And when I speak of “complicated”, I speak of “an optimistic view of the situation”. The most pressing projections are not good omens for the first several months of 2013.
However, this should not prevent us not to set ourselves realistic targets, which allow us first and foremost to have a strategy and a personal attitude and which help us to grow as a person and develop our excellent skills. Those stand out in critical situations, in which we are fighting endless external factors. Our primary purpose is to cope with optimism the path of life and feel better about ourselves in a complex environment.
The permanent feeling of dissatisfaction, frustration and fatigue, the wake of the protracted crisis, increased by pessimism, bad mood, apathy or disenchantment, does not take us into the best situations to overcome any internal or external situation and face daily tasks with a clear personal mission. And this undermines our physical and emotional capacity to react and act both freely and with a blind faith in ourselves.
Human beings have shown throughout their life that they have been able to adapt and evolve in much more complex and adverse situations than the current ones. The fact remains that the current situation affects a relatively small part of the total world population. However, it was the source or origin of modern civilization.
This makes me to reflect more deeply on our goals and not just on the speculation of the capitalist economic theory. We should perhaps deepen beyond the origin and rules governing our today’s democratic society models and the educational model (single model), based on a training aimed at the attainment of a qualified work oriented to training productive people for society and not to free and independent citizens able to think and choose freely, change the rules and adapt them to the real needs of a new, sustainable and modern society. A model change is a structural shift in its widest extent. That’s the definition of an Era change.
When the Contemporary Age was defined as the historical period between the French Revolution and today, it was determined at its maximum extent by including in the definition the word “today” as an infinite element in time. Throughout this time, we have lived in “the present”, in which great changes have occurred: demographic transitions, large demographic growths, arising of new emerging and developed countries, consumption generalization, etc., by raising the standard of living of most citizens from all over the world. In contrast, human beings create wide short-term disparities and uncertainties, such as the environmental impact and the scarcity of natural resources, among others.
And we return to the “today”, where the definition of Contemporaneity was set. Some major changes at a rate much higher than in past centuries are still happening “today”. Time has become a critical factor to measure and evaluate the changes and their impact in this new digital age.
This new contemporary and necessarily sustainable digital age is taking shape with the so-called Mega-Trends. Or, in other words, major trends that affect each and every one of the components existing on Earth that should ensure the sustainability of a global society model.
Seeing all this, I have no doubt that we find ourselves in a New Scenario, in which we are looking to a New Age following a remarkable process towards Digital society. The Contemporary Era is already a matter of the past. It finished by the end of the last decade and the new Digital Age has subtly come into our lives, but directly impacting each and every one of our daily activities. In this new Digital Age, ” the network ” has become the axis of our way to communicate, keep us informed, train and develop ourselves, work, participate, etc.
The Mega-Trends of the new Digital Era that will change the world we are living in.
I have tried to reflect on the following chart the common dominator from Mega-Trends, which were defined by several organizations, international consulting companies and universities in their studies for 2020, by analyzing the digital impact on each of them.
- Society: a community which takes place in a network system and is affected by demographic changes and new mobility patterns.
- Business: A new business environments’ development and a great impact of the knowledge-based economy.
- Technology: With a view to an interconnected digital world with great impact and dependence upon technological convergence.
- Energy: The demand increase for the emerging countries growth and the alternative and sustainable development.
- Citizens: A significant increase in the ageing, diversity and globalization of population. A development around big smart cities.
- Environment: A substantial impact of the climate change and the recycling of natural resources.
- Time: A smart and efficient time management in order to anticipate unforeseen situations or to compete favorably in a global situation.
And this, which appears to be a brief summary of a science fiction film, is the immediate present. In order to evaluate it visually and simply, one just has to go back ten years and see the impact of the changes made in present-day society by the Internet world, for instance.
In short, after this journey of the intangible things, the metaphor of digital and finite space in which we are living, through time, we just have to value “the person”, the human being, us. Humans are going now from being “the patient” to “the subject of the present”.
I wish each of you a good night, good luck and all the best for this “New Digital Age” we are about to enter.
Carlos J. Ochoa Fernández ©