IFTF 10 year forecast: New Diasporas

demographics

Demographics: New Diasporas.  The first in our series of posts reviewing themes from The Institute for the Future’s latest 10 year forecast.

Diasporas are dispersed populations that share a common place (or experience) or origin, and this will be a decade of diasporas.  We have a hypothesis: these diasporas are the real emerging economies.  If you want to understand the future of value creation, don’t spend your time with maps of the geopolitical world.  Look at diasporas.  Look especially at the new diasporas: virtual and media diasporas, activist diasporas, corporate diasporas, internal diasporas, climate change diasporas and bio metric diasporas.  These are the emerging ecologies of production and economic value, of human meaning.

The forecast defines each of these new diasporas in more detail below.  Quoting from the Forecast summary:

  1. Climate change diasporas: climate change displaces communities and creates new identities linked to the causes and impacts of global warming – from climate events like Hurricane Katrina to permanent flooding of whole countries, such as a Bangladesh.
  2. Internal diasporas: rural-to-urban migration, especially in China and Inda, leverage mobile communications to redefine geographic and social identities.
  3. Biometric diasporas: the ability to track, imagine and express biological markers – from genetic geneaologies to genetic IDs – catalyses new identities and communities.
  4. Media diasporas:  In social media like Last.FM, media “taste trails” become identity markers that define persistent communities.
  5. Virtual diasporas: persistent online identities migrate from platform to platform – virtual worlds to online migrant registers – leveraging personal histories and relationships.
  6. Corporate diasporas: corporations serve as destinations among which groups of initiated workers circulate – creating geographies such as Philawarepragacago, or simply very high-performance alumni networks that can rapidly form and reform around the globe.
  7. Activist diasporas: technological support for bottom-up, transborder civic engagement creates new kinds of activism – including NGO diasporas and remote campaigning.

The Forecast then suggests two possible implications of these new communities.  The first is “emerging economy tourists”, those hailing form emerging economies like India, China and Brazil, visiting more diverse destinations in both the global North and South.  The second is “diffusion of global economic leadership”, where leadership amongst these various diasporas is scattered around the globe more widely and found in more unexpected niches than before.

Stay tuned for the next instalment from The Institute for the Future’s intriguing new 10 year forecast – Financial Innovation: Islamic Influences

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