TED Conversations

Michael Perman

Gap, Inc - Dean of Mindspark


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What are the most important cultural trends influencing our future behavior

Cultural trends such as sustainability, social networking or value-adjusting impact our behavior and attitudes. If we catch them early we can adjust the messages, offerings and services provided that are useful to society. What are the emerging trends that will lead to sea-changes?


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    Jul 16 2011: If we look at the Internet as a "Big Human Brain", than I think that Globalization and Social Networking will have a profound effect on the "Human Brain." With its over 7 Billion individual human neurons interacting over new and exciting pathways, creating new ideas and ideals for that Brain to remember and learn from, we are now learning at an astonishing rate. I can find out, in Canada about an earthquake in Chile, 5 minutes after it happens, and if I have any friends or relatives there, I can call them, and video chat with them, to physically see if they are ok. If we look at our species as being at the very least, 100,000 years old, than over the past 20 years, we have made greater strides to further the species as a whole that we have in the past Century. Sure we are also growing exponentially, but that is also because of our connectivity and Globalization.

    Some say that Globalization will kill off cultures and destroy civilizations, but it was said by Nietzsche that all creators must also be annihilators. We are creating a new global culture, one that can incororate the best of all exisitng cultures. Globalization is where it's at, even if we are going about it wrong as it stand now.

    "A thousand goals have there been so far, for there have been a thousand peoples. Only the yoke for the thousand necks is still lacking; the one goal is lacking, Humanity still has no goal. But tell me, my brothers, if humanity still lacks a goal - is humanity itself not still lacking"
    Friedrich Nietzsche - Thus Spoke Zarathustra.

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