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Seizing the X-events. The sixth K-wave and the shocks that may upend it

Markku Wilenius and John Casti

Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 2015, vol. 94, issue C, 335-349

Abstract: The article addresses the long-term patterns of societal change. In particular, it considers how certain high-impact, surprising events (“X-events”) can change existing trends and thus give rise to a future that does not follow the “business-as-usual” default trend-following scenario. We look at the case of Kondratieff waves (“K-waves”), those socio-economic cycles by which dynamical societal patterns are often detected in futures studies. We postulate four hypothetical X-events and how they might fundamentally change the existing trend and thus take us to a very different kind of future. Finally, we recommend a set of principles through which organisations and countries can follow to deal with X-events should they occur.

Keywords: X-events; Societal shocks; Kondratieff cycles; Scenarios; Long-term futures; Futures studies (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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