January 2007 - Forecast for the new year
Themes and Trends for 2007
2007 looks like a year that will feel like a great surge of energy in the United States at least. People are getting excited about the new year in a way not seen for several years.
As a nation, we decided that we didn’t like the direction our leaders were taking us and rebelled in November, making a dramatic statement by the voters to change the balance of power in our national Congress and in many state capitals as well. We have seen other nations view us as the terrorists we supposedly sought to get rid of. Many people simply felt we had gone too far in the quest that caused the United States to become involved in the Iraq War.
Citizens are questioning what Freedom really means to them, what Security really means to them and what price they are willing to pay. Last year’s focus on questioning and cynicism have helped people to clarify what they want for themselves and given them the determination to set new goals for their own lives and for our country.
In 2006, our forecast talked about cynicism and pickiness, people taking a thoughtful look at what is truly important for them, re-evaluating choices, clearing out old ideas and making room for new ideas.
In 2007, we will expect optimism will be shown in many ways as people find ways to inspire themselves and others to create new ideas, new products and new ways of dealing with old situations. There is a strong desire now to find a creative way to resolve the Iraq War as quickly as possible and to bring our troops back home again. Obviously, the US has a strong obligation there for the damage that was done. It will take a lot of people working together to figure out a way to stabilize that situation and give the country back to its people who have suffered far too much already. Instead of focusing on war, we will expect to see a focus on peace as people’s desire for Freedom and Security help them define what those ideals mean to them personally and as a nation. We mentioned last year the cynicism of our local media.
Last year, we described cynicism in the media by a question asked of local newspaper readers ." . . So what’s to celebrate? How can you be hopeful in a world filled with despair? How can you even believe that God is alive in such a world?" In contrast, optimism is showing up in the media already. This year’s December 2006 reader poll question was quite different. They asked, "We’re nearing the end of 2006, and we at The Olympian were wondering what our readers would like to see happen in 2007 as we look ahead to the new year."
In a similar manner, the majority of people responding to a national AP Poll felt their personal lives were better in 2006, though our country was in much worse shape last year. And, they show great optimism in the face of the significant challenges we face in the future
Last year, we saw continued polarization that we have seen in recent years. In 2007, we expect to see more interest in working through our differences and being more accepting of others. We certainly cannot achieve world peace if we can’t get along with our family, friends and our neighbors.
We expect there will be great discussion about what Freedom means this year, since it is such a strong part of the American culture and heritage. People will be deciding for themselves and debating with others how much Security is tolerable in order to sustain the freedom we have enjoyed since our beginnings. Expect to see some changes in the way people see themselves and the US over the next few years as we come to terms with these ideals. We expect to see some of the laws passed in recent years changed or even eliminated, especially those that sought to restrict long-held individual freedom in the name of national security.
For those in government, and those who sell products and services, expect to continue to see more people who expect high quality goods and services. We are seeing this reflected in many government agencies already as citizens demand good service for their tax dollars. Agencies that focus on listening to their "customers" will find they have a much easier time than those who continue to ignore what taxpayers are telling them. One example of this is the move by many governments to using "plain talk or "plain language," which means writing rules and documents in a way that the average person can easily understand them.
With corporate and government corruption scandals still making news, people will be more vocal about what they expect from their business dealings and will refuse to deal with those that they do not feel they can trust.
The continued explosive growth of the Internet has provided a wealth of information so that almost anyone can compare products, find discount dealers, easily shop from home and express their frustration with bad service in a very public way. They are also willing to use their voting power to change situations.
Technologyin many forms continues to explode, fueled by the Internet and rapid methods of delivering information and products to customers. Spam, viruses, adware and other types of "malware" will continue to plague us, unfortunately. Their creators are getting better and better at trying to fool people into opening malicious e-mails (e.g., Happy New Year virus). Software vendors are getting better and better at providing tools to make the Internet experience more enjoyable.
Technology miniaturization is growing as well. Now, new cell phones can "talk" you to your destination with accurate driving directions. Music can be played from devices as small as 1 inch by 1 inch that can clip on a belt or pocket. What will they think of next?
We expect to see creativity showing itself in many different ways as people seek to express themselves. It may show up in fashion, in housing design and home décor, in technology choices, in car selections and in any way that a person can express their individual creativity.
We expect to see many new products coming to market this year that will be improvements over their predecessors. The pace of new product releases may be dizzying at times and may lead to over saturation of the market place.
We expect to see a jump in the productivity of businesses this year with a steady yet growing economy. People will be inspired to complete projects they may have left unfinished in the past due to the optimism and creativity of the year. We may see previously "unsolvable" problems resolved in very creative ways as people shift their viewpoints to a more accepting and partnership oriented way of dealing with each other.
Weather will continue to be "unusual" and unpredictable in many parts of the country. This is a reflection of the chaos that is a necessary part of creativity. Everything is connected. As weather patterns change and storms rage, we learn more about how to work with others to protect ourselves, our families, our businesses and our homes.
We’ve watched Southeast Asia struggle with the results of the bird flu and know that eventually, it will spread around the world. We realize that our leaders and many of our public organizations are not really prepared to cope with major disasters. We must find ways to help ourselves and to be prepared for national disasters like we have not seen before. Weather and unusual storms provide some "exercises" that help us cope with and prepare for the larger disasters that will eventually come.
Overall, we expect 2007 to be a year of significant accomplishments in many different fields and in people’s personal and family lives.
We wish you freedom, security, inspiration, peace, love, friendship, personal satisfaction, good health, good friends, good times and whatever brings you joy in 2007.
Here’s an exercise that you might try:
This forecast represents our views and opinions. Please, don’t just take our word (or anyone else’s) for what will or will not happen. Use whatever methods work for you in planning for the future. Wise people will use all the forecasts they can find, then see what feels right for them rather than letting any one dictate their activities.
No guarantees about the future are implied or given - use our views as you would anyone’s opinions.
Last year’s forecast: January, 2006
Some of the products we recommend to protect your computer:
Happy New Year in many languages around the world:
About our resource links: We do not endorse or agree with all the beliefs in these links. We do keep an open mind about different viewpoints and respect the ability of our readers to decide for themselves what is useful.
Page updated: June 05, 2009
| Barbara Taylor | Books |
FAQ | Feedback | Interesting Links
| Mailing List |