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The Future Trilogy
The Future Trilogy is a series of linked books by Christopher Barnatt that explore the combined impact of radical technological and social transition. The first book in the cycle -- "Cyber Business" -- was first published in the Spring of 1995 by John Wiley & Sons, whilst the second -- "Challenging Reality" -- was first published (again from Wiley) in the Spring of 1997 in the UK, and in the Summer of 1997 in the United States. The final volume -- "Valueware" -- was published in July 1999 by Adamantine Press (UK/Europe) and Praeger Publishing (in the USA).
In 2009, "Challenging Reality" was then turned into the first three parts of a TV series.
In the Beginning
Preliminary work on the five-year project started in early 1993. At that time the goal was to produce a single book -- "Cyber Business" -- to predict "the short- and long-term implications for those in business of the ever-closer harmonization of people, computer technology and organizational infrastructure". However, as I began to explore advancements in global computer connectivity, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and on-line communities and economies, it soon became apparent that one book alone would not be enough. The Future Trilogy cycle was thereby conceived as a much broader undertaking that would in aggregation address a very wide spectrum of interrelated "New Age" technological and social transitions.
From Cyber Business to Challenging Reality
Within the three-book cycle, "Cyber Business" subsequently became the "technology book" and most fundamentally explored the emergence of the global hardware platform. The second volume -- "Challenging Reality" -- then took on the role of the "people book" to form a social counterbalance to the first volume. Rather than being rooted in computing and technology developments like "Cyber Business", "Challenging Reality" is therefore a very human affair. Indeed, the main goal of this meatiest volume in the series was to try and capture those "awe factors" which at times so inspire our race to greatness.
"Challenging Reality" subsequently takes its reader on a journey across time -- across reality itself -- on a quest to discover the very spirit of humanity and its organizations past, present and future. Voyaging from the Pyramids to space travel -- hieroglyphics, ancient armies and early trading communities to the most organic "virtual" organizations of tomorrow -- "Challenging Reality" therefore offers organizational theory and new management thinking on a grand scale. In particular, the book introduces and explores the Five Facets of Reality Model in its development and presentation of a range of Future Mindsets, and as also explored in my Archaeology of Wonder video.
"Challenging Reality" is also now a TV series. Hurrah!
Technology Rich, Value Blind?
Concluding the trilogy, "Valueware" pulls together the technological and social agendas of its sister volumes in order to address future gazing as future shaping. The book also champions the emergence of a gentler mode of capitalism across relationship-rich markets, as well as highlighting how the mass-connectivity of the "Wired Age" increasingly has to empower "interdependence over independence" if we are to avoid becoming "technology rich but value blind".
Explaining The Future
This website is published as a kind of evolving update to the Future Trilogy. I have also now published two broad future studies books -- 25 Things You Need to Know About the Future (2012) and The Next Big Thing (2015) -- that provide more recent thinking and information concerning the cutting-edge technologies, concepts and trends that I first explored between 1995 and 1999.
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