Futurist Paul Saffo believes we have entered a new economic order characterized by great volatility and turbulence. The 2008 crash was more than a downturn: It marked the end of the "Great Moderation," a two-decade period of mild business cycles and growth. Now many fear we are headed toward a prolonged recession (or worse), while others predict a new boom just around the corner. Who's right? Saffo, with over two decades of experience exploring the dynamics of large-scale, long-term change, thinks that both groups miss the point. Rather, he foresees that we have entered a new era defined not by boom or bust, but by a new kind of volatility. The global economy has entered what he calls the "Great Turbulence," a decade-scale new order that will be characterized by high amplitudes, short cycles and scarce equilibrium, which may transform politics and policy globally, threaten incumbents and create both challenges and opportunities for individuals and institutions alike.
Paul Saffo is a forecaster with over two decades experience exploring the dynamics of large-scale, long-term change. He is Managing Director of Foresight at Discern Analytics, teaches at Stanford University and is a researcher through mediaX at Stanford University. Saffo serves on a variety of not-for-profit boards including the Long Now Foundation, and the Bay Area Council Economic Institute. Saffo’s essays have appeared in a wide range of publications including The Harvard Business Review, Fortune, Wired, The Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, The New York Times, and the Washington Post. Saffo holds degrees from Harvard College, Cambridge University and Stanford University.
Paul Saffo, Managing Director of Foresight at Discern Analytics, declares that the U.S. economy has entered a new era of great uncertainty. In what he deems the "turbulent economy", Saffo argues that "the new normal is volatility."