Alvin Toffler literally invented the role of the futurist with the publication of his seminal work, Future Shock, creating an all new discipline around the study of change and its impact on business and culture. Throughout his long career, Alvin Toffler has remained one of the world's most prescient, insightful and influential voices in business and intellectual life. He has continued to produce creative ideas that define how we think about our world. Time magazine wrote that he has "set the standard by which all subsequent would-be futurists have been measured." What makes Alvin Toffler so extraordinary is that he asks questions nobody else has thought of and and then answers them by fundamentally redefining things in ways that keep making sense as the future unfolds. He's created several lasting thought paradigms—new frameworks for understanding ourselves and the way we change—that offer invaluable strategic advantage to those who are paying attention. And he pegs these frameworks with predictions and insights that consistently verify that his sense of direction is right on. His most recent book has continued to build his legacy. Ten years in the writing, Revolutionary Wealth reimagines the nature of wealth and the paths to its creation. In addition to Revolutionary Wealth and Future Shock, Alvin and Heidi (his wife and intellectual partner of 51 years) have written one significant book after another, including The Third Wave, Powershift and War and Anti-War. Early life and career
Alvin Toffler was born in New York City in 1928. He met his future wife, Heidi, at New York University where he was an English major and she was starting a graduate course in linguistics. Being radical students, they decided against further graduate work, moved to the Midwestern United States, married, spending the next five years as blue-collar workers on assembly lines while studying industrial mass production in their daily work. Heidi became a union shop steward in the aluminum foundry where she worked. Alvin became a millwright and welder. Their hands-on practical labor experience got Toffler a position on a union-backed newspaper, a transfer to its Washington bureau, then three years as a White House Correspondent covering Congress and the White House for a Pennsylvania daily. Meanwhile his wife worked at a specialized library for business and behavioral science. They returned to New York City when Fortune magazine invited Alvin to become its labor columnist, later having him write about business and management. After leaving Fortune magazine, Alvin Toffler was hired by IBM to do research and write a paper on the social and organizational impact of computers, leading to his contact with the earliest computer “gurus” and artificial intelligence researchers and proponents. Xerox invited him to write about its research laboratory and AT&T consulted him for strategic advice. This AT&T work led to a study of telecommunications which advised its top management for the company to break up more than a decade before the government forced AT&T to break up. In the mid-’60s the Tofflers began work on what would later become Future Shock. In 1996, with Tom Johnson, an American business consultant, they co-founded Toffler Associates, an advisory firm designed to implement many of the ideas the Tofflers have written on. The firm worked with businesses, NGOs, and governments in the U.S., South Korea, Mexico, Brazil, Singapore, Australia and other countries.
Toffler has an unusual gift for defining the trends and forces that shape our future in ways that help audiences shape their own future in today’s knowledge-based economy. His global impact comes not just from successfully predicting individual changes, though he’s done that as well. He understands the forces behind change and synthesizes this knowledge into a coherent, intellectual framework that can guide policy and decision-making. Known for having forecast the...
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