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Societal shift could benefit region, says futurist

A societal shift away from materialistic values could result in technology affording greater opportunities in regional areas such as Echuca, according to futurist Steve Tighe.

ZACH HOPE October 10, 2012 4:46am

Echuca-Moama is in the box seat to capitalise on society’s anticipated shift away from materialism.

That is according to futurist Steve Tighe, who was in Echuca on Monday to educate Committee for Echuca-Moama members on changing societal values and how they will affect the local economy by the year 2030.

Mr Tighe, an Oxford University Business Alumni and member of the World Futures Studies Federation, told the crowd at Oscar W’s three decades of materialistic values would give way to thinking geared towards time, space, creativity and experience.

He said lifestyle opportunities afforded by the border town made it prime future real estate.

His view was shaped by research, which he said suggested the shift was well under way in people’s minds, but was yet to be widely acted on.

He said the trigger could be technology advances which would make career advancement more attainable outside metropolitan centres.

He cited the National Broadband Network and emerging work ‘hubs’, in which people from different organisations could work remotely in shared spaces.

While he hypothesised people would ‘‘want’’ fewer possessions, he said it did not mean there was no money to be made, only it would be made in new ways.

Mr Tighe presented a graph showing baby boomers moving from a way of life geared toward material possessions early in life, to one motivated by lifestyle factors later in life.

He argued the latter phase would become the norm for people of all ages by 2030.

Significantly, he believed Echuca-Moama would defy population forecasts. More significantly, he said a large percentage of population growth would come from those aged between 20 and 45.

He urged the community to begin thinking big.

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