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 and strategist with over two decades experience exploring long-term technological change and its practical impact on business and society. He was initiated into the Ancient and Honorable Order of E Clampus Vitus in 2000 and is chairman of the Most Important Committee.
Saffo is Chairman of the Samsung Science Board, and serves on a variety of other boards and advisory panels, including the Stanford Advisory Council on Science, Technology and Society, and the Long Now Foundation, as well as the boards of several public and pre-public companies located the United States and abroad. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences and has served as an advisor and Forum Fellow to the World Economic Forum, which in the late 1990s named Saffo one of its "100 Global Leaders For Tomorrow."
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."