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The Rise of City Power

Posted on January 25, 2013

What, in your mind, will be the most powerful entity in the world 100 years from now?

As we look around us today, it’s easy to point to a single nation as being the most powerful. But will that still be true 100 years from now?

The most powerful entities in the future could be large multi-national corporations, giant associations of people or companies, religious groups, clusters of countries such as NATO, perhaps some new entity that controls technology like ICANN, or something else entirely?

Adding to the confusion of this question, what actually defines power? Is it money, clout, influence, an ability to control a large military, or some combination of all of these?

Will the notion of power be defined differently in the future than it is today?

These are all important questions to ask because powerful entities define who the powerful people are. And it is the underlying systems and technology that will determine status and clout.

Caught in the middle of all this influence-wrangling is the lowly city, an entity now subservient to states and countries, and often lost in the commerce of daily life. Are cities likely to remain at the lower end of the clout spectrum, or is there some new kind of power-shift afoot?

Here are a few thoughts about the rising influence of cities that may surprise you?

Read more: The Rise of City Power | World Future Society.

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