Over my career I have had six books published by well-respected firms. To be fair, until very recently that was the only credible track for a serious author to take. But the traditional route costs – figuratively and literally. Old-style publishing is about sales volume and price. However successful your earlier books, editors encourage you to write what they think ‘the market’ wants (more accurately, what book-distributors think they want based on a twelve-word description) rather than the message you want to convey to a possibly more-specialized readership. And when it comes to truly affordable eBook editions, publishers can seem a little reluctant.

What is more, over the last decade a form of laziness has crept into the industry: Except for those of us lucky enough to have worked with them already, large publishing houses typically now only consider new book ideas that are brought to them by Literary Agents rather than proposed directly by authors. Most publishers will not even accept direct submissions, so new authors have become progressively excluded from the complex decision-making that determines the market and marketing of intellectual capital. New ideas can too easily be stifled. Just as happened in the pop-music industry, book publishers became a bit too comfortable.

As I got into writing this book (about The Future, after all) I increasingly realized I had little enthusiasm to submit myself once again to a publishing process based on little more than a computerized upgrade of a nineteenth-century business model. It felt archaic and long-overdue for radical overhaul. And then, bang on schedule, along came Amazon and Kindle. I am immensely grateful to all of the gang – not just those who have helped me directly but also everyone that is ensuring that a new publishing mindset will become part of the reality of our global future.

I am, as ever, indebted to my confidential corporate, institutional and private clients around the world who since the 1980s have provided me with the otherwise inaccessible insights on which this book is based. Also to my numerous colleagues and pupils along the way who have acted as caring but critical audiences on which to test my thinking. Finally, love goes to my always-supportive family and friends and above all, as in each of my previous books, to my partner for the last third of a century, Francis.

Thanks to everyone who has helped make Global Future a Reality.