The Future is coming. Are you ready? (Sep, 1979)

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The Future is coming. Are you ready?

There are some marvelous benefits ahead for mankind. But along with every benefit will come a whole new set of problems.

Champion is a forward-looking forest products company. We plant seeds for a living. Seeds that take up to 50 years to become mature trees. Therefore, we think a lot about the future of the forest. And, of the people who will be around to buy our products in the years to come.

So, during the coming year, in magazine ads like this, we will be discussing some of the potential cultural and sociological impact of future technology and change on our generation, and the generations to come—to help you make intelligent choices.

You might say, we’re planting seeds of thought for tomorrow.

The Future is coming. Are you ready?

In 1926, the man whose invention ultimately led to the development of the TV tube said: …commercially and financially I consider [television] an impossibility, a development of which we need waste little time dreaming.”

And in 1945, a famous American naval officer said: “That is the biggest fool thing we’ve ever done…the [atomic] bomb will never go off, and I speak as an expert on explosives.”

And in 1948, a respected science magazine said: “Landing and moving around the moon offers so many serious problems for human beings that it may take science another two hundred years to lick them.”

Obviously, no matter what you may hear to the contrary, the future is coming. And soon.

And with it will come incredible change in i our lives and in the lives of our children and grandchildren.This ever-compacting future, with its vast and incredible technological innovation raises some perplexing questions that are important to address now, so as to avoid what futurist author Alvin Toffler calls Future shock.”

As a company whose entire being is based on the tree, a renewable resource that takes from 25 to 50 years to mature, we have always been particularly concerned about the prospects of future generations of forests and of future generations of people. (It is a sobering thought that not many of us in the company will be alive when the forests we are preparing for the future right now are ready for harvesting.) To state it simply, as one of our top executives said recently in a speech, “Out of enlightened self-interest. Champion is a company with its roots planted firmly in the future.”

So it seems only natural for us to raise some of the problems and opportunities that futurists foresee for the coming generations. And to discuss some of the choices that will have to be made.

In the future, in magazine pages like this, we will be looking at issues like Access to Life Extension, the Social Implications of Changing Family Forms, the Effects of Over-Crowding, Communications and Culture in the Future, Social Values and Market Economics, Environmental Planning and Resource Allocation, Growth and Alternatives to Growth, and other issues that will impact the generations to come.

And as futurists foresee new problems, we will bring them to these pages too.

If you believe that the world of tomorrow should not be left to chance, send for a free copy of a brochure about the critical issues we face in the future and a bibliography for further reading. Write: Champion International Corporation, Box 200, Stamford, Connecticut 06921.

Champion, a forest products company with its roots planted firmly in the future.

We are in the forest products business. We plant trees and harvest trees. We make wood and paper. And we make things out of wood and paper.

Because we make our living from the forest, our success depends, in one way or another, on the future.

These are our operating divisions that are planning for the future:

Champion International Corporation
Planting seeds for the future

  1. Kosher Ham says: September 22, 201010:22 am

    They always make the cities of the future look so much like utopia.

  2. Brabham says: September 22, 201010:48 am

    The building in the background looks very similar to the Burj Khalifa. (…)

  3. jim x says: September 22, 201011:09 am

    Sure, it’s funny looking back at what we thought the future would look like – but that is also a really cool picture.

  4. Brent says: September 22, 20102:14 pm

    @Brabham — good catch on the resemblance to the Burj Khalifa. Definite similarities.

    BTW, typo in the post: “in 1648, a respected science magazine said…” Weren’t a lot of science magazines around in 1648. Quite a few as of 1948, however…

  5. Charlie says: September 22, 20102:44 pm

    @Brent: Fixed. Thanks.

  6. dj_nme says: September 22, 20104:49 pm

    It’s the future now, so where is my jet-pack and flying car?

  7. Brent says: September 22, 20104:55 pm

    NP Charlie. Love your blog; please keep on doing what you’re doing.

  8. Firebrand38 says: September 22, 20105:52 pm

    dj_nme: Gee, no one ever asked that before.

    Here is your flying car and your jet pack

    You just asked for a flying car, but you didn’t specify it had to work

    Of course now, if you have a flying car why do you want a jet pack?

  9. lukeandlaura says: September 22, 20107:56 pm

    Looks like a Mad Magazine fold up.

  10. Cristian Raicu says: September 24, 20104:26 am

    The future was very bad for Champion International Company. Doesn’t exist anymore.

  11. Spidergoat says: September 24, 201011:32 am

    Another high speed delivery to the Soylent Green factory!

  12. Firebrand38 says: September 24, 201012:55 pm

    Spidergoat: Yeah, too bad they used garbage trucks in the movie.

  13. Arglebarglefarglegleep says: September 26, 20103:27 pm

    You need the jet pack for when the car stalls. It’s hard to walk to the nearest phone from a flying car.

  14. Firebrand38 says: September 26, 20104:15 pm

    Arglebarglefarglegleep: Only you would have a jet pack and no cellphone and a flying car with no On*Star.

  15. Arglebarglefarglegleep says: September 27, 20106:33 pm

    I’d thought of the cellphone and ignored it along with services like On*Star. Having a jet pack in the flying car is similar to the people who keep a Vespa or motorized bicycle in the trunk of a regular car now. It’d be for people who don’t wait around for others to solve their problems. And it fits into the futurist trends for self reliance.

  16. Firebrand38 says: September 27, 20107:09 pm

    Arglebarglefarglegleep: So after using the jetpack as you say to get to the nearest phone you’ll still be waiting for others to solve your problems except now you had to fly through the rain to get there.
    Yeah, I can see you put a lot of thought into this. That’s how you roll.

  17. Arglebarglefarglegleep says: September 27, 201010:04 pm

    Firebrand38p; Sharpish again; I don’t recall stating weather conditions, comfort claims or that they’d be trying to find a phone. I only made comparisons and pointed out relationships to existing material. Please don’t make personal attacks.

  18. Firebrand38 says: September 28, 20105:14 am

    Arglebarglefarglegleep: You don’t recall this? “It’s hard to walk to the nearest phone from a flying car.”
    I added the weather because of your clever retort that it’s better to carry a Vespa in your trunk than a cellphone.

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