The demographic foundations that we take for granted - an ever-expanding and youthful population are slipping beneath our feet. As people live longer and fewer children are born, a seismic shift is under way in the age profile of populations: the agequake.
Through the long vistas of history, societies have been extraordinarily young with an average age of 20. But within our lifetime, the average age will rise towards 50 in the West and Japan. For the first time in history older people will outnumber children. And as birthrates plummet around the world we will no longer be facing that old bogey, world overpopulation, but a population implosion.
The agequake is bigger than the fate of any single generation. It is a truly global phenomenon, embracing the developing countries even more quickly than the West.
The new age of humanity will require wrenching adjustment to everything from property values to pension promises, from investment strategies to the world of work, from youth culture to individual lifestyles, but now is the time to adjust our mindset, change the way we view our future and prepare in earnest for the agequake.