2001: A Business Odyssey

Age-Old Questions

The forces behind the growth of the New Age movement are no passing fancies. Some say we've got a heavy case of millennial fever. Not only are major astrological and psychic changes reputedly underway, but so is the kind of cultural soul-searching that usually occurs during millennial shifts.

"There's a perception that the institutions of the Industrial Age are no longer equipped to deal with reality," says Gerald Celente, director of The Trends Research Institute in Rhinebeck, New York, and author of Trends 2000 (Warner). "People have lost faith in the political system, the legal system, the health-care system--and they're looking for answers, often outside the scope of reason."

Which is not to say people are being unreasonable. Rather, this is a time for innovation and spiritual introspection. "I think people are looking forward to great change" in virtually all facets of their lives, says Celente.

Demographically speaking, the time is right for renewal. "A lot of people don't get to a point of self-examination until they face a major life crisis," says Joan Duncan Oliver, editor of the bimonthly magazine New Age Journal. "The baby boomers have reached the age when they might be facing health problems, or questioning the value of their work, or even losing their jobs. These crises are often the initiation into a more examined life."

The confluence of millennial and demographic trends creates the right environment for change. New insights, new revelations, new approaches to old problems, revolutionary products and services--they couldn't be born at a better time.

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This article was originally published in the December 1996 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: 2001: A Business Odyssey.

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