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The Dream Society: How the Coming Shift from Information to Imagination Will Transform Your Business Paperback – August 30, 2001

3.7 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Jensen, director of the Copenhagen Institute for Future Studies, presents a riveting essay on the future demand for goods and services. He predicts that the present information-based society will evolve into a society that values the stories behind products and services. According to Jensen, these stories will fill the need for emotional wealth when material wealth has become commonplace. The demand for product stories will in turn increase the demand for imaginative storytellers who can artfully direct consumer emotions in a wealthy global culture where hard play replaces hard work. As wealth grows, so will the number of choices for consumer goods and emotional experiences. Jensen provides numerous current examples of an encroaching dream society, from paying premium prices for eggs from free-range chickens to the fantasy experience of video games. Well presented and organized, this is highly recommended for academic and corporate libraries.Robert L. Balliot Jr., Middletown P.L., RI
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Even though nearly 80 percent of the world's population is still without access to even a telephone, pundits have already begun to announce the end of the Information Age. Here, Jensen proclaims "the dream society." He heads the Copenhagen Institute for Future Studies, Europe's largest future-oriented think tank, and he documents humankind's evolution through four previous "techno-economic systems": hunter-gatherer, agricultural, industrial, and information. Two trends signal the transition to the dream society: information tasks are being automated and will be taken for granted, and emotion is becoming commercialized. The result, argues Jensen, is that consumers will no longer buy products but rather lifestyles and the "stories," experiences, and emotions products convey. Jensen sees six separate "emotional markets": adventure, love and friendship, care, self-identity, peace of mind, and beliefs or convictions. He details how the way business creates and sells products will be transformed. Jensen also sees major changes in the workplace, at home, and in relations between the rich and the developing nations; and he enthusiastically portrays the utopia he envisions. David Rouse --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: How the Coming Shift from Information to Imagination Will Tr
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 1 edition (August 30, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071379681
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071379687
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,238,158 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Rolf Jensen postulates an age where companies will have to differentiate themselves by creating stories about who they are, what they stand for, and who their customers will be when they become "part" of the story as consumers. Using the trends established by existing, successful organizations like Nike and Disney, Jensen paints a picture of marketing through consumer allegiance by imagination.
For would-be futurists, this book is compelling. For ordinary business folk, this book gels all the trends and ideas you've been seeing lately, and makes sense of it all. For the rest of us -- the Dream Society articulates the need we humans have for stories, culture, and acceptance.
This is an extraordinarily intriguing book. Even if you don't agree (or are afraid to imagine) the future scenarios Jensen presents, you'll be compelled to admit -- the Dream Society may really be here after all. A must-read!
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Format: Hardcover
Every once in a while, a management guru or academician writes a book so idealistic and simple in its basic premise that it appeals to scholars and businesspeople alike solely for the inherent beauty in its simplicity. Much like the appeal of fairy tales or biographies. No fuss, no complexity, no crooked lines. But whereas this way of storytelling is charming when describing a lifelong career or the fate of princess or princesses, it becomes downright repulsive when applied to modern business and economics. Not only repulsive, but also dangerous. Jensen is learned and a fine raconteur at that, which he uses to his advantage in this book. The basic premise, that corporations of today are selling stories instead of products is intriguing, if not completely original (Pine & Gilmore described the progression of economic offerings towards experience and entertainment in their 1999 book "The Experience Economy"). Had Jensen stayed within the boundaries of a conventional management book, i.e. simplified descriptions and corporate nice-to-know facts, The Dream Society would have been a fair effort, if slightly trivial. The big misstep that Jensen makes is that he, like too many other colleagues, starts to add a philantrophical aspect to his ideas. Not only can the striving towards a dream society be applied to goods and services, but also on the modern family, on the third world, on modern labour, globalization, urbanization etc. In fact, so amazing is Jensens Dream paradigm that there is no area or phenomenon that is left unexplored. Actually, "unexplored" is an inaccurate description. There is no area that Jensen doesn't beleaguer with his newly found buzzword-baby. That's where the book sets off on thin ice.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
Why do some people buy a watch at $ 10.000, when you can get a much more precise one at $ 10? Because time is not the essential thing - it's about dreams, lifestyles and adventure. Why is the automobile the "New Beetle" such a big success? Because it looks almost like the old one (apart from new technology). Why is the movie "Titanic" the greatest blockbuster of our time? Because it's a story about a ship, a journey into nostalgia, feelings and lifestyles of persons 87 years ago. Dreams, stories, lifestyles, feelings, adventure, nostalgia, care - you'll get all the questions and answers in this well-written and provocative book about the next 25 years in the affluent societies. It's difficult to find arguments against the many examples and facts in this amazing book. Just to mention two examples: according to the author, doctors will gradually be replaced by automation within the health care sector, but nurses will get their golden age because of the explosive need to provide for care in the coming years. And: "The story can be told with a whole range of products, the product themselves being secondary". This is the reason why people buy Marlboro, Nike, BMW, Rolex and other brands at a price many times the price for other more unknown products. There is always a story behind: adventure(Marlboro-man), lifestyle (Nike) or nostalgia (BMW-oldtimers). This well-structured book is not about utopia, it's about the changing patterns of our daily lives, and it's already happening...
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Format: Paperback
The book is the result of 15 yrs work at the Copenhagen Institute for Future Studies. I bought it to read on my holiday but finished it two weeks beforehand! It made some really interesting points:
* Man has been around for c.100,000yrs: 90,000 as hunter-gatherer, 10,000 as farmer, 200 in industry and maybe 30 in IT. This book provides a glimpse of what comes next!
* We will see a move from the rational to the emotional. `The successful companies of the twenty-first century...besides meeting the social and emotional needs of employees...will want to cater to consumers' emotional and social needs' [e.g. Shopping Malls as Theme Parks?].
* Current accounting methods measure `the company's capital at night...when all employees have gone home'. The author discusses Intellectual Capital: salary negotiations as establishing an employee's value as a company asset and the `real cost of layoffs...just as if tossing computers out the window would destroy physical capital, layoffs involve throwing away human capital. If we are talking top-quality computers with modern software this is a bad idea.'
* In a concept that may have significant employee training and development implications, the author quotes Tom Peters: `Brand yourself' and believes that `the "branded" employee will triumph over the Brand X employee...increase awareness about your existence and skills...'
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