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Future Shock author Alvin Toffler dies

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Futurist and author Alvin Toffler has died at the age of 87.

Toffler shot to prominence with his 1970 best-seller “Future Shock”, which focuses on the post-Industrial world – and has never been out of print.

Follow-up books included “The Third Wave” and “Powershift”, written in collaboration with his wife Heidi Toffler, and continuing the themes of digital revolution, communication revolution and technology singularity. He also wrote “War and Anti-War”.

Among Toffler’s most well-known quotes is: “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”

After a chequered early career as welder, millwright, labour columnist and journalist, Toffler was hired by IBM to research and write a paper on the social and organisational impact of computers. Xerox asked him to write about its research laboratory and the AT&T consulted him for strategic advice – where he advised company to break up more than a decade before the government forced it to do so.

In 1996, with American business consultant Tom Johnson, Alvin and Heidi co-founded Toffler Associates, an advisory firm designed to implement many of the ideas the Tofflers had written on. The firm worked with businesses, NGOs, and governments in the US, South Korea, Mexico, Brazil, Singapore, Australia, and other countries.