This may be the most important era for planning in our professional lives. We are experiencing seismic shifts in many industries, a game-changing recession, and an emerging “new” normal. Experts predict that the “demand” economy will result in value-based (think dollars, not core tenets) purchasing decisions for the foreseeable future. At the same time, we have evolved from, “Hey, there’s a social media thing happening and I need to check it out” to “Hello, digital community!”

The philanthropic community is more fragmented than ever, as new foundations, funds and charities spring up. It seems like every month someone from the corporate sphere (from Warren Buffet to Mark Zuckerberg) is looking to make a sizable and well-intentioned contribution to solve real problems.  The social sector’s thinking continues to evolve, as evidenced by the concept of capital markets for nonprofits and new views on old problems, such as how to effectively replicate innovation in the sector. Add it up and you have a dynamically complex world.

Even at times of disequilibrium, some things remain true. Knowing who to trust, who gets things done, and who will be there when times get tough has never been more important.