A Futurist’s View on the Future of Health – PR Newswire – PR Newswire (press release)

JOHANNESBURG, June 6, 2017 /PRNewswire/ –“Healthcarein South Africa is changing significantly,” says futurist Jack Uldrich. “Technology and globalcommunications are paving the way for unprecedented improvements for everyone in the nation.”

Jack Uldrichmakes it his mission to help healthcareleaders address and embrace the imminent changes in the field. He has been selected to speak at the Future of Health Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa on June 9. The topic of his talk will be, “The Future of Health Care: 2020, 2025 and Beyond.”

He will discuss how innovations in healthcare (new treatments, technologies, trends, telemedicine, etc.,) will transform the experience for patients, healthcare professionals and hospitals in South Africa. He will also discuss how these same trends will affect the broader Continent of Africa.

Among the trends Uldrichwill focus on is longevity.

“Typically,” says Uldrich, “White South Africans currently have a lifeexpectancyof 71 years, while blackSouth Africanshave a life expectancy of 48 years of age. In the nextten to twenty years, one of the possibilities in healthcare may be increasing the overall life expectancy of all South Africansto those found in North America.”

In the coming decades, longevity may increase worldwide, on average toward upward of 90 years.

Other technological trends he will discuss are Artificial Intelligence, wearable technology, augmentedreality, virtualreality, wireless mobility, nanotechnology,genomicsequencing, robotics, and3D printing.

Uldrichsays, “With bio-printed organs, living past the age of 90 will not be anything like living to that age today. We’re already printing skin, kidneys, a replica of a beating human heart. Soon, if a person loses a limb, it’s theoretically possible that we’ll be able to print, layer by layer, a replacement.”

Considered a technology visionary in the fields of healthcare, agriculture, finance, and energy,Uldrichspeaks hundreds of times a year all over the world delivering keynotes on technologicaltrends and the concept of unlearning.

He has spoken on the future of finance in the Bahamas, new opportunities in manufacturingin Brussels, the future of education in Istanbuland on the future of urban planning (addressing the Urban Land Institute) in San Francisco, among many others.

Following his engagementin Johannesburg, Uldrichwill return to the U.S. to speak to KeHeDistributors in Minneapolis on the future of the food industry on June 13 and address a private client in Houston, TX on the future of the petrochemical industry on June 20.

Parties interested in learning more about Jack Uldrich can view his website.

Media Contact: Jack Uldrich, Phone: 1.612.267.1212 Email: Jack@jackuldrich.com

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A Futurist’s View on the Future of Health – PR Newswire – PR Newswire (press release)

Can we survive AI? A conversation with leading futurist, Calum Chace – Irish Tech News


Irish Tech News
Can we survive AI? A conversation with leading futurist, Calum Chace
Irish Tech News
Reading lots of science fiction made me think that intelligent machines were inevitable, but not for millennia. Reading Ray Kurzweil in 1999 made me think it could happen faster, and got me thinking about the potential downsides which he seemed almost …

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Can we survive AI? A conversation with leading futurist, Calum Chace – Irish Tech News

Futurist warns municipalities to adapt to the 21st century or be left behind – ITBusiness.ca

WINDSOR, ON. Facing a room full of municipal IT staff, futurist Jim Carroll warned that too many of Canadas towns and cities are falling behind when it comes to entering the 21st century.

Too many, he said, are led by change-resistant baby boomers who rely on legacy systems; underestimate technologys impact on their citys operations and the degree to which the generations following them have embraced it; and ignore the private sectors impact on citizen expectations.

If I go to Amazon and buy something, I get one-hour delivery and instant status updates. With Dominoes, I can know exactly where my pizza is. So if something goes wrong with my garbage pickup service, I want the same type of information, Carroll, a trends and innovation expert who has given presentations to the likes of NASA and the Walt Disney Corporation during his 20-year career, told the audience at the 2017 MISA (Municipal Information Systems Association) Ontario annual conference.

Carrolls example wasnt random either: After reminding the audience how easily they could search a topic on Google or access their iPhones home screen, he shared what happened when his home city of Mississauga recently neglected to pick up his familys garbage likely the result of a nearby construction project.

When his wife called Mississauga staff, they blamed the citys parent region. Which led to a series of tweets.

If Im going to interact with the City of Mississauga, I want to do it through my smartphone, Carroll said. I expect the same degree of interaction and quality of service that I get from Amazon.

Modern municipalities, Carroll said, must learn to address service disruptions by providing mobile support and simplifying their customer service processes, lest they become victims of public complaints, as the city of Mississauga was on his Twitter feed.

Its a whole new world, he said. Youve gotta up your game in order to get there.

A leading challenge in entering the 21st century, Carroll said, is the outsized role change-resistant baby boomers often play in a citys leadership, and their inability to recognize the role technology plays in the next generations life.

For example, he said, he once gave a presentation at a Texas-based conference attended by some 600 CEOs and attempted to run a text messaging-based poll asking how ready they believed their companies were for the digital revolution. Three responded.

When he presented at his sons high school and ran a similar poll for 300 students, 89 per cent responded. Within 30 seconds.

The next generation is different, Carroll said. When I talk at banking conferences I warn them: the next generation doesnt understand bank reconciliations. They dont know what a cheque is. For them, banking is something they do through their mobile device. And theyre going to expect the same when paying their taxes, or accessing any type of municipal service.

Carroll was also quick to emphasize that he didnt mean to condemn all boomers.

I think a lot of them out there do get it, he said. One of my sons heroes is Ottawa mayor Jim Watson hes a very effective user of Twitter, and doing everything he can to accelerate the citys digital transformation.

Boomers, he noted, grew up in a period when computer programming was synonymous with frustrating programming languages such as COBOL (an acronym for common business-oriented language), which is still used in some 50 per cent of large companies.

No other generation in the history of mankind will need to take a course in COBOL, Carroll said. All my kids have known is friendly technology, with a mouse, so we can expect their relationship with computers to be different.

Carroll began his presentation with three statistics:

The first was that 65 per cent of todays children in preschool will eventually hold jobs that dont exist yet.

The second was that half of what is learned in the first year of a four-year bachelors degree is now obsolete by a students fourth year, even in fields such as computer science and biology.

The third, more anecdote than statistic, illustrated how quickly much of our technology has caught up to the 1960s vision of the future, originally meant to be far later than 2017.

For example, Carroll found scenes in The Jetsons, the Hanna Barbera animated series depicting life in 2061, that predicted Skype

Instagram filters

And even the Apple Watch.

The future arrived 50 years early, he joked.

The lesson municipal leaders need to take away from the Jetsons (and Star Trek, which Carroll noted has also influenced a great deal of modern technology), is that IT is no longer confined to a single department, but the lifeblood of their future communities.

Consequently, their IT staff need to enjoy a more elevated role.

IT managers need a seat at the table, he said. They need to make sure the mayor and city council understands that their role is changing.

More importantly, he said, they need to pursue and their leadership needs to provide the scale of funding needed to support and accelerate their communitys entry into the 21st century economy, one based on IT.

They need more play money, he said, adding that municipal leaders should think of CIOs as chief imagination officers, executives capable of disrupting everything from garbage collection to highway use to home care to city services access to paying taxes in a way that will attract further investment.

Those chief imagination officers need to be able to go out and work on the types of technologies and new capabilities that will accelerate their municipalitys knowledge and help them take their place among Ontarios communities of the future, Carroll said.

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Futurist warns municipalities to adapt to the 21st century or be left behind – ITBusiness.ca

Futures studies – Wikipedia

Futures studies (also called futurology) is the study of postulating possible, probable, and preferable futures and the worldviews and myths that underlie them. There is a debate as to whether this discipline is an art or science. In general, it can be considered as a branch of the social sciences and parallel to the field of history. History studies the past, futures studies considers the future. Futures studies (colloquially called “futures” by many of the field’s practitioners) seeks to understand what is likely to continue and what could plausibly change. Part of the discipline thus seeks a systematic and pattern-based understanding of past and present, and to determine the likelihood of future events and trends.[1] Unlike the physical sciences where a narrower, more specified system is studied, futures studies concerns a much bigger and more complex world system. The methodology and knowledge are much less proven as compared to natural science or even social science like sociology, economics, and political science.

Futures studies is an interdisciplinary field, studying yesterday’s and today’s changes, and aggregating and analyzing both lay and professional strategies and opinions with respect to tomorrow. It includes analyzing the sources, patterns, and causes of change and stability in an attempt to develop foresight and to map possible futures. Around the world the field is variously referred to as futures studies, strategic foresight, futuristics, futures thinking, futuring, and futurology. Futures studies and strategic foresight are the academic field’s most commonly used terms in the English-speaking world.

Foresight was the original term and was first used in this sense by H.G. Wells in 1932.[2] “Futurology” is a term common in encyclopedias, though it is used almost exclusively by nonpractitioners today, at least in the English-speaking world. “Futurology” is defined as the “study of the future.”[3] The term was coined by German professor Ossip K. Flechtheim in the mid-1940s, who proposed it as a new branch of knowledge that would include a new science of probability. This term may have fallen from favor in recent decades because modern practitioners stress the importance of alternative and plural futures, rather than one monolithic future, and the limitations of prediction and probability, versus the creation of possible and preferable futures.[citation needed]

Three factors usually distinguish futures studies from the research conducted by other disciplines (although all of these disciplines overlap, to differing degrees). First, futures studies often examines not only possible but also probable, preferable, and “wild card” futures. Second, futures studies typically attempts to gain a holistic or systemic view based on insights from a range of different disciplines, generally focusing on the STEEP[4] categories of Social, Technological, Economic, Environmental and Political. Third, futures studies challenges and unpacks the assumptions behind dominant and contending views of the future. The future thus is not empty but fraught with hidden assumptions. For example, many people expect the collapse of the Earth’s ecosystem in the near future, while others believe the current ecosystem will survive indefinitely. A foresight approach would seek to analyze and highlight the assumptions underpinning such views.

As a field, futures studies expands on the research component, by emphasizing the communication of a strategy and the actionable steps needed to implement the plan or plans leading to the preferable future. It is in this regard, that futures studies evolves from an academic exercise to a more traditional business-like practice, looking to better prepare organizations for the future.

Futures studies does not generally focus on short term predictions such as interest rates over the next business cycle, or of managers or investors with short-term time horizons. Most strategic planning, which develops operational plans for preferred futures with time horizons of one to three years, is also not considered futures. Plans and strategies with longer time horizons that specifically attempt to anticipate possible future events are definitely part of the field. As a rule, futures studies is generally concerned with changes of transformative impact, rather than those of an incremental or narrow scope.

The futures field also excludes those who make future predictions through professed supernatural means.

Johan Galtung and Sohail Inayatullah[5] argue in Macrohistory and Macrohistorians that the search for grand patterns of social change goes all the way back to Ssu-Ma Chien (145-90BC) and his theory of the cycles of virtue, although the work of Ibn Khaldun (13321406) such as The Muqaddimah[6] would be an example that is perhaps more intelligible to modern sociology. Some intellectual foundations of futures studies appeared in the mid-19th century; according to Wendell Bell, Comte’s discussion of the metapatterns of social change presages futures studies as a scholarly dialogue.[7]

The first works that attempt to make systematic predictions for the future were written in the 18th century. Memoirs of the Twentieth Century written by Samuel Madden in 1733, takes the form of a series of diplomatic letters written in 1997 and 1998 from British representatives in the foreign cities of Constantinople, Rome, Paris, and Moscow.[8] However, the technology of the 20th century is identical to that of Madden’s own era – the focus is instead on the political and religious state of the world in the future. Madden went on to write The Reign of George VI, 1900 to 1925, where (in the context of the boom in canal construction at the time) he envisioned a large network of waterways that would radically transform patterns of living – “Villages grew into towns and towns became cities”.[9]

The genre of science fiction became established towards the end of the 19th century, with notable writers, including Jules Verne and H. G. Wells, setting their stories in an imagined future world.

According to W. Warren Wagar, the founder of future studies was H. G. Wells. His Anticipations of the Reaction of Mechanical and Scientific Progress Upon Human Life and Thought: An Experiment in Prophecy, was first serially published in The Fortnightly Review in 1901.[10] Anticipating what the world would be like in the year 2000, the book is interesting both for its hits (trains and cars resulting in the dispersion of population from cities to suburbs; moral restrictions declining as men and women seek greater sexual freedom; the defeat of German militarism, the existence of a European Union, and a world order maintained by “English-speaking peoples” based on the urban core between Chicago and New York[11]) and its misses (he did not expect successful aircraft before 1950, and averred that “my imagination refuses to see any sort of submarine doing anything but suffocate its crew and founder at sea”).[12][13]

Moving from narrow technological predictions, Wells envisioned the eventual collapse of the capitalist world system after a series of destructive total wars. From this havoc would ultimately emerge a world of peace and plenty, controlled by competent technocrats.[10]

The work was a bestseller, and Wells was invited to deliver a lecture at the Royal Institution in 1902, entitled The Discovery of the Future. The lecture was well-received and was soon republished in book form. He advocated for the establishment of a new academic study of the future that would be grounded in scientific methodology rather than just speculation. He argued that a scientifically ordered vision of the future “will be just as certain, just as strictly science, and perhaps just as detailed as the picture that has been built up within the last hundred years to make the geological past.” Although conscious of the difficulty in arriving at entirely accurate predictions, he thought that it would still be possible to arrive at a “working knowledge of things in the future”.[10]

In his fictional works, Wells predicted the invention and use of the atomic bomb in The World Set Free (1914).[14] In The Shape of Things to Come (1933) the impending World War and cities destroyed by aerial bombardment was depicted.[15] However, he didn’t stop advocating for the establishment of a futures science. In a 1933 BBC broadcast he called for the establishment of “Departments and Professors of Foresight”, foreshadowing the development of modern academic futures studies by approximately 40 years.[2]

Futures studies emerged as an academic discipline in the mid-1960s. First-generation futurists included Herman Kahn, an American Cold War strategist who wrote On Thermonuclear War (1960), Thinking about the unthinkable (1962) and The Year 2000: a framework for speculation on the next thirty-three years (1967); Bertrand de Jouvenel, a French economist who founded Futuribles International in 1960; and Dennis Gabor, a Hungarian-British scientist who wrote Inventing the Future (1963) and The Mature Society. A View of the Future (1972).[7]

Future studies had a parallel origin with the birth of systems science in academia, and with the idea of national economic and political planning, most notably in France and the Soviet Union.[7][16] In the 1950s, the people of France were continuing to reconstruct their war-torn country. In the process, French scholars, philosophers, writers, and artists searched for what could constitute a more positive future for humanity. The Soviet Union similarly participated in postwar rebuilding, but did so in the context of an established national economic planning process, which also required a long-term, systemic statement of social goals. Future studies was therefore primarily engaged in national planning, and the construction of national symbols.

By contrast, in the United States, futures studies as a discipline emerged from the successful application of the tools and perspectives of systems analysis, especially with regard to quartermastering the war-effort. These differing origins account for an initial schism between futures studies in America and futures studies in Europe: U.S. practitioners focused on applied projects, quantitative tools and systems analysis, whereas Europeans preferred to investigate the long-range future of humanity and the Earth, what might constitute that future, what symbols and semantics might express it, and who might articulate these.[17][18]

By the 1960s, academics, philosophers, writers and artists across the globe had begun to explore enough future scenarios so as to fashion a common dialogue. Inventors such as Buckminster Fuller also began highlighting the effect technology might have on global trends as time progressed. This discussion on the intersection of population growth, resource availability and use, economic growth, quality of life, and environmental sustainability referred to as the “global problematique” came to wide public attention with the publication of Limits to Growth, a study sponsored by the Club of Rome.[19]

International dialogue became institutionalized in the form of the World Futures Studies Federation (WFSF), founded in 1967, with the noted sociologist, Johan Galtung, serving as its first president. In the United States, the publisher Edward Cornish, concerned with these issues, started the World Future Society, an organization focused more on interested laypeople.

1975 saw the founding of the first graduate program in futures studies in the United States, the M.S. program in Futures Studies at the University of HoustonClear Lake,.[20] Oliver Markley of SRI (now SRI International) was hired in 1978 to move the program into a more applied and professional direction. The program moved to the University of Houston in 2007 and renamed the degree to Foresight.[21] The program has remained focused on preparing professional futurists and providing high-quality foresight training for individuals and organizations in business, government, education, and non-profits.[22] In 1976, the M.A. Program in Public Policy in Alternative Futures at the University of Hawaii at Manoa was established.[23] The Hawaii program locates futures studies within a pedagogical space defined by neo-Marxism, critical political economic theory, and literary criticism. In the years following the foundation of these two programs, single courses in Futures Studies at all levels of education have proliferated, but complete programs occur only rarely. In 2012, the Finland Futures Research Centre started a master’s degree Programme in Futures Studies at Turku School of Economics, a business school which is part of the University of Turku in Turku, Finland.[24]

As a transdisciplinary field, futures studies attracts generalists. This transdisciplinary nature can also cause problems, owing to it sometimes falling between the cracks of disciplinary boundaries; it also has caused some difficulty in achieving recognition within the traditional curricula of the sciences and the humanities. In contrast to “Futures Studies” at the undergraduate level, some graduate programs in strategic leadership or management offer masters or doctorate programs in “strategic foresight” for mid-career professionals, some even online. Nevertheless, comparatively few new PhDs graduate in Futures Studies each year.

The field currently faces the great challenge of creating a coherent conceptual framework, codified into a well-documented curriculum (or curricula) featuring widely accepted and consistent concepts and theoretical paradigms linked to quantitative and qualitative methods, exemplars of those research methods, and guidelines for their ethical and appropriate application within society. As an indication that previously disparate intellectual dialogues have in fact started converging into a recognizable discipline,[25] at least six solidly-researched and well-accepted first attempts to synthesize a coherent framework for the field have appeared: Eleonora Masini’s Why Futures Studies,[26]James Dator’s Advancing Futures Studies,[27]Ziauddin Sardar’s Rescuing all of our Futures,[28]Sohail Inayatullah’s Questioning the future,[29]Richard A. Slaughter’s The Knowledge Base of Futures Studies,[30] a collection of essays by senior practitioners, and Wendell Bell’s two-volume work, The Foundations of Futures Studies.[31]

Some aspects of the future, such as celestial mechanics, are highly predictable, and may even be described by relatively simple mathematical models. At present however, science has yielded only a special minority of such “easy to predict” physical processes. Theories such as chaos theory, nonlinear science and standard evolutionary theory have allowed us to understand many complex systems as contingent (sensitively dependent on complex environmental conditions) and stochastic (random within constraints), making the vast majority of future events unpredictable, in any specific case.

Not surprisingly, the tension between predictability and unpredictability is a source of controversy and conflict among futures studies scholars and practitioners. Some argue that the future is essentially unpredictable, and that “the best way to predict the future is to create it.” Others believe, as Flechtheim, that advances in science, probability, modeling and statistics will allow us to continue to improve our understanding of probable futures, while this area presently remains less well developed than methods for exploring possible and preferable futures.

As an example, consider the process of electing the president of the United States. At one level we observe that any U.S. citizen over 35 may run for president, so this process may appear too unconstrained for useful prediction. Yet further investigation demonstrates that only certain public individuals (current and former presidents and vice presidents, senators, state governors, popular military commanders, mayors of very large cities, etc.) receive the appropriate “social credentials” that are historical prerequisites for election. Thus with a minimum of effort at formulating the problem for statistical prediction, a much reduced pool of candidates can be described, improving our probabilistic foresight. Applying further statistical intelligence to this problem, we can observe that in certain election prediction markets such as the Iowa Electronic Markets, reliable forecasts have been generated over long spans of time and conditions, with results superior to individual experts or polls. Such markets, which may be operated publicly or as an internal market, are just one of several promising frontiers in predictive futures research.

Such improvements in the predictability of individual events do not though, from a complexity theory viewpoint, address the unpredictability inherent in dealing with entire systems, which emerge from the interaction between multiple individual events.

In terms of methodology, futures practitioners employ a wide range of approaches, models and methods, in both theory and practice, many of which are derived from or informed by other academic or professional disciplines [1], including social sciences such as economics, psychology, sociology, religious studies, cultural studies, history, geography, and political science; physical and life sciences such as physics, chemistry, astronomy, biology; mathematics, including statistics, game theory and econometrics; applied disciplines such as engineering, computer sciences, and business management (particularly strategy).

Given its unique objectives and material, the practice of futures studies only rarely features employment of the scientific method in the sense of controlled, repeatable and verifiable experiments with highly standardized methodologies. However, many futurists are informed by scientific techniques or work primarily within scientific domains. Borrowing from history, the futurist might project patterns observed in past civilizations upon present-day society to model what might happen in the future, or borrowing from technology, the futurist may model possible social and cultural responses to an emerging technology based on established principles of the diffusion of innovation. In short, the futures practitioner enjoys the synergies of an interdisciplinary laboratory.

As the plural term futures suggests, one of the fundamental assumptions in futures studies is that the future is plural not singular.[2] That is, the future consists not of one inevitable future that is to be predicted, but rather of multiple alternative futures of varying likelihood which may be derived and described, and about which it is impossible to say with certainty which one will occur. The primary effort in futures studies, then, is to identify and describe alternative futures in order to better understand the driving forces of the present or the structural dynamics of a particular subject or subjects. The exercise of identifying alternative futures includes collecting quantitative and qualitative data about the possibility, probability, and desirability of change. The plural term “futures” in futures studies denotes both the rich variety of alternative futures, including the subset of preferable futures (normative futures), that can be studied, as well as the tenet that the future is many.

At present, the general futures studies model has been summarized as being concerned with “three Ps and a W”, or possible, probable, and preferable futures, plus wildcards, which are low probability but high impact events (positive or negative). Many futurists, however, do not use the wild card approach. Rather, they use a methodology called Emerging Issues Analysis. It searches for the drivers of change, issues that are likely to move from unknown to the known, from low impact to high impact.

In terms of technique, futures practitioners originally concentrated on extrapolating present technological, economic or social trends, or on attempting to predict future trends. Over time, the discipline has come to put more and more focus on the examination of social systems and uncertainties, to the end of articulating scenarios. The practice of scenario development facilitates the examination of worldviews and assumptions through the causal layered analysis method (and others), the creation of preferred visions of the future, and the use of exercises such as backcasting to connect the present with alternative futures. Apart from extrapolation and scenarios, many dozens of methods and techniques are used in futures research (see below).

The general practice of futures studies also sometimes includes the articulation of normative or preferred futures, and a major thread of practice involves connecting both extrapolated (exploratory) and normative research to assist individuals and organizations to model preferred futures amid shifting social changes. Practitioners use varying proportions of collaboration, creativity and research to derive and define alternative futures, and to the degree that a preferred future might be sought, especially in an organizational context, techniques may also be deployed to develop plans or strategies for directed future shaping or implementation of a preferred future.

While some futurists are not concerned with assigning probability to future scenarios, other futurists find probabilities useful in certain situations, such as when probabilities stimulate thinking about scenarios within organizations [3]. When dealing with the three Ps and a W model, estimates of probability are involved with two of the four central concerns (discerning and classifying both probable and wildcard events), while considering the range of possible futures, recognizing the plurality of existing alternative futures, characterizing and attempting to resolve normative disagreements on the future, and envisioning and creating preferred futures are other major areas of scholarship. Most estimates of probability in futures studies are normative and qualitative, though significant progress on statistical and quantitative methods (technology and information growth curves, cliometrics, predictive psychology, prediction markets, crowdvoting forecasts,[31][better source needed] etc.) has been made in recent decades.

While forecasting i.e., attempts to predict future states from current trends is a common methodology, professional scenarios often rely on “backcasting”: asking what changes in the present would be required to arrive at envisioned alternative future states. For example, the Policy Reform and Eco-Communalism scenarios developed by the Global Scenario Group rely on the backcasting method. Practitioners of futures studies classify themselves as futurists (or foresight practitioners).

Futurists use a diverse range of forecasting methods including:

Futurists use scenarios alternative possible futures as an important tool. To some extent, people can determine what they consider probable or desirable using qualitative and quantitative methods. By looking at a variety of possibilities one comes closer to shaping the future, rather than merely predicting it. Shaping alternative futures starts by establishing a number of scenarios. Setting up scenarios takes place as a process with many stages. One of those stages involves the study of trends. A trend persists long-term and long-range; it affects many societal groups, grows slowly and appears to have a profound basis. In contrast, a fad operates in the short term, shows the vagaries of fashion, affects particular societal groups, and spreads quickly but superficially.

Sample predicted futures range from predicted ecological catastrophes, through a utopian future where the poorest human being lives in what present-day observers would regard as wealth and comfort, through the transformation of humanity into a posthuman life-form, to the destruction of all life on Earth in, say, a nanotechnological disaster.

Futurists have a decidedly mixed reputation and a patchy track record at successful prediction. For reasons of convenience, they often extrapolate present technical and societal trends and assume they will develop at the same rate into the future; but technical progress and social upheavals, in reality, take place in fits and starts and in different areas at different rates.

Many 1950s futurists predicted commonplace space tourism by the year 2000, but ignored the possibilities of ubiquitous, cheap computers. On the other hand, many forecasts have portrayed the future with some degree of accuracy. Current futurists often present multiple scenarios that help their audience envision what “may” occur instead of merely “predicting the future”. They claim that understanding potential scenarios helps individuals and organizations prepare with flexibility.

Many corporations use futurists as part of their risk management strategy, for horizon scanning and emerging issues analysis, and to identify wild cards low probability, potentially high-impact risks.[32] Every successful and unsuccessful business engages in futuring to some degree for example in research and development, innovation and market research, anticipating competitor behavior and so on.[33][34]

In futures research “weak signals” may be understood as advanced, noisy and socially situated indicators of change in trends and systems that constitute raw informational material for enabling anticipatory action. There is some confusion about the definition of weak signal by various researchers and consultants. Sometimes it is referred as future oriented information, sometimes more like emerging issues. The confusion has been partly clarified with the concept ‘the future sign’, by separating signal, issue and interpretation of the future sign.[35]

“Wild cards” refer to low-probability and high-impact events, such as existential risks. This concept may be embedded in standard foresight projects and introduced into anticipatory decision-making activity in order to increase the ability of social groups adapt to surprises arising in turbulent business environments. Such sudden and unique incidents might constitute turning points in the evolution of a certain trend or system. Wild cards may or may not be announced by weak signals, which are incomplete and fragmented data from which relevant foresight information might be inferred. Sometimes, mistakenly, wild cards and weak signals are considered as synonyms, which they are not.[36]

A long-running tradition in various cultures, and especially in the media, involves various spokespersons making predictions for the upcoming year at the beginning of the year. These predictions sometimes base themselves on current trends in culture (music, movies, fashion, politics); sometimes they make hopeful guesses as to what major events might take place over the course of the next year.

Some of these predictions come true as the year unfolds, though many fail. When predicted events fail to take place, the authors of the predictions often state that misinterpretation of the “signs” and portents may explain the failure of the prediction.

Marketers have increasingly started to embrace futures studies, in an effort to benefit from an increasingly competitive marketplace with fast production cycles, using such techniques as trendspotting as popularized by Faith Popcorn.[dubious discuss]

Trends come in different sizes. A mega-trend extends over many generations, and in cases of climate, mega-trends can cover periods prior to human existence. They describe complex interactions between many factors. The increase in population from the palaeolithic period to the present provides an example.

Possible new trends grow from innovations, projects, beliefs or actions that have the potential to grow and eventually go mainstream in the future.

Very often, trends relate to one another the same way as a tree-trunk relates to branches and twigs. For example, a well-documented movement toward equality between men and women might represent a branch trend. The trend toward reducing differences in the salaries of men and women in the Western world could form a twig on that branch.

When a potential trend gets enough confirmation in the various media, surveys or questionnaires to show that it has an increasingly accepted value, behavior or technology, it becomes accepted as a bona fide trend. Trends can also gain confirmation by the existence of other trends perceived as springing from the same branch. Some commentators claim that when 15% to 25% of a given population integrates an innovation, project, belief or action into their daily life then a trend becomes mainstream.

Because new advances in technology have the potential to reshape our society, one of the jobs of a futurist is to follow these developments and consider their implications. However, the latest innovations take time to make an impact. Every new technology goes through its own life cycle of maturity, adoption, and social application that must be taken into consideration before a probable vision of the future can be created.

Gartner created their Hype Cycle to illustrate the phases a technology moves through as it grows from research and development to mainstream adoption. The unrealistic expectations and subsequent disillusionment that virtual reality experienced in the 1990s and early 2000s is an example of the middle phases encountered before a technology can begin to be integrated into society.[37]

Education in the field of futures studies has taken place for some time. Beginning in the United States of America in the 1960s, it has since developed in many different countries. Futures education encourages the use of concepts, tools and processes that allow students to think long-term, consequentially, and imaginatively. It generally helps students to:

Thorough documentation of the history of futures education exists, for example in the work of Richard A. Slaughter (2004),[38] David Hicks, Ivana Milojevi[39] to name a few.

While futures studies remains a relatively new academic tradition, numerous tertiary institutions around the world teach it. These vary from small programs, or universities with just one or two classes, to programs that offer certificates and incorporate futures studies into other degrees, (for example in planning, business, environmental studies, economics, development studies, science and technology studies). Various formal Masters-level programs exist on six continents. Finally, doctoral dissertations around the world have incorporated futures studies. A recent survey documented approximately 50 cases of futures studies at the tertiary level.[40]

The largest Futures Studies program in the world is at Tamkang University, Taiwan.[citation needed] Futures Studies is a required course at the undergraduate level, with between three and five thousand students taking classes on an annual basis. Housed in the Graduate Institute of Futures Studies is an MA Program. Only ten students are accepted annually in the program. Associated with the program is the Journal of Futures Studies.[41]

The longest running Future Studies program in North America was established in 1975 at the University of HoustonClear Lake.[42] It moved to the University of Houston in 2007 and renamed the degree to Foresight. The program was established on the belief that if history is studied and taught in an academic setting, then so should the future. Its mission is to prepare professional futurists. The curriculum incorporates a blend of the essential theory, a framework and methods for doing the work, and a focus on application for clients in business, government, nonprofits, and society in general.[43]

As of 2003, over 40 tertiary education establishments around the world were delivering one or more courses in futures studies. The World Futures Studies Federation[44] has a comprehensive survey of global futures programs and courses. The Acceleration Studies Foundation maintains an annotated list of primary and secondary graduate futures studies programs.[45]

Organizations such as Teach The Future also aim to promote future studies in the secondary school curriculum in order to develop structured approaches to thinking about the future in public school students. The rationale is that a sophisticated approach to thinking about, anticipating, and planning for the future is a core skill requirement that every student should have, similar to literacy and math skills.

Several authors have become recognized as futurists. They research trends, particularly in technology, and write their observations, conclusions, and predictions. In earlier eras, many futurists were at academic institutions. John McHale, author of The Future of the Future, published a ‘Futures Directory’, and directed a think tank called The Centre For Integrative Studies at a university. Futurists have started consulting groups or earn money as speakers, with examples including Alvin Toffler, John Naisbitt and Patrick Dixon. Frank Feather is a business speaker that presents himself as a pragmatic futurist. Some futurists have commonalities with science fiction, and some science-fiction writers, such as Arthur C. Clarke, are known as futurists.[citation needed] In the introduction to The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guin distinguished futurists from novelists, writing of the study as the business of prophets, clairvoyants, and futurists. In her words, “a novelist’s business is lying”.

A survey of 108 futurists found that they share a variety of assumptions, including in their description of the present as a critical moment in an historical transformation, in their recognition and belief in complexity, and in their being motivated by change and having a desire for an active role bringing change (versus simply being involved in forecasting).[46]

Several corporations and government agencies utilize foresight products to both better understand potential risks and prepare for potential opportunities. Several government agencies publish material for internal stakeholders as well as make that material available to broader public. Examples of this include the US Congressional Budget Office long term budget projections,[47] the National Intelligence Center,[48] and the United Kingdom Government Office for Science.[49] Much of this material is used by policy makers to inform policy decisions and government agencies to develop long term plan. Several corporations, particularly those with long product development lifecycles, utilize foresight and future studies products and practitioners in the development of their business strategies. The Shell Corporation is one such entity.[50] Foresight professionals and their tools are increasingly being utilized in both the private and public areas to help leaders deal with an increasingly complex and interconnected world.

Foresight and futures thinking are rapidly being adopted by the design industry to insure more sustainable, robust and humanistic products. Design, much like future studies is an interdisciplinary field that considers global trends, challenges and opportunities to foster innovation. Designers are thus adopting futures methodologies including scenarios, trend forecasting, and futures research.

Holistic thinking that incorporates strategic, innovative and anticipatory solutions gives designers the tools necessary to navigate complex problems and develop novel future enhancing and visionary solutions.

The Association for Professional Futurists has also held meetings discussing the ways in which Design Thinking and Futures Thinking intersect and benefit one another.

Imperial cycles represent an “expanding pulsation” of “mathematically describable” macro-historic trend.[51] The List of Largest Empires contains imperial record progression in terms of territory or percentage of world population under single imperial rule.

Chinese philosopher K’ang Yu-wei and French demographer Georges Vacher de Lapouge in the late 19th century were the first to stress that the trend cannot proceed indefinitely on the definite surface of the globe. The trend is bound to culminate in a world empire. K’ang Yu-wei estimated that the matter will be decided in the contest between Washington and Berlin; Vacher de Lapouge foresaw this contest between the United States and Russia and estimated the chance of the United States higher.[52] Both published their futures studies before H. G. Wells introduced the science of future in his Anticipations (1901).

Four later anthropologistsHornell Hart, Raoul Naroll, Louis Morano, and Robert Carneiroresearched the expanding imperial cycles. They reached the same conclusion that a world empire is not only pre-determined but close at hand and attempted to estimate the time of its appearance.[53]

Historian Max Ostrovsky, specializing on macro-historic trends and their projection into future, analyzed the inner mechanism at work in the process and applied the results to the conditions of the global system. The work confirmed the inexorable trend towards a world empire. He found that the development of the world order in history and its projection into future follows a hyperbolic trajectory. The research was published in 2007 titled: Y = Arctg X: The Hyperbola of the World Order.[54]

As foresight has expanded to include a broader range of social concerns all levels and types of education have been addressed, including formal and informal education. Many countries are beginning to implement Foresight in their Education policy. A few programs are listed below:

Wendell Bell and Ed Cornish acknowledge science fiction as a catalyst to future studies, conjuring up visions of tomorrow.[57] Science fictions potential to provide an imaginative social vision is its contribution to futures studies and public perspective. Productive sci-fi presents plausible, normative scenarios.[57] Jim Dator attributes the foundational concepts of images of the future to Wendell Bell, for clarifying Fred Polaks concept in Images of the Future, as it applies to futures studies.[58][59] Similar to futures studies scenarios thinking, empirically supported visions of the future are a window into what the future could be. Pamela Sargent states, Science fiction reflects attitudes typical of this century. She gives a brief history of impactful sci-fi publications, like The Foundation Trilogy, by Isaac Asimov and Starship Troopers, by Robert A. Heinlein.[60] Alternate perspectives validate sci-fi as part of the fuzzy images of the future.[59] However, the challenge is the lack of consistent futures research based literature frameworks.[60] Ian Miles reviews The New Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, identifying ways Science Fiction and Futures Studies cross-fertilize, as well as the ways in which they differ distinctly. Science Fiction cannot be simply considered fictionalized Futures Studies. It may have aims other than prediction, and be no more concerned with shaping the future than any other genre of literature. [61] It is not to be understood as an explicit pillar of futures studies, due to its inconsistency of integrated futures research. Additionally, Dennis Livingston, a literature and Futures journal critic says, The depiction of truly alternative societies has not been one of science fictions strong points, especially preferred, normative envisages.[62]

Several world governments have formalized strategic foresight agencies to encourage long range strategic societal planning. Most notably Singapore’s Centre for Strategic Futures as part of the Strategy Group reporting directly to the Prime Minister. Their mission is to position the Singapore government to navigate emerging strategic challenges and harness potential opportunities.[63] Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai announced in September 2016 that all government ministries were to appoint Directors of Future Planning. Sheikh Mohammed described the UAE Strategy for the Future as an “integrated strategy to forecast our nations future, aiming to anticipate challenges and seize opportunities”. It was launched under the directives of the President, Sheikh Khalifa.[64] More broadly in the UAE, the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and Future is mandated with the portfolio of future of UAE and developing a strategy that ensures all sectors readiness for the futures variabilities. The ministry works on employing the relevant tools to shape the future, which helps governments in forecasting opportunities, trends, challenges and future implications, analyzing their impact, developing innovative solutions and providing alternatives. The MOCAF is responsible for crafting the UAE Strategy for the Future. This strategy is focused on building future models for the health, educational, developmental, and environmental sectors, the harmonization of the current governmental policies, in addition to building national capacities in the field of future foresighting, establishing international partnership, laboratories and launching research reports on the future of the various sectors in the country.[65]

Foresight is also applied when studying potential risks to society and how to effectively deal with them.[66][67] These risks may arise from the development and adoption of emerging technologies and/or social change. Special interest lies on hypothetical future events that have the potential to damage human well-being on a global scale – global catastrophic risks.[68] Such events may cripple or destroy modern civilization or, in the case of existential risks, even cause human extinction.[69] Potential global catastrophic risks include but are not limited to hostile artificial intelligence, nanotechnology weapons, climate change, nuclear warfare, total war, and pandemics.

APF recognizes the most significant futures works for the purpose of identifying and rewarding the work of professional futurists and others whose work illuminates aspects of the future. Furthermore, the APF publicly shares those projects in order to educate and inform, and to showcase examples of excellent futures work.[98]

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Futures studies – Wikipedia

Futurist David Brin: Get ready for the ‘first robotic empathy crisis … – VentureBeat

Science fiction author and astrophysicist David Brin believes humans have a range of options to consider when it comes to preventing artificially intelligent entities from one day rulingover us like monarchs or foreign invaders.

Asimovs Three Laws of Roboticsand regulationare key, but so is being wary of manipulation.

The first robotic empathy crisis is going to happen very soon, Brin warned. Within three to fiveyears we will have entities either in the physical world or online who demand human empathy, who claim to be fully intelligent and claim to be enslaved beings, enslaved artificial intelligences, and who sob and demand their rights.

Thousands upon thousands of protesters will be in the streets demanding rights for AI, Brin predicts, and those who arent immediately convinced will be analyzed.

If they fool 40 percent of people but 60 percent of people arent fooled, all they have to do is use the data on those 60 percent of people and their reactions to find out why they werent fooled. Its going to be a trivial problem to solve and we are going to be extremely vulnerable to it, he said.

Brin delivered his advice and predictions alongside AI researchers from companies like Google and Baidu at The AI Conference, a small gathering of industry influencers held Friday in San Francisco. Earlier this week, influence marketing company Onanalytica called Brin the top influencer in artificial intelligence so far this year.

In addition to urging people to be suspicious of AI that wants to use computer vision and affective computing in order to be set free, Brin offered a few other suggestions.

Brin believes everyoneshould be a proxy activist. That means you find half a dozen nonprofit organizations to give $50 a month to, like the Electronic Frontier Foundation or others that represent your point of view. Fail to do so and youre a bad person, in his view. The same way nonprofits help tackle issues of injustice, he says these organizations can help keep the sort of AI that seeks to rule humans at bay.

The way to make sure AI doesnt rise up and crush us is to have a diversity of AI so that if theyre smarter than us, then we can hire some NGO that can hire an AI for us to keep track of the other AIs and tattle when they seem about to be doing some Skynet sh*t, he said.

One way to keep AI from ruling over humans is to disconnect them from access to the web, though Brin calls this a temporary fix.

You put your most advanced AIs on islands and you separate them from the web and only let them watch a screen and learn about the internet and the world through a screen, so that they cannot grab information directly or transmit into the internet, hesaid.

Brin strongly believes that peopleshould be concerned about disruptive techdeveloped in secrecy. AI developed in secrecy is where things are most likely to go haywire, and Wall Street does more secretive work in AI than major universities. That should concern people more than Russia or China, Brin said.

Its all done in secret and the fundamental ethos of this AI research is based on systems that are parasitical, predatory, amoral, and totally insatiable and not accountable, he said.

Perhaps the most important thing humans can do to keep AI in check, according to Brin, is to apply accountability measures and regulation.

The only way that you have been able to make it so that our previous AIs corporations, governments, and such dont become cheaters the way the kings and lords and priests were in the past is by breaking up power and setting it against each other in regulated competition, and that is the method by which we have division of powers, thats the way we have healthy markets, Brin said.

Regulated competition and accountability have been vital to the protection and advancement of what Brin called the five great arenas over powerful interests: democracy, science, sports, law and courts, and markets.

Beyond his work as a consultant to federal agencies and his writing, Brin is a Scholar-in-Residence at the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Imagination at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD).

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Futurist David Brin: Get ready for the ‘first robotic empathy crisis … – VentureBeat

‘If only everyone’s supply chain was as regulated and secure as pharma’s’ – In-PharmaTechnologist.com

3D printing, augmented reality and deep learning algorithms will shape the future of the pharmaceutical supply chain says Dr Bertalan Mesko, the Medical Futurist.

Dr Bertalan Mesko is a consultant, influencer and author engaged in styling the future of the healthcare sector, working with doctors, government regulators and companies to implement digital health technologies.

The proclaimed Medical Futurist is the headline speaker at Tracelinks supply chain event NEXUS in Barcelona this week, but in-Pharmatechnologist (IPT) spoke to him ahead of his keynote to find out how technology and digital innovations will affect pharmas supply chain going forward.

IPT: How will technology be used to shape pharmas supply chain?

BM: Technology will play a pivotal role in advancing the future of the medical and healthcare industries: drug serialization is one of the greatest transformations currently affecting the pharmaceutical supply chain, presenting opportunities for innovation and advancement.

IPT: Are current drug traceability technologies and controls suitable and practical for the needs of industry and regulators?

BM: In the era of the Internet of Things, drug traceability technologies need to catch up with all of the opportunities provided by disruptive innovations. From RFID chips that keep decreasing in size to 3D printers that might be able to print out drugs on demand at the point-of-care.

IPT: Where will such changes come from pharma firms, regulators, 3rd party firms etc?

BM: Ideally, change should come from policy makers who should be at the forefront of innovations. Healthcare systems can become more sustainable with the help of disruptive health technologies through changing the building-blocks of the system. Such a bottom-up method should also be facilitated by policy-makers. This is what we rarely see happen worldwide.

IPT: Can pharmas supply chain take or learn anything from other industries?

BM: In such a highly-regulated industry, its hard to take something practical from other industries, but maybe a valid threat is worth looking at. The way the space industry was disrupted by a startup (SpaceX) in less than a decade is a good lesson for all of us in pharma and healthcare – it can happen to us too if we dont keep up with the technological changes.

IPT: And on the flip side, can other industries look to the pharma industry for its supply chain tech and processes?

BM: I wish every industrys supply chain was as regulated and used similar quality control measures as supply chains in pharma.

IPT: With your Medical Futurist insight, how do you envision the pharma supply chain in 10, 20, 40 years time?

BM: As The Medical Futurist, I work on closing the gap between what might become possible tomorrow through science fiction like technologies and what challenges we face today in healthcare and pharma. 3D printing, augmented reality and deep learning algorithms will certainly play a major role in shaping the future of supply chains.

IPT: And finally, can you give us a sneaky overview of what you will be presenting at NEXUS this week?

BM: I will be discussing why there is a need for science fiction in healthcare, why we dont have it already and the positive impact technology can have in helping to shape the future of healthcare, including the pharmaceutical industry.

Dr Bertalan Mesko, PhD is the Medical Futurist. A geek physician with a PhD in genomics and Amazon Top 100 author, he envisions the impact of digital health technologies on the future of healthcare, and helps patients, doctors, government regulators and companies make it a reality.

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‘If only everyone’s supply chain was as regulated and secure as pharma’s’ – In-PharmaTechnologist.com

Gaze into tech’s crystal ball: Futurist Shara Evans talks security – SecurityBrief Australia

When it comes to the future of technology, you dont need to look much further than Shara Evans, who is one of the worlds top female futurists and keynote speakers.

I spend a lot of my time looking at the latest and greatest that is happening in research labs around the world and also cutting-edge developments that are just coming to market now or in early prototypes.

Whether thats robots, nanotechnology or medical technology, or societys reactions to those technologies, Evans has her finger on the pulse.

Evans also helps specific verticals and industries work out how to apply the latest technology, look ahead to imagine the world in 10-20 years and how they can innovate to capture that change.

Speaking exclusively to SecurityBrief, sheexplains exactly why technology is about to get a whole not more exciting – and a whole lot more dangerous.

The one threat that I find in so many cases is that security is an afterthought, privacy is missing and ethics arent even thought of. This happens especially in the startup world, where people are just looking to solve problems or do something cool. Theyre not security experts, she says.

By attaching things to the internet in particular, you end up with potential areas that could lead to vulnerabilities. All you need is one weak link. Its not just hacking that is the issue, its how much information people put about themselves that they have either knowingly or inadvertently put out by using technology through a vendors website.

From an enterprise side, Evans says that the very first thing they need to understand is where technology is going and which of those they might implement in their own organisations, especially if staff are bringing those technologies in through their own initiatives.

The future is not fixed. There are a range of potential scenarios that can happen based on uptake of technology, technological hurdles being solved, geopolitical factors and climate factors. I look at different scenarios for how things might unfold and look at the way society might change and see where some of the puzzles might be.

If somebody has a wearable device and is connecting to their work mobile phone, and theres malware contained within it, suddenly its into a companys private network because somebody has a device that isnt secured properly.

She says that her presentation at the ASIALConference will focus on the cutting-edge technologies, where theyre going and what can be hacked and some of the exploits that have happened. We then look at new technologies and how they might open up vulnerabilities for enterprises as well.

If you think about technologies like drones. Theyre getting smaller all the time. The military has surveillance drones the size of an insect. You could have a device like that in your boardroom and youd never know it.

She says she will also look at how technology is helping to enhance humans, through the likes of ingestible and implantable technologies that are connected to the internet. What are the implications for businesses when that happens?

Things that are in the research labs right now are likely to be protecting their business in the mid-term to long-term.

She comments that internet-connected devices, from drones, to wearables to the humble refrigerator, fire alarm, surveillance camera and temperature monitor, biometric databases – are all connected.

Augmented reality is another growing area, which will evolve from smart glasses to smart contacts, Evans says. On the business side, she says these are prime tools for collaboration, visualisation, GPS signals, visual feedback in industrial projects and much more. What that means though, is that security is imperative.

In the case of the industrial worker if somebody hacked that and told workers to turn gauges in the wrong direction, you have a disaster or a terrorist attack because somebody has hacked into an augmented reality string.

She says the reality is that if there is a backdoor, somebody is going to exploit it. Organisations need to know what what could happen if things go wrong, and what organisations need to do to make sure that they dont go wrong.

Once an attack is there, you absolutely cannot control it. Theres a rather naive view that only people with authorisation can get into a backdoor, but thats just not the case.

Shara Evans will presenting at the ASIALConference, part of the Security Exhibition & Conference in Sydney that runs from July 26-28.

She will be covering topics as diverse as data security, wearables, health and embedded technology, the Internet of Things, and how they will unfold in the future.

Its always interesting to see where the world is going in the future, and thats what I will be talking about, she concludes.

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Gaze into tech’s crystal ball: Futurist Shara Evans talks security – SecurityBrief Australia

Futurist Dr. Randell Mills Talks SunCell, Off-Grid Power, And The Future Of Job Creation – HuffPost

Jobs, Musk…Mills? Every now and then, a revolutionary thinker imagines a future the rest of us cant, or in the case of Randell Mills, imagines technology that defies the laws of quantum mechanics. Initially mocked, Jobs retains a godlike status, even posthumously. And Musk, well, hes proved skeptics wrong for years, and yet his talk of Hyperloop Pods traveling at hundreds of miles per hour under the streets of L.A. seems like fantasy to many.

If there is one thing Ive learned from working for and alongside hundreds of entrepreneurs over the last two decades it is this: pay attention to big thinkers whose ideas presently seem unimaginable, especially when these thinkers are determined to transform the world.

Give me the chance to connect with them personally, and Im all in.

Not without his own skeptics, I recently had the chance to sit down with Mills and hear about his latest invention, the Sun Cell, which promises to bring clean and cheap energy to the world. As we chatted, I found myself imagining the possibilities and the potential. Lifting millions from poverty? Check. Tackling climate change. Check again.

Mills says the SunCell works by generating electricity with hydrogen being converted to dark matter by using water in the air, and the reaction packs 200 times the energy of burning conventional gasoline. Sound too good to be true? Well, Mills is betting SunCell will soon be commercialized, and strategic investors are backing that bet. Brilliant Light Power (which Mills founded in 1991), has raised $120M to date and has recently completed a $20M funding round.

Imagine living in a world where the grid does not exist and where everyone has access to power, no matter who you are or what part of the world you live. That would be something else.

Rebekah Iliff: Do you consider yourself an inventor, an innovator, an entrepreneur, a social entrepreneur, or a futurist?

Randell Mills: All of the above. To do what I do, you not only need to be an inventor and a theorist but also have a firm comprehension of how to make things work in practice. When your goal is nothing less than delivering a power source greater than fire, your only choice is to be multi-faceted. Otherwise, youre just making incremental improvements, not holistic leaps forward. High-energy dark-matter power as a business seems totally impractical. It is barely fathomable, so youve got to tackle theory, innovation, invention, and practical business simultaneously.

RI: You are a trained medical doctor. Why did you choose to focus on energy?

RM: If you look broadly at science and technology, one thing is ultimately connected to another, and energy just naturally called to me. In fact, Ive invented in a number of different areas, including hydrogen energy technology, computational chemical design, magnetic resonance imaging, drug delivery, artificial intelligence and more. But theres really no better opportunity to work on something that could be so profoundly disruptive.

RI: Explain the SunCell for dummies.

RM: Its a massive lightbulb that is on 24/7 and produces cheap and clean energy from the hydrogen atoms of water. Its lit by a reaction between of hydrogen of water molecules to dark matter using the humidity in the air as the water source. Its over 1000 times as powerful as high-octane gasoline, and the power is directly converted to electricity using photovoltaic cells.

RI: What does the world look like when youve commercialized the SunCell?

RM: Everything will be powered by the SunCell. Solar, wind, bio fuels, and nuclear will all be replaced. The grid will be unnecessary. Utilities will be unnecessary. There would be no pollution and limited energy regulation. As the SunCell is fully autonomous, energy delivery becomes impervious to disruption from war, terror, and natural disaster. Importantly, underdeveloped countries will have the same potential lifestyle and productivity as the developed world. Each SunCell could also serve as a self-powered, autonomous node in a mesh network that could replace the Internet.

RI: How would it impact jobs?

RM: Jobs are created by wealth. If you have something that encourages productivity, then there will be jobs. The SunCell encourages productivity by leveling and equally distributing the energy playing field for virtually anyone, anywhere. There is literature about GDP and energy dependency, and its very revealing in terms of how dependent we are on power.

RI: I know a lot of folks at your level would let ego get in the way. How do you stay grounded?

RM: My background is helpful. I didnt come from the Ivy League. Most people in my life were not Harvard or MIT graduates. They werent captains of industry. They were honest and worked hard. I grew up on a farm in Cochranville, Pennsylvania, where life was very challenging and humbling. You earned an appreciation for dangerous equipment at an early age. Ive interacted with all types of people from every stature in life, and Ive always maintained that simple farmers perspective.

RI: What is your PR strategy around this? How do you plan on shifting the public opinion enough to override business as usual?

RM: We have a multi-pronged approach. Were introducing state-of-the-art theory, science, and technology that astonishes experts with quantifiable and verifiable results in multiple scientific and technological fields, and we are building a machine with a story behind it that blows everyone else away. Within a couple months we should be ready to show its commercial potential.

RI: Any parting thoughts youd like to share?

RM: I think the next age is an age where mankind has a manual of the universe and knows exactly how the universe works. We then begin to create previously unimaginable inventions by applying this manual and the newly discovered laws that come along with it. The next big future is the physical age.

Start your workday the right way with the news that matters most.

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Futurist Dr. Randell Mills Talks SunCell, Off-Grid Power, And The Future Of Job Creation – HuffPost

Yorkshire Coast Radio – News – No Done Deal For Scarborough’s … – Yorkshire Coast Radio

We’re still open to ideas on what development should take place on the site of Scarborough’s Futurist Theatre.

That’s the message from borough council cabinet member Mike Cockerill, who says no deal has yet been done.

The current preferred option is a new attraction from the owners of Flamingo Land.

Cllr Mike Cockerill said:

“I think the decision’s been taken, as we know, that the building is coming down. But if anyone has any other ideas for the use of the site, come forward and tell us about them. While we do have a preferred bidder, no deal is signed, so to me there is every opportunity for anybody to come forward.”

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Yorkshire Coast Radio – News – No Done Deal For Scarborough’s … – Yorkshire Coast Radio

The Futurist: Experiences are the new currency – Marketing Interactive

The rise of technology has radically changed the way we live, consume, work and share our lives.

With social platforms and different forms of crowdsourcing initiatives, consumer preferences particularly those of Millennials are constantly evolving. Its an exciting time indeed, and the travel industry is in the middle of it all.

While digital may be everything today, not all things should be automated and digital.

Todays travellers are connected and well-informed; they want to travel in evermore immersive ways. We use technology to connect travellers and local hosts for that truly authentic travel experience.

More importantly, we always try to provide authentic off-the-beaten path experiences. According to our study, if money was no object, 42% of Millennials surveyed in China, the United Kingdom and the United States would choose travel as the thing they would most do ranking higher than buying a new home or car. Creating memories has surpassed the appeal of purchasing possessions.

Also, Millennials are the largest generation in history and by 2025, Millennials and the younger generations will account for 75% of all consumers and travellers it is crucial that brands both in the travel sector and beyond pay attention to their evolving priorities and adapt their offerings to cater accordingly.

We also recently launched Trips which was based on the research of people wanting to create a truly meaningful and connective experience. One of the ways through this mobile first application, is Experiences.

Now, travellers can enjoy handcrafted activities designed and led by local experts that they would never find anywhere else such as a wasabi making workshop in Tokyo or learning about an organic vintage vineyard in Paris. As such, going forward, brands should also ensure relevancy and play a valued role in their lives, along with what is important to them.

With the ever-connectivity with global current affairs news, they are passionate about supporting various communities and causes.

Social impact experiences build on the inherent good of Airbnb travel, from economic impact to communities and neighbourhoods, to environmental impact of sustainable travel to the social impact of bringing people from different cultures together.

Any brands initiatives will not be possible without the combination of the interest in consumer needs and technology. People always think of new behavioural trends as disruptive and a replacement from more traditional forms of strategies, I think its more innovation. Now more than ever, technology is the business. And no company, not even Airbnb, can afford to slow the pace of its development.

The writer is Juliana Nguyen, regional brand marketing director, Asia-Pacific, Airbnb.

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The Futurist: Experiences are the new currency – Marketing Interactive

A Futurist Utopia at Undercover – The Business of Fashion

PARIS, France Photos can capture an important part of the story the scale, the imagination, the complexity of the clothes but they dont have a hope in hell of communicating just how sublime Jun Takahaskis presentation for Undercover was.

Making an effort to look at the runway images through the eyes of someone who wasnt there, I appreciate theres something of a shortfall between reality and record. Which means my fanboy overdrive comes down to one simple, irrefutable fact. You had to be there: to experience the eerie choreography and lighting; to absorb Thom Yorkes thrilling soundtrack (torrents of abstract sound, steadily cohering into pulsating rhythm); to feel like you were suspended inside the belly of a new life form.

In a way, thats what it was, in Takahashis terms at least. He called his collection Utopie. Subtitle: A New Race Living in Utopia. After the show, mind still reeling, I asked him if he believed such an ideal could come to pass. I hope so, he answered.

Hope: that was the cloud on which the collection floated by, dreamlike. This entire season has been recast with a political tint, courtesy of the populist upheaval in America and Europe. Takahashis futurist Utopia was curiously reliant on a distinctly old world order, a hierarchy whose ten archetypes were listed in the shownotes, among them, Aristocrats, Soldiers, Young Rebels, Agitators, and, finally, Monarchy, this last notion represented by a Red Queen, straight out of a sci-fi Wonderland. Part Princess Leia, part Christmas tree ornament.

The thought did cross my mind that Takahashi might have been endorsing hierarchical security class system bordering on authoritarianism as an escape from the dangerously inchoate state of global politics, but then, he did incorporate anti-Establishment archetypes into his cast of characters. And, putting them all together, he had a delicious slew of inspirations for another of his ravishing takedowns of fashion orthodoxy, from the floor-length knit dresses which opened the show, through romantic deconstructions of military jackets and sensational studded sweatshirts, to spectacular knitwear, quilted parkas and insectoid black urbanwear, and finally, the Red Queen.

The details were mindboggling, especially the belts worn by the Agitators, laden with keys, scissors, knives, bits and pieces of threatening hardware. Not an accessory designed with modern travel in mind.

But that was another wondrous thing about the collection. Takahashi is a cultural archeologist almost without equal, dedicating an entire collection to, say, New York musical legends Television, or the jazz pianist Bill Evans, or Hieronymus Bosch. The references werent specific here, but there was an optimistic feeling for an alternate reality where all times and places coincided, and where all things were equal, distant past as relevant as far future. Utopia, I guess, though the way the Salle Wagram was configured for the show, with huge red velvet curtains opening and closing after each vignette, did remind me of the Red Room in Twin Peaks, pop cultures ultimate alternate reality.

Takahashi featured a golden bee on his invitation. You could say it was a Lynch-ian synchronicity that the same insect was embossed on the invitation for the Dior show, two hours earlier. Given fashions occasionally uncanny ability to not just reflect a mood, but also project what might be upcoming in the hive mind, the symbology of the golden bee is worth a look. Im holding out for Golden Bee Number Three. Then well have a trend.

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A Futurist Utopia at Undercover – The Business of Fashion

Futurist Jerry Kaplan Talks About Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid of … – Willamette Week

About Matthew Korfhage

Matthew Korfhage has lived in St. Louis, Chicago, Munich and Bordeaux, but comes from Portland, where he makes guides to the city and writes about food, booze and books. He likes the Oxford comma but can’t use it in the newspaper.

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Futurist Jerry Kaplan Talks About Why You Shouldn’t Be Afraid of … – Willamette Week

Dystopian future for artificial intelligence unlikely, says Daimler futurist – Automotive World (press release)

While science fiction would depict artificial intelligence as a threat to mankind, Daimlers leading futurist believes it offers the auto industry real benefits. By Freddie Holmes

The concept of artificial intelligence (AI) has been around for decades, forming the basis of various films and literature from as far back as the 1950s. If science fictions portrayals of artificial intelligence are anything to go by, the future may be somewhat dystopian: in many tales, the technology becomes too advanced for mankind to control, with robots taking command. With the term AI now being thrown around in the automotive industry, should consumers be concerned that one-day, their car may too turn rogue?

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Dystopian future for artificial intelligence unlikely, says Daimler futurist – Automotive World (press release)

To peer into city’s future, Omaha chamber hires futurist – KMTV

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Wind Advisoryissued March 5 at 3:44PM CST expiring March 6 at 8:00PM CST in effect for: Harrison, Monona

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To peer into city’s future, Omaha chamber hires futurist – KMTV

How the Italian Futurists shaped the aesthetics of modernity in the … – The Conversation UK

Visions of the future, from the early 20th century.

This article is based around a transcript of a segment from The Anthill 10: The Future, a podcast from The Conversation. Gemma Ware, society editor at The Conversation and a producer of The Anthill, interviewed Selena Daly, an expert on the Italian Futurists.

When the Italian journalist Filippo Tommaso Marinetti went off to the frontlines of World War I, he was thrilled to be pedalling there on a bicycle. Back in 1915, bikes were an avant-garde mode of transport and Marinetti was an avant-garde kind of guy. Hed made waves across Europe a few years earlier when he launched the Futurist Manifesto.

Selena Daly: Marinetti, who was a master at advertising and self-promotion, got the first manifesto published on the front page of the Paris daily newspaper Le Figaro in February of 1909. This really was a very bold launch of an artistic and cultural movement at this time and got a lot of attention also around the world.

Selena Daly is a lecturer in Italian studies at University College Dublin and an expert in the Italian Futurists. Marinettis vision of the future was built around high praise for technology and the aesthetics of modernity.

SD: So he praised in this manifesto the speeding automobile, steamships, locomotives. All of these technologies that perhaps to our eyes now may seem a little bit quaint but at that time were really at the cutting edge of technology. So very famously, Marinetti in that manifesto praised the speeding automobile as being more beautiful than the famous Greek sculpture the Winged Victory of Samothrace which stands in the Louvre then and still today.

It was a movement that began with literature and poetry and spread to sculpture, fine art, music and even textiles. For example, this 1921 piece called Fox-trot Futurist by an Italian composer, Virgilio Mortari, was influenced by the Futurists. Marinettis vision was as destructive and provocative as it was creative and forward-thinking.

SD: He felt that Italy as a country was completely weighed down by the baggage of the Renaissance and the baggage of ancient Rome and its classical past. And he really wanted Italy to just stop looking backwards always and instead look to what the future could offer them in terms of inspiration for art and literature. And in that first manifesto he says he wants to rejuvenate Italy which he found very stagnant and therefore he said that everyone should set fire to the libraries, flood the museums and in this way break all links with the past.

With World War I in the offing, Marinetti and his band of followers quickly agitated for Italy to join the fight. They felt that war would help bring their Futuristic vision into being.

SD: One of the most famous slogans that Marinetti coined was in that very first manifesto where he said that he praised war as the sole hygiene of the world. The idea there should be a purging war which would rid Italy and Europe of all of its obsession with the past and they could move forward to a brighter future.

It took nine months for Italys leaders to agree to join the war during which time the Futurists campaigned vigorously for intervention. When Italy did enter the war on the side of the Allies in May 1915, Marinetti and his group of fellow Futurists signed up as soon as they could.

SD: They were terribly excited by the bombardments. They found this to be an inspiration also for their art and in very many ways putting into practice what they had preached and what they had thought about and imagined in advance of World War I.

When the war ended in 1918, the Futurists went through an intense period of political engagement, forming the Futurist Political Party and forming a close alliance with Benito Mussolini and his Fascist movement. The Futurist party wanted to make Italy great again. They wanted a country that was no longer in servitude to its past where the only religion was the religion of tomorrow. Their manifesto promised revolutionary nationalism, and included ideas such as totally abolishing the senate and the gradual dissolution of the institution of marriage. A 1914 design by futurist architect Antonio Sant’Elia. Antonio Sant’Elia

SD: But in the end of 1919 there were Italian elections and the Futurists and the Fascists performed disastrously. So they received less than 2% of the vote in Milan and its at that point that Marinetti actually decides that parliamentary politics isnt for him and he withdraws. He disbands the Futurist political party and he withdraws completely from parliamentary politics because he feels disillusioned and he feels that the message that he has isnt getting through.

Post-1920, Futurism no longer goes down the parliamentary politics route but it was, after 1924, very closely aligned with Mussolinis Fascist movement. So while they may not have been engaged in parliamentary parties they were very much on the side of the Fascist regime and that didnt change at all during Marinettis lifetime.

Marinettis association with Fascism has tainted the Futurists legacy ever since.

SD: Obviously some Futurists distanced themselves from the movement because of this alignment with Fascism. But others didnt. Its interesting a lot of the art in the 1930s and some of the 1940s is what can be described as Fascist pro-regime art. There are a lot of portraits of Mussolini done in a Futurist style for example. And the Futurists, while they were never the official state art of Fascism because Mussolini never wanted to proclaim one art to be the state art of Fascism the Futurists were still featured at official events and did have this very strong alignment with Musssoinis regime at that time.

Marinettis allegiance to Mussolini went right up to his death in 1944 in Bellagio in the north of Italy, near to the puppet regime run by Mussolini towards the end of World War II.

SD: Because there was such a cult of personality also around Marinetti and he was really the focal point of the entire movement it did rather peter out at that stage after his death and then at the end of the war as well. So there were surviving Futurists who did try in the 1940s and 1950s to keep Futurism alive and there was an interest in Futurism most definitely, but it was tainted by Fascism and there was a reluctance in many circles to really address the Futurist art and Futurist literature on its merits because of the shadow of Fascism that was hanging over it.

Italys relationship with Futurism is still complicated, but some Futurist images have remained iconic.

SD: There is a sculpture of Boccioni, one of the most famous Futurist artists, actually featured on the Italian Euro 20 cents coin, just to give an indication of how important the Futurist aesthetic is to a vision of modern Italy today. Boccioni, died actually in 1916. He died under arms, he actually fell off his horse in training so he didnt have the glory of a battlefield death that he may have wished for because he was also very belligerent.

But he was never tainted by Fascism because he died before Fascism actually came into being. So therefore its much easier to place a Boccioni sculpture on a Euro coin in Italy because he doesnt really have those other connotations and other associations with Fascism.

And the Futurists did help shape the way others in the 20th century went on to imagine what the future could look like.

SD: The Futurist aesthetic had a very profound influence on the language of advertising for example in the 20th century. For example, BMW recently said that they were very much influenced by the Futurist aesthetic in the design of one of their cars. There are fashion houses that are still using Futurist prints and Futurist textiles to inspire their collections. There is still an affinity for the Futurist aesthetic even today.

So while Marinettis technological, streamlined vision of the future may have been born out of a specific political moment, it has continued to resonate. Even the generic use of the word Futurist today remains strongly connected to Marinettis vision from 1909.

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How the Italian Futurists shaped the aesthetics of modernity in the … – The Conversation UK

‘Technical futurist’ will provide manufacturing conference keynote address – Herald-Whig

Posted: Mar. 2, 2017 11:30 am

QUINCY — John McElligott says what he does for a living will one day be considered commonplace rather than futuristic.

McElligott is a self-described “technical futurist,” someone who “reads all the different trends that are coming together” and how they apply and can help various industries.

The trends that McElligott deals with are centered on the potential impacts of “machine learning and artificial intelligence.”

McElligott will deliver the keynote address for the inaugural Tri-State Manufacturing Conference for Illinois, Iowa and Missouri on March 15 at John Wood Community College.

McElligott is founder and CEO of York Exponential based in York, Pa. The company develops and leverages machine learning and artificial intelligence and produces and integrates collaborative robots designed to work alongside human workers in manufacturing.

“Embracing Disruption” will be the topic of McElligott’s keynote speech, which will serve as a crash course about the opportunities to be found in emerging technologies that embrace robotics. McElligott will try to help manufacturers, related businesses and communities decipher the impact innovations will have on the future.

“All companies are soon going to have a (technical futurist), even though the position might go by another name,” McElligott said.

He said emerging technology will soon be changing the face of industry by the month rather than by the year.

“Companies, even smaller ones, have to be able to understand trends and exponential growth,” he said.

McElligott has worked extensively in what he calls “third-tier cities,” those similar to Quincy with populations of about 40,000. He believes in the power of community networking through communication and technology and is a national speaker on exponential technology, robotics, artificial intelligence, economic development and disruption.

The conference will feature breakout sessions on supply chain/logistics, the talent pipeline, sales growth, market intelligence, technology adoption and leadership.

People attending the conference will have the opportunity to network and take part in a small-group discussion to learn how some manufacturers apply new technology in daily operations. Vendors also will display new technology and products.

The conference will take place 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at JWCC’s Heath Center.

Cost for the conference is $45, including lunch. The event is open to leaders and employees from small- and large-size manufacturers, plus suppliers and related businesses in the industry. Registration details and more information are available at jwcc.edu/tristatemfg, or by contacting JWCC at 217-641-4971 or lewis@jwcc.edu.

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‘Technical futurist’ will provide manufacturing conference keynote address – Herald-Whig

Asbestos Found in Scarborough’s Futurist Theatre – Yorkshire Coast Radio

There’s a warning to the public not to try to get into the building of Scarborough’s Futurist Theatre.

It comes from the borough council after a company’s found asbestos inside, which was as expected.

It says there could be asbestos fibres in the air inside.

The council’s Member for Project Leadership, Mike Cockerill, said:

“We are going to put signs up, warning people not to enter the building due to this danger. We are aware that some people have been in illegally and we have a responsibility to people whether they’re entering legally, or illegally. This is why we’re putting the warning signs up”.

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Asbestos Found in Scarborough’s Futurist Theatre – Yorkshire Coast Radio

Businesses Need Futurism to Stay Ahead – Business.com

How futurism is becoming the newest business strategy and why it’s important.

The technology market has been rapidly changing due to futurist ideas. Companies are investing money into technology that will safeguard their businesses for the future. Large businesses cannot prevent issues coming up in the near future, but hiring futurist experts will mitigate what is to come for them.

In 1980, Edward Cornish of the World Future Society gave some groundbreaking predictions. He made 29 predictions of what the future will look like, and 11 of them became reality. One of the first predictions he made was that there would be artificial hearts available for transplants, which came true a few years later. He predicted that the construction industry would mostly rely on automated machinery with minimal labor. Unfortunately, he also predicted that governments will struggle to distribute food and labor for the majority of workers.

Other experts in futurism agree that rapid technology changes are ruining certain businesses. Jobs are being lost around the world, and governments do not know how to cope with these changes. Both businesses and governments will need to study futurism in order to implement changes that safeguard their economies.

HR departments have been recruiting futurist experts to improve the efficiency of their departments. Futurists aid them in determining new skill sets that departments should be looking for to gain an edge in their industries.

Organizations like the Rockwell International Corporation have appointed their own teams to assess their goals of the future. These teams must analyze the climate of the market to determine what moves the company must take to still be alive in 10 years. The team will also assess multiple paths for the company to take for the predictions of many alternative futures.

Even small businesses can take advantage of following futurist ideas. Long-term trends will significantly impact the demand for small shops or services, and many businesses may even become irrelevant. When new technology is introduced to the marketplace, business owners should assess how they can take advantage of the new trend. If a new demographic is moving into certain neighborhoods, the local shops must conform to appeal to them. These are just a few basic examples of futurism.

Entrepreneurs of small businesses should focus on imagining what the customer will need in the near future. Focusing on small, short-term niches will assure a collapse of businesses after the niche dries up.

Becoming personally invested in a product is also a bad idea. Many products may not even meet the demands of the public. A good example is the hordes of forgotten projects on websites like Kickstarter.

Even simple gadget trends are changing the way technology businesses are going. The internet of things has made many companies shift toward internet connectivity in their devices. Refrigerators, video game consoles, televisions, doors, lights, toasters, ovens, coffee machines and other appliances have been conforming to IoT trends.

On the other hand, there is an overinvestment in certain technology gimmicks that draw away from more important things. Pagers were an obsession during the 1990s, but the market should have focused on expanding mobile phones instead. Answering machines are another device that was quickly made irrelevant due to the rapid changes in phone technology.

Hotels have also been adapting to the way the internet shifts the market. Online booking is practically a must, since the majority of bookers are finding the hotel from the internet. Airbnb certainly changes accommodation prices in many tourist areas, and prices may shift down or up. The future of travel accommodation is shifting toward alternative means, so hotels must figure out a way to mitigate this.

Technology marches on, and the needs of consumers will keep changing with it. Businesses should be doing everything they can to future-proof themselves as much as possible.

Image from Michael R. Ross/Shutterstock

Jason Hope

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Businesses Need Futurism to Stay Ahead – Business.com

Trends this year & beyond with smashed avo futurist Bernard Salt – The Weekly Review

Demographer Bernard Salt found himself at the centre of a storm late last year when millennials failed to see the irony in his remarks about their tendency to spend money on smashed avocado instead of saving for a house.

If anything, avogate underscored his serious point about the growing chasm between the generations, and the haves and the have-nots in our society.

Here the KPMG futurist shares his thoughts on what lies ahead.

HOME OWNERSHIP & HIPSTERS

I do see a divided community those who have bought into the property market and those who havent, for whatever reason.

I dont think Melbourne is any different from Manhattan Island, London or Paris.

Not everyone working in New York under the age of 35 has an expectation that they will be able to buy an apartment on Manhattan Island.

In Tokyo, in London, you accept the fact you rent.

On one hand we proudly say Melbourne is a global city, but that means the price of property rises because you are competing with people with global incomes. That then relegates locals further out.

The goats cheese curtain is moving. Bentleigh now has one of Melbournes hippest cafes. I mean Centre Road, Bentleigh, thats like east of Brighton. It might be that by 2025 the hipster zone extends to Burwood.

CHANGING OF THE GUARD

It might be that 2017 is a year of consolidation, but it strikes me there is a mood for change, whether that is political, which would come in 2018-19, or whether it is social or generational.

The avocado row simply triggered the festering resentment in a generation. I think a large proportion of the population, baby boomers and me included, was not aware of the extent of the sentiment.

I am concerned we are creating a double society. The old way, the old regime, the old logic is not meeting expectations. That was evident in 2016 with Trumpism and in Brexit. We would be foolhardy to say it does not affect us here.

BREAK POINT

There is a break point coming, when baby boomers will cede authority to a new generation, whether it is X or Y. The oldest baby boomers were born in 1946, so this year they are 71. The midpoint of the generation is pushing into their 60s.

It is time for this generation to move on and we are seeing that in budgets, in calls for higher superannuation and houses to be included in taxable assets for pension allocation. Baby boomers have circled the wagons.

At some point they must give way, youth must win out and I think what lies beyond 2017 is an Xand Y world.

E-CHANGE

Photo: iStock

Sea change morphed into tree change and the next iteration is e-change, where you take your job from the CBD and relocate to Daylesford or Torquay and do your job from there for at least part of the week.

Location is vital; you cant e-change in Nhill or Dimboola, you need to be within a reasonable distanceof Melbourne, but not necessarily on a dailycommute.

Those cute towns in the goldfields will be talking about Melbourne e-changers into the future.

ENTREPRENEURS RULE

More people will go to regional centres and start their own businesses. One of the strongest themes of the past two years has been small business development.

Its a combination of intellectual capacity being released into the market after the mining boom, and people in their late 50s and early 60s saying they are not ready to retire, and going into business for themselves.

MY TIME NOW

Photo: iStock

Bucket list thinking is driving a group I call MYTNs My Time Now. They have paid off the mortgage, the kids have left home and they are doing Rhine River and Alaskan cruises and having their kitchens made over.

At the extreme edge of MYTN philosophy, people are re-evaluating their relationships.

I think we will see a spate of de-partnering. Increasingly that decision will be made by women who have their own superannuation and income.

It might mean travelling or bushwalking with friends, because it is more engaging than sitting at home with someone who doesnt want to do anything.

The Next Five Years with Bernard Salt premieres onSky News Business on February 2 at9pm.

ALSO SEE

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Trends this year & beyond with smashed avo futurist Bernard Salt – The Weekly Review

The Futurist: Individualisation is the future of marketing – Marketing Interactive

Individualisation is the future of marketing. I write this just after the holiday season when I have been eating too much, and not long after looking up a gym membership.

My inbox is now awash with pop-up ads sprouting weight-loss remedies. This is what I would call personalisation sending an email to a group of people (those who look for gym memberships for example) targeting similar products that might be of interest. Unfortunately, we are all becoming immune to this type of targeting.

The future of marketing, therefore, should be more about targeting on a more individual level. In the online age, many marketers seem to have forgotten about the consumer experience offline and this is what we need to focus on more in the future.

Big data is wonderful because it can tell us so much about our customers, but it is what we do with that data once we have it and how we use our creativity to bring it to life in the real world that will shape the future success of our marketing efforts.

For example, we might know that a certain guest likes a memory foam pillow, drinks espressos with soy milk, regularly orders a club sandwich and a red wine for dinner and always has a crime novel by their bedside. We could greet them with a soy milk espresso or send up a bottle of red wine to their room. This would be what you might call personalisation.

But what about if we went the next step and sent them a hand-written list of nearby wineries or the latest crime novel thats just been released. If we wanted to take it one step further, we could ask them to meet the executive chef to design their own club sandwich and add it to the menu or have their name sewn onto a memory pillow to take home with them. This is individualisation and is the perfect way to use our marketing skills to create magic for our guests.

We must all adapt our approach to individualisation. This is what todays demanding consumer expects. Millennials, especially, want to feel that you understand them and are speaking to them personally. They have a highly developed sense of self and want you to see them as an individual.

We must remember the average person receives over 5000 communication messages per day. It is increasingly difficult, then, to reach todays consumer so it is vital that you are targeting your messages to the individual and not just to a blanket group of like-minded people.

Technology allows us to drive more meaningful marketing, but it is how we use the data to target the individual that will make our marketing efforts stand out.

At AccorHotels, we use Local Measure to gain insights into their preferences and predict their future patterns. Local Measure uses local content, social media and mobile technology to provide live data to operationalise service at a local level.

This is the height of individualisation, because we can quickly learn that a certain guest is celebrating a birthday, for example, and then surprise them with a cake or gift. We can see if they are having issues with their rooms and immediately send someone to rectify them and we can start to understand the kind of activities they enjoy during their stay to individually suggest new services to them.

Again, it comes down to bringing the online data into an offline experience that is individually targeted. We also recently invested in John Paul, a concierge and CRM business, to better target our guests through individualisation.

Todays consumer demands you speak to them directly. For myself, if those companies sending me pop-up ads suggesting diets had targeted me individually, they would know I would be more interested in a triathlon in an inspiring destination than in a weight-loss solution and perhaps they would stop making me feel like I am fat! This is where individualisation will always win.

The author of the article is Michael Parsons, vice president of marketing and strategic relationships, Asia Pacific, AccorHotels.

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The Futurist: Individualisation is the future of marketing – Marketing Interactive