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Category Archives: Futurist

4 Big Trends That Will Shape CRE: A Futurist’s Guide – Commercial Property Executive

Posted: August 3, 2017 at 9:40 am

Volvos surprise announcement that it will phase out the internal combustion engine by 2019 should be a wake-up call across industries that disruptive technology is already impacting short-term business planning. Anticipating how the economy and human behavior will be reshaped in the years ahead is an important exercise that should inform business leaders decisions and help position their businesses to more readily adapt to the future.

Commercial real estate is not disconnected from the challenges and opportunities posed by technology. Quite the opposite; it will be at the epicenter as outside forces impact how people live, commute, work and interact. As commercial real estate leaders, we should be mindful of how the developments were building now will be used in 10 or 15 years, when todays emerging technology has become tomorrows ubiquitous convenience.

Here are four technologies and trends that could shape commercial real estate in the not-too-distant future.

The University of Michigan is researching self-driving cars at a facility in Ann Arbor. (Image courtesy of the University of Michigan)

Fully self-driving cars arent too far from becoming a reality. In fact, Michigan authorized testing autonomous vehicles on public roads, and the University of Michigan will soon deploy autonomous vehicles around at its engineering campus in Ann Arbor.

While a single campus may seem like a small example, the University of Michigans research could soon open up new possibilities for people who would otherwise chafe at a long commute. If the car becomes a mobile workspace, driving to the office becomes productive work time and the distance traveled is less important. Its conceivable that the suburbs could become a magnet again for people looking for more affordable housing and access to amenities like golf courses, walking trails and better schools.

Flexible work arrangements and the normalization of teleworking could further accelerate a return to suburbia spurred by autonomous driving. These two converging trends may cause more peopleincluding aging millennials with school-aged childrento look beyond the urban cores and close-in suburbs for affordable and spacious housing.

If the sharing economy lives up to its hype, the implications for commercial real estate are enormous. Ride-sharing companies such as Uber and Lyft are already well-established, but driverless vehicles could transform these services from a convenient option to a groundbreaking alternative to car ownership.

As ride-sharing companies mature and autonomous vehicles drive down the cost of rides even further, will it even make financial sense for Generation Z to own cars? What does that do to the footprint and design of multifamily developments? If people can rent out their self-driving cars to a ride-sharing service while theyre at work, will there still be a need for massive parking garages connected to office towers? Could it open new development opportunities for sites now occupied by parked cars?

Herzog & de Meurons design for 1111 Lincoln Road in Miami reimagines the parking structure.

These trends could also drive the redevelopment of existing spaces. Herzog & de Meuron, the Swiss architectural firm, reimagined the parking garage with its groundbreaking structure at 1111 Lincoln Road in Miami. This mixed-use parking garage includes office space, storefronts, apartments, a SunTrust branchand yes, some parking. The striking design and creative use of space could be a viable model for existing garages that have outlived their usefulness as a place to park cars.

Virtual reality is arguably one of the most disruptive technologies on the horizon, and the applications are endless, from revolutionizing how people communicate across continents to allowing people to experience places in immersive ways.

Applying VR to commercial real estate would be relatively easy. Developers could take investors on tours of planned buildings before any dirt has been moved; brokers may offer tenants virtual tours to multiple properties in the span of an hourall from the comfort of an office; and developers and bankers can test the waters by taking focus groups on VR-aided visits to planned communities before a single dollar is spent.

VRs usefulness to the commercial real estate industry might seem like more of a novelty than necessity, but enterprising people will find ways to make it financially feasible and convenient.

Millennials are not monolithic in their behaviors, contrary to what some industry experts seem to suggest. While many in this generation desire an urban environment close to work and lifestyle amenities, they are also demonstrating an interest in owning single-family homes. Seventy percent of millennials see themselves in the suburbs with their next home, according to a 2016 PulteGroup study.

The emerging desire of millennials to own homes could signal challenges for the multifamily industry, especially if the trend accelerates, too much supply is on the market and Generation Z demonstrates a similar propensity for homeownership.

In the event of prolonged multifamily vacancies, how can investors make the most of their holdings? Could apartments be refashioned and sold as condos for seniors who desire more walkable communities? Might local and state governments offer incentives to convert apartments into affordable housing? Reimagining existing multifamily communities may be necessary in the years to come.

The imperfect exercise of predicting the impact of technology is no reason to avoid asking difficult questions. The business opportunities and uncomfortable possibilities presented by innovation, if properly considered, can be addressed or mitigated now if leaders have the foresight to imagine how thingsand peoplewill change.

Technology has already demonstrated its ability to impact commercial real estate; reduced demand for office space is only one of many examples. If the last decade has taught the commercial real estate industry anything, its that searching the horizon for trouble and opportunities to stay ahead of the next paradigm shift is a smart way to conduct business.

Kathleen Farrell is head of commercial real estate at SunTrust Banks Inc.

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Futurist | Definition of Futurist by Merriam-Webster

Posted: August 1, 2017 at 5:40 pm

To learn more, Fortune asked six humansthree executives, a researcher, an economist, and a futuristhow automation will impact society.

National Review’s Armond White writes: Once again, the Transformer series verges on absurdity but that’s less important than the unique big-screen spectacle of Bay’s pop-art and futurist filmmaking.

National Review’s Armond White writes: Once again, the Transformer series verges on absurdity but that’s less important than the unique big-screen spectacle of Bay’s pop-art and futurist filmmaking.

It was written as a futurist comedy that exaggerated its authors hopes and fears for a world to come that in many ways already existed.

Tim Bajarin is recognized as one of the leading industry consultants, analysts and futurists, covering the field of personal computers and consumer technology.

Could the time finally be right for the flying car to leave the drawing boards of futurists and take to our skies as a new form of transportation?

Uber and Googles Waymo, both working on autonomous car projects, have put the pedal to the self-driving metal, said futurist Faith Popcorn, who predicts trends for Fortune 500 companies.

So, episode one goes from Norwegian black metal and ends with Techno Boy with a futurist-type of computer music.

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FutureWorld – Is your business FUTUREPROOF

Posted: July 31, 2017 at 9:40 am

“In one day FutureWorld took me to a different horizon and left me recharged and inspired.”

Serpil TimurayGM, Danone Turkey.

Extremely rich in examples of disruptive change.

Delegates to executive leadership programme at the Stockholm School of Economics – February 2016

“Phenomenal! Easily the BEST speaker, and the most informative, thought provoking presentation of the entire week!”

Management delegates at the Murray & Roberts Knowledge Week

“The Naked Leadership presentation this morning was brilliant, not just in content but the way it was put together, both in structure and the use of different media. Congratulations!”

Peter GettliffeMTN

“An excellent presentation on what the future could be for us, and a relevant insight for us to define our critical ‘Must Win Battles'”

Olivier DespondsHead, Nestle Nutrition Africa

“Wow! That was great! I loved listening to your ideas! That was the most important set of concepts that I’ve heard anyone talk about in a long time.”

Greg HomanDirector, Emerging Technologies, Nextel Communications

“This process paid for itself three times in 18 months.”

David HathornCEO & Chairman, Mondi SA/Europe

“FutureWorld – yours is a truly visionary and amazing enterprise!

Tanya van der SpuySenior lecturer in tax at the University of Pretoria

“Your presentation was a perfect close to a near perfect conference. I could not have been happier about the content or your lively and engaging presentation.”

Anthony TurnerCEO Europe, Publicitas Promotion Network

“Inspiring and thought-provoking session. You set a great tone for our two day session.”

Wendy MartinSenior Vice President, Visa Europe

“Without this process, Deloitte’s own revenues would be R260m less.”

Vassi NaidooFormer CEO, Deloitte SA

“You intoxicated me with your future message at the 2008 East African Business Submit in Kampala, and I have been living in the future ever since!”

Tom MulwaMD, Liaison Financial Services Group, Kenya

“I really enjoyed your ‘Future of Media’ presentation. The material was well researched, interestingly formatted and your deliver was absolutely great. Well done!”

Wayne St JohnPast chair, Tourism Association of Canada

“I haven’t seen the challenges and opportunities of future business, communities and people so powerfully presented before. FutureWorlds life cycles reminded me exactly of what went right and wrong in our business.”

Dame Anita RoddickFounder of The Body Shop

“Practical and inspirational. Highly relevant if you don’t want someone else eating your cheese.”

Radames SotoCEO Wall Street Journal.com

“Thank you for such a thought-inspiring presentation. We received many, many comments from our delegates.”

Beverley FurmanHead: Supervision, Strate

“Very good session on running exponential initiatives in large organisations.”

Delegates to executive leadership programme at the Stockholm School of Economics – February 2016

“Everyone was in awe of your keynote presentation and couldn’t stop talking about it; not just on the day but also during the remainder of the workshop.”

Shafeeka ArnoldBritish American Tobacco SA

“The two-day Leader of the Future programme was inspirational! The content and tools are real and practical to implement. It would be a travesty for us not to take the learnings and apply them to become even better leaders!”

Alec JoannuGroup CIO, Sasol

“Inspiring and thought-provoking. Your session set a great tone for our two day session.”

Wendy MartinSenior Vice President, Visa Europe

“Overwhelmed, useful and practical”

Commissioners of Inland Revenue India – May 2013

Absolutely amazing! Engaging and an eye-opener!

Senior UAE Government officialattending a leadership program organised by Oxford University’s Said Business School

“We have gotten wonderful reviews from your session. It has been inspiring for us all.”

Alan TanHR executive, SingTel

“By far and away the best session I have had on future thinking.”

Delegate to an executive programme at the Stockholm School of Economics, June 2015

“You don’t know how much value you added! You have blown my socks off!”

Izak SmitCEO, ABSA Life

“The process helped us to establish five new businesses in 18 months.”

Leon VermaakCEO, Telesure

“FutureWorld’s ‘Radical Future’ is another masterpiece of intelligent thinking.”

Leif AlmCEO ScandNet AB

“LOVED this session, best I’ve ever experienced!!”

Delegate comment from the 2012 International Internal Audit convention in Boston, USA.

“In previous consulting relationships there has always been an obsession with driving costs down. Our partnership with FutureWorld goes way beyond that, to a constant drive towards new ideas and new revenue opportunities. It’s amazing how much we have learnt from the future. That’s unique in my experience, and great fun.”

Bernard Swanepoelformer CEO Harmony Gold Limited

“Thanks also for your great presentation at the LBS which I have not only enjoyed but which has also inspired me a lot (does not happen that often!).”

Thomas BeckerWartsila

“Neil presented to a group of Deloitte partners from all over the world, and had them enthralled for two hours. He left them with new thoughts and new possibilities. His presentation was most stimulating.”

Miles CrispDeloittes partner

Neil was succinct, direct and motivating.

Senior UAE Government officialattending a leadership program organised by Oxford University’s Said Business School

“Breathtaking presentation. Great insight into future and how you can try and shape it. The future is nearby and we have to deal with that. We must spend at least 10% of our time understanding the future!”

London Business SchoolSenior Executive Programme

“Anton -We thoroughly enjoyed your brilliant, thought-provoking presentation.You ended our convention on a very high note, thank you so much.I have seen many, many presenters in my 27 years in the industry and you are most certainly one of THE BEST!”

Anton SwanepoelChairman, Financial Planning Institute Convention

“The feedback we received about your opening keynote across the board is fantastic. Our delegates loved your style and are inspired. It was of highest value to have you with us, thank you!”

Stefan LeppCEO, Clearstream, the clearing and settlement division of Deutsche Bourse

“Fantastic and insightful; extremely relevant in our context.”

Peter SandsGroup CEO, Standard Chartered Bank

“Thanks again for the wonderful presentation – it is the only one I have been able to sit through in at least five years. You are really good.”

Jalene MedalieManager – Special Projects, Sasfin Frankel Pollak Securities

“Very thought provoking! Now I am alive to new developments and how to leverage technology.

RK PadmanabhanExecutive Director, Securities and Exchange Board of India, Mumbai, India

“Very well presented (most capturing presentation) and real food for thought.”

Delegates to executive leadership programme at the Stockholm School of Economics – February 2016

“An excellent presentation and a completely new way of thinking about the world. You provided vision and encouraged us to leave our comfort zones.”Feedback from delegates to the SAD Business School Programme for the

Deloitte M&A EMEA teamAthens, October 2008

“Thanks again for your inspirational session in Mumbai.

Jules GoddardProfessor London Business School

“Opened my mind to what we still need to do to remain relevant.”

Delegate to Standard Bank New Executives’ conference

“Thank you for an insightful and thought provoking presentation. You have given us much to think about to adapt to meet the future needs of our market.”

Ravi MoodleyHead of Strategy Nedbank Corporate Banking

“This was the most powerful presentation I have ever seen. You have absolutely shaken us out of complacency. We must ‘think future’ everyday, not just at annual retreats. There is no yesterday, only tomorrow.”

Kitty ChoiHead, Efficiency Unit, Hong Kong Government

“Congratulations on a riveting presentation! I really enjoyed the session.”

Leon SteynDivisional Executive: Human Resources, Prestige Cleaning Services (Pty) Ltd.

“This was the best, most provocative summary ever about (the future of) China.”

William KistlerPresident, Urban Land Institute, Europe

“Thank you for another magical morning and interaction. Your lessons are now becoming part of our DNA and it is making a difference in allowing us to always plan ahead and create our own realities. Interoperability and cooperation is now our mantra.”

Monica SingerChief Executive Officer, Strate Ltd

“Your presentation has been rated ‘undeniably the best’ at this year’s Innovation Summit. Wow! That’s what you did to our audience!”

Helena GabrielsPublisher, SA Innovator Magazine

Great opportunity to look over the garden wall.

Delegates to executive leadership programme at the Stockholm School of Economics – February 2016

“Thanks for an amazingly inspiring and informative presentation”

Cheryl StilesDivisional Marketing Manager, Nampak Cartons & Labels

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The Futurist: Why human resources is a people’s job – Human Resources Online

Posted: at 9:40 am

HR professionals must create the right balance between the human touch and technology, says Christine Ip, CEO Greater China, United Overseas Bank.

As with almost any function in an organisation, the use of technology can transform how companies operate and what they can achieve. Professionals in human resources need to understand the potential use of technology, its relevance and be able to adapt it swiftly to help advise the business accordingly and to drive business outcomes.

Take recruitment as an example. Many organisations with an overseas presence are using technology to reduce the cost of hiring.

United Overseas Bank Hong Kong is no exception. The bank makes use of Skype and FaceTime to interview candidates at the preliminary stage of the hiring process. This allows the bank to widen its potential talent pool and is convenient when the bank is interviewing overseas candidates.

Technology is also used for various human resources initiatives within the organisation. Last year, UOB launched a new and interactive intranet portal to strengthen employee engagement in its offices and branches across the world.

In Greater China, the bank also engages its employees through a WeChat enterprise account. This ensures employees obtain timely information while they are on the go.

However, while technology can be used to improve processes and to broaden the reach of employee engagement programmes, it cannot replace entirely the people skills of human resources professionals.

After all, strong communication skills are essential for success in the relationship-driven sector. The bankers should be able to convey complex financial and market information in a way that is easy for clients to understand and apply to their businesses.

Personal interaction still plays an important role in employee engagement and team building. The bank organises regular town halls and interactive face-to-face forums with senior management, as well as team-building exercises and festive celebrations to enhance the connection and trust between employees.

Building trust starts at the individual level. It is like a drop of water in a pond which then has a ripple effect. Through character, competency and consistency, trust is built with others, across teams, in the marketplace and with the community.

By creating the right balance between the human touch and technology, human resources professionals can help a company attract the right people, keep them engaged and be more competitive.

The June 2017 issue of Human Resources magazine is a special edition, bringing you interviews with 12 HR leaders, with their predictions on the future of HR.

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Marty Sklar, Disney Legend And Futurist, Dies At 83 | Gizmodo … – Gizmodo Australia

Posted: at 9:40 am

Marty Sklar, arguably one of the most influential people to work at the Disney Company aside from Walt Disney himself, died this weekend. He was 83.

Marty Sklar in front of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle at Disneyland on July 11, 2005 (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Sklar started at Disney just a month before Disneyland opened in 1955 and would work his way up to becoming one of the most tireless and dedicated storytellers at the company. Sometimes described as Walt’s “right hand man,” Sklar started by writing speeches for Disney and eventually became President of Imagineering, the creative wing of the multifaceted entertainment company.

Along with Walt, Sklar helped produce the ambitious 1966 film that was shown to investors and government officials to get them interested in EPCOT, the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. The original vision of EPCOT as a living laboratory would be neutered, but the theme park is still a point of inspiration for futurists and retro-futurists alike.

“Walt Disney had one foot in the past, because he loved nostalgia, and one foot in the future, because he loved new technology,” Sklar told Esquire in 2015.

The original EPCOT film can be viewed on YouTube.

Sklar helped oversee the development of virtually every modern Disney park from the construction of Tokyo Disneyland and Disneyland Paris to expansion parks in the United States like Disney-MGM Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Florida, as well as Disney’s California Adventure park in Anaheim.

“Marty was the ultimate Disney Imagineer and Cast Member. From his days working as an intern with Walt to just two weeks ago engaging with fans at D23 Expo, Marty left an indelible mark on Disney Parks around the globe and on all of the guests who make memories every day with us,” Bob Chapek, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, said in a statement.

“He was one of the few people that was fortunate to attend the opening of every single Disney park in the world, from Anaheim in 1955 to Shanghai just last year,” Chapek said. “We will dearly miss Marty’s passion, skill and imaginative spark that inspired generations of Cast, Crew and Imagineers.”

From the Disney Parks blog:

Born in New Brunswick, N.J., on February 6, 1934, Marty was a student at UCLA and editor of its Daily Bruin newspaper when he was recruited to create The Disneyland News for Walt’s new theme park in 1955. After graduating in 1956, he joined Disney full-time and would go on to serve as Walt’s right-hand man scripting speeches, marketing materials and a film showcasing Walt’s vision for Walt Disney World and Epcot.

During this period, he also joined WED Enterprises, the forerunner of Walt Disney Imagineering, and he would later become the creative leader of Imagineering, leading the development of Disney theme parks and attractions for the next three decades.

He retired as Executive Vice President and Imagineering Ambassador on July 17, 2009, Disneyland’s 54th birthday. Disney marked the occasion by paying tribute to Marty with the highest Parks and Resorts recognition, dedicating a window in his name on Disneyland’s City Hall.

RIP Marty Sklar. Thanks for your optimistic visions of tomorrow, something that seems harder and harder to conjure in the upside down world of 2017.

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Residents of Elan Tower in Sydney’s Kings Cross are used to 100Mbps download speeds, thanks to the hybrid fibre coaxial cable they paid Telstra to install six years ago. Now the building is being forced onto NBN’s copper-based fibre-to-the-building network. The copper telephone wire in the building, travelling up 40 floors, is 20 years old.

Qantas and Virgin have both confirmed via statements that passengers will need to arrive at the airport two hours before a domestic flight to allow for additional security screening. The amped-up security measures were put in place by the Australian Government after four people were arrested in connection to a suspected terrorist plot to bring down an aircraft.

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Marty Sklar, Disney Legend And Futurist, Dies At 83 | Gizmodo … – Gizmodo Australia

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Professional futurists converge on Seattle to pick up hints about what lies ahead – GeekWire

Posted: July 29, 2017 at 6:40 pm

Glen Hiemstra, the Seattle-based founder of Futurist.com, basks in the red glow of a corridor at the Seattle Public Library during the Association of Professional Futurists gathering. (GeekWire Photo / Alan Boyle)

Professional futurists are gathering in Seattle, for the second time in 15 years. But dont expect to recognize them by their business cards.

Many modern-day futurists tend to call themselves something else for example, foresight specialist, which is Jonelle Simunichs title at Arup, an engineering and consulting firm based in San Francisco.

I tell people Im a futurist, and they say, So, what, youre like a psychic?’ Simunich told GeekWire today during the 15th-anniversary gathering of the Association of Professional Futurists.

The annual gathering isstructured as a series of seminars for about 40 futurists, rather than your typical trade convention. The group that became APF had its first gathering in Seattle in 2002. It didnt even have a name yet, Cindy Frewen, who chairs the associations board.

This year marks the first time we have ever been in the same place twice, Frewen told attendees at the Seattle Central Library.

One of the Seattle-based organizers of the event, Glen Hiemstra, isnt shy about the futurist job description. In fact, he owns the internet domain name for Futurist.com. Hiemstra acknowledges that APFs members use a wide variety of job titles, but he insists that being a futurist has a special cachet.

The simple way to describe it is, No. 1, help people anticipate the future, and second, help them design and envision the future. Hiemstra told GeekWire. People call futurists when they want to look further ahead than they usually do.

But when it comes to looking further ahead, even futurists need a little help sometimes. Thats the aim of this weeks gathering:

Tom Frey, founder of the Colorado-based DaVinci Institute, said being a futurist isnt just an exercise in navel-gazing. We spend a lot of time being thinkers and doers, and not just talking about it, he said.

For example, Frey has been working a concept for micro-colleges to train workers for high-tech jobs ranging from coding to drone maintenance in a matter of months. The first such micro-college, DaVinci Coders, has been in operation for five years.

So whats the future of futurism? One clear trend is the synergy of entangled trends for example, how pandemics could be made worse by climate change. That is one of the things that is actually going to make this harder, said Sarah Chesemore, the Gates Foundations senior portfolio officer for vaccine delivery.

Another example has to do with the rise of autonomous vehicles and its potential effect on the health care system. Frey said his calculations suggest that self-driving cars could reduce health care expenses by more than 15 percent. Thats half a trillion dollars that now gets spent repairing people after car accidents, he said.

The rise of big data is another biggie. Traditionally, futurists have not used a lot of algorithm-based forecasting, Hiemstra said. But todays bigger data sets have so much predictive power, for issues ranging from crime patterns to disease outbreaks, that theyll have to become part of the futurists toolkit.

And what about the future of Seattle? At GeekWires urging, Hiemstra took a swing at predicting the future of whats currently a tech boomtown.

Its hard to imagine this boom continuing beyond 10 years, but its very clear were going to be a denser and still an economically vibrant place, he said. Thats going to mean that we have to be not just environmentally sustainable, but environmentally productive as a city. What that means is, moving from sustainable buildings to buildings that produce more energy than they use.

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Geek of the Week: Futurist author Richard Yonck helps us better prepare for a rapidly changing world – GeekWire

Posted: at 6:40 pm

Author Richard Yonck at SXSW in Austin, Texas, to promote his new book Heart of the Machine: Our Future in a World of Artificial Emotional Intelligence.

Daydreaming about the future is one thing. Actually being an authority on whats to come or at least how to be better prepared for it is quite another.

Richard Yonck is afuturist, author and speaker with Intelligent Future Consulting. Hes also GeekWires latest Geek of the Week.

I help businesses, readers and audiences become better prepared for a rapidly changing world, Yonck said. With a focus on emerging technologies and the increasingly intelligent ecologies these generate, my perspective is informed by 25 plus years as a futures, computing and media technologist.

Yonck is a widely published author who haswritten extensively about computing and information, artificial intelligence, robotics, 3D printing, the Internet of Things, biotechnology, nanotechnology, transhumanism and science literacy.

His new book, Heart of the Machine: Our Future in a World of Artificial Emotional Intelligence, explores the rapidly developing technologies that interact with human emotions and how this will soon transform our relationships with technology and with each other.A best-seller in two Amazon categories, the book was well-received in the New York Times Book Review (by Ray Kurzweil) and elsewhere.

Yonck is also taking part in the 15th gathering of theAssociation of Professional Futurists in Seattle this week. The event runs through Saturdayand includes speakers from the Gates Foundation, Boeing, the University of Washington, the Living Future Institute, Planetary Resources and more.

Learn more about this weeks Geek of the Week, Richard Yonck:

What do you do, and why do you do it?As a futurist I love helping organizations, readers and audiences identify tomorrows challenges and opportunities so we can work together to bring about their preferred future. This can take many forms, such as working with clients, writing books and articles about a range of emerging technologies or presenting tomorrows world to audiences large and small.

Whats the single most important thing people should know about your field?There are two major, almost contradicting misconceptions about futures work. The first is that the future is unknowable which is far from true. Different things happen with different degrees of reliability. The orbit of the earth and the motion of the tides are very reliable while other events and developments have lesser probabilities of occurring. Taking such variables into account, strategies can be developed to prepare for one or more eventualities without overextending resources.

The other misconception is that there is one fixed future out there, as if we were traveling along some preordained timeline, but this isnt the case. Most futurists speak in terms of futures plural the possible, probable and preferable futures that could potentially occur depending on different choices that are made and paths that are taken in the present. With this in mind, its then possible not only to plan for a range of eventualities but to also be proactive in taking the actions that promote ones preferred future, ideally beginning sooner than later. A basic example of this is the 20-something who recognizes theyll one day retire and so begins saving early on instead of waiting till their 50s. The earlier a desired future is identified and acted upon, the greater the likelihood of realizing it.

Where do you find your inspiration?Life and the world around us. We live in such an incredibly rich, vastly complex universe, I cant help be continually fascinated thinking about how it functions, how it came about, and where its going.

Whats the one piece of technology you couldnt live without, and why?Language. The written word.

Whats your workspace like, and why does it work for you?Increasingly my workspace is wherever I am, especially if I can connect my mind with that massive exocortex called the internet. Whether compiling data at my office, researching at a library, doing an interview at a research facility, speaking at a think tank, addressing an audience on stage, or doing a reading at a bookstore, thats effectively my workspace.

Your best tip or trick for managing everyday work and life. (Help us out, we need it.)Change is inevitable. When it does, often the best thing to do is see it as an opportunity. A static world view is very limiting and is likely to get you steamrollered.

Mac, Windows or Linux?I try to be OS agnostic, but Im most familiar with Windows.

Kirk, Picard, or Janeway?Kirks acting style and fighting methods are unequaled in this or any other quadrant of the galaxy.

Transporter, Time Machine or Cloak of Invisibility?A Time Machine. If I could travel into the future, I could pretty much collect all three, couldnt I?

If someone gave me $1 million to launch a startup, I would I would explore the terrain of emerging technologies looking out over the next 10 years, identify key opportunities as supporting technologies and infrastructures were forecast to come online, consider what I could remain passionate about for several years, factor legal and regulatory considerations and then decide. At that point, Id bring in the necessary talent and continue from there.

I once waited in line for The opportunity to speak with and get a book signed by Harlan Ellison.

Your role models:Beyond members of my family for obvious reasons when I was a young kid, I dont think I have specific role models. More accurately, Ive looked to luminaries from science and science fiction as general role models, amalgamating them into some quintessential figure seeking truth in the universe.

Greatest game in history:Hesses Glass Bead Game.

Best gadget ever:Sonic screwdriver.

First computer:My first computing experience was with a DEC PDP-11 when I was 12.

Current phone:iPhone 6, waiting for the iPhone 8.

Favorite app:Hootsuite.

Favorite cause:Eradicating ignorance.

Most important technology of 2016:Artificial Intelligence Deep learning neural nets.

Most important technology of 2018:CRISPR and immunotherapy.

Final words of advice for your fellow geeks:The apps, services, and technologies were building are not simply the tools of today. They will form the foundations and infrastructures of tomorrows world, the world of our children and grandchildren. With this in mind, we should continually ask ourselves: Are we contributing to a better world for the generations to come?

Website: Intelligent Future

Twitter: @ryonck

LinkedIn: Richard Yonck

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A futurist tells us what life will probably look like in 2040 – New York Post

Posted: at 6:40 pm

This week, UKs government set out plans to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2040 so what else will we see in 23 years time?

Here, with the help of Europes top futurist Ray Hammond, we create a picture of how the world might look in the post-petrol age.

We will all wear a huge range of sensors that will constantly monitor things such as blood pressure, blood sugar and blood oxygen level.

Longevity will rise, with many living well beyond 100.

Children born in 2040 will have a more or less indefinite life. With gene therapy, stem cell and nano-scale medicine, barring an accident or fatal disease, we may live for ever and look much younger. With exoskeletons artificial, externally-worn support structures the elderly will stay mobile for longer. Now they are bulky and rigid but they will be soft and comfy.

People will fall in love with robot partners, which will impact relationships.

As it is we have a habit of seeing human characteristics in inanimate objects and with robots growing more advanced, it is inevitable that some people will couple up with them.

Weddings will become rarer and promiscuity will go off the scale as social attitudes get more relaxed.

On average, women today have nine sexual partners in their lifetime and men have 11 expect that to rise to 100 for women and 200 for men.

Most cars will be driving themselves, with motorways and roads having self-driving lanes.

Driverless traffic could travel in convoys, forming road trains and allowing vehicles to drive much closer together, freeing up motorway space.

The only place where you could experience being in control of a car yourself would be a licensed race track.

Ahead of the ban on sales of new petrol and diesel cars in 2040, we can expect scrappage schemes during the 2030s which will phase them out. Our roads will look and sound very different.

As for air travel, there will not be huge changes. The dawn of electric and self-flying planes is possible but they will still be a small minority.

We will see hyper-loops transport tubes through which passenger pods can travel at up to 700 mph.

As the worlds population booms from the present seven billion to more than nine billion, we will not be able to farm meat as we have done up to now.

There wont be enough space for all the animals we would need plus their methane emissions could cause unsustainable environmental damage.

Instead, we will see artificial tissue meat grown in factories, without the need for a living animal.

Burgers have already been produced and eaten in a lab and by 2040 up to 40 percent of meat will be artificial or from substitutes such as plants. It will be engineered to look, taste and smell like the real thing.

Insects will also be a staple in products resembling their meat versions, such as sausages or burgers. They are protein-rich, cheaper and greener.

And with most people living in cities, crops may be grown on vertical farms up the sides of skyscrapers.

Our smartphones will have more or less disappeared, replaced by control centers which we will wear in a series of devices around our body.

For example, we will wear smart contact lenses, with texts floating in front of our eyes and earrings that send messages from a virtual assistant into our ears.

We wont look as if we are wearing anything extra but it will be as if we are looking through a smartphone at the real world, albeit one more powerful than anything we know today.

Our social networks will also become integral to the real world. We may see a stranger in the street and, using facial recognition software linked to our control centers, will instantly know their name and be able to access their profile.

As a result, privacy will be a hot topic.

We will have to face the question of whether machines will be our slaves or our masters.

Computers will be as good at problem-solving as humans, with the prospect of soon surpassing us.

Then the question will be whether we let them take control or try to regulate and modify artificial intelligence. Or genetically modify humans so we can compete with machines.

Our decisions could have profound effects on world order. If the West chooses to regulate its machines, it could be at a disadvantage compared to countries that allow computers to develop unchecked.

Today people are glued to phones and iPads but to imagine life in 2040, magnify that by 100.

We will spend most of our time in virtual worlds, whether at work or at leisure. Instead of looking at a device, we will experience this as if it were real. It wont even seem artificial. The novelty will be leaving the virtual world to meet humans in real life, an activity that will become rarer.

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Marty Sklar, Disney Legend and Futurist, Dies at 83 – Gizmodo

Posted: July 28, 2017 at 6:40 pm

Marty Sklar in front of Sleeping Beautys Castle at Disneyland on July 11, 2005 (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Marty Sklar, arguably one of the most influential people to work at the Disney Company aside from Walt Disney himself, died yesterday. He was 83.

Sklar started at Disney just a month before Disneyland opened in 1955 and would work his way up to becoming one of the most tireless and dedicated storytellers at the company. Sometimes described as Walts right hand man, Sklar started by writing speeches for Disney and eventually became President of Imagineering, the creative wing of the multifaceted entertainment company.

Along with Walt, Sklar helped produce the ambitious 1966 film that was shown to investors and government officials to get them interested in EPCOT, the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. The original vision of EPCOT as a living laboratory would be neutered, but the theme park is still a point of inspiration for futurists and retro-futurists alike.

Walt Disney had one foot in the past, because he loved nostalgia, and one foot in the future, because he loved new technology, Sklar told Esquire in 2015.

The original EPCOT film can be viewed on YouTube.

Sklar helped oversee the development of virtually every modern Disney park from the construction of Tokyo Disneyland and Disneyland Paris to expansion parks in the United States like Disney-MGM Studios and Disneys Animal Kingdom in Florida, as well as Disneys California Adventure park in Anaheim.

Marty was the ultimate Disney Imagineer and Cast Member. From his days working as an intern with Walt to just two weeks ago engaging with fans at D23 Expo, Marty left an indelible mark on Disney Parks around the globe and on all of the guests who make memories every day with us, Bob Chapek, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, said in a statement.

He was one of the few people that was fortunate to attend the opening of every single Disney park in the world, from Anaheim in 1955 to Shanghai just last year, Chapek said. We will dearly miss Martys passion, skill and imaginative spark that inspired generations of Cast, Crew and Imagineers.

From the Disney Parks blog:

Born in New Brunswick, N.J., on February 6, 1934, Marty was a student at UCLA and editor of its Daily Bruin newspaper when he was recruited to create The Disneyland News for Walts new theme park in 1955. After graduating in 1956, he joined Disney full-time, and would go on to serve as Walts right-hand manscripting speeches, marketing materials, and a film showcasing Walts vision for Walt Disney World and Epcot. During this period, he also joined WED Enterprises, the forerunner of Walt Disney Imagineering, and he would later become the creative leader of Imagineering, leading the development of Disney theme parks and attractions for the next three decades. He retired as Executive Vice President and Imagineering Ambassador on July 17, 2009, Disneylands 54th birthday. Disney marked the occasion by paying tribute to Marty with the highest Parks and Resorts recognition, dedicating a window in his name on Disneylands City Hall.

Disney obviously wouldnt be the same without Sklar and we here at Paleofuture are pouring out a Mickey Mouse sippy cup on the curb for the Disney legend. RIP Marty Sklar. Thanks for your optimistic visions of tomorrow, something that seems harder and harder to conjure in the upside down world of 2017.

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How Clothing Made From Milk Became the Height of Fashion in Mussolini’s Italy – Atlas Obscura

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In 1909, Filippo Tommaso Marinettia member of the Italian literati who had studied in Egypt, France, and Italypublished his radical Futurist Manifesto, a document whose exaltations of technological disruption ignited the Italian Futurism movement.

Marinetti called for art that embraced new innovations like automobiles, glorified war, fought morality, and did away with libraries and museums, which focused too heavily on the past.

The Italian Futurism he spawned revolted against the old: Futurist poetry, for instance, often discarded grammar rules and appeared in non-linear jumbles, while Futurist paintings experimented with perspective and a collapsing of space.

Fashion was a particular fascination of Futurists. Since 1914, with the publication of Giacomo Ballas Futurist Manifesto of Mens Clothing manuscript, the debate over how Italians should dress raged within Marinettis circles. Futurists wanted manufacturers to craft clothing out of new revolutionary materials, such as paper, cardboard, glass, tinfoil, aluminum, rubber, fish skin, hemp, and gas.

In 1920, the Manifesto of Futurist Womens Fashion added a new material to this list: milk.

The idea was not entirely novel. Between 1904 and 1909, German chemist Frederick Todtenhaupt attempted to turn milk byproducts into a fibrous silk substitute. Though his efforts failed, their underlying premise intrigued Marinettis band of Futurists. Many began to speculate that milk was the fabric of the future and would one day comprise all styles of dress.

It wasnt as crazy as it might sound. Wool is a protein, so on a molecular level, it has a very similar structure to casein, the protein found in milk. Chemists simply needed to figure out how to process casein in a way that emulated the texture of wool.

Thus, for milk-based clothing to happen, Marinetti and the Italian Futurists needed to wait for the technology to catch up.

That moment came during the 1930s, when Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini began his push for the country to achieve economic self-sufficiency. Mussolini had stormed into office in 1922 amid popular resentment for what many saw as British, French, and American stiff-arming in the Treaty of Versailles. Marinetti was one of his early proponents. In 1919, Marinettis short-lived Futurist Political Partyan attempt to bring Futurist ideas into governmentmerged with Mussolinis Italian Fascist Party. The two were associatesMussolini once called Marinetti a fervent Fascistand they shared the goal of strengthening Italys economy in preparation for coming wars.

One way they accomplished that? Milk clothing.

In the early 1930s, Mussolini commanded Italians to create more of their own products and, in doing so, to innovate an Italian style in furnishing, interior decoration, and clothing [that] does not yet exist.

Like many in the Fascist government, he pinned his hopes on artificial fabrics, a market in which Italy proved dominant. As the Futurists had earlier proposed, many Italian companies began using organic materialsrather than less-prevalent silks and woolsto develop textiles.

Italys first great success came with rayon, an artificial silk made of cellulose. In 1929, the nation became the worlds leading producer of the material, boasting 16 percent of total rayon output.

The party responsible for the lions share of that rayon was a textile company known as SNIA Viscosa. By 1925, SNIA accounted for 70 percent of Italys artificial fibers, growing so large that it became the nations first company to be listed in foreign stock exchanges (in London and New York).

And in 1935, SNIA Viscosa acquired the rights to a new kind of fiber: a milk-based synthetic wool that, building on Todtenhaupts earlier work, the Italian engineer Antonio Ferretti had recently perfected. This new milk fiber was dubbed lanital (a compounding of lana, meaning wool, and ital, from Italia).

The lanital production process that Ferretti pioneered went like this: first, scientists added acid to skim milk, which separated out the casein. The casein was then dissolved until it developed a viscous consistency. Next, according to TIME, the casein was forced through spinnerets like macaroni, passed through a hardening chemical bath, [and] cut into fibres of any desired length. The result? A substance that mimicked wool.

A 1937 British Path video offers a rare glimpse into this process, closing on an incredible prediction: in the future, youll be able to choose between drinking a glass of milk and wearing one.

To Mussolini, lanital was ingenious. Italy, like most nations, was wasting billions of pounds per year in excess skim milk. Lanital gave them an inexpensive way to repurpose it and, considering it otherwise would have languished, offered a lot of bang for their buck: 100 pounds of milk contained around 3.7 pounds of casein, which translated to 3.7 pounds of lanital.

Though lanital was neither as strong nor as elastic as actual wool, Mussolini remained steadfastly delighted. This was the kind of Italian innovation he wanted more of.

So in 1935, after his invasion of Ethiopia resulted in heavy sanctions from the League of Nations (a post-World War I prototype for the United Nations) that further isolated Italy, Mussolini turned his full attention to lanital.

Then more than ever, Mussolini needed to achieve the economic self-sufficiency he craved. He invested more and more in what Italy did best: artificial textiles. According to Karen Pinkus, artificial fabrics, including lanital, became a central obsession for the regime.

SNIA Viscosa received large sums of government aid, and its promising new milk fabric earned strong support: by 1937, an astonishing 10 million pounds of lanital were produced. State-run textile boards began publishing propaganda posters urging citizens to Dress in an Italian manner. Futurists, delighted by the newfound prominence of milk fibers, enthusiastically praised the invention and the ingenuity of the Fascist government.

Marinetti himself became somewhat of a poet-in-residence for SNIA. His 1938 poem The Poem of Torre Viscosa praised the textile company, while The Simultaneous Poem of Italian Fashion thanked the company for its exemplary Italianness, dynamism, autonomy, [and] creativity.

But most memorable was his Poem of the Milk Dress, which was published in an illustrated propaganda booklet, and which featured some choice writing in praise of lanital:

And let this complicated milk be welcome power power power lets exalt this

MILK MADE OF REINFORCED STEEL

MILK OF WAR

MILITARIZED MILK.

The propaganda worked. Lanital became ubiquitous throughout Italy, and the Futurist dream of milk clothing seemed to become reality.

In April 1937, British publication The Childrens Newspaper reported that milk wool had infiltrated Italian suits, dresses, garments, and even flags: an order has gone forth that flags and banners be made of this material, of which the Italians are exceedingly proud.

In fact, by 1938, SNIA Viscosa became intent on spreading milk-based clothing around the world. Two years later, it had sold patents to eight countries (Holland, Poland, Germany, Belgium, Japan, France, Canada, Czechoslovakia, and England).

Yet there was one country in particular that SNIA Viscosa hoped to woo: the United States.

The U.S. was a natural target for SNIA Viscosas milk fibers. Since the early 1920s, Americans had discussed casein as a potential bridge between the agricultural and manufacturing sectors and as a way to repurpose their 50 billion pounds per year of excess skim milk.

In 1900, Henry E. Alvord, a president of multiple American agricultural colleges, suggested that casein be used in glue, buttons, and combs. During World War I, casein appeared in a paint that coated airplane wings; by 1940, it appeared in piano keys. Casein was also found in certain kinds of American paper, where it attached to minerals to give off a glossy sheen.

So SNIA Viscosa thoughtwhy not also in clothing?

With the help of the Italian government, SNIA dispatched fashion emissaries like American journalist-turned-Italian-princess Marguerite Caetani to promote lanital clothing in New York. A December 1937 TIME article describes how Caetani recruited American socialites like Mona Bismarckwhom Chanel once voted the Best Dressed Woman in the Worldto model high-end milk-based dresses for American audiences.

Their efforts paid off: in 1941, a team for the Atlantic Research Associatesa division of the National Dairy Corporationbegan producing lanital under the name aralac (ARA as in American Research Associates + lac, Latin for milk).

The new milk fibers were a hit. As SNIA had hoped, the New York fashion scene fixated on aralac-based clothing, and aralac briefly denoted sophistication. But when the U.S. joined World War II, it found a more universal use: military equipment.

Aralac was blended with rayon to produce hats, thus providing modern historians with a trivia fact to trump all trivia facts: during World War II, American soldiers wore milk to battle.

Aralac spread so quickly throughout the United Statesit soon appeared in coats, suits, and dressesthat a 1944 LIFE article declared, A great many U.S. citizens, without knowing it, are wearing clothes made from skimmed milk.

But despite the initial honeymoon period, milk-based fabrics soon fell out of favor around the world. Despite press hype about its luxury, lanital was much weaker than wool, and it broke easily. Threads often came out when ironed. But most damning was the putrid odor these fabrics sometimes gave off: when damp, [lanital and aralac] smelled like sour milk, causing many consumer complaints.

By 1948, production shut down in the United States. Soon after, SNIA Viscosa itself began focusing its energy on other synthetic products. Its reputation had taken a massive hit after World War II, when lanital-infused boots, blankets, and military uniformswhich Mussolini believed would resist poison gasin fact did little to protect Italian soldiers, and led to 2,000 cases of frostbite during a battle against France. Anyway, cheaper synthetic products were flooding the market, pricing out lanital.

Yet that is not the end of the story.

Over the decades, milk-based clothing has remained popular among futurists, and in recent years, the fibers have made somewhat of a resurgence.

In 2011 there was the debut of German-based clothing company Qmilch, whose fashionable products are manufactured almost entirely with casein. Started by German microbiologist and designer Anka Domaske, Qmilch offers products that require fewer chemicals than the lanital of the 1930s and 1940s. A single dress costs between roughly $200 and $230 and is made from six liters of milk.

According to Reuters, the fashion label Mademoiselle Chi Chia high-end clothing producer that is a favorite of American celebrities like Mischa Barton and Ashlee Simpsonhas also begun selling milk-based clothing. Uniqlos popular Heattech apparel line, too, is partially made from milk proteins.

Today, these clothes are especially attractive because they are both biodegradable and sustainable. In fact, as global society continues to emphasize reuse, one cannot help but think that perhaps Marinettis Futurists were right all along. Perhaps our future lies with the milk dress.

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How Clothing Made From Milk Became the Height of Fashion in Mussolini’s Italy – Atlas Obscura

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