Blogs

The Future of Bacteria

Bacteria are being genetically modified for a range of roles, including conversion for easier extraction (e.g. coal to gas, or concentrating elements in landfill sites to make extraction easier), making new food sources, carbon fixation, pollutant detection and other sensory roles, clothing and cosmetics, special surface treatments, biodegradable construction or packing materials, self-organizing printing, and more.

Big Data for Humanity

As big data have shown their advantages in commerce, governance, surveillance and many other areas, now is the time to explore how to put them to use for humanity. Data generated by people, unstructured texts, digital traces and everything else could be used for agile responses to changes regionally. There is great potential to use data for well being and doing good. Leiden University's Peace Informatics Lab has hosted a high-level panel session on Big Data for Humanity. The discussion focused on meaningful ways to capture the world of data for designing deescalation programs and support systems for peace building and humanity.

World Future Review Seeks Peer Reviewers

WFS’s professional journal, World Future Review, seeks committed readers—both specialists and generalists—to join us as peer reviewers. Peer reviewers serve as volunteer referees for manuscripts submitted to the journal, so applicants should include a CV explaining their qualifications.

Establishing the Central Bank of Bitcoin

The year is 2024. It seemed like a piece of nostalgia to open a new bank account and get a free toaster, but this wasn’t any ordinary toaster, and it certainly wasn’t any ordinary bank. The new Internet of Things Toaster was one of the coolest gadgets of all times, and the Global Bank of Bitcoin was a charter member of Bitcoin’s new Central Bank based in Luxembourg.

New Australian Climate Model Confirms Anthropogenic Reasons for Decreased Precipitation

It seems that climate change is really picking on Australia in a big way. Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have created a climate model that indicates a trend to declining fall and winter rainfall over the southwestern, southern and eastern parts of the Australian continent. The cause - greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and ozone depletion.

Proposed Oil Sands Pipeline Not Carbon Neutral According to New Analysis

In a debate that has raged on both sides of the 49th parallel, whether to build or mothball the Keystone XL oil pipeline remains a hot topic. Canada has sent its Prime Minister, its Foreign Minister, its Energy Minister, assorted premiers and other bigwigs to Washington and New York to tout the advantages that Keystone XL will bring to the United States.

The Futurist

In the September-October 2014 (Vol. 48, No. 5) Issue:

  • Futures Education: Teaching and Learning about the Future
  • Our Global Situation and Prospects for the Future
  • Seven Big Challenges for Pakistan—and the Lessons They Could Teach
  • Future View: 10 Questions for Machine Intelligence

Futurist Update

In the Current Issue:

  • Bracing for the Solar Superstorm to Come
  • Lessons from the Mongoose: Will Working Hard Now Make You a Slacker Tomorrow?
  • Googling the Crash before the Crash: Searches as Signals
  • Summit on Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy
  • Campaigning with Holograms
  • From "What If" to "What Next?" WorldFuture 2014 Conference Wraps Up
  • What's Hot in The Futurist magazine

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Interviews

Predictive—and Persuasive—Technology: an interview with Chris Surdak, author of Data Crush

Mobile and Web technologies are making more and more data about us consumers and our lifestyle habits available to businesses. And in growing degrees, businesses are finding ways to use the data to both predict and influence their customers’ buying decisions.

Ensuring More Food for All: An Interview with Danielle Nierenberg of Food Tank

Subject(s):

As the world population grows, and as its resource bases shrink, producing enough food to feed the world becomes a steeper and steeper challenge. But the world’s small farms are up to the task, argues Danielle Nierenberg, president of the “food think tank” Food Tank.

The Future of Sharing

Living comfortably has always, to some extent, relied on owning many goods. But this is becoming less and less the case. A new worldwide “sharing economy," composed of startup ventures whose products consumers rent or share instead of own, is blossoming across the globe.

Reviews of New Books

Not Yet Dead: The Science of Staying Alive

Shocked: Adventures in Bringing Back the Recently Dead
Image of Shocked: Adventures in Bringing Back the Recently Dead
Author(s): David Casarett M.D.
Publisher: Current Hardcover (2014)
Binding: Hardcover, 304 pages
List Price: $27.95

David Casarett describes developments of novel techniques that bring nearly dead and even fully dead patients back to the land of the living.

Strategies for Doing Business When Resources Are Few

Overfished Ocean Strategy: Powering Up Innovation for a Resource-Deprived World
Image of Overfished Ocean Strategy: Powering Up Innovation for a Resource-Deprived World
Author(s): Nadya Zhexembayeva
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers (2014)
Binding: Hardcover, 208 pages
List Price: $27.95

Fish populations across the world are withering under unrelenting pressure from human population growth and rising demand for seafood. … Within this crisis lies a golden opportunity …

Teens and Social Media: Debunking the Myths

It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens
Image of It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens
Author(s): danah boyd
Publisher: Yale University Press (2014)
Binding: Hardcover, 296 pages
List Price: $25.00

Social media plays a huge role in young people’s lives and will continue to do so, but how exactly are its young users using it?

Strategies for Appropriate Development

Innovating for the Global South: Towards an Inclusive Innovation Agenda (Rotman/Utp - Monk Series on Global Affairs)
Image of Innovating for the Global South: Towards an Inclusive Innovation Agenda (Rotman/Utp - Monk Series on Global Affairs)
Author(s): Dilip Soman, Janice Gross Stein, Joseph Wong
Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division (2014)
Binding: Paperback, 192 pages
List Price: $22.95

The world has made some progress in relieving poverty and improving health in the world’s poorest countries, but it will take new methods …

Learn about the future of ...

Commerce

Bacteria are being genetically modified for a range of roles, including conversion for easier extraction (e.g. coal to gas, or concentrating...

Earth

It seems that climate change is really picking on Australia in a big way. Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA...

Futuring

As big data have shown their advantages in commerce, governance, surveillance and many other areas, now is the time to explore how to put them to...

Humanity

It's thought that the word “luck” entered the English language as a gambling term. And now a poker player and air traffic controller called Arif...

Sci/Tech

The Perimeter Institute at University of Waterloo, Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, has proposed in recent discussions among its faculty focused on...

Governance

Two stories this week on climate change caught my eye. The first was a report on ocean waves in the Arctic. When you think of the Arctic Ocean you...