Blogs

When It Comes to Jobs, Why Is This Time Different?

Today, many voice long-familiar concerns about technological unemployment, where computers, robots, and machines are automating our jobs out of existence. In fact, some have gone so far as to call this the “robot jobs Armageddon.” So is this time truly different? Here are six overarching shifts in the world that are causing many to say, “Yes, this time may really be different!”

How Will Disruptive Technologies Affect Public Life?

Self driving cars, 3D printing, robotics, these are just a few of the major technologies that are likely to bring massive disruptions in about every aspect of life. What do we eat? What would our work be like in the future? How do we travel? Where does our energy come from? The Council for the Environment and Infrastructure, the primary strategic advisory board for the Dutch government and parliament in matters relating to the physical environment and infrastructure, has initiated a foresight study to stimulate the public debate about the impact of disruptive technologies. It is not a traditional research project, but includes future imagery, crowd sourcing and technology assessment.

Koans for Futurists

What is harder than finding the right answers?  Asking the right questions.

In Zen Buddhism, a koan is a short story or question that is simply worth meditating on.  There might not necessarily be a single good answer, but the process of contemplating the question itself is a worthwhile pursuit that may lead to sudden insights or enlightenment.

Top 10 Reasons to Watch Trends

About a dozen years ago, we asked members of the World Future Society what they thought was the most valuable return for investing in the serious study of trends. We included a summary of their responses in our special report, The Future: An Owner's Manual (September-October 2002, adapted from March-April 2002 FUTURIST). The reasons are still apt today:

Book Review: Good Hunting: An American Spymaster’s Story (Sarah Crichton Books 2014) by Jack Devine

Who has better stories to tell than retired CIA officers who were not able to speak before? After over three decades in the CIA, Jack Devine, currently working in corporate intelligence with The Arkin Group (TAG), is now able to share his experiences and wisdom with the public.

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

Today, many voice long-familiar concerns about technological unemployment, where computers, robots, and machines are automating our jobs out of...

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

Self driving cars, 3D printing, robotics, these are just a few of the major technologies that are likely to bring massive disruptions in about...

Humanity

What is harder than finding the right answers?  Asking the right questions.

In Zen Buddhism, a koan is a short story or question that...

Sci/Tech

August 28, 2014 - Back from an enjoyable vacation that included a visit to...

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...