Blogs

NASA News - Mars Landing Technology Test and Progress Report on Future Missions

March 26, 2015 - When we think of NASA these days we have an impression of an agency that has lost its way for a number of reasons. One is budgetary constraints with NASA receiving little in the way of net new money from the federal government to initiate new programs.

Two Climate Change Concerns That Need Further Study

March 25, 2015 - In the last two weeks climatologists and oceanographers reported the outcome of two studies, one focused on glaciers in the Antarctic, the other on ocean circulation patterns and trends. In both cases the news was disturbing.

Antarctic Glaciers Destabilizing

Florida Company Making "Magic Leap" in Virtual Reality

March 24, 2015 - Watch the video put out by Magic Leap and you get a sense of where augmented virtual reality is taking us. This Florida start up has gotten some very big companies interested in its potential led by Google and Qualcomm.

Why I Give Loans to Kiva

March 23, 2015 - Today I got an update on one of my recent loans to the Asociacion De Agua Oriental - Eden Group, who raised just under $20,000 U.S.

Wars Over Water - Our Near Future

March 23, 2015 - Yesterday was World Water Day. This day, mandated by the United Nations, is meant to focus on the importance of freshwater to humanity. The truth of course is with our human population continuing to grow and freshwater a finite resource, we are heading for a crisis of our own making.

The Search for Quantum Gravity

March 22, 2015 - Our drive north from Florida has ended and now it's time to get back to the last throes of winter here in Toronto. Today as I walked my dog, Maya, we heard the sound of Redwing Blackbirds in the local park. The males were staking out territory at treetop level. So this may mean a real spring is not far from breaking out here in the Great White North. It will be most welcome.

The Futurist

In the November-December 2014 (Vol. 48, No. 6) Issue:

  • Trends at Work: An Overview of Tomorrow’s Employment Ecosystem
  • The Future of Futurists: Can a Machine Produce This Forecast?
  • Library Futures: From Knowledge Keepers to Creators
  • OUTLOOK 2015: Top Trends and Forecasts for the Decade Ahead
  • When Futurists Ask “What If”
  • Futurists and Their Ideas: Why Pop Futurism Fails

Futurist Update

In the Current Issue:

  • Scots on the Move? Anticipating Unexpected Impacts of Scottish Independence
  • Preparing to Discover Future "Life"
  • Future Workplace Skill: Letting Things Go
  • Are We Reaching "Peak Meat"?
  • WFS CEO Amy Zalman Interviewed by CNBC, on the Next 25 Years
  • Exploding Bacon Robotics: A WorldFuture 2014 Highlight
  • 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

Future-Ready Universities

Wired for Success: Real-World Solutions for Transforming Higher Education

Authors: Susan C. Aldridge and Kathleen Harvatt
Publisher: American Association for State Colleges and Universities (www.aascu.org). 2014. 191 pages. Paperback.
Price: $20.99 plus shipping

Higher education is in a tenuous position as enrollments and graduation rates drop, public funding shrinks, marketing and overhead costs soar, and rising numbers of graduates suffer unemployment, underemployment, and student-loan defaults.

Authors Susan Aldridge, former president of several universities, and Kathleen Harvatt, a communications professional who has worked for the University of Maryland University College and Sallie Mae, assess the challenges and draw this conclusion: Colleges and universities can survive, but only if they significantly adapt their operations and instruction.

Vocabulary Building for Foresight Professionals

FUTURES: World Foresight Encyclopedic Dictionary

Editors: Concepción Olavarrieta, Jerome C. Glenn, and Theodore J. Gordon.
Publisher: The Millennium Project. 2014. English and Spanish versions available.
PDF via download ($50) or CD-ROM ($50 plus shipping) from millennium-project.org/millennium/FUTURES.html.

A vital new tool has been added to the foresight profession’s toolkit in this “encyclopedic dictionary” comprising more than 1,000 terms, including not just definitions but also usage, derivation, source citations, and English/Spanish translations.

Guided Tour of the World’s Most Sustainable Places

Ecovillages: Lessons for Sustainable Community
Image of Ecovillages: Lessons for Sustainable Community
Author(s): Karen T. Litfin
Publisher: Polity (2013)
Binding: Paperback, 224 pages
List Price: $24.95

Our world needs creative solutions to rein in resource consumption, climate change, and ecological destruction, says Karen Litfin, an associate professor of political science who specializes in environmental policy. She finds many promising solutions in “ecovillages,” communities that have systematically transformed daily living to balance human wants and the biosphere’s limits.

Litfin profiles 14 ecovillages that she visited over the past several years.

Democratizing Capital

Capital in the Twenty-First Century
Image of Capital in the Twenty-First Century
Author(s): Thomas Piketty
Publisher: Belknap Press (2014)
Binding: Hardcover, 696 pages
List Price: $39.95

The future will become even more unevenly distributed.

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Registration for WorldFuture 2015: Making the Future is open! Join us in San Francisco from July 24-26 2015 for the world’s largest gathering of futurists. Register at: https://www.wfs.org/worldfuture-2015

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