The essence of human identity is increasingly in the hands of a new generation. We are entering a future where our biology is becoming self-defined, assembled, manufactured, and increasingly unique. For one, advancements in new materials technology are leading to potentially game-changing innovations.
Clearly, the world is reeling from the inability of young people to find jobs. It is not at all surprising to hear that many college graduates are struggling to find and keep jobs immediately after graduation. As these twenty-something’s return back from their summer vacations and hit the job pavement, many more are finding that their hard-won diplomas no longer guarantee immediate employment.
Historically, the Internet was always about connecting people – through e-mail, picture- and video-sharing, online dating sites, and the like. But as we move into a more interoperable, multidimensional and connected world, the Internet is increasingly about connecting things.
Clearly, the recent economic meltdown has impacted the employment landscape. Part of this is the shifting nature of internships, and a rethinking of what constitutes an "intern" in the emerging new economy.
Communities used to meet in town squares to buy, sell and swap goods. For a while, that model all but disappeared, but thanks to a host of new social networks and other web platforms, people can now trade, swap, rent or barter goods, skills, services or expertise with considerable ease.
Over the last week, people around the world have been instantly struck by unbelievable scenes of turbulence in Egypt, as thousands have taken to the streets to protest against the current political regime. In recent days things have gotten even uglier, too: American journalists have been assaulted, Molotov cocktails have been launched, and rocks and furniture have been hurled at protesters.
The emergence of a global “She-conomy” will have a major impact on everything from education to marketing and branding to fertility levels. There are already many more women than men enrolled in and graduating from universities. Women have just overtaken men in the U.S. as the majority in the workforce.
Many of the exact generational boundaries describing the 30-and-under population have been poorly defined, and terms are oftentimes used interchangeably. For example, terms like “Millennial” sometimes are used to describe portions of what is considered “Generation Y”. For the purpose of this blog, I am focusing solely on the under-18 population.
As the world enters the next stages of technological revolution, what we are beginning to unravel about the universe is rapidly propelling us to the frontiers of the unknown. Now, and in the years to come, all of our bodies of understanding will be profoundly changed. What we did, what we made, what we believed and what we valued are all undergoing fundamental transformation.
Locally and globally, we continue to see that the nature of jobs is profoundly changing, and what we do in order to earn our incomes, and how we do it, will never be the same. Importantly, none of this will ever again conform to what were the norms or rules or expectations across companies or through the years.
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Dutch government council wants to hear from futurists.
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. Read here about the foresight study and initial ideas regarding the future of healthy nutrition, efficient mobility and smart buildings.
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.
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:
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.
Do you control your screens or do they control you? In tomorrow’s digital world you’ll decide what’s on your screens. With a personal paywall you will be paid for your attention. You’ll be able to sell your mind as often as you like.
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.
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.
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.