The Most Popular Stories from THE FUTURIST magazine in 2012
From the editors of THE FUTURIST magazine, here are the most popular articles, stories, and blog posts we were honored to bring to you this year. We couldn't do it without our members and the generous support of people like you.
Human actions could become more accurately predictable, thanks to neuroscience. Nano-sized robots will deliver cancer-fighting drugs directly to their targets. And though many recently lost jobs may never come back, people will find plenty to do (and get paid for) in the future. These are just a few of the forecasts you’ll find in this latest edition of Outlook. Read more.
By Rick Docksai
A better future doesn’t happen on its own. We create it with our ideas, plans, and actions. In July, hundreds of futurists from around the world took the opportunity todream, design, develop, and deliver the future together at WorldFuture 2012. Read more.
A child born today will only be 88 years old in the year 2100. It’s time to start thinking and caring about the twenty-second century. THE FUTURIST invited WFS members and friends such as Paul Saffo, David Brin, and Brenda Cooper to share. They sent in forecasts, scenarios, wild cards, dreams, and nightmares about the earth, humanity, governance, commerce, science and technology, and more. Here are their stories. Read more
By Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler
Progress occurs when inventive people solve problems and create opportunities. Here, Peter Diamandis and best-selling science writer Steven Kotler present just a few of the breakthroughs that offer the brightest prospects for a future that leaves austerity and deprivation behind. Read more.
By Brian David Johnson
Author Brian David Johnson, a futurist for Intel, shows how geotags, sensor outputs, and big data are changing the future. He argues that we need a better understanding of our relationship with the data we produce in order to build the future we want. Read more.
By Lee Rainie and Barry Wellman
Collaborative agent bots? A walled world under constant surveillance? Two information technology experts parse the future of human–network interaction.Read more.
By Chris Carbone and Kristin Nauth
Two foresight specialists describe how tomorrow’s integrated, networked, and aware home systems may change your family life. Read more.
By Aubrey de Grey
An "anti-aging activist" identifies the medical and biochemical advances that could eventually eliminate all the wear and tear that our bodies and minds suffer as we grow old. Those who undergo continuous repair treatments could live for millennia, remain healthy throughout, and never fear dying of old age. Read more.
By Josh Schonwald
Tomorrow's genetically modified food and farmed fish will be more sustainable and far healthier than much of what we eat today—if we can overcome our fears and embrace it. Here's how one foodie learned to stop worrying and love "Frankenfood."Read more.
By Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee
Two management experts show why labor's race against automation will only be won if we partner with our machines. They advise government regulators not to stand in the way of human–machine innovation. Read more.
By Timothy Mack
Innovation means more than inventing new products for the world's growing populations to consume. Innovation also means solving the problems created by consumption. By investing in sustainable innovation and creativity now, we will enhance our future returns. Read more.
By the editors
Drawing from a variety of sources throughout the past year, the editors of THE FUTURIST take a look at some of the best predictions for the world’s future. Read More.
Benefits of Joining the World Future Society
When you join the World Future Society, you will not only receive THE FUTURIST magazine, you also become eligible for discounts to WFS events, such as...
The Annual Conference of the World Future Society: July 19-21, 2013, at the Hilton Chicago Hotel, Chicago, Illinois.
Don't miss your chance to meet Nicholas Negroponte.
Nicholas Negroponte is the founder of the MIT Media Lab, author of the bestselling book Being Digital and a seminal voice in education reform. His One Laptop Per Child program has distributed more than 2.5 million computers to children around the globe.
The World Future Society's annual conference, WorldFuture 2013: Exploring the Next Horizon, will give you the opportunity to learn from others in many different fields, and to explore actions affecting our futures in as yet unimagined ways.
The conference will feature nearly 100 leading futurists offering more than 60 sessions, workshops, and special events over the course of two and a half days. And for those who want to take a deeper dive into key studies of interest, the preconference Master Classes allow for an in-depth look in a small group setting.
2012 Standouts from THE FUTURIST magazine blog
By the editors
When is the last time you heard a statement that caused you to stop dead in your tracks? Here are the eight statements I've judged to be trend-setters for 2013 and beyond.Read more.
Is it ethical to put money and resources into trying to develop technological enhancements for human capabilities, when there are so many alternative well-tested mechanisms available to address pressing problems such as social injustice, poverty, poor sanitation, and endemic disease? Read more.
As twenty-somethings return back from their summer vacations and hit the job pavement looking for work, many more are finding that their hard-won diplomas no longer guarantee immediate employment.Read more.
By Arnold Brown
In the late 18th century, a series of stunning events – including the American and French Revolutions and the onset of the Industrial Age – cracked the existing world order wide open. Read more
What happens when we reach the natural limits of human ability? What happens when the last record has been broken? Read more.
Point-of-care tests (POCTs)—portable devices that can diagnose patients on-site for HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, heart disease, and many other illnesses will reshape developing world medicine in the next decade. Read more.
Prodigious wealth and scientific achievement isn’t keeping Americans around very long. Quite the opposite. Read more.
Essays and comments posted in World Future Society and THE FUTURIST magazine blog portion of this site are the intellectual property of the authors, who retain full responsibility for and rights to their content. For permission to publish, distribute copies, use excerpts, etc., please contact the author. The opinions expressed are those of the author. The World Future Society takes no stand on what the future will or should be like.
Free Email Newsletter
To sign up for Futurist Update, our free monthly email newsletter, enter your email in the box below and click Save.
What seems absolutely reasonable is apparently true. Expose microbes to extreme environments and those that survive evolve and adapt more rapidly. A study appearing in Scientific Reports in August looked at six diverse natural environments and 40 meta-genomic samples to report on relative evolutionary rates in the microbial community. Environments included acid mine drainage, saline lakes, and hot springs. Evidence showed high mutation rates among microbes.
A labor of love is about to be carried out by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) involving Opportunity, the ten-year veteran Martian rover. It seems fitting to write about this on Labor Day as the rover continues to set new records for distance and longevity on the Martian surface.
As we waited for the gate to open for the Buffalo Bisons-Pawtucket Red Sox baseball game last week on the last evening of our vacation, I noticed a gentleman nearby wearing a Chincoteague Island t-shirt. It turns out he and his wife had just come back from there after spending two weeks on vacation renting a beach cottage. And that led to a further conversation about the changing nature of the American Atlantic coast as sea levels continue to rise, a fact attributed to climate change.
Canadian Provincial Premiers Decide on a National Energy Strategy that Includes Climate Change Action
Quebec as the representative of French Canada often goes its own way. But not this time. Couillard intends to host a climate change summit in Quebec in the spring of 2015, prior to the international conference on climate change planned for Paris. In a rare display of unanimity Canada's provincial leaders at their annual conference have outlined a national energy strategy.
Do you control your screens or do they control you? Advertisers dive into your brain for free (to you) from the minute you begin to gurgle. In tomorrow’s digital world you’ll decide and filter what’s on your screens. One control will be a personal paywall so you can be paid for your attention. When this makes your mind into your property, you will be able to sell it as often as you like.
It is an inspiration to see the technological marvels that have gotten us to where we are today. And a great place to see this is Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry. Containing more than 35,000 items on exhibit and covering 37,000+ square meters (400,000 square feet), the Museum has been around for more than 80 years.
While away on vacation, I read about LiftPort Group, a Kickstarter-funded space elevator project that received over $110,000 U.S. from more than 3,400 backers. The company, located in Tacoma, Washington, originally sought $8,000, so one would think this was largely fantasy, but with the amount of money that has come in it would seem it owes its investors something more than one it has delivered to-date.
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!”