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.
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The investment doesn't amount to a lot of dollars, a mere $1 billion, a drop in the bucket compared to the hundreds of billions and trillions that are the numbers associated with the fossil fuel industry, but New York State is on a path to increase solar capacity by 68%. This amounts to 214 Megawatts of new installations.
Energy storage prices are dropping fast. If you follow me, you’ve seen me write about this before. Energy storage prices have in fact been dropping exponentially for at least 25 years. Here’s a new piece of analysis – a model that uses a 20% learning curve per doubling to that project Li-ion batteries dropping to 5 cents per kwh round-tripped through them by ~2030.
The beleaguered nuclear power industry may soon have a good story to tell post-Fukushima. Lightbridge, a nuclear engineering company based in Virginia, is about to test a literal "twist" for fuel rods that can increase power yield by 10% in existing nuclear power plants with only minor modifications. And if the plants replace existing turbines with larger ones it would mean as much as a 17% increase in power output and incurring only an incremental investment without a major build.
The carbon capture and storage project at the Boundary Dam in Saskatchewan is about to go live as reported in the press today. The project goal has been to eliminate 90% of the CO2 generated by the coal-fired power plant. Additions have cost $1.4 billion CDN, $115 million over budget, and represent what is believed to be the world's first commercial-scale CCS project to go live.
I occasionally do talks on future TV and I generally ignore current companies and their recent developments because people can read about them anywhere. If it is already out there, it isn’t the future.
Surely gardens are a place to get back to nature, to escape from technology? Well, when journalists ask to see really advanced technology, I take them to the garden. Humans still have a long way to go to catch up with what nature does all the time.
Cool is a concept that people understand instinctively and globally. It is not Carl Rohde who decides on his own what it the cool stuff on any subject; his eyes and ears are his students and associates. Rohde teaches on (almost) all continents. Part of his assignment is take photographs, describe what it is, and why it is cool. Select the best cool hunt of the week, and upload it to the cool hunting platform. The cool hunters rate each other's works. The items that have most potential will show up. The network of associates does pretty much the same thing, but there everyone has his own specialty.
In a recent issue of Globe and Mail, Canada's purported national newspaper, Janet McFarland wrote a piece on ethical investment describing the Montreal Carbon Pledge and the commitment being made by global funds to report the carbon pollution within their portfolios. Portfolio screening focused on environmental issues is a relatively new practice for fund managers. Carbon represents just one in a number of the risks being assessed. Water, land use, pollution, and waste are also measured against portfolios and policy decision making.