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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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.
The year is 2024. It seemed like a piece of nostalgia to open a new bank account and get a free toaster, but this wasn’t any ordinary toaster, and it certainly wasn’t any ordinary bank. The new Internet of Things Toaster was one of the coolest gadgets of all times, and the Global Bank of Bitcoin was a charter member of Bitcoin’s new Central Bank based in Luxembourg.
It seems that climate change is really picking on Australia in a big way. Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have created a climate model that indicates a trend to declining fall and winter rainfall over the southwestern, southern and eastern parts of the Australian continent. The cause - greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and ozone depletion.
In a debate that has raged on both sides of the 49th parallel, whether to build or mothball the Keystone XL oil pipeline remains a hot topic. Canada has sent its Prime Minister, its Foreign Minister, its Energy Minister, assorted premiers and other bigwigs to Washington and New York to tout the advantages that Keystone XL will bring to the United States.
The Perimeter Institute at University of Waterloo, Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, has proposed in recent discussions among its faculty focused on cosmology, that the Big Bang may have been the back side of a black hole.
Applied Materials Inc. supplies equipment, software, and services to some of the world's biggest manufacturers of semiconductors, smartphones, and other types of consumer electronics. They design and build material constructs at the atomic level. And one of their areas of expertise is batteries. At the Wearable Technologies Conference held in Germany, a senior technologist from Applied Materials described the company's work on solid-state thin film batteries, smaller, lighter, more flexible, with faster recharge and double the cycles of current lithium-ion technology.
Unlike our not-so-distant-past, the world’s most important information is no longer solely in books. Whenever a great idea forms in our head, we look for a place to put it. Is it something useful, that we can turn into a product, add to a document, tell to our friends, include in a presentation, or attach with magnets to the front of our refrigerator?