The military have long used “red teams” to test their battle strategies and defenses. Corporations have used this technique more recently to test IT infrastructure against cyber-attacks. But what if you created a team to figure out ways to put the entire company out of business? Would your leadership appreciate your ideas and move quickly to counter these potential threats, or would they toss the report, bury their heads, and maintain the status quo?
On my night stand, there's a stack of old sci-fi books I borrowed from a well-read friend. I had just opened Beyond the Blue Event Horizon (1980) by Frederik Pohl. Tucked in the pages was this makeshift bookmark. I turned to my wife excitedly and showed her my discovery.
Rick Holman, who leads GM's global trends network, spoke at the Foresight & Trends conference about the enormous potential impact of self-driving cars. By some estimates, there's $36 Trillion of potential disruption across industries. If cars drive themselves, 3 million people who drive for a living will be out of jobs, including the highway patrol (who are they going to pull over?), and many more in supporting industries (will freeway signs be a thing of the past?).
A recent job post at Hershey's made for some good headlines about a "chocolate futurist" and in a quiet corner of Internet, it caused a bit of a sensation.
As I drove 200 miles to visit family for Thanksgiving, I remembered how much I hated long drives with traffic jams, rubbernecking, busy rest stops, and all that good stuff and whether the future really holds the promise of a better holiday travel experience. More generally, I also started thinking about how the holidays might be different in the next decade. Here are some ideas about what we might be able to look forward to:
Design concepts are often meant to inspire, not necessarily be practical. So it goes with the winner of this years Electrolux design competition, the Mab home cleaning solution.
Design competitions are a great source of inspiration for future products. Electrolux, the household appliance manufacturer, hosted a design competition this year with the theme "Inspired Urban Living."
The following are some of the Design Lab concepts that help stretch the imagination:
This infographic is based on Innovaro's Trends & Foresight research about Millennials food preferences with implications and opportunities for the next decade.
There are estimated to be 64 million Millennials over age 25 by 2020 and they will have a supersize impact on the food landscape over the next decade. Many of the retailers, processors, and distributors are catering to the older Boomer population and ignoring Millennials. However, its important they understand the distinct preferences of Millennials and start thinking about the tremendous implications and business opportunities presented by this growing demographic.
(Special thanks to Morley Winograd and Michael D. Hais, experts on the Millennial generation who graciously conducted an informal food-oriented focus group of Millennials in preparation for their interaction with Innovaro Global Lifestyles).
Just last week, the director of public health in Kuwait announced "medical checks" will be used to "detect gays who will be then barred from entering Kuwait." Some of the controversy that ensued focused on these "medical checks," but what if Kuwait used Big Data instead?
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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.
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
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.
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.
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.