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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In a recent article on LinkedIn, Ken Gosnell highlights 4 (actually 5) major characteristics of the futurist CEO, and talks about why these characteristics are critical in today's world. I'm proud to say that these 5 points are a huge part of our purpose and expertise at Kedge, and the very reason that we created The Futures School!
August 23, 2015 - I'm listening to cicadas outside my apartment window this morning. The steady high-pitched buzz saw singing that often is mistaken by those who are uninformed for the sound of electricity passing through wires. On my morning walks these past few weeks with Maya, my red miniature poodle, it has been hard not to notice cicadas.
August 22, 2015 - It is called The Shower of the Future and costs $4,412 U.S. Inspired by NASA but built to work here on Earth, this washing technology from Sweden is a closed loop system that saves 90% on water and 80% on energy.
August 21, 2015 - If we could directly harvest carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air and separate and capture the carbon while converting what's left to oxygen then that would really be a technology breakthrough of consequence in our fight against global warming. Sounds like science fiction? Well it's not.
August 19, 2015 - I am often asked by readers if it is worth putting solar panels on the roof of their homes. Here in Toronto solar powered houses are few and far between. But just because Toronto is in a northern country doesn't mean solar power is not a good alternative to grid-delivered electricity.
August 18, 2015 - It goes by the acronym SALt. It is the invention of a brother and sister from the Philippines. And it is an answer to a long enduring problem in the Developing World, providing light after dark when you have no access to power from a local or national grid.