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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KEEP UP WITH WFS NEWS & UPCOMING EVENTS
July 5, 2015 - Marchers have gathered here in Toronto for a mass demonstration in support of "climate justice." The moving force behind what is expected to be a worldwide street protest is 350.org, a social media phenomenon that is becoming the organized focus for fighting against government and corporate indifference to comba
July 4, 2015 - To all my American readers a happy 4th of July. As a researcher bent on understanding the future and where humanity is going I seldom think about this within a cosmological context. But there are a whole bunch of people who called cosmologists and they have given us the Big Bang, the expanding Universe, and the big physics that governs how it all works.
July 3, 2015 - For humans to successfully endure a voyage to Mars and back NASA wants to have a better picture of where to land. So they want to deploy an airplane to fly over the surface.
July 2, 2015 - The United Nations has received commitments from 44 countries and the European Union (28 countries) so far in advance of the Paris climate change conference planned for December 2015. China, Brazil, South Korea, Iceland and Serbia are the latest to announce plans to decarbonize their economies over time.
July 2, 2015 - Today's guest blogger is Roy Rasmussen, co-author of the book, Publishing for Publicity. Roy is a freelance copywriter who focuses on ways to help small business get more customers through focused messaging.
July 2, 2015 - A mere two days before the United States celebrates its Independence Day, the Republicans now have 14 definite candidates and 2 to 6 probables who want to be the next President of the country. Of these one, although not a scientist, has stated that global warming is a human problem. That's Senator Lindsey Graham.
July 1, 2015 - It is Canada Day here north of the 49th parallel, the 148th year of the nation's birth. So today I went to watch my Toronto Blue Jays in action and have just returned to post the first of its kind blog here at 21st Century Tech. The collaboration is with Jessica Oaks, who has been a regular guest contributor.
June 30, 2015 - Just in case you were worried that we didn't have enough data traveling through fiber optic cables, engineers at