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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October 9, 2015 - The third-largest greenhouse gas emitting nation has set a series of target reductions that will mean 3.59 billion tons of carbo
October 8, 2015 - In the past five years 33% of all new medicines approved by the American Food and Drug Administration have focused on rare disorders often called "orphan diseases." A category that numbers approximately 7,000, "orphan diseases" impact 350 million people around the planet. The best known is cystic fibrosis.
October 7, 2015 - Small island nations are most vulnerable to fluctuating energy costs. They also are most vulnerable to climate change. It makes sense, therefore, that their governments take the lead in finding a path to a sustainable future that doesn't rely on fossil fuels.
October 5, 2015 - All the boxes have been unpacked. All the cupboards are stuffed to the gills. Finally I can begin to get back to what I like doing, writing about science, technology and the future.
October 2, 2015 - This last week has proven to be tougher than both my wife and I thought. Moving at our age leads to lots of aches and pains. There is only so much that these old bones and muscles can endure before they protest seeking acetaminophen or something stronger to stop the ache.
Money is the primary mechanism for storing and exchanging value, especially in our daily purchases, and it’s heading rapidly into a faster, smarter and more mobile future. Nevertheless, the constant in the midst of change will remain levels of human trust in the proliferating forms of money.
September 23, 2015 - In 2015 437 companies so far have factored carbon emissions in their financial planning.
September 22, 2015 - There are no geopolitical boundaries when it comes to the atmosphere. The molecules of air I exhale right now at some point may find their way to China and back again.