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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U.S. Study Shows Oil Sands Produce 20% More Carbon Than Conventional Crude Heating Up Keystone XL Debate
July 31, 2015 - Today United States crude production includes 9% contribution from Canadian oil sands. By 2020 that number is expected to climb to 14%. This estimate is independent of whether the northern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline gets built or not. So the United States has much invested in Canadian oil sands production and as a result the U.S.
July 30, 2015 - One of my readers who follows my blog through LinkedIn admonished me a couple of weeks ago for being too critical of the fossil fuel industry.
July 28, 2015 - If you are a regular reader of this blog then you have read about the importance of our research into stem cells and their therapeutic value. I'm even contemplating having my stem cells harvested to inject into my osteoarthritic left knee to help restore the cartilage I have lost over the years.
July 26, 2015 - Three farm stories caught my eye this week. The first, a truly revolutionary one that pushes back the dawn of the age of agriculture some 11,000 years. The second, a GMO story featuring a new rice that produces less greenhouse gas. And the third, a Harvard study about declining zinc levels in food because of rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.
July 25, 2015 - Space has been big in the news in the last week. From the latest Pluto images to the discovery of a potential Earth-twin exoplanet, to new observations about the bright spots on the dwarf planet/asteroid Ceres, to Curiosity's latest findings.
July 23, 2015 - Sea ice volume is a different measure than sea ice extent. Volume looks at the thickness of the ice as well as the area of coverage. Extent is just about the latter. When the European Space Agency (ESA) launched CryoSat-2 in 2010, scientists for the first time were able to gauge volume and in the first two years of observation it was in decline.
July 22, 2015 - In his latest email blast Peter Diamandis talks about children and education beginning with the statement "How do you raise kids today during these exponential times?" Unfamiliar with therm "exponential times?" Then visit the website Exponential Times: The Future Comes Faster Than You Think.