A few years ago, sci-fi author William Gibson famously commented in a radio interview that “The future is already here, it just isn’t very evenly distributed.” This suggests that the future can be tracked and (sometimes) found.
Some have lost their reputation, even their sanity, in pursuit of this elusive beast.
Trend hunting would be altogether much easier if only you knew where the future wants to live. It might simply be question of finding the right habitat.
In his book, The Medici Effect, Frans Johansson explores where creativity and innovation is most frequently found. Johansson writes that innovation wants to live at the edge of things. More specifically, innovation thrives at the intersection of cultures and geographies. This explains why the U.S., with its melting pot of immigrants, has such a dynamic culture. Also, why coastal cities — such as Boston, New York, and San Francisco, tend to attract the best and the brightest.
Johansson also shows that the most interesting and accessible intersection might be at the edge of academic or scientific disciplines, where concepts are allowed to “clash and combine, ultimately forming a multitude of new, groundbreaking ideas.”
Charles Darwin was geologist when he stumbled upon the theory of evolution. It took an astronomer to explain the extinction of the dinosaurs. Similarly, Clay Christensen notes in The Innovator's Dilemma that disruptive change often comes from outsiders.
Biomimicry has been credited with the aerodynamic shape of the Toyota Prius, which is modeled after the shape of the box fish. Neurofinance has been a hot area of study for several years now – it goes a long way towards explaining why human behaviors and heuristics create market inefficiencies.
StratFI can be found at the intersection of strategic foresight and investing. We offer a new perspective, keeping in mind that “the view is better from the edge.” Continue to read this blog, as we go big-game hunting for some of the dominant investment themes of the next decade.
Disclosure: Jim Lee is the founder of Strategic Foresight Investments, a registered investment advisory firm
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December 5, 2013 - You have to admire Jeff Bezos for what my culture calls chutzpa. He has been in the headlines twice in the last week. First with a proposal to start shipping goods from Amazon to customers using drones. And second, successfully firing his new Blue Origin rocket engine at the Van Horn, Texas test facility. The latter simulated a suborbital mission.
Every time I delete spam from my inbox, I feel a tiny piece of my life flitter away. Sitting needlessly at stoplights, or watching the minutes tick away as I wait in some line, or being forced to fill out yet another form, our precious time is being coopted by everyone from inconsiderate businesses, to overbearing government, to painful security checks at the airport. This is what I call “time pollution.”
December 4, 2013 - The El Nino and La Nina or Southern Oscillation (ENSO) are expected to become more exaggerated as temperatures rise here on Earth.
December 4, 2013 - SpaceX, the private company founded by Elon Musk, has achieved a number of milestones in the last few weeks. These include:
- completion of the first series of Grasshopper test flights in which this vertical takeoff and landing launcher went through its paces achieving an altitude of 744 meters (2,440 feet) before returning to its launch pad.
December 4, 2013 - Truly a stocking stuffer the Sensoria socks contain sensors that along with a small ankle-wearing electronic bracelet that communicates with your smartphone will help you as as a jogger or power walker track speed, distance, altitude and ca
November 3, 2013 - Brigham Young University (BYU) and NASA have combined with an origami expert to come up with a new way of folding larger solar arrays into rocket payloads to deliver more power to the International Space Station (ISS) and other sp
As we migrate into a digital world we want and expect better lives. New digital boundaries could let us step through the looking glass, control our screens and construct the digital lives we want — in a digital world that eliminates some of our limits.
December 3, 2013 - Next year's World Cup will be hosted by Brazil with many of the group-stage matches taking place in cities such as Fortaleza, Natal and Salvador. These three have something in common. They are located in Brazil's northeast, a hotbed for exposure to tropical diseases. And the timing is perfect. Games will be played during the height of Dengue Fever season.