My blogs over the past few years have agonized over the American Decline, but I was gratified that my last blog forecasting an Obama re-election proved accurate, and I also got the move to collaboration right. Lord knows we futurists need credibility.
The decline of the US is pretty well-accepted now by all but the most fervent believers in American exceptionalism, with books and articles on the decline appearing regularly. The Foreign Policy magazine’s website features a “Decline Watch” column reporting the latest grim statistics, while Steve Pearlstein, The Washington Post business editor, asks “Can we Save American Capitalism?”
The “Crisis of Capitalism” has entered a more quiescent phase, leaving massive threats looming overhead like swords of Damocles. After being rocked by financial crises, climate change, political gridlock, and the Middle East in flames, the world seems to have entered an eerie calm reminiscent of the eye of a hurricane.
What if our great corporations could direct their enormous capabilities to solving the global mess we have all created – financial crises, depressed economies, political gridlock, climate change, and endless conflict?
Yes, I know it sounds loony, hyper-liberal, Marxist, and unrealistic to think that true-blue Americans could actually revolt against the system we all grew up with. Capitalism is cherished in America, the source of economic creativity, an abundant life-style, the freedom for anybody to make it, and countless other blessings.
Leaders from Bill Gates to the Pope are worried about the “Crisis of Capitalism,” yet defenders of the American system that almost brought down the world economy are digging in.
With all the depressing news of raging wildfires and killer tornadoes in the Southwest USA, the threat of climate change is now real, but where are the solutions? After all, this can only get worse.
This is a confusing time, with the US in gridlock, the Great Recession rolling on, killer tornadoes and forest fires dealing a bitter dose of climate change, post-Bin Laden terrorism possibly spreading to Yemen and other failed states, and more surprises sure to come.
The popular revolts erupting in Iran, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and other Arabic nations surprised us, but they are another reminder that bold change is always a shock. Think of the similar changes that also shocked us when the USSR imploded, when women gained power, when the environment turned sacred, when blacks became accepted, and gays were liberated.
I was invited back to Singapore to keynote the International Risk Assessment and Horizon Scanning Symposium with hundreds of the world’s best futurists, planners, forecasters, government policy-makers, entrepreneurs, business executives, and other interesting people. Singapore is always a luxury to visit, of course, but the focus was on where does the world go from here?
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This is my last posting for the next few days. I will be taking my office apart so that we can move to our new apartment downtown next Tuesday. I will be unplugged and disconnected except by tablet. Expect me to be back in the saddle before the end of next week probably in time to provide you with some more headlines. In the interim these are the stories I share with you this week:
Today, literally thousands of alternative transportation vehicles are coming out of the woodwork and they nearly all have the same problem – no place to drive them. Most are banned from biking and hiking trails, and they are neither licensed, nor licensable, for use on the streets. I’d like to discuss some new possible solutions and why Colorado is poised to take the lead in the alternative transportation marketplace.
In a recent conference promoting not only their latest gizmos but their company's animating vision as well, Google executives declared they were working toward a future in which technology "disappears," "fades into the background," becomes more "intuitive and anticipatory." Commenting on this apparently "bizarre mission for a tech company," Bianca Bosker warns that their genial and enthusiastic promotional language masks Google's aspiration to omnipresence via invisibility, an effort to render us dependent and uncritical of their prevalence through its marketing as easy, intuitive, companionable.
Occasionally during meetings one of my staff – an avid birder – will elbow me and I’ll look up and glimpse a bald eagle. Each time, I am in awe. I live in Washington State, which is home to a plethora of eagles, where pods of Orca ply the waters near the San Juan Islands, and where roads are sometimes blocked by herds of elk.
In this month's Report on Business Magazine, a supplement that comes with The Globe and Mail, one of Canada's national newspapers, Stanford University's Mark Jacobson provides a best case scenario
According to The Hollywood Reporter, celebrity tech CEO Peter Thiel is upset that movies like The Matrix and Avatar make technological innovation seem "destructive and dysfunctional."
A team of researchers are asking the public to help them locate and count all the sources of CO2 coming from power plants on the planet.
Initial results from a selective breeding program at the National Institute of Agricultural Botany based in Cambridge in the UK, indicate the successful creation of a new super wheat.