Welcome to Outlook, the World Future Society’s annual roundup of thought-provoking forecasts, trends, and ideas. These brief items are drawn from articles and news stories originally appearing in THE FUTURIST.
The forecasts should not be interpreted as “predictions” of what the future will be like, but rather as glimpses of what may happen or proposals for what should happen. They are intended to provoke thought and inspire action. However, the opinions and ideas presented here are those of the authors or sources cited and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the World Future Society.
For more information about any of these forecasts, please refer to the original articles cited. — THE EDITORS
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The year is 2027 and Winston, a newly born house-bot charged with doing a number of domestic chores including cleaning, meal prep, laundry, and building maintenance, has been programmed to not only perform the work, but also restock supplies once they reach a certain level.
In order to try and help understand how marijuana legalization might be done more safely and effectively, look to alcohol regulation policies in Alabama, Pennsylvania, and Utah.
For the past week or so there has been a lively ongoing argument in a LinkedIn Group about the chicken and the egg. Well it's not about chickens and eggs, it's about which global problem is real and which is not. One side argues that climate change and carbon emissions represent the most pressing problem the planet faces.
Another icon passed away at the end of July. I cannot recall a year in which so many colleagues and friends have passed on, Warren Bennis being the most recent. Warren did for leadership what Peter Drucker did for management.
No part of our highly technological economy today is free of being rethought by applying automation in the form of robots. In the past I have written about the use of field robots in agriculture. But these were largely university projects still in the laboratory. But now a new company in Minnesota is turning laboratory experiments into a commercial agricultural robot aimed at corn farmers. The company has created Rowbot, designed as a automated fertilizing machine for now but with plenty more applications to come.
On two sides of the planet, two countries describe approaches to dealing with a consequence of climate change - rising sea levels. One has unveiled a multi-decade plan to counter this coastal threat. The other isn't even acknowledging the issue and instead an independent, not-for-profit, crowd-funded group is issuing independent findings.
Quietly lost in the background of this week's NASA announcements is the news that Jeff Bezos' company, Blue Origin, is to provide United Launch Alliance, owners of the Atlas V rocket, with a next generation engine technology for a next generation rocket. Although Boeing and SpaceX got the major headlines as the companies selected to provide crew-manned capsules for the International Space Station (ISS), Blue Origin may have the last laugh.
Recent reports on areas north of 60 degrees latitude point to rapid climate change in this region of the planet. What's happening?