Saturday, 30 July 2011

6 Futurecasts to think about!

Forecast #1: The Race for Genetic Enhancement Will Be What the Space Race Was in the 20th Century—Genetic therapies and biomedical enhancements will be a multibillion-dollar industry. New techniques will enable doctors to change your DNA to revitalize old or diseased organs, enhance your appearance, increase your athletic ability, or boost your intelligence.

Forecast #2: Water Becomes the New OilWater desalination may soon become one of the world’s largest industries. By 2040, at least 3.5 billion people will run short of water—almost 10 times as many as in 1995. The huge demand, plus new more efficient desalination technologies, will create enormous profit opportunities and bring new life to arid regions.

Forecast #6
Invention Becomes Automated

Tomorrow’s inventors won’t toil away in workshops painstakingly building, testing and refining their creations. Instead, the Edisons of the next decade will spend their days writing descriptions of the problems they want to solve, and then hand those descriptions to computers to work out the solutions.

This technology has already designed a successful antenna for a NASA space mission and invented innovative consumer products. It promises to spark a revolution in innovation and allow non-technical people to become inventors.

Forecast #3: WiMAX Networks Will Soon Create Country-Wide Wireless Internet AccessOften described as “Wi-Fi on steroids,” WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) will cover entire countries with a vibrant, high-speed wireless communications network. Internet access and other data and video applications will be available anywhere with many applications for automobiles.

Forecast #4: By 2025, the Worldwide Average Life-Span Will Be Extended by One year Per YearOnly 15% of deaths worldwide will be due to naturally occurring infectious diseases.

Forecast #5: Bioviolence Becomes a Greater ThreatIn the next decade, biological technologies that were once at the frontiers of science will become available to anyone with minimal scientific training. Emerging biotechnologies, such as genomics and nanotechnology, will allow bacteria and viruses to be altered to increase their lethality or make them more resistant to antibiotics.

My concern is that most people, governments, and news media know little to nothing about these and many other breakthrough trends! Wake up of you'll be left behind.

Any guesses what the picture in the right-hand corner is about? More next week!

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Un-Rules For Creativity.

1. Avoid rules. Avoid order. Don't just embrace chaos, but create a little bit of it. Constant change, from the top-down, keeps people nimble and flexible (and shows that you want constant change).

2. Give yourself and your team permission to be creative. Permission to try something new, permission to fail, permission to embarrass yourself, permission to have crazy ideas.

3. Hire weird people. Not just the tattoo'd and pierced-in strange-places kind, but people from outside your industry who would approach problems in different ways than you and your normal competitors.

4. Meetings are a necessary evil, but you can avoid the conference room and meet people in the halls, the coffee m/c, or their car. Get out, go on hunter-gatherer knowledge/idea/experience expeditions (foreign countries, out-there expos, futurist events). Make meetings less about delegation and task management and more about cross-pollination of ideas (especially the weird ideas). This is a lot harder than centralised, top-down meetings. But this is your job; deal with it.

5. Structure your company to be flexible. Creativity is often spontaneous, so the whole company needs to be able to pivot quickly and execute on them (see #1).