Lateral thinking is a rare commodity

One difficulty faced by conservationists is getting hold of reliable statistics on the animals they are looking after.  For good reasion, many species of predators are rather shy. In a paper just published in Current Biology a small group of … Continued

Website analysing new global foresight books

Michael Marien, long time editor of Future Search for the World Fuiture Society has created a new website summarising and analysing books focusing on the future.  Those who register at the wrebsite can receive a monthly email listing new books.  … Continued

The fastest growing bank in the US is Facebook

The first thing to realize is that Facebook is in fact a bank. It doesn’t have a charter and its not regulated*, but it accepts deposits from consumers, and provides means for payment using those deposits. In my book, thats … Continued

Embracing the future – preserving rare languages

An article in this week’s Economist magazine discusses the creation by a Doctor in Pennslyvania of an electronic dictionary designed to easily allow speakers of rare languages to preserve their language.  Many, many ethnic languages are under threat and would … Continued

Eight grand challenges for human achievement

In an article in the Jan 2012 edition of The Futurist Magazine, the CEO of the DaVinci Institute poses 8 grand challenges which he reckons would change the world if they were achieved.  To give some idea of the scope … Continued

5 Newsworthy Teaching Tools For The Future Of Education

There is a generation gap between children and teachers that can make it hard for them to relate to each other. Teachers are used to paperback books and abacuses, while the youth understand e-readers and Justin Bieber. That is why … Continued

What is consciousness?

IN A 1992 issue of The Times Literary Supplement, the philosopher Jerry Fodor famously complained that: “Nobody has the slightest idea how anything material could be conscious. Nobody even knows what it would be like to have the slightest idea about how … Continued

Reading minds

If you think the art of mind-reading is a conjuring trick, think again.  Over the past few years, the ability to connect first monkeys and then men to machines in ways that allow brain signals to tell those machines what … Continued

Taking advantage of otherwise wasted energy

From the vibrations filling the air when jets to take off to the waves generated by radio and television transmitters, our environment is full of largely wasted energy.   Now, Align Full (Alt + Shift + J)researchers are seeking ways to capture … Continued

Vale Jan Lee Martin

Jan Lee Martin, founder and driving force of the futures foundation for nearly twenty years passed away in Sydney yesterday.  After the demise of the Australian Commission for the Future, the futures foundation was the only significant future focussed organisation … Continued

All of South Korea’s Textbooks to Go Digital by 2015

By 2014, all of South Korea’s elementary-level educational materials will be digitized, and by 2015, the entire school-age curriculum will be delivered on an array of computers, smart phones and tablets. While the country’s education ministry is yet to announce the … Continued

Institute for Alternative Futures Releases Draft Vulnerability Scenarios for Public Comment

The  Institute for Alternative Futures (IAF) has developed scenarios for  social and economic vulnerability in the U.S. and is seeking comments before these scenarios are finalized. The scenarios provide alternative futures for the year 2030, and were developed with funding from the  Robert … Continued

Companies that Innovate Collectively

You can never predict who might have a good idea. That’s why companies are starting to enlist employees to make innovations both big and small, even if it’s not part of their job description. The idea of crowdsourcing—outsourcing a task … Continued

See the future with a search

A startup called Recorded Future has developed a tool that scrapes real-time data from the Internet to find hints of what will happen in the future. For example, a search for information about drug company Merck generates a timeline showing … Continued

Futurist publishes new self help book

American futurist Verne Wheelwright has recently published a book entitled Ït’s your future – make it a good one”. Verne has been writing and speaking about creating personal futures for some years, and this new book is a step-by-step four … Continued