John Mahaffie: 5 Reasons Your Company Should Hire A Futurist

March 14 2008 / by Venessa Posavec / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Business & Work   Year: 2008   Rating: 9

Thinking about the future is a full time job, at least for futurist and business consultant John Mahaffie. With “clarity, context, and a focus on alternative futures” as a credo, he’s been helping organizations stay at the leading-edge of their industries since the mid-1980s. His consultancy, Leading Futurists LLC, focuses on workshops and exercises to build a foresight mentality and keep innovative juices flowing. Past clients have included Microsoft, GE, and Nokia, to name a few. He also authors a blog, Foresight Culture, which offers tasty nuggets of advice about the techniques and strategies that can help organizations foster a “culture of foresight”.

Yesterday, John took some time out of his busy schedule to speak with us about the meaning of foresight, some emerging trends that may affect your life or business, and why input from a futurist is never a bad thing.

“Foresight is the act of anticipating change and drawing meaning from it. Though practices and purposes vary, there is a core set of tools in foresight, including environmental scanning and scenario building. Foresight is usually done at the front end of organization planning processes,” Mahaffie explained, “I favor working towards becoming a ‘foresight culture’ and devote a blog by that name to discussing how people can do that.”

Continue Reading

Positive vs. Negative Futures

March 26 2008 / by Alvis Brigis / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Other   Year: General   Rating: 7

When considering the future, is it more important to focus on the extinction risk posed by advancing technology or the massive potential for social advancement enabled by the same?

Futurist blogger and core Lifeboat Foundation member Michael Anissimov argues that calculating and combating existential risk is the moral imperative of our time.

Anissimov writes, “In less than a decade, humanity will likely develop weapons even more deadly than nukes – synthetic life, and eventually, nanorobots and self-improving AI. Even if we consider the likelihood of human extinction in the next century to be small, say 1%, it still merits attention due to the incredibly high stakes involved.”

Jamais Cascio, founder of worldchanging.com and a popular futurist blogger in his own right, concurs that existential risk is a most valid concern.

In a recent Nanotechnology Now column he explains, “[S]ome technologies may enable individuals or small groups to carry out attacks, on infrastructure or people, at a scale that would have required the resources of an army in decades past. This is not an outlandish concern by any means; many proponents of the “super-empowered angry individual” (SEAI) concept cite the September 11 attacks as a crude example of how vulnerable modern society can be to these kinds of threats. It’s not hard to imagine what a similar band of terrorists, or groups like Aum Shinrikyo, might try to do with access to molecular manufacturing or advanced bioengineering tools.”

But then Cascio turns things around a bit and points out that “angry people aren’t the only ones who could be empowered by these technologies.”

Continue Reading

MemeBox Launches The Energy Roadmap Blog

September 22 2008 / by memebox / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Energy   Year: General   Rating: 6 Hot

What does the future of energy look like in the 21st century? Which elements will remain the same? Which emerging technologies might reinvent how we look at energy? Most importantly, how quickly might things change?

Dear Future Blogger Readers,

In case you haven’t already clicked on the new button in our right-hand column, MemeBox.com, Your Forum for the Future, is proud to point you in the direction of The Energy Roadmap. Edited by energy industry futurist Garry Golden (who we’re thrilled to have officially join the MemeBox team), the new blog/site focuses on the most disruptive ideas poised to transform the energy industry over the next decade and beyond.

“The Energy Roadmap aims to bridge the gap between emerging energy technology and deeply rooted accelerating change,” says MemeBox CEO Jeff Hilford, “Garry’s professional background in energy and futures studies will open up new conversations on the future of energy. We are very pleased to add his unique voice to the mix.”

The sheer scale of the energy industry means that most changes will happen gradually, but the sector is not immune to the power of disruptive technologies, accelerating change and entrepreneurial business models. The Energy Roadmap seeks to place these dynamics into the proper context around some of the biggest ideas shaping the future:

- Role of carbon pricing schemes
- Impact of nanoscale materials science and engineering
- Role of biology in energy production and carbon utilization (e.g. algae biofuels)
- Energy storage and distributed power generation (e.g. micro-power, on-site power generation)
- Role of software and power management systems for ‘smart grids’
- Evolution of the Hydrocarbon Industry (coal, petroleum and natural gas)
- Next generation renewables, nuclear, wave, geothermal, and beyond
- Reducing energy intensity of industrial processes (e.g. chemicals, agriculture, materials manufacturing)
- Growing influence of venture capital and energy entrepreneurs

“Energy has become synonymous with the future,” points out Garry Golden, Editor of The Energy Roadmap, “Global demand for energy will double in only a few decades. Incremental improvements will simply not be enough to meet increasing expectations for clean and abundant energy. And we expect disruptive energy systems to emerge from the convergence of new science, technology and business models. The Energy Roadmap is the first blog explicitly devoted to this structured debate about the future of energy.

Continue Reading

Earth 2100 Game Imagines "Perfect Storm" Catastrophe Scenario

December 31 2008 / by Adam Cutsinger / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Metaverse   Year: 2015   Rating: 4 Hot

I wouldn't have predicted ABC News going all bleak futurist, but they did.  Earth 2100 is a massive online roleplaying game that starts out with global turmoil and devastation.  And they're going prime time with it.Earth2100

The project is pretty ambitious, but considering the recent popularity of games like Superstruct and Second Life, there should be no doubt that participation will be high.  To participate you need to record a short fictional video depicting something in 2015, then, based on those submissions, the ABC News people will design a scenario for 2050, then 2070 and finally 2100.

Continue Reading

Interview: John Mahaffie (03/12/08)

March 14 2008 / by memebox / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Other   Year: General   Rating: 2

This interview was conducted by Venessa Posavec

Continue Reading