Future Centers: Prototyping the Office of Tomorrow?

August 22 2008 / by Mielle Sullivan / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Culture   Year: General   Rating: 7 Hot

If the Future Centers of Europe—open, comfortable and collaborative hubs were established to encourage groups of people problem-solve, brainstorm and generally think creatively about the future of their companies or organizations. Are they an indicator of changing work attitudes and styles? See for yourself:

It is tempting, at first glance, to think of Future Centers a conference facilities or even classrooms and there is some similarity. However, Future Centers are designed not for people to merely absorb information, but rather to exchange it. They are, as the video above says mind friendly spaces for our new knowledge economy. The philosophy behind future centers is that how people think about problems and how they exchange information is essential to innovation. Future Centers seek to break down barriers of hierarchy and formality to encourage connections and the free exchange of ideas. Sound familiar? It’s the same basic philosophy inherent in the world wide web.

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Genetic Discrimination: Who Will Protect Us?

March 27 2008 / by Venessa Posavec / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Business & Work   Year: 2008   Rating: 6

Yesterday we outlined the falling costs of full human genome sequencing, and how it may well hit a magic price point within the next year or two. Now, we’re looking at the implications of mandatory genetic testing by doctors and employers, and what that might mean for insurance and employment.

As clinically available genetic tests become increasingly affordable that brings us to the cusp of the era of personal genomics. It won’t be long before your entire genome can be sequenced for under $1,000, and that service may even get integrated into health care plans. But what happens if the test isn’t optional anymore? There are growing public fears that doctors and employers could enforce testing, and use it as a source of discrimination.

Could poor genetic makeup become grounds for limiting or denying access to insurance or a job? Could we end up living in a Gattaca -like future?

A policy document pushing for federal legislation to protect the public against genetic discrimination was just recently released by the American College of Physicians (ACP). The monograph included six policy positions, which covered the need for uniform state and federal protection, and specific prohibition against genetic testing usage for insurance or employment decisions.

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The Future of Collaboration Begins with Visualizing Human Capital

November 10 2009 / by VenessaMiemis / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Business & Work   Year: General   Rating: 6 Hot

visualizing human capitalHow can the power and scope of social networks, combined with human capital metrics, be used to facilitate shared creation and innovation?

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Coming Soon, A Four Day Work Week!

July 09 2008 / by jcchan / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Energy   Year: General   Rating: 4

Imagine a Friday drive down to a golf course in a neighboring state, followed by a relaxing Saturday of hiking and fishing, then spending Sunday at home relaxing with the family. While an extra day off may not seem like much, who wouldn’t enjoy perpetual 3-day weekends?

Thanks to rising fuel prices, that’s exactly what a new State bill in Utah proposes for thousands of government employees. In an effort to curb air pollution and reduce state and commuter energy costs, legislators are seriously pushing for a 4-day, 10-hour work, Monday-to-Thursday work week in place of the traditional 5-day week.

If the bill is passed, public schools in Utah will transition to 149-day school years instead of 172, with class time extended by 65 minutes each day. But don’t worry about vital public services because the State police, prison guards, courts, public universities, and even state-run liquor stores will still hold regular hours on Fridays. Likewise, hazardous spill disposal and medicaid phone line services will not be affected by the changes.

The idea of a four day work week isn’t new. Ever since the gas crisis of the 1970’s the idea has been floating around to conserve fuel costs, but only recently have people begun to get excited about the possible switch-up now that gasoline prices are seriously pinching travel and commuter budgets.

For example, Suffolk County and New York are already considering the plan, so it looks as though this could be the start of a much broader trend. (cont.)

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