4 important implications of us reaching Crunch Time

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A little while ago we released our “Crunch Time” framework, looking at the 14 domains where we are hitting dramatic disruption, including work, money, privacy, government, education, media, climate and more. You can see the full Crunch Time framework on the Future Exploration Network website.

We have created a short video to introduce the concept of Crunch Time, and the four major implications that apply across the board.


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Report: The Future of Back-to-School

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I am currently in Toronto to launch a report commissioned by Visa Canada on The Future of Back-to-School.

As noted in the announcement of the report:

In a recent survey conducted by Ipsos Reid on behalf of Visa Canada, 52 per cent of Canadian parents with children aged 5-16 found back-to-school preparations to be stressful for them and their families, second only to the Christmas or winter holiday season. With an eye on the future, Visa also explored how tomorrow’s technologies and innovations may address the challenges presented during the busy back-to-school period. Visa commissioned a report by internationally-renowned futurist Ross Dawson who identified a number of innovative technologies that may exist by 2024 to help ease the stress during this annual time period.

In his report, titled The Future of Back-to-School, Ross Dawson highlights these futuristic innovations through colourful vignettes, such as at-home scanners that measure children’s clothing sizes and systems that automatically allow for purchase and delivery in a timely fashion, or family-focused and streamlined ordering of nutritious groceries, making planning for school lunches a breeze – all purchased using authentication of unique voice patterns.

You can download the full report by clicking on the image of the report cover below.

FutureofBacktoSchool_Visa
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Concept video: The Future of Work

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A while ago at Future Exploration Network we created the Future of Work Framework to provide a high-level overview of how the world of work is shifting.

Over the past year I have used the framework extensively as a starting point for executive briefings and strategy workshops on the strategic implications of the rapidly changing world of work.

However the static visual can be hard to interpret on its own, so we have now created a short video that delves into and narrates the framework.


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Report: The Future of Digital Australia in 2025 and what Australians think

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I have been recently working with McAfee, now part of Intel Security, to write a report on Safeguarding the Future of Digital Australia in 2025, being launched this morning in Parliament House in Canberra as part of the Federal Government’s Stay Smart Online Week.

SafeguardingFuture2025_cover_250_shadowThe report consists of my insights into the Future of Home, Social, Work, and GenNext in 2025, together with commentary from McAfee and other experts on how to keep safe in these worlds.

Click on the report cover image left to download the report.

Accompanying the report, we did a survey of what Australians think about their digital future in 2025. The results of the survey are in the video below. There are some fascinating insights.

All the assets are on the Intel Security 2025 site. I’ll comment more on both the report and the survey results later this week.

For now, please feel free to share the resources. I would love to hear your thoughts on the report.

TECH SECURITY INFOGRAPHIC vimeo HD 1080.mp4 from McAfee APAC on Vimeo.

Scratch: The enormous value of children’s programming languages

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I have been aware for some years of the various programming languages available for children. This evening I decided to have a go with Scratch with my daughters, as Leda is now almost eight, the bottom of the suggested age range for the language.

I was blown away. Scratch has an extremely wide range of capabilities, ranging from very simple animations through to complex conditional loops, all done through extremely easy rearrangement of colored blocks.

Any child would be immediately drawn into what they can do, and simply by playing, learn the principles of programming. Scratch’s originator MIT’s Mitch Resnick tells the story in this TED talk below.


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15 theses about the future of the Internet and how we can shape it positively

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PewResearch Internet Project has just released a report on Digital Life in 2025 based on expert interviews.

One of the interesting aspects of the report is the ‘theses‘ that they have distilled from the interviews, which they have divided into ‘more-hopeful and ‘less-hopeful’, concluding with one very important piece advice. These are:
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Why children (and adults) need to be on social media or get left behind

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Yesterday the West Australian newspaper began a five-part series on children and social media, beginning with a feature article introducing the topic.

The article’s title, Get online or ‘be left behind’ quotes an interview with me. It is very easy for journalists to focus on the negative when covering children and social media, so I’m very glad they took a more balanced stance.

The article began with an introduction to the issue, to the point of mentioning that English secondary school Eton has banned Snapchat. It goes on:

Sydney-based Ross Dawson, founder of think tank Future Exploration Network, said social networking was still in its early days. “We’re still fairly early on into what will become simply communication – life as we know it,” he said.

“Rather than logging on to Facebook and sharing some messages we are going to be in a world where we are sharing vast degrees (of information) with those who are close to us and to the world at large, and this communication will be intrinsic to life, our personal life and our work life.”

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Today Show: What to expect in the year ahead

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Early on January 1st this year, after a great New Year’s party and no sleep, I went into the studio to talk about what we should expect in the year ahead. The video is below

A few notes from what I discussed:
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Launch of 2014 Crunch Time report: 14 domains hitting the crunch and responses

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At the end of each year we share some thoughts about current trends and what to expect next year and beyond.

Some of our past frameworks include Trend Blend 2007+, Trend Blend 2008+, Map of the Decade: 2010s, Zeitgeist 2011, 12 Themes for 2012, and 2013 – Life Next Year and Beyond: Appearing and Disappearing.

Today Future Exploration Network launches our 2014: Crunch Time mini-report. It explains why we are reaching Crunch Time, the implications, descriptions of 14 domains in which we are hitting the crunch, and how we need to respond.

The graphic slideshow of Crunch Time is embedded below. You can also read the full text in one page at 2014: Crunch Time on the original posting on the Future Exploration Network website.

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Latest global comparison of household Internet speeds

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The speed at which we can access the internet is important. Very important.

I’ve written before on the evidence that internet bandwidth is a key driver of economic growth and online participation, and there is plenty of other research to point to its role in social value creation.

A decent source of data on internet speeds across countries is Speedtest.net, which aggregates the data from all the tests it does for its users. In quite a few countries it does not have extensive usage, however with a few exceptions the data usually appears to be fairly representative.

It has just provided a new update of Internet bandwidth country comparison data on its NetIndex site, including a chart of speeds over the last 2 1/2 years.

A selection of the data is shown below.

Household_internet_Nov13
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