One of the deepest questions we can ask is:
Are humans fundamentally good or bad?
Of course the answer is neither and both.
Yet day by day how we feel about this question fluctuates with our moods and what we observe in the world.
I often say that a trend-watcher and a futurist are very different things.
Trend-watchers see what has happened and implicitly assume that it will continue into the future.
Futurists uncover trends and consider the impacts of and responses to those trends, that could sustain, accelerarate, slow, or potentially reverse them.
In fact one of the most pertinent questions when observing a powerful trend is what could stop or reverse it.
A group of well over 1000 academics and researchers calling themselves Coalition for Critical Technology has just published a public letter to academic publisher Springer urging them not to publish a forthcoming article.
The article claims to be able to predict if someone is a criminal based on a picture of their face, with “80 percent accuracy and with no racial bias.”
Humans, individually and collectively, often tend to get stuck in ruts and routines. That’s our nature, we try things until we find a point of comfort and then stay there.
One of the biggest potential positives of the COVID-19 pandemic is that it has broken established routines and structures, thereby giving us additional options and choices to those we perceived before.
Speaking to this point, I was recently interviewed for an interesting podcast from Defiance News, The Future of Technology: The Good, The Bad & The Orwellian. The full podcast is embedded below.
Social isolation has impacted just about every aspect of our lives, not least our love lives.
A recent article in Mashable titled Futurists predict what your sex life may look like after the pandemic wove together interviews with legendary trend seer Faith Popcorn, renowned sex futurist Byrony Cole, and myself.
The full article is well worth a read, it does a great job at teasing out the themes that emerged from the interviews. However here are some excerpts from the ideas I shared in the article:
Today was the first episode of my new live-streaming show, The Virtual Excellence Show (which I haven’t even had time to announce on this blog yet, but if you’d like to follow it please subscribe here!).
My guest on the first show was the amazing and colorful Howard Rheingold. When I considered who should be my first guest on the show, Howard was the obvious choice, having been a pioneer in all things virtual for decades, in among other landmarks publishing the book Virtual Communities: Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier in 1994.
You can see the relevant part of conversation in the show below.
Last week I gave the opening keynote at the International News Media Association Virtual World Congress, on the topic of Reinvention for a Post-Pandemic Future.
My keynote was focused on the manifold opportunities for the news industry at this time of exceptional change.
However the subtext was the critical role of news in supporting a better future for everyone.
A little while ago I gave a keynote titled Powerful Ideas Shaping Our Future at the highly inspiring Supply Nation Conference, which had the theme The Power of an Idea.
The five powerful ideas I shared in my keynote covered some of the most important themes that will shape this decade. Ideas ripple out to create action and in turn change. Here are brief snapshots of these five deeply interrelated ideas.