Abstract: This report considers the use of financial gain as incentive to accelerate sustainable approaches and the promotion and development of sustainability as a whole, including ecosystem preservation and climate-change mitigation. This approach has already yielded success in accelerating renewable energy generation and storage, as there had been little progress until costs dropped to the point of being the best solution financially. Here, we examine the particulars of this financially driven renewables success story, which enables us to collect and ideate similar approaches and technologies for ecosystem rejuvenation and sustainability. By Dennis M. Bushnell
Abstract: Technological revolutions have contributed to societal issues with potentially existential impacts. As we leave the IT Age and enter the Virtual Age, society will require frontier technologies and systems-level approaches to address, mitigate, and possibly reverse these serious concerns, redirecting our focus from economic growth to sustainability. By Dennis M. Bushnell
Abstract: Society now faces many major, even existential, issues that threaten our future. At the same time that accelerating changes are converging to create enormous potential problems, prospective synergistic solution spaces are emerging that offer strategies—and hope—for the human future. By Dennis M. Bushnell
Abstract: The historic June 23, 2016, vote by Britons to exit the European Union (dubbed “Brexit”) surprised pundits, policy makers, and even many voters themselves. Whether the move becomes a prelude to further exits or a lesson for those favoring stronger ties with international partners is yet hard to predict, but the long-term fallout may be more worrisome than short-term disruptions. By Joergen Oerstroem Moeller.
ABSTRACT: The tensions between privacy and security and between distrust of government and fear of hackers may not be relieved soon, but advancing technologies for digital identification and data storage make the possibility of national identity cards increasingly imminent. Potential benefits could include reduced fraud in tax and voting systems, but the “killer app” for a national ID card would be a solution for immigration reform. By Dr. Karl Albrecht
The 2030 workplace will be driven not just by new technologies, but also by cultural change, the global economy, and the manner in which coming generations look at the nature of their work and how it interfaces with their professional, social, and personal lives. This report addresses the critical questions of how we’ll work, how we’ll be trained for that work, and what tools we’ll have for that work, as well as trends in workplace communication, collaboration, new arenas of employment, and new workplace locations worldwide. By Timothy C. Mack
In this paper, adapted from a recent interview, Dr. Ulla Rosenström discusses key foresight projects and focus areas of the Prime Minister’s Office in Finland. She describes what other countries can learn from Finland’s foresight efforts, what the futures community can expect from new Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s government in terms of foresight efforts, lessons learned from previous participatory foresight projects, and the importance of stakeholder engagement in the foresight process as a way to have more actionable results. By Ulla Rosenström and Nicolas Balcom Raleigh
The convergence of major ongoing technology revolutions has multiplying effects. The information technology revolution enabled subsequent technology revolutions to develop and spread: The world is avowedly technologically “flat.” This paper explores the major technology revolutions— IT, biologics, nano, quantum, and energetics—their implications for aerospace research and space exploration, and their impacts on society at large. By Dennis M. Bushnell
Megafires are on the rise worldwide, due not only to climate change but also to approaches to combatting fires that paradoxically increase their likelihood. A panel of futurists and two wildfire professionals convened to analyze the complex, interconnected trends in wildland fires in the context of three different scenarios for the decades ahead. They concluded that wildfire managers and the communities they serve need a new approach for managing future fire risk, one that entails more resilience and a less combative relationship with nature. By Robert L. Olson and David N. Bengston.
Retailers globally are facing a range of challenges: new competition, new consumers with new values and demands, and new technologies that both simplify and complicate business operations. Success in the future retail landscape will require creativity, flexibility, and a laser-focus attention to what current and prospective customers want. By Timothy C. Mack