Map of Global Megatrends
Digital vs. Human author Richard Watson has traced the evolution of events from now to next on his map of global megatrends and technologies from 2017 to 2050. The map includes such game changers as inflation greater than 10 percent, a super volcanic eruption, failure to treat obesity, and the weaponization of near space. Watson injects his own brand of dark humor by adding to the list such game changers as “something I haven’t thought of” and “people taking these things seriously.”
Watson’s trend lines are Society, Work, Economy, Money, Food, Technology, Retail, Environment, Media, Transport, Politics, Energy, Education, Health, Security, and Values. His megatrends include Rising Inequality, Decline of Trust, Rise of Africa, Desire for Permanence, Automation, Population Growth, Climate Change, Societal Aging, Growth of Global Middle Class, Competition for Resources, Uncertainty, Complexity, Simplicity, Ambiguity, Acceleration of Change, Too Much Information, and, in the center of it all, Individualism—“you are here (but why are you here?)”
Experienced futurists will find themselves in familiar territory on many parts of the map, with trend points such as gamification of education and equal rights for AI, but the paths the trend lines take through the megatrends are a fascinating journey.
BOLO (be on the lookout): New and Forthcoming Futurist Books
Machine Platform Crowd: Harnessing Our Digital Future by Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson of the MIT Center for Digital Business. W.W. Norton. (June 2017). The co-authors of The Second Machine Age offer guidance to business leaders as the digital revolution shifts power from minds, products, and core assets to machines, platforms, and crowds.
Prout in Power: Policy Solutions That Reframe Our Futures by Sohail Inayatullah. Proutist Bloc India Publications (June 2017). “Prout” refers to the Progressive Utilization Theory developed in the 1950s by Indian philosopher P.R. Sarkar. It is based on five pillars: spiritual practice, neo-humanism, the social cycle, governance, and the socioeconomic system. Inayatullah argues that Prout is an emergent alternative to capitalism, a “comprehensive model of a new future for humanity and the planet.”
Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence by Max Tegmark. Penguin-Random House (August 2017). MIT physics professor Tegmark explores AI’s potential impacts on society, jobs, war, crime, justice, and more. Tegmark is co-founder of the Future of Life Institute.
Design Roadmapping: Guidebook for Future Foresight Techniques by Lianne Simonse. BIS Publishers (September 12, 2017). Lianne W.L. Simonse is assistant professor of front-end innovation at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands.
The Movie Art of Syd Mead: Visual Futurist. Titan Books (September 19, 2017). Former corporate designer Syd Mead (Ford Motor Co., U.S. Steel, Philips Electronics) is best known for his early work creating the futuristic worlds screened in Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979), Blade Runner (1982), TRON (1982), and Aliens (1986). This volume includes hundreds of sketches and conceptual images, including many never previously published.
Future Consciousness: The Path to Purposeful Evolution by Thomas Lombardo. Changemakers Books (October 27, 2017). Lombardo directs the Center for Future Consciousness and The Wisdom Page. He is also the managing editor of the online journal Wisdom and the Future and is professor emeritus and retired faculty chair of psychology, philosophy, and the future at Rio Salado College, Tempe, Arizona.
Moves in the Field
Consultant and speaker Anne Boysen of After the Millennials has joined the C-Suite Network, an executive-level advisory network. She specializes in helping businesses understand and adapt to generational changes affecting labor and consumer markets.
Fast Future Publishing has hired two new associates: Recent University of Houston graduate Maria Romero joins the research team, and Karolina Dolatowska, who previously worked with the British technology group XMA, is the new administrative executive.
Mark Your Calendar for Futures Conference 2018
Energizing Futures: Sustainable Development and Energy in Transition will take place June 13-14, 2018, in Tampere, Finland, sponsored by the Finland Futures Research Centre, University of Turku, and in co-operation with the Finland Futures Academy and the European Commission Horizon 2020 project “European Futures of Energy Efficiency (EUFORIE).” The conference will address the technologies and policy prospects for developing resource-efficient and sufficient economies and societies. Abstract submission opens in August and ends December 8, and registration opens in January.
Help Wanted: Futurists
Professor: The Pardee Center at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver, seeks an open rank tenure-track professor in the area of quantitative global modeling of political, social, economic, energy, and/or environmental dynamics. The Pardee Center conducts long-term national, regional, and global quantitative forecasts across multiple issues and is home of the International Futures forecasting system. Learn more or apply online.
Senior Futurist: Hewlett-Packard seeks a senior futurist to lead its technology/vision team, part of the company’s Office of CTO, including HP Labs. The incumbent will lead research efforts to help define a long-term vision for the company. Learn more or apply online.
Strategic Planning Analyst/Associate: The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Strategic Planning Office seeks an analyst to help develop the frameworks and tools to support the Bank’s strategic planning and evaluation products. Learn more or apply online.
Assistant Professor/Digital Scholarship Futurist: Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, seeks a scholar to study and apply emerging social, political, and technical trends and best practices and lead digital scholarship initiatives. Learn more or apply online.
Design Futurist Internships: Discovery World, Science and Technology Center in Milwaukee. The fall internship program (October 1 through December 31) is accepting applications until September 15 for college and high school students to work with the museum’s Kohl’s Design It! Lab. Learn more or apply online: College students or high-school students