Oh that’s what it is…

I’ve never quite understood what the monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey is. I think I’m now starting to understand.



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Objects from the Future

I love the idea of using physical objects to provoke peoples’ thinking about the future – especially objects that don’t exist just yet!

Worth a visit. V&A.

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T-Shirt Watch

Many moons ago (I’ve never used that phrase before , where did that suddenly come from I wonder?) I wrote something on weak signals and mentioned that t-shirt slogans are a good source of weak signals, emerging trends or at least new feelings. Here’s a t-shirt from, rather weirdly, from a cybersecurity conference of all places.

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Are we reaching peak vegan?

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Global Strategic Trends

GST6 is just out. It’s the best publication of its type and well worth a read. Link to PDF download here.

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How was it for you?

There’s an episode of the TV series Black Mirror where the main character becomes obsessed with ‘liking’ everything. This is supposed to be fiction, but nowadays it’s getting increasingly difficult to tell the difference between what’s fact and what’s fiction.

Last week I was at the airport again. I’m getting used to being asked to rate my ‘security experience’, but my ‘baggage experience’? Really? Are you serious? And if that isn’t bad enough there’s now news that UK schools are to measure the happiness of their students. At least they didn’t call them customers.

Measure the happiness of students eh? You mean ask the students how they are feeling about the endless changes of direction, the obsession with exams (narrow measurement from the age of five in many cases) and generally the stress and anxiety created by education. It’s the education system in this country, and others, that is causing the unhappiness you dimwits. Of course, if you measure something it generally absolves you of any responsibility to actually do anything, most of all to think.


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Trend of the Week

We’re had dark tourism (visiting concentration camps and sites of war crimes). Now, it seems, we have Narco-Tourism. WTF.

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Digital Disruption

A nice chart to, perhaps, use alongside my Table of Disruptive Technologies. I do like the point about looking at the fundamentals of supply and demand. In my view, not enough airplay is being given to what is NOT changing.

Couple of standout quotes from the McKinsey report…

“Don’t we need to focus more on the nature of the disruption we expect to occur in our industry rather than on who the disruptors are today? I’m pretty sure most of those on our list won’t be around in a decade, yet by then we will have been fundamentally disrupted. And how do we get ahead of these trends so we can be the disruptors, too?”

In helping executives to answer this question, we have—paradoxically, perhaps, since digital “makes everything new”—returned to the fundamentals of supply, demand, and market dynamics to clarify the sources of digital disruption and the conditions in which it occurs. We explore supply and demand across a continuum: the extent to which their underlying elements change.

Source: McKinsey & Company (article link).

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What if?

I really like this… 30 questions to provoke disruptive thinking about the future.

30 Questions.

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From the 3Rs to the 7Cs of Education

As I mentioned a few posts back, I’m working on a short essay about the future of Universities in Australia. One thing I stumbled upon whilst researching this was the 4Cs of learning (Critical thinking, Communication, Collaboration, Creativity). I’m proposing that we build upon this list and set off toward the distant horizon on the 7 Cs; Critical thinking, Creativity, Collaboration, Communication, Curiosity, Character and Compassion. (It’s been suggested by Mark – thank you Mark – that I add Citizenship and possibly Systems Thinking, but I think Citizenship is part of Compassion and Systems spelt with a C seems a bit odd to me (but he’s right).

The first 4Cs are self-explanatory. We (society) need people to think critically and creatively about the world’s biggest challenges and communicate and collaborate across communities and geographies to come up with solutions. But the last 3Cs are especially important.

The aim of education generally should be to instil a lifelong love of learning and this is becoming especially vital in a world where new knowledge is being created at an exponential rate. But how can we expect people to continually re-learn things without first instilling a sense of Curiosity about how things work or how things might be changed for the better?

Character is important for two reasons. First, as machines become more adept at doing the things that were once thought the preserve of humans, the value of emotionally-based work should come to the fore. Most jobs feature people at some level and if you are trying to persuade others to do something (especially something they don’t want to do) you’re more likely to be successful if you are liked.

An attractive personality cannot be taught, but it can be encouraged. Moral character is equally important. As I’ve already said, we don’t just want smart graduates, we want ethically grounded ones too.


Image from my map of trends and technologies. Full image here.

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