Aggregation Aggravation: Paper Cities

Aggregation Aggravation: Paper Cities A blank sheet of paper and a crumpled one present different creativity challenges. A blank sheet gives the opportunity to challenge assumptions and a crumpled one the challenge of reuse. We have a paper challenge in reimagining city land usage as we change our working, living and transportation needs. Let’s look […] Read more »

Great Experiments: Follow the Paths and Avoid the Dead Ends

Patchwork of Innovation It would be easy to think that affluent nations are leading the charge into the future while others play catch up. In reality, the patchwork of nations we live in is more textured. While scientific and technological advances can be transported from one nation to another, the physical and social context they […] Read more »

Explainability etc. New Audit Trails for Exponential Technology

Fashionable Exponential Technologies There are always a handful of ‘fashionable exponential’ technologies being touted as world changing. As I write we have as a sample Artificial Intelligence (AI), blockchain, autonomous vehicles, renewable energy. Notable about them is that they push out easy human understanding of their function and maintenance. Importantly though, in the case of […] Read more »

Technology Translation – Inventions, Ideas and Language

One way of looking at technology is through its phases of creation (invention) and spread (propagation.) Consider a simple progression of invention (new idea), innovation (making the idea replicable and accessible), reinvention (of a social entity like a business) and the use by people (individuals, consumers, customers etc.) I think of this progression of adoption as the […] Read more »

Intelligent Profit or Artificial Prophet?

I am an advocate of technology as a progression of human tool making. As part of that I am particularly interested in the boundary between technology and humanity. It has long been foretold that a lot of our explicit technology, such as consumer electronics, will ‘disappear’ from view. It will be absorbed into our environment as a soft(ware) function […] Read more »

Does killing old technology mean killing freedoms?

Technology Coming and Technology Passing When old technologies are supplanted by new ones, some things are gained and some are lost. For example, in moving from physical mail to e-mail, speed, powerful archiving and new ways of working were gained. At the same time, intimacy, privacy and a less reactive life (by dint of volume […] Read more »

Holding Court on the Future and Law

I was recently asked to comment on some effects of future change to the law and legal profession. Here is a transcript of part of the discussion Is the future more than new devices? Interviewer: Let’s start with an easy one. Isn’t the major change for the legal profession simply adjusting to emerging technologies? Nick: […] Read more »

From Tragedy to Possibility – Old Burdens on Young People

The People Driven Future While projections forward based on trends demography, economics and technology are useful they are not the whole story. They miss the underlying human reaction to the external world. People’s values change radically rather than continue as a trend.  In turn, these changes can be integrated into views of the possible future. […] Read more »

Musing on Museums – Systems Thinking for Whole Issue Views

systems thinking

Systems Thinking is used by futurists to look at issues as both parts and flows of influence between them.  In preparation for speaking at a conference I created a simple systems map about museums. Parts of a Museum First I sketched a picture of an operating museum. This included both material parts such as the Objects and immaterial ones like Cultural Support […] Read more »