Ariadne

Societal trends

Robert Hickson Mar 30, 2016

Hans Rosling, of Gapminder fame, and perhaps the world’s most enthusiastic statistician, has an hour long video making the case that increasing global population levels aren’t fundamentally a prelude to disaster. (You can read a synopsis here). You can also save time by looking at these shorter videos showing the key trends of … Read More

Fonterra and foresight

Robert Hickson Mar 13, 2016

I can’t help thinking whether Fonterra, and NZ’s dairy industry, would be in a better position now if they’d devoted some (more) resources to strategic foresight. They may have, but it isn’t evident so far. What is “strategic foresight”, and what, if anything, is it good for? Strategic foresight, which is being used increasingly now in the private sector rather … Read More

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Rethinking universities

Robert Hickson Mar 10, 2016

A few years ago “disruption” in the university space was mostly about Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). The hype on that is over, with providers in this area rethinking their strategies.  But a lot of venture capital is still going into these types of “ed tech” companies. There are also other approaches to improving the … Read More

Poor robots?

Robert Hickson Mar 03, 2016

Hard on the heals of robots getting “bullied” …   … are humans now “stealing” robot’s jobs? No. As Forbes notes, it is more an evolution of robotics within the auto industry. Big clunky first generation industrial robots are being replaced by smaller more agile machines which can work more safely and efficiently alongside human workers. A couple … Read More

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Global risks 2016

Robert Hickson Jan 20, 2016

It’s Davos time again. As usual the World Economic Forum publish their Global Risks Report to coincide with that. Source: World Economic Forum http://reports.weforum.org/global-risks-2016/shareable-infographics/   Also as usual, it mostly seems to be the here and now issues that pop to the top. That’s not surprising, given that it is based on a perceptions survey. It … Read More

Fashionable futures

Robert Hickson Dec 24, 2015

Tis the season of prediction. However, the Wonkblog “re-discovers” a whimsy from 1893 predicting the future of fashion. The original article, written by W. Cade-Gall, has popped up previously. The revealed truth from a dreaming gentleman in Cade-Gall’s piece is that during the 20th Century the “immutable laws” of fashion were discovered, and fashion became a science … Read More

Santa’s not redundant yet, but …

Robert Hickson Dec 22, 2015

I was in Mega Mitre 10 on the weekend and noticed that they had a Dremel 3D printer for sale. For $1700 you can print your own little plastic figurines. It’s a bit cheaper on-line, but I still prefer to look at the woodworking tools. Nonetheless, I thought it interesting since it is the first I’ve … Read More

Sweden’s “Ministry of Future Issues”

Robert Hickson Nov 30, 2015

Motherboard has a short interview with Kristina Persson, whom they call the Minister of the Future. Although her official title is Minister for Strategic Development and Nordic Cooperation.   Her work involves: “… pursuing the long-term development of ideas at the Government Offices. This will include the green transition, jobs and distribution, and initiatives to influence the global agenda … Read More

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