Welcome to my world wide futures web

By Robert Hickson 02/08/2011

These blog postings will be on the theme of looking to the future — foresighting — particularly in relation to science and technologies. But not exclusively; I’ll also be examining social, environmental, economic and political trends and developments around the world as my fancy and browser take me. I’m on the look out for interesting developments, significant trends and influencers or drivers of change and considering the ‘So what?’ questions these raise, particularly for New Zealand.

I’ll be taking a critical look at emerging science and technology issues, and will peel back the hype as much as I’m able:

Gartner Hype Cycle
The Gartner Hype Cycle

So I’ll give my view on where I think some of the things I discuss may fall in the hype cycle.

I’ve called this Blog Ariadne. Not because I will be leading you through the labyrinth to the future. My postings are not about predicting what will happen, good quality crystal balls being hard to come by. Rather, they will be about identifying what Shell’s futures team calls ‘signals’ and ‘signposts’.

Like a spider waiting on its web I’ll be plucking at what hits my threads and determining whether it is delectable, an insubstantial gnat of little interest, or something just too tricky to handle safely on my own. My approach, at least initially, will follow on from the former Ministry of Research, Science and Technology’s Futurewatch programme, which I had the privilege to lead over the last few years.

My web is a haphazard affair, and most of what I’ll be writing about I won’t have any deep or special knowledge about. I’m after the bigger picture, so I want to stimulate you, dear Reader, to contribute your observations and insights. That way we can get a better grasp on what is coming our way and what we may want to do about it.

Where to start? The slowly plateau-ing world population, the future of food and farming, or the changing geopolitical situation? Let’s take something simpler. My next post is on creating a virtual human brain.

0 Responses to “Welcome to my world wide futures web”