12 Trends post-Christmas (Part 2)

Robert Hickson Jan 12, 2012

Finally Part 2 of some key trends to think about for the longer term. 700 quadrillion 770 actually. The amount of energy (in British Thermal Units) the planet may be using in 2035, up from 505 quadrillion Btu in 2008, according to the Energy Information Administration’s International Energy Outlook 2011 Reference Case projection. A quadrillion is 10 … Read More


12 Trends post-Christmas (Part 1)

Robert Hickson Dec 21, 2011

Here’s (part 1 of) my seasonal selection of some trends to keep an eye on, not just in the New Year but over the longer term. In 2012 I’ll spend more time on exploring implications of such trends rather than the easier job of just describing them. A stagnating economy Whether the Euro and/or the European Union shatter or shrink … Read More

The Future of Healthcare

Robert Hickson Dec 16, 2011

I’m still preparing my end of year trend posting, so for now I’ll just point you in the direction of a short article on the future of healthcare that I wrote for  Pharmac’s (the New Zealand government’s pharmaceutical purchasing agency) Annual Review (PDF, 1.5 MB). The Pharmaceutical industry is in an interesting period of change. About US$100 Billion “patent dividend” … Read More

The Future of Science in 2021?

Robert Hickson Nov 25, 2011

The Institute for The Future has released another of its graphics of future developments. This one is about where science will be in ten years’ time. I find their graphics in general are more style over substance, and often difficult to digest. Their ‘Multiverse of Exploration’ includes fairly obvious advances over the next decade, such as developments … Read More

The Atlas of Economic Complexity

Robert Hickson Nov 02, 2011

An analysis of economic complexity by Hausmann et al. from MIT presents a different perspective on economic potential than that provided by the World Economic Forum. The main contention from Hausmann is that wealth comes from the use of productive knowledge, and that the better a country is at connecting this knowledge in different ways the … Read More

Making New Zealand Too Small To Fail

Robert Hickson Oct 25, 2011

Rather than thinking that we can’t be prosperous (economically and otherwise) because we are small and isolated, we should consider how we can make New Zealand ‘Too Small To Fail’ during turbulent times. Fail (with a capital F) is when our economic, social and environmental performance not only decline but remain where they are now. Because, as … Read More


Transforming Not Recovering

Robert Hickson Oct 24, 2011

In my previous post  I noted some of the major global changes underway. No one has the solution to how best navigate the energy, economic, educational, and geopolitical transitions underway. So what could New Zealand do? Futures practitioners often write about ‘possible futures’, ‘probable futures’ and ‘preferred futures’. The object of the last is to identify where you’d … Read More


Turbulent Transitions

Robert Hickson Oct 17, 2011

If you are keeping up with your futures’ reading then you’ll know about the plethora of trends and drivers that are shaping, or could shape, our future — continuing globalization, population growth or stagnation (depending where you live), multilateralism, paying down debt, urbanisation, aging western populations, obesity, rising economic inequalities, energy crises, climate change, technological convergences, economic growth across Asia, … Read More