Tagged: future

Don’t plan on orderly transitions - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Sep 21, 2021

The nature, scale, and pace of change is central to futures work. But usually more attention is given to identifying what’s happening rather than what needs to happen.   Are we living in fast times? Many futures studies focus on how fast the world is changing now. Partly that seems to be a marketing strategy – who’s going … Read More

Militaries plunder science fiction for technology ideas, but turn a blind eye to the genre’s social commentary - Guest Work

Guest Author Jul 28, 2021

Will Slocombe, University of Liverpool   Military planning is a complicated endeavour, calling upon experts in logistics and infrastructure to predict resource availability and technological advancements. Long-range military planning, deciding what to invest in now to prepare armed forces for the world in thirty years’ time, is even more difficult. One of the most interesting tools for thinking about future … Read More

Significant declarations – signals of change - Ariadne

Robert Hickson May 25, 2021

Several significant statements or declarations have been made recently. Some are signals of change, others are just signalling. The International Energy Agency has long been criticised for misreading renewable energy trends. Last week though, in their report Net Zero by 2050 they made a recommendation: There is no need for investment in new fossil … Read More

Transitioning - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Dec 31, 2019

Two things you can guarantee at this time of the year. Predictions about the coming year, and days at the beach (only lightly polluted, hopefully). Futures thinking is often seen as identifying the “next big thing” – technology and consumer trends. But that’s surface level futuring. Wave spotting. As a first step in raising awareness of change … Read More

Biology’s next revolution - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Sep 09, 2019

  A quarter of a century ago, when I thought my future was in science, automation and the idea of “big data” had just arrived for genetics. Automated sequencing, mathematical models, algorithms. Similar innovations spread to others areas of biology through things like better sensors, imaging systems, smarter radio tags for wildlife, data-loggers, and the like. Wet labs … Read More

Future nation - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Mar 22, 2019

Two centuries ago there was an allegory doing the rounds of England. A “New Zealander” – meaning a Māori  – at some latter date sat drawing the ruins of London. A sign that all great cities and civilisations eventually diminish and others take their place.   Detail from Gustave Doré. “The New Zealander” in London: … Read More

The further future of healthcare - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Oct 23, 2018

Following on from my last post, the UK has just released its Future of healthcare policy paper. It’s essentially a fluffy digital health information policy. No timelines and no systems-level thinking (apart from IT systems). Just add digital and other technological bits, encourage innovation, and it’s sorted is the short version. I found it a dispiriting read. It … Read More

Healthcare in the future - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Oct 14, 2018

When thinking about the future of healthcare, images of robot surgeons, predictive algorithms, nanoparticles and nanobots in your bloodstream, CRISPR, and wearable or ingestible sensors may come to mind. A future of big technological advances that help get rid of once acute conditions (like cancers, infectious diseases), and improve the monitoring and treatment of chronic ones (like heart … Read More