Tagged: futures

Futures Fatigue and Futures Inertia - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Feb 18, 2020

Nobody thinks about the next century anymore. That at least is Sci-Fi writer William Gibson’s observation (in this BBC 4 short interview, starting at 1:43:50 ). He calls it “Futures Fatigue”, but isn’t judgemental about it. Gibson notes that in the 20th century speculation about the 21st (and beyond) was common. Now the focus is much more … Read More

Science in the ’20s – part 1 - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Jan 15, 2020

  Outrageous, immoral or downright dangerous. That’s a description of the lifestyle of women “flappers” in the 1920s. Could it apply to science (and scientists) in the 2020s? Actually, you could look back at the past decade and see those, or similar terms, used about some science and scientists. Sometimes justifiably, most times not. Looking ahead ten … Read More

Futurists, a field guide - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Dec 20, 2017

While you are out and about over summer keep and eye and ear out for futurists. They are not so common in the antipodes, but more are starting to appear on our shores. There are several species (and subspecies), so I’ve created a little guide to help you identify the most likely ones that you’ll come across in the wild. Read More

The science of prediction - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Dec 04, 2017

It’s coming up to that time of year when predictions start popping out like buskers playing Christmas jingles. We all know a litany of bad predictions: “This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.” Western Union internal memo, 1876 “I think there is … Read More

Australia 2030 – CSIRO’s scenarios - Ariadne

Robert Hickson May 30, 2016

Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has a futures group. They’ve just released a report called Australia 2030: navigating our uncertain future.  There are some nice aspects to the report, and it is good to see rigorous futures techniques being applied in our hemisphere. But, overall, I was underwhelmed. The report is based around four scenarios: Digital … Read More

Minister of the Future, please no! - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Apr 04, 2016

Something that I didn’t pick up at the time during the World Economic Forum in January was the suggestion by Marc Benioff, the Chairman and CE of Salesforce, that “Every country needs a Minister of the Future“. Last year, though, I did write about Sweden’s new Minister for Strategic Development and Nordic Cooperation. The World Economic Forum’s … Read More

Commodified futurism - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Nov 13, 2015

An article by Lee Billings in the September edition of Nautilus caught my attention this week. While it looked at some of the forgotten work of Polish science fiction writer and philosopher Stanislaw Lem (someone I haven’t, yet, read), what struck me most was Billings’ phrase “commodified futurism”. He applied this to “Silicon Valley billionaires”, and meant those … Read More

Histography - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Oct 09, 2015

Matan Stauber has created an interesting interactive historical website, spanning 14 billion years, called Histography. It’s based on Wikipedia, so is idiosyncratic in what it covers. But it is fun to explore. Screenshot from Histography’s interactive site – http://histography.io/ A few years ago I noted the fictional timeline of the future created by … Read More

Leadership for the long term - Ariadne

Robert Hickson Apr 13, 2015

Long term thinking has never appeared to be a strong point in New Zealand’s public or private sectors. We used to have a Commission for the Future, which produced a range of reports (a list of which is available courtesy of the McGuinness Institute), but it fell out of favour during the Muldoon years. The Commission … Read More

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