Chapter 12. Visions and Challenges – Priorities for Professionals

Foresight is Becoming Global

In addition to being a practice domain, global approaches to foresight are another of the emerging attributes that gives big foresight its name. When we take a global view, and surface TINA trends, we see the framework of the forest we’re bound within, and don’t lose our perspective when we zoom back down into the trees, working on client strategy.

Globalization, and a global perspective, is another foundation of big foresight. The more digitally, economically, and culturally connected we all become, the more we define ourselves as one social system, with common values, rulesets, and aspirations, and we see how our many commonalities support our minor, and useful, differences. Beyond Tom Friedman’s descriptive works, economist Joseph Stiglitz’s Globalization and its Discontents (2002) and Making Globalization Work (2007) are great prescriptive looks at how we might improve our national and international politico-legal, financial, and social institutions in coming years to make our emerging one world culture fairer and more equitable for all. As information and digital infrastructure globalizes, transnational issues like trade, credit, national debts, investment, labor, crime, terrorism, pollution, global warming, oceans, and many others will become increasingly tractable.

Of course, the sociopolitical layer always moves the slowest, after business, which itself moves slow compared to digital technology, but at least we can increasingly measure the problems and see the potential solutions, as we have hard evidence of countries where good solutions are in place. The more global and evidence-based our media get, the more obvious it is who needs help, and the more ways collaborative social justice initiatives can be successfully conducted by small groups.

Some places are so wealthy and connected they are quite good at taking care of themselves. While writing this book, it was inspiring to see the strong public reaction to seventeen people dying to terrorists in France (the Charlie Hebdo attack, and millions rallying in response). But the 200 to 2,000 Nigerians who died to Boko Haram militants around same time in the Jan 2015 Baga massacre received far less global attention. That outcome was not so inspiring. The range of Nigeria’s casualty numbers are so wide because the Nigerian government is so corrupt and inept it often gives conflicting reports on such data, which it has reason to suppress.

A few years from now, however, we’ll all be able to contribute to various NGO and public transparency initiatives to get bodycams, shotspotters, camera traps, documentation bounties, and other such digital transparency and collaborative tools throughout danger zones around the world. The more we see, count, and map the ongoing violence, and use human and machine intelligence to identify the perpetrators, the more pressure we can bring on governments to do something about it, or face consequences far worse than finger wagging and collapsing tourism.

Meanwhile our software, automation and robotics are now getting so good that our most industrialized nations are again talking about accelerating worker displacement by smart machines, or technological unemployment. Most people don’t realize how much tech-enabled unemployment already exists. Modern employment statistics count only those actively looking for work, lest people see how many Americans now live entirely off the wealth of our industrial state. According to John William’s excellent Shadow Statistics site, real U.S. unemployment is at present 23% (almost one out of four able-bodied Americans who can work is not working), not the 5% reported in our rah-rah, consumption-oriented financial press. Our world has grown fabulously wealthy and leisure-rich, and there are impressive social safety nets in all advanced countries. All that wealth and growing free time bodes well for collaborative initiatives to use appropriate tech to address the pressing issues of the billions of global have-nots.

We can see that our wealthiest nations will need something like a permanent basic income guarantee (BIG) for every citizen a generation or two hence. BIG experiments have been done in the past, such as the 1970s Mincome experiment in Canada, in Namibia, and in India. A BIG was briefly considered in a public referendum in very-rich Switzerland in 2014. Finland is considering one now. The incubator Ycombinator is presently running a BIG experiment in Oakland, CA.

As technologically-created social wealth grows, a BIG is an obvious solution to make it easier for folks to retrain for new jobs after displacement, or to just check out from work altogether. Of course, the rich don’t want that kind of outcome, so there will be a fight. Bring it on, as they say!

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Table of Contents


Chapter 2. Personal Foresight – Becoming an Effective Self-Leader

Chapter 2: Personal Foresight

Becoming an Effective Self-Leader

Chapter 4. Models – Foundations for Organizational Foresight

Chapter 4: Models

Foundations for Organizational Foresight

Chapter 7. Acceleration – Guiding Our Extraordinary Future

Chapter 7: Acceleration

Guiding Our Extraordinary Future (In Process)

II. Global Progress: 5 Goals, 10 Values, Many Trends

Innovation: Our Abundant Future
Intelligence: Our Augmented Future
Interdependence: Our Civil Future
Immunity: Our Protected Future
Sustainability: Our Rebalanced Future

III. Universal Accelerating Change

Great Race to Inner Space: Our Surprising Future
Entropy&Information: We’re Running Down & Up
The Puzzle of Meaning: We Have No Einstein Yet
Trees, Funnels & Landscapes: Intro to Evo Devo
Big Picture Change: Five Scales of Accelerating ED
Transcension Hypothesis: Where Acceleratn Ends?
IDABDAK: Social Response to Accel & Developmnt
We’re On a Runaway Train: Being Accelaware

IV. Evo Devo and Exponential Foresight

Seeing It All: Accel., Diverg, Adapt, Convrg, Decel.
Natural (I4S) Innovation: The Evolutionary Drive
Natural (I4S) Intelligence: The Human-AI Partnership
Natural (I4S) Morality: Why Empathy and Ethics Rule
Natural (I4S) Security: Strength from Disruption
Natural (I4S) Sustainability: The Developmental Drive
S-Curves: Managing the Four Constituencies
Pain to Gain: Traversing the Three Kuznets Phases
Hype to Reality: Beyond Hype Cycles to Reality Checks
Exponentials Database: Measuring Accelerations
TINA Trends: Societal Evolutionary Development
Managing Change: STEEPCOP Events, Probs, Ideas
A Great Shift: A Survival to a Sentient Economy

V. Evo Devo and Exponential Activism

Building Protopias: Five Goals of Social Progress
Normative Foresight: Ten Values of Society
Top & STEEPCOP Acceleratns: Positive & Negative
Dystopias, Risks, and Failure States
Three Levels of Activism: People, Tech & Universe
A Great Opportunity: Exponential Empowerment


Chapter 8. Your Digital Self – The Human Face of the Coming Singularity

Chapter 8: Your Digital Self

The Human Face of the Coming Singularity (In Process)

I. Your Personal AI (PAI): Your Digital Self

Digital Society: Data, Mediation, and Agents
Personal AIs: Advancing the Five Goals
PAI Innovation: Abundance and Diversity
PAI Intelligence: Bio-Inspired AI
PAI Morality: Selection and Groupnets
PAI Security: Safe Learning Agents
PAI Sustainability: Science and Balance
The Human Face of the Coming Singularity

II. PAI Protopias & Dystopias in 8 Domains

1. Personal Agents: News, Ent., Education
2. Social Agents: Relat. and Social Justice
3. Political Agents :  Activism & Represent.
4. Economic Agents:  Retail, Finance, Entrep
5. Builder Agents :  Work, Innov. & Science
6. Environ. Agents : Pop. and Sustainability
7. Health Agents :  Health, Wellness, Death
8. Security Agents :  Def., Crime, Corrections

III. PAI Activism & Exponential Empowerment

Next Government: PAIs, Groupnets, Democ.
Next Economy: Creat. Destr. & Basic Income
Next Society: PAI Ent., Mortality & Uploading
What Will Your PAI Contribution Be?

Chapter 10. Startup Ideas – Great Product & Service Challenges for Entrepreneurs

Chapter 10: Startup Ideas

Great Product and Service Challenges for Entrepreneurs (In Process)

I. 4U’s Idea Hub: Building Better Futures

Air Deliveries and Air Taxis: Finally Solving Urban Gridlock
Ballistic Shields and Gun Control: Protecting Us All from Lone Shooters
Bioinspiration Wiki: Biomimetics and Bio-Inspired Design
Brain Preservation Services: Memory and Mortality Redefined
Carcams: Document Thieves, Bad Driving, and Bad Behavior
Competition in Govt Services: Less Corruption, More Innovation
Computer Adaptive Education (CAE): Better Learning and Training
Conversational Deep Learning Devsuites: Millions of AI Coders
Digital Tables: Telepresence, Games, Entertainment & Education
Dynaships: Sustainable Low-Speed Cargo Shipping
Electromagnetic Suspension: Nausea-Free Working & Reading in Cars
Epigenetic Health Tests: Cellular Aging, Bad Diet, Body Abuse Feedback
Fireline Explosives and Ember Drones: Next-Gen Fire Control
Global English: Empowering the Next Generation of Global Youth
Greenbots: Drone Seeders and Robotic Waterers for Mass Regreening
High-Density Housing and Zoning: Making Our Cities Affordable Again
Highway Enclosures and Trail Networks: Green and Quiet Urban Space
Inflatable Packaging: Faster and Greener Shipping and Returns
Internet of Families: Connecting People Over Things
Kidcams: Next-Gen Security for Child Safety and Empowerment
Kidpods: Indoor & Outdoor Parent-Assistive Toyboxes
Microdesalination: Democratizing Sustainable Fresh Water Production
Noise Monitors: Documenting and Reducing Noise Pollution
Oceanside Baths: Sustainable Year Round Beach Enjoyment
Open Blood Scanners: DIY Citizen Health Care Sensor Tech
Open Streaming Radio: User-Centered Audio Creation and Rating
Open Streaming Video: User-Centered Video Creation and Rating
Open Values Filters: Social Rankers, Arg. Mappers, and Consensus Finders
Personal AIs: Your Private Advisor, Activist, and Interface to the World
Pet Empowerment: Next-Gen Rights and Abilities for Our Domestic Animals
Safe Closets: Fire-, Earthquake-, and Intruder-Proof Retreat Spaces
Safe Cars: Reducing Our Insane 1.3M Annual Auto Deaths Today
Safe Motorcycles: Lane Splitting in Gridlock Without Risk of Death
Shared Value Insurance: User-Centered Risk Reduction Services
Sleeperbuses and Microhotels: Demonetized Intercity Travel
Space-Based Solar Power: Stratellite Powering and Weather Management
Stratellites: Next-Gen Urban Broadband, Transparency, and Security
Touch DNA: Next-Gen Home Security and Crime Deterrence
View Towers: Improving Urban Walkability, Inspiration, and Community

Chapter 11. Evo Devo Foresight – Unpredictable and Predictable Futures

Chapter 11: Evo Devo Foresight

Unpredictable and Predictable Futures

Appendix 1. Peer Advice – Building a Successful Foresight Practice