Appendix 3. Resources – Media and Tools for Better Futures

Perennial Global Foresight Reports – A Starter List

This is a small list of high-quality annual to semiannual reports that all professionals concerned with global and organizational foresight should know about. Others to recommend? Let us know, thanks.

Economic Freedom of the World (Year), Cato Institute, Annual (2001-present)

Global Risks Report (Year), World Economic Forum, Annual (2005-present)

Global Trends Report (Year), National Intelligence Council, Every Five Years (1997-present)

State of the Future (Year), The Millennium Project, Biennial (1997-present)

State of the World (Year), Worldwatch Institute, Annual (1984-present)

The World in (Year), The Economist, Annual (2004-present)

As you read these reports, keep in mind the political bias of the groups involved. For example, the Cato Institute, being Libertarian, often does not sufficiently value the need for government regulation, with all its maddening inefficiencies. The Left-green Worldwatch Institute is biased to place environmental concerns above economic and human concerns, to the detriment of us all. The National Intelligence Council will tend to overstate security risks. The bias of The Economist Group tends to be the most balanced, but even they make mistakes, as in a 2016 opinion column, which argues that companies that promote happiness behaviors among their employees will find they don’t work, and that such policies infringe our liberties (they are wrong on both counts, in the management examples they cite, in my opinion). We’re all human.

desalinationchartFor another example, the World Economic Forum can be too uncritical a champion of globalization, and it is often too politically conservative. Consider that the WEF’s Global Risk Report 2016 ranks water crises as the top risk by survey in both MENA (Middle East and North Africa) and South Asia regions. So far so good. But the obvious long-term technical answer to this problem, desalination, which leverages exponential trends in nanotech, is simply not mentioned, even once. The WEF’s website does offer a good brief article, “Is desalination the answer to water scarcity?“, 2015, written by journalist Sarah Murray of The Economist, but it poses this as a question, rather than a position, and sadly disclaims that the article’s views are “those of the author alone and not the WEF.”

If WEF want to take leadership on the issue of global water crises, they’d mention desalination’s century-long record of exponential advances in ROI and efficiency in any report on water crises, they’d have articles written by technical experts on their site, they’d offer graphs showing the trend lines, and they’d explain the many vastly underfunded ways that renewable energy can be used to run these plants, such geothermal desalination. They would also highlight the political and societal blocks that keep countries from investing in desalination research and technologies at the level they deserve. Progress in desalination also lets us better reclaim and recycle our existing water, and it is an obvious partner to IT-enabled and IoT-enabled efficiency and conservation efforts that can get exponentially better every year. Our water policies need to become acceleration aware.

The key social problem is that many environmentalists have the belief that it’s somehow wrong to take water from the ocean and turn our deserts into gardens, even though sunshine, plants, and other natural systems are constantly desalinating vast quantities of salt water, and turning the deserts we live in into gardens is what most people want. Too many environmental groups also have no faith that humans can do desalination in a way that doesn’t threaten ocean life, though we obviously can. Finally, many environmentalists have a deep distrust of accelerating science and technologies, even though that’s the world we’ve been fortunate enough to be born into, as any clear-headed assessment shows.

In today’s still largely acceleration-unaware world, politicians like California’s Ling Ling Chang, who is working to set state targets for desalination supplying water to prevent future drought, must battle an uninformed public and a number of reactionary political and social forces in her efforts. Leadership and studies from a leading global organization on the inevitable exponential improvement and eventual domination of desalination nanotech in coming years would greatly help shift the tide of the debate. Unfortunately, groups like the WEF have so far shown they are followers, not leaders, on technically obvious but politically controversial issues like desalination.

So take every report you see with a grain of salt, and know the biases of the organization generating them.

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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