“… will require changes in product design and business approaches that have ripple effects throughout supply chains and economic systems.”
What are multi-level solutions? How is MIT driving innovation towards zero waste in circular economies? Can apps really fuel data-rich pictures to save the planet? What’s on the near horizon for healthcare? Is money really the root of all evil? Or, is it simply an entrenched mindset highly resistant to change?
And, finally why are physicists “high-fiving” themselves for discovering a formula for water drops? Is it about the potential commercial opportunities from the formula’s cascading, rippling effects?
“To tackle the marine litter mystery, Eriksen and other antipollution groups built an app that hundreds of volunteers used to map the banks of the Los Angeles River, where trash was entering the marine ecosystem. Now cities can use that data to do surgical interventions, like identifying hot spots that need more trash cans or more frequent cleanup. “It’s totally scalable,” Eriksen says, and groups from Ecuador to Hawaii plan to use the app for their own surveys.” WIRED · by Clive Thompson Illustration CAITLYN GRABENSTEIN
“This realization, fuelled by escalating consumer concern, is driving businesses to find multi-level solutions for circular economies with zero waste. In support, MIT’s Solve initiative is calling for innovators to submit their sustainable solutions. The leading question is, ‘How can people create and consume goods that are renewable, repairable, reusable and recyclable?’ Generating these solutions, Solve proposes, ‘will require changes in product design and business approaches that have ripple effects throughout supply chains and economic systems.’” by Natalie Parletta ROMOLO TAVANI, ADOBE PHOTO STOCK
“This is done through diet, lifestyle, acupuncture — which stimulates the body’s own stem cells — mindset and other practices. Regenerative medicine is an exciting aspect of this care. ‘Prescriptions and surgery certainly have their place in health care, but I think people in general are recognizing the need to be stewards of their own health,’ Dr. Lawrence said. ‘If we can look at the whole person and picture, we can see a long-term better result. Hopefully this is where we’ll see healthcare going — with different health care providers coming together.’” By Lauren Glendenning Shutterstock images
“What does all of this serve? Obviously, just as with climate denial, the more you deny that extinctions happen or that they’re a problem, the more you can drill, blast, pave, extract or eliminate—all so you can remove any barriers to your “freedom” and make as much money as you want. Amidst a very real extinction crisis affecting species around the globe, that’s the type of mindset that needs to go extinct.” Scientific American By John R. Platt Credit: Paul Brennan Pixabay
“This infinitesimal phenomenon has been studied by physicists for decades, but while the overall concept may be easy to imagine, discerning the mathematical relationships that underpin such electrified explosions has been anything but. Now that it’s been figured out, scientists say this one formula could lead to new advancements in everything from space propulsion to mass spectrometry, high-resolution printing, air purification, molecular analysis, and more.” BY PETER DOCKRILL (peter bocklandt/iStock)
If you find this digest valuable, please visit us at Know Laboratories and sign up to receive free email updates about “Thriving in an Age of Accelerating Uncertainty.“
When compared with previous industrial revolutions, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is evolving at an exponential rather than a linear pace.
What is it that big companies don’t understand about 83 million of their customers? What’s hiding in Mary Meeker ‘s 333 slides this year? If you don’t know what the 4th Industrial Revolution is all about, will there be any hope for you in the future? Why isn’t separating your recycles from your garbage bins at your curbside enough? What’s hiding in your gut and why does it mean to your response to drug treatments – especially if you suffer from Parkinson’s? And, what’s this about floating solar panel islands, CO2 conversion and sea water?
“But a new report suggests that big companies are having a sudden realization–something that almost every one of the 83.1 million Millennial Americans knew a long time ago, and in fact that they’ve been screaming from the proverbial rooftops. It’s that while as a generation Millennials are “digitally native, mobile oriented, media savvy, politically progressive, ethnically diverse, well-educated and culturally savvy,” as Adweek put it recently, they also have one other giant defining characteristic: They’re kinda broke. The big culprits? There are two (neither is a big surprise). Number 1 is housing. Millennials are spending far more than their predecessors just to keep a roof over their heads. Half are still renting, and they’re paying a larger share of their income in rent than previous generations did. Number 2 is student debt. Americans under 30 owe $384 billion in student loans. Go back to 2004 — and honestly, student loans were a big issue then already — and the number was just $148 billion for that cohort.” By Bill Murphy Jr.
“Well-known venture capital investor Mary Meeker is out with her annual internet trends report, which has become required reading for tech investors. After splitting with Silicon Valley investing giant Kleiner Perkins in September, Meeker started a new firm called Bond Capital, which has raised $1.25 billion so far. The 333-slide report highlights the rise in digital media and visual communication like Instagram, wearable technology and digital payments, among other trends. More than half of the human population is online, Meeker said on stage at Recode. Public and private investments into tech companies is at at a two-decade high, nearing $200 billion last year. Wearable technology is booming, and users have doubled in the past four years. E-commerce and ride-share driven digital payments are rising. Image-based communication like Instagram, is on the rise. YouTube and Instagram are gaining the most for time spent on online platforms. Interactive games like Fortnite are gaining ground. Total players have accelerated at 2.4 billion, up 6% this year. “Privacy concerns are high but they’re moderating,” Meeker said on stage at Recode. Media time spent on mobile hit “equilibrium.” China makes up 21% of total global internet users vs. 8% in the United States.” Kate Rooney
“When compared with previous industrial revolutions, the Fourth is evolving at an exponential rather than a linear pace. Moreover, it is disrupting almost every industry in every country. And the breadth and depth of these changes herald the transformation of entire systems of production, management, and governance. The possibilities of billions of people connected by mobile devices, with unprecedented processing power, storage capacity, and access to knowledge, are unlimited. And these possibilities will be multiplied by emerging technology breakthroughs in fields such as artificial intelligence, robotics, the Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles, 3-D printing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, materials science, energy storage, and quantum computing.”Klaus SchwabFounder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum
“One of the most compelling, and burgeoning, areas in medical research today is the influence of our gut microbiome on a whole host of mechanisms in our body. A Yale University study just last week catalogued how 76 kinds of gut bacteria can negatively affect 176 commonly prescribed medicines. Ultimately this new research paints the most complete picture to date of how a specific bacterial species can disrupt the metabolism of a commonly used drug. The striking study offers a new insight into why medicines do not work the same way in every person, and better understanding these mechanisms may suggest ways to significantly improve the efficacy drugs we have already developed, instead of producing entirely new ones.” Rich Haridy
“Millions of floating islands, clustered together, that convert carbon dioxide to methanol fuel could help reduce the amount of green house gases in the atmosphere, according to researchers from Norway and Switzerland. In the paper, the researchers suggest floating islands similar to large-scale floating fish farms. They would use photovoltaic cells that could convert solar energy into electricity. This would then power hydrogen production and carbon dioxide extraction from seawater. The gasses produced would then be reacted to form methanol that can be reused as a fuel.”Scott Snowden
6) Anticipate changing circumstances and economic cycles.
“For too many retailers these shifts have silently crept up on them. Francese traces the root of the problem to the age of most C-suite executives.”
What’s wrong with science, and why should you care? Can science overcome three stumbling blocks to answering the greatest mysteries ? How many dabblers does it take to beat the experts? Are retail executives too old to prevent retail apocalypse? And so much more ….
Specific People Are Weirdly Good at Predicting the Future “The difference, according to the 20-year study, is that people who dabbled in a bunch of different fields learned from their errors. Meanwhile, the more narrowly-focused experts doubled down on their worldviews, often blaming some small unpredictable variable for their inaccuracy and becoming increasingly confident in their beliefs”. Dan Robitzski
Four Demographic Trends That Many Retailers Missed, But Not Walmart “But many other retailers have been caught unawares, which is the underlying cause of what has been called the retail apocalypse. The unexciting, yet fundamental demographic trends changing the retail market in American include declining fertility rates, shifting age and income distributions and how these have impacted the American family structure. For too many retailers these shifts have silently crept up on them. Francese traces the root of the problem to the age of most C-suite executives. “They are in their 60s and graduated from college thirty or more years ago. The culture was totally different then,” he says. “It is hard to pull that image out of their minds and replace it with something that is 2020.” Forbes · Pamela N. Danziger
Is Science Broken? Major New Report Outlines Problems in Research “Common issues highlighted by these scientists have included fraudulent, poorly done, or overhyped studies, with embellished findings based on small sample sizes; statistical manipulation of a study’s results during or after the experiment is over to achieve a desired outcome; and studies with negative conclusions being suppressed by their authors or rejected by scientific journals, which can then skew the medical literature on a particular topic, such as a drug’s effectiveness.” Gizmodo · Ed CaraView on gizmodo.com
New desalination method could get industry – and the environment – out of a very salty pickle “A by-product of oil and gas production, fossil-fueled power plants, flue-gas desulfurization, landfill leaching, industrial effluent and inland desalination, hypersaline brines are difficult and expensive to treat and if mismanaged, they can cause severe damage to surface and groundwater sources. Having an effective, affordable method for dealing with these brines could make huge quantities of water available for agriculture and industrial uses, and even as a possible source of drinking water. With these challenges in mind, engineers at Columbia University in New York City, have devised a solvent-based method of extracting fresh water from these brines which is efficient, effective and low-cost, and which they’ve dubbed “temperature swing solvent extraction” or TSSE.” Matt KennedyView on newatlas.com
How a Last-Ditch Hack Led to the Invention of Quantum Mechanics “Planck first proposed this little nugget of an idea in a 1900 paper, and the concept was later picked up by Albert Einstein himself. From there, the idea grew. Perhaps it’s not just energy that’s released in discrete, finite packets. Perhaps it’s many things. Perhaps reality, at its most fundamental, subatomic level, is … quantized. That single realization opened the door to what we now call quantum mechanics: that the physics of the very small is based on discrete packets of energy, momentum, and more. It turns out that the rules of the universe at subatomic scales don’t look very much like our macroscopic rules, and we have Max Planck (accidentally) to thank for it.” View on space.com By Paul Sutter
With A Recession Looming, Is Now The Time To Sell Your Home? “Whenever it happens, the recession will likely usher in a buyer’s market, in terms of housing. And as buyer’s gain the upper hand, home values will start to stagnate, pushing down the potential profits of would-be sellers. To gauge what types of homes would be most likely to retain and lose value in a potential recession, real estate brokerage Redfin recently analyzed home prices on 111,000 properties both before and after the Great Recession. According to the findings, single-family homes held their value better than townhomes or condos, as did older properties—specifically those built before 1940.”
A cardiologist revealed the truth behind red wine’s health benefits “Humans have been drinking wine since the Dark Ages. The ancient Greeks even worshipped a god of wine. It wasn’t until the 20th century that we started asking ourselves, is red wine good for us? And that question is now more relevant than ever. After all, Americans have never consumed so much wine in their lives, but recent studies have shown that no amount of alcohol is good for you, and it seems pretty absurd that after all of this time, something so ingrained into culture could suddenly be bad for you. What if 10,000 years of human history has been wrong?”
U.S. Nuclear Power Plants Weren’t Built for Climate Change“According to a Bloomberg review of correspondence between the commission and plant owners, 54 of the nuclear plants operating in the U.S. weren’t designed to handle the flood risk they face. Fifty-three weren’t built to withstand their current risk from intense precipitation; 25 didn’t account for current flood projections from streams and rivers; 19 weren’t designed for their expected maximum storm surge. Nineteen face three or more threats that they weren’t designed to handle.“
“Handle today with an eye to the future. Accept full responsibility for your part in creating it.”
Vitality follows those on the edge of the known.Anyone doing what they know they can do is playing it too safe to feel successful. Knowing about new possibilities gives you more choices.
Recession “So, without fanfare, here is a straightforward look at what is going on, and why the coming recession itself is NOT the issue for you. It is how you prepare for it. Because if you do, you actually have a chance to profit from it.”
AI predicts your expiration date.
“Scientists recently trained an AI system to evaluate a decade of general health data submitted by more than half a million people in the United Kingdom. Then, they tasked the AI with predicting if individuals were at risk of dying prematurely — in other words, sooner than the average life expectancy — from chronic disease, they reported in a new study.”
Medical Science Trends
Cancer. Will this breakthrough upset AI’s prediction?
“The team then tested it on 11 patients with advanced stage lymphoma as part of a clinical trial, where some experienced full remission for periods ranging from months to years. Buoyed by these promising results, the researchers have already kicked off clinical trials for lymphoma, breast, head and neck cancer patients, and lab tests are continuing on liver and ovarian cancer.“
Startups and Innovation
What about the 94% failure rate?
“Group work produces more feasible ideas while individual work produces more original ideas. To get both original and feasible ideas, you need to combine individual time with group time as the researchers did in the hybrid structure.”
STEM? Why does it matter? Then what?
Science knowledge can help you navigate a variety of everyday situations — “such as making health care decisions or deciding what to eat. Communities can benefit from higher levels of science knowledge, particularly as they make sense of potential health hazards in their environment.”
If your AI expiration date is delayed by a decade, how will your world change?
“Homes: By learning your preferences and your habits, and automatically adjusting the light, heat, even your TV channels, before you have to ask. “It’s about how that home reacts to you and makes you comfortable.”
“Ease of Changing Reality: Solving fake news requires rebuilding the news ecosystem, and educating people to critically think and be more responsible on the social networks.”
“Genome Editing: Presumably different cultures will find different approaches and applications ethical. So it’s going to be a very complex future.”
“Memory: working on how we encode memory as electrical signals in a part of the brain called the hippocampus.”
6) Anticipate changing circumstances and economic cycles.
Reconnect the dots in new and different ways to uncover hidden opportunities for your career and personal life.
Consider the case study about the builders of the “Doomsday Seed Vault” and the horror they must have felt, when they realized the genius of their deep-future planet-saving food-bank scenario failed to include the present day risk of Arctic Warming.
Oops, now what?
What if …
What are some of the other consequences triggered by the continuing change in the ocean conveyor built, especially at a time when we may be reaching “Peak Indifference” on climate change?
Or, what about the second and third degree rippling effects?
What are the implications for the cost of your insurance premiums?
Which industries will boom and which will decay if the first graphene-based device is real, and available for market before the end of this year?
Tick. Tick. Tick.
As a consumer, a citizen or a power plant operator, what are the implications of the patent filed by Tesla to bypass the Electrical Grid?
Or, what if science gets it right and can turn abundant seawater into hydrogen fuel bypassing the need for hybrid-vehicles?
How will your life change, or the life of someone you know and care about, if the science of deep brain simulation becomes available?
Tick. Tick. Tick.
Or, what are the unintended consequences of Harvard’s discovery of a DNA gene-controlling switch for whole-body regeneration?
Game, set, match?
And, finally a little bit closer to home.
What about the so-called “Economic Singularity”?
How realistic is it, if what futurists fear the most, robots come and take our jobs away.
Yours, mine, theirs?
No need to be an alarmist, here.
But, what if …?
6) Anticipate changing circumstances and economic cycles.
But that happened over several generations and centuries. We are going to see that kind of upheaval in many industries in half a generation.
“The results can have a tremendous impact on our understanding of how the immune system functions and how the incidence of some of the most serious illnesses, including diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer’s, might be avoided,”
“Markets and most businesses will figure out how to survive. New businesses will keep launching. New technologies will thrive. We will continue to need food, shelter, transportation, communication, and all the things we think of as normal today. This will all happen while technology “eats” jobs faster than it creates them. It was all well and good when we went from 80% of the workforce on farms to 1% today. But that happened over several generations and centuries. We are going to see that kind of upheaval in many industries in half a generation. Can you blame frustrated workers? People wishing that they can have their jobs protected? Wanting the government to do something? In the coming decade, I think politics will be more important to markets than ever before. That is not to say investors can’t figure it out. Recovery from the Great Recession was the slowest on record. The next recovery will be even slower.”John Mauldin Contributor, Markets forbes.com Photo- Getty
10 Industries On The Cusp Of Technological Disruption
“The experts of Forbes Technology Council are often ahead of the curve when it comes to tech trends. Below, nine members share their insider perspectives on the industries and services that are on the cusp of tech disruption in the near future.
“The brain can’t directly encode the passage of time, but recent work hints at a workaround for putting timestamps on memories of events. Invigorated by empirical support for their theory, he and his colleagues have been working on a broader framework, which they hope to use to unify the brain’s wildly different types of memory, and more: If their equations are implemented by neurons, they could be used to describe not just the encoding of time but also a slew of other properties — even thought itself. But that’s a big if. Since the discovery of time cells in 2008, the researchers had seen detailed, confirming evidence of only half of the mathematics involved. The other half — the intermediate representation of time — remained entirely theoretical. Until last summer.” Jordana Cepelewicz, Staff Writer quantamagazine.orgPhoto Cydney Scott for Boston University Photography (Howard); Courtesy of Karthik Shankcar
How we identified brain patterns of consciousness
“Research like this has the potential to lead to an understanding of how objective biomarkers can play a crucial role in medical decision making. In the future it might be possible to develop ways to externally modulate these conscious signatures and restore some degree of awareness or responsiveness in patients who have lost them, for example by using non-invasive brain stimulation techniques such as transcranial electrical stimulation. Indeed, in my research group at the University of Birmingham, we are starting to explore this avenue. Excitingly the research also takes us as step closer to understanding how consciousness arises in the brain. With more data on the neural signatures of consciousness in people experiencing various altered states of consciousness – ranging from taking psychedelics to experiencing lucid dreams – we may one day crack the puzzle.” Davinia Fernández-Espejo theconversation.com Photo whitehoune/Shutterstock
Chaos and Serious Illness Prevention
Immune system found to tap into chaos theory to regulate itself
“This isn’t just a system that tolerates chaos either. As the levels of NF-κB swing up and down, the activation of certain genes increases, meaning the protein is working at peak efficiency when there’s a healthy amount of chaos in the system. “The results can have a tremendous impact on our understanding of how the immune system functions and how the incidence of some of the most serious illnesses, including diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer’s, might be avoided,” says Mogens Høgh Jensen, co-author of the study. “For example, we know that cancer is related to a failure of signaling within the body. So, to avoid cancer, it is imperative to have the right dynamic at work in cells.”Michael Irvingnewatlas.com Credit: agsandrew/Depositphotos
6) Anticipate changing circumstances and economic cycles.
“It wasn’t all good times in 2018. New economic clouds appeared on the horizon. Tariffs stoked fears of slowing trade that may cripple U.S. exporters and raise prices for consumers. The Federal Reserve raised interest rates three times, causing a slowdown in the nation’s housing market in a period when mortgages grew more expensive. Meanwhile, the stock market slowed, leaving the S&P 500 index mostly flat.” Glassdoor Research Report
Which Hiring Trends Shaped 2018?
“Artificial Intelligence is a Worker’s Ally, Not a Replacement
Women Executives Make Waves…But There’s Room for More
Growing Concerns About Employee Data Privacy and Protection
The Gig Economy is Smaller Than We Thought
Local Talent Matters in the Era of Amazon’s HQ2″
“However, it’s never too early to prepare for an economic rainy day. Even during the best of times, now is an opportunity for employers to focus on hiring quality talent who will be retained both in good times and bad. Meanwhile, job seekers should shore up savings, polish up resumes and look for a job and company that fits their life in 2019 and beyond.” Glass Door Research Report
Which Threats and Opportunities Will Emerge in 2019 And Beyond?
“Data-Driven Matching Will Be the New Paradigm for Hiring
The New Era of Tech Hiring Will Be for Non-Tech Jobs
More Companies Will Try to Get Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Right
A Tidal Wave of Aging Workers Could Mean Labor Shortages for Decades