Knowing About New Possibilities Gives You More Choices. Check These Out.

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?

Here’s the 1 Eye-Opening Statistic About Millennials That Big Companies Are Finally Beginning to Notice Hint: 35 percent.

“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.

Mary Meeker just published her highly anticipated internet trends report

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

Curated by Steve Howard in “The Journal of 2020 Foresight,” the Know Laboratories’ digital magazine.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution: what it means, how to respond

“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 Schwab  Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum

United States of Plastic Where does your plastic go? 

“Global investigation reveals America’s dirty secret A Guardian investigation has found that hundreds of thousands of tons of US plastic are being shipped every year to poorly regulated developing countries around the globe for the dirty, labor-intensive process of recycling. The consequences for public health and the environment are grim. A team of Guardian reporters in 11 countries has found:Last year, the equivalent of 68,000 shipping containers of American plastic recycling were exported from the US to developing countries that mismanage more than 70% of their own plastic waste.” Guardian US · Erin McCormick, Bennett Murray , Carmela Fonbuena , Leonie Kijewski, Gökçe Saraçoğlu , Jamie Fullerton, Alastair Gee and Charlotte Simmonds 

Rigorous study explains how a single gut bacteria species can eat Parkinson’s disease drug

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

Giant Floating Solar Farms Could Extract CO2 From Seawater, Producing Methanol Fuel

“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

Steps:

6)   Anticipate changing circumstances and economic cycles.

7)   Persist and pivot to navigate external threats and opportunities.

17) Sketch out your trajectory in 5-year timeframes.  Will we fall into another recession?  Absolutely.  Will you be ready this time with future-proofed strategies?

Is Now the Time for You to Digest, Pivot and Profit?

Scientific revolutions. Peak equity. Machine learning tools. Fertility declines. Drowning nuclear plants. Location. Location. Location.

That’s all well and good, but don’t burst my bubble when it comes to the health benefits of red wine.

What’s next? Attacking my Dove dark chocolates? That’s just going too far!

Insights and implications curated from The Journal of 2020 Foresight  in time for you to digest, pivot and profit.

Economic Trends

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. 

Technology Trends

What Are The Biggest Machine Learning Trends Of 2019?   The most notable trend right now in machine learning is the rapid growth in machine learning developer tooling and how that changes the process of building, deploying and managing machine learning.

Curated by Steve Howard in “The Journal of 2020 Foresight,” the Know Laboratories’ digital magazine.

Medical Science Trends

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?”

Scientific Trends

Could An Incompleteness In Quantum Mechanics Lead To Our Next Scientific Revolution?   This is called the principle of locality, and it holds true in almost every instance. But in quantum mechanics, it’s violated all the time. Locality may be nothing but a persistent illusion, and seeing through that facade may be just what physics needs.

Climate Trending Wildcards

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.

Sperm Study Increases Concern That Climate Change Will Kill Off Species  “’Our study is consistent with current evidence that the production of sperm and mating behavior are sensitive to developmental temperature, and, in an era of global warming, further research in this area — examining both male and female fertility — is vital,’ co-author and University of Lincoln evolutionary ecologist Graziella Iossa, Ph.D., said.

Steps:

6)   Anticipate changing circumstances and economic cycles.

7)   Persist and pivot to navigate external threats and opportunities.

17) Sketch out your trajectory in 5-year timeframes.  Will we fall into another recession?  Absolutely.  Will you be ready this time with future-proofed strategies?

 

Is It Too Late to Stimulate Your Creative Juices?

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?

Curated by Steve Howard in “The Journal of 2020 Foresight,” Know Laboratories’ digital magazine.

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”?

Snooze alarm.

How realistic is it,  if what futurists fear the most, robots come and take our jobs away.

Yours, mine, theirs?

Forever?

No need to be an alarmist, here.

But, what if …?

Steps:

6)   Anticipate changing circumstances and economic cycles.

7)   Persist and pivot to navigate external threats and opportunities.

17) Sketch out your trajectory in 5-year timeframes.  Will we fall into another recession?  Absolutely.  Will you be ready this time with future-proofed strategies?

What Do You Need To Know As AI Changes Your World?

Deep learning involves feeding data to large neural networks that crudely simulate the human brain

 

Image credit: Getty Images
The picture out there and the one painted above is one of massive and rapid change to the way people think and operate, which will affect material pain.

 

The AI Survival Guide For Leaders

“I am not a huge fan of perpetual clichés like, “The world will be changing faster than ever before,” and “This time is different,” but this time is different. The picture out there and the one painted above is one of massive and rapid change to the way people think and operate, which will affect material pain. But with change also comes excitement and opportunity. And those reading articles like this one will react to the impending change with a sense of enablement, not shock. Avoiding amygdala hijacks in favor of optimistic clarity will allow leaders to harness the newfound time — freed up by artificial intelligence — to steer an ever-growing enterprise.” Forbes CommunityVoice by Laura Berger photo Pexels

The A-Z of how artificial intelligence is changing the world

a is for… artificial intelligence

“Since the early days of computers, scientists have strived to create machines that can rival humans in their ability to think, reason and learn – in other words, artificial intelligence. While today’s AI systems still fall short of that goal, they are starting to perform as well as, and sometimes better than, their creators at certain tasks. Thanks to new techniques that allow machines to learn from enormous sets of data, AI has taken massive leaps forward. AI is starting to move out of research labs and into the real world. It is having an impact on our lives. BBC future” By Richard Gray Image credit: Getty Images

One of the fathers of AI is worried about its future

“Yoshua Bengio wants to stop talk of an AI arms race and make the technology more accessible to the developing world. Alongside Geoff Hinton and Yann LeCun, Bengio is famous for championing a technique known as deep learning that in recent years has gone from an academic curiosity to one of the most powerful technologies on the planet. Deep learning involves feeding data to large neural networks that crudely simulate the human brain, and it has proved incredibly powerful and effective for all sorts of practical tasks, from voice recognition and image classification to controlling self-driving cars and automating business decisions.” View on technologyreview.com by Will Knight ECOLE POLYTECHNIQUE | FLICKR

The difference between AI and machine learning, explained

“Machine learning is a subset of artificial intelligence, just one of the many ways you can perform AI. Machine learning relies on defining behavioral rules by examining and comparing large data sets to find common patterns. This is an approach that is especially efficient for solving classification problems. For instance, if you provide a machine learning program with a lot of x-ray images and their corresponding symptoms, it will be able to assist (or possibly automate) the analysis of x-ray images in the future. The machine learning application will compare all those different images and find what are the common patterns found in images that have been labeled with similar symptoms. And when you provide it with new images it will compare its contents with the patterns it has gleaned and tell you how likely the images contain any of the symptoms it has studied before.” thenextweb.com By BEN DICKSON 

What is machine learning? We drew you another flowchart

Machine learning is the process that powers many of the services we use today—recommendation systems like those on Netflix, YouTube, and Spotify; search engines like Google and Baidu; social-media feeds like Facebook and Twitter; voice assistants like Siri and Alexa. The list goes on. In all of these instances, each platform is collecting as much data about you as possible—what genres you like watching, what links you are clicking, which statuses you are reacting to—and using machine learning to make a highly educated guess about what you might want next. Or, in the case of a voice assistant, about which words match best with the funny sounds coming out of your mouth. Frankly, this process is quite basic: find the pattern, apply the pattern.” MIT Technology Review View on technologyreview.com by Karen Hao

Steps:

6)   Anticipate changing circumstances and economic cycles.

7)   Persist and pivot to navigate external threats and opportunities.

17) Sketch out your trajectory in 5-year timeframes.  Will we fall into another recession?  Absolutely.  Will you be ready this time with future-proofed strategies?

19) Anticipate the growing shifts in life and business. Nobody wants to swim upstream if the current is moving everything in the opposite direction. Clue your fans in.

Which forces have peaked or are reversing themselves?

Turbulent changes in the current of our life – its pace, pattern and scale – challenge our notions of what is real.

 

Since beginningless time people have wanted to know where life will take them. 

 

Today you and I are in one of those periods that occur every 200 or 300 years when people don’t understand the world anymore, when the past is not sufficient to explain the future. 

Turbulent changes in the current of our life – its pace, pattern and scale – challenge our notions of what is real. 

How do you stimulate your own powers of foresight?

Consider the following thought provokers. 

Ask yourself, in following categories 

  1. What are the brand new trends and forces? 
  2. Which are the ones growing in importance? 
  3. Which current forces are loosing their steam? 
  4. Which have peaked or are reversing themselves? 
  5. Which are the “wildcards” about to disrupt us in the future? 

TECHNICAL thought for food: 

Electronics, 

Materials, 

Energy, Fossil, Nuclear, Alternative, Other, 

Manufacturing (techniques), 

Agriculture, 

Machinery and Equipment, 

Distribution, 

Transportation (Urban, Mass, Personal, Surface, Sea, Subsurface, Space), 

Communication (Printed, Spoken, Interactive, Media), 

Computers (Information, Knowledge, Storage & Retrieval, Design, Network Resources), 

POLITICAL thought for food:

Post-Cold War, Third World, 

Conflict (Local, Regional, Global), 

Arms Limitation, Undeclared Wars, Terrorism, Nuclear Proliferation, Weapons of Mass Destruction, 

Governments (More/Less Power and Larger or Smaller Scale), 

Taxes, 

Isms: Nationalism, Regionalism, Protectionism, Populism, 

Cartels, Multinational Corporations, Balance of Trade, Third Party Payments, 

Regulations (OSHA, etc.) Environmental Impact, 

U.S. Prestige Abroad. 

SOCIAL Thought for food: 

Labor Movements, 

Employment Patterns, Work Hours / Schedules, Fringe Benefits, 

Management Approaches, Accounting Policies, Productivity, Energy Costs, 

Generations: Elderly, Boomers, X, Y, Z 

Urban vs. Rural Lifestyles, 

Affluent vs. Poor, 

Neighborhoods and Communities,

ECONOMIC Thought for food: 

Unemployment / Employment Cycles, 

Recession, Balance of Payments, 

Inflation, 

Taxes, 

Rates of Real Growth, 

Distribution of Wealth, 

Capital Availability and Costs, 

Reliability of Forecasts, 

Raw Materials, Availability and Costs, 

Global versus National Economy, 

Market versus Planned Economies, 

Planned or Organic Growth.

Steps:

6)   Anticipate changing circumstances and economic cycles.

7)   Persist and pivot to navigate external threats and opportunities.

17) Sketch out your trajectory in 5-year timeframes.  Will we fall into another recession?  Absolutely.  Will you be ready this time with future-proofed strategies?

19) Anticipate the growing shifts in life and business. Nobody wants to swim upstream if the current is moving everything in the opposite direction. Clue your fans in.

If a New Era of Technology is in the Driver’s Seat, Where Are We Going?

4 tech developments that will impact every business this year

Could a robot ever replace you? Predictions from LinkedIn, Kemosabe, Quantcast, and more

 

The Industrial Era Ended, and So Will the Digital Era

Today digital technology is all the rage because after decades of development it has become incredibly useful. Still, if you look closely, you can already see the contours of its inevitable descent into the mundane. We need to start preparing for a new era of innovation in which different technologies, such as genomics, materials science, and robotics, rise to the fore. You can’t rapidly prototype a quantum computer, a cure for cancer, or an undiscovered material. There are serious ethical issues surrounding technologies such as genomics and artificial intelligence. We’ve spent the last few decades learning how to move fast. Over the next few decades we’re going to have to relearn how to go slow again. So while the mantras for the digital age have been agility and disruption, for this new era of innovation exploration and discovery will once again become prominent. It’s time to think less about hackathons and more about tackling grand challenges.” hbr.org Greg Satell TARA MOORE/GETTY IMAGES

Could a robot ever replace you? Predictions from LinkedIn, Kemosabe, Quantcast, and more

I don’t think my job will be taken over by robots, but that doesn’t mean my role won’t change significantly as a result of AI. Although AI ‘stealing’ jobs is a hot topic, we need to look at the array of benefits tech has had on our working lives, and the solutions AI can offer, helping to remove some of the repetitive elements of work and freeing up our time. Looking at the marketing and advertising industry, AI is perfect for picking up some of those admin and data analysis tasks, but technology will never replace humans. With more time available, people can put a greater focus on developing relationships and being more creative with our campaigns, providing the emotional engagement a robot will never be capable of.” By The Drum Photo Tom Pepper, UK director of marketing solutions at LinkedIn, says he’s not threatened by robots.

AI will create as many jobs as it displaces – report

Our analysis suggests the same will be true of AI, robots and related technologies, but the distribution of jobs across sectors will shift considerably in the process.” PwC said about seven million existing jobs could be displaced by AI from 2017-2037, but about 7.2 million could be created, giving the UK a small net jobs boost of around 200,000. Some sectors would benefit disproportionately, however, with jobs in health increasing by 22%, scientific and technical services by 16% and education by 6%. By contrast manufacturing jobs could fall by 25%, transport and storage by 22% and public administration by 18%, PwC said.bbc.com Source: PwC

4 tech developments that will impact every business this year

1. New global landscape. The global economy is being redefined by frequent political and societal changes, which increase uncertainty and risk for businesses, the report noted. 2. Rethinking business models. That means enterprises must rethink the way they have traditionally run their companies, and embrace new tools like digital technologies and data analytics to evolve and remain relevant. 3. Human and machine collaboration. Advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning have already impacted the workforce, and the relationship between humans and machines will likely continue to augment human skills, more so than replace them, the report noted. 4. Digital workplace. The digital workplace involves flexible, connected workspaces, as workers’ digital lives become integrated across their job and home, according to the report.” techrepublic.com/   · Alison DeNisco Rayome Image: iStockphoto/metamorworks

Telling a good innovation story

Appealing to people’s emotions helps new ideas cut through the clutter. A “best beats first” innovator takes the measure of a competitor who may be dominating a market with an acceptable product, and then leaps to the front with something even better. It’s about winning through cunning, instead of using the conventional playbook of scaling a similar product with heavy investment to maintain share. Many innovators told us that the “fast follower” meme is bereft of emotion: no one ever wins people over by talking about their capacity for imitation.” mckinsey.com By Julian Birkinshaw McKinsey Quarterly  Firms Look to Emerging Tech to Drive New Business Models

While CIOs are increasingly being tasked with deploying and overseeing the new capabilities.

They include a set of artificial intelligence technologiescomputer vision, deep learning and natural language generation – aimed at helping firms “build decision engines that increasingly automate operations and engagement processes,” Forrester analysts said in the report. Other key technologies include business networking fabrics, blockchain and other distributed ledgers, edge, quantum and serverless computing, additive manufacturing, and virtual, augmented and mixed reality. Unlike building up a company’s tech foundation by leveraging various IT products and services, CIOs are increasingly being tasked with deploying and overseeing capabilities with the goal of “creating breakthrough business solutions.” Mr. Hopkins said. blogs.wsj.com PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

You May Run From It, But Disruption Is Going to Occur All the Same — Here’s How to Embrace Change

The world is constantly changing and improving, which means any business that does not innovate will be outpaced by the rest of the economy. To ensure your company evolves with the times, consider the following tips: 1. Find inspiration in unlikely places. Some industries, such as health care, endeavor to avoid disruption by placing strict regulations on what and how providers can serve customers. Countless companies have tried to disrupt health care over the years and always encounter plenty of red tape. The latest attempt is a joint venture by Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase. Stay tuned: The disruption there may be big. 2. Stay ahead of technology trends. 3. Lean into disruption as a positive force. In all fairness, disruption is no fun for established businesses. Leaders who are able to view the shifting sands as a prompt to improve their organization and evolve with consumer demands, however, stand to gain financially.” entrepreneur.com  · Per Bylund Image credit: Uber

Steps:

6)   Anticipate changing circumstances and economic cycles.

7)   Persist and pivot to navigate external threats and opportunities.

17) Sketch out your trajectory in 5-year timeframes.  Will we fall into another recession?  Absolutely.  Will you be ready this time with future-proofed strategies?

19) Anticipate the growing shifts in life and business. Nobody wants to swim upstream if the current is moving everything in the opposite direction. Clue your fans in.

When’s the Next Recession? Will You Be Ready This Time?

Will we fall into another recession?  Absolutely.  Will you be ready this time with future-proofed strategies?

 

Get an early handle on the potential for a major recession, consider the potential impacts on you, your career, your organization and respond sufficiently ahead of any expected economic downturn.

 

Source: Shaping Tomorrow’s AI Robot, Athena. 

Forecast: The Fed will tighten too much and tip that curve into recession territory sometime next year.

Trend: Economic, Political

Sector: Financial

Insight and Source: Economist who helped discover predictive powers of bond market says there’s no sign of recession right now   Ron Insana | @rinsana

 

Forecast: Developed countries are badly equipped for another recession, both economically and politically, and central banks should be wary of raising interest rates just to control inflation.

Trend: Economic, Political

Sector: Financial

Insight and Source: Summers Warns the Biggest Economies Are Not Prepared for Another Recession Christopher Condon , Joao Lima , and Paul Jackson

Forecast: Many economists now expect a mild recession in the U.S. by 2020 at the latest.

Trend: Economic, Political

Sector: Financial

Insight and Source: IDC Forecasts Worldwide IT and Telecom Spending to Slow After Last Year’s Rebound; Economic Risks Have Increased

Related Forecasts:

  • “The U.S. central bank forecast one or two more hikes for 2018.
  • Assuming no additional stimulus in 2020, the fading of the U.S. fiscal sugar-rush after 2018-2019 could lead to withdrawal symptoms that could exacerbate a cyclical slowdown.
  • The U.S. could target an additional $200 billion in Chinese goods, followed by another $300 billion – bringing duties on a total of $550 billion Chinese products, which is more than the $506 billion the U.S. imported from China in 2017
  • In the US, headline inflation is projected by the IMF to increase to 2.5% from 2.1%.
  • The IEA predicts the U.S. will add 1.7 million barrels per day in 2018, followed by another 1.2 mb/d in 2019.
  • Being well overdue for a recession in the US, the unbridled optimism of global investors will eventually end, once they consider the plethora of rising risks.
  • Achieving policy objectives will become more challenging from 2020 amid a technical recession in the US and a faster deceleration in Chinese economic growth rates.
  • In the next three years, a rising amount of bonds maturing within one year entails rollover risk if financial conditions tighten abruptly.
  • A recession in the US will cause economic growth in Canada to slow to a little above 1% in 2020.
  • The risk of a recession really picks up after a year, or sometime in 2020 because that is when you start to see the fiscal stimulus start to fade.
  • One change from recent years is that corporate car rental prices in North America are expected to rise by as much as 5 percent in 2018 due to operator issues.
  • The US stock market is on the brink of an imminent crash that could trigger another global recession.
  • Borrowing costs climb to a four-year high just as investors begin to anticipate a downturn in the global economy.
  • US rate hikes risk triggering a recession in 2019 or 2020 by putting the brakes on growth.
  • With unemployment at 4.1%, inflation fears are rising: Typically, the Federal Reserve starts to increase interest rates to slow the economy and push inflation back into its lair – but in doing so, the Fed raises the risk of recession and pushing down already lofty stock markets.”

Steps:

6)   Anticipate changing circumstances and economic cycles.

7)   Persist and pivot to navigate external threats and opportunities.

17) Sketch out your trajectory in 5-year timeframes.  Will we fall into another recession?  Absolutely.  Will you be ready this time with future-proofed strategies?

What Does It Take to Capitalize on Digital Transformations?

Businesses are changing right before our eyes as the digital transformation takes place around the world.

 

Technology- and data-based transformation has arrived in full force. And if you think that your company or industry is immune, think again.

 

Robots Might Not Take Your Job—But They Will Probably Make It Boring

“For many support workers, robotic surgery is much less satisfying than open surgery. There’s a huge amount of solitary setup work to allow the robot to work, then there’s a big sprint to get the robot draped and docked to the patient. And then…everyone watches the procedure on TV. While the surgeon is operating via an immersive 3-D control console, the scrub folds his arms and waits. The nurse sits in the corner at a PC entering data, or sometimes checking email or Facebook. There’s not a lot to do, but you always have to be ready. Compared to open surgery, it’s clean, safe, and dull work.” www.wired.com/story/robots- Matt Beane ROBERT DEYRAIL/GETTY IMAGES

AI cancer detectors

“Researchers suggest artificial intelligence is now better and faster at detecting cancer than clinicians. Squamous carcinoma. An AI system distinguishes dangerous skin lesions from benign ones. More accurate than dermatologists. An AI system developed by a team from Germany, France and the US can diagnose skin cancer more accurately than dermatologists. In the study, the software was able to accurately detect cancer in 95% of images of cancerous moles and benign spots, whereas a team of 58 dermatologists was accurate 87% of the time.” theguardian.com/technology/    Steve Gschmeissner/Getty Images/Science P

5 Leadership Traits Required For Digital Transformation Success

“Businesses are changing right before our eyes as the digital transformation takes place around the world. And yet many dinosaur leaders, as I like to call them, are still in these businesses risking extinction if they can’t adapt to this ever-changing environment. It’s true that leaders must be willing to accept change in order to remain competitive. However, I believe it goes even further than that. Change-agile leaders must be forward-thinkers who believe that the future is important above all else. They must be able to change quickly and fluctuate as the business world changes – sometimes on the daily. 1. Change-Agile Leaders Have Clear Purpose  2. Forward-Thinking Opportunists 3.They Fix What’s Broken 4. Risk-Takers and Experimenters 5. They Strive for Partnership.” forbes.com Daniel Newman Shutterstock

The Right Way to Try to Predict the Future

“If, for instance, a company has a product development cycle of 18 months, then it should look at least 24 months to 36 months into the future.  Why?  Because we know that if it spots any emerging trend or opportunity that may emerge in less than 18 months, it probably won’t be able to respond (since its own product development cycle is 18 months long).  With this in mind we can say that if you are doing trend spotting or future forecasting, you should look at a future from 1.5 to 2 times your product development cycle. There are caveats to this of course.  In an industry with aggressive competition and shrinking product development and product life cycles, you may want to look further out to skip generations.  In other, longer life cycle industries you may want to consider the life expectancy of your product.” inc.com/jeffrey-phillips  Jeffrey Phillips Getty Images

Competing in the age of disruption

”Technology- and data-based transformation has arrived in full force. And if you think that your company or industry is immune, think again. Only twelve percent of the Fortune 500 companies who were in business in 1955 are still around. Before stepping down as CEO of Cisco Systems in June of 2015, John Chambers spoke at a conference and bluntly told attendees, “40 percent of businesses …unfortunately, will not exist in a meaningful way in 10 years. If I’m not making you sweat, I should be. In an era of constant disruption and economic volatility, more and more companies are being forced to confront the reality of diminishing profits, stagnating growth and organizational uncertainty. Regaining the agility to compete comes down to more than simply cutting costs. It’s about embracing new ways to drive cost-consciousness and transparency, identifying mispent (sic) resources in order to unlock new sources of revenue and growth, and creating an operating model that can deliver on business strategy while supporting a culture of continuous transformation.” partneredcontent.fortune.com/accenture/arc-of-agility/ Paid Content from Accenture Strategy . The Foundry. Meredith Corp.

Turo, The Airbnb Of Car Rental Companies, Offers Corvettes, Ferraris, Teslas

“Turo has a stable of owners who want to rent out their vehicles. Then there are people like me who want to try different makes of cars. Based in San Francisco, Turo makes its money on the margin between what the car owner charges it and what the rental customer is willing to pay, less its costs for insurance, overhead, etc. The company has been around since 2009, but under a different name, RelayRides. It was rebranded in 2015, and has grown exponentially. Turo is now in 49 states (not New York, for insurance reasons) and has about six million customers and 250,000 cars up for rent, according to a company spokeswoman. Satellite operations are now in 56 countries. Once I installed the Turo app on my iPhone and signed up for the service, I put in the dates that I wanted my Corvette, and where I wanted to pick it up.” forbes.com Jim Clash One of Turo’s Corvettes for rent.

How Cloud Can Boost Innovation

“Hosting applications on cloud platforms is becoming increasingly common, if not an enterprise standard. Among the potential benefits are rapid scalability and elasticity—enabling systems to grow with changing business demands while minimizing costs—as well as on-demand availability, providing agility and faster deployment. Such benefits can be particularly valuable for innovation, which may help explain why cloud computing is growing so quickly. Worldwide, public cloud services revenue is expected to reach $411 billion by 2020, up from $306 billion this year. Any time spent on capacity planning, procurement, or waiting for requested infrastructure means less time spent finding solutions to problems and delivering value to the business, says Ragu Gurumurthy, principal and chief innovation officer with Deloitte Consulting LLP. “Every business needs to be digital to survive,” Gurumurthy says. “The cloud offers increased agility and speed to market as well as lower costs and access to cloud-native technologies.” http://deloitte.wsj.com/cio/ Sponsored Content. CIO Insights and Analysis from Deloitte

MIT’s new tech turns power plants and data centers into water sources

“A typical 600-megawatt power plant used at half capacity to handle peak power demand uses as much water as 100,000 people would in a year. Cooling towers at power plants use massive amounts of water–in the U.S., around a trillion gallons a year–to cool down high-temperature steam. Right now, much of that water is just goes back into the atmosphere as plumes of vapor. Varanasi estimates at a 600-megawatt plant, the new technology could save 150 million gallons of water per year.For power plants, or other buildings with cooling towers, using the new equipment could save millions on water bills, in some cases. Industry could reuse the captured water directly. But because the cooling towers create distilled water, it could also be treated further and used for drinking water. “If you install a cooling tower, it’s like doing desalination,” says Varanasi, who estimates that the technology could offset the need for building 70% of new desalination plants in the next decade.” fastcompany.com  · By Adele Peters

Who Knew Blockchain Could Make Government This Easy? This Italian CIO, That’s Who.

“With blockchain technology, South Tyrol can create a chain of certification that authenticates and maintains people’s data indefinitely — instead of having to verify every instance of someone’s data each time a citizen enters their personal information. Moreover, Gasslitter believes blockchain can act as an integration layer to help simplify the province administration’s IT landscape. He says, “We have more than 1,000 different software applications to store and use citizens’ data. Every agency is like a small kingdom and doesn’t share data. Our goal is to simplify processes and increase transparency. We’re creating a model of data sharing within South Tyrol that we hope can be scaled across Italy.” medium.com/sap-innovation-spotlight/ robin_meyerhoff 

Steps:

6)   Anticipate changing circumstances and economic cycles.

7)   Persist and pivot to navigate external threats and opportunities.

17) Sketch out your trajectory in 5-year timeframes.  Will we fall into another recession?  Absolutely.  Will you be ready this time with future-proofed strategies?

19) Anticipate the growing shifts in life and business. Nobody wants to swim upstream if the current is moving everything in the opposite direction. Clue your fans in.

Artificial Intelligence, Quantum Computing and the Future of Work

It will likely take a decade or so until some AI technologies become the norm.

Enterprise teams are content to chew through budgets on the wrong things because they worry they won’t receive the same monies the next year if they don’t.

 

3 Signs Your Innovation Budget Needs a New Approach.

Entrepreneurs and investors operate leanly. They know big-bang innovation rarely ever works. Instead, they take small, smart steps toward a solution without worrying about nitty-gritty features. In contrast, enterprise teams are content to chew through budgets on the wrong things because they worry they won’t receive the same monies the next year if they don’t. Talk about wasteful!  See your product or service from a scrappy, entrepreneurial viewpoint. Don’t waste time on that obscure API or flashy layout. If users want it, they’ll tell you during the prototyping phase. Spend where your product provides value, and innovation will follow. Far too many firms don’t connect the dots between their budgetary input and innovation output. It’s not as simple as spending more money. The truth is, it’s about agile planning, frequent failure, and regular reallocation of resources. The sooner your innovation budget accounts for those things, the better your balance sheet will look.”  BUSINESS.COM Emerson Taymor Image credit: lOvE lOvE/Shutterstock

Why Innovation Tends to Bypass Economics.

Many of these problems can be traced back to a basic economic distinction: the difference between invention and innovation. Invention is defined as the discovery of a new exciting idea, product or approach. Innovation means applying that idea through changes in operating models and mindsets. Too many areas today contain the invention but not the innovation. This harmful decoupling is driven by a combination of biases,  blind spots and inertia (knowing you need to do something different but ending up doing more of the same). In too many cases, the flaw has less to do with the need to come up with a brilliant idea, and more a matter of embracing it and adapting accordingly. That requires being curious, open-minded, willing to listen, open to experimentation, creating safe zones for candid discussions and learning from failure. Economics has persistently failed to address this fundamental — and solvable — problem. The gaps between inventions and innovations have led to too many foregone welfare-enhancing opportunities for individuals, companies, governments and society.” newsmax.com Mohamed El-Erian Bloomberg View One Photo | Dreamstime.com

This Is How to Get Started With AI When the Only Thing You Know Is the Acronym.

Autonomous AI, however, is capable of learning certain tasks that require complex decisions to be made. Autonomous AI often receives the most attention because it makes innovations like self-driving cars possible, but at least in the short term, the business world might have more use for AI’s organizational and triage capabilities. Whatever you choose to do with AI, don’t delay. “AI is going to revolutionize the world more than any other tech advancement of the past 30 years,” Mark Cuban remarked at the recent Upfront Summit in Los Angeles. Like the internet, AI will produce a rich-get-richer environment, and those who get a head start are going to run the table.” So far, the following areas of AI show particular business promise: 1. Predictive analytics. 2. Computer vision. 3. Natural language processing.entrepreneur.com Sourav Dey Image credit: Photographer is my life | Getty Images

AI and the Future of Work.

It will likely take a decade or so until some AI technologies become the norm. While that provides plenty of lead time for the transition, few companies are taking action now to train their workers. Another little-noticed problem is that the AI systems themselves are being created with data and algorithms that don’t reflect the diverse American society. Accenture research shows business leaders don’t think that their workers are ready for AI. But only 3% of those leaders were reinvesting in training. At a Davos meeting held by Accenture, Fei-Fei Li, an associate professor at Stanford University and director of the school’s AI lab, suggested using AI to retrain workers. “I think there’s a really exciting possibility that machine learning itself would help us to learn in more effective ways and to re-skill workers in more effective ways,” she said. ‘And I personally would like to see more investment and thought going into that aspect.‘” wired.com/wiredinsider/  WIRED Brand Lab for Accenture. GETTY IMAGES

A Simple Tool to Start Making Decisions with the Help of AI.

Clarifying these seven factors for each critical decision throughout your organization will help you get started on identifying opportunities for AIs to either reduce costs or enhance performance. Here we discussed a decision associated with a specific situation. To get started with AI, your challenge is to identify the key decisions in your organization where the outcome hinges on uncertainty. Filling out the AI Canvas won’t tell you whether you should make your own AI or buy one from a vendor, but it will help you clarify what the AI will contribute (the prediction), how it will interface with humans (judgment), how it will be used to influence decisions (action), how you will measure success (outcome), and the types of data that will be required to train, operate, and improve the AI.hbr.org Ajay AgrawalJoshua GansAvi Goldfarb MARTIN HOLSTE/EYEEM/ GETTY IMAGES

Physicists Just Discovered an Entirely New Type of Superconductivity: No one thought this was possible in solid materials.

One of the ultimate goals of modern physics is to unlock the power of superconductivity, where electricity flows with zero resistance at room temperature. What they found was odd – as the material warmed up from absolute zero, the amount that a magnetic field could penetrate the material increased linearly instead of exponentially, which is what is normally seen with superconductors. After running a series of measurements and calculations, the researched concluded that the best explanation for what was going on was that the electrons must have been disguised as particles with higher spin – something that wasn’t even considered as a possibility for a superconductor before. While this new type of superconductivity still requires incredibly cold temperatures for now, the discovery gives the entire field a whole new direction.sciencealert.com FIONA MACDONALD (Emily Edwards, University of Maryland)

Australian Scientists Just Solved One Of The Biggest Quantum Computing Challenges Using Material Found In DVDs.

In quantum technology, information is carried on quibits, single photons. For the quibits to be actually useful in quantum technologies, though, they need to be produced by Single Photon Emitters that work at room temperature (it’s just practical, really) and at telecom wavelength (the most efficient way to transfer information via optical fibres) all at once. It wasn’t easy, but they’ve done it. Those plucky Australian Scientists have gone and done it. And they did it using a material found in DVDs.” www.gizmodo.com.au  Rae Johnston Image: NASA

Feynman 100.

”’Dick Feynman relished the pleasure of finding things out, and he had a remarkable knack for conveying the excitement of science to a general audience,’ says John P. Preskill, Richard P. Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics at Caltech. ‘We hope this event will capture some of that boundless curiosity and sense of fun that made Feynman such a treasured colleague.’ The event will be divided into two days, with an evening celebration on Friday, May 11, and a scientific symposium during the day on Saturday, May 12.http://m.caltech.edu/news/remembering-richard-feynman-81875 Credit: Caltech Archives  Whitney Clavin

Einstein and the Quantum.

The notion of an underlying quantum probability proved to be too much for Einstein (and Schrödinger as well), who would now turn his back on the new quantum mechanics forever to pursue his dream of a causal unified field theory. In the end, Einstein would never realize this final dream, and the “strangeness” of quantum mechanics continues with us today.https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/einstein-and-the-quantum  Credit: Getty Images Scott Bembenek.

Steps:

(19) Anticipate the growing shifts in life and business. Nobody wants to swim upstream if the current is moving everything in the opposite direction.

Driving Radical and Incremental Innovation

This chart shows every major technological innovation in the last 150 years — and how they have changed the way we work.

I had been struck by how the artificial intelligence (AI) seemed to use the same principles many of these successful Silicon Valley tech giants were using to induce innovation

 

Breakthrough Technologies. 150 Years of Innovation. Emerging Intelligent Machines. Squeezing Water Out of Desert Air. Future of Mobility. Digital Innovation Frameworks. AI and Radical Innovation. Enjoy!

10 Breakthrough Technologies 2018

Artificial Embryo

What we’re really looking for is a technology, or perhaps even a collection of technologies, that will have a profound effect on our lives. 3-D Metal Printing, Artificial Embryos, Sensing City, AI for Everybody, Dueling Neural Networks, Babel-Fish Earbuds, Zero-Carbon Natural Gas, Perfect Online Privacy, Genetic Fortune Telling, Materials’ Quantum Leap.” MIT Technology Review  photo credit UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE technologyreview.com/lists 

This chart shows every major technological innovation in the last 150 years — and how they have changed the way we work.

Steve Jobs with iPhone Innovation

In its recent Equity Gilt Study, which is a massive annual report by Barclays chronicling the bank’s thoughts on important topics in finance and economics, the bank focused heavily on new technologies and particularly on cryptocurrencies and artificial intelligence. Included in the report was a breakdown of how productivity and output have developed over the course of the last century and a half, crossed with the major innovations that have come in that time.” Will Martin. REUTERS/Alessia Pierdomenico. businessinsider.com

Unleashing The Power Of An Innovative Mind.

With the advent of latest technologies of Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, rapid prototyping, artificial intelligence and big data analysis, humans worldwide are creating thousands of innovations in the form of smart machines. And these intelligent machines are not only beginning to perform human tactical tasks more efficiently but also are being trained to operate with human intelligence. However, humans have a unique power, the power of thinking, the power of innovation: encompassing intellectual, emotional and spiritual intelligence.” Dr Ayesha Chaudhary. Photo Credit : ShutterStock  http://businessworld.in  

Researchers develop device that extracts water from desert air.

Researchers at MIT and UC Berkeley have developed and now tested a device that can extract water out of the air even in the driest of climates. The team proposed the device in a Science article last year and now they’ve improved the design and tried it out in Tempe, Arizona. While there are a few ways to pull water out of the air, most come with significant limitations. They usually require humidities upwards of 50 percent and some need a lot of energy input to make them work. The research team’s latest design, however, works passively, without the need for energy input, and can work in places with humidity as low as 10 percent.” Mallory Locklear. Kim et al. engadget.com 

Bill Gates Thinks These 6 Innovations Could Change the World.

(Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images)

Better Vaccine Storage. Gene Editing. Solar Fuel. mRNA Vaccines. Improved Drug Delivery. Artificial Intelligence. Of all the innovations on this list, this one seems like the surest bet to transform the way we live. Although AI will create new challenges that we need to address – including how to retrain workers who lose their jobs to automation – I think it will make our lives more productive, more efficient, and easier overall.” Bill Gates. time.com 

Disruption vs. Innovation: Defining Success.

Innovation or rapid evolutionary innovation, as I define it, is turning your dreams into reality, or manifesting what you envision. Disruptive companies are those whose innovations or innovative processes completely change the market they serve. They might use an innovation to accomplish their goals, but not all innovations are disruptive. In other words, not all innovations cause a business or market to rapidly evolve. I firmly believe that all businesses must evolve over time in order to stay competitive in the marketplace, and that has shown to be true when it comes to disruption. Companies need appreciable time for their services to evolve and react to the needs of the market.” David Meltzer. Image credit: Natali_Mis | Getty Images entrepreneur.com

Forces of Change: The Future of Mobility.

Deloitte Insights

The result is the emergence of a new ecosystem of mobility that could offer faster, cheaper, cleaner, safer, more efficient, and more customized travel. Though there is some uncertainty, in particular about the speed of this transition, a fundamental shift is prompting a move away from personally owned, driver-operated vehicles and toward a future mobility system centered around (but not exclusively composed of) driverless vehicles and shared mobility.” Deloitte Insights theatlantic.com

2018 framework to understand digital innovation.

The challenge with distributed teams and tools, and with architectures that rely on distributed solutions more broadly, is managing the complexity of having so many moving parts. There is a hidden cost to such flexibility: it requires a lot of organizational coordination and integration. This can be confusing and costly for organizations and teams that lack the experience or commitment to put the right process in place. This is especially through for companies that start their digital transformation journey. New techniques will be developed in the near future, to ‘orchestrate’ the entire innovation process, from idea to shippable product, across all the different stakeholders. We’re already starting to see 2 types of orchestration capabilities emerge.” Andries De Vos. hackernoon.com 

A Secret Formula For Radical Innovation: Lessons From Silicon Valley.

I had been struck by how the artificial intelligence (AI) seemed to use the same principles many of these successful Silicon Valley tech giants were using to induce innovation—self-organization, simple rules, a generalist approach, diversity of input, speed of execution, and profuse experimentation (I gave a TEDx talk on this topic and wrote an article about it). I asked him if his company implemented these principles by design or coincidence. Employees must self-organize meaning they cannot be micromanaged, rather should be given broad boundaries using simple rules – if A happens, do B. In the process, they learn from trial and error and radical innovation happens when these errors accumulate and break through a critical point.” Sunnie Giles. Shutterstock forbes.com 

IBM has created a computer smaller than a grain of salt.

Specifically, this computer will be a data source for blockchain applications. It’s intended to help track the shipment of goods and detect theft, fraud, and non-compliance. It can also do basic AI tasks, such as sorting the data it’s given. According to IBM, this is only the beginning. “Within the next five years, cryptographic anchors — such as ink dots or tiny computers smaller than a grain of salt — will be embedded in everyday objects and devices,” says IBM head of research Arvind Krishna. If he’s correct, we’ll see way more of these tiny systems in objects and devices in the years to come.” Monica Chin. Image IBM mashable.com

Steps:

(19) Anticipate the growing shifts in life and business. Nobody wants to swim upstream if the current is moving everything in the opposite direction.