Is It Time to Inhale the Future and Exhale the Past? Just Ask Walmart.

“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

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

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 Cara View on

Cosmos, Quantum and Consciousness: Is Science Doomed to Leave Some Questions Unanswered?  “Gleiser, Frank, and Thompson highlight three particular stumbling blocks: cosmology (we cannot view the universe from the “outside”); consciousness (a phenomenon we experience only from within); and what they call “the nature of matter”—roughly, the idea that quantum mechanics appears to involve the act of observation in a way that is not clearly understood. Consequently, they say, we must admit that there are some mysteries science may never be able to solve.” View on Dan Falk

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 Kennedy View on

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 By Paul Sutter 

Scientists Say They’ve Cooked Up an Endlessly Recyclable Plastic  Plastics aren’t recycled nearly as much as we’d like them to be, but a team from Berkeley Lab has developed a method to hopefully make that process easier. In a recently published study, these researches describe a new type of plastic that can be broken down at the molecular level to create new plastic without any deterioration in quality. The goal is to improve the recycling process so that fewer plastics end up in landfills or oceans.” View on Yessenia Funes


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?


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