Filtered by tag: Black Swan

Asking "What if?"
Posted: 14 July 2017

At FutureWorld we spend most of our time considering the question "What if?" In fact all our MindBullets scenarios are precisely designed to stretch people's thinking, and get them to ask the question of their own businesses and personal goals.

What if one of these crazy scenarios actually transpired? How would that affect my industry and business success? What if we did something today to ...

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The joy of hypotheticals
14 July 2017
An introduction to The Economist’s latest collection of essays that ask: “What if?”
Bitcoin will change the world
Posted: 18 November 2014

Some may say it already has. In this excellent opinion piece, Ivo Vegter illuminates the way the blockchain technology behind Bitcoin is the truly revolutionary idea, with the potential to fundamentally alter the way the world does business.

"When people are able to circumvent the middlemen like this, they will. There is little that governments, central banks, or the financial industry can ...

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The blockchain: How Atlas will shrug
18 November 2014
Already, Bitcoin has created a revolution in digital money. It meets most requirements of a currency: it is portable, durable, divisible, relatively ...
Controversial digital currency collapses as clones saturate the market
Dateline: 15 March 2015
In essence, Bitcoins are digital artifacts created by using computers to solve complex mathematical formulae, essentially cracking a code. The reward one ...
Cold fusion takeover
Posted: 5 February 2014

This cold fusion device has been called dubious and unproven. But now a US venture capital company has acquired it with the aim of developing the technology and making it widely available.

Will it work? If it does, it will change everything. ...

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Industrial Heat Has Acquired Andrea Rossi's E-Cat Technology
5 February 2014
Industrial Heat, LLC announced today that it has acquired the rights to Andrea Rossi's Italian low energy nuclear reaction (LENR) technology, the Energy ...
It’s the start of a new low energy nuclear revolution
Dateline: 5 June 2014
Every once in a while we see the introduction of a technology that is so radically innovative that it seems magical, or impossible. The old clichés get ...
Half-price gasoline
Posted: 15 January 2014

Now that's a headline to get attention! Sasol has been making liquid fuels from natural gas for years, but it's only viable when oil is costly and gas is cheap. It still takes a lot of energy to convert gas to useful fuels.

Now a startup company appears to have cracked the catalyst conundrum to quickly and easily convert natural gas to... no, not hydrogen, but ethylene, which is one step away ...

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Siluria Promises Half-Price Gasoline from Natural Gas
15 January 2014
A startup called Siluria thinks it’s solved a mystery that has stymied huge oil companies for decades.
Methanol seen as the dominant fuel of the future
Dateline: 15 July 2015
The hydrogen economy - with its vision of gas-guzzling engines replaced by hydrogen fuel cells that produce water instead of smog and greenhouse gases - ...
Economic reaction to nuclear problem
Posted: 8 March 2013

As I've said before, the choices we make in terms of energy and the environment are often influenced to a greater degree by economics than anything else. We'd all like to see clean, sustainable, safe sources of energy supporting economic growth. But until those black swans appear, that disrupt the energy industry forever, we can expect countries to use whatever sources of energy are ...

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Economic Woes in Japan Could Trump Worries About Nuclear Reactor Safety
8 March 2013
Some of the nuclear power plants shut down after the Fukushima disaster could restart soon.
New Energy replaces nukes, saves money
Dateline: 6 June 2020
Germany has shut down its last remaining nuclear power plant, two years ahead of schedule. Supporters of the Greens and the Pirate Party staged a peaceful ...
No more road accidents...ever?
Posted: 20 September 2012 1 Comment

With new driverless cars around the corner, one imagines safe road travel for everyone, forever. The impact on economies, insurance and transport in general will be huge. The next step will be pilotless airplanes...for individual travel!

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No more driver’s licenses by 2040? | SmartPlanet
20 September 2012
As autonomous driving technology improves, drivers’ days behind the wheel may be numbered.
Boeing and Airbus in a tail-spin as the allure of personal planes hits air travel
Dateline: 16 July 2020
As the holiday season gets into full swing, some of the major air hubs in Europe and the USA are comfortably quiet. Chicago, Atlanta, Amsterdam and ...
Energy abundance
Posted: 6 May 2012

Shale gas released by fracking has transformed the economics of energy in the United States. This is the equivalent of a Black Swan - the industry will never be the same again. Not that it is all plain sailing; the Economist says there is an over-supply and some consolidation among producers is inevitable.

What I find amazing is that the US still imports $1 billion of oil per day, even when ...

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Natural gas: Awash in the stuff
6 May 2012
EVEN as it tries to slow production down, America is still pumping three billion more cubic feet (85m cubic metres) of natural gas a day out of the ground ...
Flex-fuel hybrid promises to be the car of the future - today
Dateline: 9 March 2016
At the Beijing motor show, the world's largest auto event, Toyota today unveiled the 'car of the eco-age' - the Lexus Futura. This hybrid-engine flex-fuel ...
The Future of Money
Posted: 3 May 2012

This is a hot topic at the moment, with digital and mobile banking and payment systems clashing with traditional cash and transactions.

This article from Mashable provides a wealth of data in a fairly digestible format. ...

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The Future of Money and Mobile Commerce [INFOGRAPHIC]
3 May 2012
Mobile payments represent the new frontier in ecommerce technology. Find out how people and businesses are preparing for a new form of money.
Energy companies remain switched off!
Posted: 14 March 2012 3 Comments

Will it work? Won't it work? That's really not the question. There WILL be breakthroughs in energy generation over the next years that will change the landscape. This might be it, but there will be others...many, many others, in different fields.

Yet the existing energy providers continue to confidently predict that they will be the main providers for decades to come. They will undoubtedly be ...

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Startup Aims to Cut the Cost of Solar Cells in Half - Technology Review
14 March 2012
A new process uses a high-energy ion accelerator to make thin silicon solar cells.
Africa's new wealth: oil and gas
Posted: 30 March 2012 1 Comment

Writers and economists have been asking: Is this Africa's decade? Will we see a China-style surge in economic growth and reduction of poverty?

The signs for new resource discoveries are certainly promising. Namibia's offshore petro reserves were discovered last year, and recently major new gas finds in Mozambique and now oil in Kenya point to the fact that Africa could be awash with ...

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Kenya's big oil find: things will never be the same again
30 March 2012
This is a big one: Kenya has found oil. Triumphantly waving little bottles of the stuff around, Kenyan government officials think they’ve hit the ...
Desert state becomes African oil and gas giant 'overnight'
Dateline: 20 July 2016
There's a new word in Southern Africa for oil - Namibia. Since the discovery of significant reserves of crude and gas a mere five years ago, the industry ...
Megachange: The World in 2050
Posted: 25 March 2012 1 Comment

You really can't predict the future. The only certainty about the future is that it will be radically different - the only constant is constant change!

But as the Economist points out, looking into the far future gives us a much clearer understanding of the present. That alone makes it worthwhile. It is also instructive to consider possible scenarios for the future, that reveal immense ...

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The Stimulating, Provocative World of 2050
25 March 2012
The next four decades will be full of the unexpected, since we live in an era of particularly rapid change. But Megachange is something to be embraced, not feared. Here's why.
The Future is better than you think
Posted: 15 March 2012 1 Comment

It's also three-dimensional and infinite.

If Diamandis and Kotler are to be believed, then there will be an abundance of infinite computing power and presumably communications capability. When these are combined with 3-D printing (digital manufacturing) it gets really exciting:

"Suddenly an invention developed in China can be perfected in India, then printed and utilized in Brazil on the same ...

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Peter Diamandis’ Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think
15 March 2012
In their new book Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think, Peter H. Diamandis, the CEO of the X-Prize Foundation, and Steven Kotler argue that new technologies and other forces will make the coming years better, not worse, as we so often worry.
The myth of state capitalism
Posted: 10 February 2012

The Economist recently carried a feature on State Capitalism, and we have written on the scenario for a new capitalist model, which we call Conscious Capitalism.

The somewhat acerbic free-market champion Ivo Vegter takes a hard look at the Chinese model and declares it morbidly obese. As seductive as the apparent success of China's economic growth might be, it's a grand illusion, he says. ...

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The Chinese model is morbidly obese
10 February 2012
South Africa wants to adopt 'the Chinese economic model', President Jacob Zuma is expected to announce this week. This would be a very grave mistake. The ...
China's ghost cities stay empty as the artificial bubble bursts
Dateline: 8 August 2018
It was as inevitable as China's rise to the position of the most powerful economy in the world. Now it looks as though that title will return to the United ...
A new industrial revolution
Posted: 8 February 2012

Although I don't agree with all of Jeremy Rifkin's prognostications, I find it interesting that he lays the blame for the Financial Crisis at the door of peak energy prices, and predicts that we will have another collapse when we reach those levels again.

I certainly agree that, in the future, we have to find another cheap source of energy, and that will ultimately be the sun. It's just a ...

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The ultimate tool for democracy?
Posted: 30 December 2011

As we approach a new year, we remember the unexpected changes that 2011 ushered in...many brought about by the ubiquitous mobile phone. This is the worlds most often used camera, telephone (at times) tweet machine, FB logger, blogging device, GPS etc. It may also be voted as the most important tool in ensuring openness, transparency, collaboration, sharing and the ability to vote, influence ...

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Arab spring leads surge in events captured on cameraphones
30 December 2011
In 2011, cameraphones entered the mainstream of photojournalism due to a combination of the Arab uprisings, the Occupy protests and improved technology.
Phone blogs and podcasting transform traditional media
Dateline: 7 September 2009
Imagine you are a network news exec. What could you do with 900 million news reporters, all armed with cameras, and globally dispersed to capture ...
Black Swan for Christmas
Posted: 27 December 2011

In this Skype interview Kim does a great job of presenting some of my thoughts in an engaging manner, and with a slight twist!

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Chewing on Black Swan for Christmas
27 December 2011
Rather than looking back at 2011, we chose to talk to Doug Vining - chief technology adviser to the FutureWorld Global Think Tank and Editor of MindBullets: News from the Future - about the futu...
Euro plus minus Britain
Posted: 9 December 2011 1 Comment

It was predicted that something would have to change. Either some countries would abandon the euro, or some greater degree of integration would have to be forced on members of the Eurozone.

The UK has, wisely or unwisely, or perhaps with no real palatable option, decided to opt out of further integration, keeping Britain on the outside of a more closely integrated Europe.

Will this see a rising ...

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Europe's great divorce
9 December 2011
WE JOURNALISTS are probably too bleary-eyed after a sleepless night to understand the full significance of what has just happened in Brussels.
'Poor euro' drifts towards US$ 1.00
Dateline: 13 July 2017
It's been just three years since the Eurozone was split into two - but today it is difficult to remember the days when one euro seemed to be enough for ...
Scary battles... big stakes!
Posted: 27 November 2011

Whether its OWS,Tahrir Sq or new secrecy legislation in South Africa, the battles lines are being drawn between politicians looking to protect self interests and a public tired of being wronged for all the wrong reasons. It's time for leaders to lead, but have they forgotten the essence of their mandate and how to do it in the way that it was I tended... With the true interests of their ...

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The shocking truth about the crackdown on Occupy
27 November 2011
Naomi Wolf: The violent police assaults across the US are no coincidence. Occupy has touched the third rail of our political class's venality
Occupy The World strikes at the heart of the global financial system
Dateline: 20 October 2012
In a daring attack on the world's financial systems, the global 'occupy' movement yesterday hijacked almost every payment made in the entire world. The ...
Responsible Capitalism from Unilever...a great article!
Posted: 22 November 2011

This has really lifted my day...if only more CEO's were so passionate about creating a better future! And he stopped quarterly reporting...brave and absolutely essential if we are to radically change the way companies focus on short term outcomes and ignore long term sustainability.

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Paul Polman: 'The power is in the hands of the consumers'
22 November 2011
Unilever CEO tells Jo Confino that consumers will no longer tolerate businesses that behave in unjust or unfair ways• Join Unilever's sustainable living ...
Individuals demand more predictability - nations get unexpected growth
Dateline: 9 March 2013
The stark economic reality has even sidelined the annual Davos jamboree: US$ 8 trillion has been pumped into world financial systems; banks and a large ...
World's 3rd most populous 'country' embraces new payments
Posted: 18 November 2011

Can traditional banks stem the tide and regain customers passion in the face of ever increasing new threats from outside the industry?

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PayPal lets friends send money on Facebook | memeburn
18 November 2011
The combination of online payments and social media has hit a turning point. Online payment giant, PayPal, has released a “Send Money” application on ...
Taxman loses in the race to dominate the online payments market
Dateline: 9 February 2010
Since eBay and PayPal allowed users to charge and pay with Skype credits, the banks and credit card companies have been running scared. That was until ...

Filtered by tag: Black Swan