FutureSource



FutureSource

Many futurists have argued that we will see more technological change in the next twenty years than we saw during the rise of information technology and the Internet in the 1990s. But rarely have I seen so much change captured in one section of one newspaper.

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In mid-July, the Strategic Foresight Initiative (SFI) conducted a research trip to Colorado, visiting Boulder, Denver, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden. The trip was part of the Future of American Technological Leadership project with Qualcomm, which seeks to investigate American innovation in the technology sector. The project will culminate in a report this winter exploring why the United States leads the world in innovation, and the challenges the country faces in maintaining this position. This was the second leg of SFI’s ‘innovation roadtrip’ to technology and innovation hubs around the US, with upcoming visits planned for Austin, Texas, and Silicon Valley later this year. The Colorado trip followed a trip in June to Madison, Wisconsin.

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As investment in social media levels off, some see artifical intelligence as Silicon Valley's next big focus.

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On June 22, 2016, the Atlantic Council’s Strategic Foresight Initiative hosted a discussion on “Cities in an Age of Insecurity” ahead of the United Nation’s Habitat III Conference in October 2016 and at a time when cities face increasing transnational security challenges.

Dr. Nancy Stetson, special representative for Habitat III at the US Department of State, gave the opening remarks, where she highlighted the importance of cities in combating critical transnational security issues, ranging across areas as diverse as food security and violent extremism. Dr. Stetson, the lead negotiator for the US delegation to the conference, noted that, in an era of national gridlock, local officials often can take quicker and more effective action to address these challenges. Building more effective and inclusive transnational networks, focusing in particular on city-to-city relations and policy exchanges, will be an important topic at the Habitat III conference in Uruguay, she added. Dr. Stetson finished her remarks by inviting other stakeholders to join her and the US delegation at the conference to better shape urban development in both the United States and around the world, and help counter security threats including violent extremism, climate change, and economic inequality.

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In early June, Strategic Foresight Initiative (SFI) staff conducted a research trip to Madison, Wisconsin, as part of The Future of American Technological Leadership, a new project with Qualcomm to investigate American innovation in the technology sector. The Madison visit was the first leg of SFI’s ‘innovation roadtrip’ to technology and innovation hubs around the United States, which will also include Boulder, Colorado, Austin, Texas, and Silicon Valley in California.

SFI staff and Qualcomm representatives visited Madison, the capital of Wisconsin, because the city is building a national reputation as a hub for technological innovation and entrepreneurship. They hosted two roundtables, each attended by individuals prominent in the local tech sector, and held several private meetings, all designed to understand Madison’s success as a tech hub and to identify the potential challenges which could undermine the city’s continued growth in the future.

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A quarter-century on, as whole new layers of a burgeoning digital economy like the Internet of Things (IoT) rest on it, the Internet faces an array of challenges from the Dark Side that its inventors never quite anticipated.

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The world is on the cusp of a new industrial revolution, the convergence and synergy of emerging technologies—artificial intelligence, robotics, big data, 3D printing, sensing technology, advanced manufacturing, new materials, biotech—all built on a digital information technology platform, transforming how we work and live. The United States has been on the cutting edge of most of these technologies. But in a world of diffused power and growing competition from such emerging economies as China, can the United States sustain its competitiveness?

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With this interview series, we want to explore narratives about future industries and how our lives will look decades from now with expert viewpoints from around the world. Below is a 5-question interview with expert Greg Lindsay

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A quarter-century after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union, leading authoritarian regimes are thriving in the twenty-first century global security environment. As Freedom House reports, “fundamentally antidemocratic governments have strengthened their hold on power by making at least some of the common set of concessions – largely illusory in nature – to the world’s prevailing democratic order.”

In fact, many have adopted quasi-democratic practices such as political competition, rule of law, and economic openness in order to appear more legitimate in the eyes of the international community. This is because the liberal world order provides the capital, globalized markets, and free-flowing goods they need to maintain power over their increasingly connected, internationally aware, and informed citizens.

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In February, the British Government began trials of driverless cars in four UK cities. And while the vehicles currently being tested are small, slow, and restricted to pedestrianized streets and plazas, initial impressions make one thing clear: the cars of the future will not only look very different, but will be used differently to those of today. For the United States, this will mean the upending of longstanding cultural and social norms attributed to the American car.

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