January 31st, 2013

The Future in 50 Years, 100 Years, 200 Years

By Glen Hiemstra, Futurist.com

On January 9, 2013 Discovery Channel Canada broadcast a short interview with me on the show Daily Planet. The questions had to do with developments that I see in 50 years, 100 years, 200 years. I did a lot of thinking prior to the interview about these time frames, and I’ll be summarizing these ideas in blogs to come, perhaps one grand article.

One question was, “what will be a breakthrough similar to the Internet in 50 and 100 and 200 years?” My thoughts began with the idea of the disappearance in 50 years of the boundary between what we now think of as the online and offline (or real) worlds. In 50 years, devices we carry or imbed will have so completely integrated these two worlds that there will only be “the world” and that world will combine the real and the virtual in a seemless and constant way.

For now, link to the 3 minute video interview here. Discovery uses some nice graphics to illustrate our conversation.

Glen Hiemstra Interviewed on Daily Planet, Discovery Channel Canada 2013

September 5th, 2012

Jason Silva on the advantage of being awestruck. Terrific. Enjoy.

August 9th, 2012

Entrepeneurs creating fewer jobs

Here in the U.S. it is an article of faith that the economy is driven by entrepreneurs – job creators in the current political parlance. And there is no question that the U.S. maintains an entrepreneurial culture.

But, something is happening that may represent an emergent trend. Recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics illustrates that the years 1993 to 2001 were peak years in the creation of new companies. It is not surprising that new company “births” fell off after the dot com bust in 2000, increased a bit in 2004-2006, the peak of the debt bubble, and then fell off a cliff with the arrival of the recession in 2007. The fall off in new company formations is the steepest in the history of this data series. At the same time, company deaths kept climbing.

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August 3rd, 2012

Drove my Chevy to the levy and pushed it in – The Future of Cars

Found on Glen Hiemstra’s Futurist.com: “Beware the permanent trend.

What would happen if a generation stopped driving cars, or at least stopped dreaming that owning a car and driving everywhere was their defining passage into adulthood? What if each year auto ownership and miles driven declined? It would be the end of a seemingly permanent trend toward ever more miles driven and greater car ownership.

I first began seeing signs of this emerging trend (or better, trend reversal) in 2010, as I was producing a study for the state of Idaho on the 30-year future of transportation and economic development in Idaho. In that study I noted the following, based on a 2010 article in Advertising Age:

The Millennial generation…is not only very large – larger than the Baby Boom generation – but different in an important way. They are first computer and Internet generations, having grown up since infancy with computers, 24/7 network access, cell phones, blue-tooth enabled cars, and so on. They approach most life activities differently, that is, they approach them using the network first.

One critical example for the future is recent research showing, for the first time since the advent of the automobile, a youth generation less likely to…read on.”

July 19th, 2012

Micro Homes: The Competitive Alternative to Housing

Micro homes, or tiny houses, are becoming more appealing as affordable housing options are less and less abundant in cities with overcrowded populations. This increasing density issue will be a topic of conversation in a book I’m co-authoring late this Fall on the future of cities, but until then the focus is on micro homes as a possible answer to this increasing lack of space.

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May 31st, 2012

Future Cape Town

By Glen Hiemstra

I recently came across a series of articles by Future Cape Town, a media movement and urban consultancy founded by Rashiq Fataar in 2010.

The beginning of the About page on the Future Cape Town website starts “With our roots firmly in the present, and eyes on the full potential of the city we live, play and work in, Future Cape Town is a diverse collection of minds that are driven by sustainable and innovative ways to address modern urban design challenges.” Awesome. This is a group that is actually creating the future they want.

Future Cape Town invests a lot in its social media. They realize the importance of ideas being easily communicated and the value of viral information. An example of this is the article 7 Big Ideas for Cape Town: Who Will Champion Them?. Inviting participants with its title, this article gives detailed information about 7 great ideas for creating a better city.

Why aren’t we all throwing out detailed ideas about how to improve our cities? Better yet, why aren’t we getting involved in implementing those ideas in our own neighborhoods?

April 10th, 2012

Future of Telemedicine

Last week I had the privilege of presenting a keynote speech to the annual conference on the future of Telemedicine, put on the Northwest Regional Telehealth Resource Center, in Billings, Montana.

As I thought about a theme for my talk what occurred to me was that there are certain developments that always seem to be “in the future” and never quite seem to reach full application here in the present. Think nuclear power from fusion, and flying cars. Telemedicine has in many ways always been something that is going to be big, in the future. This is despite widespread experiments with and adoption of telemedicine for some basic care in many rural parts of the world, including the northwest United States.

Read More of This Article

You can view the slides that used here via Slide Share.

Glen Hiemstra is a futurist, author, speaker, consultant, Founder of Futurist.com, and founder and Curator of DoTheFuture.com. To arrange for a speech, workshop or consultation contact Futurist.com.

December 22nd, 2011

Memristors and how they may change computing

I recently read a novelette by Bruce Sterling called Black Swan (A Cyberpunk Story). I was intrigued by what Sterling referred to as a “Memrister”. Within the context of the story, it was only clear that memristors were theoretical electronic devices with a lot of potential applications. After doing some research, I found out that Memristors are, in fact, real, and that they may profoundly impact the future of computing.

According to Wikipedia, “Memristor theory was formulated and named by Leon Chua in a 1971 paper.[4] In 2008, a team at HP Labs announced the development of a switching memristor based on a thin film of titanium dioxide.[5] These devices are being developed for application in nanoelectronic memories, computer logic, and neuromorphic computer architectures. In October 2011, the same team announced the commercial availability of memristor technology within 18 months, as a replacement for Flash, SSD, DRAM and SRAM. [7]”

Apparently memristors have the capacity to start up and shut down computers as if you were flicking a light switch on and off. And one unique characteristic of this technology is that, “Memristance of a material become more and more strong as its size reduces,” which means it may be most valuable in nanotechnology.

Once HP finishes its work on the commercial availability of memristor technology, it will be exciting to learn more about the useful applications that memristors can provide all of us.