- Asking Questions
- Scanning the World
- Mapping the Possibilities
- Asking the Next Question
- Thinking it Through
via Dave Cormier
This isn’t an easy task. Futures thinking is hard work. Fortunately, you do get better at it with practice. It’s worth the effort.
via Dave Cormier
So I’m collaborating with some local colleagues on a Futurize Your Course competition as part of AUC’s Research and Creativity Convention in April. If you are an AUC faculty member or student, instructions are here and the expression of interest form is here: http://bit.ly/futurizeAUC
The cult classic was set in today’s world, but how many futuristic predictions did it get right?
We all know the value of planning, but in a complex, complicated and often confounding world it can be difficult knowing how to start.
In this episode, we speak to two proponents of the Scenario Planning approach. We find out what it entails and how it might benefit organisations and businesses.
We’re also introduced to the Fab City initiative – an international network of cities aiming to be self-sustainable by 2050.
Scenario planning is something that St Paul’s School uses in their prediction for 2028:
Another example is Google’s speculative design The Selfish Ledger:
“Our goal is to build an ethics review board that has teeth, is diverse in both gender and background but also in thought and belief structures. The idea is to have our ethics review panel ensure we’re building things ethically,” Talebi said.
What happens if the ethics board says the whole thing is unethical?
Personally, I am left wondering if the supposed personalized ‘results’ are worth the reward? There is talk of scraping even more data:
Going forward, Ahura hopes to add to its suite of biometric data capture by including things like pupil dilation and facial flushing, heart rate, sleep patterns, or whatever else may give their system an edge in improving learning outcomes.
Next we will be measuring the pupils of every staff member to maximise market gains? Is this what education is for?
Let’s envision video as our default setting in life. In this future we prefer to communicate through video, as opposed to all other mechanisms, so during a given day we participate in videoconferences as often as we check emails or text one another today. We consume content primarily through video – i.e., we’re watching stuff pretty frequently. We also make video, either by passive recording (having systems record our lives) or actively creating video content (recording, remixing, editing, sharing).
Secession is extremely improbable. But looking at what could ensue if it happened underscores some fascinating truths about the US – and where power really lies.
Rutger Bregman became a social media sensation after his onstage tirade at the gathered elite in Davos this year captured the imaginations of millions who viewed the speech online. But can his utopian ideas be translated into realistic policy changes? Plus: J Oliver Conroy on David Buckel, a year on from the climate protester’s death in New York
Rutger Bregman discusses his book Utopia for Realists and his pushback at Davos.
For Bregman, the future is in Universal Basic Income, borderless world and more taxes. When asked about what he would stop doing today, he said to stop reading the news and find other people.
It is interesting to consider the similarities and differences between Bregman and Douglas Rushkoff, presented in his book Team Human.
First let’s acknowledge that the future is already here.
BYOD 2.0 — version one of BYOD stood for Bring Your Own Device. In the 4th Industrial Revolution, the D will not stand for devices, it will stand for Data. The promise of distributed ledger technology has provided a way to deliver the learner a valid and trusted representation of their knowledge and understanding. This information that is currently housed in information systems with a registrar as the intermediary validating the credential is released to the learner to power their future in this global knowledge economy. This creates 1/2 of what I’m calling the Digital Rosetta Stone, one that will translate the wants and needs of industry to academia. Insuring that we have the necessary talent to power our futures.
This reminds me in part of Jim Groom’s discussion of Next Generation Digital Learning Environments:
In a worst case scenario, the NGDLE offers a way for institutions to more easily extract and share their learning community’s personal data with a wide range of sources, something that should deeply disturb us in the post-Snowden era. But the real kicker is, how do we get anyone to not only acknowledge this process of extraction and monetization (because I think folks have), but to actually feel empowered enough to even care.
EDUCAUSE is out today with the latest Horizon Report for Higher Education. This is, of course, a report that almost wasn’t as NMC, the original publisher of this project, abruptly closed its doors late last year. I had hoped that the whole thing would go away, but nothing ever dies in ed-tech. It just gets renamed – rebranded as “innovative” – and stays in circulation forever. Zombie ed-tech. Always on the horizon.
It’s useful if unsurprising to see how much of my work depends on digital networks, how uneven they are, and how accustomed we are to the latter. Nobody groaned on the Silver Line when the car slipped out of 4G coverage, because we expect it. Conversely, at no point was I beholden to a physical office, as my work exists in a distributed assemble of brain, devices, networks, and multiple storage/service sites.
I was privileged to be able to attend the CUE Hootenanny at the San Diego Maritime Museum with 50 incredibly dedicated and awesome educators. Jon Corippo, the Executive Director of CUE had mentioned that at the end of the day they would be giving away “golden” clickers to the best #CUEBOOM. While I did not get a chance to participate in the #CUEBOOM, earlier in the week I had a flash of inspiration and thirty minutes later this spoken word piece rolled out. So, while I did not participate in the #CUEBOOM, I thought I would share the result of that flash of inspiration (even though it is a bit raw and unfinished)…
How do you think automation will transform society over the next 15 years?
A) Significant unemployment and underemployment will result as automation fails to create new jobs to succeed the ones it replaces.
B) New types of jobs appears in response to emerging technologies and practices, as they did through most of the Industrial Revolutions.
C) Humans increasingly feel unease or panic at being rendered obsolete. This manifests in various cultural and political forms.
D) Income and wealth inequality grows immensely, as businesses involved in automation generate and accrete enormous financial power.
E) Very little change will occur, because AI is overhyped and robotics are too limited in practical application, at least in this timeframe of a mere 15 years.
F) Some form of universal basic income will be implemented.
G) A data-based surveillance dystopia is installed, grounded in ubiquitous technology and guided by governments and/or business.
H) A new arms race breaks out between nations to see who has the best AI.
I) A major backlash emerges against automation for various reasons, leading to a major social step back from AI and robotics.
J) A very pleasant time will result, when we don’t have to work so much, our basic needs are met, and we are freer to develop ourselves.
Professor Terry Eagleton’s more than 40 books have explored, in consistently invigorating ways, the many and surprising intersections and confluences of literature, culture, ideology and belief. His latest book *[Radical Sacrifice]* (Yale) draws on the Bible, the *Aeneid*, Hegel, Marx, Heidegger and Henry James in a brilliant meditation on the concept of sacrifice, fundamentally reconfiguring it as a radical force within modern life and thought. Professor Eagleton was in conversation about his latest work with Daniel Soar, senior editor at the London Review of Books.
Terry Eagleton talks about all things relating to sacrifice. It is an enthralling conversation that goes in many directions. One interesting idea that he discusses is Marx as prophet:
Eagleton explains that Marx’s work was not about creating a Utopia, but rather about fixing the present, for the future is created with the language of today. This reminds me of Audrey Watters’ talk The Best Way to Predict the Future is to Issue a Press Release:
I am not a futurist. I don’t make predictions. But I can look at the past and at the present in order to dissect stories about the future.