Category Archives: future

Time for Puerto Rico to Go Solar?

Make no mistake, Puerto Rico has just suffered a disaster of epic proportions via Hurricane Maria. Not only that, but Puerto Ricans have discovered that they will not get sufficient relief from the US feds.

That all sounds like bad news and it is. At the same time, it is the type of news that opens the door to new thinking. After all, at this stage, what have you got to lose?  In the wake of this disaster, Puerto Rico may find a new uniting narrative about how to rebuild.

For example, power is out on the island. It will not be restored for months. Is it time to consider how to use this as an opportunity to re-think how power should be delivered?  Why not? Especially when we are in the midst of a revolution in moving from fossil fuel generated power plants to decentralized solar!

Put it this way. Does it make sense for Puerto Rico to rebuild an antiquated power infrastructure? Or does it make sense for Puerto Rico to embrace a trend that is likely to replace it?

Enter Elon Musk, a dude who has a big stake in making the revolution happen. Musk is pitching to Puerto Rico that his companies can help rebuild its power infrastructure based on solar.

What would you do if this were your decision?

Stay tuned to find out what Puerto Rico does!

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What’s Next Holmes?

These days, it is easy to get absorbed in the day to day dramas that explode around us. The news cycle thrives on keeping our attention fixed on these “one and done” news events. And so it is easy to lose track of the broader picture of where humanity is headed.

Of course, one does not know for sure where we will end up. But the innovation challenges that lie ahead are pretty well known. Food for thought (2017). From Greg Satell

… we’re now entering a new era of innovation and the organizations who will most effectively compete will not be the ones with a capacity to disrupt, but those that are willing to tackle grand challenges and probe new horizons.

As Greg points out, we have relied upon technologies to spur innovation that are now getting long in the tooth. The next step is to make the leap to more robust replacements. And we will.

Hold on to your hat! We are in for a wild ride!

Huge Disruption in Transport and Energy Just Around the Corner?

Over the last several years, we have seen several trends gather steam. The cost of generating power form solar has gone way down and the cost of storing power in batteries has as well. Moreover, we have seen amazing advances in the tech needed for autonomous driving. So where is this heading?

Tony Sebos things he knows and in this presentation he lays it all out Tony may not be exactly right. But if he is half way right, we are headed towards an amazing future – and it will be manifested a lot sooner than you might think!

Enjoy!

Want to Change the World? Read this!

Here is the key quote

“The true breakthroughs that will change the course of history will not come from initiatives to improve existing materials or devices, or to advance technologies that have already been identified,” she says. “Instead, they will come from off-beat individuals or small teams of fundamental researchers pushing the boundaries of knowledge in directions for which there is not yet an application.”

Here is the article from MIT Tech Review. It is rather interesting!

check it out!

Facilitation is the New Plastics

Remember that great line from the film “The Graduate”?  If you forgot, I have embedded the scene below. Enjoy!

The core idea from that scene is that connecting to a single product or service (plastics) would guarantee a great future to an ambitious  young man. The irony, of course, is that the young man in question (Ben) was not ambitious in the traditional sense. He was ambitous in a totally new sense that the older generatoindid not understand.

But if you think about it, plastics have been an amazing growth industry. While this is not great for the environment, and perhaps not even for our health, plastics are everywhere. We live in a plastic world.

Which leads me to a question. Is there a new key niche that might define value added in our current period? I think there is. The word is facilitation. It is not a physical thing. But facilitation is the magic sauce for reducing “friction” in markets and accelerating innovation.

Need an example of how this affects markets? Consider the market growth of “urban warehouses”. These facilitate “just in time” “last mile” delivery.

Here is another example. IT used to be a tool that enabled managers to better track business performance. IT is now a facilitator to develop new business models.

Got it? Now enjoy Dustin Hoffman!

Books. Wenger on Harari

Yuval Harari has received quite a lot of attention after the 2014 English language publicantion of his book “Sapiens”.  The book is ana ttempt to use science to explain human history. It has a not very optimistic view of our future.

Humanity, Harari predicted, would engineer one more epochal event to rival the agricultural and scientific revolutions. Having evolved to exercise a measure of mastery over our environment, having begun to shape not only our planet, for better and worse, but also our biology, we stand, he argued, at the point of creating networked intelligences with a far greater capacity for reason than our own. The result was likely to be a lose-lose scenario for the species. Sapiens would disappear in the foreseeable future either because they had appropriated such mind-making powers as to become unrecognisable or because they had destroyed themselves through environmental catastrophe. Either way, judgment day was approaching.

harari has a sequel out called Homo Deus where he elaborates further on his core ideas aobut our future. Tim Adams reviews the book for _The Guardian at the above link.

Of course, this type of thing is not new. Humans seem to enjoy trashing ourselves as a species. We have done it for centuries, not least of all, with our alleged expulsion from the Garden of Eden.

Al Wenger also wrote a book about the future, but it is decidedly more optimistic. It is interesting, therefore, to read Al’s review of Harari’s Homo Deus. Spoiler – Al thinks it sucks.