NYC Marathon Interview

I had the pleasure of discussing the future of running during the NYC Marathon broadcast. I viewed the question of where that future is heading across three broad categories. First, the running experience – both for the athlete and the spectator. Second, performance, injury avoidance and recovery. Third, the synergies with health and wellness. Scientific and technological advances that help us improve the second category above – like a digital twin of our heart that helps us better understand the impact of running on that organ – will ultimately drive advances in the broader topic of health and wellness. My thanks to New York Road Runners for both the interview opportunity and the permission to post the video below.

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Disorder: Hard Times In The 21st Century

As geopolitical instability contributes to the uncertainty of the environment, it is critical to understand how we got here. Instability does not just emerge; it evolves over time. Our current climate finds its origins in the 1970s, with 2005 representing a critical tipping point. It still amazes me to think about the prescience of a book titled the Fourth Turning – where 2005 was identified as the beginning of a crisis period. A more recent book explored the question of how we got here. Author Helen Thompson tells a story viewed through the lens of energy, democracy, and aristocracy. The historical journey presented by Disorder underscores the complexity of geopolitical convergence.

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The Future-Facing CFO

I recently participated in a CFO and Board retreat hosted by the Criticaleye peer-to-peer Board Community. I opened the session with a keynote and a Q&A session. Dialog from the session was captured in an article that was recently launched. The key points include:

  • One of the critical skillsets of a future-facing CFO is an ability to unlearn
  • Foresight means nothing if it can’t inform strategies
  • The job of leaders is to envision possible futures
  • It’s never been more important to take the future seriously in terms of the speed at which its coming towards us

It is encouraging the see the emphasis placed on understanding possible futures. That appreciation was ramping pre-pandemic and has accelerated since.

The Next Decade In Technology

I was recently made aware of a report via OMG Futures on the next decade in technology. Recommended reading for anyone looking to scan the horizon. Thanks to Phil Rowley for making me aware of it. Phil described it this way:

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The Impact Of Virtual Worlds On Travel

The tourism sector stands to benefit tremendously from the use of Metaverse technology. The greater availability of new and better sources of inspiration for travelers is one of the perks that stands out the most

Jai Hamid – Survey shows Metaverse will have an impact on how people travel
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The Most Innovative Countries

In 1960, the U.S. made up nearly 70% of global R&D spending, and by 2020 this had fallen to 30%. From job creation and public health to national security and industrial competitiveness, R&D plays a vital role in a country’s economic growth and innovation, impacting nearly every corner of society—either directly or indirectly.

Dorothy Neufeld – Mapped: The Most Innovative Countries in the World in 2022
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Virtual Society

Throughout history, the world has experienced tipping points – or a fundamental change in the nature of being human. How many have occurred throughout human history is subject to debate. From my perspective, we have experienced two and could be heading towards a third. Several forces are converging to create the possibility of a third tipping point. When we consider the advances of artificial intelligence, biotechnology, human-machine convergence, advances in brain science, and new computing paradigms – it’s not a stretch. Add to that list the evolution of virtual societies.

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Will ChatGPT Change The World?

Updated 12-14-2022: Given all the buzz associated with ChatGPT and the overwhelming traffic to their website, I have updated this post with several more articles on the topic.

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Strategic Foresight

I believe an appreciation for a future that is arriving faster than most people think is settling in. One clear signal is the growing discussion around foresight. As a very different future emerges, this growing focus is good news – as there is a critical need to envision possible futures. Foresight executives like Joanna Lepore are leading the way. Joanna joined an episode of Future Hacker to discuss strategic foresight. I highly recommend this episode. Here is the episode abstract.

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Rehearsing 2023

As a new year approaches, it is natural to want to predict what’s next. But, a caveat: I prefer not to speak in terms of “predictions.” I speak about “rehearsing possibilities” – understanding possible futures and envisioning outcomes.

Frank Diana – Digital Twins Reach a Tipping Point & Save Lives

That quote above was included in a recent article about digital twins. That article focused on the role that digital twins are likely to play in 2023.

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The Cashless Revolution

I just finished a book titled The Cashless Revolution authored by Martin Chorzempa. The book was selected by the Financial Times as one of the best of 2022. Interestingly, one of the other recent books I read is also on their list – Slouching Towards Utopia. This latest read explored the world of FinTech and the cashless revolution happening in China – and the possible futures that may drive.

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Self-Driving Truck Handles Tire Blowout

Can a self-driving truck handle a tire blowout better than most humans? Watch below and see this article for details.

Agile Leadership

Steve Denning knows a thing or two about management. In a recent article, he talks about the baggage of agile and the critical need to reinvent the very concept of management. He identifies the practices of industrial-era management and labels them as “obsolete”. He goes as far as to say those practices constitute a disease that must be eradicated. In a post-pandemic world, resilience is the new buzzword. Our uncertain times dictated a focus on adaptability years ago – yet it took a pandemic to bring it into leadership consciousness. Eradicating the disease of industrial-era management is therefore long overdue.

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Future Focus: Envisioning The Possibilities Ahead

Every year in October I have the pleasure of participating in the CEO of the Year Gala sponsored by Chief Executive Group. This year’s winner was Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce. His acceptance speech was both refreshing and inspiring – as was the moderated discussion he had with last year’s winner, Ken Frazier, former CEO of Merck. As part of the event, I participate in a CEO roundtable discussion with a theme that I help shape. The theme this year was envisioning possible futures. It was a great conversation captured in this article that was just launched by Chief Executive Group. I highly recommend this read. The article provides a view into what CEOs are thinking – with a series of quotes from the session – like the one below.

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AI-Generated Predictions For 2023

As a sign of the times, AI is now in the business of making predictions, just in time for our time-honored tradition this time of year. This article presents ten predictions made by artificial intelligence, along with their implications and solutions. GPT-3 has advanced to a place where it can receive instructions and then write the text. The instructions provided are included below. Follow the link above to see what AI believes is in store for us in 2023.

GPT-3 prompt – “Write a 1500-word article that states 10 predictions, implications and solutions for 2023, including key statistics and examples, relating to water scarcity, food supply challenges, energy limits, increased waste, shifting geopolitical power from west to east, conflict and civil war, misinformation and cybersecurity, politics and national security, and how we must have hope as humanity finds new ways to work together for altruistic needs.”

Exploring Possible Economic Futures

In the interest of exploring possible economic futures, I have read books on Modern Monetary Theory, Zero Marginal Cost, The Job Guarantee, and several others. Add to the list the most recent book I finished, How Capitalism Ends. Viewed through the lens of property rights, wealth, and the transition from Feudalism to Capitalism, author Steve Paxton uses an effective method of storytelling: start with history and then explore possible futures. The book is setup by two thesis: the development and the primacy thesis. What he describes helps us understand the “why” behind the future that is emerging.

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Prediction Versus Foresight

A colleague recently shared this visual produced by the Disruptive Futures Institute. The visual does a great job of describing the difference between prediction and foresight. The Disruptive Futures Institute is a Think Tank offering education, research, and thought leadership on adapting to our increasingly complex and uncertain world. I believe this uncertain world puts a premium on rehearsing possible futures. As depicted in the visual, the need to rehearse versus predict emanates from an environment of multiple unknowns and broad possibilities. This environment is characterized by the sheer number of existing and emerging building blocks that are converging across domains.

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It’s The 2023 Prediction Season

It seems like you blink and prediction season is upon us again. Futurist Bernard Marr shares his top ten technology trends list in the video below and associated article. He touches on AI, Metaverse, Web3, Digital Twins, 3D Printing, CRISPR, Quantum Computing, Green Technology, Humanoid Robots, Autonomous Systems, and Sustainable Technology. A very good list from a technology standpoint. It’s time for this ritual to focus as much on geopolitics, economics, philosophy, and society, as these domains will play a significant role in shaping possible futures.

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The Age Of Resilience

In an online leadership course developed in 2016, I stressed the need for resilience and adaptability. The course, titled A Journey Through the Looking Glass, focused on an emerging world of complexity, uncertainty, and the unknown. We rarely heard the words resilience and adaptability spoken back then, but along came a pandemic to force them into our vocabulary. While our short-term focus obstructed our view, cracks were forming and accumulating in ways that were likely to put a premium on these two traits.

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America’s Demographics

Demographics are a big piece of forward-looking analysis – and we are living in times of significant demographic shifts. An aging society, a fall in working age population, a drop in fertility rates, and a diversifying population are just a handful of examples. This recent article provides a great interactive visual via Visual Capitalist that captures one hundred years of demographic change in America.

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