Reverse Migration: The Danger Of Prediction

I have often stated that prediction is a fool’s errand. The sheer number of building blocks, the pace at which they emerge, and the combinatorial nature of innovation all conspire to complicate the art of prediction. For example, predictions about urbanization and smart cities point to 72% of the world population living in cities by 2050. This and other projected disruptors have many people believing that we will need an intuition reset.

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Computing on the Edge

Multiple changes to our compute paradigm are required to realize the disruptive and humanitarian advances promised by rapid innovation; whether it is the continued advancement of Moore’s law through new methods, or a complete replacement of the compute platform (e.g. Quantum Computing). One of those near-term changes is set to hit wireless networking, and 2020 could be the turning point. As described in this Article, A trio of new technologies is set to redefine wireless networking. Edge ComputingThat, in turn, could change the way enterprises think about building applications, managing data, distributing computing resources and deploying robots and factory floor machinery.

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Artificial Intelligence Intersects with Smart Cities

In his fourteenth post in the series, Marshall Kirkpatrick focuses on the intersection between artificial intelligence and smart cities. By way of reminder, Marshall launched a 30 day series that explores the intersection between AI and the various innovation components on my emerging futures visual.

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World Economic Forum – Deep Shift

A must read on six mega-trends, their tipping points and societal impacts. I recommend this for anyone with interest in where the world is heading, and/or tasked with future thinking in the context of strategy. I commend the World Economic Forum for their efforts here, as education is likely to spur action. The six mega-trends are:

  1. People and the internet
  2. Computing, communications and storage everywhere
  3. The Internet of Things
  4. Artificial intelligence (AI) and big data
  5. The sharing economy and distributed trust
  6. The digitization of matter

Here is a tipping point timeline from the report:

Tipping Points Timeline

Many leaders are struggling with the sheer number of future scenarios and some indication of when the tipping point may arrive. This material provides critical input into the scenario and response analysis process. Enjoy the read.

Disruptive Power Lies at the Intersections

The content of this post was updated on February 16, 2017 in a new post titled Intersections Promise to Drive Multiple Paradigm Shifts

When I first started using the term “Combinatorial”, people thought I was making words up. Although I’d like to take credit for the word, I first came across it when reading The Second Machine Age, a fascinating book by Andrew McAfee and Eric Brynjolfsson. I remember thinking that it was a perfect word to capture the amplification of both innovation and its disruptive power. By now, readers of this Blog have seen the foundational Visual that describes the digital foundation, innovation accelerators, and disruptive scenarios. What the visual does not convey without the associated narrative is the power of combinatorial.

If we build on top of the visual, we begin to see the complexity at the intersections, the amplification of disruptive power, and the broad implications for the future.


The best way to describe this phenomenon is through examples, so let’s look at six combinatorial scenarios as an overlay. The visual is a bit overwhelming, so a better way to follow the various paths is via this PDF. Here is a description of each scenario. The numbers in the visual above map to the scenarios below, and the colors show the combinations: 

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