eSAMI 2017

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February 2017

Well, we certainly live in interesting times – and as our clients move from a focus on BREXIT to what is happening to the EU, life gets even more complex.

Meanwhile, I was invited by Joe Ravetz, SAMI Principal and co-Director of the Centre for Urban Resilience and Energy, to lead a seminar on the the future of cities at the newly launched Manchester Urban Institute recently. Joe’s new book City III is due to be published later this year.

We found that one of our most visited blogs was The Airport of the Future. So here is a link to the blogs by Helios on other aspects of aviation

Andrew Curry of Next Wave Futures has published a summary of some of the futures that New Scientist discussed in its 60th anniversary issue in November 2016:

SAMI Fellow David Lye has a recent article, The fourth industrial revolution and challenges for government in BRINK which describes the issues facing government as a result of artificial intelligence and other tech changes.

Our January training events were disrupted by train strikes, but we still have places available on the courses in March. A half-day “Introduction to Futures Thinking” on March 30th 2017 aimed at those wishing to understand the basics and decide how the approach might work in their organisation; and a “hands-on” two-day workshop for strategists where you learn to build scenarios yourself –March 27/28th 2017. Contact for more information.

And we can now announce the details of our Future of Work in Health event on 6 April 2017.

Future Issues

Workplace monitoring is moving from fiction to reality , with a company called Humanyze (clever!) a front runner in the UK. Actually of course, as the Guardian article pointed out, there has been a long tradition of trying to monitor and optimise workers’ activities – from time and motion studies, satirised in I’m All Right Jack , through software to give tight control of call centres and on to the much greater power of today’s wearables – so there’s no doubt about companies’ motivation to take this further. Lots of ethical issues to sort there.

AI ethics also remains an issue, with academics calling for an AI watchdog

The hype around autonomous cars continues, but some in the industry think that full autonomy (known as “Level 5”) may not be happening any time soon. Elon Musk however, claims they’ll be here within 6 months. Even where semi-autonomous cars are designed to hand control back to a driver in some situations, a study at the University of Southampton showed this handover could take as much as 25 seconds – potentially a very long distance in a critical situation.

More adventurously, Airbus are planning autonomous flying cars , at least in prototype, this year –how that will work with all those delivery drones soon to be around?

January 23rd was the start of Blockchain week #blockchainweek . Lots of good examples of how Blockchain can reduce costs and improve authentication from several industries. Gartner rates Blockchain as at the peak of the hype cycle – where will it settle down?

At least 9 of the 13 “black swans” identified by Barclays Research relate to geo-political and economic uncertainty, and we could all think of many more. Looks like a bumpy ride in 2017 – how is your scenario planning doing?

Our blogs

Our blogs this week have been diverse. To start the year we have a topical explanation of why 2017 will probably be worse than 2016 with Expect even stranger events in 2017 - why citizenship is nearly dead. Followed by two on care and welfare, A fairer way to fund long term health care and What a month for welfare reform and income protection . Finally a look at Diagnosing and future-proofing governance and risk .

January 2017

At this time of year there is a plethora of articles & posts on 10 things that will change the world – what’s hot in technology – some I always look at are Scientific American for “10 ideas that will change the world” and articles on biotech such as:

SAMI Associate Tricia Lustig has published a second blog on Huffington Post, "What is a leader to do? Find the right questions".

I also follow a thoughtful newsletter on India from Deepak Lalwani and with BREXIT looming we may all want to be better informed about India ---.”

We have prepared a summary of the the Forum on "Diagnosing Governance and Risk Management then Future Proofing Them" on 16 December 2016, in which SAMI participated.

We still have places available on our training courses in January and March. A half-day “Introduction to Futures Thinking” on January 23rd and March 30th 2017 aimed at those wishing to understand the basics and decide how the approach might work in their organisation; and a “hands-on” two-day workshop for strategists where you learn to build scenarios yourself – on January 26/27 and March 27/28th 2017. Contact for more information.

Futures Issues

Solar power is now the cheapest form of new energy (surpassing wind power) in over 60 countries, and in some forms is matching unsubsidised coal and gas .

This infographic shows how the Internet of Things will affect payment systems, in the home and the car.

Medical advances abound

And on the societal front, France’s “right to disconnect” law came into force on January 1st. This prevents companies from contacting employees in the evening, at weekends or on holiday whether by phone, email or anything else. Details will be worked out over the next 3 months. Would that work in the Anglo-Saxon work culture?

Our blogs

Recent blog posting has been quieter than usual over the holiday season but we hope you caught the book reviews in time to add to your reading list and saw our review of the recent ESPAS conference along with our greetings for a Happy New Year!

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