Driverless cars 8

I started writing this column while I was in Manila, Philippines for a talk with UnionBank, one of the most innovative banks I’ve ever come across. Driving across Manila is often a painful experience with far too many cars locking up all possible arterials, and nowhere near enough money to redesign and build the needed infrastructure. But this is not unique to Manila. As I’ve traveled around t…Read More

Fixing-Sales-Tax-4

At a recent visit to our local hairdresser, my wife and I were informed by the enterprising young lady that she was no longer selling her line of retail hair products. Filling out the monthly sales tax reports had simply become too onerous, and the profits too small to justify the time. This was not the first time I’d heard of someone “throwing in the towel” on their plans for selling produc…Read More

Futurist-Hall-of-Fame-1af

Over the coming months the DaVinci Institute will be unveiling the world’s first Futurist Hall of Fame. As with other “hall of fame” efforts, this one will be dedicated to drawing attention to those who have contributed the most to our thinking about the future. To be sure, the first iteration of this Hall of Fame will be meager. It will be a hall with photos and videos not sculptures, homeg…Read More

Super-Scalability-1

It was a monumental event that no one noticed. Just before 1800 the number of people on earth had climbed to what was then believed to be an astronomically large number – 1 billion. While this was indeed a landmark event, the occasion passed without fanfare. The combination of too few demographers and disjointed communications between countries caused the entire planet to miss the occasion. Unti…Read More

Man-vs-machine-11

Will humans soon be battling for their survival against robots? Even though this has become a favorite Hollywood theme, the likelihood of that happening is nearly zero. Yes, we will have many clashes with human-controlled robots doing battle with other humans or human-controlled robots, but not without people in the background. The age-old idea of man vs. machine is far more nuanced and complicate…Read More

Social-Media-Polarization-1

Wael Ghonim was a young computer engineer working for Google in Egypt when he became a central figure in the events leading up to the Arab Spring in 2011. In early 2011, Wael created a Facebook page titled, “A Revolution against Corruption, Injustice and Dictatorship,” and the number of followers quickly mushroomed. On Jan 14th he posed a question to the 300,000 followers of the page:…Read More

Top-Stories-FuturistSpeaker

2015 saw 42 new unicorn companies ($1B+ valuation) take center stage, the most ever, and a clear indication that the scalability of Internet will redefine the business landscape for generations to come. For this reason, no industries are safe, nor should they be. Many are anxiously awaiting drone delivery from companies like Amazon, but few realize the vast majority of drone delivery will happen o…Read More

When-Industries-Fail-1

The first Internet gold rush ended poorly. In 2000 we entered the new millennium waiting to see if Y2K would destroy the world, but instead it was our over valued Internet stocks that caused markets to crash. The second Internet gold rush was just getting started when, in 2007, we watched our global financial systems implode and for several years nothing important got funded. Rather than solving w…Read More

Perfection-2

I often wake up in the middle of the night with a big idea, something I’ve dubbed the grand epiphany. But as it turns out, very few actually fit into the “grand” category. Whenever they do, big ideas carries with them a heavy responsibility, the responsibility of either moving them forward or allowing them to die in the silent echo chambers of our own grey matter. For this reason, I’ve oft…Read More

Darknet-1

Have you ever run across a situation so frustrating that you wished you could hire a “fixer?” Maybe it has to do with gangs moving into your neighborhood, or the local slumlord not willing to repair a dangerous situation, or a local politician taking bribes, or finding out that your husband is also married to someone else in another state. My guess is that we’ve all run into problems that ar…Read More