Insights May 10th, 2021

Each week Nikolas Badminton curates a weekly list of insights and learnings for progressive executives, world leaders and foresight practitioners – CEO Futures Briefing: China’s Robot GDP and Brain uploading

This week we look at robots aiming to double China’s GDP, Mike Duncan on history, revolutions, and the future, expiring motorcycle airbag vests, a mind-reading dress, downloading our brains, and rethinking classic cars for an EV age.

Also featured is an insightful interview on the Exponential Minds Podcast with Anne Boysen who talks about data driven foresight and weak signal hunting

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If you have questions about these things we’re sharing, or a challenge with seeing the futures for you and your organization? Reach out to speak with Nikolas today to arrange a time to talk.

Robots will make doubling China’s GDP by 2035 look easy

“At more than 350,000 units per year, Chinese robotics demand will be by 2024 roughly the size of the entire market globally,” write the analysts at Bernstein Research. “The world’s largest manufacturer will be the largest end market for robots by multiples over any other country.”

That has huge consequences both for China itself and for countries in Southeast and South Asia that hoped to see a wave of investment coming to them as wages rise in their giant northern neighbor. Offshoring may well not happen in the scale neighboring countries once imagined possible.

Read more at Nikkei Asia

The past was a mess – Mike Duncan on History, Revolutions, and the Future

Few people have done more to make history interesting and accessible to the layperson as Mike Duncan. A wildly successful podcaster and New York Times-bestselling author, he’s tackled topics ranging across space and time. Current Affairs was lucky enough to get him on our podcast for an interview with editors Lyta Gold and Sparky Abraham. If you missed it the first time around, here’s the perfect opportunity to see what Duncan has to say about how history can help us understand the present—and perhaps what comes next, as well.

Read more at Current Affairs

This Motorcycle Airbag Vest Will Stop Working If You Miss a Payment

The customer buys the vest for $400 which comes with the module, but then they must download an app and choose how to unlock the module so the vest actually works: either plonk down another $400 to own the whole shebang outright—bringing the total vest cost to $800—or, as Plummer put it in the video, opt for the “subscription-based model” of $12 per month or $120 per year. 

In the video, Plummer promotes this as a good option for people who don’t ride year-round and therefore may only need a functioning vest a couple of months a year. But when Motherboard asked Klim about what would happen if, say, the customer forgot to turn the subscription back on and got into a crash, a customer service representative confirmed “then, no, it will not go off.” Likewise, if the customer’s card is declined, they will have a 30-day grace period to update their payment information before the vest stops working.

Read more at VICE

Three videos to watch

The Dress That Can Read Minds

Hey it’s Han from WrySci HX going over a fascinating invention: the 3d printed pangolin dress. Fashion meets technology with the dress that can read minds.

You might soon be able to upload your brain into a computer

Futurist Nik Badminton explains digital immortality – creating a clone of yourself in a computer for people to interact with after you die.

Is a £350k electric Bentley S1 the future of classic cars?

This isn’t your run-of-the-mill 1961 Bentley Continental Flying Spur by HJ Mulliner… this is the future. This gorgeous old road-boat has had a full electric heart transplant, the work of the Silverstone-based EV restomodders at Lunaz Design. Thanks to an 80kWh lithium-ion battery it has a real-world range of 250 miles, can rapid charge up to 150kW, has regen braking, luxuries like cruise control and traction control and the batteries are split so there’s some at the back, some at the front, to keep weight distribution and handling just so. 

A conversation that counts

Each week we dig into the archives of all of the interviews Nikolas has undertaken with the insightful and entertaining Exponential Minds Podcast. This week we feature Anne Boysen who talks about data driven foresight and weak signal hunting.

The last word…

“We are prisoners of our own metaphors, metaphorically speaking…” R. Buckminster Fuller

About Nikolas Badminton

Nikolas Badminton is the Chief Futurist at and a world-renowned futurist speaker, consultant, researcher, and media producer. He helps trillion-dollar companies, progressive governments and the media shift their mindset from “what is” to “WHAT IF…” The result is empowered employees, new innovative products and incredible growth that leads to more revenues and a more resilient future.

Nikolas advised Robert Downey Jr.’s team for the ‘Age of A.I.’ documentary series, starred in ‘SMART DRUGS – a Futurist’s journey into biohacking’, and features on CTV, Global News, Sirius XM regularly. His mind-expanding research and opinion can be found on BBC, VICE, The Atlantic, Fast Company, Techcrunch, Business Insider, Huffington Post, Forbes, Sputnik and Venturebeat. 

Nikolas provides the opening chapter – ‘Start with Dystopia’ in a new book – ‘The Future Starts Now: Expert Insights into the Future of Business, Technology and Society’ for Bloomsbury. He is currently researching and writing a new book that equips executives and world leaders with insights and foresight tools to imagine disruption, strengthen strategic planning, and see unforeseen risks.Nikolas is a Fellow of The Royal Society for Arts, Manufactures and Commerce – The RSA. The organization has been at the forefront of significant social impact for over 260 years with notable past fellows including Charles Dickens, Benjamin Franklin, Stephen Hawking, Nelson Mandela, and Tim Berners-Lee.


Nikolas Badminton

Nikolas Badminton is the Chief Futurist of the Futurist Think Tank. He is world-renowned futurist speaker, a Fellow of The RSA (FRSA), a media personality, and has worked with over 400 of the world’s most impactful companies to establish strategic foresight capabilities, identify trends shaping our world, help anticipate unforeseen risks, and design equitable futures for all. In his new book – ‘Facing Our Futures’ – he challenges short-term thinking and provides executives and organizations with the foundations for futures design and the tools to ignite curiosity, create a framework for futures exploration, and shift their mindset from what is to WHAT IF…

Contact Nikolas