Insights March 29th, 2021

Each week Nikolas Badminton curates a weekly list of insights and learnings for progressive executives, world leaders and foresight practitioners – CEO Futures Briefing: Our post-Covid pandemic future

This week we look at the endless present, the real post-Covid pandemic future, design fiction, autonomous dog fights, tokenization, creating equity and more.

Also featured is an insightful interview on the Exponential Minds Podcast with Richard Yonck who talks about his book ‘Future Minds’, our deep futures and Homo Technologicus.

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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.

Three articles to read

The Real Post-Covid Pandemic Future

March 11, 2021 marks one year since the World Heath Organization declared Covid-19 a global pandemic. This is a good day to assess the real post-pandemic future. If, like us, you were paying attention a year ago, the official pandemic announcement came after many people could see that the pandemic was here. We had begun our own family preparations for the long-haul pandemic in February 2020, stocking up on groceries and some other goods, anticipating a 3-4 month lock-down. I chronicled those preparations a year ago here.

We did not know that the pandemic would become as deeply impactful as it did, largely the result of a lack of national leadership or coordinated international action to limit the pandemic. The exception was the vigor with which the scientific community threw itself into the search for vaccines, producing vaccines in less than a year that will be seen by history as an astonishing success. Global political leadership failed for the most part. New Zealand, Singapore, the Republic of China (Taiwan), Vietnam, and some other success stories illustrated what aggressive and focused national leadership and a unified citizenry could accomplish in a pandemic crisis. But these countries were the exception.


The Endless Present, or Why You’re Getting Disclaimers On The Muppets These Days

That’s why we’d barely said our hellos before he neatly summed up a then-new experience which, as it turned out, was to become a regular culture-war flashpoint in the world of the future:

“One of the results of digitisation, where everybody owns everything [is that] you don’t just have your little record collection of things you saved up for and guard so carefully. My daughters have 50,000 albums or something each, but not only that they have albums from every era of popular music history, from doo-wop onwards, and they don’t really know what’s current and what was done a long time ago. For instance, they were listening to something a few nights ago — some prog-rock thing, I can’t remember what it was now — and I said “gosh, I remember when that came out we all thought it was really boring,” and she said “what? Is this old then?” [laughs] To her, and many of her generation, everything is equally present so “retro” doesn’t really have quite the same meaning.”

Read more on Medium

Patently untrue: fleshy defibrillators and synchronised baseball are changing the future

“Design fiction is the deliberate use of diegetic prototypes to suspend disbelief about change.”

There’s heavy freight in that sentence, but most can be disposed of promptly. “Deliberate use” means that design fiction is something that people do with a purpose. “Diegetic” is from film and theatre studies. A movie has a story, but it also has all the commentary, scene-setting, props, sets and gizmos to support that story. Design fiction doesn’t tell stories — instead, it designs prototypes that imply a changed world. “Suspending disbelief” means that design fiction has an ethics.

Read more on WIRED

Three videos to watch

DARPA Air Combat Evolution Program Makes Strides in Phase One

DARPA’s Air Combat Evolution (ACE) program is half way through Phase 1 and has notched several key accomplishments in anticipation of live subscale aircraft dogfights in Phase 2 later this year. Achievements to date include: advanced virtual AI dogfights involving both within visual range (WVR) and beyond visual range (BVR) multi-aircraft scenarios with updated simulated weapons; live flights of an instrumented jet to measure pilot physiology and trust in AI; and initial modifications to the first full-scale jet trainer scheduled to host an onboard AI “pilot” in Phase 3 of the program. 

How Tokenization Will Change The World

Tokens, NFT’s, ERC20, ERC721, what do these all mean? Today we are going to be taking a dive into the world of smart contracts and we will discuss what tokenization is, examples of tokenization use cases, why businesses should issue tokens, the difference between fungible and non fungible tokens, strategies for tokenization and lastly technical token standards. Time stamps will be in the description below.

“Designing The Conditions for Equity”

There are myriad Terms & Conditions that govern the products and services we use on a daily basis. While these are all designed for usage, the contracts we sign off to use them don’t necessarily include a rigorous and inclusive human-centered approach. Let’s investigate various guidelines we agree to and apply a new design approach to these Ts&Cs

An invisible web of terms and conditions (Ts&Cs) governs our daily lives, from those imposed by our governments to the verbose contracts we sign off on to use everyday products and services. Despite the importance of these contracts to protect us and the companies that define them, they may not always seem transparent or fair when serving society or the needs of marginalized/vulnerable groups.

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 Richard Yonck who talks about his book ‘Future Minds’, our deep futures and Homo Technologicus

The last word…

“The reward for good work is more work.”

Tom Sachs

About Nikolas Badminton

Nikolas Badminton is 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. 

Cities Society Work

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