Insights April 5th, 2021
Each week Nikolas Badminton curates a weekly list of insights and learnings for progressive executives, world leaders and foresight practitioners – CEO Futures Briefing: Policy futures and Post Planetary Architectures.
This week we look at Nikolas taking over as Chief Futurist at futurist.com, Policy futures and a politics of care, Six Unexamined Premises Regarding Artificial Intelligence and National Security, Ed Keller on Future Cities and Post Planetary Architectures, China Futuristic City, and AI-run government.
Also featured is an insightful interview on the Exponential Minds Podcast with Tracey Follows about the polymorphic code of the self and losing control of who we are and her book ‘The Future of You’.
To receive this, and other important insights into the future, then please sign up to Nikolas’ newsletter here.
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 Evolution of Futurist.com
From Glen Hiemstra…
Starting a couple of years ago I began thinking about the transition that Futurist.com needed in order to take the next step to a more influential and exciting future, and one that might enable me to maintain a presence while stepping away from day-to-day site management and consulting work. I had the hope of finding someone as dedicated as I have been to promoting a better understanding of the future as well as the building of better futures. Today I want to let you know that this search has been a success, and we are announcing the transition of operation and ownership of Futurist.com to Nikolas Badminton.
Read more at futurist.com
Policy futures and a politics of care
There’s a diagram used by policy development teams around the world to represent their work to themselves and others: the ‘policy cycle’. This comforting wheel presents policy design as an orderly progression through a number of stages, before coming back round to the start. Policy never sleeps! As the Institute for Government point out in their useful 2011 report, Policy making in the real world, this is a tidy approximation of a process that in reality is a good deal messier, as every civil servant knows. But this abstraction is a way of making policy work graspable.
It’s also a way of making foresight manageable, offering clear points where the outputs of futures thinking can be connected with the work of developing and evaluating policy. The biggest practical challenge facing internal policy foresight teams is answering what the late, and much-missed, Cabinet Secretary Jeremy Heywood used to call the “policy ‘so what?’ question”: helping colleagues tasked with developing policy understand what they need to do in the light of foresight work. It’s tempting, faced with that challenge, to try and show how futures work can connect neatly to other ‘tools’ and ’resources’ that are available to policy teams. But what happens to the future when it’s managed in this way?
Read more at Substack
Six Unexamined Premises Regarding Artificial Intelligence and National Security
The conclusions of the NSCAI inquiry, in sum, are foregone: the self-reinforcing dynamic of an escalating arms race justifies massive investment of public funds into research and development in ‘AI’. There is no space devoted to considering alternatives to the expansion of a national security strategy based on US military and technological dominance — for example, through greater investment in humanitarian aid and international diplomacy. Given the unexamined premises of the report, it is imperative that Congress and the President’s Office of Science and Technology Policy appraise the Commission’s recommendations critically and subject them to debate, in a forum that opens the discussion to a broader range of expertise and visions for greater security.
Read more on Medium
Three videos to watch
Ed Keller on Future Cities and Post Planetary Architectures
If science fiction inspires science, what will cities look like in 1000 years? Join us for Ed Keller’s discussion of design on a post-planetary scale.
Director of the Center for Transformative Media at The New School, and Associate Professor at Parsons The New School for Design will be speaking about architectural futures and what this could mean for those who live in them.
Keller is a polymath. Designer, professor, writer, musician and multimedia artist whose work and writing has appeared widely including Punctum, ANY, AD, Arquine, Wired, Metropolis and Progressive Architecture.
Current research seminars at Parsons include Post-Planetary Design, and The Radical Future of Guitar.
China Is Building The World’s Most Futuristic City
We’re all too familiar with the work-play balance we strive to juggle in the 21st century. It’s virtually impossible, right? We’re often faced with a long and busy commute to work, using dated public transport or busy highways, only to find ourselves sitting in a dull office all day long. Well Tencent is about to revolutionize the work-play life of 80,000 people in the city of Shenzhen, with a next-century approach!
Following Huawei’s campus-style city, Chinese technology company Tencent, the driving power behind instant messaging apps WeChat and QQ, has made promises to build an entire mini-city off the banks of the Pearl River in Shenzhen, where the company has its headquarters. Both are located in the Guangdong province of Southern China, near the metropolis of Hong Kong.
AI Run Government
In the future we will rely ever more on Artificial Intelligence to run our civilization, but what role will AI and computers playing in governing?
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 Tracey Follows talks about the polymorphic code of the self and losing control of who we are. Also, go and grab her fantastic new book – ‘The Future of You’.
The last word…
“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.” Albert Camus
About Nikolas Badminton
Nikolas Badminton is the Chief Futurist at futurist.com 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.