Insights March 11th, 2019

The EXPONENTIAL MINDS Executive Briefing on Waymo, Flying Cars, and Psychedelics articles aim to provide a broad reference on the ‘signals of change’ we can see that have the potential to change the world.
This week we see Waymo selling their sensor technology, how skies will be full of driverless flying cars in a decade, how Norway is divesting from Oil and Gas, the FDA regulating lab-grown meat, and how psilocybin enhances creative thinking and empathy. Nikolas’ perspectives are also are included below.

Waymo Starts Selling Sensors to Lower Cost of Self-Driving Cars

Alphabet Inc.’s self-driving car unit, Waymo,  is selling the laser-mapping sensors used on its driverless vehicles to other companies. Waymo Chief External Officer Tekedra Mawakana discusses with Bloomberg’s Caroline Hyde on “Bloomberg Technology.”

Nikolas’ perspective – Alphabet’s Waymo becoing an OEM for sensors for other companies ensures that their platforms and software become standards and that there is dominance in the new world of self-driving vehicles.

A sky full of driverless flying cars in just a decade


“Jetsons” has become a catch-all metaphor for almost any futuristic vision, but Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg, in an interview today with Axios, painted a picture very much resembling the 1960s cartoon.

  • In January, Boeing flew a prototype of its small pilotless vehicle. In the early part of the next decade, Muilenburg said he expects to deploy such vehicles commercially in rural areas along fixed routes.
  • And then, in just a decade, he said, the skies in U.S. cities will be filled with electric, autonomous flying vehicles, ferrying people to their destination and averting roads that today are often impossibly congested.

“We will see cities like Washington, DC with three-dimensional traffic patterns instead of two-dimensional.” Dennis Muilenburg

Read more at Axios
Nikolas’ thoughts – The city’s wealthy will soon have a new transport ecosystem. I think, more importantly, we can see law enforcement and other emergency services (fire, ambulance) benefiting greatly and they will likely be early adopters of these modes of transport.

Norway is starting the world’s biggest divestment in oil and gas

Norway has said its $1 trillion sovereign wealth fund, the world’s biggest, should sell stocks in oil and gas exploration companies, in a move that is the biggest divestment from hydrocarbons yet.
The Government Pension Fund Global, which was built off Norway’s oil revenues, should begin phasing out $8 billion held in 134 firms to reduce the fund’s risk from volatile oil prices, the country’s finance ministry said in a statement on 8 March.
But in a major concession, the withdrawal won’t apply to Shell, BP and France’s Total, the three biggest investments in the fund’s total £27.9bn of oil and gas stocks, because they aren’t solely oil production companies.
The finance ministry also said the decision wouldn’t affect the fund’s stake in the country’s state oil firm, Equinor, formerly known as Statoil.

Read more at New Scientist
Nikolas’ thoughts – I have spoken about this kind of divestment being important in the world for some 3 years now and have advised funds to start doing the same. What is interesting, and important, is that their stakes in some big oil companies remain and it is this ‘energy’ companies that will boost investments in renewable energy technologies going forward.

The lab-grown meat industry just got the regulatory oversight it’s been begging for

Taking cell-based meat products to market will require a regulatory framework. The FDA and USDA just announced one.

It’s a “formal agreement” between the Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration about how to treat cell-based meat products. Basically, regulation of meat involves both agencies — the USDA overlooking food processing, labeling, and distribution, and the FDA conducting inspections and safety checks — and the regulation of cell-based meat will, too. This agreement outlines which problems are the jurisdiction of which agency, so they can develop further guidelines without stepping on each others’ toes.

Read more at Vox
Nikolas’ thoughts – Diversity will be the key to a sustainable food supply ecosystem. Lab-grown meat will potentially solve supply chain issues for providing protein in places where cattle are not easily raised, and in dense cities that are growing at pace (like in China and Africa).

A single dose of psilocybin enhances creative thinking and empathy up to seven days after use, study finds

New research provides more evidence that psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, can improve creative thinking, empathy, and subjective well-being. The findings appear in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs.
“In the last decade, there has been a renewed scientific interest in the utility of psychedelics. Increasing evidence suggests that psychedelics like psilocybin may have potential therapeutic value for disorders like anxiety, depression, and PTSD,” said Natasha Mason (@NL_Mason), a PhD candidate at Maastricht University and the corresponding author of the study.

“The focus of such investigations has been on psychedelics capacity to reduce symptoms of these disorders, thereby improving mood and well-being. However, of equal importance are the higher-order cognitive processes that may be enhanced, or that may play a role in symptom alleviation of the disorders.”

Read more at PsyPost
Nikolas’ thoughts – The death of the ego, and diversity in thought will be the key to a bright future. Many thousands of leaders, designers, coders, artists, and leaders that lean into psilocybin and other psychedelic – many have created the new world (just look at Steve Jobs).
Read some of Nikolas’ other articles:

Energy Briefing – Savonius Vertical Axis Wind Turbines

Inside Shenzhen – China's Future Factory

Cities Society

Futurist Keynote Speaker and Consultant - Nikolas Badminton

CEO of EXPONENTIAL MINDS and an award-winning Futurist Speaker, researcher and author. His expertise and thought leadership will guide you from complacency to thinking exponentially, planning for longevity, and encouraging a culture of innovation. You will then establish resiliency and abundance in your organization. Please reach out to discuss how he can help you, and read on to see what is happening in the world this week.

Contact Nikolas