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December 29th, 2014 at 11:01 am

Top 10 Most Influential Columns by Futurist Thomas Frey in 2014

Over the past year we’ve delved into a variety of different topics on FuturistSpeaker.com and naturally some have been more popular than others. Sometimes it’s the headlines, other times the graphics, but in the end it’s the subject matter and content that will determine which ones rise to the top.

Overall, we’re still finding a pervasive fear over jobs, privacy, and the economy, and a strong desire to understand what comes next. Our confidence in government has plummeted and the newest evil villain is artificial intelligence gone awry.

On the positive side of the equation, both flying drones and robots are hot, even though both have serious downsides. The Internet of Things is gaining in popularity along with its magical junior categories of enchanted objects and smart homes. The sharing economy is becoming a more defined niche and tiny homes are an emerging category that will soon be replaced with 3D printed disposable houses.

Even though Bitcoin hasn’t been a good investment in 2014, it’s been a banner year for cryptocurrencies in general. No, we still haven’t minted any cryptocurrency billionaires just yet, but as national currencies become increasingly dysfunctional, with security holes affecting nearly everyone, new opportunities are just around the corner.

At the DaVinci Institute, our work on Micro Colleges are paving the way for future generations to reboot their careers quickly to better match the emerging talent needs of business and industry.

With that in mind, here are the 2014 columns that attracted the most attention over the past 12 months.

 

10.) Computing’s Next Big Transformation – Semantic Intelligence 

Semantic Intelligence is a revolutionary new technology being developed by a tiny company called Mindaptiv located in the Innovation Pavilion in the Denver Tech Center, a hub of startup activity in Colorado.

With a core team of true believers on staff that filled the presentation room, the company’s CEO, Ken Granville, and chief technology visionary, Jake Kolb, took our team from the DaVinci Institute through a series of demonstrations and discussions to grasp the potential of what they are on the verge of unleashing.

On a zero to ten scale for rating tectonic shifts on the Richter Scale of computing, Sematic Intelligence is drawing lines on parts of the chart that haven’t ever been written on before. Continue reading.

 

9.) 2050 and the Future of Infrastructure

Much of the world around us has been formed around key pieces of infrastructure. Most see this as a testament to who we are as a society, and part of the cultural moorings we need to guide us into the future.

In general, infrastructure represents a long-term societal investment that will move us along the path of building a more efficient, better functioning, society. And usually it does … for a while.

But infrastructure comes in many forms and as we build our elaborate networks of pipes, wires, roads, bridges, tunnels, buildings, and waterways, we become very focused on the here and now, with little thought as to whether there might be a better way. Continue reading.

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8.) Disposal Houses

As houses are printed with non-flammable materials, there will no longer be a need for fire insurance. Once houses can be reprinted for less than the cost of re-roofing them today, we may eliminate the need for house insurance altogether.

Once we are able to remove the transaction costs from housing, our populations become infinitely more fluid. A fluid population is a fickle one, often moving on a whim, rather than the long drawn out process that it is today. 

City populations will expand and contract in dramatic fashion, often reflecting people’s changing attitudes associated with political decisions, local elections, increased criminal activity, changing tax rates, and much more.

So far we’re just scratching the surface. The rest of the disposable housing revolution will follow shortly. Continue reading.

 

7.) Six Radical Trends Redefining the Hotel of the Future

Smart home technology is baby stepping its way into our lives, and at the same time, elevating our expectations for hotels.

In the past, hotels built their business around employing highly attentive people. In the future, they will replace many of their staff with highly attentive buildings.

These six trends will indeed seem radical, upon first glance, to the hoteliers of today. But this kind of technology is coming, and it will happen much sooner than we think. Continue reading.

 

6.) What Industries will produce the First Trillionaires?

Future industries will be able to leverage tomorrow’s technologies far faster than anything today.

They will have the ability to quickly adapt, rapidly influence, and perform nearly instantaneous transactions. For these reasons, it is entirely possible for a breakthrough to occur that launches an entirely new industry, and with highly leveraged processes, start producing trillionaires in less than ten years.

It is entirely possible for a breakthrough to occur that launches an entirely new industry, and with highly leveraged processes, start producing trillionaires in less than ten years.” With this in mind, here are the future industries that rose to the top along with a brief explanation as to why they were chosen. Continue reading.

 

5.) 192 Future Uses for Flying Drones

Flying drones can roll along the ground, stick to the side of a building, float in a river, dive under water, jump onto a building, climb a tree, or attach themselves like parasites to the sides of trains, ships, and airplanes.

One moment they can be hovering in front of you and the next they can fly off at the speed of sound, disappearing into the clouds. Combining all these capabilities, attributes, and special features into one single device will open up a world of possibilities unlike anything before in all history.

Here’s a brief overview of the magical world being unleashed with flying drones. Continue reading.

 

4.) ‘Situational Futuring’ and 44 Mind-Stretching Scenarios to Learn How to Use It

Situational futuring is a micro-futuring process that begins with a single invention, tiny idea, or what-if condition and expands from there.

The process begins with an initial scenario and asking some of the standard who-what-when-where-how-and-why questions. Probing deeper, questions formulated around things like timing, monetary implications, disruptive effects, symbiotic partners, who-wins-who-loses, wild cards, policy changes, and strange bedfellows will help expand your thinking even further.

This works particularly well in a brainstorming environment where thoughts and ideas can be quickly sketched out, described, or clarified so more can be added. Inside these moments of micro-futuring is where the real treasures live. Continue reading.

 

3.) The Laws of Exponential Capabilities

Today, the amount of time it takes to build ships and skyscrapers, create massive data storage centers for all our growing volumes of information, or produce global wireless networks for all our devices has dropped significantly. But along with each of these drops is a parallel increase in our capabilities and our expectations.

For these reasons, I’d like to reframe the discussion by proposing three “Laws of Exponential Capabilities.” Here’s why this is so critically important. Continue reading.

 

2.) Artificial Intelligence will be Crashing the Stock Market in 3, 2, 1…

The invasion of high-frequency trading machines is now forcing capitalism far away from anything either Adam Smith or the founders of the NYSE could possibly find virtuous.

We’re not about to let robots compete in the Olympics, driverless cars race in the Indianapolis 500, or automated machines play sports like football, basketball, or baseball. So why is it we allow them to play a role in the most valuable contest of all, the world wide stock exchange?

With crude forms of AI now entering the quant manipulator’s toolbox, we are now teetering dangerously close to a total collapse of the stock market, one that will leave many corporations and individuals financially destitute. 

Here is why this should be ringing alarm bells all over the world. Continue reading.

 

 

1.) 162 Future Jobs: Preparing for Jobs that Don’t Yet Exist

Predicting future jobs is an exercise that involves looking at future industries and speculating on ways in which they will be different than the workforce today. Business management, engineering, accounting, marketing, and sales are all necessary skills for the future, but the work involved will also be different.

At the same time there will be many less-obvious positions that will need to be created. This is about those less-obvious positions.

The following is not an exhaustive list, nor do these job titles all have good explanations. Rather, this column is intended to be a thought-generator, an idea-sparker, to help you draw your own conclusions. Continue reading.

Final Thoughts 

As a professional speaker, my talks have once again taken me all over the world, and over the past year I’ve been to Auckland, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Istanbul, Toronto, Rome, Seoul, Latvia, and far too many places in the U.S. and Canada to list here. I’ve shared the stage with some amazing people at some amazing companies. While I do have some speaking topics listed, every talk is custom tailored to the audience I’m working with. I love working on unusual topics, provided they fall with my main focus of “technology-driven change.”

My newest book is getting close and should be released early in 2015. Considerable effort has already been put into this new manuscript and will have some unusual concepts for all of us to debate.

The overall readership on FuturistSpeaker.com has more than doubled over the past year, setting the stage for some terrific opportunities that I’ll be talking about soon.

Wishing you and your family an abundant 2015.

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By Futurist Thomas Frey

Author of “Communicating with the Future” – the book that changes everything

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