Impact Lab


Subscribe Now to Our Free Email Newsletter

» Currently browsing: New Viewpoints


The plan to turn scrapped rockets into space stations

November 23rd, 2020 at 1:03 pm » Comments Off

Spent rockets are dangerous space trash, but they could be the future of living and working in orbit. IN EARLY OCTOBER, a dead Soviet satellite and the abandoned upper stage of a Chinese rocket narrowly avoided a collision in low Earth orbit. If the objects had crashed, the impact would have blown them to bits […]



Experts fear lab-grown brains will become sentient, which is upsetting

November 8th, 2020 at 11:38 am » Comments Off

Well, we don’t want that … or do we? The idea of sentient, lab-created “organoids” raises ethical questions that ripple through science. Tests could include physical scans, mathematical models, and more. Scientists say there are reasons it could be necessary to create consciousness … and destroy it. A thought-provoking new article poses some hugely important […]



Reimagining higher education in the United States

November 5th, 2020 at 10:27 am » Comments Off

  As education leaders consider their options in the age of the COVID-19 crisis, they must rethink the conventional wisdom. Higher education in the United States is at an inflection point. The core mission of the university—instruction, research, and service—has not changed. Nor has the need for advanced education to prepare individuals for a fulfilling […]



Sony reveals Spatial Reality Display, a 4K screen with glasses-free 3D

October 25th, 2020 at 6:11 pm » Comments Off

Volumetric 3D displays are neither easy to produce nor common, as holographic imagery generally requires a mix of stereoscopic screen technology and unique optics, sometimes backed by high-speed eye tracking. Today, the display experts at Sony are throwing their hat into the ring with a new option called the ELF-SR1 — also known as the […]



The rise of the 3-parent family

October 5th, 2020 at 11:57 am » Comments Off

The typical path to parenthood didn’t work for David Jay, a founder of the asexual movement. So he designed his own household—and is trying to show others what is possible. David Jay is the oldest of 12 cousins on one side of his family and the third-oldest of 24 cousins on the other. As a […]



9 soft skills every employee will need in the age of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

October 4th, 2020 at 11:05 am » Comments Off

Technical skills and data literacy are obviously important in this age of AI, big data, and automation. But that doesn’t mean we should ignore the human side of work – skills in areas that robots can’t do so well. I believe these softer skills will become even more critical for success as the nature of […]



The surprising upsides of worrying

September 3rd, 2020 at 11:16 am » Comments Off

  Anxiety can be exhausting, but there is often a reason for it – and there are some surprising benefits to certain kinds of worrying. “I’m a near-professional worrier,” admits Kate Sweeny ruefully. She’s struggled for much of her life with anxiety over things she can’t entirely control – including, these days, whether her parents […]



The Event Industry is being confronted by its Napster moment

September 1st, 2020 at 10:03 am » Comments Off

All types of business events are in danger of their revenue streams of tickets, sponsorships, memberships, and other types of fees being eroded. This is happening as the world gets used to digital formats and alternatives emerge to physical networking, matchmaking, and other tasks we get out of these events. The threat sounds familiar?   […]



Getting old needs a new look

August 26th, 2020 at 2:49 am » Comments Off

The pandemic has exacerbated issues like social isolation in U.S. nursing homes and assisted-living facilities. But problems with the living situations of older Americans long predate the coronavirus. Covid-19 has exposed the lethal vulnerabilities of nursing homes and assisted-living facilities. Can better design make aging safer? In at least one way, the United States’s tragic […]



Why Tokyo’s new transparent public restrooms are a stroke of genius

August 22nd, 2020 at 11:03 am » Comments Off

Tokyo transparent bathroom At first, it’s hard to fathom how a public restroom with transparent walls could possibly help ease toilet anxiety — but a counterintuitive design by one of Japan’s most innovative architects aims to do just that. Around the world, public toilets get a foul rap. Even in Japan, where restrooms have a […]



The 6 unholy AI systems thou shalt not develop

August 9th, 2020 at 5:03 am » Comments Off

TLDR; don’t pretend a Magic 8 Ball is a useful tool for grownups and don’t build hate machines Artificial intelligence may be the most powerful tool humans have. When applied properly to a problem suited for it, AI allows humans to do amazing things. We can diagnose cancer at a glance or give a voice […]



This is now the world’s greatest threat – and it’s not coronavirus

August 3rd, 2020 at 9:39 am » Comments Off

  An environmental worker stands near an excavator amid waste at Tianziling landfill in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China August 7, 2019. Affluence is the biggest threat to our world, according to a new scientific report. True sustainability will only be achieved through drastic lifestyle changes, it argues. The World Economic Forum has called for a […]



understanding the future through the eyes of a child