Monthly Archives: April 2006

The Drivers of Change Release

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Drivers of Change

And because I have just plugged one book, it only makes sense to plug one that is already published and available. This is the Drivers of Change card set the Foresight & Innovation team has just released. The launch was on March 27th and drew industry and friends alike. The cards focus on the often splintered categories and drivers of change: social, technology, economic, environment, and political. The cards attempt to project, but not predict, what the world might be like in 2050 by taking a look at the leading drivers of change that will affect our future. Each card depicts a factoid and rhetorical question on one face, backed up by a brief indication of the breadth and depth of the content on the other face.

The set was devised by the Foresight & Innovation team at Arup, a group tasked with exploring emerging trends and how they impact upon business of Arup and its clients.

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The Worldchanging Bible

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Worldchanging

The team at Worldchanging is in the process of publishing a book on how to create change in the 21st century. The design of the book is quite stylish for a green thumbed group. It is 608 pages short with 8 different sections ranging from politics (networked politics, non-violent revolution) to shelter (green buildings and landscaping) and business (socially responsible investment, worldchanging start-ups), and the intro is written by a personal fave of mine Bruce Sterling. The initial print run is 200,000 books. Congrats on the five month feat.

For a closer look head here

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Electric People Square

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The People in the Global Village

“Ours is a brand-new world of allatonceness.”Time” has ceased, “space” has vanished. We now live in a global village . . . a simultaneous happening”.Marshall McLuhan

This section of the Drivers of Change blog has been started because each one of us within the Foresight & Innovation group at Arup has a particular slant. For Simon it’s energy, Duncan looks at intelligent technologies/media, Alvise it’s design and 3D visualization, and for me it’s people. I have always been intrigued by the human subject. I could spend an entire afternoon observing people interact. And I would like to think that there is always something to be learned from each human encounter.

We live in a diverse world where change is the only certainty. Through advances in technology we have been granted the ability to grasp the enormity and complexity of the world and to note the increasing amount of disparity between what I often view as two separate realities: the developing world and the developed world. At the same time the somewhat seamless medium of technology has drawn us closer through informal and formal networks making the cultural, religious and political differences seem almost non-existent.

The cultural critic, international scholar and eminent futurist Marshall McLuhan once predicted that a form of technology such as the Internet would bring us closer together as society to create a “Global Village.” But he also voiced concern over what we as human beings might lose in the process of adopting new technologies. And as I am finding increasingly in my research the differences still do exist, with conflict perhaps being our keenest and most unfortunate reminder of that.

2006 marks the beginning of a research project I am leading on studying global demographic change – no small feat. I hope to use this blog as a host and as an extension of the discoveries, the conversations and the encounters I have along the way.

As I float through the continents and enlighten myself, here’s hoping I can bring something back to all of you in the global village.

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