thenextwave

Walking on the moon

Posted in space, technology by thenextwavefutures on 17 July, 2009

moonOf course it’s the 40th anniversary of the first American moon landing on Monday (unless you’re a conspiracy theorist), and there is an interesting discussion at Charlie Stross’ blog. He argues that the reason that it didn’t develop into a full space colonisation programme (as imagined in the film  2001) was because the technology was at the edge of its capability just getting the lunar module on and off the moon. In the comments there’s an interesting analogy with the race to the South Pole seventy years previously – that these events are more about national identity than technology or innovation.

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Energy from the desert

Posted in energy, sustainability, technology, trends by thenextwavefutures on 16 July, 2009

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When we worked with Foresight last year on their scenarios for the future of Sustainable Energy Management and the Built Environment,  one of the scenarios, “Green Growth”, described a world where large scale international investment in renewables enabled a transition away from the fossil fuel economy. One of these large projects was the ‘solar desert’, in which solar energy was piped north to Europe from the scenario. Such a project is now being promoted by a German consortium headed by the world’s largest reinsurance company Munich Re. An article in Open Democracy looks at the reasons – and the obstacles.

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Slow language

Posted in culture, digital, emerging issues, social, time by thenextwavefutures on 9 July, 2009

I’m a fan of the poet/novelist Nick Laird’s sometime contributions to the Guardian’s Saturday Review, and last weekend – after a holiday in Italy where he was exposed to the Slow Food Movement – he wrote about how to read poetry now was to be part of a Slow Language Movement‘. A smart sub-editor pulled the phrase into the headline, and although one of the joys of ‘slow’ as an adjective is how easily it can be used to form new movements (there are Slow Towns as well), it seems – on the basis of a quick web search – that Nick Laird’s article may represent the first sighting of an emerging issue.

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The future of football

Posted in digital, future, sport, trends by thenextwavefutures on 7 July, 2009

You take your futures insights where you find them, and today’s issue of Match – a football magazine to which my son subscribes – has a feature on ‘Footy 2020’ – filling the gap between the end of the Confederations Cup and the back-to-training transfer roundabout. The main trends: more ICT (information/communications technology); new materials; more excitement for spectators; more sponsorship opportunities; and greater engagement by fans in their clubs – such as Barcelona’s ownership model.

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