In search of European democracy

Posted in economics, politics by thenextwavefutures on 28 May, 2014

UKIP-leader-Nigel-Farage-speaks-in-the-debate-following-Commission-President-Barrosos-State-of-the-Union-Address-on-September-28-2011-Photo-credit-©European-Union-2011-PE-EP_Pietro-Naj-Oleari-creative-commons-628x356The European election results were another shockwave rolling out from the 2008 financial crisis. They suggest the crisis has some way to go.

“The most annoying thing about most of the commentary on the European elections is that it is dominated (as usual) by people who are only interested in elections, and entirely uninterested in what is actually going on”, John Naughton observed in an excellent post this week. Actually, that splits into two, reinforcing problems. Politicians are too interested in people who vote, and not those who don’t, and the media is too interested in events, and not sufficiently interested in causes. As a result, you get lots of heat and precious little light.

And it’s pretty clear that what we saw last week was one of the continuing shock waves rolling out from the financial crisis, a crisis that almost certainly has another decade or so to go.


Anticipating the next wave of technology

Posted in innovation, technology by thenextwavefutures on 24 May, 2014

PerezMainPhotoRegular readers of the next wave will know that I am a fan of the work of the economic and technology historian Carlota Perez, who developed a model that explains the processes by which new technology platforms first emerge, then become dominant, and then become superseded. There have been five of these “technology surges” since 1771; the present ICT surge is the fifth.

Her model is a historical one. This isn’t a complaint: she is a historian, and she did the analysis of the historical data to propose the pattern she describes in her book. But when I was asked to contribute to an Association of Professional Futurists workshop that used the Three Horizons method to explore candidates for the Sixth surge, I wondered if it was possible to identify future-facing characteristics in her model.