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Wanted: Adaptive Encouragement

It’s that time of year again. The global holiday of January 1, and with it, the annual ritual of self-improvement: setting New Year’s resolutions.  It’s a time when we’re called on to reflect on our lives and the behaviors we might want to change—and bombarded with ideas on how to do so.  It’s the time of year that makes me crave the realization of one of our Science and Technology forecasts: Adaptive Encouragement.

Avoiding Short-Term Thinking In A World of Big Data

My latest piece for Fast Company's Co Exist site is up here - making the argument that the coming future of big data could erode our ability to think and focus on long-term futures. It begins with an old story about how metrics can mislead us:

Replacement parts: “We can rebuild him, we have the technology”

Regenerative medicine will replace, restore, maintain, or enhance tissue and organ functions, dramatically improving patients’ health and quality of life, and potentially reducing the cost of their care. Tissue engineering will heal diabetic foot ulcers, reducing the need for amputations; organs grown in a lab will ease our dependence on donor transplants; and tendons, cartilage, and bone regrown with autologous cells will be used to repair injuries and joints.

Apps Are The New Blogs

Remember blogs? Sometime back in those post-traumatic stress syndrome-laced 2000s known as the early aughts, noughts, or (my favorite) the ooze, the web became usable on a mass scale. Blogger, TypePad, and Wordpress all launched or relaunched in 2003. In that same year the CSS Zen Garden introduced us to html styles and web site themes that changed with the seasons.

Using Regenerative Medicine to Preview Biological Responses

At IFTF, we're always looking for new tools to better understand future possibilities--and our 2010 Science, Technology and Well-Being map highlighted a new tool for personal health foresight: Stem cell research. The basic idea is this: the tools of regenerative medicine, which now enable scientists to, for example, engineer skin cells into other kinds of cells, such as heart cells, will enable scientists to test out effects of different kinds of treatments inside of petri dishes, rather than inside our bodies.

Understanding Fitness Deserts

A couple months ago, Good had a great feature about the idea of a fitness desert--essentially, a place where, due to some combination of environmental and social factors, getting out, walking around, and exercising is unusually difficult. As far as I can tell, the piece, by Alex Schmidt, is one of the first to use the term fitness desert--and I'd guess, in part, this is because coming up with any sort of clear definition of one is complex.

Anticipatory Quarantines

It’s exciting to think of the world as a highly connectedplace, where people, goods, and ideas spread easily and freely to the larger global population.  Through Twitter, you can hear about what is happening on the ground during a protest in a city thousands of miles away, and through the expansive network of international air travel, you can be on another continent within hours of leaving your home.  Of course, not everything nor everyone travels freely to everywhere they’d like to go, and not every idea moves seamlessly, but, for the most part, it feels like each year, we have m

Automated Nourishment

Last year, when we created our Map on the Future of Science and Technology and Well-Being, we were looking for convergences. What experimental, and seemingly disparate technologies might converge over the next decade to change how we pursue well-being?

Your World Redefined - the Serious Business of Augmented Reality

IFTF's Mike Liebhold is featured in the Ericsson's Business Review cover story on the transformative world of augmented reality. The dreams of sci-fi writers and movie makers are explored here--playing out on a street corner near you will be "a cinematic view of the real world overlaid with digital information" that will adorn your world in the next decade.

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