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IFTF Research Methodology: Signal Scanning

One of IFTF's research methodologies is Signals Scanning.  This process is used on internal research projects, with clients, shared on Twitter, and also shared on our blog from time to time.

Definition of a signal

Investigating future of persuasion with Fogg Behavior Grid

Stanford professor BJ Fogg has recently developed a framework for classifying types of behavior change called, appropriately enough, the Fogg Behavior Grid. The grid is a 7x5 matrix that maps behaviors described by frequency (a one-time behavior, or behaviors over a duration of time, etc) against behaviors described by their direction of change (increasing, decreasing, or cessation) and level of familiarity.

Molecular sociology: when lab research intersects with health care reform

Yesterday, I blogged about a concept in physiology known as allostatic load, and noted that the term was coined by neuroendocronologist Bruce McEwen.  According to a press release from the Rockefeller University, McEwen likes to describe himself as a "molecular sociologist," because his lab work at the university—on the impact of stress on the brain—has led him to think about how "the social environment that people are in will affect the structure and function of their brains."

Pentagon investing in energy research

The Washington Post reports on new Pentagon-sponsored research on energy efficiency, and the hard realities that now make it a priority:

[A]bout half of the U.S. military casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan are related to attacks with improvised explosive devices on convoys, many of which are carrying fuel. As of March 20, 3,426 service members had been killed by hostile fire in Iraq, 1,823 of them victims of IEDs.

Making Lightweight Innovation Transparent, Literally

One of the focal areas for the Institute for the Future's Technology Horizons program this year is a theme we're calling "lightweight innovation".

We're in a strange point in the history of innovation. As governments start making the first big new investments in basic research and research infrastructure in a generation, companies are cutting R&D to the bone. A few years from now, if we can find a way to transfer the technology coming out of these new big scientific endeavors, there's likely to be a sustained period of great innovation.

The Future of Market Research

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to meet Joel Rubinson, the Chief Research Officer and resident thought leader at the Advertising Research Foundation, to discuss an initiative they are sponsoring that is looking at the future of market research.
While I have not specifically looked at the market research field, what struck me was how similar the challenges that are facing market research are to other areas of science and technology.

New IFTF Research Goes Public

The Future of Work map and report [SR-1092A&B] and the 2007 Fall Exchange materials about The Future of Work are now available.  Enjoy!

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