What if the Future was an Object?

Source: Daniel Olah, Unsplash. https://unsplash.com/photos/16XJMQ2bTl4

What exactly is the future?

This may sound like an odd question, but it’s surprising how often we barrel ahead trying to build a better future without pausing to think about what it is, and how this affects our relationship with it.

As well as a question that seems particularly relevant to a College of Global Futures, it’s also one that is at the core of my new book Future Rising: A Journey from the Past to the Edge of Tomorrow.

You can find out more about the book here, including an excerpt from the introduction that gives you a pretty good sense of what it’s about.

But for this blog post, I wanted to dig a bit more into the back-story behind the book, and the idea that inspired it: thinking about the future as an object. Continue reading

The ethics of advanced brain machine interfaces — and why they matter

Source: Neuralink

What, you might ask, have advanced brain machine interfaces got to do with global futures?

Quite a lot as it turns out!

A couple of weeks ago, I participated in a discussion on the the governance and ethics of brain machine interface technologies in a meeting of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Committee on Science, Technology and the Law (my comments are at the end of this article). This was a scoping discussion to get a sense of the potential issues here that may need to be addressed moving forward, and was prompted in part by the developments coming out of Elon Musk’s company Neuralink. Continue reading

David Attenborough’s Call to Action in A Life on Our Planet is Compelling, but Flawed

Source: A Life On Our Planet, Netflix

If you haven’t yet seen David Attenborough’s new Netflix documentary A Life on Our Planet, you should. As a self-described “witness statement” on the state of our world from one of the most widely traveled and respected naturalists of our time, it’s sobering viewing. And its message deeply aligns with our mission in the College of Global Futures.

And yet for all its warnings of a planet in crisis, I found Attenborough’s perspective somewhat limited while watching the documentary, compelling as it is. Continue reading

The future of predictive policing?

Palantir

The company Palantir hit the headlines this week as it made its debut on the New York Stock exchange.

Known for its cutting-edge use of big data to support security info and interventions—especially with three letter agencies—the company is also known for its controversial work on predictive policing.

I wrote about Palantir a couple of years ago in Films from the Future, and given the company’s prominence this week, thought it was worth posting a short excerpt from the chapter below. Continue reading

The Long Way Up to a Sustainable Electric Future

Long Way Up. Apple TV+

It shouldn’t make for compelling TV – the Scottish actor Ewan McGregor losing a pair of sunglasses on a desolate road in Argentina and finding them the next day – but it does!

What’s more, it’s compelling TV that has deep connections to sustainability, tech innovation and the future. Continue reading

Welcome to the College of Global Futures Deans’ Blog!

Image by Uki_71 from Pixabay

First posts on a new blog are always tricky – do you try and wow your audience with intellectual fireworks? Do you hit them with something unexpected and amazing? Or do you simply say “Hi” and hope they come back for something more substantive next time round?

Having done this numerous times in the past, I still have no idea what the right answer is, so I’m just going to jump right in and say hi and welcome to the brand new Dean’s Blog from the equally new ASU College of Global Futures, and say a bit about what you can expect from us. Continue reading