Forecasting Posts

Future of work

Automation anxiety and the future of work

Published 14 September 2016

Until fairly recently, most of the literature on the future of work was all too familiar: mobile working, working from home, hot-desking, teams, fun interiors to stimulate creativity, etc.

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Hinkley, cybersecurity, China and the New Protectionism

Published 15 August 2016

To much controversy, Britain’s new prime minister, Theresa May, last month insisted on a fresh review of the building of two new nuclear reactors in the west of England.

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Glaskugel Crystal Ball

Futureproofing your business

Published 2 June 2015

I feel good about not booking my Amtrak train from Washington to New York City two days earlier than I did. In this manner I avoided the murderous crash that happened on that line.

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New catastrophists

The idiocy of the New Catastrophists

Published 22 October 2012

The disparity between commentators’ warnings of doom and their proposed social solutions is hilarious.

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A Satire of Tulip Mania by Brueghel the Younger (ca. 1640)

Manias about change

Published 7 November 2011

Just because your email Inbox is brimming doesn’t mean that the real pace of change is accelerating. Panel discussion.

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The end is nigh

The end is nigh: is survival all we can hope for?

Published 11 October 2011

In their policies for energy and for the economy, British politicians hold up continued existence as the maximum goal we should strive for.

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Big Pharma, small ambition

Published 11 February 2011

Pfizer’s decision to close its UK research facility was born of an industry-wide angst about medical discovery.

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A very conservative approach to innovation

Published 2 October 2010

The Lib-Con coalition is more concerned with controlling behaviour than forging a brave, hi-tech future.

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When a billion Chinese jump

‘Lifestyles will have to be redesigned’

Published 27 August 2010

A Guardian journalist’s ranting about the ‘neglect, greed and human filth’ of modern China shows that new prejudices about a Green Peril have replaced old fears of the Yellow Peril.

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Do we need a more venturesome economy?

Published 29 January 2010

It is true that in the world economy, R&D, laboratories and national competitiveness aren’t everything – but they count for more than Amar Bhidé suggests.

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State intervention is no substitute for innovation

Published 30 October 2009

British industry isn’t dead by any means, but if low-carbon jobs and protectionism trump new research and development, it soon will be.

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Gladwell: hero or zero?

Published 26 June 2009

Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers reveals more about the author’s prejudices than it does the nature of success.

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The CFLs are on, but nobody’s home

Published 12 January 2009

The mad green war on light bulbs won’t save much electricity – it’s about enforcing moral rectitude in the home.

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Forecasting the frontiers of design

Published 12 October 2006

Measures of design effectiveness have become more and more subjective. It’s time to call a halt

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Constructive ideas from the East

Published 13 October 2005

China needs new homes – don’t we all?

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Sun and Universe

The Globalisation of UK manufacturing and services, 2004–24: toward the Agile Economy

Published 9 June 2004

Executive Summary: This report is based on interviews with influential companies, both British and foreign, as well as the author’s own research.

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Risky business

Published 10 October 1996

Today every workplace boasts codes of business ethics. But as long as 10 years ago, it was clear that ethics were a symptom of a wider aversion to risk

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Before we rush to declare a new era

Published 22 December 1994

The doctrine that the world has entered a new Age of Information has plenty of precedents. It is wrong.

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Back to the future again

Published 21 June 1989

Review of Megamistakes: Forecasting and the Myth of Rapid Technological Change. By Steven Schnaars. The Free Press/Collier Macmillan

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Herman Khan

Herman Kahn – the forecaster as think-tank

Published 2 July 1982

Interview with the man who was the model for Dr Strangelove. Herman Kahn is big. He always was big

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Malcolm McLaren

Malcolm McLaren: the punk Svengali as forecaster

Published 10 August 1981

Thirty-six years on, the famous British impresario is entirely prescient here – about the infantilisation of adults, the cult of play, and the rise of selfies

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