[Blogpinion] GM Volt Enthusiast Asks the Government to Turn the Bailout up to Eleven

November 14 2008 / by joelg / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Transportation   Year: 2008   Rating: 10 Hot

by Joel Greenberg

What Happened?
Dr. Lyle J. Dennis today asked readers of his GM-Volt.com enthusiast site to sign a petition asking the Bush Administration to bail out GM. As a public advocate of the electrification of the automobile, Dennis believes without a bailout, GM will die and so will the Volt, not to mention Project Driveway, GM’s fuel cell initiative.

GM has announced the Chevy Volt will ship in 2010 with a price somewhere in the $30,000 dollar range. The big question is whether or not GM will survive long enough to see 2010 and the release of the Volt.

Why This Is Important to the Future of Energy
The first successfully mass marketed electric vehicle will tip the market away from oil and to electricity.

Here at The Energy Roadmap we’ve been talking over Skype about the Volt’s future given the economy. Garry Golden told me, “At the end of the day, they’re likely to tank Chrysler before they tank General Motors if they see it as a much more functional and valuable company.’”

Says Golden, “GM is in the best position to make this leap to electric vehicles,” because of their R&D commitment to these vehicles.

If there’s time.

What to Watch For

Continue Reading

War Games Used to Predict Business Outcomes

March 07 2008 / by Alvis Brigis / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Business & Work   Year: General   Rating: 8

When a corporate executive must quickly make an important strategic decision, he or she can now turn to custom War Games for the answer.

Fuld & Company, an organization focused on competitive intelligence solutions, has become expert at setting up these real-time scenarios. Providing War Game services to private and public institutions alike, they’ve applied this technique to hot areas such as virtual communities, digital entertainment and internet advertising.

The company website states that, “War games are about anticipating competitive moves before your rivals make them. A war game is a structured strategic exercise. It allows you to understand unexplored, or unforeseen strategic options. Most important, a war game will show you the implications of your decisions months or years ahead.”

This past Tuesday, Fuld & Co organized a War Game focused on the results of the 700MHz Wireless Spectrum auction that’s currently taking place. The company pulled together teams of business school students from Harvard, MIT, Northwestern and the University of Chicago and asked each to role-play a large corporate actor.

The result was a general consensus that the “auction will produce deal-making with lots of cash changing hands, but only small near-term tech advances as far as the consumer is concerned.” (Additional predictions harvested at the event can be found here .)

While there’s no guarantee that any of these predictions will come true, it certainly seems like a valuable possibility-generating exercise, provided you’ve got the advance-time and money required bring the right people together. But that might not be such an obstacle in the coming years as increasingly rich virtual worlds that support multi-user conferences (Second Life already does) and new pay-for-expertise-by-the-increment services like BitWine allow for more rapid organization of top-notch War Games.

What might you need a War Game for?

Can you imagine using a War Game to make an important life decision sometime in the next 10 years?

or Show Results

How Smart Will Humans Be in 2020?

June 17 2008 / by Alvis Brigis / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Culture   Year: 2020   Rating: 5 Hot

How smart will humans become as change accelerates through 2020?

Futurists and sci-fi authors often present scenarios in which humans interact with discrete artificial intelligence (like a robot or software program that talks to us), but far less frequently offer visions of runaway human intelligence enhancement (people made smarter by advances in communication, science & technology) and the resulting cultural and behavioral changes. The most interesting of these I’ve encountered include the rapid-time expanding-shrinking problem-solving networks in Vinge’s Rainbows End, Stephenson’s Metaverse idea, Hesse’s Glass Bead Game concept, Cascio’s participatory Panopticon, the increasingly smart mobs envisioned by Howard Rheingold, some of examples listed in the ASF’s Metaverse Roadmap, and what Richard Florida calls The Rise of the Creative Class . But though each of these are important visions in their own right, I remain a bit surprised at the overall lack of speculation re: what it might be like for humans to gradually bootstrap their intelligence over the coming years.

Given the deluge of brain-enhancing, capability-extending new technologies and ideas soon to be made widely available and affordable, it’d be great to see more thinkers, writers, and bloggers venture into the territory of plausible near-term culture and Intelligence Amplification (IA). Supported by a large body of consistent, powerful growth trends and near-term predictions (check them out on the Future Scanner), a wide range of social scenarios could be generated, many of which would be interesting, entertaining and ultimately valuable to people working to navigate the future (aka, everyone). In particular, I’d love to see/read simulations in which the most plausible near-term intelligence enhancing technologies and software are combined into believable slice-of-life vignettes.

What follows is a list of some powerful trends and technologies (some broad, some specific, many related to information and communication) that forward-thinkers might consider when developing scenarios for how human culture and social cognition will change as we approach 2020:

Drivers of Near-Term Intelligence Growth

WIDENING BANDWIDTH: Faster internet connections, pervasive WiFi – perhaps syndicated through people’s mobile devices.

GROWING GLOBAL INFORMATION: The amount of preserved digital data is growing exponentially as we capture more information about everything around us.

EVOLVING SOCIAL MEDIA: New media structures on a wider and more fluid web are evolving to better organize and process data. Portals like Wikipedia, Digg, Facebook, Medium, Twitter, FriendFeed, and Predictify are just the first in a long wave of innovation that promises to convert massive information into knowledge more efficiently.

VIDEO-to-VIDEO CHAT: Expect most cell phones to enable video-to-video chat by 2012 or so. (cont.)

Continue Reading

Scenario Land: Bringing the Future to Life through Fiction & Scenarios

October 15 2008 / by Alvis Brigis
Category: Other   Year: General   Rating: 3

Hello All & Welcome to Scenario Land!

Ever since I got hip to the reality of accelerating change I’ve been working to bridge that understanding to the masses. My string of efforts have included blogging, working with the Acceleration Studies Foundation on their powerful conference series and Metaverse Roadmap Project:, pitching TV shows about the future (in addition to Augmented Reality space adventures – think Big Brother meets Space Balls), and co-launching MemeBox with fellow futurist Jeff Hilford.

And now the real fun begins…

This blog, Scenario Land, is the culmination of my burning drive to make futurism more accessible to the people who just don’t have the time nor the interest to pore through awesome books like Mega Trends, The Fourth Turning, and The Singularity is Near. The intent is to strike a balance between entertainment and technical trend analysis, establishing a portal where creative and critical thinkers alike can engage the future together.

It’s a place where you can fearlessly share your thoughts on the world of tomorrow. Whether your strength lies in narrative story-telling, essay writing, illustration, composite imaging, comics, video, machinima or elsewhere, Scenario Land is a broadcast platform that can amplify your visions of the future. If you’ve got a big imagination and a desire to debate the road ahead, this is the place to make that happen.

I plan on using it to evolve my simulation of the future and sincerely hope you will do the same.

Continue Reading

Blending Entertainment & Futurism, Scenario Land Joins MemeBox's Future Blogger Network

October 15 2008 / by memebox / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Other   Year: 2008   Rating: 3

MemeBox is proud to announce the launch of Scenario Land. Edited by futurist and Future Blogger co-editor Alvis Brigis, the new site tackles the future head-on through a provocative blend of speculative fiction and plausible trend-informed scenarios.

“Striking the balance between entertainment and empirical futurism, Scenario Land is a place where creative and critical thinkers alike can engage the future,” says Brigis, “Whether your strength lies in narrative story-telling, essay writing, illustration, composite imaging, comics, video, machinima or elsewhere, Scenario Land is a great outlet for sharing and debating visions of our future.”

As a branch of MemeBox’s FutureBlogger network, Scenario Land overlaps with other future-focused sister blogs including The Energy Roadmap (theenergyroadmap.com) and Future of Gadgets (launching soon). This unique system allows Scenario Land to retain a unique voice while also amplifying reach and inviting valuable perspectives from other niche focus areas.

“Change is accelerating, making it increasingly difficult to envision the futures ahead of us,” points out MemeBox CEO Jeff Hilford, “So our goal here at MemeBox is to create a rich, interactive playground that allows you to explore various trends and tomorrows. Scenario Land is a key part of our growing ecosystem where people can fearlessly speculate about and debate all things future.”

If you’ve got a big imagination for the future and want to contribute your thoughts about a rapidly changing world, Scenario Land is the place to get it all out and spread your powerful ideas.

Be sure to check out Alvis’ Welcome Post to readers and enjoy!

2013: The Year of Ongoing Social Unrest or Strong Tech-Centric Recovery?

October 15 2008 / by Alvis Brigis
Category: Economics   Year: 2013   Rating: 3

Half Empty, Half Full contrasts extreme positive and negative future scenarios. To create and submit your own Half Empty, Half Full simply follow this link, download the template by clicking on the thumbnail, open it in an image editor such as GIMP (free), then go to town creating totally original Yin & Yang futures.

Continue Reading

2030 Scenarios on Energy, InfoTech, Globalization & Climate Change

October 22 2008 / by Garry Golden
Category: Environment   Year: Beyond   Rating: 2

Scenarios are stories about the future. They are not predictions or forecasts, but help us explore change and fundamentally different future landscapes.

The Forum for the Future has partnered with HP Research Labs on a new publication ‘Climate Futures responses to climate change in 2030’ to explore the broad social, political, environmental and economic drivers affecting global markets and IT related industry sectors. [Download 76 page PDF 6 MB]

The five scenarios for 2030 include:

1. Efficiency first
Rapid innovation in energy efficiency and novel technologies has enabled a low-carbon economy with almost no need for changes in lifestyle or business practice

2. Service transformation
A high price of carbon has ushered in a revolution in how people’s needs are satisfied

3. Redefining progress
New priorities of ‘wellbeing’ and ‘quality of life’ are bubbling up across the world as more sustainable forms of living become established

4. Environmental war economy
Tough measures have been adopted to combat climate change, pushing markets to the very limit of what they can deliver

5. Protectionist world
Globalization has gone into retreat and countries focus on security and access to resources at any cost