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Past Meetings Jan - Jun 2012

Page history last edited by Rog Rydberg 6 years, 10 months ago

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Jan. 7, 2012

Topic: Future Studies 

Title: “Evolving Futures for Smart Cities”

Presenter: George Kubik, PhD (Anticipatory Futures Group, LLC)

Abstract: Cities are becoming larger and more numerous. For the first time in history, over fifty percent of the world’s population (7 billion people) live in cities. It is projected that by 2050, 70 percent of the global population will be urban. Current trends indicate that very soon 600 cities will account for more than 60 percent of global GDP growth.


Simultaneously, cities are becoming smarter. Embedded intelligence in the form of sensors, actuators, and computers are combining to generate and apply vast amounts of data and information. Devices at the macro, micro, and nano scales are combining to monitor and control city functions and infrastructures. These devices are increasingly embedded in buildings, roads, utilities, and even in our water. At the same time, cities are becoming increasingly anticipatory. They are beginning to anticipate change and meet future challenges.


Join us this Saturday as we explore the emerging world of smart cities and intelligent urban infrastructures. And, be prepared for a vigorous discussion!


Jan 10, 2012 - Board Meeting


Jan 14, 2012

Topic: Economic Futures SIG 

Title: The Foundation of Economics and What Does It Mean For Our Economic Future?

Presenter: Roger Rydberg

Abstract: Why do we have the economics that now occur? 


What are the under lying reasons for what happens?


What were the reasons you chose to do the things you did in life?

(Early-middle-late career moves?)


Be prepared to participate in an inter-active discussion!





Jan. 21, 2012 (click for Lead In)

Topic: Technology Futures SIG 

Title: The Neurology of Human Nature

Presenter: Brian Toren 

Abstract: V.S. “Rama” Ramachandran has pursued research in two areas, one in the study of visual perception (what a subject is seeing based on what they report), and the other in behavioral neurology (in which his experiments, despite their seeming simplicity, have had a significant impact on the way we think about the brain). He is credited with introducing the use of visual feedback as a treatment for phantom limb pain and complex regional pain syndrome and for stroke rehabilitation. More recently, his work has focused on the causes of autism. Rama was the second most viewed presenter after Larry J Young's "The Monogamous Brain" at the 2011 Nobel Conference held at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN.


We will view the video of the talk http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OrrWl_ytikA&list=PLA1D7BD1295076BB1&index=2&feature=plpp_video, then Brian will conduct the discussion.


Jan. 28, 2012

Topic: Society, Management, Education Futures SIG 

Title:  Augmented Reality Futures

Presenter:  David Keenan

Abstract:  A review of current and emerging capabilities and some exploration of future trends.

Presentation: Augmented Reality Futures 28jan12.ppt


Feb. 4, 2012

Topic: Future Studies 

Title: Futures research and resilience: An evolving perspective of change

Presenter: George Kubik, PhD (Anticipatory Futures Group, LLC)

Abstract: What, if anything, does our understanding of resilience have to do with the issues, limitations, and potentials of futures research? How does resilience theory help us understand systems undergoing change and perturbation? Join us this Saturday as we explore the subject of resilience and its relationship to change in physical and biological systems, and natural and built environments.




Feb. 11, 2012

Topic: Economic Futures SIG 

Title: The Rich Poor Divide in America

Presenter: TBA

Abstract:  Will the division between rich and poor get wider or narrower over the next decade?  An exercise in critical thinking.   It's not what you think should happen.  It's what you think will happen.


Feb 18, 2012

Topic: Technology Futures SIG

Title: Using the Futures Wheel to Forecast the Singularity

Presenters: Brian Toren and George Kubik

Abstract: This SIG is a participatory research SIG. The subject is the Singularity: the merging of human and machine. The question is when and how will we get there? The SIG will start with a recap of the definition of a singularity and a rundown on where we are today, using a modified process of the futures wheel forecasting tool. Rather than using the wheel to determine impacts of an event, we are going to use the wheel backwards to identify the events required to get to get to the end product. The present state of technology will establish the outer rim of our futures wheel. The hub of the futures wheel is the singularity itself. The activity is to postulate the research, breakthroughs, sequence and timing of events required to achieve the goal of a singularity. These will be recorded on a flip chart arrange d in the sequence of events required get there, proceeding from the rim to the hub.

What is the Singularity/

Technological Singularity - Wikipedia

The Coming Technological Singularity Vernon Vinge

Singularity Institute

Singularity University

Futures wheel example


Feb. 25, 2012

Topic: Society, Management, Education Futures SIG

Title:  The Future of Societies - Implications of Genetic Enhancements for Intelligence

Presenter: Eric Hand

Preliminary Abstract: Steve Hsu, University of Oregon, presented Genetics and Intelligence on Aug. 18, 2011. "Hsu is involved in a study which seeks to find links between genes and high IQ. The study is looking for individuals with IQs that test higher than 3 standard deviations above the mean, in a clear effort to cut to the chase. Hsu's talk is well worth watching for anyone interested in the genetics of cognitive ability. As high tech infrastructures grow more sophisticated and crucial to advanced societies' successes, their high IQ smart fractions take on an ever greater importance." Comments from Alfin http://alfin2100.blogspot.com/2011/08/google-tech-talk-steve-hsu-genetic.html

 We will watch some or all of the talk and then discuss possible futures.  Link to Video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62jZENi1ed8 (66 min).  Link to Slides from Steve Hsu http://duende.uoregon.edu/~hsu/talks/ggoogle.pdf


Mar 3, 2012

Topic: Futures Tools

Title:  Singularity Futures Wheel

Presenter: George Kubic, Brian Toren, Hank Lederer



This SIG is a continuation of the Singularity SIG of 17 February. It consists of two parts. First, an introduction to and examples of the Futures Wheel tool. Second, A review of the brain and where we are in emulating the brain, then use the Futures Wheel in the analysis of Singularity futures. This will actually be using the Wheel in reverse to ascertain how we get to a singularity that can surpass human intelligence. Then a brain storming session with attendees using the tool to determine what advance and breakthroughs in technology are required to get there. If time permits, we will use the wheel in its attended form to investigate the impact of the singularity on the future of humans and society,

Brain Facts and Figures/facts.html


Mar. 10, 2012

Topic: Economic Futures SIG 

Title: That Used To Be Us: How America Fell Behind In The World It Invented And How We Can Come Back'

Tom Friedman of The New York Times & Johns Hopkins Professor Michael Mandelbaum

Presenter:R Rydberg


(Book) That Used to Be US

(Video) http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/11879


Mar 17, 2012

Topic: Technology Futures SIG

Title:  Compressed Natural Gas as Transportation Fuel Futures

Presenter: Tom Mader


Mar. 24, 2012


Topic: Technology Futures SIG

Title:  Emerging Nanotechnology Processes Enable New Applications

PresentersDavid Keenan

Abstract: This talk will explore some of the processes that use nanotechnology to allow new product properties and new applications. Areas touched on will include: •Composites •Solar Energy •Hydrogen Storage for Fuel Cells •Drug Delivery •Gas Sensors •Plastics Processing •Magnetic Materials •Better Seals •Future Electronics



Mar 31, 2011

Topic: Peace, Justice

Title:North Korea - What's next?

Speaker:Roy Kim

Abstract:Kim is a native of North Korea and a resident of Minnesota. He is able to visit his family in North Korea. He will share a brief history of the country’s division and war and his observations during a visit to North Korea during the recent regime change.





April 7, 2012

Category: Futures Research  

Topic:Exploring “The Tipping Point”

Speakers: George Kubik, PhD (Anticipatory Futures Group, LLC)


Introduction: Join us this Saturday (April 7) as we explore Malcolm Gladwell’s “The Tipping Point.” In his book, Gladwell provides insights into the social dynamics of how ideas and products are spread through society. He compares their rapid growth and decline to epidemics where infections reach a critical mass and are passed on. His book is an exploration of the forces driving these changes, wherein he describes the ‘tipping point in these processes as the dramatic moment when a threshold has been crossed and sudden change occurs. Is ‘the tipping point’ a guiding template for social change, or is it merely the ‘tip’ of the iceberg in explaining this phenomena. During the presentation we will explore other interpretations of social change including bifurcation theory and catastrophe theory. Join us in this exploration of change and the future, and present your ideas and views.


April 14, 2012

Economic and Financial Futures SIG

Title:       Where Nations Invest in R&D as Insight into the Future

Speaker:   David Keenan

Abstract:   Recently, China's 12th 5 year plan for investment was explained.  We will review the highlights and implications and attempt to explore similar government investment plans.  Our goal will be to anticipate the future, based on how nations "place their bets".


April 21, 2012

Technology Futures SIG

Title:        Technology Potpouri

Speaker:  David Grider

Abstract:  Recently Next Big Futures did a blog on Technology areas to watch over the next 4-5 years:


http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/daniel_schnitzer_inventing_is_the_easy_part.html TED talk 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hdpf-MQM9vY&feature=player_embedded 30 story building assembled in 15 days

We will talk about some of his possible scenarios and discuss how likely we think they might be.  Bring ideas that you think might develop in this time frame.  Our high rankings:



April 28, 2012 

Future Studies

Title:             Preparing a Talk for the Futurists

Presenter:     David Keenan

Abstract:       This session will cover guidelines, recommendations, tools and tricks that I use to research and prepare presentations for the Futurists.

Presentation: HO-Preparing a Talk for MNF-28Apr12.ppt

Reference Page: Tools


May 5, 2012

Social Political Education (G. Kubic will not be here this Saturday) 

Title:        Ten or Eleven ideas that can change your life

Speaker:  Brian K Toren

Abstract:  Ten ideas that can change your life (plus one other)

In this SIG we will discus several ideas in social environment economics (and some technical( that can affect your future. Topics Include:

• Our Wimpy Economy
*  Living Alone 
*  Privacy in Public
*  Information in the Cloud  
*  Foods That Last Forever  
*  The End of Nature

*  The rise of the "Nons"

After each topic, time will be used to list and discuss some positive and negative consequences of these ideas.



May 12, 2012

Topic:        Economic Futures SIG

Title:        “Black Swans: Anticipating the Unforeseen”  

Presenter:  G. Kubik, PhD (Anticipatory Futures Group, LLC

Abstract: This presentation reviews the Black Swan Theory developed by Nassim Nicholas Taleb (2007, 2010). This is Taleb’s second book addressing the black swan metaphor. In his first book, Fooled by Randomness, Taleb directed his thoughts primarily to black swan events occurring in traditional financial markets. The Black Swan Theory extends his metaphor across the spectrum of human pursuits.


This presentation will emphasize Taleb’s application of the black swan metaphor to events that surprise observers, produce high impact outcomes, and are subsequently rationalized by hindsight. Relying on this metaphor, Taleb regards almost all major scientific discoveries, major innovations, historical events, and artistic accomplishments as black swans—undirected and unpredicted. He defines black swans as rare events (extreme outliers) that exist outside the traditional domains of scientific methodology and are typically occluded by psychological biases.


We will address Taleb’s assertion that priority should not be given to attempts to predict black swan events, Rather, emphasis should be placed on: 1. Developing robustness against the effects of negative black swan events; and, 2. Exploiting positive black swan events. Our presentation will also address Taleb’s description of "the fourth quadrant" which Taleb characterizes as a domain of specific empirical and statistical properties in which knowledge is uncertain and consequences are large.


Join us this Saturday as we explore Nassim Taleb’s The Black Swan!



May 19, 2012

Topic:      Technology Futures

Title:        Technology  Potpouri  

Presenter: David Grider

Abstract:    We will continue talking about some of Brian Wang's technological areas to watch for the next 4-5 years.


                    Bring items that you think should have been included, or that you think support his areas.


May 26, 2012 

Topic:      Society, Management, Education Futures

Title:       Potential Breakthrough Innovations in Human Relationships/Leadership/Governance - Part 1 International

Presenter: Bill Peter

Abstract:  From 10am to 10:45am Bill will cover “Historic trends to date” and “Lessons from history”. From 10:45am to 11:30am Bill will facilitate a group discussion of “Possible futures, likely futures, and preferred futures” on each of five topics

  • 1.       The Future of the United Nations
  • 2.       North Korea vs. South Korea
  • 3.       Germany vs. Greece, Spain, and Italy
  • 4.       China vs. India vs. USA
  • 5.       Iran and Islamic Countries vs. Israel


June 2,  2012

Topic:      Future Studies

Title:       Creativity and the Future - Part 1

Presenter: David Keenan

Abstract:   Recent discoveries about how people are more or less creative, as discussed by Jonah Lehrer in his book 'Imagine: How Creativity Works' and what application of these ideas could mean for the future.

Presentation: HO-Creativity and the Future MNF-02Jun12.ppt (updated) 

Audio: MNF Creativity pt 1 6jun12.WMA 


June 9, 2012

Topic:      Economic Futures

Title:  The Future of Employment

Presenter: TBA


Some video links: 

Automation Nation: Will Robots Take Our Jobs

Martin Ford (Lights in the Tunnel author – interview) 



econfuture | Future Economics and Technology, Dispatches from the Economic Landscape of the Coming Decades

Automation / Robot and Jobs – Links

Blog containing the following videos and articles http://econfuture.wordpress.com/


新型 Asimo video 9:49  http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=or6YW6riDLE


Google I/O 2011: Cloud Robotics  video 39:59  http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=FxXBUp-4800


June 16, 2012

Topic:      Technology Futures

Title:       Singularity University 

Presenter: Hank Lederer

Abstract:  Peter Diamandis created the X-Prize Foundation.  The Ansari X-Prise awarded $10M to Burt Rutan for SpaceShip1 in 2004.  This year, he cofounded Planetary Resources to mine asteroids, with investors Larry Page and Eric Schmidt of Google, Ross Perot, and director James Cameron.  He cofounded Singularity University with Ray Kurzweil.





Website: http://singularityu.org/

Video Clips: http://singularityu.org/multimedia/videos/

TED Video: http://www.ted.com/talks/peter_diamandis_abundance_is_our_future.html (16 min)

Ford's most advanced assembly plan

The Global Brain Awakens


Future Session - July 21, 2012

"The Price of Inequality: How Today’s Divided Society Endangers Our Future"




The Algebraist



June 23, 2012

Topic:      Society, Management, Education / Future Studies

Title:       The Black Swan - part 2

Presenter: George Kubik

Abstract:  coming soon


June 30, 2012 


- President's Recap and Future Outlook

Topic: Peace Futures - short session 10:45 - 11:45

Title:   Israel Regional Peace Futures - New Possibilities

Presenter: Roger Rydberg

Abstract:   http://minnesotafuturists.pbworks.com/w/page/53615833/June%202012%20Peace%20SIG







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