Nonmachinables, PET-ernity and ASMRs

Welcome to this 18th issue of our newsletter “Weak Signals and other Trends”. Each week, I sift through hundreds of sources of inspiration to track where we’re heading. We discuss those trends and signals every Saturday at 9am EST on Clubhouse.

You can subscribe to this newsletter here to get it directly by mail most Fridays:

This is what I noticed this week, thank you for reading and sharing this newsletter to those who look into the future.


Blindspots

Blindspots are costly biases that can lead companies to underestimate future risks or fail to take advantage of emerging opportunities:

We love the inverted thinking here: LineCon—the conference that takes place while waiting in lines. Millions of Americans could face eviction as housing protection expires in June. Intel CEO reiterates warning that global chip shortage could last years. Cyberattack hits world’s largest meat supplier. What if your device would register every screenshot that you grabbed of a text conversation, and notify the other participants. Plan Continuation Bias. Major Shipping Firms Warn of Worsening Congestion at China’s Yantian Port. Japan’s karoshi culture was a warning. We didn’t listen.

We have scheduled the dates for our “Strategic Blindspots” course which will take place in an hybrid format in the fall.

Strategy making

This is a new section, which will pop-up once in a while. It highlights provocative thoughts on strategy formulation and innovation:

Adding is favoured over subtracting in problem solving. Von Clausewitz on War: Six Lessons for the Modern Strategist. Mastering the building blocks of strategy. The business value of design. Here Are the 17 Ways You Make Illogical Decisions ($ – for the French-speaking readers, I recommend this book on illogical decisions) The new digital edge: Rethinking strategy for the postpandemic era.

We assembled 193 strategic frameworks and analysis techniques on Pinterest. Competia also offers a course on Advanced Analysis Techniques.

Our future

From smart to people-first cities (Cities are collapsing into our homes). How data is changing the future of beauty. Eating As Dialogue, Food As Technology. Spotify wants to suggest songs based on your emotions ( and the patent is here). Incremental housing projects. A ‘catalog for the post-human’ imagines body augmentation products of the future. Scientists Just Proved the Human Brain Can Support an Extra Body Part. Life in 2050: A Look at the Homes of the Future. This company thinks wood pulp could be the future of EV batteries. Lifestyle trends 2021-2022 ( we like the “New era of care”). ‘The silver tsunami is coming’: Inside the quest to help seniors age at home.


Weak signals

Weak signals are indicators of a change, a trend or an emerging risk that might become significant for the future. They allow us to run hypothesis, expand our thinking, and challenge assumptions. How will you interpret those in your industry or field of expertise?

Meme-based dating. We all need a positive environment: Affirmative Club to share art and receive affirmative feedback. PET-ernity. Funerals for expired domain names. A new oil-cryptocurrency alliance. String beads. Le retour du bibelot. Designer Creates Wearable Third Eye That Lets You Walk Safely While Looking at Your Phone. ASMR sounds to reinforce product safety perception ( hint: there are 235,000 members in this Reddit ASMR chat). Floating Coworking Space That Looks Like Organic Cells. Chinese Gen-Z’s addiction to bubble tea. The Great Camp Cooking Boom. How the boom in pet ownership is shaping hospitality. Twitter teams with climate vet to launch local weather news service. The Great American Cleanup: Deodorant, Teeth Whitener Fly Off the Shelves. Italian Artist Sells Invisible Sculpture for More Than $18,000.

I like new words. This week, I read about “cozy futurism”.


On our radar

In this section, I will share some of the content I come across as I work on specific mandates for our clients. This is what I worked on this week:

I am updating the course “What social media matters for boards” I developed for the Institute of Corporate Director, and which I will teach in the next couple of weeks in Montreal, Winnipeg and Halifax. Here are the latest social media crisis: AI-powered insurance gone wrong (here is the original thread). Nestle is in a middle of a new controversy about healthy products. SEC said Elon Musk’s Tesla tweets violated settlement agreement. Spain’s New Postage Stamps Were Meant To Call Out Racism. Instead They Drew Outrage.

I am working on a project about shop-streaming and new digital habits and am looking towards Asia for insights: Live video-shopping. As brands take livestreaming more seriously, hosts become a hot commodity. What the West Can Learn From China’s Live Commerce Success. Customer retention with chat ( more stats here). Ten trends for China e-commerce. How Taobao Turned Product Listings Into Entertainment. Inside Kate Spade’s influencer-driven strategy.

Our consulting engagements can be found here.

Hodgepodge discovery

Articles for the curious mind as you like to cross over to new fields:

The Nonmachinables. Decomposition of Materiality and Identities.The Secret Psychology of Sneaker Colors. The cheapest luxury. The gout du moche. A deep dive into the physics of bowling-ball design. The busy trap. Fonts analytics. The impact of nature co-design (pdf). Science fiction thinking for tech & film. How a combustion engine works. Interested in math? Hundreds of research seminars are available online.

You have asked me to suggest newsletters that inspire me, so I will suggest one each week: I really like “Your daily digest of youth culture”.


Feeling Good

Urbex explorations. Do you speak GenZ. The Stanford geospatial network model of the Roman world. United Airlines Wants to Bring Back Supersonic Air Travel.

En francais: dériver

De-cruiting, cremating diamonds and capex spending

Disrupted

We keep an eye on companies, large and small, who are challenging assumptions. Here is our sample this week of surprising twists around new customer segments and business models:

The florist that sends rotten flowers after a break-up. Ethereum Closes In on Long-Sought Fix to Cut Energy Use Over 99%. Delivery Drivers Are Using Grey Market Apps. Do you know how to de-cruit? Innovating for the minority. Gagner sa vie en dormantMade-To-Order Clothes Are A Secret Weapon. A photo app that bans selfies is blowing up online.

We have scheduled the dates for our “Strategic Blindspots” course which will take place in an hybrid format in the fall.

Our future

On Gojek’s gamified platform, the rules change, and the drivers lose . A blind man can make out objects again after an optogenetics treatment. Airbnb thinks remote work will change travel forever ( see also: Try out a new city). It’s not remote work, it’s closer work. An investment bonanza is coming. Mature branding. Twitch’s Rockonomics. Gas stations that double as dining destinations. Google Ventures-backed Merlin Labs is building AI that can fly planes. Students at @Yale wrote an amazing 30-page constitution for Mars. Firms are rediscovering their love for capex.

An Ethnographic Approach to foresight.

I will participate on June 9th in a panel : “Chartering the future: looking forward” with amazing global innovation officers at IKEA, Nokia , Procter & Gamble (Cindy Soo , Trond Arne Undheim , Leslie Shannon , Steve Brown , Betsy (Elizabeth) Bluestone and Cindy Soo).

Weak signals

Weak signals are indicators of a change, a trend or an emerging risk that might become significant for the future. They allow us to run hypothesis, expand our thinking, and challenge assumptions. How will you interpret those in your industry or field of expertise?

Cremation Diamonds from Ashes and Hair. Gnome shortage: Lockdown and Suez canal blockage blamed. Dog macarons. Japan creates a Ministry of Loneliness. ‘Charlie Bit My Finger’ YouTube Video to Be Deleted After Selling as NFT for $760,999. The Instagram Accounts Helping Gen Z Navigate Existential Dread. Florida signed into law the Stop Social Media Censorship Act. The Pandemic Has Changed Their Shower Habits. Japan is naming a Ministry of Loneliness. TikTok is blocking alpaca influencers. A gender-neutral line of nail paint .

I like new words or learning about the origin of words. Bluetooth was the epithet of King Harald Bluetooth who united dissonant Danish tribes into a single kingdom.


On our radar

In this section, I will share some of the content I come across as I work on specific mandates for our clients. This is what I worked on this week:

Having joined a new board in this industry, I have been intensively reading about the future of construction: The Strange, Soothing World of Instagram’s Computer-Generated Interiors. Warren Buffett to Offer a Fresh Approach on Modular Construction. Office ecosystems. A Skyscraper Made of Stacked Farmhouses, Lifted by Crane Into the Structure .

I have worked this week with the executive board of a client, facing important conflict at work, partly due to collateral damage from a long pandemia: Five Signs that Workplace Conflict is Escalating during this time of COVID-19.

Our consulting engagements can be found here.

Hodgepodge discovery

Articles for the curious mind as you like to cross over to new fields:

The Intelligent Forest. A Brief History of Smell-O-VisionExamples of medusa charts. Mexico City Could Sink Up to 65 Feet. Goodbye to the Future: The Last Days of Tokyo’s Nakagin Capsule Tower. The untold story of the vegetable peeler that changed the world. A Stopping the Manipulation Machines. You are a network.

You have asked me to suggest newsletters that inspire me, so I will suggest one each week: I really like Stéphane’s weekly 15 Marches.


Feeling Good

Descriptive Color Names Dictionary. An Invitation to the Cicada Party. Is this a polygon? The Pachama projects. Stunning, hidden patterns of animal movement . The light pollution map. A mesmerizing timelapse that visualizes the rotation of Earth (thread).

DOTMLPF, appucino and zombie fires

Competitive Intelligence

Tools and methodologies competitive intelligence professionals are using:

Ping An Asset Management zooms in on NLP models for sentiment analysis. Measuring dollar value of patentsLaw firms face struggle to meet competitive intelligence needs. An extreme view of competitive intelligence from the US. Latest innovative report on Competitive Intelligence Tools Market by 2028. Scenario planning for supply chains. A new feature in Anthology‘s Academic Economics tool uses predictive analytics to help institutions plan for possible financial futures.


Blindspots

Looking at the familiar with “alien eyes” allows you to unlock new opportunities and avoid missing emerging risks

The chip shortage could lead to an era of hardware innovation. Business model for autonomous cars: Volkswagen says it can profitably sell a self-driving system for €7 an hour. All Those Electric Vehicles Pose a Problem for Building Roads. Deadly Fungi Are the Newest Emerging Microbe Threat All Over the World. Business model and The prison phone kickback game. Is the entry-level job going extinct? The Rome scenarios.

We have scheduled the dates for our “Strategic Blindspots” course which will take place in an hybrid format in the fall.

Our future

Tech giants have all become creator companies. The Andromeda galaxy photo taken by Hubble. Make Way for the ‘One-Minute City’. Getting rid of jetlag: Advanced Acclimation and Protection Tool for Environmental Readiness. China starts large scale testing of its Internet of the future. Office eco-systems. Top ten professions after the pandemia. K Line and Airseas win approval for kite-based propulsion system. BIG designs battery-metals plant, ships and underwater robots for undersea mining company. How Parking Destroys Cities.


Weak signals

Weak signals are indicators of a change, a trend or an emerging risk that might become significant for the future. They allow us to run hypothesis, expand our thinking, and challenge assumptions. How will you interpret those in your industry or field of expertise?

Ghost kitchens’ new urbanism. An interspecies currency. No more snow days. TikTok Is Starting A Job Site Targeted To Gen-Z. New dating app only works on Thursdays. a guide to creator economy. The trophy tree. Mayo Clinic and Kaiser finance hospital-at-home care. Appucino please: how TikTok is permanently changing Starbucks. The tarot deck of corporate conversations. Google’s first retail store. A minimalist smart phone for GenY. Slow travel is back: how train travel picks up again (in French). Why brands are getting weird on social media. Why more young Chinese want to be civil servants.

I like new words. This week, JJDIDTIEBUCKLE: A mnemonic acronym taught so Marines can remember their 14 leadership traits: Judgment, Justice, Decisiveness, Initiative, Dependability, Tact, Integrity, Endurance, Bearing, Unselfishness, Courage, Knowledge, Loyalty, Enthusiasm .


On our radar

In this section, I will share some of the content I come across as I work on specific mandates for our clients. This is what I worked on this week:

I will keynote Anges Québec’s event on June 3rd, called “Ready for Tomorrow”: Bias Is a Big Problem. But So Is ‘Noise.’ People view the future through the narrow lens of their expertise. How Bayer’s Catalyst Fund Built The Right Culture For Innovation. The strong impact of weak signals.

Our weekly chat on Clubhouse last Saturday focused on the future of space ( we were even joined by an astronaut!). Here are some of the resources mentioned if you missed it: Is Mars ours? Apollo 11 and space law. The Institute of Air and Space Law . Elon Musk’s SpaceX inks satellite connectivity deal with Google Cloud. Faraway NASA probe detects the eerie hum of interstellar space. Space traffic. Earth in time. A new study, reports a spiral galaxy named BRI 1335-0417 formed less than 1.5 billion years after the Big Bang.

Our speaking engagements can be found here.

Hodgepodge discovery

Articles for the curious mind as you like to cross over to new fields:

A new book, Patented, reveals the forgotten designers of everyday items. The untold story of how Florence Nightingale used data viz to save lives. What we learned in a year of crafting. In the 21st century, every life experience is a monetizable data pointZombie fires . In case you were wondering: the secret to giraffes’ cardio-vascular. Who invented the wheel? How Albert Einstein’s Son Tamed the Mississippi River. A stunning new school for girls in the desert of India. Why Everywhere Looks The Same.

You have asked me to suggest newsletters that inspire me, so I will suggest one each week: a few signals spotted this week come from Adrian Monck and his Agenda Weekly.


Feeling Good

Where are the sharksDrip dropFin to fin. Visit the catacombs, 3D. Google launches an experiment to hear color. Watch Accurate Recreations of Medieval Italian Longsword Fighting Techniques, All Based on a Manuscript from 1404.

Bladderwack, squishy, and local mesh

Quant data and HumanInt

We are focusing this week on a series of tools and techniques that investors and hedge funds teams are using:

Expert Networks: A Billion Dollar Opportunity. Sometimes messy, sometimes over-aggregated, alt data is still taking over. A fascinating quant exchange for those researching sources. +55,000 Economic & Financial Datasets covering 120 countries and 10 exchanges. 22,752 datasets and 777,203,436 series. The Yale databases. The Quandl Alternative Data CatalogWeb scrapping ( or just use a Chrome extension). YipitData is a data aggregator that sources web data, [anonymized] consumer receipts, and survey data. 1010data aggregates credit card data from third-party providers, For commodity intelligence, we like ShipmagLandmark search. Email receipts data.


Blindspots

Looking at the familiar with “alien eyes” allows you to unlock new opportunities and avoid missing emerging risks

Local mesh was always a fantasy as a competitor to cellular. News influencers. Tempting… These beautiful Italian towns will pay you to work remotely. TikTok launching jobs service for Gen ZVaccine deserts: Some countries have no COVID-19 jabs at all. An electric vehicle (EV) uses 6x as many mineral resources as a fossil fuel car. A Single Biopsy From This Cow Can Make Millions of Handbags. Here’s how climate change could cause insects to destroy our crops.

We have scheduled the dates for our “Strategic Blindspots” course which will take place in an hybrid format in the fall.

Our future

Like Sweatpants, Squishy Furniture Is In (our offices will become homy..). Robots will make doubling China’s GDP by 2035 look easy. Tesla updating software of a fleet in parking lot looks like the aliens are coming. Stopping black patterns. Future of (fast)food: With Gay Burger, the pop-up model got an influencer twist . After a year of Zoom meetings, we’ll need to rebuild trust through eye contact. Is Mars ours?


Weak signals

Weak signals are indicators of a change, a trend or an emerging risk that might become significant for the future. They allow us to run hypothesis, expand our thinking, and challenge assumptions. How will you interpret those in your industry or field of expertise?

Are Animated Dads Getting Hotter? An Investigation. This app lets you buy whatever food your favorite restaurant has leftover at the end of the day. This theater unveils the plot by snail mail.How the pandemic made fonts friendlier. Introducing the “ Emoji Subcommittee for the Unicode Consortium”. Millions: the platform helping combat athletes monetize their audiences. Retail spaces reinvention: Selfridges to Offer Wedding Ceremonies at Luxury London Store. Tokyo Is Getting An Esports Gym.

I like new words. This week, Bladderwrack, which is part of the “food grade beauty products” meta trend.


On our radar

In this section, I will share some of the content I come across as I work on specific mandates for our clients. This is what I worked on this week:

Our past session on Clubhouse focused on some of the latest ideas in design for the future of work. We spoke about colors, scents and shapes: Blue is an Elusive Color. One Artist Just Invented a New Shade. Sense: The book that uses sensory science to make you happier. An amplifier of thoughts. MIT’s color-changing paint could make your iPhone look different every day.

I taught this week in Switzerland for IMD a course with 5 simulations of situations/dilemnas corporate directors can face in this digital era. Here are some of the most challenging ones: Volkswagen admits its name change was an April Fools’ Day prank. A ‘Worst Nightmare’ Cyberattack: The Untold Story Of The SolarWinds Hack. What boards can learn from Hootsuite’s ICE snafu as whistle-blowers turn to social media. Burger King gets grilled for ‘women belong in the kitchen’ tweet.

Our speaking engagements can be found here.

Hodgepodge discovery

Articles for the curious mind as you like to cross over to new fields:

Return on invested cat. The Lack of Small Talk Is Breaking Our Brains. I always loved the history of fonts. A fascinating investigation of how a 19 year-old could create 7.7M fake comments (pdf). How Gravity Is a Double Copy of Other Forces. One of the World’s Oldest Science Experiments Comes Up From the Dirt. How Filippo Brunelleschi, Untrained in Architecture or Engineering, Built the World’s Largest Dome at the Dawn of the Renaissance.

You have asked me to suggest newsletters that inspire me, so I will suggest one each week: a few signals spotted this week come from Patrick Tanguay’s Sentiers 🙏


Feeling Good

Five decades of Met Publications on art history, available to read, download or search. A bucket list. Mindgame: the red faced cube. A virtual oceanLights at sea. Just a cloud. Form and function: some of the most beautifully crafted surf boards in the world.

Mindcraft, Ampersand and hyper-colors

Welcome to this 14th issue of our newsletter “Weak Signals and other Trends”. Each week, I sift through hundreds of sources of inspiration to track where we’re heading. We discuss those trends and signals every Saturday at 9am EST on Clubhouse.

This is what I noticed this week, thank you for reading and sharing this newsletter to those who look into the future.


Trends Intelligence

We are focusing this week on a series of tools and techniques that foresight teams are using to spot weak signals and trends:

Spotting trends in a fast-changing world. Your spreadsheet’s new best friend to map patterns. A Journey to the End of Time – timelapse of the future. Pour prédire l’avenir, engagez des romanciersTouching the future. The problem with prediction. How to build a breakthrough the secret of Backcasting. Articles + Resources + Interviews exploring the eco-system of influences impacting the future .


Blindspots

Looking at the familiar with “alien eyes” allows you to unlock new opportunities and avoid missing emerging risks

All These Balls Are the Same Color.

Is Amazon Building The Next Generation Bank? What is the Fastest-Growing Sport? Developers struggle to meet demand for e-commerce storage space. Why Shoppers Are Obsessed With ‘Summer Camp’ Jewellery. Stockpile of Unfinished Ford Super Duty Pickups Missing Chips Is Now Visible from Space. IBM says it has created the world’s first 2 nanometer chip.

We have scheduled the dates for our “Strategic Blindspots” course which will take place in an hybrid format in the fall.

Our future

N.Y.P.D.’s Robot Dog Returns to Work, Touching Off a Backlash. Google’s Plan for the Future of Work: Privacy Robots and Balloon Walls. US Army Explores Equipping Robots with Living Muscle Tissue . How do you teach someone to write in a world of robot authors? Brands are testing out OnlyFans as a marketing channel. The World’s First Robot LawyerMindcraft. Coworking , third-wave style. Slum dwellers in India get unique digital addresses so that residents can use Google’s plus codes to direct deliveries and medical care to their front doors.


Weak signals

Weak signals are indicators of a change, a trend or an emerging risk that might become significant for the future. They allow us to run hypothesis, expand our thinking, and challenge assumptions. How will you interpret those in your industry or field of expertise?

Cities appoint ‘Chief Heat Officers’ in response to warming threat. Meet the Renaissance Man Obsessed with Mushrooms. Tiffany Just Launched a New Line of Diamond Engagement Rings—for Men. Colorado legislature passes bill to allow human composting. How Pixar Uses Hyper-Colors to Hack Your Brain. A supermarket in a museum.


On our radar

In this section, I will share some of the content I come across as I work on specific mandates for our clients. This is what I worked on this week:

Business Scents- I am keynoting another conference on the future of the office for the hybrid workforce. This week, I studied the scents ( the weak signal Eau d’Office was already in our last week’s newsletter): The Rise of Digital Olfaction. The people trying to save scents from extinction. The Internet Of Senses And The Virtual Future Of Work. Wake up and smell the workplace: how aroma is changing behaviour.

The longevity economy is a recurring research for me. Here is a take on digital afterlife: The digital afterlife industry is here to help you plan your death. The digital afterlife industry. Making It Easier to Honor a Loved One on Facebook After They Pass Away. What happens to crypto-assets once you die. Creating a digital will. The data we leave behind.

Our speaking engagements can be found here.

Hodgepodge discovery

Articles for the curious mind as you like to cross over to new fields:

The beauty of the ampersand and other keyboard symbols. TikTok and the Vibes Revival. Such an amazing tale of what happened: The Untold Story Of The SolarWinds Hack. Lego share soothing new ‘White Noise’ playlist of the sound of Lego bricks. People With ‘Too Many Interests’ More Likely to be Successful, According to Research ( hurrah for polymaths!). 99% invisible. What Data Can’t Do.


Feeling Good

The super yacht in Amsterdam. Sweden, Dressed in Summer. Educational TikTok Accounts ( I love the Rijk’s Museum account). A garden vision. A digital collection of roots system, hand-drawn. A 104 years old timeless style.

Pour les francophones: Le Tiers-Livre ( hint: check the page about ambition).


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Contact me at Competia with feedback, or ideas for what to write about. Thank you for reading.

Yolo economy, archaic humans and lofi

Welcome to this 13th issue of our newsletter “Weak Signals and other Trends”. Each week, I sift through hundreds of sources of inspiration to track where we’re heading. We discuss those trends and signals every Saturday at 9am EST on Clubhouse.

This is what I noticed this week, thank you for reading and sharing this newsletter to those who look into the future.


Strategic Intelligence

We are focusing this week on a series of tools that competitive intelligence teams are using ( we also on occasions add relevant privacy-related articles):

Central bankers’ emotions are latest frontier for quants ($). Apple’s AirDrop leaks users’ PII, and there’s not much they can do about it. How does scenario planning work in the age of Zoom? A growing problem of ‘deepfake geography’: How AI falsifies satellite images. The Galaxy OpenSyllabus. How to Cover Your Tracks Every Time You Go Online. A mind-map of related subreddits to help you find new niches.

We are collecting strategic analysis techniques on Pinterest. Here are 190 of them.

Blindspots

Looking at the familiar with “alien eyes” allows you to unlock new opportunities and avoid missing emerging risks

Cozy futurism. Solving problems like a detective. Amazon’s 1st Kuiper megaconstellation satellites will launch on a ULA Atlas V rocket. The Plane Paradox: More Automation Should Mean More Training. Artificial Intelligence Is Misreading Human Emotion. Should Overpaid CEOs Be Replaced With Artificial Intelligence? Propelled by Amazon: Inside the Washington Post’s ambitions to be a SaaS power player. China starts large-scale testing of its internet of the future.

We have scheduled the dates for our “Strategic Blindspots” course which will take place in an hybrid format in the fall.

Our future

Welcome to the YOLO Economy. Microsoft is thinking about giving wellness recommendations based on a user’s biometric data and data around work events. 5 visions of the future from the WEF’s Global Technology Governance Summit. This does not exist. Which jobs grew the most over the quarter? Ankle exoskeletons can greatly increase walking speed. The MIT future of cities issue. Can We Live to 200?


Weak signals

Weak signals are indicators of a change, a trend or an emerging risk that might become significant for the future. They allow us to run hypothesis, expand our thinking, and challenge assumptions. How will you interpret those in your industry or field of expertise?

Eau d’office: Miss the smell of the office printer? These candles recreate our prepandemic life. Degree’s new deodorant is designed with disabled people in mind. Ok Zoomer: the app that creates your presence on Zoom. The Olympic movement is dipping its toe into esports. Google Maps will soon default to ‘greenest route‘ . Curbside rocks. These Dutch cities will allow only zero-emission deliveries by 2025. Online used car sales are booming. Tipping is taking over the internet. Introducing You to ‘Airport Culture‘, Gen Z’s New Favourite Pastime.


On our radar

In this section, I will share some of the content I come across as I work on specific mandates for our clients. This is what I worked on this week:

I have paid attention to “social media whistleblowing” as I prepare a new training simulation module for IMD’s High Performance Boards program on May 5th: Breaking Camp. Instagram whistleblowers. I wrote an article about Hootsuite a few months ago. From whistleblower laws to unions: How Google’s AI ethics meltdown could shape policy. Ubisoft’s #MeToo Reckoning, Two Months Later.

Our speaking engagements can be found here.

Hodgepodge discovery

Articles for the curious mind as you like to cross over to new fields:

AI and the paperclip problem. Digital analytics optimizing products and portfolios. Stanford study dives deeper into genetic differences between modern and archaic humans. Cosmic Map of Ultrahigh-Energy Particles Points to Long-Hidden Treasures. the legendary Hagoromo Fulltouch chalk. 15 French volunteers leave cave after 40 days without daylight or clocks.

I like to discover new words: this week, I learnt about Lofi Music. Lofi spiked because it’s commonly used as a productivity tool. In fact, loyal listeners claim that lofi music boosts concentration and focus so I paid attention as I study the future of the workspace.


Feeling Good

Spring poetry. A trip to Montreal with Leonard Cohen in 1965 is a glimpse into a singular poetic (and funny) mind. Trails of winds. Digital florists.

Majorana fermions, polygenic scores, and chimeric contributions

Welcome to this 12th issue of our newsletter “Weak Signals and other Trends”. Each week, I sift through hundreds of sources of inspiration to track where we’re heading.

This is what I noticed this week, thank you for reading and sharing this newsletter to those who look into our future.


Strategic Intelligence

We are focusing this week on a series of tools that competitive intelligence teams are using:

24 tools to help you harvest intelligence from your competitors’ Twitter platforms. Use the DuckDuckGo Extension to Block FLoC, Google’s New Tracking Method in Chrome. Learn how to use Beautiful Soup for web scraping with Python in 3 minutes. A guide for U.S. Private Companies research. Intelligence Reimagined: Don’t Forget the Human Dimension in the Pursuit of Technological Solutions.


Blindspots

Looking at the familiar with “alien eyes” allows you to unlock new opportunities and avoid missing emerging risks:

How Much the Eye Tells the Brain. Adding is favoured over subtracting in problem solving. Brute-force Creativity: testing random ideas is a robot’s way of being creative. And it can do so faster than any human. Forerunner Ventures’ KJ Sidberry on how the firm is rethinking the definition of consumer. New DNS vulnerabilities have the potential to impact millions of devices. Watch this company: Gojek and Tokopedia are finalizing USD 18 billion fusion to form GoTo. Minimizing risk: Our Brains Are Stuck in the Stone Age. Banks vs telcos in Nigeria. Not just chips: another Unlikely Pandemic Shortage: Boba Tea.

We now have a date for our next course “Strategic Blindspot” which will take place on the fall (in person- hybrid possible).

Our future

Pour prédire l’avenir, engagez des romanciers. Amazon’s private labels. Herman Miller’s new office line is the anti-cubicle. UPS Flight Forward adds innovative new aircraft, enhancing capabilities and network sustainability . AI-powered virtual assistants and the future of work. Is growth in China soaring or slowing? The answer depends on how you calculate growth. Chimeric contribution of human extended pluripotent stem cells to monkey embryos ex vivo. Future of Money (100 pages pdf download). The spinach that sends emails. Amazon One’s palm-scanning payments are coming to Whole Foods.

The EU is considering a ban on AI for mass surveillance and social credit scores.

“AI systems used to manipulate human behavior, exploit information about individuals or groups of individuals, used to carry out social scoring or for indiscriminate surveillance would all be banned in the EU


Weak signals

Weak signals are indicators of a change, a trend or an emerging risk that might become significant for the future. They allow us to run hypothesis, expand our thinking, and challenge assumptions. How will you interpret those in your industry or field of expertise?

Why tarot is trending again. Introducing Substack Local, for a new generation of local news. Eyecam is a creepy webcam shaped like a human eye. Amazon’s new high-tech hair salon. Farmers Insurance Engages Carpe Data to Identify New Growth in Business Insurance Lines. This deli in New Jersey is trading at a $100 million market cap (they have one store and $35k in annual sales). The whitest-ever paint. UiPath — a US-based, Romania-founded software firm that automates repetitive tasks — went public. How much is children data worth. Polygenic scores: Orchid is offering the chance for couples planning a pregnancy to learn their odds of passing on risks for common conditions to their future child. Allbirds Is Giving Away Its Carbon Footprint Calculator to the Fashion Industry . The Bizarre Electric VW Beetle Knockoff.


On our radar

In this section, I will share some of the content I come across as I work on specific mandates for our clients. This is what I worked on this week:

For one of the boards I serve on, I have been connecting dots this week to see how companies are reinventing how they contribute to society: Inside Brunello Cucinelli’s vision for ‘humanistic capitalism’. A fantastic initiative by a unique retailer: Decathlon- and an illustration of a truly purpose-led family business . The resurrection of MEC. illycaffè becomes B Corp.

I am preparing a discussion early May with the senior management team of an insurance company and this led me to look at alternative data for that industry: YieldNet: A Convolutional Neural Network for Simultaneous Corn and Soybean Yield Prediction Based on Remote Sensing Data. Payment Insights from Equifax leverages more alternative data. The alternative data footprint that is changing how insurance companies assess risk. Using Satellites to Make Index Insurance Scalable.

Our consulting engagements can be found here.

Hodgepodge discovery

Articles for the curious mind which likes to cross over to new fields:

What the General Social Survey tell us about America. Why philanthropy needs to prepare itself for a world powered by AI. A philosophy of sound. The electrical blueprints that orchestrate life. Creativity Is Dead, Long Live Curation. The meaning of food. Quantum computing’s reproducibility crisis: Majorana fermions. This is your brain on Zoom. On managing interruptions. How Infectious Disease Shaped American Bathroom Design.

I like to discover new words: this week, I learnt about K-beauty.


Feeling Good

The Fear of the Dark Symphony. A virtual discovery map of Tokyo. Lots of us learned classical music from watching old cartoons, so I’m going to identify the pieces that frequently popped up. A 360° VR tour of a landmark exhibition of contemporary Māori art. Poem-a-Day is the original and only daily digital poetry series featuring over 250 new, previously unpublished poems by today’s talented poets each year . Calculating how much your meetings are costing.

Sosumi, adaptogens and missed calls

Welcome to this 11th issue of our newsletter “Weak Signals and other Trends”. Each week, I sift through hundreds of sources of inspiration to track where we’re heading. We discuss those trends and signals every Saturday at 9am EST on Clubhouse.

This is what I noticed this week, thank you for reading and sharing this newsletter to those who look at the future.


Strategic Intelligence

We are focusing this week on a series of tools that competitive intelligence teams are using:

It’s Time to Toss SWOT Analysis into the Ashbin of Strategy HistoryAmid the Pandemic, Hedge Funds Grapple With Investments in New Tech
and Alternative Data . US financial services firms lead UK in alternative data integration, study finds. US Intelligence Warns of Fractured Societies, Likelihood for Conflict ( the full report on Global Trends 2040 is here). The Competitive Intelligence Software Market, forecasts to 2026. Yet, Most business intelligence software isn’t getting used. 61% of businesses say competitive intelligence has made a direct impact on revenue. The Journalist and the Whistleblower.

We are collecting strategic analysis techniques on Pinterest. Here are 190 of them.

Blindspots

Looking at the familiar with “alien eyes” allows you to unlock new opportunities and avoid missing emerging risks

Opentable Has Opened Its First Brick-and-Mortar Restaurant. A booming industry based entirely on missed calls. Confusion over GDPR is blocking scientific progress, throwing up barriers with US researchers in particular. Sixty-Week Delay on Router Orders Shows Scale of Chip Crisis (see also Everything You Need to Know About the Great Semiconductor Shortage on the same theme). The global chip shortage could last until 2023 . Russian buildup in the Arctic has northern NATO members uneasy. Redefining what a map can be with new information and AI.

Need an introduction to strategic blindspots? This article, published by Estelle Metayer for the World Economic Forum, demystifies what it means (also in Chinese: 快公司的安全驾驶) and in Italian.

Our future

The National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (pdf). Realizing the potential of synthetic biology. A South Korean Chatbot Shows Just How Sloppy Tech Companies Can Be With User Data. Call centre staff to be monitored via webcam for home-working ‘infractions’. The Most Important Scarce Resource is LegitimacyDecoding emojis and defining ‘support’: Facebook’s rules for content revealed. Mobileye and Udelv Ink Deal for Autonomous Delivery. Watch a fly-through of Mars city designed for quarter of a million people.The Pandemic Could Be an Opportunity to Remake Cities. Scientists can implant false memories — and reverse them.


Weak signals

Weak signals are indicators of a change, a trend or an emerging risk that might become significant for the future. They allow us to run hypothesis, expand our thinking, and challenge assumptions. How will you interpret those in your industry or field of expertise?

Meet Stack, the newest technology incubated by Google. Hint: it intends to index your life. Artist’s intent: AI recognizes emotions in visual art. Quintessential Canadian: sweet maple sap filled with the ecology of the forest, and infused with the queen and king of the medicinal mushroom ( it reminds me of Taika). Instacart and DoorDash Plan to Launch Their Own Credit Cards. Christie’s Will Offer 9 Multimillion-Dollar NFT CryptoPunks in Its May Evening Auction. Forget Traffic Jams! The Audi Neo-Bauhaus Concept Carries A Bicycle. The Therapy-App Fantasy. Archegos and the $6tn world of the family office ($). Why are young people imagining themselves as the protagonist in fictionalised versions of their lives? Working with smallholders. Impossible Foods’ First TV Commercial Will Challenge Meat Like Never Before. Single pixel of digital-only art sold for more than $1.7 million at Sotheby’s.


On our radar

In this section, I will share some of the content I come across as I work on specific mandates for our clients. This is what I worked on this week:

Future of work: I will be keynoting in May for a client at their conference for their 2,200+ employees on what to expect when we return to the office: What more than 32,000 people think about the future of work. Retail as a New (Old) Third Place. Microsoft revealed the latest truths about working from home. Ministers urged to give UK home-workers a ‘right to disconnect’. “I Do Not Trust People in the Same Way and I Don’t Think I Ever Will Again”. Here’s 10,000 Hours. Don’t Spend It All in One Place. How COVID-19 and ‘work from anywhere’ can build the city of the future.

Sound:as I serve in the “kitchen cabinet” of LifeScore, I am sensitive to what is going on in the world of audio: Brands are upleveling bespoke audio assets into audio-first touchpoints and immersive soundscapes, for 360-degree multisensory engagement. The fascinating Story of Sosumi & the Mac Startup Sound. Design and music go hand in hand, and the ties that bind them are deeper than album packaging or gaming soundtracks. Coca-Cola: Try Not to Hear This by David. Disney applies for patent for generation of audio including emotionally expressive synthetized content.

B2B:I am building a one-day training program for the management of a large Canadian diversified industrial company: B2B Influencer Marketing Strategy: 5 Questions to Ask First. Bottom Up Pricing & Packaging: Let the User Journey Be Your Guide . Omnichannel in B2B sales: The new normal in a year that has been anything but.

Our speaking engagements can be found here.

Hodgepodge discovery

Articles for the curious mind which likes to cross over to new fields:

Building an antilibrary: the power of unread books . Epinard, the community. Consistent routines make creative work possible. Instead of a code encrypted in the wiring of our neurons, could consciousness reside in the brain’s electromagnetic field? In 1990 8 nuns sold up their convent, bought a Mercedes, bet on racehorses and disappeared to the south of France. Massive Lego Kingdoms That Defy the Cultural Erasure of Africa’s Medieval Civilizations. Always Remember to Ignite Imagination When Creating Learning Experiences. Periodical Cicadas Will Overrun D.C. This Spring. Inside the Making of Facebook’s Supreme Court.

I like to discover new words: this week, I learnt about adaptogens (scroll down to the bottom of that newsletter).


Feeling Good

Calmly Writer: The Ultimate Distraction-Free Writing App. NASA shares breathtaking image of a wind-sculpted sea of blue dunes on Mars. Wikipedia around. A Cyclist on the English Landscape. Brick Twist.

Urbanist memes,dreamcore and DeFi

Welcome to this 10th issue of our newsletter “Weak Signals and other Trends”. Each week, I sift through hundreds of sources of inspiration to track where we’re heading. We discuss those trends and signals every Saturday at 9am EST on Clubhouse.

Competitive Intelligence

We are focusing this week on a series of tools that competitive intelligence teams are using:

LexisNexis to Provide Giant Database of Personal Information to ICE. Decoding emojis. Voice Assistant Recordings Could Reveal What Someone Nearby Is Typing. Rita, your data. It’s a scary world: Hidden Wiki is a dark web version of Wikipedia where you can find links to different websites on the dark web. Swisscows offers now a privacy-safe web-search. An incredibly detailed meta-search engine. BBC News rend son site disponible sur le dark web pour contrecarrer la censure. An academic search engine. A database of over 100,000 freely available journals online.

Our next course Going Digital: Social Media as a Source for Customer Insight and Competitive Intelligence”is here. Our next program will take place on April 19-20 and 22, 2021 ( 10am-12pm ).

Blindspots

Looking at the familiar with “alien eyes” allows you to unlock new opportunities and avoid missing emerging risks

The 10 most cited AI data sets are riddled with label errors according to a new study out of MIT,(pdf). Dark patterns. Smart toys, really? A leaked Amazon PDF from 2018 . Common Blind Spot that Can Derail Your Company’s Cybersecurity. All Tech Revolves Around This Disruptor. Clubhouse launches payments so creators can make money. This person does not exist. The cost of 11,000 lines of Java API code. Reforestation Is Great! But We’re Running Out of Seeds. How Much the Eye Tells the Brain.

About the blindspot spotter mindset: The joys of being an absolute beginner – for life

“additional research later showed that the only thing worse than hardly knowing anything was knowing a little bit more”


Need an introduction to strategic blindspots? This article, published by Estelle Metayer for the World Economic Forum, demystifies what it means (also in Chinese: 快公司的安全驾驶) and in Italian.

Our future

Meta-human creators by RealEngine. 5 jobs from the space workforce of the future. Parody bot accounts, complete with deep fake avatars, publicly advocate for Amazon’s employment practices. FDA-approved gaming is already here, pointing to its therapeutic potential. What happens when two chatbots go on a date. Spot is a new platform dedicated entirely to walking meetings. Blocked In Real Life. Learning human–environment interactions using conformal tactile textilesIndustry clouds could be the next big thing. Here Come Hot Desks and Zoom Rooms. And Holograms? Verizon and Dreamscape to develop develop and market avatar-driven synthetic training and simulation experiences. The consumer demand recovery and lasting effects of COVID-19 .


Weak signals

Weak signals are indicators of a change, a trend or an emerging risk that might become significant for the future. They allow us to run hypothesis, expand our thinking, and challenge assumptions. How will you interpret those in your industry or field of expertise?

There’s a Better Way to Date Online—If You Like Trains and are a “New Urbanist Memes for Transit-Oriented Teen”. Your Next Cool, New Job Could Be A Chief TikTok Officer. Are you #dreamcore ? New Dove kids care products are branded with positive affirmation. H&M and other Western brands gone from Apple Maps and other apps in China. Now Investors Are Buying Shares of Video Games. Siri will no longer be female by default. Makeup that’s safe to wear to bed. Things that Beep: A Brief History of Product Sound Design. Mom Charged in Deepfake Cheerleading Plot . Pedigree partnered with popular chat app Clubhouse to place 20 dogs into chatrooms last weekend to help them get adopted. USPS calls Nike a hypocrite over unofficial ‘Postal Service’ Air Force 1 shoe.


On our radar

In this section, I will share some of the content I come across as I work on specific mandates for our clients. This is what I worked on this week:

I am hosting tomorrow Saturday April 10 a discussion on the future of retail on Clubhouse, with experts from all corners of the world: Future of retail: Everything on Amazon is an Ad. Louis Vuitton change sa boutique en librairie, le temps d’un confinement80K retail stores will close by 2026, claims report. Where Next for Kith’Hype Machine ($)? Welcome to democratized retail. It’s all about backchannels: How brands are using TikTok as a channel for customer service and product feedback. Gap designs fulfillment system to prioritize ‘most valuable‘ customers. Walmart hires Disney in-house agency leader as first chief creative officer. Amazon Explored Opening Home Goods, Electronics Discount Stores.


Our speaking engagements can be found here.

Hodgepodge discovery

Articles for the curious mind which likes to cross over to new fields:

The Artificial Intelligence Database. Cooking with Kenji Miyazawa.Everything you need to know about the Global Technology Governance Summit. Physicists Learn to Superfreeze AntimatterFacebook Analytics is Going Away. Deliberate house-burning in the prehistory of Central and Eastern Europe (pdf). Subway stations re-design. This river in Canada is a legal person.

I like to discover new words: this week, I learnt about DeFi.


Feeling Good

Grove pizza. The infinite drum machine. Could you steer and navigate the Suez Canal: try this simulation. Art and math. A live stream of an eagle’s nest. Artist Creates Architectural Drawings That Look Like They’re Illuminated With Real Lights. The Louvre just made its entire art collection accessible on its website. How 2020 Remapped Your Worlds.

Hybrid hospices,xenobots and fandoms

Welcome to this 9th issue of our newsletter “Weak Signals and other Trends”. Each week, I sift through hundreds of sources of inspiration to track where we’re heading. We discuss those trends and signals every Saturday at 9am EST on Clubhouse.

This is what I noticed this week, thank you for reading and sharing this newsletter to those who look at the future.


Competitive Intelligence

We are focusing this week on a series of tools that competitive intelligence teams are using:

Hexowatch , a powerful site surveillance tool to monitor any website for visual, content, source code, technology, availability, or price changes. Ricochet helps you complement the information you have about prospective B2B prospects. A reverse image searchFindings has been discontinued, it used to allow you to combine all your research in one place. Cars Have Your Location. This Spy Firm Wants to Sell It to the U.S. Military. Brave acquires search engine to offer the first private alternative to Google Search. The UK is secretly testing a controversial web snooping tool. The 450 pages report by The National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence. GCHQ releases ‘most difficult puzzle ever‘ in honour of Alan Turing .


Blindspots

Looking at the familiar with “alien eyes” allows you to unlock new opportunities and avoid missing emerging risks

Does your social media presence create a news’ blindspot? How to Run a Business in 2020. Amazon Live is becoming a destination for big product launches. The World’s First Programmable Organism. America’s Top Farmland Owner. The World’s Most Searched Consumer Brands. Billions in secretive derivatives ($). Whistleblower: Ubiquiti Breach “Catastrophic”. Morningstar unleashes robots to write fund research100 billions for chips.


Our future

AI Can Now Debate with Humans and Sometimes Convince Them, Too. Hybrid hospices: Could hotel, home and office soon be one space? Customer advisory boards. America’s long-ailing manufacturers are fired up. This noggin-reading gadget plays songs based on your brain waves. Chilean city installs cabins in park as offices for small businesses. Evidence of brand new physics at Cern. This AI Uses Your Brain Activity to Create Fake Faces It Knows You’ll Find Attractive. How the rise of ‘digital nomad’ visas will drive the global battle for talent. The rise of cyborg art dealers.


Weak signals

Weak signals are indicators of a change, a trend or an emerging risk that might become significant for the future. They allow us to run an hypothesis, expand our thinking, and challenge assumptions. How will you interpret those in your industry or field of expertise?

Sotheby’s Rakes in $176 Million in a Global, Five-Hour Franken-Sale. We are all that boat now. The Dark Web Is Teeming With Vaccine Listings Right Now. Coded Bias is the ‘Inconvenient Truth for Algorithms.’ and it’s coming to Netflix on Apr 15. Unfolding the math of origami. A new fashion trend: tops you can get vaccinated in. Shake Shack trials cutlery and straws made by microbes out of greenhouse gases. How you signal you’re single. Ex-Gap CEO Art Peck launches $200M SPAC, Cayman island located. Burger Restaurant Poses Food As Office Supplies So You Can Expense Your Lunch. Lil Nas X’s ‘Satan Shoe’ — made with one drop of human blood — sold out in under a minute. Stanford Scientists Reverse Engineer Moderna Vaccine, Post Code on Github. When bicycles and fryers meet ( in French)


On our radar

In this section, I will share some of the content I come across as I work on specific mandates for our clients. This is what I worked on this week:

Governance in 2021 and beyond: I am finalizing a training curriculum for the large institutional shareholder for their nominee directors, and reviewed what will be on board’s agendas in 2021-2025: Solarwind creates a new cybersecurity-specific committee in the boardroom. The state of Enterprise Risk Management in Canada. Principles for Board Governance of Cyber Risk by the World Economic Forum.

Social media awakensI am updating our course “Social Media for Competitive Intelligence” and have tracked this week many new announcement and new functionalities: Dickie Bush unveils hidden Twitter functionalities. LinkedIn adds “a Creator Mode. Slack is getting new audio features. LinkedIn confirms it’s working on a Clubhouse rival, too. So is Discord.


Hodgepodge discovery

Articles for the curious mind which likes to cross over to new fields:

The Royal Charter Gale and the world’s first National Forecasting Service. The largest collection of passion economy resources . The Strange Reason You’ll Always Weigh Less in Canada Than Anywhere Else. Microsoft PowerPoint can now coach you – and help you practice presentations almost anywhere — no humans required. What happens to our cognition in the darkest depths of winter? Listen to Wikipedia. Mapping World Literature with Mapbox.

I like new words. I read this week about fandoms.

Feeling good

Is that ship still stuck?Welsh rabbits serve up prehistoric finds on tiny Skokholm Island. The infinite drum machine. Addicted to clickclickclick. Build poemas from the NYT timeline. Where is that boat?