Welcome to this 32nd 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 in the summer..
You can subscribe to this weekly newsletter here to get it directly by mail.
This is what I noticed this week, thank you for reading and sharing this newsletter to those who look into the future.
Tools and methodologies competitive intelligence professionals are using:
Draw to search. Amazon’s Treatment of Its “Brands” in Search Results. Woman discovers Amazon has 3,534 of recordings of her. The Sheikh, the Businessman and a Hacking Mystery on 3 Continents. ‘Nanotargeting‘ Users Based Solely on Their Perceived Interests and this quote:
Researchers have developed a method to deliver a Facebook ad campaign to just one person out of 1.5 billion, based only on the user’s interests, and not on personally identifiable information
We offer courses to learn to efficiently use online sources to gain competitive and strategic intelligence.
Looking at the familiar with “alien eyes” allows you to unlock new opportunities and avoid missing emerging risks
A 3 hour tour of the LA port complex to understand the container bottleneck (check also the helicopter view of containers in LA on the same theme). To invent the future, Apple goes back to the past. Wanted: 80,000 truck drivers. It’s Time to Stop Talking About “Generations”. How a shortage of glass is helping drive inflation higher. How to package nails. Will Loan Volume Shrivel as Debt-Wary Gen Z Hits Their Borrowing Prime? Know what your Friends are Listening to. The circular steam iron. The strange resurgence of cash. Hertz ordered 100,000 Teslas for $4.2 billion.
The 37-Year-Olds Are Afraid of the 23-Year-Olds Who Work for Them
“You talk to older people and they’re like, ‘Dude we sell tomato sauce, we don’t sell politics,’” said Mr. Kennedy, co-founder of Plant People, a certified B corporation. “Then you have younger people being like, ‘These are political tomatoes. This is political tomato sauce.’”
We have scheduled the dates for our “Strategic Blindspots” course which will take place in January 2022.
Futurists have their heads in the clouds. Anticipating future wakes. Communities across the U.S. are paying remote workers to relocate. Steaks Will Soon Be Luxury. The creepy cyberdog. “Holoportation” lets you beam yourself anywhere. New fibers can make breath-regulating garments. The cost of speaking out. Egyptian authorities ‘detain’ robotic artist for 10 days over espionage fears. Ghost stores. The future of money. The Doctor Will Cyborg You Now.
Weak signals and tiny patterns
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?
the emergence of jump-rope schools. A deep space atomic clock. The park bench is an endangered species. Even The Economist is selling its cover as an NFT. A plan to revive rural railways. Walmart Shoppers Can Now Buy Bitcoin at 200 Kiosks. Tik Tok’s hellmaxxing. Paper planners. Reclining airline seat fights. LEGO’s new Titanic scale model. Tomato candles. The crazy world of carchitecture. Museums Are Getting on OnlyFans. Apple just fired a leader of the #AppleToo movement. Puzzleware lets kids make (and remake) their own clothes. China’s Cell-Based Pork Maker. Bidding to Touch a 1,784-Pound Tungsten Cube Once a Year.
Join us to discuss those trends and signals every Saturday at 9am EST on Clubhouse. We have a panel of designers, thinkers and futurists from around the world who discuss what those signals might mean.
On our radar
I am working with a couple of clients across two continents on the longevity and vulnerability industries and the eco-system that will need to be organized around those who will want to grow old at home: A device that helps elders communicate with their grandchildren. The pleasure and need of dropping a routine. Amazon brings Alexa to hospitals and senior living centers. The invisible elderly.
My McGill’s leadership course is kicking off in a month, and I am working on the new leadership traits required to navigate the next 10 years: The Neuroscience of Empathy: Research-Overview and Implications for Human-Centred Design. The rise of “third workplaces” (again). The effects of remote work on collaboration among information workers. The third generation company. The New Age of Employee Activism. The 20 fastest growing jobs. La beauté du geste (in French, obviously). “Show your warts”.
Articles for the curious mind …
The statute of monopolies. Rice, Fat, Meat, Streets. A computational model for descriptive ethics. When ‘Dumb Suppers’ Were a Halloween Love Ritual. Artists and craftsmen try to preserve the sounds of old Beijing. Su Hui and the Star Gauge. Physicists make most precise measurement ever of neutron’s lifetime. Stress from the pandemic has made even basic decision-making difficult. Some Economics of Sawdust. Unfreezing the ice age.
Improve your language skills with songs. Birdability. Phantom islands. The waterside bee hotel. Similar authors. The panoramic awards. Vanity license plate stories. Mesmerized by this magical pen. All the words of the world. Tomato blood for Halloween.