Mermaids, steampunk and snack apps

Welcome to this 30th 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.

Share Weak signals and other trends

Competitive Intelligence

Tools and methodologies competitive intelligence professionals are using:

There’s a Multibillion-Dollar Market for Your Phone’s Location Data. DeepMind’s AI predicts almost exactly when and where it’s going to rain. Using to track private data. Radio analytics. New data trove: syndicated scientific consumer research. Alternative ESG Data. Intelligence on changes in companies across sectors, both public and private.

Strategic blindspots

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

How 30 Lines of Code Blew Up a 27-Ton Generator. Free Knowledge and Innovation. Importing Knowledge. Adjacent knowledge. How peak demand caused an electric guitar shortage. Sunk costs: business failures from the Titanic to Evergrande. By A Thousand Cuts. The Counterintuitive Mechanics of Peloton Addiction. The workers who keep global supply chains moving are warning of a ‘system collapse’. Silicon Soars after power curbs in China. One product, three prices (in French). Google’s plan to cut pay for remote workers will backfire. The price of electricity.

Our future

Honda Wants Conquer the ‘4th Dimension‘. The city transformer. The real stakes of Apple’s battle over remote work. Digitising Small Retailers In Indonesia. ‘Streetcare’ and Upcycled Vintage: 6 Trends Shaping Conscious Fashion. Airbnb Report on Travel & Living. Taking stock with teens. The rise of “third workplaces“. How the nervous system senses temperature and touch. Obesity and diabetes: the slow-motion disaster. The pandemic will spur the worldwide growth of private tutoring. How digital therapeutics can go mainstream.

We provide in-house training to executive teams and board to feed their strategic planning process and investigate future scenarios. More here.

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?

Dune Foresaw—and Influenced—Half a Century of Global Conflict. Supermarket Jumbo designates 200 cash registers for checkout chats. Turn yourself into and NFT to become eternal. TikTok vs Science. Chinese steampunk: The art of reviving dead insects. The act of smelling. MiamiCoin’ has made the city $7 million so far. Attack of the snack apps. Burner emails. Are Charm Necklaces the New Ties? Meet the Fearless Women of this Mower Racing Association. The Frustration with Productivity Culture. Tiny office on a bike. Cell-Based Caviar. This company exchanges your pants as your weight changes ( in French). Venice, Overwhelmed by Tourists, Tries Tracking Them. S.Korea broadband firm sues Netflix after traffic surge. Hair color. Squid game.

Join us to discuss those trends and signals every Saturday at 9am EST on Clubhouse. We have a panel of futurists that illustrate what those signals might mean, and an enlightened group of curious minds in the room.

Down the rabbit hole

This is a new section. It highlights a subject that lead me to many useful threads, or a single site, that opened many doors.

Browse American Prison Newspapers, 1800-2020: voices from the inside, but also a unique window into human minds.

On our radar

We discussed loneliness last Saturday during our Clubhouse chat: “Lying flat is my sophistic movement,”. Being alone with your thoughts is a skill you can practise. How to Pace in an IKEA Parking Lot.

“For me, extended time in parking lots has always signified an emergency, precise moments of narrative dissolution: one version of the good life has come apart irretrievably, and you must, humbly, construct another. Outside hospitals and motels, breakups and breakdowns. I paced because pacing feels like the good, primal thing to do when a body is penned in. It’s what lions and tigers do in their zoo enclosures. Back and forth, up and around, prowl, prowl, repeat.”

I am preparing a new course for McGill University on leadership skills: Free Knowledge and Innovation. Importing Knowledge. Adjacent knowledge. Why proximity matters: who you know. Empathy as a key leadership skill. Mad skills vs soft skills. Trust in organizations, linking organizational forms, managerial philosophies and opportunity costs of controls. How to collaborate when you don’t have consensus by the inimitable Adam Kahane ( I also recommend Collaborating with the Enemy). The strength of weak signals.

Hodgepodge discovery

Articles for the curious mind …

India’s nostalgic passion for old typewriters. Enduring memory. The impossible map. Mermaids and Tritons in the Age of Reason. All about mustard. How to merge Excel and Word. The casual archivist. Physicists capture first imageof Wigner crystals. Confessions of a Michelin Inspector. A visual guide to decentralization. Burners, Pollution, Control & Privacy . Leeks, tropicalizers, and cutting the soap: a guide to global startup slang. The Haier Way to innovate. Searching for MrX.

Feeling Good

Surreal scenes and broken dreams: 2021’s best street photography. The Humanity score. A dry walling festival. Open source emojis. Inside the hurricane. Paper planes design. Dive into one destination.


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