E.O. Wilson and the Encyclopedia of Life

Posted by Dr. James Canton on May 9, 2007 under Uncategorized | Be the First to Comment

At the last TED conference, E.O Wilson, the world class scientist and author, proposed building an Encyclopedia of Life. This would be a Wikipedia for cataloging the diversity of life on the planet. From insects, to fish, to animals. The idea is to raise our collective awareness of the diversity of life. A very cool idea.

Now the MacArthur Foundation is investing $50 Million to make it real. What is unique is that the outreach, the building of the encyclopedia, is based on individuals collaborating–social networking. Think mashups, maps, images in a super-hyperlinked online catalog. Keep an eye on the Encyclopedia of Life.

Singapore and Quantum Computers

Posted by Dr. James Canton on May 8, 2007 under Uncategorized | Be the First to Comment

Singapore’s Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, may be more than unique as a leader. I have met with many leaders, Prime Ministers and Presidents before, but this is the only one, whom at dinner last week, actually had a conversation with me about the status of quantum computing. No surprise, as Singapore is a global innovation economy leader. How many Prime Ministers do you think even know what a quantum computer is, or could be, let alone have a conversation about it?

I remain impressed with Singapore as a doorway to the innovation future that may well lead others to follow. You don’t need to have size or scale to be successful. See Association for Computing Machinery

Trend Trakker Update

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Many followers of this blog, and the Institute for Global Futures, who work on trend watching and analysis wanted more info on Trend Trakker. We developed Trend Trakker as an online tool to track trends in over 50,000 news stories on various subjects that organizes the latest stories onto a map. So here is an update: Trend Trakker

If you want to see this live, go to this leading energy association at Energy Voyager.

The next version we are developing is a 3D geospatial application for a global pandemic and risk analysis company. This is the only tool to give you a complete view of key news trends in one organized field. For those folks who want a trial version for their company, email us – Info@GlobalFuturist.com

Apple Blog

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Much of my early influences about innovation were catalyzed when I was at Apple Computer. A terrific company that has innovation in it’s DNA. Is Apple a tech company or a consumer products company? It is as if nobody was paying attention when all of a sudden, Apple’s stock reached $100. Is this the end, a fluke? I am a futurist, not a stock picker, but I can say that Steve Jobs’ platform of integrated innovations has anticipate consumers needs. So, the answer is that Apple is more of a consumer-driven company than a tech-innovation company. You can decide if that makes sense. Hint: iPod, iMac, iPhone, iTV, hmmmm. Apple

Business Continuity Trend

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In a new article on what you might think is an uninteresting subject, I discussed the challenges organizations face in dealing with threats to business continuity. Just yesterday, May 7, a billion dollar financial services company in the consumer loan space went down due to a storm in the Midwest. Lost data, hurt people, damaged locations, flooding, disasters and more, are now becoming a reality. Every business needs a business continuity plan that can be implemented fast in case of a disaster. My business continuity article – The Good, Bad and Ugly of Business Continuity in the 21st Century

Globalization Check

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The future of globalization will be based on the linkage of economies–both large and small. To appreciate the linkage of economies, consider the Shanghai Index’s drop of two weeks ago and the US and EU exchanges drop as a reaction. China sneezes and we all get colds? Our trend line shows robust linkage in these economies will make for stability in the developed and developing nations economies, a productive trend. Shanghai market

Chinese investments in the Euro and US dollar are stabilizing the global economy against other negatives, such as inflation spikes, housing bubbles, low productivity and escalating trade deficits. Growth offsets these risks, but investments are a win win for everyone. Stable markets with millions of consumers means China gets growth and stability. Very critical for all players.

Hong Kong’s Present is China’s Future?

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Being in Hong Kong is more of a state of mind than just a location. Vibrant, deal-making, target rich and enterprising comes to mind. I have a biotech client who I am advising in China. Fascinating. Here is a country who has as inspiration, a microcosm economy called Hong Kong, that reflects what the full potential for the rest of China could be one day. Imagine not just HK with the largest number of billionaires, but ALL of China with this wealth effect by 2020. With over one million people moving to cites a day, in China, and with fantastic growth over 15% GDP (more then 12%). We are talking sizzling futures here. Good investment opportunity.

Back From Asia

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There is nothing like getting ahead of a trend by “being there”. Much of what we call trends will come from Asia first, as we have seen. The linkage, the convergence of trends, is undeniable. Going to Asia, particularly China, India and Singapore, is always an eye opener to validate growth and change. So here is the latest from my Asia trip over last few weeks.

Ratan Tata, Chairman of Tata Sons Limited, a collection of leading steel, auto and information companies, employ over 22% of the Indian workforce. His next challenge is building a $2,000 car, from steel, that seats 4, and will get you more than just around town. He already has a $4000 auto distributed by Fiat in Africa. Tata, who is a world class innovator, may be one of the best. He and I had time to catch up in Singapore. Tata website

He has the classic innovator’s drive, “They said it couldn’t be done”. I heard that from Steve Jobs when I was at Apple working on the Macintosh product introduction in 1981. Same DNA –loves challenges. The conversation we had about how you teach innovation is one that has me thinking: I think there is an alchemy of innovation.

Web 2.0 Alert

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A “Don’t Miss Trend” says this futurist. The hype is not the real deal. Too many CIO’s and CTO’s are missing the potential here. There is an emerging, refreshed paradigm for the Internet now being called Web 2.0, that requires care and feeding.

Not too early to think about how an integrative IT strategy that incorporates social networking, blogs, rich media and Wikis could enable your business. Sounds intimidating, but it is another channel to accelerate customer mind share penetration, business intelligence or outright competitive advantage. Sensing, Learning, Enabling.

Carbon Credits: The Future Hedge Fund’s Synthetic Financial Product?

Posted by Dr. James Canton on May 4, 2007 under Uncategorized | Be the First to Comment

Hedge funds invent synthetic products using various asset classes, car loans, currencies, bonds, real estate, to manage risk and returns. I think this creative stock jockey hacker is ready to rumble when they get their hands on the carbon credit markets, yet in their infancy today.

I forecast that carbon credits will become like currency or commodity futures, monetary assets that will be bundled and traded. Carbon–the right to pollute, will be used by “creative” investment bankers to add value to trades over electronic exchanges from NASDAQ, to Bloomberg, to other pure ECN’s. Where there is a buck or yen to be made in the clean tech industrial marketplace, where the Global Fortune 1000 are not yet fully green–there will be billions made. You heard it hear first, maybe.

Get your carbon credits here! Free WiMax with your first purchase.