The New Year Forecasts – discussed in Applied Creativity – Jan 2012

               

             Applied Creativity
                                                    An E-/Bulletin from
                            The Centre for Leadership in Creativity
                                  in association with Nesta

                                               Edited by John Whatmore                        
                                                        January 2012

   After the Christmas Quizes, it’s the New Year Forecasts

 *            Twelve Innovations for 2012: Nesta’s forecasts span many fields

 *            The US Consumer Electronics Show: always interesting because
             the leading 
area for, and source of innovations

 *            The fascinating possibilities in the analysis and integration of ‘big data’ 

 *            Solving wider-ranging problems with the integration of data:
             an approach of IBM’s

 *            Where Angels will tread – in 2012

 *            The World Economic Forum has focused on three risk-scenarios
             facing the
 global system over the next ten years; new kinds of
             thinking are essential

 *            Three Black Swans in 2012: unlikely yet remotely possible events

  
                                    *                                    *                                    *

 Twelve Innovations for 2012: Nesta’s forecasts span many fields
Opportunities galore – in all sorts of fields. Nesta taking the risks where organisations should be more enterprising; and taking the lead where issues fall outside to-day’s boxes. While a number of trends are clearly identifiable, specific innovations have to battle their own way forward.
(http://whatmore.posterous.com/95910614)       

             The US Consumer Electronics Show: always interesting because the leading area for, and source of innovations.
The US Consumer Electronics Show is dominated this year by several companies simultaneously offering new TVs – that can access live and recorded material from lots of sources. Mac Book Airs and Kindle me-toos were also notable among the thousands of new products launched – and likely to disrupt one industry after another. (http://whatmore.posterous.com/95918478)

The fascinating possibilities in the analysis and integration of ‘big data’ 
With the greater integration of data that is forecast, it will be possible when you are visiting a colleague or a customer in Bristol or Bath to find out who in their neighbour-hood is interested in the same things as you, and to see their recent postings; or to arrange to meet them at a coffee shop or at the conference in Glasgow or Gdanzk to which you are both goingBut issues of privacy stand in the way.
(http://whatmore.posterous.com/95920719)

               Solving wider-ranging problems with the integration of data: an approach of IBM’s
One approach to innovation – adopted by IBM’s UK Laboratory – has been to select a project that epitomised a promising field of application for emerging technology and to work on that with and on behalf of a leading-edge company. Sometimes this has led to the development of fully-fledged software, at others to valuable developments of the technology, and at others to surprising new directions. At present it has led to an overwhelming interest on the integration of real-time data from multiple sources – for multiple users. 
(http://whatmore.posterous.com/95921323)  

              Where Angels will tread – in 2012
Angel investing has grown considerably, and while its infrastructure lags this progress, processes for developing ideas for new businesses into marketable propositions (‘Accelerators’) are evolving rapidly. Among highlights for 2012: apps for people on the move’s Smartphones; ‘analytics’, enabling organisations to make even more use of search engines for selling; and businesses made possible by the ability of mobile devices to enable people to share and exchange things.(http://whatmore.posterous.com/95922035) 

              The World Economic Forum has focused on three risk-scenarios facing the global system over the next ten years; new kinds of thinking are essential
The disparity between living standards and expectations is fomenting social unrest; the ways in which we control and manage the complex systems on which global prosperity depends are lagging behind their accelerating complexity; and we are blissfully unaware of the risks inherent in our dependency on connectivity and the Internet. Radically new thinking is needed but there are few signs of it.  
(http://whatmore.posterous.com/95922998)

                Three Black Swans in 2012: unlikely yet remotely possible events
 *    A plane crashes when a freak flash triggers all the public control
      systems of air, road and rail networks in the UK to fail simultaneously.
*     The lights go out as members of parliament discuss the future role of
      nuclear energy in electricity supply.
*     Gangs go on the rampage in the streets of Moscow after President
       Putin is assassinated.

 The Centre for Leadership in Creativity (a ‘virus for creativity’) carries out research
and provides consultancy and peer-to-peer learning for organisations where
creativity and innovation are vital. 

 The Centre for Leadership in Creativity            138 Iffley Road, London W6 OPE           
Tel/fax: 020 8748 2553                           E-mail:  john.whatmore@btinternet.com

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The World Economic Forum's three big risk-scenarios

              The Managing Director in charge of global risks at the World Economic Forum has focused attention on three big areas of risk: (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/11/opinion/the-failure-of-governance-in-a-hyperconnected-world.html)
              People everywhere perceive their living standards to be falling and express decreasing levels of confidence that their governments know what to do about it. Meanwhile both the Internet and urbanisation make disparities in wealth more transparent. Social contracts are breaking down in advanced economies, as shrinking workforces have to support growing populations of elderly while their own entitlements are being cut. And in emerging economies, sluggish global growth risks disappointing the expectations that a rising tide will lift all boats. And in the poorer countries, bulging youth populations lack the skills to succeed or the right to migrate. A combustible combination, as is suggested by social unrest in a number of parts of the world.
              The second risk is this: experts in many domains, from climate change to finance, to emerging technologies, worry that governance is lagging behind accelerating complexity. The policies, norms, regulations or institutions through which we manage the complex systems on which global prosperity depends are not responding to the dangers that we foresee. We need safeguards that are nimble and flexible and that give incentives to stakeholders to anticipate the threats.
              The third risk relates to the Internet. Almost a third of the global population is online and connectivity has transformed the ways in which we conduct business and personal relationships; and continues to grow. The dark side of connectivity considers the potential of terrorism, crime and war in the virtual world to become as deadly and disruptive as their equivalents in the physical world – where so much of the infrastructure of life is now managed by computers that we do not see or understand.
              None of these problems are insurmountable, the author suggests, but difficulties will arise if we try to apply traditional solutions to novel problems. At the bottom of the economic crisis it was suggested that in politics, in economics, in technology, and in society, radically new thinking was essential, but there have been very few signs of it.  

  

Where Angels will tread – in 2012

             Angels can look forward to working together in a new approach to the incubation of new businesses as three new ‘Accelerators’ spread their wings in the UK and several more elsewhere in the world. These short intensive innovation programmes select small groups of teams with promising ideas for new products and provide them with dramatic challenge and support (see Nesta’s The Startup Factories, 2011 (http://www.nesta.org)). 
             Ron Conway, Special Adviser to SV Angel – in the Economist’s “World in 2012” (http://www.economist.com/theworldin/2012) suggests thatthe continuing rapid growth in Facebook and the social web is seen by Angels as a good opportunity for entrepreneurs with start-ups that attract seed-stage investments. In particular the explosive growth of Smartphones offers all sorts of opportunities for providing content related to their users’ context, by offering innovative and engaging experiences for people on the move so that they can get what they want where the want it (eg the LinkedIn page of the person across the table from you; or (suggests another article) onto your glasses the name of the person to whom you are talking, together with their recent postings).
            Commerce will also benefit from this trend since more people are paying for experiences online and experiencing them offline. Merchants finally have access to the tracking and measurability that are key pieces of internet economics, enabling them to design offers that are tightly contextualised (eg that relate to their profiles of their customers.)
            Another field that is attracting the interest of Angels is peer-to-peer markets and the growth of collaborative consumption. The age of networks and mobile devices has created the opportunity to set up networks for the sharing and exchange of assets – from cars, to bikes, to skills, to spare space. Zipcar and Rentcycle are given as examples as is the Paris electric car network and a similar scheme in London into which you pitch your own car – both schemes about to be launched.
 

The fascinating possibilities in the analysis and integration of 'big data'

                 The sheer volume and continuing rate of increase in the amount of stored data offers a burgeoning opportunity for data miners to make use of it all. Phone calls, e-mails, websearches, facebook messages, public data stores etc make it increasingly possible to identify trends and tastes, even wishes and loves, enabling us to pinpoint new oppor-tunities and problems. The Economist’s “World in 2012” mentions the National Institute for Clinical Excellence’s investigations into the potential costs and benefits of new drugs, Rolls Royce’s use of data to predict engine performance, Lexalytics – which analyses the sentimentof utterings on Twitter etc; and Klout, which measures the influenceof social media users (http://www.economist.com/theworldin/2012).
                 Picture what your mobile phone company could learn about you from how you use your phone, or Google from what you have been searching, and could use to make predictions about what will interest or excite you, where you may visit or what you will buy. Motion sensors can apparently tell when a skier (or for that matter an elderly person) has had a bad fall; programmes could tell from your plans when you should be purchasing more aspirins or condoms; and your Satnav could suggest to you a choice of eateries to stop at for lunch that might suit your taste – or your mood (or that of your fellow passenger); or places where you would enjoy a bed for the night.
               Google plus has recently helped users to be the different selves that we are to different people – to family, friends, relations, business colleagues or the general public, so as to enable those who would like to contact us to recognise the qualities by which they know us; but it is a cumbersome process and though people may be interested in the same things, their point of interest and their point of view may still be poles apart.
                   But as has been emphasised, privacy is an issue that stands in the way: we need to ensure that individuals benefit and do not suffer because of this integration; and while it is becoming slightly easier to contact people with similar interests, the hacking scandal illustrates how difficult it is to make information available that is of public value while maintaining personal privacy.  (See 
Big Data resources page at www.nesta.org)

Solving wider-ranging problems with the integration of data: an approach of IBM's

                IBM’s Emerging Technologies Department at the Hursley Laboratory has been working on leading-edge applications of IT for several years  on such projects as pay-as-you-go car car insurance; early stage grid/cloud solutions to support the processing of mammogram x-rays, data mining – for fraud detection and retail support; on the real-time processing of information from multiple sources and for multiple users; and extraction of information from unstructured data sources such as web pages, new reports, and marketing materials.
             More recently this last area has been of absorbing interest as sources and volumes of data have continued to increase substantially. A substantial amount of the departments work has concentrated on sensors, data federation, information extraction/presentation.
             This work has gone alongside IBM’s focus on “intelligent services”  for “a smarter planet”, in which wide-ranging problems, such as resource shortages, organ-isational efficiency, water provision, climate change and traffic congestion are addressed by a blend of systems thinking, technological innovation and computing power.
 

The fascinating possibilities in the analysis and integration of ‘big data’

                 The sheer volume and continuing rate of increase in the amount of stored data offers a burgeoning opportunity for data miners to make use of it all. Phone calls, e-mails, websearches, facebook messages, public data stores etc make it increasingly possible to identify trends and tastes, even wishes and loves, enabling us to pinpoint new oppor-tunities and problems. The Economist’s “World in 2012” mentions the National Institute for Clinical Excellence’s investigations into the potential costs and benefits of new drugs, Rolls Royce’s use of data to predict engine performance, Lexalytics – which analyses the sentimentof utterings on Twitter etc; and Klout, which measures the influenceof social media users (http://www.economist.com/theworldin/2012).
                 Picture what your mobile phone company could learn about you from how you use your phone, or Google from what you have been searching, and could use to make predictions about what will interest or excite you, where you may visit or what you will buy. Motion sensors can apparently tell when a skier (or for that matter an elderly person) has had a bad fall; programmes could tell from your plans when you should be purchasing more aspirins or condoms; and your Satnav could suggest to you a choice of eateries to stop at for lunch that might suit your taste – or your mood (or that of your fellow passenger); or places where you would enjoy a bed for the night.
               Google plus has recently helped users to be the different selves that we are to different people – to family, friends, relations, business colleagues or the general public, so as to enable those who would like to contact us to recognise the qualities by which they know us; but it is a cumbersome process and though people may be interested in the same things, their point of interest and their point of view may still be poles apart.
                   But as has been emphasised, privacy is an issue that stands in the way: we need to ensure that individuals benefit and do not suffer because of this integration; and while it is becoming slightly easier to contact people with similar interests, the hacking scandal illustrates how difficult it is to make information available that is of public value while maintaining personal privacy.  (See 
Big Data resources page at www.nesta.org)

Solving wider-ranging problems with the integration of data: an approach of IBM’s

                IBM’s Emerging Technologies Department at the Hursley Laboratory has been working on leading-edge applications of IT for several years  on such projects as pay-as-you-go car car insurance; early stage grid/cloud solutions to support the processing of mammogram x-rays, data mining – for fraud detection and retail support; on the real-time processing of information from multiple sources and for multiple users; and extraction of information from unstructured data sources such as web pages, new reports, and marketing materials.
             More recently this last area has been of absorbing interest as sources and volumes of data have continued to increase substantially. A substantial amount of the departments work has concentrated on sensors, data federation, information extraction/presentation.
             This work has gone alongside IBM’s focus on “intelligent services”  for “a smarter planet”, in which wide-ranging problems, such as resource shortages, organ-isational efficiency, water provision, climate change and traffic congestion are addressed by a blend of systems thinking, technological innovation and computing power.