Newsletter No.130 — Jun 14, 2020

Long Shadow of the Future ⊗ Food Supply ⊗ Pandemic Futures

This week → The long shadow of the future ⊗ The sickness in our food supply ⊗ Pandemic futures ⊗ Our cities only serve the wealthy. Coronavirus could change that ⊗ This is a global catastrophe that has come from within

A year ago → AI Can Thrive in Open Societies.

Five weeks ago I linked to The History of the Future by Audrey Watters and mentioned elsewhere that the type of futurists she writes about are not the same kind of practitioners I think about when I say futurists. The same comment would apply to Devon Powers’ piece in this issue. When I talk about futurists, I think of Changeist or a Genevieve Bell or a Ben Hammersley’. Not an R/GA, a sparks & honey, or SingularityU.

Basically I tend to follow, and value the ideas of, the individuals or smaller firms who think about the future because that’s what they do first, and then make a living from that practice. As opposed to larger agency(ish) firms who tack on a practice they call futurism which tends to be more prescriptive and generally point in a direction that happens to let them sell other agency capabilities.

I’m writing this in the intro because it frames a few pieces in the past and probably a few more to come who use the same word for something different, this way you’ll know how I use it. And, regardless of this “disclaimer,” Power’s piece is excellent and I didn’t want to flood the short text alongside it.