Innovation Watch

By David Forrest | THE FUTURE IS HERE ...strategic foresight... ...breakthrough innovations... trends...

Google Is Planning For A Zero Waste, Circular Economy

Don't be evil—and don't waste anything either.

The current economy is built on waste—dig up some materials, turn that into a product, ship it to an "end user" who eventually tosses it in the trash. But that's starting to change.

Google is one of the latest mega-corporations to commit to the …


Webflow Builds Sites Without Code, Like Squarespace Crossed With Photoshop

When design and code combine, building websites may never be the same.

Right now, the web is split between designers and developers. The designers mock up layouts in Photoshop. The developers turn that imagery into functional code via standards like CSS and Javascript. As a result, designers have …


Google and Israel May Be Heading to the Moon

A nonprofit startup is the most promising competitor for Google's Lunar XPrize

Tired of waiting for NASA to get its Apollo-era mojo back and start putting spacecraft on the lunar surface again? Then you’ll be happy to know that Israel—with some help from Google—is about to show the moon a little …


Countering Climate Extremes Key to Asia’s Food Future

The Asian Development Bank is helping the fight against the extremes of climate change and food security for Asia's future.

Asia and the Pacific faces …


New York's revolutionary plan to remake its power utilities

By now, many people are aware of the ongoing battles between customers with rooftop solar panels and power utilities around the country. At first …


Wind now competes with fossil fuels. Solar almost does.

When it comes to electricity, it’s all about the cost. A new report shows how clean energy electricity is becoming mainstream.

Electricity generated by large wind farms is now cheap enough in many places around the world to compete effectively with electricity generated by coal and natural gas.

At …


Solar and Wind Just Passed Another Big Turning Point

Wind power is now the cheapest electricity to produce in both Germany and the U.K., even without government subsidies, according to a new analysis by …


There’s actually a startup that is making micropayments for journalism work

The Dutch micropayment platform for articles is taking off in spectacular fashion. Its foray into the German market delivers another proof of publishers’ interest in the kind of business model Blendle embodies. But, down the road, Blendle sees itself as the main transactional infrastructure


Lessons Learned — Why the Failure of Systems Thinking Should Inform the Future of Design Thinking

"You never learn by doing something right ‘cause you already know how to do it. You only learn from making mistakes and correcting them."
Russell Ackoff

Design and "design thinking" is gaining recognition as an important integrative concept in management practice and education. But it will fail to …

Cisco teams up with robot company so it can watch hundreds of robots on factory floors

Cisco's new CEO Chuck Robbins is convinced that the company's future rests on the big new thing called the Internet of Things, where all kinds of machines and objects get sensors, apps and join the internet.

On Monday, at a press conference at the company's headquarters in San Jose, California, …


Apple has bought 2 artificial-intelligence companies in 4 days

Apple's on a buying spree as it ramps up its efforts in the tech industry's latest arms race: artificial intelligence.

Bloomberg reports that Apple has bought Perceptio, a company that makes image-recognition technology for smartphones, its second AI deal in four days.

Perceptio was developing "deep …

Artificial Intelligence

This Robot-Run Indoor Farm Can Grow 10 Million Heads Of Lettuce A Year

This massive Japanese vegetable factory saves water and energy—along with human labor.

When a sprawling new "vegetable factory" opens near Kyoto, Japan in 2017, it will be the first farm with no farmers. Robots will plant lettuce seeds, transplant them, raise the vegetables, and automatically carry …


What Changes Lie Ahead From the Trans-Pacific Partnership Pact

Dairy farmers in Pennsylvania. Auto-parts workers in the Midwest. Pharmaceutical companies concentrated around New Jersey. These pivotal groups, not to mention consumers across the country, are among those that can expect a wide range of changes in the years ahead from the newly concluded …


We’re a step closer to curing some genetic diseases with a single treatment

After two rather miserable weeks for the biotechnology industry, one company got a pretty excellent piece of news: Spark Therapeutics, a Philadelphia based biotechnology company that went public earlier this year, announced that its experimental treatment for a rare form of blindness significantly …


China Rolls Out the 'World's First Driverless Bus'

Not sure why there’s a driver right there, though.

Notice anything odd about this bus tooling along a highway in China’s Henan Province?

Look again. The dude behind the wheel is stretching his arms up like he’s dunking on someone—perhaps the execs at Google and Apple, as this thing is the “world’s …


Amazon sets sights on massive Internet of things opportunity with new cloud offering

Coming at AWS Re:Invent, Amazon will unveil a new Internet of things service to help developers tie billions of devices into the cloud giant’s infrastructure.

Amazon plans to announce a cloud-based service for the Internet of things this week at its AWS Re:Invent trade show, according to sections of …


Synbiota biohacking kits let you do genetic engineering at home

A Canadian company is trying to make it possible for anyone to be a "biohacker" and make custom genetically modified organisms in their home …


Daimler tests self-driving truck on German highway

The truck has smart systems including radars, cameras and active speed regulators and works without a human driver — although one has to be in the …


Plastic-eating worms may offer solution to mounting waste

Consider the plastic foam cup. Every year, Americans throw away 2.5 billion of them. And yet, that waste is just a fraction of the 33 million tons of …


'Major' IBM breakthrough breathes new life into Moore’s Law

Silicon is dead. Long live, carbon nanotubes.

In transistors, size matters — a lot. You can’t squeeze more silicon transistors (think billions of them) into a processor unless you can make them smaller, but the smaller these transistors get, the higher the resistance between contacts, which means …


Skype now has real-time translation built in

Microsoft first released Skype Translator almost a year ago as a standalone app designed for Windows 8. The software giant is now integrating its impressive translation feature directly into the desktop version of Skype, opening it up to Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10 users. Six voice …


Climate change tragedy on horizon, ex-Bank governor Mark Carney says | Toronto Star

If there were any doubts that climate change is an economic issue that puts global financial stability at risk, then Bank of England Governor Mark …


VW's Fraud Reveals A Troubling Future: Our Machines Can Now Lie

Volkswagen didn’t make a faulty car: They programmed it to cheat intelligently. The difference isn’t semantics, it’s game-theoretical (and it borders on applied demonology).

Regulatory practices assume untrustworthy humans living in a reliable universe. People will be tempted to lie if they think …


The What, When And How of Texas Electricity Prices Going Negative

Published on October 1st, 2015 | by William Steel


October 1st, 2015 by William Steel

The 735.5 MW Horse Hollow Wind Farm, Texas. Photo credit: The …


Droneports: Revolutionary cargo drone delivery system to be tested in Rwanda (IMAGES)

© Foster + Partners / FreeDrones have been getting a bum rap in recent years, but this could soon change: Rwanda has been chosen as a test site for a


GE CEO Jeff Immelt On How The Industrial Internet Is Helping Slash Downtime

At the company's Minds + Machines event in San Francisco today, GE unveiled a range of new Industrial Internet offerings.

In a video touting General Electric's new initiative to get more than 20,000 people building for, the company's new dedicated cloud environment for app developers, we …


Yves Béhar on How Smart Design Can Propel Social Change

Before Yves Béhar was quite the Yves Béhar we know now—that is to say, before he designed consumer slam-dunks like the Jambox speaker and the Jawbone …

Social Movements

The Future of Work: Navigating the Whitewater

CERN, where craftsmen work alongside some of the world’s best theoretical and experimental physicists. (Photo: Dong liu/Shutterstock)For my parents, …

The Future

XPrize contest rewards innovator who can turn carbon emissions into asset

Oil sands producers are throwing their weight behind a new race to convert carbon emissions into a usable product through XPrize, the high-profile American non-profit organization more often associated with commercial space travel or lunar rover technology.

This time, XPrize is offering a …