David Forrest

5 Magazines | 8,223 Articles | 813 Followers | 19 Likes | @innovationwatch | David Forrest is a Canadian writer and strategy consultant future@innovationwatch.com Twitter: @innovationwatch

Is the future of business a company without workers, managers or a CEO?

These days, it’s hardly surprising to hear that a hot new startup has received gobs of money from eager investors. But a new company called The DAO (short for “decentralized autonomous organization”) is not your average startup.<p>The DAO, designed to serve as a kind of venture capital fund for the …

Startups

Want a holistic view of the world of social innovation? Try these four books.

We’re seeing a steady stream of great books hitting the shelves at the moment, each focusing on a different aspect of the technology/social innovation debate. While some offer hardcore theory and research, others offer softer inspiration and advice. One day we’ll have a book which captures and …

China’s eco-civilization plan calls for 23% forest cover by 2020

Besides the United States, China has done more than any other country to contribute to climate change. But while China's greenhouse gas emissions are …

Environment

NASA prepares humanoid robots for trip to Mars

Humanoid Robots to pioneer Mars colonisation? Not the script of a sci-fi movie but what could happen in the near future.<p>NASA, in collaboration with four universities (three in Massachusetts and one in Scotland) is developing a kind of biped human-like robot that could be sent to the red planet.<p>The …

Robots

Harvard chemist engineers a superbug that converts inhaled CO2 into fuel

Over the past few years, the number of headlines relating to the increasing levels of carbon dioxide emissions have skyrocketed, and it’s pretty much …

Harvard

Fossil fuel decline could be 'faster than expected,' government think-tank warns

Canada's status as an "energy superpower" is under threat because the global dominance of fossil fuels could wane faster than previously believed, …

Human obsolescence: Are we ready for an artificially intelligent future?

“Enjoy your com-FORT-able stay,” says a robot front-desk clerk at Japan’s Robot Hotel. Do you thank the robot for its awkward salutation? Or maybe you hesitate for a moment before shuffling off in silence. If our digital screens are separating us from human interaction, you better believe AI will …

The Future

John Robson: What happens when AI starts designing AI?

Why do we even want computers writing bodice-rippers? Won’t it help the headless robot cheetah slip its leash?<p>The Google Brain AI project seriously …

Drought-weary California farmers look north to Oregon for salvation

PORTLAND, ORE. — The Globe and Mail<p>Over the past couple of years, farmers in central Oregon have noticed a new group of visitors poking around – a growing number of big California nut growers, looking for land.<p>They’ve shown up in the Willamette Valley, a 250-kilometre long stretch of lush farmland …

California

'Stockbroker's Bible' Just Told Oil Industry To Accept Its Demise

Coming from the Financial Times, that's a sobering wake-up call.<p>The sun may finally be setting on the fossil fuel industry.<p>The editorial board of the Financial Times isn't exactly stacked with bleeding-hearted environmentalists. Just a month ago, the British paper defended ExxonMobil's right to …

Bible

Apple is working on an AI system that wipes the floor with Google and everyone else

Siri is due for a big upgrade.<p>Apple now has the tech in place to give its digital assistant a big boost thanks to a UK-based company called VocalIQ it bought last year.<p>According to a source familiar with VocalIQ’s product, it’s much more robust and capable than Siri’s biggest competitors like …

Google

This is the 'reckoning point' for a bunch of oil producers

Oil prices have rebounded over the past few months.<p>Both West Texas Intermediate and Brent crude are currently around $49 per barrel, well above their lows below $30 per barrel earlier this year.<p>However, that doesn't mean that everything is going well for all of the oil producers. Quite the …

Oil & Gas Industry

Ethical Questions Loom Over Efforts to Make a Human Genome from Scratch

The biggest beneficiary of a plan to fabricate a human genome from scratch could be a Massachusetts startup called Gen9 that has close ties to the …

Biotechnology

The future of warfare is coming, and it's bringing lasers

This week, both the British Ministry of Defense and the US Navy have made strides towards directed energy weapons that could change the face of warfare as we know it.<p>The British, for their part, are eyeing a laser system that could compliment the Phalanx close in anti-missile system, which detects, …

The Future

What if a bot could run a country?

EXCLUSIVE:<p>Last week, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur named Gabriel Leydon showed me the revolutionary potential of real-time bots. He showed me a test bot project that, if expanded, could almost literally run a country: its public transportation system, taxis, traffic lights, parking spaces, and …

Traffic

Are you a terrorist, an academic, or a poker player? This startup says it can tell from your face

Philip K. Dick’s science fiction short story, “The Minority Report,” foresaw a future in which prescient mutants can predict and prevent crimes, and …

Startups

The Future of Humanity’s Food Supply Is the Hands of AI

Humanity’s got itself a problem. As <i>Homo sapiens</i> balloons as a species—to perhaps nearly 10 billion by 2050—the planet stubbornly stays the same size, …

Artificial Intelligence

There’s a Brilliant New Way to Pay Less for Your Flights

Here's exactly how to save a ton of money on airfare—especially if you book last-minute<p>There are probably worse travel planners than me, but I doubt it. I’m a procrastinator, and always fretting that I didn’t find the best deal. So a new feature of airline travel appeals: the option.<p>Recently, I …

Airlines

Reboot: Adidas to make shoes in Germany again – but using robots

Adidas, the German maker of sportswear and equipment, has announced it will start marketing its first series of shoes manufactured by robots in Germany from 2017.<p>More than 20 years after Adidas ceased production activities in Germany and moved them to Asia, chief executive Herbert Hainer unveiled …

Adidas

The Future of Smart City Technology, From an MIT Professor

On the long list of seemingly futuristic concepts that seem to be rapidly coming to fruition, the idea of a smart, tech-enabled city is one that …

Big Ideas

Calling An Uber Is Cooler Than Owning A Car—And Automakers Want In

People don’t want cars, they want rides. That’s the existential fear plaguing automakers today. And they’re scrambling to do something about it.<p>Just …

Automotive Industry

The Great Middle Class Awakening and Its Torchbearer

The middle class has been taking a shellacking for years. It began in the 1970s, when the business and political elites separated from the people and it has been accelerating ever since, according to Hedrick Smith, a former Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter and editor, an Emmy …

Middle Class

Why John Deere Measures Employee Morale Every Two Weeks

Many companies go to great lengths every year or two to determine just how motivated their work force really is. Traditionally, they might get vendors such as Gallup to survey employee engagement. More recently, online sites such as Glassdoor and Vault let HR managers view anonymized praises and …

John Deere

Utopian off-grid Regen Village produces all of its own food and energy

Danish architectural firm EFFEKT envisioned a future where self-sustaining communities could grow their own food and produce their own energy. They …

Sustainable Architecture

Foxconn axes 60,000 jobs in one Chinese factory as robots take over

And so it begins...

Robots

Fintech online lenders are looking at your social media footprint

Special to The Globe and Mail<p>A future where the time you spend on Facebook, LinkedIn and other online platforms could affect your creditworthiness isn’t merely coming – it’s already here.<p>Dozens of alternative lenders in the financial technology (fintech) space say they look beyond your credit score …

Social Media

The number of new businesses in the US is falling off a cliff

We’re supposedly living in the age of startups when people can create new businesses, enrich themselves, and employ their fellow Americans. That narrative, like much economic optimism these days, is now mostly a tale for coastal cities, and a tenuous one at best.<p>Fewer new businesses were created in …

Silicon Valley

The Revolutionary Rise Of The Chinese Brand

When China first became a global industrial epicenter it was known for contract manufacturing, OEMs, abject knock-offs, and an entire ecosystem of producers who flooded the markets of the world with low cost, no-name electronics, textiles, and other goods. However, the game has now changed for many …

Manufacturing

Google’s Superhuman Computer Can Tell Where Nearly Any Photo Was Taken

PlaNet, made by a team led by Google computer vision specialist Tobias Weyand, can determine the location of photos just by studying its pixels.You …

Google

Screen Reading Worse for Grasping Big Picture, Researchers Find

« $45 Million in Bond Funds to Flow to N.Y. Schools for Technology | Main<p><i>By Sarah Sparks. Cross-posted from the Inside School Research blog.</i><p>There's …

Literacy