What's Emerging end of January 2021

A newsletter on interesting stuff that is emerging around the world so you can think about strategy


Welcome back to the first edition of our newsletter for 2021. We hope that you all had a great and safe Christmas and New Year or whatever else you celebrate.

Hopefully 2021 will be a whole lot better than 2020 and with promising vaccine results in the field it certainly looks that way at the moment.

In the next few weeks, Paul will be working with two councils on their community vision, running offsite sessions for a new leadership team in the food sector, and working on strategy and foresight for a listed ASX company. Paul will also continue to work on the project looking at the industrialisation of robots and building a consortium model to new organisational approaches in the not for profit sector.

We have launched a new initiative as part of the revamped consulting model that we promised last year. We have assembled an amazing group of consultants from around the world that we can form into teams to RED Team your strategy or project. Red Teaming is about using a group which is outside your planning process for your project or strategy to probe and challenge your plan for weaknesses and improvements. We can help you do that with your own internal team, provide short term challenge sessions where you present and we critique, or we can provide a detailed investigation or wargaming team. Each project will have a team selected from our network to suit the project or strategy that you are proposing.

You can read more about red teaming here or you can see the amazing breadth of our team here. More members will be added in coming weeks.

If you want to talk about the use of foresight or red teaming in your strategy for 2021 then please Contact Us.

The Emergent Futures Team

In case you missed it. The most popular link from the last edition:

Barack Obama: How I Approach the Toughest Decisions

How Barack Obama approached some of the most difficult decisions he has had to make.…….Read more

What are we Writing About?

Paul has written: The office - a chance for a redesign. Have we really thought about offices and how they work over the last 20 years? Paul has also written a piece on Red Teaming and how it can work. You can go to our HOME PAGE and look under our latest work to read both posts.

What’s Emerging?

Synthetic biology 2020–2030: six commercially-available products that are changing our world

Synthetic biology will transform how we grow food, what we eat, and where we source materials and medicines.….Read More

Yara takes delivery of autonomous boxship Yara Birkeland

In one of this year’s most eagerly anticipated ship deliveries, Norwegian shipbuilder Vard has handed over the zero emissions autonomous container vessel Yara Birkeland to Yara International. Read more

CRISPR Treatment Is Injected Directly Into a Patient's Body — a First for Gene Editing

Gene editing leaps to the next level with the injection of a CRISPR complex directly into a patient's eye to combat a form of hereditary blindness..…. Read more

Global coal demand peaked seven years ago, says International Energy Agency

According to the IEA, global coal demand probably peaked seven years ago — in 2013 — at just over 8 billion tonnes and, despite a forecast pick-up in demand next year as economies rebound from the coronavirus lockdowns, global demand for coal is forecast to "flatten out" over the next five years at around 7.4 billion tonnes. ….. Read more

Scaled-Down Carbon Nanotube Transistors Inch Closer to Silicon Abilities

Engineers from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), University of California San Diego, and Stanford University explained a new fabrication process that leads to better control of carbon nanotube transistors. Such control is crucial to ensuring that transistors, which act as switches in logic circuits, turn fully off when they are meant to. Interest in carbon nanotube transistors has accelerated recently, because they can potentially be shrunk down further than silicon transistors can and offer a way to produce stacked layers of circuitry much more easily than can be done in silicon. .…. Read more

PRINOTH Hydrogen & Electric Powered Snow Groomers

Everything is going electric. This is a great story.

If Poor Countries Go Unvaccinated, a Study Says, Rich Ones Will Pay

A failure to distribute the Covid-19 vaccine in poor nations will worsen economic damage, with half the costs borne by wealthy countries, new research shows...…. Read more

Twitter's Amazon Deal Drives Home Cloud Giants' Strengths

With each passing year, fresh stories arrive about major consumer internet companies and cloud app developers deciding that they would rather have a cloud giant handle much or all of their infrastructure needs. ..…. Read more

Roku TV Was the Top Selling Smart TV OS in 2020

Who knew?…..Read more

Chinese scientists develop gene therapy which could delay ageing

The method, detailed in a paper in the Science Translational Medicine journal earlier this month, involves inactivating a gene called kat7 which the scientists found to be a key contributor to cellular ageing. .…. Read more

Hudson to introduce Amazon's Just Walk Out tech in airport stores

The grab-and-go technology will first appear at a new Hudson Nonstop store in Dallas Love Field Airport in the first quarter of this year, per the company. Additional rollouts are planned in North America later on in 2021. ….Read more

TikTok surges past Facebook in average monthly time spent per user

Paul: as one of our followers said “Zuck must be tearing his hair out”.…. Read more

Volkswagen Group Components previews mobile charging robot

Paul: I see iterations of this being very useful for charging at destinations or even being able to provide the service at my house - extra solar power can be used to charge cars that just drive in and export to the grid is reduced. A dynamic bidding market would allow lowest cost charging. We live just above a popular river walking area. Imagine driving your car to my place and letting it charge at a cheap rate while you walk your dogs for an hour. Everyone wins …..Read more

Adelaide scientists turn marine microalgae into 'superfoods' to substitute animal proteins

A team of Flinders University scientists have developed alternative proteins to consume, but instead of meat, food products like caviar, vegan patties, plant-based meats, jelly, jams and spreads have been developed from marine microalgae ...… Read more

Business Tips

Why Vaccines Alone Will Not End the Pandemic

If precautions like working remotely, limiting travel and wearing masks are relaxed too soon, it could mean millions more infections and thousands more deaths. While this applies to countries with high case numbers we all need to be cautious. Paul: this is how I explained this to people when I was a vet: Tweet Thread …..Read more

Unilever workers will never return to desks full-time, says boss

Speaking at a Reuters conference, Jope said that Unilever would use a “hybrid mode” of working between homes and offices after that. Permanent changes are expected for many of its 150,000 global employees, 7,000 of whom are in the UK. Paul: if you are involved in any business that uses office space, or relies on office workers for your income (cleaners, local retail, maintenance) you need to be rethinking what is going to happen …… Read more

Anticipating the impact of COVID‑19 on internal migration

Paul: The Centre for Population has done some really good work on population projections in Australia post COVID. A combination of reduced migration, reduced fertility, and changes to work from home arrangements are likely to drive significant demographic change. If you are a council, or in the construction industry, or retail, or you just want to think about where your customers might be then you should take a look at this…. Read more

These airlines offer free COVID-19 insurance when you travel

Most travel insurance policies don't cover you for COVID-19, but some airlines have your back if you still need to fly. This is not an endorsement of any of these airlines or their policies but a good starting point for exploring your options……Read more

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