What's Emerging April 2021

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


Welcome to our end of April newsletter for 2021.

First of all thank you to all of you who asked after Paul’s wellbeing. He is well on the road to recovery and back working full time now.

In the next few weeks, Paul will continue working with a council on their community vision, work with a new leadership team in the food sector, and working on strategy and foresight for a listed ASX company. He will be working on a value adding strategy for agriculture in Queensland. Paul will also continue working in his role as advisor for foresight and strategy to Save the Children Australia .

Paul is also acting as lead partner for a Social Venture Partners Melbourne pro bono project with Little Dreamers, a fantastic organisation helping young people who are caring for a family member.

We continue to build our Red Teaming initiative and more outside experts have been added since the last newsletter. You can read more about Red Teaming here or you can see the amazing breadth of our team here.

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:

Phone wet and won’t turn on? Here’s how to deal with water damage (hint: soaking it in rice won’t work)

One of our business tips….. read more

What are we Writing About?

Paul is recording a podcast today for the Future Pod series. Hopefully that will be available for the next newsletter but meanwhile you can go to Future Pod and listen to his two previous podcasts there, along with many other great podcasts from leading futurists.

What’s Emerging

Forget Boston Dynamics. This robot taught itself to walk

Slick, viral videos from Boston Dynamics are impressive but teaching a robot to walk by itself is a lot harder…. Read More


This is from a while ago but still worth looking at from a material perspective….. Read more

UK high street lost 11,000 shops in 2020

There were, however, 31,405 openings of independent units in 2020. Openings were just outweighed by 32,847 closures and resulted in the independent market shrinking by 0.4% (-1,442 units). However, this loss was minimal compared to the chain market which declined by 4.5%, equating to a loss of 9,877 units. ..…. Read more

Landmark brain cancer vaccine passes first phase of human trials

An article published in the journal Nature is reporting promising results from a landmark Phase 1 human trial testing a novel vaccine designed to help a patient's immune system better target brain tumors. The data suggests the experimental vaccine is safe and stimulates a significant immune response that slows tumor progression. A larger Phase 2 trial is currently being planned.  ….. Read more

Canadian researchers duplicated a patient's rare disorder in a mouse, and used gene editing to cure it

The research, which was published in the scientific journal EMBO Molecular Medicine, describes how researchers copied the exact mutation of a patient with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) into a live mouse, and then were able to correct that mutation, essentially curing the mouse. .  .…. Read more

Venture funding soared to record $64 billion in Q1

Venture-backed companies raised $64 billion in the first three months of the year, according to analysis this week from Ernst & Young, using data from Crunchbase. That equals 43% of the $1.48 billion raised in all of 2020, which was a record year. ….. Read more

Apple powers ahead in new renewable energy solutions with over 110 suppliers

Apple has announced over 110 of its manufacturing partners around the world are moving to 100 percent renewable energy for their Apple production, with nearly 8 gigawatts of planned clean energy set to come online. Once completed, these commitments will avoid over 15million metric tons of CO2e annually — the equivalent of taking more than 3.4 million cars off the road each year. ..….. Read more

Chick-fil-A is testing out deliveries with a robot that can wink and transport chicken sandwiches

Small, semi-autonomous Kiwibots will be an option at checkout for Chick-fil-A customers at three locations in Santa Monica, California through a partnership between the two companies. Deliveries will use the newest version, Kiwibot 4.0, to make short deliveries. ...…. Read more

3 mRNA vaccines researchers are working on (that aren’t COVID)

Once researchers have set up the mRNA manufacturing technology, they can potentially produce mRNA against any target. Manufacturing mRNA vaccines also does not need living cells, making them easier to produce than some other vaccines.

So mRNA vaccines could potentially be used to prevent a range of diseases, not just COVID-19.…..Read more

Trading clunkers for electric bikes: France moves to offer financial incentive

France is offering the owners of old, exhaust-belching cars the opportunity to hand over their vehicles for scrap in return for a 2,500 euro ($2,975.00) grant to buy an electric bicycle. Lawmakers in the National Assembly have just approved the measure in a preliminary vote. It was an amendment to a draft climate bill passing through parliament that aims to reduce greenhouse emissions by 40% in 2030 from 1990 levels..….….Read more

And more from France: French Lawmakers Approve a Ban on Short Domestic Flights 

French lawmakers voted to abolish domestic flights on routes than can be covered by train in under two-and-a-half hours, as the government seeks to lower carbon emissions even as the air travel industry reels from the global pandemic.  .…. Read more

Take an exclusive look inside a busy Covid-19 vaccine facility

An amazing scaling up and industrialisation process. Just shows that the adults in the room have been busy with the logistics process while the politics bullshit was going on in the USA …. Read more

Kroger launches its first Ocado-powered ‘shed’, a massive, robot-filled fulfillment center in Ohio

Built with a giant grid along the floor, “the shed”, as Ocado calls its warehouses, will feature some 1,000 robots alongside 400 human employees to pick, sort and move items. It is expected to process as much as $700 million in sales annually, the sales of 20 brick-and-mortar stores. …..Read more

World economy set to lose up to 18% GDP from climate change if no action taken, reveals Swiss Re Institute's stress-test analysis

In a severe scenario of a 3.2°C temperature increase, China stands to lose almost one quarter of its GDP (24%) by mid-century. The US, Canada and the UK would all see around a 10% loss. Europe would suffer slightly more (11%), while economies such as Finland or Switzerland are less exposed (6%) than, for example, France or Greece (13%). ...… Read more

Business Tips

Zoom introduces new SDK to help developers tap into video services

One clear sign of a maturing platform is when the company exposes to other developers the services it uses for its own tools. The company envisions applications developers embedding video in social, gaming or retail applications, where including video could enhance the user experience. For example, a shop owner could show different outfits to an online shopper in a live video feed and discuss their tastes in real time. ..Read more

Mighty Networks raises $50M to build a creator economy for the masses

“Basically we have a platform for people to create communities the way that they would create e-commerce stores,” she told TechCrunch. “So what Shopify has done for e-commerce, we’re doing for digital subscriptions and digital payments where the value is around a community that is mastering something interesting or important together, and not just content alone.” Worth a look if you are in the community business …… Read more

What you need to do before travelling to New Zealand

Planning to take a trip within the trans-Tasman travel bubble? There are steps you need to follow before you fly.…. Read more

How to use the Siri 'I'm Getting Pulled Over' shortcut to record police encounters during traffic stops with your iPhone

Once you activate the shortcut, it’ll turn on Do Not Disturb, send your location to designated contacts, and start recording video….. Read More

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