What's Emerging June 2021

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


Welcome to our end of June newsletter for 2021.

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 also be working on a value adding strategy for agriculture in Queensland and working with the AFL Players Association on their next strategic plan (with futurist Reanna Browne who is the lead consultant). Paul will also continue working in his role as advisor for foresight and strategy to Save the Children Australia. He will also be presenting to an agricultural forum in Western Australia and to a CEO Institute group in Melbourne on Foresight for Practical Strategy.

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. He will also be working on strategy with the Boys to the Bush, a not for profit organisation that runs programs for disengaged boys.

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:

A Canadian study gave $7,500 to homeless people. Here’s how they spent it... read more

What are we Writing About?

Paul was re-interviewed on the FuturePod series : Listen Here

What’s Emerging

The Delta Variant is emerging - and it is a major concern for Australia

A slight variation from our normal newsletter with a bit of editorial. The image above is the daily cases data from Worldometer to June 24th showing that a new surge of cases of COVID is occurring in the UK. As of that date the 7 day daily average UK case numbers were above 12,000, Almost 6 times what they were on May 18th. Daily case numbers of 16,703 on June 24th were the highest since Feb 6th. Since I captured that graph the numbers on the 25th June were 15,187 and the (not yet complete) number for June 26th is 18,270. The reasons for my concern over this are twofold. Firstly the cause of this surge is the Delta variant which is the same variant that is now causing all sorts of problems in New South Wales. Secondly the UK is highly vaccinated. Our World in Data is showing that over 47% of the population has had two vaccine doses. This compares to about 5% in Australia. If this variant can cause this sort of a surge in cases in a highly vaccinated population imagine what it can do in a population that has such such low vaccination rates.

I have been saying for a few days now that NSW was not taking this current outbreak seriously enough (June 18, June 18, June 26th). Thankfully last night (I am writing this on Sunday 27th June) they went into a fuller lockdown but I am concerned that they may have done so too late and we might have weeks and weeks of problems as a result. The latest report has an infected flight attendant travelling on 5 separate flights while infectious.

There is now plenty of evidence that the Delta strain is far more infectious than other strains. Full vaccination seems to be reducing the seriousness of infections but the vast majority of people in Australia are not fully vaccinated. I am writing to this to ask people to continue to be careful in the next few weeks at least because the threat levels are certainly elevated.

Nvidia acquires hi-def mapping startup DeepMap to bolster AV technology

One of the biggest challenges to achieving full autonomy in a passenger vehicle is achieving proper localization and updated mapping information that reflects current road conditions. By integrating DeepMap’s tech, Nvidia’s autonomous stack should have greater precision, giving the vehicle enhanced abilities to locate itself on the road.…. Read More

Amazon brings its cashierless tech to a full-size grocery store for the first time

The new 25,000 square foot Amazon Fresh store is significantly bigger than the 10,400 square foot Amazon Go Grocery store it opened last year, or its standard 1,200 and 2,300 square feet Go stores, marking a minor milestone as Amazon scales up its technology. The new store will be Amazon’s fourteenth Fresh location in the US when it opens on June 17th in Bellevue, Washington..…. Read more

Long-forgotten yeast strains are being sought out from shipwrecks, abandoned breweries and other locations

Hickman has retrieved dozens of bottles containing whisky, gin and beer. But his recent visit, a team effort with several companion divers, led to something unusual. The bottles they retrieved were handed to scientists at a research firm called Brewlab, who, along with colleagues from the University of Sunderland, were able to extract live yeast from the liquid inside three of the bottles. They then used that yeast in an attempt to recreate the original beer..….. Read more

Scientists convert used plastic bottles into vanilla flavouring

Plastic bottles have been converted into vanilla flavouring using genetically engineered bacteria, the first time a valuable chemical has been brewed from waste plastic..…. Read more

Australian School Spins Up Flywheel Energy Storage System

The flywheel used in this application is essentially a mechanical battery consisting of a mass rotating around an axis in a vacuum, levitated by a magnet and riding on special bearings that minimises frictional losses. The mass is rotated to very high speeds (9,000 RPM) using an electric motor...….. Read more

Victoria to add 100 destination EV chargers with $5 million state funding

Paul: I have long believed that destination charging (think charging your car while you go to the movies, go shopping, or have meal will win out over petrol station models....….. Read more

As blistering heat sets in, power grids in the Western US face a new round of challenges

In California and Texas, heat waves underscore challenges for electric grids under stress made more acute by climate change.....…. Read more

A new material made from carbon nanotubes can generate electricity by scavenging energy from its environment

MIT engineers have discovered a new way of generating electricity using tiny carbon particles that can create a current simply by interacting with liquid surrounding them. The liquid, an organic solvent, draws electrons out of the particles, generating a current that could be used to drive chemical reactions or to power micro- or nanoscale robots ..…..Read more

Scientists have cost-effectively harvested lithium from seawater

The ocean contains about 5,000 times more lithium than on land, but it’s at extremely low concentrations – about 0.2 parts per million..….….Read more

Delivery firm Getir to expand into US after $550m funding round

At that valuation, Getir, founded in 2015, is worth more than the takeaway courier group Deliveroo and big retailers such as Marks & Spencer and Morrisons. Investors are racing to get a foothold in the rapidly developing market for groceries which can be delivered in less than 20 minutes from local “dark stores”. Paul - there will be a financial bloodbath here eventually but the winner might be ok....….. Read more

Google has mapped a piece of human brain in the most detail ever

The brain map, which is freely available online, includes 50,000 cells, all rendered in three dimensions. They are joined together by hundreds of millions of spidery tendrils, forming 130 million connections called synapses. The data set measures 1.4 petabytes, roughly 700 times the storage capacity of an average modern computer…….Read more

Israeli scientists extend mice’s lives by 23%, say method may work on humans

They increased the supply of a protein, SIRT6, which normally wanes with aging, in 250 mice. In peer-reviewed research just published in the journal Nature Communications, they have revealed the increased life expectancy — and also stated that the protein-rich mice were more youthful and less susceptible to cancer.…. Read more

Fintech giant Klarna raises $639M at a $45.6B valuation amid ‘massive momentum’ in the US

While Klarna is partnered with over 250,000 retailers around the world (including Macy’s, Ikea, Nike, Saks), its buy now, pay later feature is also available direct to consumers via its shopping app. This means that consumers can use Klarna’s app to pay immediately or later, as well as manage spending and view available balances. They can also do things like initiate refunds, track deliveries and get price-drop notifications..…..Read more

Vizio Claims 11.2 Million Addressable Enabled TVs

Vizio said it can now dynamically insert commercials into live programming, enabling addressable ad campaigns that can reach 11.2 million of its smart TVs……. Read more

Business Tips

The Next Management Model... Is From China?

Ford's management model became the most influential one in the early 20th century. It embraced the possibilities enabled by the assembly line. This was followed by the General Motors' model (i.e. the multidivisional firm), and later by Toyota's model (i.e. Lean). More recently, electronic technologies (like computers and the Internet) have enabled the rise of the global 'Agile movement' with Spotify's model as the poster child. But now, with more and more IoT technologies, what will become the most influential management model of the future?...Read more

How Hackers Used Slack to Break into EA Games

A sobering tale: The group of hackers who stole a wealth of data from game publishing giant Electronic Arts broke into the company in part by tricking an employee over Slack to provide a login token …… Read more

Automate taxes on your Stripe transactions

Stripe Tax lets you calculate and collect sales tax, VAT, and GST with one line of code or the click of a button. Know where to register, automatically collect the right amount of tax, and access the reports you need to file returns. .…. Read more

Is it worth selling my house if I’m going into aged care?

Not exactly a business tip but with so many of us either looking at entering aged care of with parents approaching that point this is worth reading.….. Read More

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