about the Future
Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology
by Ray Kurzweil
At the onset of
the twenty-first century, humanity stands on the verge of the most
transforming and the most thrilling period in its history. It will
be an era in which the very nature of what it means to be human will
be both enriched and challenged, as our species breaks the shackles
of its genetic legacy and achieves inconceivable heights of intelligence,
material progress, and longevity.
For over three decades,
the great inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil has been one of the most
respected and provocative advocates of the role of technology in our
future. In his classic The Age of Spiritual Machines, he presented
the daring argument that with the ever-accelerating rate of technological
change, computers would rival the full range of human intelligence
at its best. Now, in The Singularity Is Near, he examines the next
step in this inexorable evolutionary process: the union of human and
machine, in which the knowledge and skills embedded in our brains
will be combined with the vastly greater capacity, speed, and knowledge-sharing
ability of our own creations.
That merging is the essence
of the Singularity, an era in which our intelligence will become increasingly
nonbiological and trillions of times more powerful than it is today
- the dawning of a new civilization that will enable us to transcend
our biological limitations and amplify our creativity. In this new
world, there will be no clear distinction between human and machine,
real reality and virtual reality. We will be able to assume different
bodies and take on a range of personae at will. In practical terms,
human aging and illness will be reversed; pollution will be stopped;
world hunger and poverty will be solved. Nanotechnology will make
it possible to create virtually any physical product using inexpensive
information processes and will ultimately turn even death into a soluble
While the social and
philosophical ramifications of these changes will be profound, and
the threats they pose considerable, The Singularity Is Near maintains
a radically optimistic view of the future course of human development.
As such, it offers a view of the coming age that is both a dramatic
culmination of centuries of technological ingenuity and a genuinely
inspiring vision of our ultimate destiny.
Strategic Leadership : Achieving Your Preferred Future, 3rd Edition,
by Bill Hainer, Glen Hiemstra
GLEN HIEMSTRA, leading futurist from Kirkland, Washington, has broad
experience as an international speaker and consultant. He is the Founder
of Futurist.com, the number one portal to the future on the Web. Glen's
work as a futurist is widely known and respected and he is frequently
invited by members of the U.S. Congress to address state conferences
focused on the future. Prior to going into business, Glen was an award-winning
educator, selected Most Influential Professor at Whitworth College.
In 1989 Glen served as the Washington State Centennial Futurist. At
his website, Futurist.com, you can read Glen's newsletter, FuturistNews,
along with a wide variety of information about and links to the future.
Glen is frequently cited as a resource for articles about the future,
most recently in the Wall Street Journal, U.S. News and World Report,
the Los Angeles Times, and the Detroit Free Press. He appears on the
new medium of Internet radio. A graduate of Whitworth College and
the University of Oregon, Glen lives in Kirkland, Washington.
This is a leaders handbook for planning and implementing a preferred
future within an organization or enterprise. Written to briefly explain
each planning concept and then to suggest possible applications, the
book provides a step-by-step guide for leaders. The book comes in
on a CD, in .PDF format for the PC. The table of contents can be searched
interactively in this format.
Rise of the Creative Class: And How It's Transforming Work, Leisure,
Community and Everyday Life
by Richard Florida
The Rise of the Creative Class
gives us a provocative new way to think about why we live as we do
today-and where we might be headed. Weaving storytelling with masses
of new and updated research, Richard Florida traces the fundamental
theme that runs through a host of seemingly unrelated changes in American
society: the growing role of creativity in our economy.
Just as William Whyte's 1956 classic The Organization Man showed how
the organizational ethos of that age permeated every aspect of life,
Florida describes a society in which the creative ethos is increasingly
dominant. Millions of us are beginning to work and live much as creative
types like artists and scientists always have - with the result that
our values and tastes, our personal relationships, our choices of
where to live, and even our sense and use of time are changing. Leading
the shift are the nearly 38 million Americans in many diverse fields
who create for a living - the Creative Class.
The Rise of the Creative Class chronicles the ongoing sea of
change in people's choices and attitudes, and shows not only what's
happening but also how it stems from a fundamental economic change.
The Creative Class now comprises more than thirty percent of the entire
workforce. Their choices have already had a huge economic impact.
In the future they will determine how the workplace is organized,
what companies will prosper or go bankrupt, and even which cities
will thrive or wither.
Inevitable Surprises: Thinking Ahead in a Time
by Peter Schwartz
One of America's foremost prognosticators
and author of the bestseller and management classic The Art of
the Long View discusses the big surprises ahead, the resulting
scenarios that are creating the future of our world, and what they
will mean for you and your business.
The world we live in today is more volatile than ever. At times it
seems that the only constant we can rely on is change itself-and what
the future will bring appears to be anybody's guess. But Peter Schwartz,
one of the most visionary scenario planners of our time, believes
the future is taking shape around us now, and that by taking a closer
look at the changes in action today, we can predict what the world
of tomorrow will be like.
With Inevitable Surprises, Schwartz offers a provocative look
at the forces that are dramatically reshaping our world-and shows
what we can do to plan ahead for our society, our businesses, and
ourselves. Each chapter takes a predetermined new reality that we
will soon face-including regenerative medicine, global climate change,
an aging population in the West, and the rise of terrorism-and offers
critical foresight for the coming decades. Ultimately, Schwartz brings
his analyses of these developments together to offer three overarching
scenarios that are possible directions for world history in the coming
years, and outlines the implications for each.
Timely, thought-provoking, and endlessly fascinating, Peter Schwartz's
Inevitable Surprises is a book no one in business-or anyone with
an interest in the future-can afford to miss.
by Alvin Toffler
Examines the effects of rapid industrial and technological changes
upon the individual, the family, and society.
Powershift: Knowledge, Wealth, and Violence
at the Edge of the 21st Century
by Alvin Toffler
The Tofflers argue that while headlines focus on shifts of power at
the global level, equally significant shifts are taking place in our
everyday world --supermarkets, hospitals, banks, television, and politics.
As old antagonisms fade, Toffler identifies where the next, far more
important world division will arise . . . between the "fast" and the
"slow." "Thought-provoking on every page." - Newsday. HC: Bantam.
The Third Wave
by Alvin Toffler
The Third Wave is the classic study of tomorrow. Sweeping across history
and future, it reveals the hidden connections among today's changes
- in business, family life, technology, markets, politics, and personal
life. Identifying the directions of change, it has led American corporations
to refocus their strategies, Japanese leaders to encourage their country's
leap beyond industrialism, and Chinese intellectuals to press their
campaign for democratic reform. The Third Wave paints a stunning,
comprehensive picture of the twenty-first century civilization springing
up around the globe.
by Jan Cornelis and Marleen
CROSSTALKS is the industry and university network of the Vrije Universiteit
Brussel (VUB). Launched in 2003, it acts as an open and interdisciplinary
platform to discuss policy-probing issues. CROSSTALKS manifests itself
by interweaving practices from various scientific disciplines, different
innovative companies and the art world.
For this book we gathered key people from the European design, architectural,
art and academic and corporate technology-driven worlds to reflect on
the meaning and impact of existing and future interfaces and
on what the added value could be. The topic of exploring existing and
future interfaces and their design emerged from numerous discussions
on whether spectacular technological innovations also meant or implied
something more than just technological progress. Depending on the gender
and the technological literacy of the conversationalists, the answer
might be yes, no, or somewhere in between.
Rethinking Europe`s Future (Century Foundation
by David P. Calleo
Rethinking Europe's Future is a major reevaluation of Europe's prospects
as it enters the twenty-first century. David Calleo has written a
book worthy of the complexity and grandeur of the challenges Europe
now faces. Summoning the insights of history, political economy, and
philosophy, he explains why Europe was for a long time the world's
greatest problem and how the Cold War's bipolar partition brought
stability of a sort. Without the Cold War, Europe risks revisiting
its more traditional history. With so many contingent factors - in
particular Russia and Europe's Muslim neighbors - no one, Calleo believes,
can pretend to predict the future with assurance. Calleo's book ponders
how to think about this future.
Understanding the European Union: A Concise
Introduction, Second Edition
by John McCormick
Despite the plethora of textbooks available on the European Union
and the wide range of interdisciplinary and non-specialist courses
on which it is studied, there has, surprisingly, until now been no
single text providing concise coverage of all its major dimensions
and implications. Rather than focusing just on the history or the
politics or the economics of the EU or on detailed coverage of its
institutions and/or policies, John McCormick's new book introduces
all aspects of European integration combining a very clear and accessible
thematic narrative with boxed summaries of a wide range of essential
facts and figures.
This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Riding the Next Wave: Why This Century Will
Be a Golden Age for Workers, the Environment, and Developing Countries
by Thomas J. Duesterberg
(Editor), Herbert Ira London (Editor), Hudson Institute
Riding the Next Wave continues Hudson's analytical tradition of exploring
the future through the lens of social science and history. Featuring
the independent work of Hudson researchers (and those associated with
the Institute), Riding the Next Wave starts with an overview of the
possible contours of the world in the twenty-first century by exploring
the likely and unlikely changes in the areas of population, such as
war and peace, urban development, and space exploration.. The authors
present a twenty-first century that will see the successes and tremendous
growth found in the United States and the industrialized world spread
throughout the globe, benefiting workers and developing countries
in ways previously thought impossible. The book also identifies several
potential threats for future growth and possible solutions to prevent
such scenarios. Riding the Next Wave will both stimulate reflection
and help shape, in a modest way, the future that it describes.
Contributors include Nicholas Eberstadt (American Enterprise Institute),
John C. Weicher, (assistant secretary for housing and FHA commissioner
at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development), and Michael
Fumento, Dennis T. Avery, James C. Bennett, and Robert Dujarric (Hudson
Thomas J. Duesterberg is an adjunct fellow at the Hudson Institute
and is the president of Manufacturer's Alliance. Herbert I. London
is president of the Hudson Institute.
The Next Fifty Years: Science in the First Half
of the Twenty-First Century
by John Brockman (Editor)
Scientists love to speculate about the direction research and technology
will take us, and editor John Brockman has given a stellar panel free
rein to imagine the future in The Next Fifty Years. From brain-swapping
and the hunt for extraterrestrials to the genetic elimination of unhappiness
and a new scientific morality, the ideas in this book are wild and
thought-provoking. The list of scientists and thinkers who participate
is impressive: Lee Smolin and Martin Rees on cosmology; Ian Stewart
on mathematics; and Richard Dawkins and Paul Davies on the life sciences,
just to name a few. Many of the authors remind readers that science
has changed a lot since the blind optimism of the early 20th century,
and they are unanimously aware of the potential consequences of the
developments they describe. Fifty years is a long time in the information
age, and these essays do a credible and entertaining job of guessing
where we're going. - Therese Littleton
Evolution : The Promise and Peril of Enhancing Our Minds, Our Bodies
-- and What It Means to Be Human
by Joel Garreau
reporter Garreau takes readers on a cross-country trip into the future
as he interviews scientists and other thinkers grappling with the
implications of our newfound - and, to some, frightening - knowledge
of the genome. Highlighting what he calls "the Curve" -
the rate of exponential change in technology - Garreau (Edge City:
Life on the New Frontier) breaks the central part of his book
into four scenarios. In "Heaven," genetic engineering will
make us stronger and healthier, help us live longer and metabolize
our food more efficiently. "Hell" resembles the island of
Dr. Moreau: science runs amok, we cripple the genome of our food supplies,
and babies are born with unexpected deformities instead of the improved
characteristics promised by gene therapies. The "Prevail"
scenario might also be called Muddling Through: even if we make a
mistake now and then, we will figure out how to slow potentially harmful
changes and speed up potentially beneficial ones. Last, "Transcend"
considers that humans might conquer the difficulties that lie ahead
and emerge into a new age beyond our wildest dreams. Science buffs
fascinated by the leading edges of societal and technological change
and readers concerned by the ethical issues that change presents will
find much to ponder in Garreau's nonjudgmentallook into our possible
futures Agent, John Brockman.
High Noon 20 Global Problems, 20 Years to Solve Them
by Jean-Francois Rischard, J. F. Rischard
The most impressive idea to emerge from the recent World Economic
Summit 2003 in Davos, Switzerland: a new approach to identifying and
managing the world's twenty most pressing problems.
In this age of instant communication and biotechnology, on this ever-smaller
planet, what kinds of problems have we created for ourselves? How
do we tackle them in a world where the accustomed methods used by
nation-states may be reaching their natural limits? In High Noon,
J. F. Rischard challenges us to take a new approach to the twenty
most important and urgent global problems of the twenty-first century.
Rischard finds their common thread: we don't have an effective way
of dealing with the problems that our increasingly crowded, interconnected
world creates. Our difficulties belong to the future, but our means
of solving them belong to the past.
Rischard proposes new vehicles for global problem-solving that are
startling and persuasive. With its clear-eyed urgency and refreshing
specificity, High Noon is an agenda-setting book that everyone who
cares about the future must read.
Jean-François Rischard is the World Bank's vice president for Europe.
He lives in Paris, France.
Promise Ahead : A Vision of Hope and Action
for Humanity's Future
by Duane Elgin
Here is a view of the future that is relevant to anyone seeking to
navigate through our profoundly changing world. Based on thirty years
of research by one of the foremost thinkers about the future, Promise
Ahead is the sequel to Duane Elgin's bestselling 1981 classic Voluntary
Simplicity. In Promise Ahead, Elgin looks beneath the headlines to
reveal the deeper currents that are now changing our lives.
to Growth: The 30-Year Update
by Donella H. Meadows, Jorgen Randers, Dennis
Written in refreshingly accessible prose, Limits to Growth: The 30-Year
Update is a long anticipated revival of some of the original voices
in the growing chorus of sustainability. Limits to Growth: The 30
Year Update is a work of stunning intelligence that will expose for
humanity the hazy but critical line between human growth and human
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