I am the President and Founder of the African American Future Society. My work focuses on Black American and African Future scenario development. The world we live in will need more diverse drivers of the future, I am glad to be one of those drivers.
Kelly Carnes is a nationally recognized technology policy expert and thought leader, holding numerous leadership positions in technology business, government and law, during her 30 year career in the tech industry.
She is President and CEO of TechVision21, a Washington, DC-based technology strategy firm. TechVision21 leverages technology, business and government expertise to help companies: pinpoint and secure research and technology funding; forge critical alliances with business and government leaders; and promote and protect their interests in Washington. TechVision21 clients include global technology companies, leading U.S. research universities, government, and science and technology non-profit organizations.
Ms. Carnes has years of experience promoting and supporting the development and commercialization of technology, including various information, communications, defense and nanotechnology applications. Ms. Carnes also has worked to support a wide variety of renewable energy projects, including hydrogen and fuel cells, solar, ocean energy (wave and ocean thermal), biofuels, and innovative vehicle technologies, including fuel efficient engines, batteries, motors and other vehicle components. Under Ms. Carnes leadership, the firm has worked successfully with many Federal agencies, including the Departments of Energy, Defense, Transportation, Agriculture, Commerce, Education, Labor and the National Science Foundation.
TechVision21 also has helped numerous government and non-profit organizations evaluate programs, develop influential reports and make policy recommendations, including work for the Office of Naval Research, the Army, the Alliance for Science and Technology Research in America (ASTRA), the National Association of Manufacturers Center for Workforce Success, Jobs for the Future, and the National Task Force on Technology and Disability. Most recently, Ms. Carnes led a team of researchers in completing an Assessment of the Naval STEM Workforce for the Department of the Navy in 2014.
Previously, Ms. Carnes served eight years in the Federal government, first in the White House, and then as a trusted technology policy advisor to four Secretaries of Commerce. Most recently, Ms. Carnes was a top national advocate for technology business. As a Presidential appointee, confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Ms. Carnes represented the Clinton Administration before Congress, and was a liaison to, and advocate for, the technology business community. Ms. Carnes also represented the United States in bi-lateral negotiations with foreign governments, and in multi-lateral fora, including the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Ms. Carnes was a key point person on numerous high profile technology policy issues, including Federal R&D funding; e-business regulation; strengthening America’s high tech work force; and technology-based economic development.
Ms. Carnes provided strategic direction and management oversight for a multi-million dollar Federal agency; spearheaded sophisticated, highly-leveraged public-private partnerships to promote technological innovation; and led numerous Presidential and Cabinet-level technology initiatives. Private sector partners—including Warner Brothers, Scientific American, the National Association of Manufacturers, and DeVry University—invested $50+ for every Federal dollar invested in these ventures.
Ms. Carnes provided policy support for the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles, an innovative public-private partnership among numerous Federal agencies, automotive manufacturers, suppliers, and universities, to develop fuel cells and other next generation automotive technologies. Ms. Carnes also worked extensively to promote the competitiveness of the U.S. environmental industry, producing a path-breaking report, and speaking nation-wide about the need for reform of U.S. environmental regulations.
Ms. Carnes helped lead the Administration’s efforts to address the nation’s demand for science, technology, engineering and mathematics workers. She orchestrated a series of Cabinet-level town meetings and events, met with more than 1,000 business, academic and state government leaders, developed two highly influential reports, created an award-winning website, and implemented an aggressive policy agenda to address the shortage.
She also created GetTech, a Telly-award winning national public awareness campaign to encourage teens to pursue technology careers. GetTech features celebrity endorsements, radio and television public service announcements, and an interactive web site. GetTech ads have been broadcast more than 45,000 times, and have reached students in 14,000 public middle schools.
Ms. Carnes is known as a dynamic speaker and forceful advocate for industry on technology and competitiveness issues. She is a frequent keynote speaker at national and international technology and business conferences, and has been widely quoted in the media, including The WallStreet Journal,The New York Times,The Washington Post,USA Today, CNN.com, Business Week.com, CIO Magazineand The National Journal. She has been a featured guest on National Public Radio’s Talk of the Nation, and appeared on television and radio broadcasts nationwide.
Ms. Carnes has served on numerous Boards and Commissions, including the Institute for Materials Science Innovation, the Comptroller General’s Advisory Board, the Senior Advisory Council for the Director of National Intelligence, the Water Innovation Alliance, the National Governor’s Association Commission on Technology and Adult Education, and the Steering Committee for the Commission on the Advancement of Women and Minorities in Science, Engineering and Technology (Morella Commission). She also is a member of a Blue Ribbon Panel for BEST: Building Engineering and Science Talent.
In 2000, Ms. Carnes was asked by the Center for the Study of the Presidency to join an elite group of experts making recommendations to President Bush on improving the Federal government’s ability to develop technology and competitiveness policy.
Ms. Carnes previously enjoyed a highly successful technology business career. As a business and technology attorney at a top national law firm, Ms. Carnes structured and negotiated more than $1 billion in technology business transactions. These included Joint ventures and strategic alliances, venture capital transactions, technology development, licensing and marketing agreements, systems integration projects, and large-scale outsourcing deals.
Ms. Carnes graduate Phi Beta Kappa from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Magna Cum Laude from Georgetown University Law School, where she was Topics Editor of the Georgetown Law Journal.
Dr. Fadi Bayoud is an engineering management professional with wide technical, commercial, project management, and digital transformation experience. His 15+ professional years span across: academia; R&D; product management; business development, marketing & partnership building; project management: plan, design, implement, manage operations.
Currently, Fadi runs a consultancy boutique in UAE called Strategic Anchors, where he advices on Business Strategy, Project Management, Digital Transformation, and Business Process Engineering.
The industries he works in are: Capital Infrastructure Engineering and Construction; Smart Cities & Smart Mobility; Business Management. He is experienced in advanced mapping technologies; machine guidance/control; LiDAR mapping; robots & drones; self-driving vehicles; real-time monitoring sensors; BIM/GIS.
With a rich multicultural experience, he lived and worked in 10 different cities in the last 25 years and speaks 4 languages.
Dr. Fadi holds a Dipl.-Ing. (Master Engineering Level) in 1999 at the Aristotle university of Thessaloniki, a M.Sc. in 2002 at the University of Calgary, and a PhD in 2006 at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne – EPFL in geospatial engineering and robotics navigation and mapping. In 2020 he attained his MBA studies at Strathclyde Business School (Glasgow, UK), where he developed interest in Future Studies.
Last week’s blogissued a call for statements proposing solutions to the Global MegaCrisis.
Yes, this asks a lot, but the coronavirus crisis warns what’s in store as other threats arrive in the years ahead–more pandemics, climate change hits home, revolts over gross inequality, mass automation of jobs, global financial meltdowns, autocratic governments, cyberwar, bio attacks, terrorism, etc.
I received several fine statements and invited others to join in. The results are shown below in alphabetical order by last names. This is hardly a scientific survey, but it does represent a collection of forward ideas by some of the best thought leaders in the world. Here’s my quick analysis of what each has to offer, followed by what we can learn collectively.
Dennis Bushnell offers a provocative vision in which people become self-sustaining on a small plot of land while connected seamlessly to the entire world on tele-everything. Dennis concludes that all problems would disappear – “no pandemics, no energy crisis, no climate change, no financial mess, no job losses, etc.” But one must think big to see this solution.
Jim Datoris dismayed by attitudes favoring economic growth over cultural and ecological values and believes that they are unlikely to change. The only way forward is through the imminent self-destruction of dominant values, behavior and institutions, with “the hope that a million phoenixes arise from the ashes… countless tsunami that we must learn to surf with pleasure and pain.”
Amy Fletcherprovides a timely analysis of the coronavirus pandemic and effects of the crisis, highlighting the failures that are prolonging the pain. She advises us to “listen to those voices who do not have a platform and speak truth to power.” The role of the futurist is to facilitate the efforts of those who lack power because the answers we need may lie with them.
Sohail Inayatullah digs beneath the layers of these continuing crises to probe the underlying causes. Sohail finds that we need a “Gaian re-balance by moving to a world with a quadruple bottom line: Prosperity, Purpose, People, and Planet.” A new Renaissance is needed – the transformation of self and society, home and plant.
Peter King urges us to follow the science and create a Nature-centric world. Guided by the natural wisdom of Earth’s ecosystems, we would find abundant energy, food, medicines, water, jobs, economic growth and a more satisfying lifestyle. To avoid dangerous tipping points, we must move forward into a “visceral and directly experienced relationship with Nature.”
Ruben Nelson focuses on the passing of today’s “modern techno-industrial” civilization, with no workable replacement for it in sight. While he is not hopeful about a solution, he does think what’s needed is a “wise, integral and meta-reflexive form of consciousness.” In other words, rather than thinking of economic growth, “The only way to grow, is UP.”
David Passigfinds two phases that could unfold from the MegaCrisis. The first will disrupt the present idea behind globalization as mutual collaboration based on voluntarily respect and common interests. The second will establish the idea of ”entanglement” as symbiotic undetachable ties with enforced collaboration that respects mutual dependency on each other.
Concerned about surviving today’s revolutionary changes?
This report provides an authoritative guide to the principles of strategic foresight. Using these key practices should give you, your team and your organization confidence in planning for the future.
Strategic foresight is not limited to large corporations. Small business firms, government agencies, non-profits, and even individuals are being transformed by the technology revolution, globalization, and social trends. In principle, all planners and leaders today must plan for the ongoing wave of disruption or face disaster.
The generic strategic planning cycle below outlines the logic of strategic foresight. As shown, it begins by setting goals and defining an inspiring vision. Strategy can be best thought of as a “two-person game” (game theory) between the organization and the environment. The next step is to anticipate the future environment. The difference between where decision-makers hope to go (goals) and where the environment is leading (forecasts) then defines critical strategic issues. Strategic issues are the heart of good strategy because they pose the major obstacles to progress. After studying issues, it is important to pose a few alternative strategies, and to evaluate how well each is likely to perform in this environment to reach the goals. Decision makers are then able to select the most attractive strategy and implement it by defining tactics.
Yes, this requires lots of hard work, but it is crucial for a rapidly changing world. Netflix wiped out Blockbuster’s 6,000 retail stores by recognizing the competitive advantage of introducing streaming video. Toyota became the world’s largest car maker by anticipating the need for green transportation and developing the first hybrid autos. Apple dominates electronics because Steve Jobs bundled together major breakthroughs to create the iPhone.
Now, let’s get started by looking at the following strategic principles:
7 Principles of Strategic Foresight
1. Form a Cross-Disciplinary Team
The place to start is by organizing a small team of strategic thinkers from across your organization. To obtain diverse views, staff the Strategic Foresight Team with key personnel from all disciplines and units – operations, marketing, research, etc. Select persons with knowledge of foresight, strategic planning, environmental scanning and forecasting. Make sure they are curious and committed to change. The team should meet regularly and assign tasks to different members. They should also plan to keep the entire organization informed in order to promulgate strategic thinking throughout the system.
2. Define Your Vision and Goals
You cannot know where you are going without an inspiring vision. This requires hard abstract thought, and it may take several iterations to get it right, but please persist. Your vision should define an aspirational concept of what you hope to accomplish ideally and what it would look like when completed. The goals, in turn, define measurable outcomes that collectively make up the vision.
3. Forecast the Future Environment
To forecast effectively, allocate responsibility for scanning useful magazines, journals, websites, and other sources to specific individuals on the team. There are endless trends so focus on those that affect your organization and define the trends with a title and short description and examples. The team should review the results and select items of interest to be reported on.
4. Study Critical Issues
Do not confuse critical issues with forecasts as they are quite different. Forecasts tell you what is likely to happen, while Issues focus on the crucial problems facing your organization. A variety of forecasts may point to the same issue. Most organizations have several issues that resisted solution for years. People usually know what these problems are, but they are so difficult or poorly defined that they lay unresolved. But if you really want to energize your organization, bit the bullet and confront them head on.
5. Propose Alternative Strategies
Here is where creative thinking is needed rather than sheer objective efforts. Your most obvious strategy is to continue the present course of action, but please force yourselves to move beyond the status quo and think of bold new possibilities. Some may prove unworkable so narrow the options down to 2-5 major strategies.
6. Estimate Outcomes
The hard work begins now as you evaluate each alternative against the future trends the organization is facing, its power to cut through critical issues and the most likely outcomes in terms of achieving your goals. This is also a good opportunity to work together by pooling the estimates of team members and producing a consensus of your collective intelligence.
7. Select a Strategy to Implement
The final test of foresight is a creative strategy. Ideally the team should engage the organization’s decision-makers in thinking about which strategy would be best for the future environment you anticipate. Be sure to frame the task in concise terms and ask the organizations leaders to participate by providing estimates and comments. Again, use the power of collective intelligence. The resulting evaluation data is likely to be “owned” by the decision-makers, taken seriously, discussed for implications, revised, and acted upon.
Please note that this is a generic framework for strategy. Managers do this intuitively because it is basically problem solving. The process can take years, however, because managers usually cycle through these steps until all elements fall into place. And all organizations do this somewhat differently, so feel free to adopt your own modification of this approach.
If you have trouble with the process, TechCast is always available to help.
Dr. Peter King has been an avid environmentalist since undergraduate days at Melbourne University (Bachelors in Agricultural Science) and it has remained an abiding passion for more than 40 years. He started his career in the Soil Conservation Authority in the state of Victoria and became the Land Studies Coordinator in Victoria’s first Ministry for Conservation. He was one of the first graduates from the Masters degree in Environmental Science programme at Monash University in 1977. He spent some time at the Environment and Policy Institute, East West Center in Hawaii and then set up his own environmental consulting company. Following some successful work for the Asian Development Bank (ADB) as a consultant in the period 1984-88, he started work with the ADB in March 1991 as an Environment Specialist in the Office of Environment. He established a sound reputation as ADB’s leading natural resources management (“green”) expert, with personal responsibility for over 50 loan and TA projects. In 1998, he was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy (Environmental Science) degree from Murdoch University in Perth, with a thesis entitled “Integrated Economic and Environmental Planning at the Subnational Level in Asia.” In 2005, he took early retirement from ADB and is currently a Senior Policy Advisor for the Institute of Global Environmental Strategies in Bangkok, heads the Asian Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Network secretariat, is a member of the Climate Change Asia Coordination Group, was Team Leader, Adaptation Project Preparation and Finance on the USAID Adapt Asia-Pacific project, and is a Coordinating Lead Author for the Global Environment Outlook (GEO). Dr. King has contributed to TechCast from the outset, attempting to look at future technologies through an environmental lens.
This blog strives to be experimental in order to find formats that work best for our readers. While our first issues presented leading ideas of interest, we now try becoming more interactive. This issue shifts focus to describe approaches for putting strategic foresight into action.
ASCE Future World Vision ProjectThe American Society of Civil Engineering has been conducting an exciting strategic foresight effort in which TechCast was invited to participate. Below, ASCE’s Jerry Buckwalter sums up his ambitious strategic project to transform civil engineering for a world of high-tech infrastructure. The article shows how major technological advances and converging global trends make various “new worlds” possible over the coming decades. When finished, the final program will operate online as a computer simulation, allowing engineers to explore and experience cross-disciplinary solutions to various scenarios.
Invitation to Solve the Global MegaCrisis The global pandemic and its ensuing recession are adding new threats to the mounting climate crisis featured in our previous issue. With all these hazards escalating, Bill’s Blog thinks it is time to address the broader Global MegaCrisis. We invite readers to submit 100-word strategies that offer a compelling path through the existential challenge posed by climate change, global pandemics, gross inequality, financial meltdowns, autocratic governments, conflict and terrorism and other threats making up the MegaCrisis. The submitted strategies (send to Halal@gwu.edu) will be presented in the following issue of Bill’s Blog, pooling our collective knowledge into insightful conclusions.
Global DepressionAs stock markets plummet due to the coronavirus disruption, the editors offer our TechCast forecast on Global Depressions.
Responses to our first two newsletters was gratifying, and we were given a small wave of contributions to publish. This issue features fascinating essays by two of our most eminent TechCast experts and our forecast on Superbugs.
Jose Cordeiro Shows Us the Big History Chronologies of Life. This is an amazing collection of data showing the evolution of Earth from the Big bang to today and into the distant future. Below we provide the forecasts for the coming decade. This is intended to focus only on technology, so there is no mention of the climate crisis and other threats making up what Michael Marien and I called the Global MegaCrisis. Our studies and common opinion show that a strong majority of people think the present global path is not sustainable. Without a major shift in global consciousness, these powerful technical advances may never happen. Some type of global epiphany, a code of global ethics or a mental/spiritual revolution seems likely within the next few years – or we will face disaster. That will be a major event in big history.
Arthur Shostak Reminds Us that Famous People, like Tupac Shakur and Marilyn Monroe, Have Been immortalized in 3D Holograms that Act and Talk Like the Real Person.This is expensive, but it should become commonly available as IT becomes “cheap and infinite.” Imagine your virtual assistant and other platforms gathering information on you continually. Eventually they would develop a replica of how you look, your behavior, your thoughts and idiosyncrasies. The idea of “uploading your mind to a machine” always seemed missing the human element. This would constitute a feasible way to immortalize humans and allow us to continue “living” with our loved ones and the public.
Superbugs Could Become the Next Global Pandemic.Growing resistance to antibiotic medicines threatens our ability to contain a variety of more invasive diseases. Our forecast offers a penetrating analysis.
With parts of Australia now uninhabitable due to raging fires, flooding subways in New York City, and scorching heat in temperate zones like Europe, the signs of climate change are hard to ignore. Some climate deniers are coming to accept the massive threats upon us even now. It is estimated that 300 million people would be displaced, two orders of magnitude greater than the 2 million Syrian refugees that created political chaos in the EU.
Little wonder that Jeff Bezos recently contribute $10 billion to combat the problem. Even the Trump Administration is getting worried and approved plans to plant one trillion trees.
To shed some guidance on this existential challenge, Bill’s Blog is pleased to present the following advice from four of our best minds.
Noted futurist Hazel Henderson sums up the amazing and long anticipated move from livestock to plant-based foods now underway.
NASA scientist Dennis Bushnell outlines the revolutionary advantages of saltwater plants (halophytes) that could “solve land, water, food, energy and climate problems.”
TechCast Founder William Halal shows how a carbon tax/dividend policy would discourage the use of carbon fuels, avoid government regulation, gain political support and grow the economy.
Climatographer Mark Trexlerdraws on two alternative scenarios to illustrate the options and finds that the more pessimistic outcome seems likely now.