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Choosing the Top Strategic Studies

What Are the Most Crucial Strategic Issues To Study? 
A Survey of Readers’ Interests
 
Bill’s Blog has been publishing for only a few months,  yet we have done penetrating studies of  “How to Resolve the MegaCrisis” and  “The Coming Internet.” The first was opened by roughly 30% of our subscribers and the second by about 10%. This poses a tough question I would like to your help with – Which topics have the greatest strategic interest?
 
Here are a few hot ideas that seem exciting:
 
1. When Will the Pandemic End?  
Studies of  the pandemic have become overwhelming, so TechCast will focus on more strategic aspects of the crisis, such as forecasting the return to normal living conditions. For instance, when will 90% of people no longer wear masks, social distance, etc?  When will unemployment drop to about 5% again?  How bad will it get? We may also estimate arrival of the next pandemic.

2. Forecasting the Trump Presidency
With the Trump presidency nearing a turning point at the 2020 elections, this could be an optimal time to update our 2016 forecast.  The 2016 forecast also offer a rare opportunity to assess our accuracy. Notice that our TechCast experts proved fairly accurate on policy changes, national performance and a 50% probability for the scenario “Trump Rules.” This small test confirms the value of our collective intelligence method – gathering background data and using expert judgment to resolve uncertainty and reach the best available estimates. Next time we could forecast the winner of the 2020 elections and what happens “After Trump.”
 
3. AI and Future Jobs
This study is one of our most popular reads, and we could update it to establish a trendline, if you are interested. What other aspects of the topic should we cover?
 
4. How Does Artificial Intelligence (AI) Differ From Human Intelligence (HI)?
AI research is working hard to simulate subjective aspects of human intelligence, raising the profound question – What is the essential difference between AI and HI? When an audience is asked this question, I find that 90% plus think there is a fundamental difference, though they can’t tell what it is. This study could explore that crucial issue.
 
5. Technology Is Creating an Age of Consciousness
This is the subject of my forthcoming book, Beyond Knowledge. Smart phones, social media and AI are causing the Knowledge Age to mature and fade into the past, moving us into the next stage of social evolution. Today’s “post-factual” nonsense is a prescient harbinger as it based on beliefs, values and emotions and other forms of consciousness. Whatever one may think of  President Trump, he is a master at shaping consciousness. This means an Age of Consciousness is here today, though we may not like its current form.

 6. State-of-the-Art in Strategic Foresight
TechCast has done extensive work defining strategic foresight practices, including a recent survey updating my landmark study Strategic Planning in the Fortune 500. This may be a good time to answer further questions as change reaches historic levels.
 
 7. Prospects for the Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the hottest emerging technologies around today, yet it is fraught with obstacles, especially security issues.  We struggle with hacking, identity theft, viruses and other security problems, so imagine what could happen when billions of devices are connected to everything around the globe? This study could update our IoT forecast.
 
8. Is Life Extension Really Coming?
Yes, life expectancy is increasing steadily, but that’s due to better health care, nutrition, public safety and other ordinary causes. Real life extension would take us beyond the 120-year limit that seems to set by genetic factors. Is it really possible to live 150, 200, 300 years? When will this be likely? By what means? Stay tuned.
 
9. Forecasts of the Space Age
As a former aerospace engineer on the Lunar Module of the Apollo Project, the coming Space Age is near my heart. My best thinking is that the world will enter this final frontier in earnest about 2050 after forming a unified global order. Say the word and we will explore this fascinating topic.
 
10. When Will Self-Driving Green Cars Enter the Mainstream?
Tesla is a step in the right direction, but it will take widespread renewable energy, much better automatic driving systems and far lower prices to make self-driving, intelligent, ecologically benign cars a widespread reality. Should we pool our collective intelligence to forecast when this will happen?
 
11. Top-Ten Tech Breakthroughs
A great study would use the knowledge of our experts and readers to assess the prospects for various tech breakthroughs and identify the top-ten that are most strategic. Strategic techs are those few likely to arrive in 5-10 years, with the greatest payoffs and broadest scientific influence. This would a fine study.
 
12. Top-Ten Social Trends
We could do the same study to select the 10 most strategic social trends.
 
13. Top-Ten Wild Cards
Ditto for wild cards.
 
14. Redesigning Capitalism
This is a hot issue today as the world is increasingly disenchanted with Big Business and the dominance of profit. TechCast has been forecasting the arrival of a quasi-democratic form of corporation for years – and it is starting now.  Yes, I know this rankles those who are afraid of “socialism,” but let me assure you this is not government control. Collaborative problem solving among all stakeholders creates added value for all involved, including greater profit for shareholders. It can be a competitive advantage. 
 
15. Rise of the Asian Century
This study would provide historical context on the “American Century” starting after WW II and the “British Century” before that.  We could focus on how great powers have changed in the past, and what might happen in the future as America loses its hold on global dominance. We could forecast the rise of Asia and its strategic implications. 
 
Please Tell Me What You Think

 
I really want to make Bill’s Blog a more interesting and useful source of strategic knowledge for our readers. Please take a few minutes to email me at Halal@GWU.edu with your top choices for topics to study. You can just send the numbers of topics you like (EG, No. 4,5,9, etc). I will do my best to analyze your responses and create a research agenda that will delight us all.
 
Be sure to tell your friends and associates to sign up for this blog at www.BillHalal.com.
 
                                                                        Sincerely, Bill
 
                                                                        William E. Halal, PhD
                                                                        The TechCast Project
                                                                        George Washington University

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