Future-building Never Stops

Hypoxia means “low oxygen”. Hypoxic zones in the ocean are known as “dead zones”, because entire ecosystems break down under hypoxic conditions. The New Scientist reported earlier this month: OUR actions today will change the world’s oceans for thousands of years. That is the conclusion of a study simulating a little-discussed consequence of climate change:…

The Unconsidered Elephant

The elephant in the room is everything we do not count. When investors say a speculative opportunity is a “sure thing”, most people know to treat their certainty with suspicion. Some prefer to focus on the emotional satisfaction of having come in contact with a “sure thing” windfall opportunity, but it’s easy to see the…

The Magical Future of Smart Energy

The business models and technologies that dominate the later part of this century will transcend old-fashioned thinking about value management and resource allocation. Connection and ephemeralization would make them appear downright magical to us. Four critical capabilities that will drive these trends: Anything can be made anywhere. Technical knowledge can reach anywhere. Advanced services will…

Free Will vs. Hyper-convergence

Data integration must empower people to make sovereign personal decisions, informed by reliable evidence. Free will is irrevocable. We are always engaging it, yet countless editorial decision points determine the list of options from which we will choose. In other words, the limits on human freedom are curated boundaries, set by the powers that be….

How to Build the Perfect Company

The perfect company has long been thought to be structured around externalizing cost and avoiding risk. The modern limited liability company—modeled on Queen Elizabeth I of England’s sovereign guarantee to the British East India Company—was designed to invite investment by limiting the cost of failure and spreading risk across an entire society. But, perfection starts…

Blue Economy: The Future of Earth’s Ocean

In the life-giving tangle of Earth systems, the ocean is an undeniable and critical force. Its absorption and distribution of thermal energy drives prevailing climate patterns, and helps to regulate temperature and weather everywhere on Earth. But while climate is an all-pervading macrocritical driver of economic health, risk, and possibility, not everything that connects the…

The Irrestible Efficiency of Climate-Smart Finance

Full-spectrum financial sector transition to low-emissions business models is possible. In fact, it is already underway. Resilience-focused finance enhances the health and longevity of investments and expands the capability of any given dollar to generate added value in the world. The why is both simple and complex: simple, because it is simply better to avoid…

The Civics Lesson in Cassini’s Saturn Ring Dives

The unknown is a vast and threatening landscape. Acting without exploring the boundaries of what we know is still more perilous. Misinformation disempowers people and institutions. Confusion disrupts our sense of capability. Exploration gives purpose. In finding truth, we learn about ourselves—about our limits and how to transcend them, and about our role as witnesses…

Diplomacy is Capability

Diplomacy is often referred to as “soft power”. That framing is more a measure of diplomatic prowess than a result of the simple fact of having diplomats. Bad diplomacy may, in fact, reduce the amount of overall influence a nation has. Soft power is not a given; it is a complex, high-stakes endeavor, and necessary…

Truth Matters

Frederick Douglass was born a slave, but eventually escaped to freedom. He then became a publisher, abolitionist, orator, and US Ambassador. In his autobiography—a true must-read for anyone who wants to understand American history—he describes how learning to read drove his process of personal liberation. He learned he was free in his mind long before…