Reports from the Knowledge Labs about our recent findings, research topics, and interviews with lifestyle leaders who are creating their own futures.

How to stimulate your own powers of foresight. Consider the following thought provokers. Ask yourself, in these categories what are the brand new trends and forces? Which are the ones growing in importance? Which current forces are loosing their steam? Which have peaked or are reversing themselves? Which are the "wildcards" about to disrupt us in the future? POLITICAL AND TECHNICAL thought for food: Electronics, Materials, Energy, Fossil, Nuclear, Alternative, Other, Manufacturing (techniques), Agriculture, Machinery and Equipment, Distribution, Transportation (Urban, Mass, Personal, Surface, Sea, Subsurface, Space), Communication (Printed, Spoken, Interactive, Media), Computers (Information, Knowledge, Storage & Retrieval, Design, Network Resources), Post-Cold War, Third World, Conflict (Local, Regional, Global), Arms Limitation, Undeclared Wars, Terrorism, Nuclear Proliferation, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Governments (More/Less Power and Larger or Smaller Scale), Taxes, Isms: Nationalism, Regionalism, Protectionism, Populism, Cartels, Multinational Corporations, Balance of Trade, Third Party Payments, Regulations (OSHA, etc.) Environmental Impact, U.S. Prestige Abroad. SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC Food for thought: Labor Movements, Unemployment / Employment Cycles, Recession, Employment Patterns, Work Hours / Schedules, Fringe Benefits, Management Approaches, Accounting Policies, Productivity, Energy Costs, Balance of Payments, Inflation, Taxes, Rates of Real Growth, Distribution of Wealth, Capital Availability and Costs, Reliability of Forecasts, Raw Materials, Availability and Costs, Global versus National Economy, Market versus Planned Economies, Generations: Y, X, Boomers, Elderly, Urban vs. Rural Lifestyles, Affluent vs. Poor, Neighborhoods and Communities, Planned or Organic Growth. Got Knowledge?

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The Journal of 2020 Foresight
Saturday, August 05, 2006  

Agents: Breakpoint Inventors, Innovators, Thought Leaders and R&D Lab Rats

Chapter Four: The Tribal Territories

By Steve Howard, CKO
The Knowledge Labs

Table of Contents
Chapter One: Basecamp
Chapter Two: The Ridge
Chapter Three: The Outpost
Chapter Four: The Tribal Territories

“So we came in and put down that track and it was a long one. And when we got to the end of it, my friend Ralph walked over and looked at the lyric sheet and said, ‘Grandpa’s dead!’ and everybody was kind of realizing that at once he was our favorite character: it was kind of too bad, because he was the only one that was really funny.”

Neil Young & Crazy Horse “Greendale”

DOUBLE NICKEL RANCH: Agents who are drawn to the challenge of ushering in a disruptively new innovation find funding or employment in locations near higher quality of life communities and premier destination resorts.

Journal of 2020 Foresight: Clearly there’s an overlap with some ”Doing-What-You-Love Scenarios” –at least the more extreme with a technology bent.

Explorer: Yes. And by the Wired-less Crowd , or even the Digitally Mobile. But, we came to understand that they may not be introducing an internet-like innovation, only. What they develop, independently, usually dramatically speeds up a standard process, or eliminates major steps – or in some radical way revolutionizes business-as-usual.

J2020F: So this is where you would differ from the Agent Nation of freelancers.

Explorer: Yes, in that there is a sub-set of Eagle - Agents who are so independent in their thinking that they believe that their only reason for being is to invent. We call them the “Breakpoint Inventors.” They typically seek out venture-backed funding.

J2020F: So, in a more-quality-of-life community, they develop and champion radically new science, innovation, technologies or business models.

Explorer: Other Agents may be “Commercial Innovators” who fill their agent niche at the next stage, closer to the “Athlete” border. They incubate commercial applications by specializing in licensing intellectual property, organizing joint research and development projects or developing their capacity for rapid prototyping.

J2020F: What if, on our “chess board,” they move closer to the “Associate Border?”

Explorer: The “R&D Laboratories” specialize in product leadership in a commercial laboratory. They embody the experimental spirit of Thomas Edison working less on theoretical concepts and more on applied research and development. Their goal is to continuously leapfrog the competition with first-to-market breakthrough products.

J2020F: So, that leaves the small blue box on the Agent-Academic border.

Explorer: We discovered that “Thought Leaders” lean to the more academic pursuits that a think-tank offers like focusing on original theory, foundational research, developing a new discipline and setting standards for new certifications.

J2020F: How do the four kinds of Athletes differ from Agents?

Got Knowledge?
Copyright ©2002 - 2006 Aarnaes Howard Associates. All rights reserved worldwide.

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