New Next Now (July 2016)

5 July 2016 | Keep­ing Up with the Trends

It’s July and here is our month­ly review of some of the too-numer­ous-to-track stim­u­lat­ing arti­cles, books, videos, and ideas-in-oth­er-forms that we have tagged for you. Nextsens­ing minds are always stretch­ing to see beyond the mar­ket­place hori­zon. Our prin­ci­pal researcher for this fea­ture is Kyle Elzy, a man of many tal­ents and our deputy edi­tor, who assem­bles this list­ing each month. You can learn more about Kyle [here]. Hope you enjoy this edi­tion of…


Ocean of pos­si­bil­i­ty. A new “wave” of renew­able ener­gy might be on the hori­zon, reports Mark Lam­mey (@marklammey) for @EnergyVoiceNews. The Euro­pean Com­mis­sion has award­ed a £3.1 mil­lion grant to explore new advance­ments in wave and tidal ener­gy tech­nol­o­gy. Two com­pa­nies will test their sys­tems on the open sea near the Euro­pean Marine Ener­gy Cen­tre (EMEC) in Orkney, Scot­land. Says Oliv­er Wragg, com­mer­cial direc­tor at @EMEC_Orkney: “I’m delight­ed that the EU is sup­port­ing full-scale test­ing and demon­stra­tion to help progress towards a com­mer­cial­ly-viable indus­try.” [Read More Now]

Lab-grown lus­tre. After thou­sands of years, the dia­mond indus­try shows no signs of slow­ing down — and now the trade is tak­ing a bold leap for­ward. Accord­ing to Chavie Leiber (@ChavieLeiber) at @Racked, sev­er­al Amer­i­can com­pa­nies have begun to offer “near­ly flaw­less” syn­thet­ic dia­monds, thanks to a rev­o­lu­tion­ary process that can churn out lab-grown dia­mond crys­tals in a mat­ter of weeks. “There’s no way to look at it and know it’s not nat­ur­al,” says one pur­vey­or, Ariel Baruch. For him, that’s a step in the right direc­tion. “The lab-grown is the safer option. It’s eco-friend­ly and there are no neg­a­tive con­no­ta­tions.…” [Read More Now]

Cut and run. A new @LinkedIn arti­cle is shed­ding some light on why com­pa­nies see their best employ­ees abrupt­ly leave in search of green­er pas­tures. It’s a grad­ual process, says author Dr. Travis Brad­ber­ry (@talentsmarteq), and a big prob­lem: “A sur­vey by CEB found that one-third of star employ­ees feel dis­en­gaged from their employ­er and are already look­ing for a new job.” Some of the blame lies with unsup­port­ive prac­tices — not shar­ing the big pic­ture, not let­ting employ­ees pur­sue their pas­sions — but Brad­ber­ry read­i­ly pin­points anoth­er impor­tant fac­tor: “peo­ple don’t leave jobs; they leave man­agers.” [Read More Now]

Sick sta­tis­tic. “Researchers: Med­ical errors now third lead­ing cause of death in Unit­ed States” per arti­cle by @arianaeunjung in @washingtonpost. [Read More Now]

Beam us up! Many thanks to @Kotaku for shar­ing their first look at Star Trek: Bridge Crew, an upcom­ing vir­tu­al real­i­ty video game that puts play­ers in com­mand of a Fed­er­a­tion star­ship. Reports Mike Fahey (@bunnyspatial): four play­ers assume the role of bridge offi­cers with the free­dom to take on mis­sions any way they see fit. “Do they uti­lize the Kirk approach, or react like sen­si­ble, non-crazy peo­ple? It’s up to them.” Talk about lead­er­ship skills! Devel­op­er @Ubisoft revealed the game at this year’s Elec­tron­ic Enter­tain­ment Expo (@E3) and is promis­ing a Fall 2016 release for Vive, Ocu­lus Rift, and Playsta­tion VR. [Read More Now]

Let them eat cake. Wal­mart is mak­ing a seri­ous invest­ment in its work­ers in 2016, reports Phil Wah­ba (@philwahba) for @FortuneMagazine — and it’s pay­ing off. The retail giant has spent rough­ly $2.7 bil­lion in wage increas­es and has dou­bled its efforts on cus­tomer ser­vice: friend­li­ness of staff, avail­abil­i­ty of mer­chan­dise, speed at check­out, and more. “It’s the tiny, notice­able things that should be in our DNA,” says Wal­mart U.S. COO Judith McKen­na. As a result, the com­pa­ny has post­ed ris­ing sales in each of its last sev­en quar­ters. [Read More Now]

More cow­bell! The sound of drums is in the air — lit­er­al­ly! A pair of tech devel­op­ers from Liv­er­pool has devel­oped a dig­i­tal drum kit that allows drum­mers to play a wide range of per­cus­sion arrange­ments with­out ever touch­ing a sol­id sur­face. Aero­drums uses motion-sen­sor tech­nol­o­gy and a com­put­er sys­tem that allows play­ers to record over music and use head­phones for silent ses­sions. But what’s the val­ue of a vir­tu­al drum kit? Besides keep­ing the neigh­bours hap­py, @deutschewelle indi­cates that Aero­drums are like­ly best used “with music that con­tains more elec­tron­ic sounds or drum machine sounds.” What an excit­ing prospect! [Read More Now]

Mars Poster

Mars attracts! Thanks to Maria Popo­va (@explorer) for some astound­ing art­works, free: “NASA’s glo­ri­ous Mars explo­ration recruit­ment posters are free to down­load, with print-qual­i­ty hi-res­o­lu­tion files avail­able.” [Read More Now]

Lis­ten up, lis­ten in. Pod­casts are more pop­u­lar than ever, but @Strachery founder Ben Thomp­son (@benthompson) wants to know — what does the future hold? The mon­eti­sa­tion of the pod­cast mar­ket seems to be on the hori­zon, but Thomp­son cau­tions against a sin­gle-source app solu­tion for all pod­casts: “…pub­lish­ers should offer pod­casts through their own app that mea­sures lis­tens, and either sell ads them­selves if they have the scale or out­source it…” [Read More Now]

A dig­i­tal mas­ter­piece? Is the Inter­net more than just a vast col­lec­tion of media in vir­tu­al form? Accord­ing to Anna Wiener (@annawiener) for @NewRepublic, that’s pre­cise­ly what one Amer­i­can jour­nal­ist believes. Vir­ginia Heffernan’s (@page88) new book, Mag­ic and Loss: The Inter­net as Art extols the virtues of the World Wide Web as an hon­est-to-good­ness work of art equal to “the pyra­mid, the aque­duct, the high­way, the nov­el.…” What sets the Inter­net apart, Hef­fer­nan argues, is that it’s an end­less col­lab­o­ra­tion. But Wiener points out that the book ignores moun­tains of tedious online sys­tems — finan­cial soft­ware, spread­sheets — which dom­i­nate many users’ work­ing lives. “The web is at its best a plat­form for art,” she coun­ters, “but cer­tain­ly not art itself.” What do you think? [Read More Now]

Quote of the Month “It’s not the strongest of species that sur­vives, nor the most intel­li­gent. It’s the one most respon­sive to change.” That’s a clas­sic quote from Charles Dar­win, spot­light­ed by @SteveCase. [Read More Now]

Ooops! @businessinsider reports that PIRCH CEO Jef­fery Sears is speak­ing out on why long-stand­ing retail giants like JCPen­ny and Macy’s are floun­der­ing. “I don’t think [retail has] done a great job of cre­at­ing a good expe­ri­ence…,” Sears con­tends. So what does PIRCH do dif­fer­ent­ly? Cus­tomers of the kitchen/bath retail­er are greet­ed with a com­pli­men­ta­ry drink and every appli­ance and fix­ture can be tried in the store. Says Sears: “Our job is to make a per­son­’s time in our store the best part of their day, and along the way if we sell them some­thing: great.” Insight­ful fea­ture by Den­nis Green (@DennisVerde). [Read More Now]

Need a rest? NextSen­sor Steven D’Souza (@cbcsteve) has a warn­ing that prob­a­bly many should heed. Check out HBR’s “Don’t Get Sur­prised by Burnout.” [Read More Now]

Just three words. Heard about the effort to pin­point every­where (!) on earth by the use of three-word des­ig­na­tions. Fas­ci­nat­ing! Thanks Rob­by Berman (@everyrobby) and @bigthink. [Read More Now]

The world in 100. @MechAgri recent­ly shared a fas­ci­nat­ing info­graph­ic video that illus­trates some of the world’s most defin­ing demo­graph­ics — nation­al­i­ty, age, reli­gion, eco­nom­ic sta­tus — scaled down to just 100 peo­ple. One of the most aston­ish­ing sta­tis­tics: only “30” peo­ple speak the top five world lan­guages; the remain­ing “70” speak 6,500 oth­er lan­guages! Anoth­er eye-open­er: just “one” per­son (1% of the pop­u­la­tion) con­trols half of all mon­ey on Earth. Unbe­liev­able! [Watch More Now]

SPECIAL NOTE: Joseph Pistrui, founder of The Nextsens­ing Project, will be over­see­ing the aca­d­e­m­ic con­tent of a first-of-its-kind cur­ricu­lum for senior exec­u­tives. [Read More Now]


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