New Next Now (June 2016)

26 May 2016 | Keep­ing Up with the Trends

We have a ter­rif­ic col­lec­tion of arti­cles, books, pod­casts, videos and ideas-in-oth­er-forms for you this month. We even spot­light Steven D’Souza, one of our NextSen­sors! Thanks in advance for check­ing out this mon­th’s edi­tion of…


Lead with your left brain. In the busi­ness world, cre­ativ­i­ty is key. That’s the coun­sel of Syed Balkhi (@syedbalkhi) in @HuffingtonPost, who offers nine strate­gies for bring­ing a cre­ative pulse to your enter­prise. Play­ing music and hang­ing art­work can have an imme­di­ate impact, but I par­tic­u­lar­ly like this sug­ges­tion: talk to lots of peo­ple. Balkhi says doing so “will expose you to a new type of vocab­u­lary, new thought pat­terns, and new ideas.” [Read More Now]

Call­ing all fash­ion­istas. It seems there’s a lot to learn from the world of fash­ion. This month, @smithsonian writer Nao­mi Shavin (@NaomiMaeShavin) spot­lights Iris van Her­pen, a “high-con­cept” design­er whose “oth­er­world­ly” cre­ations are push­ing the bound­aries of tech­nol­o­gy and inspir­ing unlike­ly col­lab­o­ra­tions. Recent­ly, Her­pen teamed with 3‑D print­ing com­pa­ny Mate­ri­alise to fab­ri­cate cloth­ing designs that resem­ble fos­sils, a splash of water, even inter­nal anato­my. “The fer­til­i­ty of these dia­logues is that friends in mul­ti­ple dis­ci­plines are exchang­ing ideas and open­ing the sense of what the appli­ca­tions can be,” says com­pa­ny rep­re­sen­ta­tive Vanes­sa Palsen­barg. [Read More Now]

Do you see PC? Great slide show by Bene­dict Evans (@benedictevans) on the state of dig­i­tal devices in the world. “There are now 3 bil­lion iOS and Android com­put­ers on earth.” Many stats and trend­lines in this report. Thanks Chris Dixon (@cdixon) for the lead to “Mobile Ate The World.” [Read More Now]

It’s more than a rain dance. El Niño is get­ting hard­er and hard­er to pre­dict, says mete­o­rol­o­gist and writer Eric Holthaus (@EricHolthaus) via @ensiamedia. But a new data set called CHIRPS is bring­ing togeth­er an unprece­dent­ed amount of glob­al rain­fall data to pro­vide an “ear­ly warn­ing sys­tem” for world­wide drought, par­tic­u­lar­ly in rur­al com­mu­ni­ties that rely on ade­quate rain­fall for food, water, and eco­nom­ic sta­bil­i­ty. “Thanks to CHIRPS and oth­er tech­nolo­gies, we can now antic­i­pate drought emer­gen­cies,” says Holthaus, who reports that ear­ly detec­tion will prove invalu­able in prepar­ing food aid and pro­vid­ing insur­ance com­pen­sa­tion to affect­ed areas. [Read More Now]

Can you name the world’s dead­liest ani­mal? From STAT (@statnews): Mos­qui­toes kill 725,000 peo­ple a year, accord­ing to a list from Bill Gates. They are the world’s dead­liest ani­mals. Eric Bood­man (@ericboodman) reveals much more in the full sto­ry. [Read More Now]

Woman With Fly Swatter

Learn­ing your way for­ward. When Fareed Zakaria (@FareedZakaria) speaks, we should all take a lis­ten. The acclaimed jour­nal­ist spent some time with @bigthink to dis­cuss the role of skills in tomorrow’s work­place. It’s not good enough to sim­ply have skills, he says; we must be will­ing to con­tin­u­al­ly learn and grow and broad­en our exper­tise. Although many employ­ers still rely on uni­ver­si­ty degrees as the “sin­gle best sort­ing mech­a­nism” for eval­u­at­ing job appli­cants, he believes com­pa­nies could begin to place more val­ue on those who “demon­strate a capac­i­ty to acquire [new skills]” through alter­na­tive means, such as online course accred­i­ta­tion and inde­pen­dent train­ing. If that hap­pens, Zakaria says, employ­ees might realise that “what [they] are being paid for is real­ly out­come relat­ed.” [Read More Now]

Inno­va­tion… or regres­sion? NYT (@nytimes) cor­re­spon­dent Neil Irwin (@Neil_Irwin) takes a look back at the last 150 years of Amer­i­can his­to­ry and asks: “What was the great­est era for inno­va­tion?” Cer­tain­ly the 1920s intro­duced elec­tric­i­ty, the tele­phone, and the auto­mo­bile, and by the 1970s near­ly every­one owned a tele­vi­sion and could enjoy the lux­u­ry of air trav­el. But it’s hard to dis­count the inno­va­tions of today: the Inter­net, email, mobile tele­phones and text.” How that stacks up against the advances of yes­ter­year,” Irwin writes, “is the great ques­tion of whether an era of inno­va­tion remains under­way, or has slowed way down.” [Read More Now]

It’s elec­tric! Spot­ted by Erik Bryn­jolf­s­son (‪@erikbryn‬): “Tip­ping point: Japan has more elec­tric car charg­ers than gas sta­tions.” Tyler Cowen’s report for Mar­gin­al Rev­o­lu­tion (@MargRev) leads to the full and fas­ci­nat­ing sto­ry on this writ­ten by Nik­ki Gor­don-Bloom­field (@aminorjourney) on Trans­port Evolved (@transportevolve). [Read More Now]

Make a deci­sion. Big deci­sions can be scary, and real­is­ing you’ve made the wrong one is usu­al­ly even worse. That’s cer­tain­ly true for entre­pre­neurs who have to nav­i­gate increas­ing­ly crowd­ed waters with no clear blue­print for suc­cess, says Steve Tobak (@SteveTobak) for @Entrepreneur. That’s why he urges young entre­pre­neurs to con­sid­er three key fac­tors: (1) risk, (2) oppor­tu­ni­ty, and (3) exper­tise. Tobak par­tic­u­lar­ly touts the val­ue of start­ing out in the cor­po­rate world: “You get to learn and gain expe­ri­ence on the job, and get paid in the process.” [Read More Now]

What’s boom­ing in Bei­jing? Chi­na is on the rise — and might already be giv­ing Sil­i­con Val­ley a run for its mon­ey. That’s the view of Shop­kick (@shopkick) founder Cyr­i­ac Roed­ing (@cyriac1), who spent three weeks get­ting up close and per­son­al with the Chi­nese start-up world. Roed­ing says Chi­nese start-ups are faster, but they’re also cur­rent­ly dri­ven too much by the “get rich fast” promise. Still, he believes there is much to be learned from the authen­tic­i­ty of Chi­nese entre­pre­neurs: “Get to the core of it, the true entre­pre­neur­ial endeav­our, the obses­sion with the prod­uct and the com­pa­ny, come hell or high water.” [Read More Now]

She’s fit to lead. Char­lie Rose (@charlierose) has an insight­ful inter­view with Sara Blake­ly, the founder of @SPANX. Proof again that, with the right per­son, you can learn a great deal about lead­er­ship in less than 10 min­utes. [Read More Now]

It’s a cos­mic achieve­ment. In 2014, the Euro­pean Space Agency made his­to­ry when it suc­cess­ful­ly set down a robot­ic lan­der on the sur­face of a tiny comet trav­el­ling 135,000 km/h through our solar sys­tem. In a new @BBC_Future doc­u­men­tary, Phi­lae Lan­der man­ag­er Stephan Ulamec recalls the years of metic­u­lous plan­ning and pre­cise exe­cu­tion need­ed to see the mis­sion through. “Patience is some­thing you have to bring with you if you want to work in the space busi­ness,” he says. But the reward makes it all worth­while. “This will keep us busy for weeks, for months, and maybe, at the end, for years.” [Read More Now]

Want to read some­thing real­ly scary? “Peo­ple watch Net­flix more than they hang out with their friends, exer­cise, and read — com­bined” by Nathan McAlone (@nmcalone) for @businessinsider. Thanks Olivia Sterns (‪@OliviaSterns‬) and Aldo Bar­ra­gan ™ (‪@un_tal_aldo‬) for help­ing us find this. [Read More Now]

Buck­le up for the future. In the world of auto design, every year brings fresh ideas and inno­va­tions. Scott Col­lie (@CollieScott), for @gizmag, reveals one enter­pris­ing com­pa­ny that is lit­er­al­ly open­ing new doors in 2016. Moscow-based automak­er Mir­row recent­ly unveiled its futur­is­tic Provo­ca­tor city car con­cept, which boasts a unique design fea­ture: a sin­gle rear entry door with a cen­tre aisle. Col­lie writes that the Provo­ca­tor “makes it easy for pas­sen­gers to get in and out,” and its square-like frame and flex­i­ble inte­ri­or space allow for indus­try-spe­cif­ic con­fig­u­ra­tions, such as taxis and cater­ing vehi­cles. [Read More Now]

Here’s our fav quote for the month. The real­i­ty is that we live in an age that works against poet­ry. Poet­ry is an act of atten­tion and we’re in a time where hav­ing an atten­tion deficit is the norm. We’re bom­bard­ed with images and infor­ma­tion, but images and infor­ma­tion are not knowl­edge — and they’re cer­tain­ly not poet­ry. — Car­ol Muske-Dukes (@carolmuskedukes). She is the Poet Lau­re­ate of Cal­i­for­nia [link]. Spot­ted 20 May 2016 on @PageADayCal.

Good job, Steven! Our final post this week comes from one of our very own NextSen­sors, Steven D’Souza, who urges peo­ple to embrace the unknown. An inter­na­tion­al edu­ca­tor and founder of Deep­er Learn­ing, Steven (@cbcsteve) is also the co-author of Not Know­ing (with Diana Ren­ner) [link]. In a recent pod­cast inter­view, he talked about his book, which explores the role of uncer­tain­ty in the busi­ness world. Our cul­ture places busi­ness lead­ers in “an impos­si­ble sit­u­a­tion,” he argues, giv­en how much we look to them for all the answers. But D’Souza believes lead­ers can find new ways to accept the unknown: “One of the chal­lenges of lead­er­ship is mak­ing more space for that abil­i­ty to change opin­ion [based] on valid data, to have humil­i­ty, to chal­lenge our own per­spec­tives, but also [to have] the con­fi­dence to go for­ward.” More great work by the folks at @innovecosys. [Read More Now]


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