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Innovation Watch Newsletter - Issue 13.

11 - May 31, 2014 ISSN: 1712-9834
David Forrest is a
Canadian writer and
strategy consultant.
His Integral Strategy™
process has been
widely used to increase
collaboration in
communities, build
social capital, deepen
commitment to action,
and develop creative
strategies to deal with
complex challenges.
David advises
organizations on
emerging trends. He
uses the term
Enterprise Ecology™ to
describe how ecological
principles can be
applied to competition,
innovation, and
strategy in business.
Highlights from the last two weeks...
neurosurgeon shows a link between nerves and the immune
system... trial drug reverses Alzheimer's disease in mice... 4D
printing creates shape-shifting objects... 3D printing could
revolutionize car manufacturing... Alibaba could challenge
Amazon in the U.S.... Google joins the near-space race by
acquiring Titan Aerospace... Millennials could upend Wall Street
and corporate America... data brokers know more about you than
your family and friends... Russia-China gas deal could expand to
61 billion cubic meters a year... Estonia offers online residency to
people from outside the country... climate change will force us to
abandon coastal cities... China plans to scrap 5 million cars to
ease pollution... a venture capital firm has appointed a computer
algorithm to its board of directors... an insurance company is
suing 200 Illinois towns for not being better prepared for climate
More resources ...
a new book by Daniel Patrick Forrester, Consider: Harnessing the
Power of Reflective Thinking in Your Organization... a link to the
Pew Research: Social and Demographic Trends website... audio of
a discussion by Nassim Nicholas Taleb on the global economy... a
blog post by Mark Wilson on a unique BBQ sauce designed by
IBM's Watson computer...
David is the founder
and president of Global
Vision Consulting Ltd.,
a strategy advisory
firm. He is a member
of the Professional
Writers Association of
Canada, the World
Future Society, and the
Advisory Committee of
the Institute for
Science, Society and
Policy at the University
of Ottawa.
David Forrest
Innovation Watch

Top Stories:
Can the Nervous System Be Hacked? (New York Times) -
One morning in May 1998, Kevin Tracey converted a room in his
lab at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in Manhasset,
N.Y., into a makeshift operating theater and then prepped his
patient -- a rat -- for surgery. A neurosurgeon, and also Feinstein
Institute's president, Tracey had spent more than a decade
searching for a link between nerves and the immune system. His
work led him to hypothesize that stimulating the vagus nerve with
electricity would alleviate harmful inflammation.
Trial Drug Reverses Alzheimer's Disease in Mice (Daily
Beast) - A drug in early animal trials has shown promising
results, appearing to reverse the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease
in mice. Additionally, in mice, the treatment reduced inflammation
in parts of the brain that are associated with memory and
learning, according to a study led by Susan Farr of Saint Louis
University School of Medicine, published in the Journal of
Alzheimer's Disease.
More science trends...

Top Stories:
Forget the 3D Printer: 4D Printing Could Change Everything
(Smithsonian) - These days, 3D printing seems to be at the core

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Previous issues
of most new new research ventures, whether it's developing ways
to print entire meals or recreating facial features to repair a
patient’s face. But Skylar Tibbits wants to up the ante: He's
hoping 4D printing will be the thing of the not-so-far future. The
name for his concept, Tibbits admits, was a bit lighthearted at
first. At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Tibbits and
researchers from the firms Stratasys and Autodesk Inc were trying
to come up with a way of describing the objects they were
creating on 3D printers -- objects that not only could be printed,
but thanks to geometric code, could also later change shape and
transform on their own.
3-D Printed Car Is as Strong as Steel, Half the Weight, and
Nearing Production (Wired) - Picture an assembly line not that
isn't made up of robotic arms spewing sparks to weld heavy steel,
but a warehouse of plastic-spraying printers producing light, cheap
and highly efficient automobiles. If Jim Kor's dream is realized,
that's exactly how the next generation of urban runabouts will be
produced. His creation is called the Urbee 2 and it could
revolutionize parts manufacturing while creating a cottage industry
of small-batch automakers intent on challenging the status quo.
More technology trends...
Top Stories:
How Alibaba Could Disrupt Amazon In The U.S. (ReadWrite)
- Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has gotten lots of attention
thanks to its pending multi-billion-dollar U.S. IPO. It seems to
have no immediate plans to expand in the U.S. -- but that's likely
just a matter of time. And when it does, Amazon had better watch
out, because Alibaba has a host of ready allies: the legions of
mom-and-pop retailers that Amazon has left stranded in its wake.
Google Joins the Near-Space Race With Titan Acquisition
(Recode) - Google's acquisition of Titan Aerospace confirms the
tech sector's growing interest in high-altitude drones as powerful
tools for gathering and relaying data across the globe. The two-
year-old Moriarty, N.M., startup develops solar-powered unmanned
aerial vehicles that function like near-earth satellites. Its inaugural
product, Solara, can stay aloft for up to five years, providing high-
resolution images; voice and data services; atmospheric
monitoring; and mapping and navigation offerings. The devices
are far less expensive than traditional satellites, and can return to
Earth for maintenance or to swap out payloads, the company has
said previously. It's easy to imagine the technology bolstering an
array of the Mountain View search giant's product and research
areas, including Google Earth, Google Maps and Project Loon, the
company's effort to connect the developing world online through

Find us on
high-altitude balloons.
More business trends...
Top Stories:
How Millennials Could Upend Wall Street and Corporate
America (Brookings) - By 2020, Millennials will comprise more
than one of three adult Americans. It is estimated that by 2025
they will make up as much as 75 percent of the workforce.
Millennials' desire for pragmatic action that drives results will
overtake today's emphasis on ideology and polarization as
Boomers finally fade from the scene. Thus, understanding the
generation's values offers a window into the future of corporate
All Of The Surprising Data That Companies Buy And Sell
About You (Fast Company) - Who knows more about you than
your own family and friends? According to a scathing report put
out by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission yesterday, the answer
could be a corporate entity you have never even heard of. The
report details the practices of nine major data brokers, the largely
unregulated behind-the-scenes firms that collect, aggregate, and
sell data about the details of our lives to marketers, banks,
insurance providers and others, almost always without consumer
knowledge. Just one of the companies studied holds information
on more than 1.4 billion consumer transactions and 700 billion
"data elements," the FTC says.
More social trends...
Top Stories:
Here's The Proposed Gas Pipeline That Has Russia-China
Relations Stronger Than Ever (Business Insider) - The gas
deal, which has been on the table for over 10 years, would send
38 billion cubic meters of natural gas to China each year starting
in 2018 with the potential to expand the annual capacity to 61
billion cubic meters. China consumed about 170 billion cubic
meters of natural gas in 2013 and set a target of up to 420 billion
cubic meters a year by 2020. Europe is Russia's largest energy
importer as it bought more than 160 billion cubic meters of natural
gas in 2013, but tensions and sanctions over Putin's meddling in
Ukraine have Russia looking elsewhere. Consequently, the deal is

huge for the Kremlin since natural gas represents nearly 60% of
Russia’s total exports.
The Plan to Let Anyone Become European – Digitally
(ZDNet) - In the near future, those from outside the country will
have an opportunity to apply for an Estonian e-resident ID card --
which means that they can use Estonian online services, open
bank accounts, and start companies without ever having to
physically visit Estonia. That is, if they pass a background check
similar to the visa application process and sign up to identify
themselves with biometrics such as their fingerprints or iris scans.
The Estonian Ministry of the Interior's idea to give foreigners their
own Estonian ID cards was conceived seven years ago. At the end
of April, the Estonian government approved the concept of e-
residency and the once seemingly-utopian idea is now finally is
coming to life.
More global trends...
Top Stories:
Climate Change Will Force Us to Abandon Coastal Cities
(New Republic) - The New York Times reported on two new
climate change studies that came to the same, terrifying
conclusion: "The heat-trapping gases could destabilize other parts
of Antarctica as well as the Greenland ice sheet, potentially
causing enough sea-level rise that many of the world's coastal
cities would eventually have to be abandoned." Abandoned. While
actual abandonment would not happen for many years (we're
talking centuries), the studies warned that our actions now are
irrevocable and will lock in these future sea level rises. In other
words, our descendants will be dealing with irreversible damage
that we are committing today.
China Will Scrap 5 Million Cars to Ease Pollution (TIME) -
China plans to eliminate more than 5 million aging cars from its
streets in a bid to improve air quality, Reuters reports. In a report
outlining a plan to cut growing emissions over the next two years,
the government said 5.3 million vehicles that don't meet Chinese
fuel standards would be removed from the road, including
330,000 in the smog-plagued capital, Beijing.
More environmental trends...
Top Stories:
Algorithm Appointed Board Director (BBC) - A venture capital
firm has appointed a computer algorithm to its board of directors.
The program -- called Vital -- will vote on whether to invest in a
specific company or not. The firm it will be working for -- Deep
Knowledge Ventures -- focuses on drugs for age-related diseases.
It said that Vital would make its recommendations by sifting
through large amounts of data.
An Insurance Company Is Suing 200 Illinois Towns For Not
Being Better Prepared For Climate Change (Business
Insider) - An insurance company is suing nearly 200 Chicago-
area towns for failing to do more to prevent damages it says are
linked to climate change, Reuters' Mica Rosenberg reports.
Farmers Insurance is asking the communities to return flood
claims from the spring of 2013, which caused at least $218 million
in losses. The towns should have done more to fortify their sewers
and stormwater drains, the group argues.
More future trends...
From the publisher...
Consider: Harnessing the Power of Reflective Thinking in Your
By Daniel Patrick Forrester
A Web Resource... Pew Research: Social and Demographic Trends - The Pew Research
Center's Social & Demographic Trends project studies behaviors and attitudes of Americans
in key realms of their lives, including family, community, health, finance, work and leisure.
The project explores these topics by combining original public opinion survey research with
social, economic and demographic data analysis. It is one of seven projects that make up
the Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan "fact tank" that provides information on the issues,
attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. It does not take positions on policy
issues. The Pew Research Center is an independent subsidiary of the Pew Charitable Trusts.
Multimedia... Nassim Nicholas Taleb: The Global Economy (BBC Exchanges) - He has
been described as a 'super hero of the mind' and 'the hottest thinker in the world'; the one-
time business trader and full-time philosopher of randomness Nassim Nicholas Taleb joins
Justin Rowlatt and an audience at the Grand Amphitheatre of the Sorbonne in Paris for a
special event staged in partnership with Paris Dauphine University. (50m)
The Blogosphere... I Tasted BBQ Sauce Made by IBM's Watson, and Loved It (Fast
Company) - Mark Wilson – "Not so long ago, IBM shared Watson's cooking methodology
and first public recipe with Co.Design. Shortly thereafter, they opened a food truck at SXSW.
And they also sent a lucky few journalists a beautiful bottle of Bengali Butternut BBQ Sauce,
a golden, algorithmic elixir born from the silicon mind of Watson himself."