Read for Later - “I thought there has to be another way”

This week’s headline quotes Denise Resnik, founder and executive director of First Place, a new supportive residence community in Phoenix designed for adults with autism and neurodiversities - the space features ample common spaces, design features to minimize sensory overload, and access to a Transition Academy that offers a two-year program to teach residents life and work skills (City Lab “Autism-friendly apartments open in Phoenix”).

A quick note to promote the next round of the ALA’s Policy Corps. The Policy Corps helps develop policy experts available to the library community, ALA, and the ALA Washington Office, creating longevity in expertise and engagement in early to mid-career library and information professionals. You can learn more and apply from the Corps' home page

You can always check out the Center's trend collection to see how this scanning comes together to identify trends relevant to our futures.

What have you read lately to help you think about the future? Drop me a line to let me know what articles and reports you're reading that others might find of interest.

Five Highlights

The Verge “Google is hosting a global contest to develop AI that’s beneficial for humanity”
Google is launching a global competition to help spur the development of applications and research in the field of Artificial Intelligence – the Google AI Impact Challenge will award up to $25 million dollars to grantees to “help transform the best ideas into action.”

Government Technology “Harvard converts millions of legal documents into open data”
The new Caselaw Access Project, led by the Library Innovation Lab at Harvard University and funded by startup Ravel Law and the Harvard Law School, has made available nearly 6.5 million state and federal cases dating from the 1600s.

The Chronicle of Higher Education “Arizona State will give Uber drivers in 8 cities free tuition in its online program”
Arizona State University will join with ride-sharing service Uber to provide fully funded tuition for its online program to select drivers in eight cities, one of a growing number of tuition-free alliances between universities and corporations.

Curbed “Why ‘micropolitan’ cities may be the key to rural resurgence”
So-called micropolitan areas, geographic areas with one city of more than 10,000 but fewer than 50,000 people, are collectively home to roughly one in ten Americans and their economic success can revive rural economies and be a catalyst for the surrounding region.

City Lab “Autism-friendly apartments open in Phoenix”
Phoenix’s First Place apartment complex was designed specifically for adults with autism and neurodiversities, with ample common spaces and design features to minimize sensory overload – residents have 24/7 support and an on-site Transition Academy offers a two-year program to teach residents life and work skills.

Algorithms, Artificial Intelligence, and Learning Machines

TechCrunch “Starship is using self-driving robots to deliver packages on demand”
Starship Technologies will pilot a program in the British town of Milton Keynes offering on-demand package delivery using the company’s autonomous bots.

Books and Reading

Variety “James Patterson launching ‘The Chef’ interactive fiction on Facebook Messenger”
Author James Patterson will launch a multimedia, interactive-fiction experience, based on his forthcoming thriller The Chef, exclusively on Facebook Messenger – Messenger users will be able engage with characters, locations, and clues via interactive video, sound clips, and message conversations.

Engadget “Google Home can enhance kids' stories with music and sound effects”
Google has announced a partnership with Disney to have Google Home devices provide ambient music and sound effects played in time with the reading of select Little Golden Books.

Communities and Demographics

The Verge “Apple, Google, Facebook, and others push back on Trump transgender policy”
Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, and more than 50 other companies issued a joint letter opposing President Trump’s possible rollback of rights and protections for transgender people under federal law.

Economics and the Workplace

Wired “Google walkout is just the latest sign of tech worker unrest”
Thousands of Google employees and contractors around the globe briefly walked off the job Thursday to protest Google’s handling of sexual harassment claims and other workplace issues and to demand more transparency around harassment incidents and pay equity at the company.


Inside Higher Ed “Less accessible, less affordable”
Two new reports, the New America Foundation’s Undermining Pell: Volume IV and the Institute for Higher Education Policy’s Inequities Persist: Access and Completion Gaps at Public Flagships in The Great Lakes Region, find evidence that a growing number of public universities are becoming less affordable and accessible for low-income students and people of color.

The Environment

Scientific American “Human pressures have shrunk wildlife populations by 60 percent”
The World Wildlife Fund’s new 2018 Living Planet report finds that humans have wiped out about 60% of the world’s wildlife populations in the last four decades through over-exploitation of species, deforestation, and agricultural use of key animal habitats.

Restaurants, Retail, and Spaces

Vox “Food halls are everywhere now. It’s because we crave ‘authenticity.’”
Food halls and cafeteria-style public markets are becoming more and more popular in larger cities, offering a convenient sampling of a city’s best and up-and-coming restaurants and seeking to create a public square or third space in communities that have become more isolated and divided.

Streaming Media

Deadline “Netflix alters model; gives awards films ‘ROMA, ‘Buster Scruggs’ & ‘Bird Box’ theatrical runs before streaming”
Netflix will boost the awards chances of several contending films by setting exclusive limited theatrical releases prior to their streaming release – the move reflects the influence of Hollywood’s traditional awards system, which relies on voters and critics that may balk at straight to streaming releases.


NextCity “Washington, D.C. issues dockless regs to tame burgeoning industry”
After a yearlong pilot, Washington, D.C., has announced proposed rules to regulate its burgeoning e-scooter and dockless bike industry, including requiring companies to distribute a minimum number of vehicles per ward, to provide a toll-free number for riders to report badly parked vehicles, and to provide a $10,000 security deposit with the District that the city will keep if the company fails to remove badly parked vehicles.