Read for Later – “A mindset of agile learning on the part of both company leaders and workers”

This week’s headline quotes The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) new The Future of Jobs Report 2018 – agile and lifelong learning are mentioned multiple times throughout the report, as executives and human resources officers foresee significant changes in workforce needs over the next four years (Gizmodo “Emerging tech will create more jobs than it kills by 2022, World Economic Forum predicts”).

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You can always check out the Center's trend collection to see how this scanning comes together to identify trends relevant to our futures. The Center's trend cards are also available to help you talk with colleagues and members of the community, map how trends fit together or how they fit into your community, or spark innovation activities.

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

Gizmodo “Emerging tech will create more jobs than it kills by 2022, World Economic Forum predicts”
Based on a survey of executives and chief human resources officers from 313 of the world’s biggest companies, The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) new The Future of Jobs Report 2018 predicts the loss of 75 million current jobs and the creation of 133 million new jobs over the next four years, as four primary drivers of change – ubiquitous high-speed mobile internet, artificial intelligence, the widespread adoption of big data analytics, and cloud technology – reshape the roles of workers and the needs of employers.

The Hechinger Report “Blockchain arrives on college campuses”
A growing number of colleges and universities, including New York University, Georgetown, and Stanford, are introducing blockchain technology courses to get students thinking about its potential uses and to better prepare them for the workforce – in addition to general skepticism about blockchain’s potential, course development may be challenged by a scarcity of scholarly research, limited textbook options, and the challenge of bringing together a multidisciplinary perspective (computer science, law, finance, and engineering) on an emerging technology.

TechCrunch “Delta to start scanning faces at airport check-in”
Delta Air Lines will introduce new biometric facial scanning options for border and pre-flight security screenings at its terminal at the Atlanta International Airport – facial recognition at airports has raised privacy concerns, but six major U.S. airports have completed trials as part of a wider rollout by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The New York Times “Stealing from a cashierless store (without you, or the cameras, knowing it)”
Standard Market, a new automated cashierless store in San Francisco, doesn’t use a check-in gate or checkout swipe, but instead relies on ceiling cameras and artificial intelligence software to identify shoppers and their items and document shoppers’ movements, speed, stride length, and gaze to predict and prevent shoplifting.

The Architect’s Newspaper “Self-driving homes could be the future of affordable housing”
New technologies including artificial intelligence, the internet of things, electric cars, and drone delivery systems could create the possibility for living spaces or even homes that pick us up and drop us off - Honda’s IeMobi Concept is an autonomous mobile living room that attaches and detaches from your home and Volvo’s 360c concept vehicle serves as either a living room or mobile office.

Communities and Demographics

CityLab “The divides within, and between, urban and rural America”
The first in a series of posts from CityLab exploring the complexity of community development and decline across America, where economic growth is not only uneven and unequal between urban and rural places, but also uneven within them.

Economics and the Workforce

Fast Company “This basic income program will give $1,000 a month to black mothers”
The new Magnolia Mother’s Trust basic income pilot in Jackson, Mississippi, will provide black mothers with $1,000 a month in the hopes of addressing the wealth disparities that black women face.


The Christian Science Monitor “Liberal arts watch: Colleges appeal to students with ‘purposeful work’”
Reports of declining interest in the humanities may be driving a change in how colleges and universities frame the liberal arts – some schools have incorporated “purposeful work” as a way to frame the liberal arts experience so that students attain the intellectual growth of working across multiple disciplines while also experiencing how they can apply it toward specific career goals.

Facial Recognition

TechCrunch “Sen. Harris tells federal agencies to get serious about facial recognition risks”
In letters written to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Federal Trade Commission, and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) and other legislators raised concerns over how facial recognition produces or reinforces bias and sought information about how these issues would be considered and accommodated in the rules, guidance, and applications of facial recognition technologies by federal agencies.

The Internet

Nieman Lab “Facebook’s attempts to fight fake news seem to be working. (Twitter’s? Not so much.)”
A new working paper from NYU’s Hunt Allcott and Stanford’s Matthew Gentzkow and Chuan Yu finds that Facebook’s efforts to stop the spread of fake news and misinformation may be working, as engagement and interactions with stories from 570 fake news sites have declined, even as stories from legitimate sites have been “relatively stable over time.” See also Poynter.

Restaurants, Retail, and Spaces

GQ “The hottest thing in fashion is...local government?”
An interesting look at how streetwear brands like Supreme, Only NY, and John Elliott are pushing “civicore” clothing that integrates logos and images from civic institutions like parks, sanitation, and transportation departments.

Bloomberg “Amazon will consider opening up to 3,000 cashierless stores by 2021”
Amazon is reportedly considering a plan to open as many as 3,000 AmazonGo cashierless stores in the next few years, with a specific focus on stores that offer fresh prepared foods and a limited grocery selection, similar to 7-Eleven or U.K.-based chain Pret-a-Manger – while Amazon declined to comment, its latest AmazonGo location in Chicago marks its first expansion outside of its Seattle headquarters. For information on the Chicago store opening, see also TechCrunch.

Streaming Media

Billboard “Spotify to allow indie artists to upload music directly to service, bypassing distributors”
Spotify will pilot a program to let a select group of independent artists upload their music directly onto the streaming platform through their Spotify For Artists  account – artists will upload their music, fill in relevant metadata, preview their page, and set the song to go live at a pre-scheduled time.

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality

TechCrunch “Walmart is putting 17,000 Oculus Go headsets in its stores to help train employees in VR”
Walmart’s rollout of new virtual reality workplace training has begun with the delivery of Oculus Go headsets to each of its nearly 5,000 stores – over 17,000 headsets will be shipped by year’s end allowing employees to more easily access workplace training produced as 360° video with interactive onscreen prompts.

Wired “For museums, augmented reality is the next frontier”
A look at how museums are using augmented reality to create interactive exhibits as the technology becomes cheaper, lighter, and easier to create.