How do we feed 9.7 billion hungry mouths?

heros_02_future_farming_600pxBy 2050 we will have added 2.5 billion people to our planet (up from 7.07 billion currently to a projected 9.7 billion in 2050) one of the biggest questions around coping with this huge growth is how will we be able to feed and water everyone?

In this weeks segment David Dowsett of ABC Radio Wide Bay and I chat about the Future of Farming and the innovations that may be ahead to help us cope, including laboratory grown meat; synthetic foods; growing crops with no water or salt water; the change a growing middle class in developing nations may have on our food supply and demands; growing crops in cities; vertical gardens grown in purpose-built skyscrapers; box gardens and the rise and rise of farming robots.

Have a listen now and share your thoughts on the Future of Farming and Food supply.


They’re doing it tough at Ford

Following the announcements of 240 sackings at Ford, Larry and Kylie of Channel 7’s Morning Show asked the question is this the end of sackings? Are there more industry’s in decline and more tough time ahead? and what industry’s might be rising and promising a brighter future.

Watch this interview for my thoughts on which industry’s are in decline and which are rising and where the more future proof career paths may be.

Mirror, mirror on the retail wall

On the back of recent research by the Australian Centre for Retail Studies (ACRS) that found that only 4% of people start shopping in store before eventually purchasing goods on-line and that the majority of shoppers don’t go in store with the intent of buying online, but rather are driven there by poor in-store experiences, I chatted with 6PR’s Tony MacManus about the future of Retail.

We explored magic mirrors that let you try on clothes and accessories in store without getting undressed; at home webcam technology that lets you try on before you buy; mobile phones and tablets that let you navigate around retail spaces to find exactly what you’re looking for and technology that lets you bring in-store your virtual closets or pantry so that you can match what you already have, with whatever you’re looking to buy.

All this will happen in a future retail landscape that will offer a seamless blend of in-store, mobile, and web-based experiences in which retailers and consumers will sell and buy in whichever environment suits them best depending on their immediate situation and needs.

My final message to retailers in this interview was to not overlook the longer term retail revolution that’s happening behind the scenes of the immediately more impactful economic conditions, to do so is to doom your retail store to irrelevance.

Listen now and let me know your thoughts on the Future of Retail

Listen to Yesterday, Speak to Tomorrow

Listen to Yesterday, speak to Tomorrow is one of my mantra’s and in the world of innovation and invention it has never been more true.

Tomorrow’s landscapes are built on yesterday’s dreams, hand crafted from the flimsiest of unfulfilled desires, often brought into the world in the quietest of voices, voices that only become louder once they gather mass and a semblance of reality, and once thus formed and tangible are then collectively shouted to the world.

I know that’s a bit airy fairy, but it is how I see many great innovators approach their new thoughts and possibilities.

Today’s innovation landscape is vastly different from that of even five (5) years ago.

Five (5) years ago we spoke of patents, IP and confidentiality agreements. Today we preach openness, transparency and co creation. Neither is better or worse, just different.

In our regular on-air interview of all things Future, ABC Wide Bay’s David Dowsett and I chatted about this brave new innovation landscape, where websites like kickstarter, microryza and many others that allow innovators to share their thoughts, garner support and funding in order to get to the next level of possibility.

In today’s business world we have so many wonderful incubator spaces that you can rent on ad-hoc basis, but its more than the physical space you rent it is the collective minds, goodwill and innovation spirit that abound in rarefied these places where together everyone is learning, sharing and expanding boundaries, networks and capabilities.

In this brave new world, my off the record discussions with patent lawyers yield comments like “just go for it, being first to market today can be far more powerful than having the IP and Patents locked down” and this is simply that the slowness of applying and getting statutory approval will often mean that you will miss marketplace need for the product and by the time you have gained all of the IP and Patents the product and market may have moved on.

The most powerful questions that you need ask today in innovation is Why and What, the How, Where and When can all be co created.

Have a listen to this weeks segment and as always I’d love to hear your thoughts on the Future of Innovation.

Innovating Innovation

In the world of innovation Australia has always punched well above its weight, including producing the first full length movie, cochlear ear implants, hills hoist, pacemaker, in-vitro fertilisation, wine casks and tonnes of others

In our monthly look into the Future, Gold Coast ABC’s Nicole Dyer and I chatted about what inventions we’ve already seen, what we might see ahead, how we will innovate and why innovation is imperative if Australia is going to continue to thrive in the future.

Listen now and let us know what you think is Australia’s greatest innovation and what you’d still like to see invented.

Where to from here?

There’s no time to breathe when your brief is to outline the Future of Retail, Aged Care, Education and Business within a 15 minute on-air chat.

This ambitious agenda is what James Lush of ABC Local Perth and I attempted to do this morning, as we worked through what a Business Futurist does, how the world may evolve and what we might be doing, buying, eating, playing and working at in tomorrowland.

Have a listen now and share your thoughts on what you see ahead: