Biscoffs, ecocide and vantablack

July 23, 2021

Welcome to this 22nd issue of our newsletter “Weak Signals and other Trends”. Each week, I sift through hundreds of sources of inspiration to track where we’re heading. We discuss those trends and signals every other  Saturday at 9am EST on Clubhouse (we’re on this week!).

You can subscribe to this newsletter here to get it directly by mail. As we all need to recharge batteries, this newsletter will move to a bi-monthly frequency starting in July and for the summer:

This is what I noticed this week, thank you for reading and sharing this newsletter to those who look into the future.


Strategic blindspots

Blindspots are biases that can lead companies to underestimate future risks or fail to take advantage of emerging opportunities. We highlight in this sections illustrations of such missed opportunities as well as what happens when you can think sideways.

Sixty years of climate change warnings: the signs that were missed (and ignored). Pacific island of Nauru sets two-year deadline for U.N. deep-sea mining rules. The Impact of Intangibles on Base Rates. Creating the space for curiosity to expand into. A majority of Millennial and Gen-Z investors are taking personal loans or borrowing from friends and family to invest in stocks. Humans tend to make problem-solving unnecessarily complex. Find a job with TikTok Resumes.

We have scheduled the dates for our “Strategic Blindspots” course which will take place in an hybrid format in the fall (in classroom for fully vaccinated participants - online option for the others).

Our future

Greenland suspends oil exploration because of climate change. A Ford patent to identify and mitigate autonomous vehicle odors. Farewell, Millennial Lifestyle Subsidy. Are we getting weirder? Legal experts worldwide draw up ‘historic’ definition of ecocide. Post-quarantine retail therapy: teeth whitener, wigs and... camping gear. In the Future, You Won't Own Any Gadgets. UK's first interactive virtual grocery store. Miami is the first city in the world with a chief heat officer. America’s Tastemakers.


Weak signals

Weak signals are indicators of a change, a trend or an emerging risk that might become significant for the future. They allow us to run hypothesis, expand our thinking, and challenge assumptions. How will you interpret those in your industry or field of expertise?

The disappearing sound of airports. Deep in rural China, bitcoin miners are packing up. Google launches new tool to help cities stay cool. U.S. seeks to speed rooftop solar growth with instant permits. Are you a decorative peacock? Why Is Tinned Fish ‘Hot Girl Food’ Now? Gen Z’s Unlikely Home Decor Obsession: DIY Rugs. A new generation of leisure seekers. 14-year-old Zaila Avant-garde Won the Scripps Spelling Bee. Near-expired food a new fad among young consumers. Rock in China. A Universal Typeface by Kosuke Takahashi That Combines Braille and Visible Characters.

Join us to discuss those trends and signals every other Saturday in the summer at 9am EST on Clubhouse. We have a panel of futurists that illustrate what those signals might mean, and an enlightened group of curious minds in the room (an average of 250 participants join each week).

Hodgepodge discovery

Articles for the curious mind as you like to cross over to new fields:

Richard Russell edited Dow Theory Letters for 57 years. Flying Is Back and So Are Biscoffs. First, you make the maps. Bats' brains are built for navigation. The sink in the hall: how pandemics transform architecture. Self-organization in natural swarms of Photinus carolinus synchronous fireflies. A 51,000-year-old carved bone is one of the world's oldest works of art. How Plant Cells Know When to Stop Growing. There will never be another airport like Hong Kong's Kai Tak.

I like to learn new words. This week, I discovered Vantablack.


Feeling Good

Do nothing. A website is a room. Find a color palette based on words. Random street view. Local residents most precious objects. Concert roulette. Play with the sandbox. A curated selection of music for listening and dancing in small, safe spaces.

Did you learn something today? Share your favorite issues of the newsletter, or send friends - or random strangers…

Share Weak signals and other trends

And do not miss the next issue:

Contact me at Competia with your feedback or ideas. Thank you for reading.