Is the future of higher education about building communities of lifelong learning? Some folks say yes – and that it is a set of opportunities long overdue. Read this to learn more. (A related piece discusses the future of work is/should actually about learning…)
Here’s an overview of a new book I haven’t read yet (but have ordered!) on speculative futures in higher education. This book is (apparently) full of creative scenarios of what the future of higher education might look like and how we might best navigate the turbulent future of our sector.
Tech and Ethics
CRISPR experts are calling for a moratorium on heritable gene editing. We are starting to acknowledge openly that our science is exceeding our ethical frameworks and that we need time to catch up.
Recent opinion piece about the value of humanity and the human touch in the age of artificial intelligence. It’s a thought provoking and timely piece worth a read.
Strong piece that criticizes and complicates the term “sharing economy” suggesting that it was always about commerce all along. Inspires complex thinking about how and if it would be possible to build/reclaim an internet that is actually for people rather than against them.
In my last post, I included a couple of citations about Greta Thunberg, youth climate activist and the global youth movement she has been inspiring. Since then, I’ve run across her TED talk. It is definitely worth a listen. We have definitely not seen the last of her.
Tech and Equity
This is an interesting article about “the cost of privacy” in our highly transparent world (technology-wise). Who gets to maintain/protect their privacy and who doesn’t? What are the implications for our shared future? Given our roles as social workers, this piece made me think a lot about how already vulnerable people, may be rendered even more vulnerable by their inability (in our current structures) to protect their privacy.
A new study suggests that autonomous vehicles may be less likely to see dark-skinned pedestrians rendering them more vulnerable to getting hit. Serious implications for equity/safety in our communities.
Is facial data being mined from social media and used in research without the owner’s consent? Yes – and it could be used against us at some point. Folks have been talking about this for some time – this article is a good summary of the issues.
A Futures Lens
What happens when you merge design thinking and a futures lens? Our colleagues at the MacArthur Foundation and Sesame Street are exploring this very idea! Check this out!
My friends at the Institute for the Future have just come out with an “Equitable Futures Toolkit” focused on assuring that equity lenses evolve along with other types of futures work. Awesome tools and resources here to explore and apply in new ways – I’m excited to explore how these might especially be useful/relevant in social work.
What’s new in Chinese science fiction? Fun to hear about how a futures lens is showing up in a global context – check out this interesting piece.
Seeking a vision of gender equity in the future. This article explores how we might conceptualize, look for and build gender equity into what comes next in our world.
Creative article that satirizes/speculates on the topic “Best Places to Live in 2100” – poking fun at popular culture pieces of this type, while shedding valuable light on a variety of climate change issues.
Adorable, inspiring and creative short film featuring kids predicting jobs of the future. I think they may be onto something!
Critiques of future work include mention of a dominant “white straight male” perspective and the importance/urgency of including more diverse voices – open up to some new possibilities of Indigenous Futurism here.
Robots and Artificial Intelligence
Want to explore information about a new robot that is programmed to respond with facial expressions that reflect human emotions. It is called a Simulative Emotional Expression Robot (SEER). Do you find it fascinating or creepy?
Tech and Medicine
Fascinating article about efforts to build a modem that actually works inside the human body (in this case the human brain). Could be used (according to this article) to treat blindness, paralysis and other challenges. Are we ready – who will get access, who will not, and what might be the ethical dimensions for practice that evolves into this space?