Each week Nikolas Badminton, Futurist Speaker, summarizes the top-5 future looking developments and news items that I find to be inspiring, interesting, concerning, or downright strange. Each day he reads through dozens of blogs and news websites to find those things that we should be aware of.
In Future Trends – 4600 mph Spyplane we look at Lockheed’s new SR-72 Spyplane, dropping blood from the sky in Rwanda, falling renewable energy, EV car sales surging, and the future of work for women.
Lockheed confident of being able to build a 4600 mph spyplane drone in 2018
In March 2016, Lockheed CEO Hewson stated that the company was on the verge of a technological breakthrough that would allow its conceptual SR-72 hypersonic plane to reach Mach 6. A hypersonic demonstrator aircraft the size of an F-22 stealth fighter could be built for less than $1 billion.
The 4600mph SR-72 unmanned drone could have a flying prototype in 2018.
Read more at nextBIG Future
Blood from the Sky: Zipline’s Ambitious Medical Drone Delivery in Africa
You can hear the drone before it’s visible, whining like a mosquito above the hillside grounds of Rwanda’s Kabgayi District Hospital. Emerging through a patch of fog, roughly 100 feet in the air, the small plane quickly disappears again, circling in an oblong pattern as it descends toward an altitude low enough to make its drop. After a period of silence, it’s suddenly back, swooping over the roof of Kabgayi’s accident ward to drop its payload on the driveway with a thud. On the ground lies a red cardboard container, roughly the size of a shoebox, attached to a parachute made of wax paper and biodegradable tape. The contraption may resemble a children’s art project, but its contents are lifesaving. Packed tightly inside are two units of human blood, which will probably soon be used for transfusions during surgeries or complicated childbirths, or to treat young victims of malaria.
Read more at MIT Technology Review
‘Spectacular’ drop in renewable energy costs leads to record global boost
Renewable energy capacity around the world was boosted by a record amount in 2016 and delivered at a markedly lower cost, according to new global data – although the total financial investment in renewables actually fell.
The greater “bang-for-buck” resulted from plummeting prices for solar and wind power and led to new power deals in countries including Denmark, Egypt, India, Mexico and the United Arab Emirates all being priced well below fossil fuel or nuclear options.
Analysts warned that the US’s withdrawal from the Paris climate change agreement, announced last week by Donald Trump, risked the US being left behind in the fast-moving transition to a low-carbon economy. But they also warned that the green transition was still not happening fast enough to avoid the worst impacts of global warming, especially in the transport and heating sectors.
Read more at The Guardian
Electric Car Sales Are Surging, IEA Reports
The number of electric vehicles on the road rocketed to 2 million in 2016 after being virtually non-existent just five years ago, according to the International Energy Agency.
Registered plug-in and battery-powered vehicles on roads worldwide rose 60 percent from the year before, according to the Global EV Outlook 2017 reportfrom the Paris-based IEA. Despite the rapid growth, electric vehicles still represent just 0.2 percent of total light-duty vehicles.
“China was by far the largest electric car market, accounting for more than 40 percent of the electric cars sold in the world and more than double the amount sold in the United States,” the IEA wrote in the report published Wednesday. “It is undeniable that the current electric car market uptake is largely influenced by the policy environment.”
Read more at Bloomberg
The future of work is one of the biggest industry buzzwords at the moment. With 260 million hits on Google in May 2017, this only confirms its undeniable relevance. It’s crazy to think that twenty years ago the technology that my startup was built upon did not exist; neither did the flexible work structures, environments, work life balance and various roles that have become fundamental to running many businesses.
As technology pushes many entrepreneurs and startups towards a “new era of work”, we also face the impending reality of 2 billion jobs disappearing by 2030. So how will these changes affect women?
Read more at Forbes