Roadmapping the Future:
Anab Jain asks individuals and organizations to "stop shouting future, and start doing it," which means going beyond speculative workshops and into work mode. The challenge here is that work of better-future-making is, well, work. That work requires sacrifice and the kind of patience that is rare in the world of business: a willingness to plant seeds of change that won't bear fruit in the span of a financial quarter or two. As Jain writes: "While the appetite for innovative ideas abounds, there is less gumption when it comes to following alternative trajectories."
Humans are terrestrial creatures, with terrestrial features that make many of us ill-suited for the zero-gravity hazards of space travel. Rose Eveleth, writing for WIRED, examines the idea that people with certain disabilities may be better adapted for space travel, once again underscoring that the future not only belongs to all of us, but requires all of us.
Machines for Moving:
Just a few weeks ago we linked to Postmates' launch of a delivery robot, and now Amazon has announced their own entrant into the category. Given that cities are struggling to make sensible policies to address streets and sidewalks crowded by existing modes of transport (like the current controversies around electric scooters, dockless bikes, or Mayor de Blasio's e-bike crackdown), the growing hordes of delivery robots will almost certainly mean more chaos and conflict than slick press releases suggest.
A new service from TerraCycle, called Loop, is designed to deliver a more circular relationship between big consumer packaged goods companies like Proctor & Gamble and their customers. The service delivers reusable containers directly to users, then ships them back to producers for cleaning and refilling.
The electronics waste stream is growing faster than any other discarded goods or material category. E-waste is hard to process, but contains small quantities of valuable metals that, in aggregate, amounts to a substantial sum. A recent report from a group called the Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy says that the total value of the world's e-waste exceeds $60B per year.