Jack Uldrich
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Pearls, Salt and Aluminum: An Unusual Guide to Understanding the Future

Posted in Future, History

In 41 B.C., Cleopatra is reported to dissolved a giant pearl—worth 10,000,000 sesterces (approximately the net worth of 15 countries at the time)—into a glass of wine vinegar in effort to demonstrate to Mark Anthony the extent of her wealth. Today, we can grow “cultured” pearls and the material is a fraction of its former…


Will Everyone Wang Chung in the Future?

Posted in Convergence, Future, Futurist, History, Innovation, Music, Unlearning

Last week, it was announced for the first time that old records outsold new records. As a futurist and business forecaster, this is noteworthy because while many people can grasp how the Internet, digitization and social networking are opening up a new future, they are simultaneously causing a growing number of people to be exposed…


Farming the Future for Insights

Posted in Agriculture, History

As I was preparing my keynote presentation for the AgGateway 2011 Annual Conference (which I’ll deliver tomorrow in Las Vegas), it occurred to me that 100 years ago (when the population of the United States was roughly 160 million), 50 percent of all Americans were involved with agriculture–meaning 80 million people. Today, there are an…


Shedding Some Light on the Coming Genomic Revolution

Posted in Aging Services, Agriculture, Cancer, Disruptive Technology, Exponential Executive, Future, Futurist, Genomics, Health Care, History, Impossible, TED Talks

Twenty-two hundred years ago, you needed to work 50 hours to buy an hour of light from a sesame oil lantern. Today, to purchase an hour of an even cleaner and brighter light, it takes the average person about half a second. Such is the nature of technological progress. Yet, I think we can all…


The Anti-Cemetery of Unlearning

Posted in Anti-Library, Future, Health Care, History

In my new book, Higher Unlearning: 39 Post-Requisite Lessons for Achieving a Successful Future, Lesson #1 is entitled “Unlearn or Die.” In the short chapter, I recount the story of how it took the British Navy 247 years from the time it discovered citrus fruit prevented scurvy to the time it actually implemented an official…


God Dome It! Unlearn!

Posted in Arts, Catholic Church, Change, Creativity, Design, History, Illusion, Imagination, Innovation, Metaphor, New Cards, Opposite May Also be True, Perspective, Problems into Opportunities, The Way We See the Problem, Way We See the Problem

The Saint Ignatius church in Rome was originally designed to include a cupola. For financial reasons, the feature was never built. In moment, sparked by Divine intervention perhaps, Church officials hired Andrea Pozzo to paint a fake dome on the ceiling over the altar. Today, more than 300 years later, many visitors are shocked to…


Disenthrall to Unlearn

Posted in Future, History

In today's Wall Street Journal Matt Ridley has an excellent article on unlearning. In it, however, he credits someone else with pairing the concept of unlearning with Abraham Lincoln's use of the word "disenthrall." For the record, I did it two years ago in this post. Related Posts To Unlearn: Learn to Disenthrall Teach Unlearning…


Into the Unknown: A Historical Metaphor

Posted in Analogy, Books, History, Metaphor, Stories

In 2004, I wrote the book Into the Unknown: Leadership Lessons from Lewis & Clark’s Daring Westward Expedition. One of my favorite stories—because it has so much relevance for today’s business leaders —occurred in early June 1805. On June 2, 1805, Lewis and Clark approached a fork in the Missouri River. During their consultations with…


Dispel Old Ignorance

Posted in Analogy, Education, History, Quotes

In his famous speech at Rice University where he declared that it was America's intention to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade, President Kennedy said "the greater our knowledge increases, the greater our ignorance unfolds," adding that "the vast stretches of the unknown and the unanswered and the unfinished…


Unlearning a Personal Perspective of the Holocaust

Posted in History, Poland, Visual unlearning

I recently had the opportunity to visit the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC. It was an enlightening experience and my 10 year-old daughter is now reading the diary of Anne Frank. Nevertheless, as I explained yesterday in this post on visual unlearning, often if data can be presented in a new way it can lead…


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