(Editor’s note: This week, my colleague, Jeff Appelquist, and I will be in Montana battling the heat and conducting our 3-day experiential leadership seminar, Into the Unknown: Exploring the Leadership Lessons of Lewis & Clark and the Corps of Discovery. If you or your organization are interested in learning more about the program, please feel free to contact me directly.)
Think: If you’re in the agricultural industry–especially calf, cow, chicken production–this is an article worth a few minutes of your “thinking” time: Governments Have Invested $1 Billion in Better Meat Alternatives. While $1 billion isn’t a huge number in terms of government investments, the trend of “alternative”–or lab-grown–meats is a trend worth monitoring. Personally, I believe “alternative” meats will remain a niche player in the global protein market for the foreseeable future but I could be proven wrong. A few things caught my attention in this article. First, it was the first time I had heard of lab-grown meat as being referred to as “no-kill” meat. The product is, of course, exactly the same regardless of what one calls it, but marketing does matter and “no-kill” is a catchy way to rebrand lab-grown meat. Secondly, I also thought the points the article made about alternative meats being a potential remedy to food security were interesting.
Think Historically: “An early 15th century futurist would have bet on China.” That line from this article, What Medieval China Teaches Us About Overregulating Innovation, caught my attention and serves as a good reminder that while “stability” can be a good thing, it can also lead to stagnation and, ultimately, decline if a government attempts to enforce its own idea of “stability” on a society–as China did in the 15th century. I mention this because there are voices on both the right and the left that are seeking to impose limits on technological progress. Regardless of how well-intentioned such measures are, they can also backfire or have unintended consequences.
Think Like a Child: If you want to learn to think better, it is in your interest to cultivate a child-like curiosity. This article on how to nurture curiosity in children is a good primer. (FYI: There is a huge difference between being child-like and childish. The former is good and involves seeing the world with wonder, the latter is bad and implies acting as if there are no consequences to one’s actions. (H/T to Seth Godin for eloquently pointing out this important distinction between “child-like” and “childish”.)
Think in Questions: If you’re in the utility energy industry or a proponent of renewable energy, here’s a good question to ask yourself: Are Grid-forming inverters the key to renewable energy’s future?
Think Different: As a futurist, I try to pay closer attention to things that challenge my assumptions and/or violate some expectation of mine. A case-in-point is this article about Rockwell Automation building an urban farm. The article doesn’t provide a detailed explanation for the company’s decision to build an urban farm but the fact that it is hoping to supply fresh produce to its neighbors in Milwaukee is an interesting development. Urban agriculture continues to be a trend worth watching.