Vanishing Point

How Flash Mobs and Unions Reveal the Future of Consumer Rights

Posted by Phil Cunningham

September 7, 2016 at 10:05 AM

The 1973 story “Flash Crowd” describes an event in a future world in which an argument in a public location swells into a small riot. The news reports the event, spawning a social disruption that grows and intensifies with incredible speed.


In the 43 years hence, Flash Crowds – now known as Flash Mobs – have taken various forms. In 2003, 130 people gathered at a Manhattan Macy’s, wanting to buy a rug for the warehouse where they claimed to live together. This was followed by a group of 200 people breaking into 15 seconds of ‘spontaneous’ applause in a hotel. Flash Mobs have evolved into pranks, artworks, and even political movements (e.g., the Arab Spring uprising).

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Is Water the World’s Greatest Security Risk?

Posted by Deb Westphal

August 31, 2016 at 9:00 AM

Hyperconnectivity, the broadening and strengthening network that is rapidly encompassing every human on the planet, has been a driving force of globalization. This spread has played a necessary role in linking machines, objects and people, enabling greater levels of collaboration, and opening the boundaries between markets and economies. Yet it also has brought about unintended consequences.


Across the world, enterprise and government leaders are challenged to create and sustain progress in an environment that is increasingly complicated to understand, plan for, and adapt to. The very thing that broke down boundaries and pulled societies, economies, businesses, governments, and people into a shared global playing field has continued to evolve. This new state has produced new ‘hyper-polar’ opportunities, struggles for ownership, and demand for shared resources and responsibilities.

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A Billion Dollar (Shave Club) Case for Simplicity in Innovation

Posted by Dave Baber

August 24, 2016 at 9:30 AM

Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication.
~ Leonardo da Vinci

While it may seem counterintuitive in our era of rapid technological advancement, many of our most successful current innovation case studies involve simplification. In these cases, an existing marketplace was disrupted by a group of people who reconsidered what a product or service should do, and then systematically pared it back to its most fundamental value.

This process of stripping away requires the courage to ask questions and consider alternatives to currently accepted ‘norms.’ Armed with that foundation, teams can be strategic with a creative process that is optimistic, human focused, iterative, and broadly impactful.

A Billion Dollar Case for Simplifying

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Why it’s Change or Die in the Brave New Biodigital World

Posted by Gregory Weber

August 17, 2016 at 9:30 AM

The Third Wave, which ushered in an era of realities like global hyper-connectivity, disintermediation, big data, and digitally driven collaboration, is ‘cresting’ toward another major disruption. With this incredible progress in how we break down barriers and interact have come new challenges in how we mitigate the risks that threaten that progress.

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These People Can Lead Your Innovation and Transformation

Posted by Hans Davies

August 10, 2016 at 9:30 AM

Most discussions of strong leaders read like a Who’s Who of our time – Franklin Delano Roosevelt (and his wife, Eleanor, for that matter), Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela. The impact of these brilliant and self-sacrificing individuals is not up for dispute. But in the Knowledge Age, when change is the norm and organizational transformations are common, it’s short-sighted to look only to those who have played a starring role in world affairs.


Leaders of all kinds continue to shape our future. In fact, our increasing state of hyperconnectedness and constant pursuit of innovation means that an individual focused on achieving an outcome has the necessary capacity to be the right leader for an organization undergoing a transformation.


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Finding Your Place in the Innovation Ecosystem

Posted by Eric Chase

August 3, 2016 at 9:11 AM

The biosphere is the sum of all the ecosystems. It is alternatively fragile and incredibly resilient, based on the extent to which its components work in harmony. An innovation ecosystem is the sum of internal and external opportunities and challenges. It is alternatively fragile or incredibly resilient based on the extent to which its components work in harmony.

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Balancing Privacy and Security in the Pokémon Go Era

Posted by Tyler Sweatt

July 27, 2016 at 9:32 AM

“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety
deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

~ Ben Franklin


When Ben Franklin wrote those words almost 300 years ago, he was addressing a concern about exchanging physical and intellectual liberties for security – what the people would give to the king in exchange for protection.


Today, we willingly sacrifice liberties in exchange for security. Yet, in our hyperconnected world, we face a similar challenge as we consider trading privacy for security, simplicity, and customization. The digitalization of the world is in full swing, and debates about privacy and security dominate discussions. Just during these summer months, terrorist events, cyber crimes, and crazes like Pokémon Go have shown just how connected we are to one another and how vulnerable we are as a result.


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The Upside of Armageddon Lies in the 'What if'

Posted by Dave Baber

July 20, 2016 at 11:43 AM

Pretty much everywhere you read, look, or listen, stories of advancement are met with reasons to think the sky is falling. Internet security is full of holes, our financial infrastructure is prone to all kinds of data breaches, AI could be “summoning the demon” – the list is long and full of worry. Rather than adding to the dystopian sandwich board messages and fear mongering, we’d like to propose an alternative.

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Innovation Can’t Exist without Reinvigoration

Posted by Nina Martire

July 13, 2016 at 1:00 PM

The scale of innovation has thrust us into an era when ‘change or die’ is more than a platitude. Transformation is a constant imperative not just for Future Proofing®, but for day-to-day sustainability.[1]


We talk a lot about innovation. A lot of people talk a lot about innovation. As we should. It’s the act of creating something new. It’s the disruption of something known to make it bigger, better, or more accessible. It’s establishing connections between things that were once disparate. But it’s also the new thing itself that illuminates possibility, solves problems, and creates markets – and market leaders.


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The Lifelong Learner: How Alvin Toffler Shaped the Future

Posted by Deb Westphal

July 6, 2016 at 12:04 PM

Alvin Toffler, the namesake and founder of Toffler Associates passed away on June 27, 2016. The news spread quickly across the globe through social media, press coverage, and personal reflections. Many of the conversations centered on the impact of his bestselling books. While it’s true his impact on the general population was in large part promulgated by books like Future Shock, The Third Wave, and Powershift, it was the people behind the books – not the books themselves – that transformed how individuals, businesses, and governments think about the present and future.


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