the problem with patents

Have patents outlived their usefulness?

Are patents still a useful invention to carry forward into the future? Unaffordable price increases in the medical industry (where patent hoarding is a common practice where well-funded firms stock up on pre-emptive patents - i.e. patents for hypothetical future medtech innovations, new drugs, and medical devices) indicate that abuse of patents might be part … Continue reading Have patents outlived their usefulness?

hollywood cults and culture

On cults, climate and culture

Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood - based, of course (loosely) on the infamous, real-life story of the Manson Family's murder of Sharon Tait and her friends story gives us a glimpse of the dark side of happy hippie culture - and how counter-culture-culture can turn into a cult. Recently, I was asked to co-author … Continue reading On cults, climate and culture

Bronwyn williams futurist and trend analyst

Trend retrospective, a decade in the rearview mirror

At the end of last year, I was asked to write a few thoughts on the most important, most disruptive technological milestones for each year of the last decade that will continue to have an impact in the future of the decade to come. Here follows the original version of that article, before it was edited … Continue reading Trend retrospective, a decade in the rearview mirror

when reality becomes unstuck

Nothing is real, everything is possible

One of the big trends and socio-economic trajectories I'm focused on right now is the concept of how life is becoming untethered from reality. I'm not just talking about virtual / augmented reality and literal virtual escapism; and fake news and deep fakes either (although that's indeed an important part of it), rather I'm talking … Continue reading Nothing is real, everything is possible

the future starts NOW book with bronwyn williams futurist

The Future Starts Now

The choices we make today, as individuals, as businesses, and as societies ripple out all around us, amplifying over time. What will future generations – our children and our grandchildren (indeed, even our future selves, should we live long enough, as well we could)- make of the choices we are making on their behalf? The … Continue reading The Future Starts Now

deep fake history

Can we build a shared future without a shared past?

As deep fake technologies "improve", they now have the ability to manipulate the past as well as the future. We can no longer be sure that a historical document, photograph or even video footage has not been manipulated to change history (in ways not even Orwell's Big Brother could have imagined). Case in point, here … Continue reading Can we build a shared future without a shared past?

The True Believer

The true believer

Eric Hoffer was an American dock worker. An everyman. Not a rich man, not a man you would have noticed in the streets in the 1930s and 1940s. One of the nameless, voiceless masses we live and work with every day. But he was more than that. He was also a keen observer of human … Continue reading The true believer

ancient gods Wikimedia image new gods new religions

(A)I Am

When fallible human priests fail to fill the void, and reveal themselves to be more human than divine; we turn to man-made synthetic deities. Japan's robot priest confirms that we are looking for new gods for our new age - made in our own image, yet perfectly, and programmable. (And not all that different from … Continue reading (A)I Am

reflections of a revolution in france

Reflections on the Revolution in France

Reflections on the Revolution in France... a  book written by a rich Englishman of leisure, critiquing the working-class French Revolution from the other side of the pond... Revealing, (although perhaps more revealing of Burke himself than the author may have intended) as much for what it gets wrong about the French revolution itself (Burke was … Continue reading Reflections on the Revolution in France

spy secrets lies futurist

Secrets and Lies

I don't know about you, but I cannot live without a few secrets. Without secrets, without a private inner life, we lose our individuality and our sense of self. Today though, we are bombarded with messages telling us that privacy is worth sacrificing for the greater good; for the good of community security, for the … Continue reading Secrets and Lies