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Social Technologies ) In the News

S)T in the News: February 2008
Social Technologies Founder Tom Conger talks about the Future of DC
Article by Ellen Ryan / Washingtonian magazine

Hot off the presses is the February 2008 issue of Washingtonian magazine featuring an article (pdf) about Social Technologies’ founder Tom Conger. The magazine’s managing editor, Ellen Ryan, interviewed Conger about the changes we’re are likely to see in the coming years.

Conger shared some thoughts on how his children will live as adults in 10 or 15 years, what robots will do for the average home, and how valued-based buying decisions will affect what is sold at grocery stores.

He also talked about why DC is a great place to be working as a futurist:

“You get to see a lot of the future in Washington before anywhere else because of the mix of cultures and the openness here. For instance, couples of different races are so commonplace here that you don’t notice them much, but in other places, even if people are completely accepting, you notice them more.”

When asked about what he has learned most as a futurist, Conger said:

“We often admire least in children what we admire most in adults. I see families visiting the monuments of DC, and the parents are reprimanding their children for the very values and behaviors being honored at those monuments: nonconformity, independent thinking, zealousness, bravery, leadership, protesting what appears to be unfair or inequitable.

“With three boys of my own, I sympathize. But I often fast-forward the behavior to another time and place, when my adult children are exhibiting the same behavior at the helm of a company or at a political rally or in any challenging situation that adults must face. It makes me proud—and keeps me from wringing their necks.”

The February issue of Washingtonian is on sale now.

S)T in the News: Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Futurist Chris Carbone talks about Motion Theory
Article by Diane Mehta / Fast Company

If you’ve watched a TV commercial or music video lately, you’ve probably noticed that a new style has emerged.

That’s thanks to companies like California-based Motion Theory, writes reporter Diane Mehta in an article entitled “Loco Motion” in the February 2008 issue of Fast Company magazine. These producers are “reinventing the TV commercial, even the look of video itself, and changing the way advertisers and other clients connect with the public,” explains Mehta, who asked Social Technologies’ Chris Carbone to weigh in on the trend.

He said the visual-effects trend is about ratcheting up expectations:

“Younger consumers—digital natives—grew up in a world where their baseline was The Matrix, The Lord of the Rings, and Spider Man,” he says. “But now that world-class effects are the standard, visuals need to be integrated in the message even more than in the past, and that’s true of movies or marketing.”

View the article.

S)T in the News: December 31, 2007
Futurist Josh Calder talks about trends in island living
Article by Perry Garfinkel / The New York Times

On Sunday, Dec. 30, Social Technologies’ Josh Calder was quoted in a New York Times article about trends affecting life on islands. Calder has traveled to hundreds of islands and has a website on the topic: www.futuristmovies.com.

NYT reporter Perry Garfinkel talked to Calder about why increasing numbers of people are flocking to island life:

“It’s not just the romantic fantasy of what islands represent in literature and mythology or people’s own vacation memories,” said Joshua Calder, director of the global lifestyles project for Social Technologies, a research firm based in Washington, and an island buff with his own Web site, www.WorldIslandInfo.com. “It’s also the fact that bodies of water separate them from everything they want to escape on the mainland — development, traffic, stressed-out work lives, anonymity in urban and suburban communities, bad relationships. Once on the ferry, they leave all that behind.”

View the article.

S)T in the News: Monday, December 24, 2007
Andy Hines talks about the Workplace in 2020
Article by Lisa Belkin / The New York Times

In an article that ran in the Dec. 13 issue of the New York Times, “You won’t find me in my office, I’m working,” reporter Lisa Belkin talked about the growing trend of “white space,” the place where workers go to think, write, and be creative. She spoke with S)T’s Andy Hines about the topic.

Hines said: “White space is “what we are looking for when we have thinking to do.”

Mr. Hines often starts his lectures by asking his audience to name the place where they come up with their most creative ideas. The profession and salary level and age of the respondents might vary from one audience to the next, he said, but the results are always the same.

The workplace, he said, is “either not mentioned or is mentioned near the very end of the list, after all the other places have been exhausted.” Mr. Hines, it should be noted, said he does his best work while running or reclining in his favorite chair.

View the article.

Belkin and Hines continued their conversation later in the day on New York Public Radio.

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