6 Years Ago, Panelists on the SNS FiRe Conference’s “CTO Design Challenge” Worked on Long-Term Solutions to Drought in California (and the World)
In keeping with the FiRe conference’s longtime focus not only on making accurate predictions about the future 3-5 years ahead in technology and the global economy, but also on being collaboration-, action-, and solutions-oriented, posting some of the takeaways from a FiRe 2009 panel workgroup on Water seems timely this month.
For those unfamiliar: the following blog excerpt by Glen Hiemstra (Futurist.com) describes the 2009 FiRe Conference’s “CTO Design Challenge”: “A final feature of the FiRe event has become the ‘CTO Design Challenge.’ Chief technology and information officers are given a problem to solve, and a couple of days to solve it. This year the challenge was the looming water shortages in and around San Diego [and the world – Ed.]. The team did an outstanding job… a highlight was the idea of covering canals with anti-evaporation covers, and those with solar cells to collect energy to run the pumps and provide excess energy from an already established right-of-way. Great idea.”
The solution-seekers for the Challenge – originally titled “Water Beyond Tomorrow: Using Technology and Innovation to Provide San Diego (and the World) with Adequate Safe Water for Future Decades” – were:
David Brin (Moderator; physicist & science fiction author)
Joe Burton (Cisco)
Ty Carlson (Microsoft – now at Amazon)
Per-Kristian Halvorsen (Intuit)
Eric Openshaw (Deloitte)
Larry Smarr (Calit2, UCSD)
Sophie Vandebroek (Xerox)
2009 Excerpts Selected in April 2015
Moderator David Brin: [This panel comprises] people who are paid every day to be right… to keep their companies going, to vet properly, to allocate resources properly, to be agile, to control teams, to manage and stimulate teams of creative people, and yet we’ve challenged them to be “envisioneers” today, for the last 48 hours – less than 48 hours.
Presenter Ty Carlson: We thought we’d [re]frame the problem as a definition of How to Survive in the Desert. Very appropriate, considering where we’re at, and the challenge everyone faces.
Moving the water: We need to be able to focus on making more water locally if we’re going to increase the supply.
… If we have to use desalinization at any scale, this water’s going to get very, very expensive. [Therefore] one of the options [the panel] looked at is reducing loss:
There are a number of pipelines in these areas, which makes good sense, but there are also the All-American and Coachella canals. Together they’re about 200 miles long and about 100 feet wide. These are open aqueducts running basically through the middle of the desert, in a very low-humidity environment. On the order of maybe 10% of loss is due to evaporation through these open canals. When you think of 3.1 or 4.4 million acre feet of water moving through these canals every year, there’s a lot of opportunity here….
The canals [could be covered] with a rubberized material to reduce that evaporation so there is no evaporation, because it’s now a closed system. Then on top of that, put on solar panels. These solar panels will not only power the pumping systems to be able to move the water through the district, but also provide extra power for San Diego County and the City of San Diego. You already have the right-of-way; you’re going basically through the middle of the desert.
Other Takeaways (Statistics subject to change since the creation of this solution set in 2009):
1) About 70% of California water is used by agriculture.
2) Growth in California is expected to be approx. 40% [as anticipated in 2009], so demand will increase. Rates may increase by 340% over the next few years, depending on demand and changes in behavior.
3) The current price of water that people are realizing does not reflect the true cost; therefore nothing is driving the behavioral changes we want to see.
4) We’re looking at multiple classes of water: potable water, gray water, black water, reclaimed water… There are some great opportunities to be able to use “purple pipes,” using reclaimed water.
5) We can reduce inefficiencies of processing… [Producers are] washing fruits and vegetables basically 3 times in order to get the bacterial count down. If you use the hydrofluorostats (?), a very low concentration that was approved by the Dept. of Health and the EPA, you could reduce that water wastage by basically two-thirds.
6) Conservation: Potential reductions: Commercial landscaping might be reducible by about 50%; household / consumer use by about 66%; industrial cooling by about 40%.
7) In San Diego City, the largest use of water is the City of SD. 19% of that water is for parks, typically for watering lawns.
8) Using hydroponics, or drips, to reduce the agricultural use in the production of food.
9) Empower the end user customers, so that if they’re making a change, they KNOW what type of change they’re making, how much improvement is going on. Log on, see your daily water usage so you can compare day-to-day and YTY, see avg. usage in your neighborhood and county. Smart meters, temperature and humidity with predictive capabilities.
9) Smartphone app to sense gray vs. black water.
10) Amortize the capital costs of these types of improvements via water bills; levels of incentives.
Canal covered with solar panels
Augmented Ocean Thermal Energy (OTEC)
Saltwater for industrial and downtown core
Technical solutions: Xerox PARC Filter, Living machines, Smart valves
Executive Branch Commits to Serious Penalties for Crown-Jewel Intellectual Property Theft – Addresses Espionage Described by INVNT/IP (an SNS Initiative) As “National Emergency”
The INVNT/IP Global Consortium, a Strategic News Service global initiative, has issued a strong public endorsement of President Barack Obama’s presidential order leveling sanctions against those who steal corporate trade secrets. It applauds and supports the President and Michael Daniel, Special Assistant to the President and Cybersecurity Coordinator, in their work to curtail the ongoing epidemic of other nations stealing America’s “crown jewel” intellectual property. The Consortium has now shown that this practice does irreparable harm to the US and global economy, and believes that President Obama’s Executive Order 13964, signed on April 1st, is the first major step in a difficult path toward more equitable global competition for innovating US firms.
INVNT/IP internal research shows that Chinese cyber espionage – an ongoing nation-sponsored project targeting crown-jewel intellectual property in firms worldwide – caused at least USD 2.27 trillion in damages to the US economy in just four economic subsectors between 2003 and 2013.
Non-classified INVNT/IP information indicates that the People’s Republic of China is responsible for 80% to 90% of the theft of crown-jewel intellectual property. INVNT/IP’s work further shows that Chinese state-sponsored groups are currently targeting innovating firms in 402 different sectors specifically chosen by the Politburo Standing Committee, seeking to steal and “digest” the intellectual property of leading firms and government bodies in the United States and abroad.
The Consortium anticipates that the President’s order paves the way for further action regarding the issue of economic espionage perpetrated against US firms and government organizations. In declaring such theft a national emergency, the directive authorizes strict economic consequences, including seizure of assets, restriction of travel, and prosecution by the Treasury and Attorney General in cases of significant financial harm to US interests through malicious cyber activity.
“The INVNT/IP Consortium encourages both parties in Congress to take additional steps in this direction, united by the understanding that technology drives the global economy, and state-sponsored theft of crown-jewel secrets is a direct attack on American jobs, families, companies, and the nation’s economic security.
“We fully support the President in this action and applaud his leadership in identifying the Number One threat to American workers and business owners today. Stealing corporate trade secrets is a calculated, illegal activity which has already destroyed entire global economic sectors, creating trillions of dollars in permanent damage to American towns and cities, our most innovative companies, and the country itself. The competitive struggle so often described today between the US and China is not one of legitimate competition, but rather is a battle between thieves and victims. This has to stop, and the President’s order is a great first step,” said Mark Anderson, CEO of the INVNT/IP Consortium.
INVNT/IP represents the world’s top technology companies in working with lead government agencies and universities worldwide to protect “crown jewel” intellectual property. The Consortium conducts active programs for the promotion of IP value recognition and protection through cooperation among its corporate members and global government network. It currently operates in Australia, the US, the UK, and the EU.
Global Thought Leaders Converge to Work on Solving Some of the World’s Greatest Challenges in Real-Time
Strategic News Service (SNS) is proud to announce that Mojio, the leading open platform for connecting cars, has been selected as a 2015 FiReStarter company to be featured at the 13th annual Future in Review (FiRe) conference. Described by The Economist as “the best technology conference in the world,” FiRe features global thought leaders in technology and the global economy, including Elon Musk, Craig Venter, Michael Dell, Vint Cerf, Leroy Hood, Patti Grace Smith, Mark Hurd, Paul Jacobs, and many others. FiReStarters are selected based on the strength of their innovations and their potential to bring positive change to the world, and are showcased at an exclusive investor reception at the FiRe conference, in panels throughout the event, and with ongoing relationships introduced and supported by SNS.
Mojio, headquartered in Vancouver, BC, is reinventing driving by keeping drivers connected to their favorite people, places, and things. Mojio’s award-winning 3G+GPS plug-and-play device connects through the car’s OBD-II port, opening up thousands of data points to Mojio’s cloud-based connected car platform. Through its innovative engineering solutions, Mojio is able to generate unparalleled insights on what’s happening under the hood, behind the wheel, and all around the car.
Mojio’s open platform makes it easy for third-party developers and partners to create apps that connect drivers with the products and services they want and need. The platform currently has more than 500 active developers producing automotive solutions to help everyone from a national fleet manager to teen drivers. This nimble and open approach to development is fostering a fast-growing apps ecosystem that supports the future of the connected car experience.
“At Mojio, we’re striving to be at the forefront of both the technology and automotive industries,” said Jay Giraud, Founder and CEO of Mojio. “We believe that continuous innovation is necessary, and we embody this entrepreneurial spirit at Mojio every day. Recognition as a FiReStarter company further validates our efforts to make driving more like the car commercials promised.”
“With all of the media focus on the Connected Car, we believe the driver has been left out of the technical conversation by and large, at least until now. Mojio brings information about cars to people, something I expect a large number of drivers to find exciting and compelling,” said Mark Anderson, FiRe Chair and CEO of the Strategic News Service.
Future in Review is a gathering of world-class thought leaders, convened each year with the goal of providing the most accurate look forward in technology. FiRe is a world leader in exploring how technology drives the world economy and in using technology to solve major social challenges. These goals have been consistently achieved through FiRe’s collaboration across technology-driven industries and through active support from the global FiRe community. Now in its 13th year, FiRe 2015 will take place October 6-9, 2015, at the Stein Eriksen Lodge Deer Valley in Park City, Utah.
At the 16th annual design and engineering software event, scientist/inventor/futurist/bestselling SF author David Brin will discuss what’s on the horizon for five years down the road, and technologist/prognosticator/advisor Mark R. Anderson will discuss strategic security issues and how they complicate software and impact risk.
Cyon Research announced today that David Brin will give the Friday keynote and Mark R. Anderson will give the Saturday keynote a at COFES 2015. COFES: The Congress On the Future of Engineering Software will be held in Scottsdale, Arizona from April 16-19 at the Scottsdale Plaza Resort.
The two keynotes resonate with the COFES 2015 theme: “Stepping Back to See the Big Picture.”
Engineers and software professionals spend the majority of their time getting things done, tightly focused on execution of tasks and plans. Along the way, they are continuously faced with choices, big and small. Too often, decisions are made in the narrow context of what is directly in front of them. This year, COFES takes a giant step backwards in order to challenge attendees to broaden their view: to think about thinking about the bigger picture.
Brin’s keynote is “The murky road ahead: from an Internet of Things to human augmentation and AI… Looking beyond the five year ROI horizon.” According to Brin, responsible companies and chief engineers must focus on the five year return on investment, but they must also consider other horizons. If they do not, they could face the same demise as great companies like Polaroid, Kodak and Xerox. His keynote will focus on determining how much time/energy/budget should be spent on exploring the realm of “what-if” possibilities.
Anderson’s keynote is centered on “Security, Risk, and Software: Protecting Crown Jewels from State-sponsored Theft.” Anderson explains that it is impossible to gauge risk levels in the protection of corporate secrets today without understanding the role of national business models built upon crown jewel IP theft. In his keynote, Anderson will describe the latest research into the causes and levels of effort behind large-scale, state-sponsored Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) attacks. Lastly, having briefed the White House, CIA, NSA and other government agencies here and abroad, he will share some of the same suggestions on pragmatic ways to address these risks.
“David Brin and Mark R. Anderson are both highly sought-after for their depth and breadth of knowledge and their proven ability to foresee major changes to society and the economy,” said Brad Holtz, president and CEO of Cyon Research Corporation. “Their vision and insights will leave attendees with significant takeaways, knowledge, and a bigger picture perspective.”
“No one does predictions like Mark Anderson, whose forecasts about the intersection of the economy and technology are closely followed in Silicon Valley. He has a global view of what’s the next big thing and place along an eye for hot products and countries that about to take a dive. Anderson is head of Strategic News Service, a newsletter publisher for industry leaders and venture capitalists. It claims a readership that includes Dell CEO, Michael Dell, Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Microsoft’s Bill Gates. Recently, Mark Anderson listed his predictions for 2015 during a gathering in San Francisco. Here are his key points…”
At Forbes.com Mark Anderson CEO, Strategic News Service, discusses the impact of cyber espionage on the tech industry:
“In the last few years, we’ve seen a continued exponential increase in cyber attacks, with different purposes in mind: blocking bank operations, listening to military communications, stealing customer IDs, and taking the greatest secrets held by corporations and governments – their “crown jewel” secrets. The results have been uniformly negative, and wildly different in levels of damage. ”
From our SNS Report dated Oct 2, 2014: “SNS Australia: Dancing in the Deadly Embrace”, in Upgrades and Numbers:“Peak Pricing, Not Peak Oil”
“I’ve long said that the real price of oil – meaning, the cost of getting it out of the ground plus making a reasonable (vs. rapacious) profit – is in the $14/bbl range. With increased costs for difficulty of retrieval (deeper wells and waters) and more advanced technology, that price should be higher; perhaps it’s $45-$55 today.
“Here’s a quick look at where prices are going:
“While a chartist might see the end of this fall somewhere around $90/bbl, I am suggesting that we have much further to go.
“$50/bbl should do it. How long will it take? Since I think China is hitting a real set of economic blocks, I am expecting this to be sooner, rather than later; perhaps 5 years or less, rather than 10.
“And since this will change almost everything in global economics, it seems worth sharing with our members.
“Despite the problems around cybersecurity and theft, technology
continues to make strides that will lead to dramatic changes in the coming
That’s one of the many takeaways from Mark Anderson in his annual top
technology and economic predictions presentation, held on Friday, Jan. 9, at
Whatcom Community College. The event was organized by the Northwest
Technology Alliance Group.”
When Dalian Wanda, China’s largest commercial real estate and entertainment firm, bought the US’ second-largest theater chain, AMC, a few years ago, I wondered what the result would be.
Already, we had started to see the effects of China’s desire to move its censorship efforts offshore and into the US film industry, with the increase in various levels of pandering to Chinese censors by US studios in an effort to get Chinese domestic distribution. Double endings, Chinese heros, Chinese settings, and even Chinese script approval, all became part of the new economics of making more money on blockbuster films.
This week, as Sony wrestled with how to manage the damage from North Korea’s hack of its networks, it waited for theater chains to ring in. According to the LA times, Regal decided not to cancel, but to delay showing The Interview, a comedy based on “taking out” Kim Jung Un.
And then AMC announced it would pull all of its US theaters out of distribution for the film. It was AFTER AMC’s announcement that Sony decided to pull not just the single Christmas day showing, but the entire distribution of the film.
Could Sony have launched the film in defiance of AMC’s pullout? I seriously doubt it.
Result: For all intents and purposes, it appears that China censored the American film offerings this season, and not Sony.
For some reason, all of the press seems to have missed this story to date.