Identifying Signals of Transformation

August 19, 2019

The Emergent Futures Report identifies global signals of transformation, shaped by research and conversations with innovators in academia, industry, and the arts, produced by swissnex San Francisco as part of a larger foresight publication by Armasuisse Science & Technology.

As a convening hub for interdisciplinary conversations between the innovation ecosystems of Switzerland and Silicon Valley, swissnex San Francisco is uniquely positioned to observe the “emergent future” — the technologies and ideas that create sudden transformations of our lives.

The Emergent Futures Report collects observations and insights from our partners in Switzerland and the Bay Area, presenting signals of what’s to come. By expanding access to this foresight beyond the walls of Pier 17, we hope to increase a broader, cross-cultural understanding to help prepare our stakeholders for surprising opportunities and unexpected challenges.

  1. Reimagining Mobility collects signals related to the rise of the megacity, with a focus on mobility and the movement of people, from autonomous vehicles to the future of public transport and navigation.
  2. The Energy Paradox explores the global innovation sparked by the urgent need to power a growing planet coupled with the demands of the climate crisis — the report highlights global developments in carbon capture and potential sources of tomorrow’s clean energy.
  3. The Widening Stream examines possible transformations of communications technologies such as 5G and quantum networks, which promise near-instantaneous speeds and denser simultaneous connections.
  4. Information & Induced Complexity turns to science fiction scenarios to examine how humans and machines might navigate information in an era when data is generated on an unprecedented scale.
  5. Threats & Vulnerabilities peers deep into the shadows of Utopian tech. The threats of tomorrow require an awareness of our vulnerabilities and an investment in solutions. But technologies do not evolve in a vacuum — we go beyond fear-mongering to uncover how new threats could spark innovative approaches to contain them.