These days, when migrants arrive at a refugee camp, one of the first things they ask for is access to WiFi and electricity to recharge their cell phones. Their smartphone is as basic a resource for survival as food and water. This is a vivid reminder of the fact that we are fully immersed in a digital world.
“Great dreams aren’t just visions,” says Astro Teller, “They’re visions coupled to strategies for making them real.” The head of X (formerly Google X), Teller takes us inside the “moonshot factory,” as it’s called, where his team seeks to solve the world’s biggest problems through experimental projects like balloon-powered Internet and wind turbines that sail through the air. Find out X’s secret to creating an organization where people feel comfortable working on big, risky projects and exploring audacious ideas.
2016 was a big year for crowdsourcing. In our final edition of What’s New for the year, we clearly see how crowdsourcing is being used to create transparency and provide citizens with an active voice in our local governments. Crowdsourcing continues to play an important part in new product development for large and small companies, and our new capacities to collect scientific and locational data is proving to be game-changing. Check out the latest news stories from around the world.
The revolution in self-driving vehicles has advanced faster than insurance companies can react to it. These cars introduce unique factors that must be integrated into the models that are used to set insurance premiums. At this time, coverage for self-driving cars is set using the same formulas as for traditional cars. Not long ago, there was a fatality involving the Tesla Model S. This occurred while the vehicle’s Autopilot mode was active. The case brought new attention to the risks of using self-driving cars on the road, and insurance companies noticed.
Visions and consequently major innovations are molded by the technical and human revolutions that industries live in. In a time when just one big industrial revolution existed, every company simply had to follow the common path (see production automation in the 60′s-70′s). The 20th century car industry was a good example. Then Internet technology came onto the scene (more complex and diverse than the web from the early 2000′s) and the thread for innovation is no longer so straight forward.