About Social Technologies — Hope Gibbs served as the leader of corporate communications at this global futurist research and consulting firm from January 2007 through August 2008. There, she managed the public relations department, coordinating PR efforts between DC office, Shanghai, London, and Tel Aviv. She wrote a press release each week, numerous blog entries, updated the company’s website, served as managing editor of its quarterly newsletter ChangeWaves, and promoted books and other S)T publications.
Success Story — Due to her efforts, the company’s analysts were quoted in some of the nation’s top business publications including Forbes, MSNBC, BusinessWeek, SmartMoney, and the New York Times. Analysts were also featured on the CBS Early Show, ABC, and the Fox Business Report. For more, visit Social Technologies’ blog, http://changewaves.socialtechnologies.com.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington DC, June 28, 2008 — Consumers have long hoped that medical and pharmacological research would lead to a so-called “fat pill,” an easy-to-use pharmaceutical answer to the growing scourge of obesity.
Social Technologies’ analyst Christopher Kent recently considered this possibility as part of our series on discontinuities (those sudden, sharp breaks that can strike consumers, business sectors, nations, or the world with disruptive force).
“The ideal solution would allow consumers to continue their regular eating and lifestyle behaviors without gaining weight,” Kent explains, noting two drugs in development, Rimonabant and Alli, offer some benefits of an anti-obesity pill, but neither is 100% effective–and both may have serious side effects.
By Hope Katz Gibbs, Managing Editor
Client: Social Technologies
Topic: The Future of Virtual Worlds
Book review: Making Money in the Metaverse
When Daniel Terdiman set out to write a book about Linden Lab’s virtual world Second Life (SL), the award-winning CNET News.com reporter was hoping to answer
one basic question: Can you really make money in the metaverse?
The answer is yes, and Terdiman proves how in his 309-page glossy trade book published last October by Wiley. In 11 chapters, he offers a multitude of ideas about what it takes to become a successful cyberpreneur. He also covers the history and economics behind Linden Labs, and even offers case studies and business plans.
But Terdiman doesn’t sugar coat the reality of making money in the land of avatars and sims. “Despite some breathless press reports that suggest that making money in Second Life is as easy as shooting fish in a barrel, that really isn’t true,” he insists. “The reality is that conceiving and running a Second Life business is, in many ways, very much like doing so with any kind of business. Those who do well are the ones who come up with a plan, commit to it, put in the time required, and are willing to be flexible as conditions demand.”
How exactly does all this work and what is the future of Second Life? Change)Waves managing editor Hope Katz Gibbs recently interviewed Terdiman about that and other aspects of his book.
By Futurist Andy Hines
and Hope Katz Gibbs, managing editor
Client: Social Technologies
Topic: The Future of Youth Happiness
The question intrigued us: What makes 12- to 24-year olds happy today and going forward into the future? We had some basic ideas—we figured that friends and technology would be important to this group. But how did they feel about religion, their parents, fame, and money? We were eager to find out.
To set the stage, our team at Social Technologies read everything we could find about what scientists and psychologists know about happiness. Merging this with our understanding of youth trends and behaviors allowed us to create about a dozen hypotheses about youth happiness.
Then, along with a team from MTV, we sat down with about five-dozen young people at Starbucks coffee shops in Atlanta, Phoenix, and Philadelphia, and began to explore our hypotheses in these informal focus groups.
Soon after, MTV enlisted the Associated Press to add a quantitative component to our qualitative findings. Their researchers polled 1,280 more youths in the 12-to-24-age range, and in late August 2007, published a series of press releases based on this data.
By Hope Katz Gibbs, managing editor
Client: Social Technologies
Topic: Premier Issue
Anthropologist Helen Fisher on WHY WE LOVE
What is love? Why do we choose the people we choose? How do men and women vary in their romantic feelings? Is there really love at first sight? How did love evolve?
For decades, Rutgers University anthropologist Dr. Helen Fisher has been working to answer these eternal questions. The 62-year old has traveled from the Kalahari Desert in southern Africa to Tokyo, Moscow, and back to her home in New York City to determine if one culture perceives love differently than another.
“My research has proven to me that everywhere, people fail into romantic love,” she explains in her current book, Why We Love. “And I have come to see this passion as a fundamental human drive. Like the craving for food and water and the maternal instinct, it is a psychological need, a profound urge, an instinct to court and win a particular mating partner.”
ESCAPE FROM CORPORATE AMERICA, August 2008 — Social Technologies’ futurist Andy Hines is featured in Escape from Corporate America, a new book by a reformed corporate ladder-climber, Pam Skillings who writes: “If your corporate career is leaving you stressed out, burned out, or just plain bummed out … You don’t have to choose between paying the bills and enjoying a fulfilling career.”
Skillings found a compatriot in futurist Andy Hines, who offered advice in chapter seven: “Swim in a Smaller Pond.”
FOREIGN POLICY MAGAZINE, August 2008 — An article was published in the August issue of Foreign Policy magazine by Social Technologies’ Josh Calders. “We were pleased to see our Speed of Change Index covered in the new issue of Foreign Policy,” says Calder, who wrote:
How swiftly or slowly life changes in particular countries is the subject of the Speed of Change Index, which measures changes in urbanization, literacy, GDP per capita, civil liberties, and access to a telephone, TV, and the Internet in countries during the last 15 years…. The index reveals where citizens’ needs are rapidly changing, new markets are opening, and the risk of instability runs high.
The magazine’s graphic shows selected countries in Europe, Africa, and Asia, but the index actually includes nearly every country on Earth, with the exception of some microstates.
HOW’D YOU SCORE THAT GIG?, July 2008 — “When I was writing this book, countless people asked me which job I thought was the coolest,” explains author Alexandra Levit in her new book, How’d You Score That Gig? In this “Guide to the Coolest Jobs, and How To Get Them,” she referred to the job of a futurist, and interviewed Social Technologies’ Josh Calder about his career.
THE MIAMI HERALD, May 24, 2008 — “Technology has changed the way families stay in touch, profoundly influencing not only how often we communicate, but also what we share with each other,” writes Miami Herald reporter Ana Veciana-Suarez in a May 24 article. “But does more mean better?” she asks.
TELEVISIONWEEK, May 11, 2008 — “Television today is in a state of flux,” writes TelevisionWeek correspondent Allison J. Waldman in the May 11 issue of the magazine. “New technologies, multiple platforms, decreasing audience share for the major networks, emerging digital interactivity—how will the industry adapt to the changes and make them television viable and thriving in the decade ahead?”
BUSINESSWEEK, May 8, 2008 — In a May 8 BusinessWeek article entitled “The Slump: It’s a Guy Thing,” Social Technologies’ Andy Hines was interviewed by reporter Peter Coy about the fact that women and men are “operating in two different economies.” Is it true?
ENTREPRENEUR MAGAZINE, May 2008 — Is your company ready for the nanotech boom? For an article entitled “Small Wonders” that appears in the May issue of Entrepreneur magazine, reporter Andrea Cooper talked to Social Technologies’ Peter von Stackelberg about a brief he wrote on the future of nanomaterials.
WASHINGTONIAN MAGAZINE, February 2008 — Hot off the presses is the February 2008 issue of Washingtonian magazine featuring an article about Social Technologies’ founder Tom Conger by the magazine’s managing editor, Ellen Ryan.
She interviewed Conger about the changes we’re are likely to see in the coming years. He 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.
MSNBC, November 26, 2007 — Social Technologies Futurist Gio Van Remortel was recently featured on MSNBC.com in the article: For Gen X, Time To Grow Up And Get A Broker. “They’re not a saving generation — they’re spenders,” said Gio Van Remortel began.
CBS EARLY SHOW, Nov. 13, 2007 — Social Technologies’ Director of Consulting, Andy Hines, appeared yesterday morning on The Early Show (CBS) to discuss our recent seven-month study for MTV Research, “The Future of Happiness: What makes 12 to 24-year-olds happy?” Following are his thoughts on the research, and the findings.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, DC, March 15, 2007 — “There has perhaps never been a time in human history when strategic foresight is more needed,” says futurist Andy Hines in the introduction to his new book, Thinking about the Future: Guidelines for Strategic Foresight (Social Technologies, February 2007).
Precious little guidance is available for executives, analysts, and educators seeking the best way to plan and prepare for the future. That is why Hines and co-editor Peter Bishop put together the 231-page paperback, which distills the expertise of 36 world-renowned futurists into an easily scannable guidebook.
What is strategic foresight? Because the future is not predetermined or predictable, future outcomes can be influenced by our choices in the present, Hines and Bishop explain—and that is where strategic foresight comes into play.