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Tag: foresight

My FuturEverything talk, “Abandon All Hope?” is now up!

My FuturEverything talk, “Abandon All Hope?” is now up!

A while back, the amazing people at FuturEverything invited me to Manchester to give a talk at their festival. I had watched the festival from afar via Twitter for years, and I felt like the cool kids (Goth-cool, not preppie-cool) had finally invited me to their lunch table.   Only their lunch table was Manchester Town Hall, which is a Victorian neo-Gothic cathedral to municipal goings-on, complete with gargoyles, crenellations, murals, stained glass, brass chandeliers, and odd little mosaics depicting…

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Want to write convincing futures? Work retail.

Want to write convincing futures? Work retail.

A while ago, I tweeted something based on this piece in VICE UK, called “Things You Only Know When You’ve Worked in Retail.” I don’t really care for the clickbaity title, but the content of the piece isn’t wrong. Here’s what I said: People ask me how I do gritty, lived-in SF and futures work and I basically always answer: “I used to work retail.” https://t.co/P2ugdAlf8m — Madeline Ashby (@MadelineAshby) July 3, 2015 That got retweeted around, and I heard…

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Immigration is an information design problem.

Immigration is an information design problem.

While writing this column for the Ottawa Citizen on proposed changes to Canada’s immigration policy, an idea occurred to me that had taken years to crystallize. It emerged, strange but sharp, like a thorn buried under the skin that slowly eases free of the body’s confines. Immigration is an information design problem.

On the Sony hack, and the future of film

On the Sony hack, and the future of film

The Sony hack is interesting to me on a lot of levels. One, because mine was a Sony family. My dad kept our Betamax alive until I was in university. In fact, we still have two at home — my boyfriend at the time bought us another so dad could complete his editorial projects, like mashing together a perfect cut of Close Encounters of the Third Kind that included both the Gobi Desert sequence and both endings. Yeah. We were…

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Future futurist gigs in the future

Future futurist gigs in the future

This year has already been pretty busy, in terms of my foresight work. In January, I ran a workshop at a Day Zero event for Engineers Without Borders Canada AGM. That same month, editors started contacting me about including my story Social Services, which I wrote for an Institute for the Future anthology on the coming age of networked matter, in their “year’s best” anthologies. Then I gave a talk at the Toronto SpecFic Colloquium. And this weekend, I’ll be…

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The Reputation Society

The Reputation Society

I’m in another book this year, and it’s called The Reputation Society: How Online Opinions Are Reshaping the Offline World. I wrote a chapter in it based on what I’d learned from fan studies, what I’d learned in foresight studies, and my experiences as a science fiction writer. In fact, I wrote a little story for the book, in addition to the essay I included. Because the book is about reputation, I wrote about Japan, fallen women, and high school….

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PIPA, Pirates, Profit, and Pop Culture

PIPA, Pirates, Profit, and Pop Culture

Before I got a design degree in strategic foresight and innovation, I got my first Master’s with a thesis on Japanese animation, cyborg theory, and fan culture. The connection between these two degrees? Their focus on technology, early adopters, and the changing face of copyright. During my first grad school stint, I was considered a little unusual for running a seminar at LiveJournal, reviewing essays on fanfiction and fair use. During my second, my classmates picked my brain about Henry…

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2011: The year the power went out

2011: The year the power went out

As a person who’s paid to imagine futures based on current trends, I spend a lot of time thinking about those trends. The one that sticks out for me this year is: power outages. Consider the signals: Osama bin Laden. Gaddafi. Kim Jong-Il. Silvio Berlusconi. Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Rupert Murdoch. Julian Assange. Steve Jobs. The men who wielded power with an iron fist — for good and for ill — have lost that power. Whether they lost it to death or…

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