The blockchain “buzz”: the rise of a new economy?

Posted by Cheryl Perkins on January 17, 2017

A few weeks ago I posed the question: Have you jumped on the blockchain wagon?  A blockchain is a data structure that makes it possible to create a digital ledger of transactions and share it among a distributed network of computers. It uses cryptography to allow each participant on the network to manipulate the ledger in a secure way without the need for a central authority.

I’ll be sharing a lot more about blockchain innovation in the months ahead. Here is an interesting article I came across from Michael Kuegeler over at Medium.com. Here’s a snippet and a link to the entire article on his site:

In the year 2008, a mysterious author known as Satoshi Nakamoto published a document http://www.bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf about a peer-to-peer trustless system of digital “currency” that purports to solve the problem of double- spending. Nakamoto wrote: “A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution.“ Although not mentioned by Nakamoto, the term ”blockchain” became widely known as the underlying technology of bitcoins, the most popular implementation of cryptocurrencies. Basically, the idea of the blockchain is anticipated to extend far beyond financial services to include various applications of authentication and data storage. Potential scenarios include real estate property records, HR, digital content ownership verification (art, music, literature,..), mobile networks, e-mobility, the energy sector, business process management, self-driven mobile networks and more.

Just another animal in the “buzz word” zoo?

Compared to other “buzz words” like “IoT” (Internet of Things), blockchains seem less inspiring in terms of fancy marketing stories. The first time I became aware of the term blockchain, I realized that it could be one of the key concepts driving digital transformation in the future. “Internet of Things” is about connecting everything with everything, big data is about collecting data and the effort to make sense of it, but what blockchains make outstanding is that they are about how the transport layer of data in networks is managed in itself, regardless where the data comes from and it goes to. In short, blockchains provide a method to run decentralized networks of data distribution which challenges the traditional role of central brokers if not make them neglectable. Most interesting is the impact on digital ownership.

Read the rest here.

Bird-drone keeps airports safe

Posted by Cheryl Perkins on January 13, 2017

Birds flying near plane engines are dangerous. If they get sucked into the engines, there will definitely be an “incident report.” Now one company, Clear Flight Solutions, has developed “Robird,” a drone that flaps its wings to frighten other birds.

The developers say they designed Robird to mimic the movements of a raptor, gliding through the air like a bird of prey would do.

Operators can move the drone however they see fit, depending on weather conditions and birds in the area of the airport on any given day.

The company says it has been working on perfecting a wing-flapping drone for 15 years, and did a trial run in the Netherlands. Check it out:

 

8 Housing Trends in 2017

Posted by Cheryl Perkins on January 10, 2017

If you are thinking of buying or selling your home this year, you may find these trends interesting. The housing market is slowing a bit, according to Forbes.  Here are the first of eight things housing experts expect to see in 2017:

1. Prices will continue to rise–but more slowly. 

Prices rose every month last year (through October) with the largest gains coming in the later half and a 5.61% increase in national. Experts expect prices will continue their climb, but gains will slow. “We believe price increases will hold steady despite slowing sales growth, because homebuyer demand is stronger now than it was at the same time last year, and because we foresee a small uptick in homes for sale,” notes Nela Richardson, chief economist at real estate brokerage Redfin.

2. Affordability will worsen. 

Wages are expected to grow in America’s big cities this year, but the share of homes affordable to someone earning the median income is not. This trend, which has stymied many aspiring to buy their first home over the past few years, will be intensified by a continued shortage in low- to moderate-priced inventory and rising mortgage rates.

3. Mortgage rates will be volatile. 

The two major political events of 2016 set mortgage rates moving in opposite directions. In June, the British vote to exit the European Union put rates near a record low. In November, the U.S. election of Donald Trump had the opposite effect, sending rates above 4% for the first time in two years. By historic standards rates are still low. In 2017 experts expect movement, but differ on where for the 30-year fixed rate will land. Estimates out there range from between 3.75% and 4.6%–not so far from where it is today.

Check out the other 5 housing market trends at Forbes.

Will robots with friendly personalities capture consumers’ hearts?

Posted by Cheryl Perkins on January 8, 2017

One of the top trends in robotics this year isn’t just about how cool the functionality is getting; it’s robots designed so that consumers will develop affection for them. There is a purpose in making these robots “cute” and friendly. Innovators know that the number one thing they would look for in a personal robotic assistant is a sense of companionship.  That’s right, robots who are friendly and personable will rule the day.

That was the thinking behind this year’s CES debut of Kuri, an adorable little robot designed for the home. The robot from Mayfield Robotics  (a Bosch strtup), responds to voice input just like Google Home or Amazon Echo, but she puts a face on the experience rather than just a voice.  Kuri was meant to be a companion or assistant:

 

Leading Change: How HFM Shaped and Hardwired a New Innovative Culture

Posted by Cheryl Perkins on January 4, 2017

If your organization is like most, chances are new challenges require new ways of doing things. I’m hosting a free webinar in a few weeks to show you how you can meet those challenges.

Culture change is critical, but far from easy. This was the case for Holy Family Memorial (HFM) health network. Healthcare is in a seismic transition period, changing from a volume-based to a value-based system of care.  In order to create more value and secure their network’s future viability, HFM’s leaders knew significant changes to its culture were necessary. The actions they took were strong, deliberate, and organization-wide.

Join us online on Thursday, January 26, 2017 for an interactive free webinar Leading Change: How HFM Shaped and Hardwired a New Innovative Culture as Mary Maurer and Laura Fielding share:

  1. How and why HFM began its deliberate journey toward a culture of inspired caring and innovation.
  2. Specific culture shaping tactics for leaders, employees, and physicians.
  3. How they hardwired the “HFM way” (innovation) into the HFM culture.
  4. Results achieved from HFM’s journey.

This is an excellent opportunity for innovation leaders and teams to attend together, ask questions, and gain insight to help create a new, sustainable innovation culture in their own organizations.

Sign up today, spread the word! Online at http://www.roundtable.com/audio-sessions/HFM or call 781-891-8080.

Register Now

We look forward to your participation!

Top 10 Medical Innovations To Be Game Changers in 2017!

Posted by Cheryl Perkins on December 28, 2016

What are some of the top trends in the health care realm in 2017? Imagine immunotherapy that helps kids beat cancer without chemo, or stents that harmlessly dissolve when their work is done. These are some of the innovations Cleveland Clinic says will enhance healing and change healthcare in the coming year:

Topping the 11th annual list is the harnessing of the microbiome, the gut bacteria swarming in all of us. Recent discoveries have revealed the power of microbes to prevent, diagnose and treat disease. The healthcare industry will soon be pouring resources into addressing the potential for new therapies, diagnostics, probiotics and other products.

Another powerful innovation is cellular immunotherapy, where cells are removed and reprogrammed to fight cancer. The re-engineering illustrates one of the emerging characteristics of medical innovation, according to Dr. Michael Roizen, the Chief Wellness Officer at Cleveland Clinic.

“The combinations that lead to innovation are much more unusual,” he said. “We used to develop a drug to treat a disease. Now, we’re combining devices, drugs and imagination. We’re altering patients’ T cells so that they will attack their cancer cells.”

Check out the Top 10 Medical Innovations of 2017:

Seasons Greetings!

Posted by Cheryl Perkins on December 23, 2016

Are you ready for an ever-changing innovation landscape in the months ahead?  2017 promises to be full of new opportunities to learn from one another.  As our Innovationedge team prepares to reflect on this holiday season, we wish all of you glad tidings and a New Year of big ideas and striving for success!

One of the greatest joys of this season is the opportunity to say thank you and to wish you the very best for the New Year.

Do You Need a Personal Innovation Strategy?

Posted by Cheryl Perkins on December 18, 2016

There’s no doubt that our world is changing rapidly, and innovators are striving to stay ahead of the curve. How does one lead in a way that keeps up with change – and anticipate what’s coming?

My friend Robert Tucker has some thoughts about this, in his new article,  Why You Need a Personal Innovation Strategy. Here is a snippet, and I encourage you to head over to Robert’s website to read the entire post:

…As a futurist and innovation coach, what I see happening is that individuals are being disrupted because their organizations are being disrupted. Hewlett Packard is laying off another 30,000 workers, as it copes with product commoditization and cloud computing. Publishing giant Pearson is cutting 4000 editorial staffers as it attempts to tackle a “storm” in the markets it serves. Such statistics are mere abstractions unless you witness your good friend Joe in Boston coping with sudden dislocation after being shown the door in the latest round of layoffs. Then it becomes real.

The challenge is to avoid personal obsolescence, and to thrive amidst the churn. And that’s why I believe in developing a Personal Innovation Strategy — a written out game plan to keep you on course and adding value no matter what’s going on in your life right now.
Here are four key components to building one:

1. Invest in your future every day. A Personal Innovation Strategy is a well thought out set of goals, habits, and daily actions that insure your relevance over time. Set both short and longer-term goals. Make it a point to learn something new every day. Ask questions, and take notes. Every day take at least fifteen minutes to “think ahead of the curve” and to strategize and invest time in contemplating your future. Ready yourself to assume new responsibilities, either in your present position or within an entirely new context. Build skills: communication skills, social skills, writing skills, functional skills. Volunteer. Say yes when asked to be on a new project team. Be willing to experiment and try new things. Always be thinking about finding your next opportunity. Develop your Innovation Skills (see below) because this set of skills puts you on the path to becoming more and more difficult to replace. Invest in your future every day.

2. Identify where you are and where you want to go. If you’re serious about taking control of your life, start by visualizing and fantasizing into the future as you most want it to be. Let your imagination go. How do you want life to work for you? What’s the view over the breakfast table? Sketch out a portrait of your life on a day in the future five and ten years out. Ask yourself: how is what you are doing in your job and in your life today helping you create the future as you most want it to be?

Read the other two points here.

 

Filed Under: Innovation

Watered-Down Gym?

Posted by Cheryl Perkins on December 13, 2016

Here’s an innovative transportation idea from France that employs fancy footwork in a team concept: The Human Powered Gym. It’s a floating gym on water. The idea comes from Carlo Ratti Associati, showing the world how human energy can power vehicles in the future.

The 65-foot floating gym would be powered only by its occupants, and could travel up and down the Seine:

 

Have you jumped on the blockchain wagon?

Posted by Cheryl Perkins on December 10, 2016

wikicommons free photoWhat is blockchain, you may ask? A blockchain is a data structure that makes it possible to create a digital ledger of transactions and share it among a distributed network of computers. It uses cryptography to allow each participant on the network to manipulate the ledger in a secure way without the need for a central authority.

Here is what the Wall Street Journal has to say about this emerging technology:

Known by many as the technology underpinning the bitcoin digital currency, blockchain has acquired a new identity in the enterprise. At a time when companies face new challenges in data management and security, it’s emerging as a way to let companies make and verify transactions on a network instantaneously without a central authority. Today, more than 40 top financial institutions and a growing number of firms across industries are experimenting with distributed ledger technology as a secure and transparent way to digitally track the ownership of assets, a move that could speed up transactions and cut costs while lowering the risk of fraud. Some companies see an opportunity to use blockchain to track the movement of assets throughout their supply chains or electronically initiate and enforce contracts.

Blockchain remains in the experimental phase inside many large firms and there are few tested use cases, experts and analysts caution.   Source

Here’s an interesting factor in blockchain technology: Mobile Phone devices are empowering the growth and adaptation of the new so-called “second computer age.”

Today, more knowledge and media can be stored on a hard drive the size of an iPhone6, than could be stored on 20,000 Compaq Deskpros from 1996 — taking up enough space to fill a 3,000 sq. ft. home. Knowledge can be copied and stored for fractions of a cent, making it possible for every person on earth to have a copy of all their favourite movies, books and songs.  Source