"Foresight-Russia", issue 1, 2013
A new issue of the "Foresight-Russia" journal has been published
The issue starts with the paper by Ozcan Saritas, research professor, ISSEK, and senior research fellow, University of Manchester (UK). It considers emerging technologies aimed at enhancing human physical and mental capacities, addresses related ethical issues and risks, discusses some wild cards that may cause future surprises and shocks.
The next paper, prepared by a team of authors involving Alexander Chulok, head, ISSEK Division for S&T Foresight, partly overlaps with the topic raised by O. Saritas. It describes basic trends and S&T areas that will shape the medium and long term prospects of medicine, as well as backlogs allowing gaining strong global market positions by Russia. The possible technology responses for the most significant healthcare challenges for Russia are identified, and a priority research agenda is proposed.
Mikhail Gershman, senior research fellow, ISSEK, introduces first results of the monitoring of STI activities undertaken by the state-owned companies in relation to implementation of innovative development programmes. It evaluates the interim results of government initiatives to foster innovation in the related business segment, notes the negative effects of excessive "compulsion" to innovate and provides recommendations for improving policy.
Software market specifics in the context of open source software distribution are addressed in the paper, contributed by Marina Doroshenko, head, ISSEK Department for Analytical Research. The publication compares direct and indirect public policies fostering the use of open software.
Many researchers believe that recent global crisis is evidence of the imminent start of a new long-term economic cycle — the sixth Kondratieff wave. Increasing diffusion and convergence of ICT, bio- and nanotechnologies, movements favouring "green" technologies and business models and holistic health, among others, are typically viewed as drivers of the new wave. However only few experts (including the author of the next paper, Austrian futurist John Casti) point out possible extreme events of natural and social origin, which may impede the implementation of rosy scenarios. His paper proposes some approaches to anticipating of such events, that, provided adequate preparedness, allows the prevention or at least diminution of their devastating impact.
Finally, José Luis Cordeiro, the expert in Energy, Singularity University in Silicon Valley (California, USA) introduces a curious but meanwhile highly speculative concept of "energy singularity". This approach presumes possibility of gaining ultimate solution for the problem of scarce energy sources, as the humanity gains full control over all energy available on the Earth, and later – beyond it.
More information about the issue->