Welcome to my informal blog. Its a space where I try to think aloud whatever I’ve been working or thinking about. For futures and foresight resources, check out the Plural Futures initiative.

  • Future of Food Report

    I’m pleased to announce that the Project Gastronomia’s Future of Food report has been released and can be downloaded at the Project Gastronomia website. I had a fun time writing and editing this report, and hope you’ll have fun reading it. In April 2018, Project Gastronomia, an initiative led by the Basque Culinary Center’s BCCInnovation, […]

  • The Four Futures of the Blockchain

    Last month, I had the opportunity to speak on the future of blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies have blossomed from a fringe idea to an over USD $140 billion market capitalization. Initial coin offering – IPOs that issue tokens based on cryptocurrencies – have raised over $1.13 billion USD in the first-half of 2017. Meanwhile, the […]

  • Exploring What’s After Capitalism

    Questioning the Socio-Economic Order From the Great Recession of 2008 to Italy’s Five-Star Movement and the US Tea Party Movement, there’s been signs that the neoliberal order is under stress and facing a rebellion from the masses, from Occupy Wall Street on the left to Tea Party on the right. This summer I’m helping Professor Andy Hines, co-founder of […]

  • 2017 Reading List aka Unbounded Ambitions

    Daniel’s 2017 Reading List In 2016, I’ve learned that doing graduate program and pursuing an aggressive extracurricular reading list is an overly ambitious task. Luckily, it’s 2017 and I am still going to give it another shot. I’m stubborn. New Socio-Economic Systems Part of my foresight interest is researching new economic systems. When it comes […]

  • UN Report: Robots Will Replace Two-Thirds of Workers in the Developing World

    It’s been one year since I published the “Saudi Disruption”, a 2036 scenario in which a Saudi investment in automated manufacturing displaces over four million Bangladeshi workers in the textile industry, leading to unrest and political upheaval. A new UN report (PDF) warns that “about two thirds of all jobs” will be lost to automation […]

  • Singapore Self-Driving Taxis to Economic Stagnation

    Field Notes on the Automation Trap (06 August 2016) Your weekly notes on happenings, news, signals related to automation and alternative means on economic development. See more at The Automation Trap.   I. ROBOTS IN THE NEWS The Second Order Impact of Self-Driving Cars Chris Dixon, a partner at Andreessen Horowitz, sees self-driving cars could mean: more […]

  • Should European Robots pay Social Security Tax?

    Field Notes on the Automation Trap (2nd of July) Your weekly notes on happenings, news, signals related to automation and alternative means on economic development. See more at The Automation Trap.   Should European Robots pay Social Security Tax?   The European Commission is considering classifying robots as “electronic persons with specific rights and obligations” with requirements […]

  • Geneva Convention for War Robots? Blockchains for central banks?

    Field Notes on the Automation Trap (22 June 2016) Your weekly notes on happenings, news, signals related to automation and alternative means on economic development. See more at The Automation Trap. How do we include War Robots in the Geneva Conventions?   The prospect of autonomous weapons – drones that can decide to take a human […]

  • Small Robot Invasion of Farms, Malls, Walmart

    Field Notes on the Automation Trap (11 June 2016) These are my personal notes on happenings, news, signals related to my research on automation and alternative means on economic development. See The Automation Trap.   Rise of Small Farm Robots: Or why the miniaturization of farm machinery will help encourage small, diverse farms. via Brian Halweil (18 […]

  • Robots take 60,000 jobs in China, drive taxis in Singapore and more…

    Field Notes on the Automation Trap (25 May 2016) These are my personal notes on happenings, news, signals related to my research on automation and alternative means on economic development. See The Automation Trap. “60,000 workers culled from just one factory as China’s struggling electronics hub turns to artificial intelligence” Via SCMP (22 May 2016): […]

  • Indonesia’s First Data Science Bootcamp

    Data Science Indonesia Bootcamp Launch

    Hello Everyone! I’m proudly announcing that after over six months of work at Ventura Labs, we have launched the first data science bootcamp in Indonesia. With out fantastic partners at Data Science Indonesia, we are providing an innovative program that will be the blue print for preparing Indonesians for the Creative Economy. Here’s a run […]

  • Saudi Arabia as a high-tech manufacturing hub?

    When the Saudis Disrupt Bangladesh A Possible (Plausible?) Article from 20 March 2037 1. Beginning of the Saudi Disruption Back in early February, a World Bank report marked 2036 as the year Saudi Arabia officially joined the ranks of China, Japan, the United States, and Germany as one of the world’s top ten global manufacturing […]

  • Daniel’s 2015 Sabbatical

    Daniel’s 2015 Sabbatical: Study Time! After four years of helping build and lead the Asia office of estorm, I’m taking sabbatical journey for a few months. I’ll still be doing some side projects – more on that for another post. I’ll be committing myself to some scholarly activities like reading up about Sufism in Indonesia, […]

  • Robots & Algorithms: Long Term Threats to Developing Countries?

    Self-checkout machines at supermarkets replace human workers

    Software substitution, whether it’s for drivers or waiters or nurses … it’s progressing… 20 years from now, labor demand for lots of skill sets will be substantially lower. I don’t think people have that in their mental model. – Bill Gates NOTE: I’m learning how to improve my writing. Do you have tips on how to be […]

  • Book Review: Piercing by Ryu Murakami

    Ryu Murakami (not Haruki Murakami with the talking cat) writes about two thoroughly damaged souls in Tokyo where they accidentally seek and meet each other in a story that’s somewhere between horror and dark humour. The plot is shallow, but you’re here mostly for the quick ride across a disturbing psychological landscape. The story makes […]

  • Book Review: Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

    Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/adforce1/8288663706/

    Crazy Rich Asian by Kevin Kwan was a fantastic contrast to my last read How to Get Filthy Rich in Raising Asia by Mohsin Hamid. Crazy Rich Asian is a quick, breezy superficial yet fun read.  While it may try to be satire, Crazy Rich Asians seems more like a balance between parody and voyeurism […]

  • 40 Years of Scenario Planning

    Shell Oil Company

    We’re All Thinking About Design Thinking For the past five years, I’ve had a keen interest on innovation processes, such as “designing thinking.” These days the “innovation” and proceses that support innovation like “design thinking” are the buzzwords de jure. The Google Trends chart above shows a skyrocketing increase in “design thinking” search from 2007 […]

  • Mini-Review: Obreht’s The Tiger’s Wife

    I’m a little behind my book reviews for The Tale of Hodja Nasreddin by Leonid Solovyov and The Hunger Games by Suzanna Collins. To catch-up, I’ll start on the latest book: The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht. I have read fiction of the Balkans before – none of them happy, but each sad in their own way. […]

  • Reading List: Fast Food Orders & Technology as Job-Killers

    While Occupy Wall Street goes global and sometimes violent (see Oakland), how much of the income disparity in the United States is due to technology hollowing out the American middle class? What has happened to bank tellers, travel agents and printing press shops?     “How Technology Is Eliminating Higher-Skill Jobs” http://www.npr.org/2011/11/03/141949820/how-technology-is-eliminating-higher-skill-jobs “He says machines […]

  • Payment Sent to Emmanuel Goldstein

    Today, I decided to buy something from the UK, some clothing specifically. After checkout, I received a PayPal receipt from Emmanuel Goldstein to confirm receiving payment from me. The hated Emmanuel Goldstein? The head of the Brotherhood,  writer of The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism, and the focus of everyone’s two-minutes of hate? I’m pretty sure I […]

  • Mini-Review: Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore

    After finishing Mikhil Bulgakov’s A Dead Man’s Memoir, I found myself needing to move away from my beloved dead Russian authors to living and non-Russian writers. This took me directly to Haruki Marakami’s Kafka on the Shore. The writing is airy and the story itself contains so many layers, wrinkles, turns that reveal unlikely connections, […]

  • Mini Review: Bulgakov’s A Dead Man’s Memoir

    Recently, a friend gave me a copy of Mikhail Bulgakov’s A Dead Man’s Memoir. As Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita is one my favourite books, I eargerly dug into A Dead Man’s Memoir. It is a different beast of a book, so it would be unfair to compare the two. A Dead Man’s Memoir feels semi-autobiographical, a […]

  • Economic Growth: Does Size Matter?

    Via Kottke (via @atenni): An economic paper from Helsinki University on the relationship between GDP and – ahem – “organ” size: The size of male organ is found to have an inverse U-shaped relationship with the level of GDP in 1985. It can alone explain over 15% of the variation in GDP. The GDP maximizing […]