Six key drivers of humanity’s progress are headed towards ZERO cost

“There are decades where nothing happens; and, there are weeks where decades happen,” observed Vladimir Lenin.

The recent weeks grappling with the Covid-19 pandemic certainly fall into the weeks-where-decades-happen category. What’s more, the trillions of dollars being spent on pandemic-fighting strategies might well make or break the decades to come, as I recently wrote.

Take telehealth, the adoption of which has seemingly been on the horizon for decades and suddenly, within a few weeks after Covid-19, achieved near universal embrace. McKinsey estimates that providers are seeing 50 to 175 times more patients via telehealth now than before Covid-19. What’s more…


When you’re fighting a fire, it’s easy to forget that the water can cause more damage than the fire itself. When you rebuild after a fire, the desire to rebuild quickly can trump the inclination to rebuild smartly. During a disaster, focusing on anything other than getting back to normal as fast as possible can sound impractical or even tone deaf.

Well, we’re in the midst of one of the biggest global disasters in centuries, and, at the risk of appearing impractical or even tone deaf, I’ll ask you to bear with me as I argue that we need to…


Commercialization will throw trillions of dollars of economic value up for grabs. There also could be huge positive or negative effects on health, transportation, pollution, congestion and resource usage, depending on how industrialization unfolds.

Baloney” and “nonsense” captured the zeitgeist of many reactions to my early articles on the potential of Google’s self-driving car program. But, that was in 2013, when many viewed driverless cars as nothing more than a high-tech dalliance by Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin.


There are viable approaches to save millions of lives and trillions of dollars

If you’re looking to make a meaningful dent in the universe, few opportunities loom as large as addressing the root causes of climate change. That’s the case even if you don’t believe we’re facing a climate crisis—and more so if you do.

Dr. Jonathan Patz speaking at the American Medical Association. (photo: T Grudzinski/AMA)

This point was brought home to me recently by Dr. Jonathan Patz, a panelist in a discussion with the senior management of the American Medical Association (AMA) on the health implications of climate change. Dr. Modena Wilson, Health and Science Officer Emerita of the AMA and one of the session’s organizers, has described climate change as “the mother…


Floodwaters swallowed at least 30 buildings at Offutt Air Force Base, home of U.S. Strategic Command.
Floodwaters swallowed at least 30 buildings at Offutt Air Force Base, home of U.S. Strategic Command.
Floodwaters swallowed at least 30 buildings at Offutt Air Force Base, home of U.S. Strategic Command.

Every time I think about writing about climate change, I think about my friends Fred, Kevin and Pat. All three are kind, religious and charitable souls who don’t believe in climate change. They believe that my emotions are being manipulated by folks like Al Gore (and most of the environmental and scientific community) for their personal financial gain and, worse yet, by people with anti-West and even anti-civilization agenda. I tell myself that nothing I write can change their minds — and trying to do so will only inflame them.

In business settings, chances are high that there are folks…


NEW YORK, NY — SEPTEMBER 20: A young activist holds a sign during a rally for action on climate change. Source: GETTY

Steve Jobs once remarked: “We’re here to put a dent in the universe. Otherwise, why even be here?” For me, the desire to make more of a dent in the universe has prompted a professional shift from innovation strategies for business gain to ones aimed at more meaningful societal benefit.

As I emerge from my summer writing hiatus, I start by describing this shift and offering 5 lessons I am applying to the task. I also hope to set the context for future articles, which I hope that you will follow.

Let me be clear: Any responsibly run organization can…


Lower limb amputations due to diabetes between 2009–2015 rose 50% over the previous 10 years. (Photo: Reuters via Medscape)

Diabetes is one of the fastest growing killers, as I discussed in Part 1 of this series. Thirty million adults in the U.S. suffer from it today. Another 84 million have a milder condition, prediabetes, that puts them at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

Over time, if current trends continue, the disease will strike 25 to 58 million new victims in the U.S. …


X-Ray of Diabetes Sufferer

About two years ago, my friend Tony lost three toes. The cause of this tragedy was type 2 diabetes, even though the disease is manageable and often preventable.

Tony then fought a host of complications. Small wounds would not heal and became life-threatening. Another amputation was necessary, and more were a looming threat. Comorbidities, including infection, high blood pressure and heart disease, waylaid him.

Tony was challenged on many other fronts. He was in and out of doctors’ offices, emergency rooms, hospitals and rehabilitation centers. He was financially stretched. He used up his short-term disability. He struggled to continue working…


Best wishes for a spectacular 2019! As you consider your big aspirations for this coming year remember the difference between success and failure often boils down to six words. Successful innovators “think big, start small, learn fast.” Failures often do not.

Think Big

Those who “think big” consider the full range of possible futures. They make sure they understand the emerging context, rather than assume that their current assumptions are right. They consider, for example, how large disruptive forces, like technology, deregulation and globalization, will change customer preferences, enable new markets and upend business dynamics. They are not too proud…


Will Max and August Zuckerberg feel like what their father built is “good for the world” when they grow up?

Many parents encounter a moment when they look at their legacy through their children’s eyes, rather than their own. Mark Zuckerberg recently described such a shift in his point of view:

It’s important to me that when Max and August grow up that they feel like what their father built was good for the world.

Max and August are his very young daughters. Zuckerberg also said that he’s willing to sacrifice Facebook profits, if that’s what it takes to “fix” it.

The Chen-Zuckerberg Family (via Facebook)

According to many, including investors, former executives, researchers, U.S. agencies and other nations, Zuckerberg has some serious fixing to…

Chunka Mui

Futurist, Keynote Speaker and Innovation Advisor

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