Welcome to the latest issue of FutureScape. In this issue we focus on the theme of creating resilience – encompassing the future for children, young people, democracy, representation and Europe. We include an introduction to Street Kids International – an awe-inspiring initiative helping disenfranchised children and young people to take control of their futures. Resilience Parenting – Raising a Self-Reliant Generation is a great article on preparing children for an uncertain future by fellow futurist Anne BoysenThere is a short report from Iva Lazarova on the recent TEDx Houses of Parliament in London and finally a request for contributions to Futurium– an EU web based ‘futures crowdsourcing’ platform.


1.    Survey Reminder – Emerging Technologies and their Future Impact on the Legal Industry

2.    Street Kids International

3.    Resilience Parenting – Raising a Self-Reliant Generation

4.    TedX Houses of Parliament Report

5.    Request for Contributions to the EU Futurium Initiative

6.    Rohit on the Road

Please feel free to forward the newsletter to your contacts and networks. As always we welcome your feedback and suggestions for future topics.


Rohit Talwar
Fast Future
Tel +44 (0)7973 405145

Skype fastrohit

Twitter http://twitter.com/fastfuture
Blog http://widerhorizons.wordpress.com
LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/in/talwar
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Watch a short video of Rohit at http://www.travelmole.tv/watch_vdo.php?id=14300

 1.    Survey Reminder – Emerging Technologies and their Future Impact on the Legal Industry

Thank you to everyone who has already taken part in these surveys – the response has been excellent.

For those that haven’t participated yet, I am writing to ask you to take a few minutes to complete 2 new surveys we have launched as part of our study on the future impacts of information technology on the legal industry – being conducted for the International Legal Technology Association (ILTA). The surveys are open to everyone and will hopefully be of interest whether or not you work in the legal industry. The surveys close on Friday September 6th.

Each survey takes around 8-15 minutes to complete. ILTA will be giving  $1 to a global humanitarian charity for each person that takes part in each survey. Please also share the links with your networks and colleagues as we want to maximise the response rate and charitable contribution.

The first survey explores the potential business impact of information technology on business in general and the Legal Industry over the next ten years:


The second presents and explains a wide range of emerging and possible future technology developments and asks for an assessment of when they might be picked  up by pioneers:


Thank you in anticipation of your participation.

2.    Street Kids International (SKI) http://uk.streetkids.org/

“Where others see a problem, we see potential. Our work is sustainable, innovative and effective.” 

As many readers will know, a central passion for us at Fast Future is  how we create positive futures for children and young people in a  fast  changing and turbulent world where their needs can all too easily  get  overlooked. We have been looking for a charity to support that  works  successfully with the most marginalised and hard to reach – for  whom  effective interventions can facilitate truly transformative change. So  we were delighted to be introduced to Street Kids International (SKI) and learn about their excellent work. SKI works with local delivery organisations such as NGOs to equip street youth with the skills and support they require to either start and expand small businesses, get a job, or return to education. 

700 million young people globally are living in poverty. SKI provides these young people with  access to training and opportunities, supporting them to earn a decent living and change their own lives.  SKI is a charity launched in Canada that has been working with young people in the developing world for 25 years. In the 5 years since its inception, Street Kids UK has connected with over 4000 street-affected youth between the ages of 15 and 25, in India, Ethiopia, Brazil and Ecuador and Uganda. SKI’s main programmes centre around delivering Train the Trainer workshops with local organisations and their staff on the delivery of participatory livelihoods training for marginalised youth.

We will be working with and supporting SKI in a number of ways going forward. What has been truly amazing has been the level of interest that has already been shown by the people we’ve mentioned SKI to in recent weeks and the desire to get involved and help make a contribution to an excellent initiative. If the initiative is of interest, we’d encourage you to get in touch and explore how best you can contribute.
As you can imagine, SKI is open to ideas on how best you can get involved and relies on the support of donors, fundraisers,corporate sponsors and volunteers. There are a range of volunteering opportunities. For example, SKI is currently looking for brand ambassadors and people who can help to research, analyse, structure  and evaluate various strategic development options they are considering. Finally SKI is launching three new initiatives that are mentioned below and would welcome all offers of support.

Street Source – This is an innovative youth job readiness programme, offering job readiness training, integrated work placement, and on-the-job mentoring to disadvantaged and marginalised youth.  Street Source makes critical connections between participants and local industry and business, connecting trainees with fair wage employers in their communities.  Street Source offers life opportunities for youth, their families and communities to escape the cycle of poverty. The pilot project in Pune India saw 98% of participants secure gainful employment. The project is currently being extended in India and the Philippines.

SKI UK is looking for financial support to extend the initiative and for employers who are interested in taking part.

Make Change  – SKI is launching an initiative to try and get UK school children interested in the challenges facing street kids around the world, and using similar techniques, provide opportunities for students to develop their enterprise, advocacy and fundraising skills, and to interact with members of the private sector. The aim is to inspire young people in the UK to recognize the agency they have to take positive action to impact and support street youth across the globe, while acquiring valuable life and small business skills through practical experience. The goal is to reach 10,000 children within three years and then scale up to make the programme available across the whole country and potentially in other countries as well.

SKI UK is looking for financial support for the pilot initiative and for people to help develop the initiative and take it out to schools.

Impact Evaluation – As part of the next stage of its development, SKI would like to undertake a detailed evaluation of its work around the world. Using a clearly defined ‘Theory of Change’ and indicator framework, the aim is to develop an evaluation framework, research methodology and tools to measure the impact of SKI programmes at local, national and international levels for youth, youth workers and local NGOs. Survey work will need to be undertaken in each of the five countries (India, Ethiopia, Brazil and Ecuador and Uganda) where SKI UK has worked and the results analysed to assess the impact and feed back into the continuous refinement of SKI’s training materials and methods.

SKI UK is looking for consultants who can help develop the theory of change and research tools, conduct the survey in each country  and analyse the findings. This support could be provided by a single firm or by individuals operating in the relevant countries.

If you would like to offer your assistance, get further details on the three projects mentioned, or explore ideas on how you can get involved, please contact the Executive Director of Street Kids International UK – Philippa Frankl philippa@streetkids.org.


Facebook:  streetkidsuk

YouTube:  streetkidsintl channel

Twitter: @streetkidsuk

3.    Resilience Parenting – Raising a Self-Reliant Generation – by Anne Boysen – Futurist

How will the next generation of young adults differ from the ones growing up today?

The conventional answer is ‘more of the same’. From ad agencies and tech magazines, we get the message that we should expect a generation that is more hyper-parented, more narcissistic, more individualized, more connected, and more inseparable from their digital devices than any generation before them. But are these projections realistic?

The synchrony of biological age and historic events has an effect on our identity and is often called the “generational” or “cohort” effect. We carry into our adulthood some of the child rearing ideas and values that influenced our parents when we were children. We also distance ourselves from – and determine not to repeat – traumatic aspects of our own childhoods. The over-parenting trend we are witnessing in many countries today is to some degree Generation X correcting for their own under-nurtured childhoods that were characterized by latchkeys and dissolving families.

After two decades of the women’s liberation movement many daughters reacted to their maternal trailblazers by shelving their Ivy League degrees so they could stay at home to breastfeed on demand or home school their own children. Suddenly, we were told daycare is harmful for children, and progressive child rearing styles like attachment parenting made strange bedfellows with conservative Christian think tanks like Focus On The Family (http://www.focusonthefamily.com). “Choice feminism” now introduced relativism to the women’s liberation movement, signalling that it was OK for professional women to opt out of the workforce. [1]

Until recently the idea that ‘more is better held  sway over  many parenting  philosophies. The more  exposure towards flashcards, positive feedback, rewards  and protection you could offer, the better  off your child would be. Borne out of the  self-  esteem movement, positive nurturing has become  the epitome of a happy  childhood and predictor of  future success. At least until terms  like overindulgence” and “helicopter parenting” entered our vernacular.

College administrators and job recruiters report unrealistic expectations and smug narcissism. The notable discrepancy between Millennials’ trophy-adorned childhoods and the recession-ridden reality that met them as emerging adults gives us reasons to believe that the “more is better’ approach in parenting is reaching its climax. Which is why we are now seeing growing interest in parenting styles that embrace the ‘less is more” principle. A fringe movement has been dancing to the beat of a different drum for a while, but is now becoming the focus of op-ed pieces and literature. Let’s just call it “Resilience Parenting” – since the overarching idea is to raise kids that fair well during adversity. These approaches are far less glamorous and could earn their pioneers the reputation of being ‘stingy slacker’ parents, so few are willing to be the odd one out.

Instead of touting early academic achievement and reward charts, ‘resilience parents’ strip away extrinsic rewards in an effort to teach fulfilment through personal experiences of mastery. Instead of bolstering success, they allow, even encourage, their kids to experience failure. The idea is that children learn the essential coping skills to move on when faced with disappointment. Boredom is no longer a sign of under-stimulation, but the rare window of protracted time that nurtures creativity. Above all, the ‘resilience parent’ reclaims child-driven autonomy. Without freedom there is no room for personal growth. For the sheltered Millennials who will enter their parenting years in the coming decade, it will be all about finding their own voice, and it’s not that likely they will want their progeny to grow up as supercharged versions of themselves.

Anne Boysen is a futurist who specialises in studying and writing about the future of the youngest generation we know – the generation born after the early 2000s – sometimes called the New Silents, Generation Z or Homelanders.

info@afterthemillennials.com  www.afterthemillennials.com Twitter @aftermillennial

4. TEDx Houses of Parliament London http://www.tedxhousesofparliament.com/ – by Iva Lazarova Foresight Researcher Fast Future

The 2013 edition of TEDx Houses of Parliament (HoP) took place in London on Friday, June 14th 2013. Nearly 800 people gathered at the Queen Elizabeth Conference Centre to enjoy a series of inspirational talks exploring diverse aspects of this years’ theme – democracy and representation.

Although all speakers were truly remarkable, in this newsletter I will highlight just a few speakers whose talks made me think about thefuture of democracy and its many dimensions.

Jamal Edwards – Jamal is a 22-year old entrepreneur who managed to turn a YouTube Channel into a global brand.  His SB.TV was launched in 2006 and since then it has amassed over 150 million YouTube views.  In his talk, Jamal highlighted the potential of YouTube to transform our lives – enabling us to express ourselves, to connect with likeminded individuals around the world, to launch creative businesses and even to change the course of the world. Jamal was quite confident both about the future impact of YouTube and that the next prime minister could be found on YouTube.

Jack Andraka – Jack, an American teenager, is the inventor of an early detection test  for pancreatic cancer which made him the winner of the Intel International Science Fair. At TEDx HoP Jack revealed how the death of a very close family friend inspired him to look for a cure for pancreatic cancer.  Wikipedia and the internet were Jack’s sources of information which helped him discover that a specific protein called Mesothelin could be a biomarker for this type of cancer.

After many ordeals including lack of support from the majority of the scientific community, Jack succeeded in this endeavour. He created a paper sensor that costs 3 cents. The test takes only five minutes and has almost 100% accuracy. Because it allows pancreatic cancer to be detected in its early stages, the invention has the potential to save millions of lives.  Jack advocated for more democracy in science. He believes that scientific knowledge and internet access should available to anyone in the world if we want to benefit from more innovation in the future.

Rob Stevens and J Milligan – Rob, a lead designer at Microsoft’s Soho Productions, and J, Creative Director of the Content Innovation Lab at Sesame Workshop focused on the future potential of interactive TV. They reminded the audience how Sesame Street has been educating children around the world for many years.  Rob and J argued that the impact of the program could be much bigger with the help of Kinect Sesame Street TV. On the stage they demonstrated how interactive TV allows children to not only watch but also interact with the Sesame characters.  An interesting question was raised at the end of their talk – if interactive TV allows children to interact with Big Bird, will it one day allow us, the ordinary people, to interact better with politicians on TV?  And also, what could interactive TV mean for the future of democracy?

Tomas Rawlings, Design & Production Director at Auroch Digital, explored the importance of games for the future of democracy. Tomas explained that democracy already exists in games such as World of Warcraft and EVE, which came as a surprise to many in the audience. Tomas argued that democratic structures and institutions existing in virtual worlds might teach us more about how to practice democracy in real life.

Game the News (http://gamethenews.net/) is a new project launched by Tomas and colleagues. The aim of the project is to explain news via the international language of play and to use games as a medium to explore events. As news breaks, Game The News creates their own twist of events in a playable form.

 The event was truly inspirational and I would recommend booking a ticket for TEDx HoP 2014.

5.    Futurium – Building Resilient Futures for Europe

Fast Future Research is leading a consortium of partners who are undertaking the ‘consolidation and sense making’ of a major futures crowd sourcing initiative run by the European Union. We would like to familiarize our readers with – and encourage your participation in – this opportunity to reflect on and influence the formulation of resilient future policies in the European Union. If you are interested in futures and have ideas and visions to share, we recommend visiting the Futurium online platform. http://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/futurium/

Digital Futures is a foresight project launched in 2010 by the Directorate General for  Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG CONNECT) at the European Commission. The aim is to secure a resilient future for Europe by considering the broadest possible range of future trends and drivers. One of the objectives of Digital Futures is to tap into the collective wisdom of diverse stakeholders who are being encouraged to co-create long term visions (up to 2050) and share policy ideas that can inspire the future strategic choices of DG CONNECT and the European Commission.

Futurium is the online platform used by Digital Futures. European citizens from all countries have the opportunity to share future trends, visions and policy ideas on the platform that facilitates the crowdsourcing of ideas. Futurium is an experiment in the use of new policymaking models based on stakeholder participation and scientific evidence.

You are welcome to become a ‘Futurizen’ and start sharing your future ideas and visions. You can register here:http://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/futurium

6. Rohit on the road

In the next few months Rohit will be delivering speeches in Bangkok, Chicago, Denver, Dubai, Dubrovnik, Frankfurt, Las Vegas, London, Oman, Oslo, Stockholm and Vilnius. Topics to be covered include human enhancement, the shadow economy, the future of professional services, the future of HR, transformational forces in business, global drivers of change, how smart businesses create the future, the future technology timeline, the future of travel and tourism, the future of airlines and airports and the future of education. If you would like to arrange a meeting with Rohit in one of these cities or are interested in arranging a presentation or workshop for your organisation, please contact rohit@fastfuture.com
[1] Recent findings indicate the reduction in female employment in the 2000s was due to women reaching an impasse in their careers as they struggle to maintain both careers and families, at least in the U.S. Attitudes toward full time work among mothers show an interesting U-shape with full time work being least popular during the time period when many Generation X parents had young children (see Pew Research statistics). Of course, the resurging preferences for full time work could be a reflection of economic hardship brought out by the sluggish economy rather than a true change in values.

Image sources