radical Insights.

Weekly Research and Commentary on the Future of Business and Technology.

The Importance of Continuously Reevaluating the Future.

Aug 8, 2023

One of the pitfalls in future planning is our inclination to hold onto opinions or insights without revisiting them to gauge the progress made. In layman’s terms, what might have seemed unfeasible a few years ago could now be entirely possible. In an early iteration of our FutureFWD program, Jeffrey emphasized the necessity to “stay with the flow” by frequently re-examining a weak signal. A personal story that recalls Jeffrey’s wisdom is the following:

Last Friday afternoon, I was consumed with a mixture of joy and regret. The joy stemmed from discovering a medical product that’s poised to save and improve thousands of lives. This product is designed to combat one of the modern medical challenges that took my father’s life in 2017 due to complications from leg ulcers exacerbated by Type 2 diabetes. The regret was born from the realization that had this solution been available earlier, my father might have been saved.

This “new” technology, which has been over a decade in development and has received FDA approval, imitates the extracellular matrix (ECM), a fundamental three-dimensional structure in human tissues. Utilizing nanotechnology, these innovative scaffolds perform like the human body, fostering cellular ingrowth, neotissue formation, and enhanced by proteins for skin restoration. The discovery of this extraordinary technology was a bittersweet moment. I was simultaneously astonished by a remedy that would conclusively alleviate such a painful condition and reflective on its belated arrival.

What strikes me is the rapid pace of this innovation (in medicine no less!)—has been invented, tested, approved and now being used to save lives, all within a matter of decades. It’s a poignant reminder to regularly reevaluate our assumptions about signals and trends, ensuring that we adapt to the continually shifting landscape of possibility. (via Jane)