Wednesday, May 23, 2007

IFTF is seeking Boomers for a survey

Are there any boomers out there who would like to be a part of our Boomer Survey?

The Institute for the Future (IFTF) is an independent nonprofit research group. We work with organizations of all kinds to help them make better, more informed decisions about the future. We provide the foresight to create insights that lead to action. We bring a combination of tools, methodologies, and a deep understanding of emerging trends and discontinuities to our work with companies, foundations, and government agencies.

We are currently recruiting for a new research study called "Boomers in the Next 20 Years". For the purposes of this study, people who were born between 1946 and 1964 qualify as Boomers, and you do not need to identify as a Baby Boomer to participate. The study is about how you will respond to the changes and challenges in the next 20 years. We want to know about your experiences and the decisions you are making and foresee making in the areas of health, finance, work, family and community.

Participation would include a response to this survey, followed by a brief telephone interview and a 2 hour interview in your home to be scheduled between June and August, 2007. Not all people who complete this survey will be selected for further interviews. Participants who complete of all phases of the project will be given a stipend of $100, paid by American Express gift card.

We are particularly interested in interviewing people who live within 100 miles of city center of these cities:

  • Denver, Colorado
  • San Francisco, California
  • Austin, Texas
  • Seattle, Washington
  • Miami, Florida
  • Louisville, Kentucky
  • Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota
  • New York, New York
Take our brief Recruitment Survey to get involved, or forward this message on to people you know who may be interested in participating. Thank you for your time!

If you have any questions about participating in the project, please direct them to mlueck AT iftf DOT org.


Sean Ness is more popular than Tiger Woods, Brad Pitt, Donald Trump and Bono!

Well, at least that is, on Twitter. I don't use Twitter all that last post was more than a one month ago (April 22). But while reading a Mashable post today about tweetVOLUME, I did the first thing anyone would do: ego search myself to see how many times my name has been Twittered. I ran a few names and phrases and discovered that my name has been twittered more than Tiger, Brad, Donald and Bono. This is a pretty good sign that the masses have not adopted Twitter yet...although it is catching (spoiler alert: very statistically sound methodology about to be used), as the following are all ahead of me: George Bush, Paris Hilton, Sanjaya & Steve Jobs (who happens to be #1 as far as I can tell).

If you find anyone more popular than it in the comments!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Energy 101: How to present a real energy agenda

On May 14th, President Bush presented his new energy plan to strengthen energy security and address climate change (he finally gets it!). After years of stating in his State of the Union address that America needs to wean itself of our foreign oil (six in a row with no action!), he introduces this dud of a plan: Twenty in Ten.

The good news is that we are nearing the end of his term and the Presidential hopefuls are coming up with real plans with real ideas. America needs to stop being coddled with low-cost energy and instead needs to be challenged and given real goals.

Yesterday, Bill Richardson released his own agenda (Sean note: this link does not seem to work right now) that is the type of prodding America needs. The five elements to his plan:
  • Cut oil demand: 50% by 2020. Increasing the gas mileage of the average car to more than 50 mpg is just one way to help achieve this goal. (Sean note: look at how pathetic the US is compared to rest of the world...including China!)
  • Change to Renewable Sources for Electricity: 50% by 2040. We could save customers $21 billion a year by 2020 by changing to alternative energy sources.
  • Dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions: 90% by 2050. We must set strict limits on emissions. We'll do it by instituting a market-based cap and trade system.
  • Restore America as the world's leader. We must return to the international negotiating table and support mandatory Kyoto-style limits on global warming pollution. (We balked
  • Get it all done without breaking the bank. By reducing oil imports and raising revenue from carbon permits, we will create more than 10 times more economic value that we spend to make this program happen.
Image credit: caramba4u

Friday, May 18, 2007

Want an 8 bedroom home for $345,000?

My hometown of Smethport, PA, has many large houses on Main where the elite of the time (late 1800s) lived. One of the houses is up for sale and it has some space, all for only $345,000!

Billiard Room: 17' x 26'
Sleeping porch: 9' x 31'
Bedroom 3: 18.6' x 15'
Bedroom 8: 19' x 13'

No wonder that a few of them have served as B&B's over the years.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

What happens when oil starts to run out?

Over the weekend, a new ARG called World Without Oil launched. Backed by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, it is a game that takes a look at oil dependency. One of the designers is my IFTF colleague, Jane McGonigal. It has been getting some good press!

Here are some words from Jane, lifted from BoingBoing (thanks Pesco!):
World Without Oil is a month-long collaborative alternate reality project funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and ITVS. It’s the first alternate reality game to tackle a real-world problem: oil dependency.

World Without Oil imagines we are already living on the other side of the “peak oil” moment. The alternate reality game presents a “reality dashboard” that updates daily with gas prices, fuel shortages, and measures of chaos, suffering and economic impact for different parts of the country. Players are invited to document their own lives in this new reality, through blog posts, videos, photos, web comics, geocaches, audio messages, and any other means necessary!

The goal of the project is to harness the collective intelligence of bloggers and gamers to create a bottom-up map of what it would mean to live through a massive oil shortage in the U.S. The project’s mantra: Play it, before you live it.

The game launched on Monday, and already there are hundreds of player created documents to browse—-not to mention the official “backstory” created by the game’s puppet masters..

The latest game updates include video footage of an underground car vandalism effort, instructions for how to throw fuel-free parties, and an eyebrow-raising transcript of the new secretary of state’s address to the nation.

Sign up to play now; the game runs though the first week of June.