Insights · February 3rd, 2010

Irises in Seattle 3 Feb 2010
Irises in Seattle 3 Feb 2010

January was the hottest month on record (going back to 1880) in Seattle, some 7 degrees F above normal You can see the evidence in this photo of my Iris’s that I just took. Kind of messes up the notion that because it was cold on the East Coast this year that global warming must be wrong. Just depends on where you look – and yes we know local weather is not global climate. That is the point. Climate change is just one issue I will raise in a program tomorrow.

Thursday February 4 I appear on a panel on for the New Partners for Growth conference here in Seattle. The panel is called Smart Housing Choices in a Changing Environment. I’ll be discussing the longer term trends that will, and must, shape smarter housing choices. And to begin I think I’ll ask about the whole concept of growth – when might we let go of the concept that populations, and regions should grow forever? The factors that I’ll mention include:

  • Income gap economics and the debtor society
  • End of a century of cheap energy
  • Climate change and impact on life style
  • Demographic mismatches

We still have further to go, despite declining home prices, to match housing in the U.S. to actual incomes. The good news is that we know, pretty much, what needs to be done to get to smarter housing choices:

  • Revise zoning and development law to account for the factors above – Duncan Black calls this making Philly legal
  • Modify values toward modesty and frugality
  • Downsize housing attractively
  • Build green
  • Build age friendly
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Nikolas Badminton – Chief Futurist

Nikolas Badminton

Nikolas is the Chief Futurist of the Futurist Think Tank. He is world-renowned futurist speaker, a Fellow of The RSA, and has worked with over 300 of the world’s most impactful companies to establish strategic foresight capabilities, identify trends shaping our world, help anticipate unforeseen risks, and design equitable futures for all. In his new book – ‘Facing Our Futures’ – he challenges short-term thinking and provides executives and organizations with the foundations for futures design and the tools to ignite curiosity, create a framework for futures exploration, and shift their mindset from what is to WHAT IF…

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