The science fiction writer William Gibson had it right: “The future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed.” The future often feels like it is forever over the horizon – but it’s easy to forget that it emerges from the present.
This is a guiding principle behind Future Now, a new addition to BBC Future dedicated to in-depth stories about the people, events and trends that are reshaping our world today. Change happens quickly these days and it can be hard to keep up. So we want to be your guide to where the future is being made. Future Now will be the place to see snapshots of a world in flux.
We want to be your guide to where the future is being made
That means we’ll be significantly expanding our coverage of technology and how it is influencing society, business and the lives of individuals, as well as delving into new areas, such as economics and social science. We’ll be seeking out big ideas in energy and resources, unpicking the hidden industries poised to change how we live, and identifying important new societal shifts around the globe. And that’s just the start.
The aim is to uncover what really matters in the world today – and share information that you can trust. We launch in a year when fake news on social networks is making it hard to tell what is true and what is not. At Future Now, we will be using our worldwide network of experienced reporters and video makers to cut through the noise.
We have large multimedia projects in the works, photo essays, video reports, infographics and more. To kick things off, we have a great mix of stories this week:
- Chris Baraniuk hitched a ride onboard a container ship through the busiest seas in the world. Nearly everything you own comes to you by sea and, as we discovered, it means the oceans are getting crowded.
- Sandrine Ceurstemont visited one of the world’s largest solar power plants on the rugged plains beneath Morocco’s High Atlas mountains. Finally embracing its most abundant energy resource, Africa is preparing to power itself with sunshine and has ambitions to one day export energy to Europe.
- Tom Chatfield reveals how our smartphone obsession is leading to new words to describe ourselves, such as the Chinese phrase “bowed-head tribe”.
- Chris Stokel-Walker has an in-depth story about a trend among sex workers to sell intimacy via social media: could this be a harbinger of our digitally-mediated relationships in future?
- And we have a stunning photo series from photographer Elena Chernyshova that captures how our thirst for resources is changing landscapes: she spent 10 days at the Kupol gold mine in the frozen wastes of Eastern Siberia. It is more like a moon base than a mine.
There is much more to come. In the next few weeks, we will travel to India to learn about a generations-old food delivery network that is teaching new online upstarts old tricks; we’ll profile a company crowdsourcing hive intelligence to make startlingly accurate predictions, and discover why the world’s militaries are failing to keep up with consumer drones.
We’re going to be building the site as we go – a new-look website is coming soon. And you can help us shape what we do.
The aim is to make Future Now truly global – uncovering stories from every corner of our planet. And you, our audience, are based all over the world. In the past you’ve given us great tips. We want to hear from people in far-flung places about what matters to you. Email me your tips. In the meantime, we hope you enjoy your time here.
Will Douglas Heaven
Editor – Future Now
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