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The Friday Five: Forecasters and Futurists

Posted by Scott Kirsner  July 24, 2009 07:30 AM

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Every Friday, I'll serve up a list of five things worth knowing about.

This week, it's the best forecasters and futurists in the Boston area. Want to know what's next? Add these folks to your bookmarks or RSS feeds.

1. From Cambridge-based Forrester Research, a collection of blogs on everything from data security to interactive marketing to consumer products. My two favorites are Forrester CEO George Colony's blog, and Josh Bernoff's blog on social technologies.

2. The analysts at the Yankee Group in Boston have been predicting the future since 1970. These days they're focused on what they call the Anywhere Network and the Anywhere Consumer -- essentially, the implications of pervasive connectivity using all sorts of devices, from PCs to cell phones to set-top TV boxes.

3. was started by inventor and entrepreneur Ray Kurzweil. It tracks somewhat unnerving topics like the convergence of biology and technology (need a chip in your brain to assist your recall?) -- but also covers areas like cleantech and astronomy.

4. GreenTech Media in Cambridge follows the evolving energy space, from thin-film solar panels to the smart grid of the future.

5. Joost Bonsen is one of the few people I know at MIT with a really broad view of what goes on there, across schools and research groups. His blog, Maximizing Progress, covers everything from floating cities to robotic space explorers to smart materials to developmental entrepreneurship. And it's chock full of video and images, too.

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BetaBoston technology news logo
Innovation and technology news that matters, on a new website from the Boston Globe, featuring Scott Kirsner and other original reporting.

About Scott Kirsner

Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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More from Scott


March 3: Web Innovators Group
Demos, drinks, and schmoozing at the Royal Sonesta in Cambridge.

March 7-8: MassDigi Game Challenge
Competition for aspiring game developers... plus panels and keynotes related to the business of play.

April 3-4: Mass Biotech Annual Meeting
Issues facing the region's life sciences community.