200 episodes

A critical look at new technologies, new approaches and new ways of thinking, from politics to media to environmental sustainability.

Future Tense ABC Podcasts

    • Personal Journals

A critical look at new technologies, new approaches and new ways of thinking, from politics to media to environmental sustainability.

    How far are we from a nuclear fusion future?

    How far are we from a nuclear fusion future?

    The hope of nuclear fusion is the dream of a fossil-fuel free future - of limitless baseload power.

    Enthusiasts say fusion offers all the benefits of nuclear energy without the dangers.

    In theory and in practice fusion energy is already a reality, but getting the economics right is proving much more difficult than imagined.

    • 29 min
    Blockchain Democracy, business advocacy and the return of human curation

    Blockchain Democracy, business advocacy and the return of human curation

    Blockchain is a much-hyped technology that underpins the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. 

    Enthusiasts believe its potential to transform other areas of business is huge. But what if Blockchain is really just a solution in search of a problem?

    Also in this episode: are businesses becoming political advocates? And why are we seeing a return from algorithmic to human curation?

    • 29 min
    Technology-intensive campaigning and computational propaganda

    Technology-intensive campaigning and computational propaganda

    Political campaigning is fast changing in the digital era. 

    Elections are now being contested with data and algorithms. 

    Parties see it as a great opportunity. Others see it as a threat to democracy. 

    And the changes are now playing out in real time in the United States.

    Barack Obama was often referred to as the first Internet president, but Donald Trump is fast becoming the king of social media. 

    • 29 min
    Shopping centres & the future for spending

    Shopping centres & the future for spending

    Australia is home to over 1,600 shopping centres, covering more than 26.5 million square metres.

    We are a nation that love to shop, but times are tough for these aging centres. Online retailers, limited millennial attention spans and old fashioned infrastructure are all putting the squeeze on the mall's market.

    This doesn't necessarily mean it's the end though, in fact shopping centres are evolving for the future - pulling out all the tricks, enticements and tech they can to ensure you keep spending and they stick around.

    • 29 min
    The Digital Welfare State

    The Digital Welfare State

    A growing number of human rights academics and activists are worried that our notions of welfare in the democratic west are changing – and not for the better.

    They’re concerned that the tools of the digital era are being used to create a new form of welfare state directed against the poor and the disadvantaged, not in their interests.

    • 29 min
    Water banking, rain farming and other ways to safeguard against future drought

    Water banking, rain farming and other ways to safeguard against future drought

    Water banking involves the deliberate injection of surplus water into known aquifers. The idea is to repurpose the world’s many artesian basins as giant sustainable storage tanks - ones that can readily be drawn upon in times of drought.

    It’s just one of the ideas we explore in the second instalment of our two-part series on water conflict and management – the politics, the problems and the potential solutions.

    • 28 min

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