Near Future Lab evaluates, identifies and applies the research of exponential technologies that have a high probability to create positive social and economic returns.
Importantly, the Near Future Lab acts as business intelligence and research unit for the SDGx ecosystem.
What is a 'Near Future Lab'?
Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) – supported by new exponential technology such as AI, ML, Robotics, Automation, Neurosciences, Decarbonization, Material Sciences, Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Health/Biotechnology – is likely to transform existing systems of production, management, social relationships, citizen well-being, consumer patterns, and governance.
Established as a non-profit B|Corp and hosted at the Yunus Centre at the Asia Institute of Technology, the YC-NFL partners with leading advanced research institutions, corporate and governments that conduct primary research for next generation technologies that:
- focus on specific technologies within narrow sectors including, mobility, healthcare and caregiving, manufacturing, food, disaster prevention, decarbonization and energy;
- generate unique data, theoretical outputs and potential applications.
Therefore, with a citizen-centric lens and pro-poor technology perspective, the YC Near Future Lab conducts unique secondary research that provides evidence based scenarios to identify:
- both (+) or (-) social, environmental and economic impacts
- potential SDG-aligned social business applications and inclusive finance models
- governance, policy and risk management
YC-NFL also has the opportunity to ‘blend’ the research from different faculties and institutions to identify convergence synergies that integrate cross-technology properties and breaks silos.
In an environment of rapid technology adoption, NFL will then produce independent, non-political secondary research that is both time and cost efficient. Our focus is on disruptive technologies entering the market in 3-8 years:
- Artificial Intelligence, ML, NLP and its variants
- IoT, Sensor & 5G
- Robotics, Bionics & Automation
- Health Science, Care-giving and Ageing Care
- Ocean & Space-Based Economies
- Cloud | Edged | Fog Computing
- Nano & Material Sciences
- Biotechnology, HCI and Transhumanism
- Neuro | Cognitive | Quantum Science
- Distributed Ledger and Crypto/Digital Currency
- Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality
How society embraces and adapts to the coming technological changes will determine the sustainability of our current economic and social models as well as whether we are able to meet the promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
What we want to achieve
As the world enters this new hybrid socio-economy, there is no neutral platform that seeks to research, understand and leverage exponential technology for the benefit of SDG-aligned social businesses. So we created a new partnership architecture to change that.
In an environment of rapid technology adoption, YC-NFL will then produce independent, non-political secondary research that is both timely and easily understood. Our focus is on exponential technologies entering the market in 3-8 years
We co-publish informed and trusted thought-leadership content through multiple channels to advocate the potential use-cases, application, scenarios that highlight the value and benefits of exponential technologies within a new Citizen 4.0 model that is fully integrated with the ‘Industrial Revolution 4.0’ and what is now being coined as ‘Globalization 4.0’;
We are currently developing an innovative education and technology transfer platform that accelerates innovation for positive impact and entrepreneurship within STI curriculum that promotes exponential technology democratisation (citizen-first blended return business models as opposed to the traditional consumer-first pure profit model).
The Yunus Centre
After receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006, Prof. Muhammad Yunus established the Yunus Centre in Dhaka Bangladesh to develop and accelerate the spread of pro poor social business models and technologies to address critical challenges.
In 2009, the first university based Yunus Center was established as a collaboration between Prof Yunus and the Asian Institute of Technology (YCA).
This academia based network now spans leading institutions across all continents, including MIT, HEC Paris, HEC Montreal, EPFL Lausanne, NUS Singapore, Renmin Beijing, and many more.
Asia Institute of Technology
AIT is an international post-graduate research university established in 1959 as an inter-governmental body hosted by the Thai government. Recognised for its programs in engineering, advanced technologies, sustainable development, business management and environmental planning, AIT alumni work in the public and private sector throughout the region and with some of the top universities in the world
AIT hosts the Yunus Centre, the first collaboration of its kind by Nobel Laureate Prof. Muhammad Yunus to promote ‘pro-poor technologies’ and enterprise solutions for sustainable development.