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Club of Amsterdam Journal, January 2004, Issue 16
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Shaping Your Future in
the Knowledge Society

The Club of Amsterdam Journal appears 2 x per month.
You can find the online version at:
January 2004, Issue 16
the future of

Wednesday, January 28, 2004
Managing Social Transformations in Cities


Connect for Kids


CMP Cientifica



  .Q&A with Paul Iske

Paul Iske Chief Knowledge Officer, ABN Amro Bank, Corporate Finance

Club of Amsterdam: Many organisations have tried to put value of knowledge on the balance sheet. Why is that so difficult?
Paul Iske
: First of all, the value of knowledge doesnt exist. Value is not an intrinsic property of knowledge, but value is being created when knowledge is being applied. Therefore, the value of knowledge depends on what you do with it. In fact, knowledge is an option on the creation of value. So, if a company wants to put a value on knowledge assets, it must also assess its capabilities to generate, store, share, apply and protect these. Furthermore, the value of a company, including its knowledge or intellectual assets, is context dependent: suppose a company wants to buy another company, which has knowledge assets, such as patents. If the knowledge is already present in the acquiring company, or when it doesnt fit in the strategy, it has no (economical) value. However, the same knowledge could be extremely valuable for a company that doesnt have it yet and needs it to execute its strategy.

How does knowledge relate to intellectual capital? Why are companies that manage knowledge and intellectual capital more successful?
Paul Iske
: Intellectual capital management aims to generate value from customer relationships, based on understanding and meeting of their needs (Customer Capital), from employees and their knowledge and networks (Human Capital) and from the knowledge that is embedded in the processes and systems of the organisation (Structural Capital).
In the global, rapidly involving and knowledge-intensive economy, a company can only stay alive by good management of its intellectual assets. Those who excel in developing intellectual capital and communicating the efforts and results will win the battle. Managing intellectual assets as the main strategic resources is not only important for achieving bottom-line results now, but it is also the key to the future.

How can the corporate world benefit from a European Knowledge Society?

Paul Iske
: The establishment of a European Knowledge Society could provide the infrastructure and the right culture for building collectively the intellectual assets and the strategic capabilities to create value and to compete in the Global Knowledge Economy.

  .about the future of the Knowledge Society

The Social Situation in the European Union 2003
This report provides an overall presentation of the social dimension of the European Union. It paints a general picture of the demographic and social conditions that shape social policy, and contributes to the monitoring of developments in the social sphere in the Member States. One particular feature of this report is that it combines harmonised quantitative information with data from European public opinion surveys. This year the report deals specifically with issues relating to the health of Europeans. It is available in English, French and German.


Embracing the Knowledge Society: a Public Sector Challenge
by Unisys
While millions of people browse the Internet, send mail, and while away time in chat rooms, the Internet still largely a highly complex and often mysterious room for society as a whole.
The computer-based technology that has made the Internet is still mostly in private hands. The challenge is to find a to unleash the untapped power of that technology to achieve goals. At the Lisbon European Council of March 2000 leaders declared information technology a key element in making the European Union 'the most dynamic and most competitive knowledge-based economy in the world.' The eEurope initiative wants its member states to help create 'an information society for all'.

.News about the Future
A Vision of Energy-Aware Computing from Chips to Data Centers
By Chandrakant Patel, Hewlett-Packard Labs

The miniaturization of silicon devices and the integration of functionalities on a single chip has resulted in high power density chips, systems and data centers. The increase in power density in all these three areas necessitates a holistic examination following the path of the heat flux from the chip, through the system enclosure to the room and out to the environment.
Furthermore, computing has become pervasive and will soon account for a large portion of global energy use, particularly with respect to distribution of high power data centers around the world.
In this context, future thermo-mechanical solutions have two clear objectives -- to facilitate effective heat transfer from high power density chips and systems in order to maintain specified temperature on the device, and to facilitate the heat removal efficiently by minimizing the energy used to remove the dissipated heat.
Energy management plays a lead role in data centers -- machine rooms that aggregate hundreds of computers to provide useful computing services and can reach 10 MW of power dissipation from the hardware.
In high power density chips, heat transfer solutions that maintain specified chip temperature while minimizing the energy used to affect the thermal management play a central role. This paper examines an energy-aware thermal management approach, from chips to data centers, and proposes second law analysis as a measure of overall management of energy consumption.

.Wednesday, January 28, 2004
.PARC - Palo Alto Research Center

For more than three decades, the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) has been one of the premier sources of vision and innovation for technology-driven industries.

PARC was founded by Xerox Corporation in 1970 to define the Office of the Future. With technologies such as laser printing, the Ethernet, the graphical user interface, and ubiquitous computing, PARC delivered on this mission. Along the way, PARC has produced nearly 30 new companies, licensed its technologies and made scientific contributions in fields as diverse as materials science, distributed computing, linguistics and sociology.

Here is a selection of projects:

Paper-like Displays
Researchers are developing thin, flexible, and portable paper-like displays that are addressable and reusable. They are exploring new materials that could be used to build these reimageable substrates and developing devices for writing on them. Paper-like displays could be used for mobile and hand-held applications such as cell phones and PDAs, as well as wall-sized displays.

Large-Area Electronics
Scientists are building on nearly three decades of leading-edge research on amorphous silicon (a-Si). They are also exploring other materials and developing new processing techniques to make large area transistor arrays. Their research is focused primarily in the areas of printed organic electronics, large area MEMS, reflective displays, and x-ray imaging.

Knowledge Extraction from Document Collections
Researchers are exploring new techniques and developing new computational tools for mining the knowledge contained in collections of documents. Work is aimed at interpreting the meaning of natural language documents. Two application areas include knowledge quality management tools and knowledge-based content tracking tools.

Social, Mobile Audio Spaces
This group is developing telecommunications services that extend traditional audio spaces to meet the needs of social, mobile groups. As part of this work, PARC is conducting fieldwork on the study of push-to-talk cellular radio service.

Piezo Materials and Devices
Research is focused on a broad range of thin-film piezoelectric materials and a variety of techniques for depositing them onto substrates. Researchers are creating piezoelectric materials with thicknesses ranging from microns to millimeters. They are also developing piezoelectric devices, focusing on the complex integration of novel materials with micro structures and electronics for actuation, sensing, and control.

.Recommended Book

Critique of Pure Reason
by Immanuel Kant (Author), Paul Guyer (Editor), Allen W. Wood (Editor)
This entirely new translation of Critique of Pure Reason is the most accurate and informative English translation ever produced of this epochal philosophical text. Though its simple, direct style will make it suitable for all new readers of Kant, the translation displays a philosophical and textual sophistication that will enlighten Kant scholars as well. This translation recreates as far as possible a text with the same interpretative nuances and richness as the original.


Sponsor & Supporters of the Club of Amsterdam event about 'the future of the European Knowledge Society' on Wednesday, January 28, 2004 are:




.The Club of Amsterdam Round Table: Hans van der Schaaf


Hans van der Schaaf

Dreaming the future

When thinking about the future, then I see more than one: a future, which you wish (hope/dream), a future that you expect based on daily reality and a future based on a vision which is a connection between reality and ideals.

When I think about the future, I think especially about my own personal future - a future hopefully in health together with my family. Next to health I think about pleasure in my work, friendships, wealth and doing nice things in my life. Enjoying my children, nature, culture and people around me. I call that daydreaming. Those daydreams have a strong personal character very nearby and they haven't much to do with managing the future of society. These daydreams say something about what I experience as happiness. I don't need any chips for that, nanotechnology or knowledge of my genes. Or am I wrong?

Will I be happier when new medicines are developed against aids or cancer or medicines that bring my loss of hearing back? Will I be happier when there would be a world order without the constant existence of war or where the distribution of food is organised so that everyone has a filled stomach at the end of the day and where the sources of nature are respectfully used so that future generations can enjoy these as well?

You should be a bit of an idealist to say yes to this question. An idealist - in my opinion - is eager to bring a contribution to the world that means something. And it doesn't necessary need to so big as Nelson Mandela or Mahatma Ghandi. It can be anonymous or together with other people. I believe that fulfilling your ideals can bring personal happiness in life. And there I found the connection between personal happiness and a future vision.

What do we have today? What do we want tomorrow? And how can we make a bridge between today and tomorrow? How should the bridge look like? How can we make it strong enough, long enough? We can't shape a future without dreaming but we can also feed the dreams with the knowledge and reality of today. What can nanotechnology mean for the future, what can biotechnology mean, how will we built our houses, which political systems can we expect?

The Club of Amsterdam can be a platform where knowledge and visions meet in a way that we feed our personal dreams of happiness.

I almost forgot. There is the future itself. It comes to us without doing anything ourselves, bringing surprises where no futurists ever though about: Earthquakes, 11 September, SARS. Will we ever be ready to really shape the future?

.Club of Amsterdam Events 2003/2004

January 28, 2004

the future of the European Knowledge Society

February 18, 2004

the future of Education & Learning

March 31, 2004

the future of Energy - the Hydrogen Economy?

April 28, 2004

the future of Healthcare & Technology

May 19, 2004

the future of Architecture

June 23, 2004

the future of Culture & Religion


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