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Club of Amsterdam Journal, September 2004, Issue 32
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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:
September 2004, Issue 32
the future of

Monday, September 27
Poverty and health in developing countries: EU and WHO to cooperate closely

Time for a Research!Europe
Association for International Broadcasting

Finnish Society for Futures

Futur: The German Research Dialogue

Institute of Economic Studies

European Disability Forum


  .Simon Jones, MIT Media Lab Europe

Simon Jones,
Managing Director,
MIT Media Lab Europe

Beyond Candybar and Clamshell: The Future of Mobile Communications Technology

Mobile phone handsets have become a major technology over the last few years. It is hard to think of a more significant development in our lives. Given the pressures on the functionality required, the ease of use needed and the richness of the media forms it is to support, there are some signs that the now accepted candybar or clamshell form is running out of potential.

Here at Media Lab Europe, the European Research Partner of the MIT Media Lab, a 100-strong research and innovation laboratory in the heart of Dublin, Ireland we have a different approach based around the 'body as interface' Utilising the latest developments in spectacle lenses incorporating VGA displays in one or both glasses we can display mobile phone content at a size and position for effortless visualisation. The control of the device is performed via patches (a la nicotine withdrawal patches) that sense muscle control and communicate wirelessly to a 1cm3 piece of silicon that comprises the computational and communications core of a handset. By flexing muscles one can manipulate menus, dial numbers and otherwise maintain control why still operating in the physical world. Other developments involve rings or gloves and personal jewellery that incorporate movement sensors; interaction then becomes a matter of gesture - a sweep of the hand to the back pocket accessing banking information for instance.

Whatever happens, the handset is likely to disappear from our pockets and re-emerge in our jewellery, skin patches and eye-wear.

Want to know more? for the latest in design and innovation



Early Bird Registration till September 15!


  .about the future of Energy

A possible scenario for the energy system in 2020...
"Our energy future - creating a low carbon economy" by the UK Department of Trade and Industry's Energy Group

We envisage the energy system in 2020 being much more diverse than today. At its heart will be a much greater mix of energy, especially electricity sources and technologies, affecting both the means of supply and the control and management of demand.
From heating and lighting to transport, industry and communications, energy is fundamental to almost everything we do. We expect it to be available whenever we want it, to be affordable, safe and environmentally sustainable.
This white paper defines a long-term strategic vision for energy policy combining our environmental, security of supply, competitiveness and social goals.



Sweden’s renewable energy resources
Energy and electricity have played a major role in facilitating the economic development of Sweden. This applies not only to the country’s manufacturing sector, but also to the creation of a good standard of comfort in buildings and elsewhere.
Altogether, renewable energy in the form of hydropower and biofuels accounts for almost as large a percentage of the country’s energy supply as oil.
Broadly speaking, Sweden’s energy mix consists of somewhat more than 40 percent oil, nearly as much renewable energy and 20 percent nuclear power.
The trend of the past 20 years has been that renewable energy has increased, while oil use has decreased.

.News about the Future

What does the future hold?
by BBC
Sky-trains, space travel for the masses and food pills? Future predictions haven't always hit the mark...
Governments and businesses are increasingly using scenario planning - essentially a way of telling stories about the future - as an aid to policy and decision-making in a seemingly ever more unpredictable and complicated world.

Nanotech ready for big changes soon
Major changes are coming to the nanotechnology sector in the near future, including a sharp rise in acquisitions, failures and mergers among the roughly 1,500 companies worldwide involved in nanotechnology research and development, experts told United Press International.
In 2004, governments, corporations and venture capitalists will spend more than $8.6 billion worldwide on nanotech research and development, Lux Research reports, with national and local governments investing more than $4.6 billion of that total and established corporations spending more than $3.8 billion. Lux expects 2004 to be the last year governments outspend corporations on nanotechnology, however, as activity shifts from basic research to development.

.>>> in the long run

>>> in the long run - International Conference on Long-Term Thinking, Corporate Foresight and Innovation Strategies in Companies and Society on October 18th/19th in Berlin.

Z_punkt - The Foresight Company is organizing a dialogue of the future with renowned representatives from companies, the industry and society. Best practices from the USA and Europe will show how companies can prepare themselves strategically for the challenges of the future. This conference is supported by Deutsche Telekom, Siemens, Volkswagen, Deutsche Bank Research and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Media partners are brand eins, MIT Technology Review, Politische Ökologie and ChangeX. For further information:

.Recommended Book

The End of Oil : On the Edge of a Perilous New World
by Paul Roberts

Petroleum is now so deeply entrenched in our economy, our politics, and our personal expectations that even modest efforts to phase it out are fought tooth and nail by the most powerful forces in the world: companies and governments that depend on oil revenues; the developing nations that see oil as the only means to industrial success; and a Western middle class that refuses to modify its energy-dependent lifestyle. But within thirty years, by even conservative estimates, we will have burned our way through most of the oil that is easily accessible. And well before then, the side effects of an oil-based society - economic volatility, geopolitical conflict, and the climate-changing impact of hydrocarbon pollution - will render fossil fuels an all but unacceptable solution. How will we break our addiction to oil? And what will we use in its place to maintain a global economy and political system that are entirely reliant on cheap, readily available energy?

Brilliantly reported from around the globe, The End of Oil brings the world situation into fresh and dramatic focus for business and general readers alike. Roberts talks to both oil optimists and oil pessimists, delves deep into the economics and politics of oil, considers the promises and pitfalls of altenatives, and shows that, although the world energy system has begun its epoch-defining transition, disruption and violent dislocation are almost assured if we do not take a more proactive stance.

.The Japan Research Institute

The Japan Research Institute

From Dreams to Reality through “Knowledge Engineering”
by Shunichi Okuyama, President

A global shift in the historical paradigm that accompanied the IT revolution is becoming evident both in Japan and overseas. The key to carving out a future in this era of change is a clear vision coupled with strategies grounded in practical information.

Since its establishment, the Japan Research Institute, Limited (JRI) has served the changing interests of its clients by adopting the basic concept of "creating new value for the client." Using its ability to provide integrated and advanced information backed by the expertise gained from state-of-the-art technology and knowledge, JRI identifies the essence of its clients' problems and offers concrete proposals for solving those problems, thereby generating new value for its clients. Moreover, the cumulative effects of these efforts are felt throughout the economy and society at large, which benefit from the new value created. We perceive these efforts at comprehensive problem-solving and the new value created as "knowledge engineering", a concept that has come to form the basis of all our activities.

As Japan is transformed from the highly industrialized society of the 20th century to the new network economy and society of the 21st century, think tanks such as ours will play an increasingly important role. JRI will refine its three-in-one integrated information service, continuing to develop strategic information systems based on thirty years experience in the IT field, as well as offering consulting services to draw out and enhance the dynamic management potential of the client, and making highly effective, globally oriented policy recommendations on wider issues, helping to build a better society for tomorrow. Realizing the dream through "knowledge engineering": the Japan Research Institute, driven by its mission to provide innovative solutions, will persist in its pursuit of the dream and the generation of new value for the client.

.Club of Amsterdam Upcoming Events
.Special Events

September 27, 2004

.January 26-28, 2005

.Summit for the Future


.Club of Amsterdam Season 2004/2005

October 27, 2004

.the future of ICT

.November 30, 2004

.the future of Developing Countries
.February 23, 2005 .the future of the Service Industry
.March 30, 2005 .the future of Water
.April 27, 2005 .the future of Branding
.June 1, 2005 .the future of Robotics
.June 29, 2005 .the future of Philosophy


Your comments, ideas are welcome!
Please write to Felix Bopp, Editor-in-Chief:

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