Club of Amsterdam, Future, Think Tank ..

Club of Amsterdam Journal
Free Subscription
click here

























































































































keyword search

Club of Amsterdam Journal, September 2006, Issue 075
Average reader rating: 0  

September 2006, Issue 75
Welcome to our bi-weekly Club of Amsterdam Journal.

A public consultation on ways to stimulate the growth of a true EU single market for online digital content, such as films, music and games, was launched by the European Commission. The deadline for replies to the consultation questionnaire is 13 October 2006.
click here
Felix Bopp, editor-in-chief

Join our
Cross Media CEO Breakfast, September 27
.. and our first Season Event about
the future of Business Meetings, October 5!


A Future Love Story

Club of Amsterdam blog

News about Business Meetings

News about the Future

Special Event

”My Genes, My Health”

Recommended Book

Event 'the future of Business Meetings'

The Auroville Earth Institute

VDA Design Award: Future Road Transport 2020


Club of Amsterdam Open Business Club

Submit your article





































































































































































































































.A Future Love Story

By Marcel van der Drift

Twenty years from now, a cell phone gently sinks to the bottom of the river. It's one of the latest models. The clever design, trendy colours and nifty features make our cell phones look ancient. Everything about it is new. Cell phone isn't even the right name for it. It's hard to describe exactly what it is. So I won't.

Anyway, this phone, for lack of a better word, belongs to Steve, who is on the bridge, feeling generally depressed, but for the moment happy to be rid of his phone. It was a powerful gesture.

Steve got wired up only half a year ago, after everyone else had been wired up for years.

People used to ask: "Are you wired up?" That question was soon followed by: "Why aren't you wired up? Are you religious? Aren't you curious?" They looked at him suspiciously and you could hear them think: "he must be suppressing something. Definitely some sort of denial."

Getting wired up means having all sorts of sensors either implanted or attached to your clothes.

They're connected to your cell phone to monitor heart rate, temperature, the sound of your voice, the position of shoulders, hands and feet, chemicals in the blood and what not. These sensors have been around for decades, even small portable ones. Their first use was medical: monitoring health and medication, correcting bad posture and compensating all sorts of disabilities. They had also been used successfully in psychology: monitoring body language, metabolism and chemicals in the brain. Data was gathered from many patients over time, giving new insights into psychological disorders. But it only took off when some clever marketing guy, later to become yet another trillionaire, realized their combined potential for the consumer market. When people started using their game consoles to train their memories and concentration, he thought: "Maybe they'd like to know about their emotions." By then, sensors and software could read people like a book. This marketing whiz quickly teamed up with academic researchers and major producers of sensors. And suddenly there was this huge company selling "insight, one-ness and emotional connectivity." It started an industry of self-reflection, mood blogging, mood matching, real-time automated flirt coaching and some embarrassing employment relation strategies.

Steve, however, was reluctant. He didn't need any software to tell him how he felt. He was depressed. Three years after losing his job as a garbage collector to some smart-ass system, he was definitely depressed. But he was determined to handle it on his own, as he always had. Then Steve got even more depressed. When he finally decided to get help, he skipped the on-line forums and arranged a face-to-face talk with an old fashioned trained expert: R.L. Steinberg, MD, psychiatrist. Doctor Steinbergs first question to Steve was: "Are you wired up?"
- "No, I'm not," he sighed.
"Is there any particular reason you're not wired up?" At this point he used to express his concern about privacy and security, but that argument didn't seem to convince anyone anymore.
- "I don't need it. I know how I feel."
"I see. Of course self-reflection is the best tool. And I'm sure we canunderstand your situation by discussing it here. But some data would be very useful. You see, the way we see ourselves is often different from the way we actually behave. When a child is frustrated, it doesn't say 'I'm frustrated.' It just starts kicking things over. It needs to be taught then and there, by adults who understand this behavior, that what he is feeling is frustration and it can be expressed in different ways. Even adults have difficulty understanding their emotions at some point in their lives. They mostly need feedback from others, but they also gain insight into themselves from a higher perspective, so to say, from objective long-term observation of their behavior. It's no magic, but a usefultool."
-"I see."
"I suggest you get wired up without any interpretation software. You'll just get the sensors and leave the rest to me. All that software just oversimplifies everything anyway. We can look at some of the data during our meetings, if need be."

So Steve got wired up. He met doctor Steinberg every Tuesday and promised to follow his advice on exercise, sleep, diet, etc. But he couldn't get himself to actually do all those things. The meetings with doctor Steinberg, who confronted him with data to prove his lack of motivation, got more and more embarrassing. Eventually he stopped seeing him.

Instead, he downloaded the latest interpretation software.

During the installation he opted for 'brutally honest' instead of 'constructive' or 'positive'. Now he wasn't depressed. He was "lethargic, unconcentrated and easily agitated." "So be it," he thought to himself as he scrolled through the diagnosis on his cell phone. It also said "hungry". "Am I hungry? Well, come to think of it, I am." And he told his phone "I'd like to order a chicken curry, anywhere." It replied "Chicken curry has been ordered at Phonsawan, located ten minutes from here." His left shoe started vibrating, so he turned left. As he walked to Phonsawan restaurant for the first time in his life, he thought: "Funny how quickly you get used to this stuff. Three months ago, when my shoes first started vibrating, my first impulse was to kick them off. Now I'm not even aware of them. I just turn left or right because that's where I need to go." He read somewhere that shopping malls are installing vibrating floors just to lure customers into expensive stores. He even checked to see if it was a hoax. One site strongly denied these claims, but it seemed to be sponsored by the same shopping mall. That didn't have to mean anything though, because those ads are placed anywhere automatically, or so he thought. He didn't feel like digging any deeper. True or not, he decided vibrating floors in shopping malls were very unlikely. Right then, both his shoes vibrated shortly, indicating he had arrived at the restaurant, just as planned. He wasn't at some expensive store and this somehow proved his point.

The rest of the evening was spent eating curry, staring at the waitress, ordering beer, staring at the waitress and ordering one or two more beers while staring at the waitress. In the end Steve felt better than after any meeting with doctor Steinberg. As he walked out of the restaurant ...

Read the full story
click here

.Club of Amsterdam blog

Club of Amsterdam blog

September 20: A Future Love Story
September 17: The Future of Business Meetings: Applications for AMI Technologies
August 16 : Q&A with Igor van Gemert
June 19:
The Innovation Manifesto

.News about Business Meetings
  Pro-active Meeting Assistants: Attention Please!

[...] There is also evidence that technology-enabled processes can positively impact meeting performance. Studies reported by De Vreede and Nunamaker show a significant reduction in labor cost and overall project duration when Group Support Systems or Electronic Meeting Systems are used. [...]

  Virtual Meeting Rooms: From Observation to Simulation

Virtual meeting rooms are used for simulation of real meeting behavior and can show how people behave, how they gesture, move their heads, bodies, their gaze behavior during conversations. They are used for visualising models of meeting behavior, and they can be used for the evaluation of these models. They are also used to show the effects of controlling certain parameters on the behavior and in experiments to see what the effect is on communication when various channels of information - speech, gaze, gesture, posture - are switched off or manipulated in other ways. The paper presents the various stages in the development of a virtual meeting room as well and illustrates its uses by presenting some results of experiments to see whether human judges can induce conversational roles in a virtual meeting situation when they only see the head movements of participants in the meeting.

.News about the Future

"SUN21" is a 14-meter-long catamaran powered exclusively by solar energy. In the fall of 2006, the ship will undertake the first motorized crossing of the Atlantic without using a drop of gasoline. This new world record will demonstrate the great potential of the solar technique for ocean navigation.


Energy Research Council

MIT has established the Energy Research Council to spearhead efforts to address the world's mounting energy problems.

MIT President Susan Hockfield has announced the establishment of the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI), in line with the recommendations of an Institute-wide group of faculty convened in June 2005 to help MIT understand how best to tackle the world's energy crisis.

Hockfield thanked the members of the Energy Research Council (ERC) for articulating recommendations that will allow MIT, with its unique talents and capabilities, to address what she called "one of the most urgent challenges of our time."

.Next Event

Cross Media CEO Breakfast
September 27, 2006, 08:30 - 10:00
Location: Westergasfabriek, Oostelijke Meterhuis, Haarlemmerweg 8-10, 1014 BE Amsterdam

Entertainment, content, advertising, video, wireless, media rights, news, movies, TV, games, blogging, SMS ...

Meet the Experts:

Gabriele Gresta
, Deputy Chairman, Digital Magics Group (Italy)

Madanmohan Rao
Consultant and prolific writer from Bangalore, Research Director, Asian Media Information and Communication centre (AMIC), Singapore
Sylvia Paull, Founder, Berkeley Cybersalon (United States)
Mary Hodder, CEO, Dabble (United States)
Igor van Gemert, Founder & CEO, Innergy Creations BV
Jonathan Marks, Director, Critical Distance BV
Arnold Smeulders, Intelligent Systems Lab Amsterdam (ISLA)
Simon Jones,
Director, Human-Computer Studies Laboratory, University of Amsterdam
Moderated by Bob Stumpel, Result Strategy, Cellspace, OpenBC, Ideabroker, LBI, GetMobile, TCS, Mendix, FON

For decision makers in industry, government, science and education.

There are only a few seats left!

.”My Genes, My Health”

  Chris De Bruijn
Chairman International Molecular Medicine Foundation, Breda, The Netherlands
Scientific Director, Institute of Personalised Preventive Medicine, Velen, Germany

Aging and chronic dege-nerative diseases are logic consequences of life. Our genes and our life style determine the pace at which we age and the individual health risks that come with aging. Modern molecular medicine offers options to use this knowledge, especially in view of individual health risk reduction (= pre-vention).

Evolution and gene-compatibility

Aging is a normal biological process. It is the logic consequence of the fact, that we can only exist and survive thanks to the use of the oxygen that we breath and thanks to the interaction between our genes and triggers coming from abroad (e.g. food). During the several million years of evolution of Homo sapiens, a delicate pattern of gene-environment interactions has developed that made our species so succesfull.

Succesfull (healthy) survival has a lot to do with “living up to your genes”, which means that there must be a certain degree of compatibility between the life-style pattern “dictated” by evolution and an individual´s life-style. It has become clear, that the dietary and life-style habits in the industrialised countries are far from “gene compatible”. The majority of today´s nutritional ingredients ingredients are “not known” to our genes, as is the lack of adequate physical activity. As a result, many body functions suffer from this incompatibilty, which is always characterised by the occurrence of chronic inflammatory processes.

Genetic individuality

Recent research from several disciplines (molecular biology, nutritional sciences, pharmacology) shows that the effects of identical external triggers (food, alcohol, pharmaceutical drugs etc.) can have widely varying effects on different individuals. It has been demonstrated that among the human population genes are present in variant forms. These variants have very small structural differences, for instance just one single nucleotide out of the several hundred nucleotides that form a gene.

Such variant forms (single nucleotide polymorphisms; SNP’s) give rise to proteins with a slightly different structure. A variant protein may work satisfactorily under normal conditions, but when it gets under pressure (for instance, in case of a chronic infection or during the metabolism of certain food components or medicaments), it might perform less adequately and cause an imbalance in the regulating mechanisms of the homeostatic “maintaining system” of the body. If not brought back ...

Read the full article in the Summit for the Future Report 2006!

You can listen to his presentation and download it as an mp3 file in our

.Recommended Book
  Business Communication Design: Creativity, Strategies, and Solutions
by Pamela Angell and Teeanna Rizkallah

Business Communication Design: Creativity, Strategies, Solutions by Pamela Angell emphasizes the role of critical and creative thinking in the communication process. Students learn a systematic approach to designing messages for every business communication situation. The authors offer a simple yet effective model for message design that focuses on the needs of the people involved in the communication and the circumstances of the message. Business Communication Design addresses the variety of communication options that modern workers face.

.October 5: the future of Business Meetings

the future of Business Meetings
Thursday, October 5, 2006
Registration: 18:30-19:00, Conference: 19:00-21:15
Where: Syntens, De Ruyterkade 5, 1013 AA Amsterdam [Building of the Chamber of Commerce]

Tickets for € 10.- [students], 20.- [members] or 30.-

In the future, there will be many new processes and technologies to help participants and organizers prepare and manage meetings for superior communications and outcomes.

Christine Perey, AMI technology transfer specialist: Introduction

Des Leach
, Research Fellow, Institute of Work Psychology, University of Sheffield: Meetings and their Participants - the Balancing Act between Business and Personal Factors

Pierre Wellner, Senior Scientist, IDIAP Research Institute, Martigny, Switzerland:
The Whole Meeting in Half the Time

Wilfried Post, Researcher, TNO Human Factors:
Join Multiple Simultaneous Meetings Without Neglecting Your Personal Priorities

moderated by John Grüter, Digital Knowledge

.The Auroville Earth Institute

Auroville Earth Institute was previously named the Auroville Building Centre/Earth Unit, which had been founded by HUDCO, Government of India, in 1989.

The Auroville Earth Institute is researching, developing, promoting and transferring earth-based technologies, which are cost and energy effective. These technologies are disseminated through training courses, seminars, workshops, manuals and documents. The Institute is also offering various services, and provides consultancy within and outside India.


Building with earth has a great past, but also a promising future, especially in Auroville. It is definitely an appropriate, cost and energy-efficient, and eco-friendly technology which can promote a sustainable future. Obviously, one has to master the material the techniques so as to obtain the optimum possibilities for a harmonious, durable, agreeable and efficient architecture. One can note these advantages of earth as a building material:

  • The earth is a local material, contributing to sustainable development.
  • The production of the building components demands a lot of semi-skilled manpower.
  • The technology is easily adaptable and transferable.
  • The monetary and environmental costs are much lower than that of most other materials.
  • The thermal comfort and vibratory atmosphere are very positive.

One has also to master the disadvantages of the material which, normally, are variations in the soil quality, and hence the block quality and the production of blocks on site. These reductive aspects can be underlined:

  • Mechanical qualities are less regular.
  • Sensible building details are required.
  • The constraints of organizing and managing the production of one’s own building material on site.

Despite the possibilities and advantages offered by stabilised earth materials, building with earth in Auroville is still not the common practice. Either people don’t want to acknowledge the advantage of this material or they don’t want to get the burden to organise the block production on their site and manage everything themselves.

The generalised use in Auroville of compressed stabilised earth blocks and other earth techniques needs a centralised production of blocks and a coordinated management of resources – physical and human. This development step would insure a controlled and more regular quality of raw materials and finished products. This is one of the aims for the next years to come.

The challenge in front of us

How to realize architecture full of light, suppleness, simplicity, imagination and beauty with a heavy and formless mud? This is what we are trying to achieve in Auroville and what we are proposing to the World.

.VDA Design Award: Future Road Transport 2020

VDA Design Award Since 2005 the VDA Design Award is offered by the Verband der Automobilindustrie (VDA), Frankfurt (Main) and the German Design Council. The competition intends to energize younger people to argue more visionary with the subjects mobility and individual traffic. The competition is open to people all over the world and is aimed at students of all design areas and artistic disciplines i.e. industrial and product design, visual communication, interior design, architecture, art and media studies courses. All students who are registered for a specific course of study at university level or equivalent and who have not yet finished their studies are entitled to participate.

Some contributions:


Cross Media CEO Breakfast
September 27, 2006, 08:30 - 10:00
Location: Westergasfabriek, Oostelijke Meterhuis, Haarlemmerweg 8-10, 1014 BE Amsterdam

Entertainment, content, advertising, video, wireless, media rights, news, movies, TV, games, blogging, SMS ... Meet the Experts!

Tickets for Seasons Events: € 10 [students], 20 [members] or 30

Our Season Events for 2006/2007 are on

the future of Business Meetings
October 5, 2006, 18:30 - 21:15

the future of Food Design
November 23, 2006, 18:30 - 21:15

the future of Consciousness
January 25, 2007, 18:30 - 21:15

the future of Ambient Intelligence
February 22, 2007, 18:30 - 21:15

the future of Global Workplace

March 29, 2007, 18:30 - 21:15

the future of Success
April 26, 2007, 18:30 - 21:15

the future of Tourism
May 31, 2007, 18:30 - 21:15

Taste of Diversity
June 28, 2007, 18:30 - 21:15


.Club of Amsterdam Open Business Club

Club of Amsterdam Open Business Club
Are you interested in networking, sharing visions, ideas about your future, the future of your industry, society, discussing issues, which are relevant for yourself as well as for the 'global' community? The future starts now - join our online platform ...:

CIWI - Creative Minds Worldwide
CIWI Club of Amsterdam Forum


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

.Subscribe & Unsubscribe


To unsubscribe:


Copyright 2002-2006, Club of Amsterdam. All rights reserved.

Rated 0 by other users. What do you think? [rate this article]

Copyright 2002-2020 Club of Amsterdam. All rights reserved.    Contact     Privacy statement    Cancellation Policy