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Club of Amsterdam Journal, September 2007, Issue 093
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September 2007, Issue 93

Welcome to our bi-weekly Club of Amsterdam Journal.

"In the future, meetings will mix real meetings in smart meeting rooms with virtual meetings, to provide the best of both worlds. When we are preparing for a meeting, we will review the meeting synopsis of related meetings in which we have participated, or maybe some we missed. As participants interact with one another, sensors in the environment will capture and networks will transmit raw media. By blending new displays and intelligent software, our technologies will mediate the interactions, and allow people to share both physical and virtual context (e.g. paper documents, project management systems, 3D projected data sets). Systems will recognize and process meeting structures and events to provide new, more flexible ways for participants to interact and be aware of each other: both face-to-face, and remotely." - AMI Consortium

Read the
Report: Meetings in 2020

and take a look at our Special Event: Meetings in 2020 - A showcase

Felix Bopp, editor-in-chief


Report: Meetings in 2020

Next Event

Club of Amsterdam blog

News about the Future

Linden Lab Innovation Award winners

Recommended Book

Importance of Multiculturalism Expertise, and a Program to Acquire It

Coming Clean: The future of coal in the Asia-Pacific region


Club of Amsterdam Open Business Club

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.Report: Meetings in 2020


by Christine Perey, AMI Consortium Technology Transfer

This white paper is provided to the members of the Club of Amsterdam and the members of the Community of Interest by the AMI Consortium as part of an ongoing initiative to increase global study and understanding of the human-to-human communications and the future of technology-assisted meetings using automation and intelligent agents in an environment of virtually unlimited processing and bandwidth resources.

This white paper is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard of the future of meetings. It is made available by the AMI Consortium, with the permission of ParkWood Advisors LLC, with the understanding that the intent is not to render legal, investment, accounting or other professional advisory services.

If investment advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. Requests for permission to reuse the contents of this document or for further information about its contents should be addressed to John Parkinson at ParkWood Advisors LLC.

Speaking and digitally publishing about a subject are two very, very different things. In the case of predicting the future, however, the tangible results may be the same.

When speaking about meetings in 2020, a presenter has a lot of liberty because chances are relatively high that no one in the audience will remember what he or she said about the subject by 2020. And, in contrast with what you might expect, a digitally published/stored archive of the same concepts will probably also be "lost" for all intents and purposes. For John Parkinson, Chairman and Managing Partner of ParkWood Advisors LLC, the risk of his words fading and disappearing long before the accuracy of his predictions are tested just comes with the territory.

Parkinson introduced his talk, a keynote address at the Wainhouse Research European Forum 2006 in Berlin entitled "Meetings in 2020," with a touching reminder that predictions of the future-even the future of technology over the past 50 years-have more frequently been wrong than right.

All predictions/forecasts and recommendations made in this paper are the rights and responsibilities of ParkWood Advisors LLC.

Only time will tell how well the words of 2006 will fit the future.

Download the report as *.pdf
click here

.Next Event


Special Event: Meetings in 2020 - A showcase

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

18:00-20:00, including free cocktail reception
Where: De Industrieele Groote Club, Dam 27, Amsterdam

Fully booked!

Showcase of new technologies which some believe will change how people interact during meetings and how they work with knowledge archives between meetings.

The institutions hosting this event are internationally acclaimed experts in machine learning, signal processing and the study of human interaction and human computer interfaces:

IDIAP Research Institute, Switzerland
DFKI, Germany
TNO, The Netherlands
University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
University of Sheffield, United Kingdom
Technology University of Munich, Germany
Brno University of Technology, Czech Republic
University of Twente, The Netherlands
Philips, The Netherlands

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September 6: Are chimeras part of our future?
September 1 : Importance of Multiculturalism Expertise, and a Program to Acquire It
September 1 : Four Planets
August 29:
Meetings in 2020
July 30: A Second Enlightenment

.News about the Future
  Aerovironment architectural wind

The Aerovironment Architectural Wind AVX400 is a system of small wind turbines that are integrated onto a building’s parapet wall to generate “green” electricity.

This concept was accompanied by AV’s research of wind patterns over low-profile buildings such as big box stores and distribution centres. As wind passes over a building it can accelerate significantly enough to produce over 25% more energy than a standard freestanding wind turbine.

Self-healing materials mimic biological systems

Self-healing materials invented by researchers at the University of Illinois mimic human skin by healing themselves time after time.

The new materials rely upon embedded, 3D microvascular networks that emulate biological circulatory systems.

‘In the same manner that a cut in the skin triggers blood flow to promote healing, a crack in these new materials will trigger the flow of healing agent to repair the damage,’ said Nancy Sottos, a Willett Professor of materials science and engineering.

‘The vascular nature of this new supply system means minor damage to the same location can be healed repeatedly,’ she added.

.Linden Lab Innovation Award winners

This year’s awards focused on open source contributors who are making the Second Life experience better for everyone.

Rob Linden’s : "I’m really happy to be presenting these awards this year. When we were planning to release the source code, we knew we had a robust community of developers, and that there would be plenty of interest in tinkering, but we were still thinking we’d have to figure out some gimmicks to get people to really start participating in building a great Viewer. Once we launched, we immediately started getting great contributions, and realized that instead of focusing on gimmicks to preemptively motivate, we should instead shift our efforts to thanking people for what they had done without any expectation of reward."

Linden Lab Innovation Awards winners are:

Best Community Organizer

Strife Onizuka
Wiki's are the way of the future when it comes to making documentation Ad-hoc but eventually become static as graffiti grows with popularity as a way of controlling it."

Best Bug Hunter

Gigs Taggart
From in-world interactive games to PHP/database back-end programming,
Gigs Taggart is constantly pushing the envelope with novel content in SL.

Best Contribution

Alissa Sabre
"I'm interested in tweaking Viewer. Especially on internationalization issues. I have a blog on open source viewer development, that is written mostly in Japanese."

Best Feature

Able Whitman
Ables blog
Ready, Willing, and Able - The virtual adventures of one man and his pink lawn flamingo

Contributor of the Year

Nicholaz Beresford
"Nicholaz Beresford is my SL name and some people call me "the mad patcher" because of my work with the open source version of SL. In FL, I'm now working for many years now as a self employed software developer and together with a friend I am developing and selling our own line of communication software. This blog is about my interest in second life and my exploring of the world as well as the source code under this world."
His blog
The "Nicholaz Edition" of the Second Life Browser

.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.

.Importance of Multiculturalism Expertise, and a Program to
.Acquire It

by Dr. V. H. Manek Kirpalani and Dr. Leif Thomas Olsen

Multiculturalism is growing by leaps and bounds due to three driving forces.

Ø Multinational Enterprises with their explosive expansions into different regions.
Ø Emigration and Immigration.
Ø Increased Communication Speed and the Internet Highway.

The rationale for the growth of these driving forces and the environment they create are the following:

The Rationale for Growth of Multiculturalism

Multinational Enterprises (MNEs) have been growing at some 8% a year in terms of total revenues for the last 50 years or so. The environment of globalization has helped. International trade talks have aided the creation of a substantially large world market for many products and services. Other types of international cooperation have helped speed up growth in previously stagnant economies by providing investment and credit opportunities across the globe. Thus the business environment has encouraged the expansion of MNE products and services, and facilitated the internationalization of production. The latter has allowed the MNEs to produce and/or purchase many components from countries with lower costs of production. Today the total revenue of MNEs is greater than the GDP of any country in the world, even greater than that of the USA which produces roughly 25% of the world’s GDP. Moreover the MNEs dominate world trade with a roughly 60% overall share of this trade. The MNEs thus need the cross-cultural expertise to produce and market their products and services in countries worldwide, to deal with component suppliers from different cultures, and to manage employees who come from diverse countries and cultures. Further the successful manager and/or business owner must learn about a range of cross-cultural experience in order to continue their success. Furthermore every manager and policy maker in business or government and its public sector organizations has to deal sooner or later with people from different cultures who are workers or consumers.

Emigration and immigration provide other driving forces that contribute to the creation of diverse cross-cultural environments in many countries. All in all it is estimated that worldwide over 600 million people or some 10% of the world’s population are living in countries outside their country of origin. The richer North American and Western economies have served as a magnet to draw immigration from all over the world. The USA and Canada have been importing well over one million people a year as immigrants from overseas for the last 50 years. Further, today the USA has some 50 million Hispanic immigrants, legal and illegal (the term for the latter is ‘undocumented’). The European Union has served as a draw for immigrants from the colonies of its imperial countries. Furthermore today it is seeing a strong flow of people from its Central and Eastern European segments into its Western regions. Emigration from China and India has been large over the last 100 years or so.

Increased communication speed and its constantly decreasing costs, coupled with the Internet highway and the flow of information technology have resulted in more direct communication between head offices and subsidiaries, emigrants / immigrants and their original home bases, and by the flow of global promotion of products and services, and of global news via established outlets such as CNN and BBC World, as well as more recent additions, such as Al Jazeera and Russia Today.

Demand and Supply of Graduates with Multicultural Expertise

All the above developments have increased the need for cross-cultural expertise. But the demand for graduates, trained with the capability of doing well in multicultural environments, is far greater than the supply.

In a multitudinal world, where issues like sustainable development, shareholders' value and ethnic-religious conflicts are all 'hot', and the North-South divide seems to be getting wider by the day, corporate, technical, political managers and professionals must become more able to see beyond their own respective area of direct involvement and responsibility. Future leaders and managers have a rapidly growing social responsibility to the society their employing organization operates within - a task that current management training programs tend to underestimate. An elective course or two on good governance or socially responsible investments is unlikely to change the thinking deeply enough, especially as they usually are just electives rather than high-profile mandatory courses. Moreover, snapshot courses are no longer enough. One must go deeper and develop knowledge and thorough understanding of the subjects that are being learnt.

If future professionals and academics, whether in business, governance or technology, have to keep pace with todays, and even more so tomorrow's, development speed, a different approach must be instilled in people through the educational system. The ambition of a learning program must be to install a multi-cultural base and a more socio-economic oriented leadership focus. The graduate with such leadership training will be able to apply it in a scientific or social environment, and/or in a corporate or political context. Leaders and managers who do understand their responsibility in its broadest meaning will also understand that there is no contradiction between ROI and social responsibility. A good example of this lies in the industrial tradition that built most of the companies now considered backbones of the societies from which they emerged. Had it not been for hardworking entrepreneurs with very long-term vision and far-reaching social responsibilities, there would be no Ford Motor Co, no Sony Corporation, no IKEA and no TSMC (Taiwan's largest chip manufacturer). Only leaders who can read both the social and the financial sides of the socio-economic equation will succeed.

Program to Acquire Multicultural Expertise

The overall objective of a multicultural expertise program for managers across the corporate, political and social spectra must be to offer a curriculum with a leadership focus that can be adjusted to the respective cultural and socio-economic environments in which it is to be consumed. For managers with social or political ambitions, such cultural sensitivity is already a 'must'. Nevertheless it is rare to find evidence for development of this insight when looking at the curricula offered by most business institutions.

Future managers must develop good abilities to see different societies in different lights. The same goes for social workers, politicians, and international officials, such as those at the International Monetary Fund, United Nations, WTO, and the World Bank. It once took an almost nationwide boycott of McDonalds' hamburgers in India before McDonald executives realized that their products had to be diversified for cultural reasons; righteous Hindus found it unacceptable to eat beef. Nowadays all international fast food chains offer localized menus. The 2005/06 boycott of Danish products of any sort in many Muslim markets, as a result of what came to be known as the 'Mohammed-cartoon incident', indicates how important cultural understanding is in an increasingly global marketplace.

A program designed to address the need to acquire multicultural expertise should build on three interrelated cornerstones. Each one is outlined with its underlying logic.

Corner Stone 1:

Multitude culture-sensitive. It must not assume a global westernized mono-culture such as most MBA programs tend to do.

Underlying Logic:

The cultural issue will never go away, and multitude culture-sensitive importance will increase once China, India, Korea and other countries with different cultures gain fuller influence in global matters.

Corner Stone 2:

Open social platform. Rather than viewing management as a limited task

Underlying Logic:

The management of just about any entity, whether public or private, now affects significantly larger circles of society than it used to do. The Internet as well as other open access platforms also has dramatically increased the possibility for information-sharing. This have allowed also participative democracy representatives, who for long mainly expressed their views and opinions through NGOs and/or street rallies, access to, and increasingly efficient use of, the kind of information that was formerly controlled by ´the establishment elite,’

Corner Stone 3:

Future oriented. Rather than business-as-usual.

Underlying Logic:

The speed of development in general and technical development in particular, is in-creasing. Therefore to be successful a future orientation in thinking and strategy is necessary.

Rushmore University New P2M Program

The new Rushmore University P2M program emphasizes the post-modern need for a global horizon with a depth understanding of cultural silos. . It is worth looking at and can be seen at Rushmore's website It consists of 30 credits spread over the following five courses plus a thesis in your preferred cultural area.

1. World Religions and Philosophies

Hinduism, Confucianism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam are the six major religions that historically, as well as in terms of current affairs, have a global impact. Metaphysics, Ethnocentrism, Relativism, Socio-biology, Individualism, Collectivism, Utilitarianism and Pacifism are some philosophies that also, with varying success influenced, or tried to influence, our societies over time. Students are requested to analyze at least three different accounts of each one of these.

2. World History as Viewed by the World's Major -isms

Many ideas have grown so strong over time so they developed into social and/or political systems, entirely governing the societies over which they wrestled control. The most influential ones, here identified as "-isms", are Feudalism, Capitalism, Imperialism, Nationalism, Colonialism, Modernism, Liberalism, Post-Modernism, Neo-liberalism, Secularism, Globalism Consensus, Fundamentalism, and Good Governance-ism. The course will cover all these, and some others, in depth.

3. A Changing World: Ecology, Anthropology, Demography and Economic Geography

Climate-change is only the most recent of many pressing issues showing how interlinked are ecology, anthropology, demography and economic geography. When the UN's Security Council finally took this issue on in 2007, it simply confirmed what was already well known: migration - whether caused by war, economic inequality or climate-change - is a serious cause of concern, whereas millions of people are moving, and will continue to move, to new localities, in turn affecting those millions of people who already live there. We must learn how to adapt to it, and make good from the situation it creates. This requires leaders and managers with the right abilities and a strong social sensitivity. These aspects will also be discussed in depth.

4. Future-Studies Related to Cross-Cultural Issues, including Social Research Methodology

Future-studies related to cross-cultural issues can help predict developments and prevent problems, assuming they build on a good methodological platform. This course on such future studies as a means to understand and influence the future, therefore also includes social research methodology.

5. Cross-cultural / Interdisciplinary Interaction and Psychology

With globalization comes cultural interaction. There is very little evidence to say that a homogeneous global culture will develop. It is more likely that the concept of glocal - a mix of the two words global and local - will best describe the future world order.

To understand and facilitate this development one must understand what constitutes a culture, and how and why cultures clash. Cultures are however not only social, they can also be religious, professional, disciplinary or otherwise. By understanding the psychology and methodology of bridging cultures one can help not only peoples from different parts of the world to co-habitation, but also specialists from different disciplines to co-operation. Using such insights one can also more easily understand how the world can develop, as development always is a result of such co-habitation and co-operation.

6. Thesis: Linking directly to a Chosen Elective

Students are asked to submit a thesis discussing one of the four electives listed under item 6.1 to 6.4 below. They are:

Capacity Building for Diverse Cultures, focusing on managing human capacity creation and development, as well as evolutionary processes and technology transfer on a micro as well as macro level.

Structures and Systems, analyzing how institution-building processes take place; how they are managed and influenced, including not only the processes aimed at developing a State's administrative and juridical bodies, but also those developing capital markets and political - as well as multilateral - institutions.

Inter-Cultural Leadership, through (i) case research based on the past, (ii) scenario building based on the future, communication theory and/or technology, and (iii) negotiation techniques looking towards the future.

Western-styled Corporate Philosophy; intended for those non-westerners who wish to have a thorough introduction to western corporate philosophy and behaviour. This thesis would typically focus on similarities and differences between your own cultural setting and the type of cultural setting that the western-styled corporate philosophy would assume. It should also discuss how your own cultural tradition can serve as a platform not only for a local enterprise, but for an internationally viable business model. Further, it should identify steps for how western MNEs can adapt to local conditions, not only in order to respect cultural diversity, but also to better tap into markets that are culturally sensitive.

Leaders who possess the insights that this program offers will be better suited to meet the challenges that our future has in store for us, no matter where we live or in which segment of the society we wish to succeed.

.Coming Clean: The future of coal in the Asia-Pacific region

By WWF-Australia

Despite Asia-Pacific’s unrestrained use of coal — and its contribution to greenhouse gas emissions — a new WWF report finds there is a role for the fossil fuel in a carbon-constrained energy future.

The report, Coming Clean: The Truth and Future of Coal in the Asia-Pacific, released on the eve of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, acknowledges that coal will contribute an important part to the energy supply of the emerging economies in the region, in particular China and India.

Coal and developing nations
According to the report, coal has a role to play in meeting the region’s energy demands but that it must be reduced to no more than 20% of all energy produced; tempered with the introduction of cleaner coal technologies, specifically carbon capture and storage, and regulated by government policies designed to better protect local environments and communities.

With 88% of the current global increase in coal use coming from the developing nations of Asia, the report says industrialized nations need to assist developing economies to implement low emissions technologies in order to prevent dangerous global climate change.

To do this will require new forms of technology transfer.

Based on independent analyses commissioned by WWF from energy experts across the region, the report finds that the market value of coal does not reflect its toll on human health and the local and global environment.

If these factors were taken into account alternative energy technologies including low-emission coal technologies would be more economic.

Coal and global warming
Coal’s impacts on the region range from the depletion of arable soil, to diminishing clean water supplies and severe air pollution to grave respiratory illness and displaced and disenfranchised communities. But perhaps coal’s greatest threat is its significant contributions to global warming, which stands to unleash potentially cataclysmic environmental impacts.”

“The Asia-Pacific’s coal use is not just a climate change issue but is also a community and local environmental issue," said Ina Pozon, WWF International’s Asia-Pacific Coal Initiative Coordinator and author of the report.

"Coal currently plays a dominant role in developing countries, such as China and India, and it is unrealistic to expect an immediate shift away from coal."

The report, she adds, provides parameters that define responsible coal use that allow developing countries to continue using this fuel to achieve economic growth, while minimizing its impact on people and the planet, particularly when it comes to global warming.

Download the report as *.pdf
click here


September 11

Meetings in 2020 - A showcase

Location: De Industrieele Groote Club, Dam 27, Amsterdam
Free entrance

The Season Events are on Thursdays
Registration: 18:30-19:00, Conference: 19:00-21:15

October 25
18:30 - 21:15
  the future of Google
and its impact on Media & Entertainment
Location:, Sint Antoniesbreestraat 16, 1011 HB Amsterdam [Next to Nieuwmarkt]

November 29
18:30 - 21:15
  the future of Sexuality
Location: Waag Society, Nieuwmarkt 4, 1012 CR Amsterdam [Center of Nieuwmarkt]

January 31
18:30 - 21:15
  the future of Fashion

February 28
18:30 - 21:15
  the future of Nanotechnology

March 27
18:30 - 21:15
  the future of Ecological Architecture

April 24
18:30 - 21:15
  the future of Money

May 29
18:30 - 21:15
  the future of Children
Location:, Sint Antoniesbreestraat 16, 1011 HB Amsterdam [Next to Nieuwmarkt]

June 26
18:30 -
  Taste of Diversity


.Club of Amsterdam Open Business Club

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