In this show
we are talking about Governance for All / Philosophy unbound
/ Robotics and A.I. and ... featuring Karin Jironet, Markus
Petz, Katie Aquino, aka Miss Metaverse, Annegien Blokpoel
and Paul Holister
Future Now Show
.... and join our event in London about
of Collective Intelligence, Wednesday, February
With Hardy Schloer about:
How will humanity
manage the transition from a human based intelligence to a superior
machine intelligence in a constructive, peaceful and practical way?
Bopp, Founder & Chairman
State of the Future
By Jerome C. Glenn,
Theodore J. Gordon, and Elizabeth Florescu.
The global situation
for humanity continues to improve in general, but at the expense
of the environment. People around the world are becoming healthier,
wealthier, better educated, more peaceful, and increasingly connected,
and they are living longer. The child mortality rate has dropped
47% since 1990, extreme poverty in the developing world fell from
50% in 1981 to 21% in 2010, primary school completion rates grew
from 81% in 1990 to 91% in 2011, only one transborder war occurred
in 2013, nearly 40% of humanity is connected via the Internet,
and life expectancy has increased ten years over the past twenty
years to reach 70.5 years today.
However, water tables are falling on all continents, intrastate
conflicts and refugee numbers are increasing, glaciers are melting,
income gaps are increasingly obscene, coral reefs are dying, ocean
acidity is increasing, ocean dead zones have doubled every decade
since the 1960s, half the worlds topsoil has been destroyed,
youth unemployment has reached dangerous proportions, traffic
jams and air pollution are strangling cities, $11.6 trillion
is paid in bribes, organized crime takes in twice the money per
year as all military budgets combined, civil liberties are increasingly
threatened, and half of the world is potentially unstable.
Massive transitions from isolated subsistence agriculture and
industrial economies to an emerging global Internetconnected
pluralistic civilization are occurring at unprecedented speed
and uncertainties. Monitoring major indicators of progress from
health and education to water and energy shows we are winning
more than we are losing but where we are losing is very
serious. After seventeen years of continuous monitoring of global
change as documented in the annual State of the Future
reports, it is clear that humanity has the ideas and resources
to address its global challenges, but it has not yet shown the
leadership, policies, and management on the scale necessary to
guarantee a better future. It is also clear from The Millennium
Projects global futures research over all these years that
there is greater agreement about how to build a better future
than is evident in the one-way media that holds audiences by the
drama of disagreement, which is reinforcing polarization. When
you consider the many wrong decisions and good decisions not taken
day after day and year after year around the world
it is amazing that we are still making as much progress as we
The IMF expects the global economy to grow from 3% in 2013 to
3.7% during 2014 and possibly 3.9% in 2015. With world population
of 7.2 billion growing at 1.1% in 2013, the global per capita
income is increasing at 2.6% per year. The world is reducing poverty
faster than many thought was possible, but the divide between
the rich and poor is growing faster than many want to admit. According
to Oxfam, the total wealth of the richest 85 people equals that
of 3.6 billion people in the bottom half of the worlds economy,
and half of the worlds wealth is owned by just 1% of the
population. We need to continue the successful efforts that are
reducing poverty, but we also need to focus far more seriously
on reducing income inequality if long-term instability is to be
Because the world
is better educated and increasingly connected, people are becoming
less tolerant of the abuse of elite power than in the past. Because
youth unemployment is growing, more people have more time to do
something about this abuse. Unless these elites open the conversation
about the future with the rest of their populations, unrest and
revolutions are likely to continue and increase. The executive
summary of the 2008 State of the Future stated:
Half the world
is vulnerable to social instability and violence due to rising
food and energy prices, failing states, falling water tables,
climate change, decreasing water-food-energy supply per person,
desertification, and increasing migrations due to political,
environmental, and economic conditions.
factors contributing to social instability have continued to worsen
over the past five years, leading to the social unrest we see
today in many parts of the world. The number of wars and battlerelated
deaths has been decreasing, however. Yet worrisome territorial
tensions among Asian countries continue to slowly escalate, cyber
attacks and espionage are rapidly increasing, and overlapping
jurisdictions for energy access to the melting Arctic will be
tests of humanitys maturity to see if these can be peacefully
resolved. The US and Russia argue about how to stop the bloodshed
in Syria while a third of Syrias 21 million people are displaced
in their country or refugees in neighboring countries. The number
of nuclear weapons is falling and nation-state transborder wars
are rare, yet conflicts within countries are increasing, and the
world ignores 6 million war-related deaths in the Congo.
At the same time, the world is increasingly engaged in many diverse
conversations about the right way to relate to the environment
and our fellow humans and about what technologies, economics,
and laws are right for our common future. These great conversations
are emerging from countless international negotiations, the evolution
of standards established by the ISO, the preparations for the
post-2015 UN Development Goals and other UN gatherings, and thousands
of Internet discussion groups and big data analyses. Humanity
is slowly but surely becoming aware of itself as an integrated
system of cultures, economies, technologies, natural and built
environments, and governance systems.
These great conversations will be better informed if we realize
that the world is improving better than most pessimists know and
that future dangers are worse than most optimists indicate. Better
ideas, new tech, and creative management approaches are popping
up all over the world, but the lack of imagination and courage
to make serious change is drowning the innovations needed to make
the world work for all.
Meanwhile, the world is beginning to automate jobs more broadly
and quickly than during the industrial revolution and initial
stages of the information age. How many truck and taxicab drivers
will future self-driving cars replace? How many will lose their
jobs to robotic manufacturing? Or telephone support people to
AI telephone systems? The number of employees per business revenue
is falling, giving rise to employment-less economic growth. New
possibilities have to be invented, such as one-person Internet-based
self-employment, for finding markets worldwide rather than looking
for local jobs. Successfully leapfrogging slower linear development
processes in lower-income countries is likely to require implementing
futuristic possibilities from 3D printing to seawater agriculture
and making increasing individual and collective intelligence
a national objective of each country.
The explosive, accelerating
growth of knowledge in a rapidly changing and increasingly interdependent
world gives us so much to know about so many things that it seems
impossible to keep up. At the same time, we are flooded with so
much trivial news that serious attention to serious issues gets
little interest, and too much time is wasted going through useless
The Millennium Project has gathered the insights from creative
and knowledgeable people around the world to identify and update
prospects for 15 Global Challenges to provide a framework for
understanding what is important to know about global change. Chapter
1 presents distilled overviews of each of these challenges so
that readers can save time and more easily improve their understanding
of our common future compared with more narrowly focused sources
scattered around the Internet. Chapter 1 is continually updated
online in the Global
Futures Intelligence System GFIS
can be thought of as a global information utility from which different
readers can draw different value for improving understanding and
decisions. In addition to succinct but relatively detailed descriptions
of the current situation and forecasts, recommendations to address
each challenge are also included. Some examples suggested in Chapter
- Establish a U.S.-China
10-year environmental security goal to reduce climate change
and improve trust.
- Grow meat without
growing animals, to reduce water demand and GHG emissions.
- Develop seawater
agriculture for biofuels, carbon sink, and food without rain.
- Build global collective
intelligence systems for input to long-range strategic plans.
- Create tele-nations
connecting brains overseas to the development process back home.
- Establish trans-institutions
for more effective implementation of strategies.
- Detail and implement
a global counter-organized crime strategy.
- Use the State
of the Future Index as an alternative to GDP as a measure of
progress for the world and nations.
The world is in a
race between implementing ever-increasing ways to improve the
human condition and the seemingly ever-increasing complexity and
scale of global problems. So, how is the world doing in this race?
Whats the score so far?
A review of the trends of the 30 variables used in The Millennium
Projects global State of the Future Index (see Box 1) provides
a score card on humanitys performance in addressing the
most important challenges.
The State of the Future Index is a measure of the 10-year outlook
for the future based on historical data for the last 20 years.
It is constructed with key variables and forecasts that, in the
aggregate, depict whether the future promises to be better or
worse. The SOFI is intended to show the directions and intensity
of change and to identify the factors responsible. It provides
a mechanism for studying the relationships among the items in
a system. It has been produced by The Millennium Project since
The variables included in SOFI were selected from a set of indicators
rated by an international Delphi panel for their capacity for
showing progress or regress on the 15 Global Challenges and the
availability of at least 20 years of reliable historical data.
The variables were submitted several times to an international
panel selected by The Millennium Projects Nodes to forecast
the best and worst values for each variable in 10 years. These
were used for the normalization and integration of all the variables
into a single index (See State of the Future Index
in GFISs Research section for details of the construction
of SOFI, annual global SOFIs since 2001, and several national
applications.) and for computation of the State of the Future
Index. The index shown in Figure 1 indicates a slower progress
since 2007, although the overall outlook is promising.
The World Report Card
Each of the 30 variables can be examined
to show where we are winning, where we are losing, and where there
is unclear or little progress, producing a report card for the
world. Figures 2, 3, and 4 show the indicators with their historical
data and projections grouped by progress criterion.
Variables used in the 201314 State of the Future Index
1. GNI per capita, PPP (constant 2005 international $)
2. Economic income inequality (share of top 10%)
3. Unemployment, total (% of world labor force)
4. Poverty headcount ratio at $1.25 a day (PPP) (% of population)
5. Levels of corruption (0=highly corrupt; 6=very clean)
6. Foreign direct investment, net inflows (BoP, current $, billions)
7. R&D Expenditures (% of GDP)
8. Population growth (annual %)
9. Life expectancy at birth (years)
10. Mortality rate, infant (per 1,000 live births)
11. Prevalence of undernourishment
12. Health expenditure per capita (current $)
13. Physicians (per 1,000 people)
14. Improved water source (% of population with access)
15. Renewable internal freshwater resources per capita (thousand
16. Ecological Footprint / Biocapacity ratio
17. Forest area (% of land area)
18. CO2emissions from fossil fuel and cement production (billion
19. Energy efficiency (GDP per unit of energy use (constant
2005 PPP $ per kg of oil equivalent))
20. Electricity production from renewable sources, excluding
hydroelectric (% of total)
21. Literacy rate, adult total (% of people ages 15 and above)
22. School enrollment, secondary (% gross)
23. Number of wars (conflicts with more than 1,000 fatalities)
24. Terrorism incidents
25. Number of countries and groups that had or still have intentions
to build nuclear weapons
26. Freedom rights (number of countries rated free)
27. Voter turnout (% voting population)
28. Proportion of seats held by women in national parliaments
(% of members)
29. Internet users (per 100 people)
30. Prevalence of HIV (% of population age 15 and 49)
Some Factors to
A great brain race has begun! The EU, U.S., Japan, and China have
announced programs to understand how the brain works and apply
that knowledge for better computers and to improve our relation
to them. Google also is working to create artificial brains to
be your personal artificial intelligence assistant. Another great
race is on to make supercomputer power available to the masses
with advances in IBMs Watson and with cloud computing by
Amazon and others. About 85% of the worlds population is
expected to be covered by highspeed mobile Internet in
2017. China already has nearly twice as many Internet users as
the entire population of the U.S., and 81% of its Internet users
gain access via mobile phones. Over 8 billion devices are connected
to the Internet of Things, which is expected to grow
to 4080 billion devices by 2020. According to the ITU, nearly
40% of humanity uses the Internet now. The global nervous system
of humanity is nearing completion, making a de facto global brain(s)
of humanity partly by design and partly spontaneously.
So what happens when the entire world has access to nearly all
the worlds knowledge and instantaneous access to artificial
brains able to solve problems and create new conditions like geniuses,
while blurring previous distinctions between virtual realities
and physical reality?
We have already seen brilliant financial experts augmented with
data and software making shortterm, selfish, economic decisions
that led to the 2008 global financial crisis, continued environmental
degradation, and widening income disparities. It is not yet clear
that humanity will grow from adolescent shortterm, mefirst
thinking to more adult longerterm, wefirst planetoriented
decisionmaking. Humanity seems to be evolving from ideologically
driven central decisionmaking to more decentralized pragmatic
evidencebased decisionmaking. Yet multiway interactive
media that is one of the greatest forces for good also attracts
individuals with common interests into isolated ideological groups,
reinforcing social polarization and conflict and forcing some
political systems into gridlock.
Humanity may become more responsible and compassionate as the
Internet of people and things grows across the planet, making
us more aware of humanity as a whole and of our natural and built
environments. It also makes it increasingly difficult for conventional
crimes to go undetected. Unfortunately, cyberspace has become
the new media for new kinds of crimes. According to Akamai, there
were 628 cyberattacks over 24 hours on July 24, 2013, with
majority targeting the U.S. Cyberattacks can be thought
of as a new kind of guerrilla warfare. Prevention may just be
an endless intellectual arms race of hacking and counterhacking
software, setting cyber traps, exposing sources, and initiating
Although the longrange trend toward democracy is strong,
Freedom House reports that world political and civil liberties
deteriorated for the eighth consecutive year in 2013, with declines
noted in 54 countries and improvements in just 40 countries. At
the same time, increasing numbers of educated and mobile phone
Internetsavvy people are no longer tolerating the abuse
of power and may be setting the stage for a long and difficult
transition to more global democracy.
Meanwhile, the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change found that greenhouse gases grew from
an average of 1.3% per year between 1970 and 2000 to an average
of 2.2% between 2000 and 2010. Each decade of the past three was
warmer than the previous decade. The past 30 years was likely
the warmest period in the northern hemisphere in the last 1,400
Even if all CO2 emissions are stopped today,
the IPCC report notes that most aspects of climate change
will persist for many centuries. Hence, the world has to
take adaptation far more seriously, in addition to reducing GHG
emissions by better conservation, higher efficiencies, changes
in food and energy production, and new methods to reduce the GHGs
that are already in
Without dramatic changes, UNEP projects a 2°C (3.6°F)
rise above preindustrial levels in 2030 years, accelerating
changing climate, ocean acidity, changes in disease patters, and
saltwater intrusions into freshwater areas worldwide. FAO reports
that 87% of global fish stocks are either fully exploited or overexploited.
Typhoon Haiyan that devastated the Philippines in November 2013
had gusts reaching 235 miles per hour and a storm surge of water
swelling as high as 20 feet, making it the most powerful tropical
storm on record to make landfall. Oceans absorb about 33% of humangenerated
CO2, but their ability to continue doing
this is being reduced, with changing acidity and dying coral reefs
and other living systems.
In just 36 years (by 2050) the world needs to create enough electrical
production capacity for an additional 3.7 billion people. There
are 1.2 billion people without electricity today (17% of the world),
and an additional 2.4 billion people will be added to the worlds
population between now and 2050. Compounding this is the requirement
to decommission aging nuclear power plants and to replace or retrofit
fossil fuel plants. The cost of nuclear power is increasing, while
the cost of renewables is falling. Wind power passed nuclear as
Spains leading source of electricity. However, fossil fuels
(coal, oil, and natural gas) will continue to supply the vast
majority of baseload electricity past 2050 unless there are major
social and technological changes. About 3 billion people still
rely on traditional biomass for cooking and heating. If the longterm
trends toward a wealthier and more sophisticated world continue,
our energy demands by 2050 could be more than expected. However,
the convergences of technologies are accelerating rapidly to make
energy efficiencies far greater by 2050 than forecast today.
Because of falling water tables around the world, climate change,
various forms of water pollution, and an additional 2.4 billion
people in just 36 years (the majority in Asia), some of the people
with safe water today may not have it in the future unless significant
changes are made. Major progress was made over the past 25 years
that provided enough clean water for an additional 2 billion people,
but then water tables were higher, climate change was slower,
and pollution was less. According to the OECD, half the world
could be living in areas with severe water stress by 2030.
The UNs midrange forecast is that the current 7.2
billion people will grow to 9.6 billion by 2050 and there will
be as many people over 65 as under 15, requiring new concepts
of retirement or work. Average life expectancy at birth has increased
from 48 years in 1955 to 70.5 years today. Future scientific and
medical breakthroughs could give people longer and more productive
lives than most would believe possible today. For example, uses
of genetic data, software, and nanotechnology will help detect
and treat disease at the genetic or molecular level. As a result,
people will work longer and create many forms of telework,
reducing the economic burden on younger generations and maintaining
a better quality of life. In the meantime, because people are
living longer, health care costs are increasing, and the shortage
of health workers is growing, telemedicine and selfdiagnosis
via biochip sensors and online expert systems will be increasingly
The continued acceleration of S&T is fundamentally changing
what is possible, and access to this knowledge is becoming universally
available. But little news coverage, educational curricula, or
the general public who elect political leaders seem aware of the
extraordinary changes and consequences that need to be discussed.
For example, Chinas Tianhe2 supercomputer is the worlds
fastest computer at 33.86 petaflops (quadrillion floating point
operations per second) passing the computational speed
of a human brain (though not its cognitive abilities). Individual
gene sequencing is available for $1,000 that will lead to individual
genetic medicine, while human pancreatic cells have been changed
into liver cells and skin cells into heart cells. Synthetic biology
is creating new life forms from computer designs. Nanoscale
robots are being developed that should be able to manage nanoscale
building processes for novel materials. A Higgslike particle
has been discovered that could explain the fundamental ability
of particles to acquire mass. Quantum entanglement of billions
of particle pairs could revolutionize communications and possibly
transportation, and quantum building blocks (qubits) have been
embedded into nanowires to lead to quantum computers. Although
seemingly remote from improving the human condition, such basic
science is necessary to increase the knowledge that applied science
and technology draws on to improve the human condition.
Yet the acceleration of scientific and technological change seems
to grow beyond conventional means of ethical evaluation. Is it
ethical to clone ourselves, to bring dinosaurs back to life, or
to invent thousands of new life forms through synthetic biology?
Is it ethical to implement new S&T developments without proper
safety testing or to develop new forms of weapons without human
control over their use and safe disposal? Should basic scientific
research be pursued without direct regard for social issues and
the society that funds it? Might social considerations impair
progress toward a truthful understanding of reality? Since journalists
have to hype to be read in such an information-noisy
world, truth can be distorted, resulting in a cynical public.
We need a global collective intelligence system to track S&T
advances, forecast consequences, and document a range of views
so that all can understand the potential consequences of new and
possible future S&T.
Although the empowerment
of women has been one of the strongest drivers of social evolution
over the past century, violence against women is the largest war
today, as measured by death and casualties per year. Globally,
35% of women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence,
and 38% of all murders of women are committed by intimate partners.
While the gender gaps for health and educational attainment were
closed by 96% and 93% respectively, according to the 2013 Global
Gender Gap by the World Economic Forum, the gap in economic participation
has been closed by only 60% and the gap in political outcomes
by only 21% globally. Women account for 21.3% of the membership
of national legislative bodies worldwide, up from 11.3% in 1997.
It is not reasonable to expect the world to cooperatively create
and implement strategies to build a better future without some
general agreement about what that desirable future is. Such a
future should not be built on unrealistic fantasies unaware of
the global situation. It should also be aware of the extraordinary
possibilities. The overviews of the 15 Global Challenges in Chapter
1 gives a framework for understanding the current situation and
prospects that have been systematically updated over the past
seventeen years and with the accumulative participation of over
4,500 creative and knowledgeable people. The Global Challenges
can be used as input to strategic development processes and university
courses and can help the general public to understand what is
important about future possibilities. This work is continuously
updated with much greater detail in the Global Futures Intelligence
System at www.themp.org.
Chapter 2, Hidden
Hunger: Unhealthy Food Markets in the Developing World, shares
an international assessment of the causes of and solutions to
the increasing problem of hidden hunger: the intake of sufficient
calories but with little nutritious value, vitamins, and minerals.
Although the share of people in the world who are hungry has fallen
from over 30% in 1970 (when world population was 3.7 billion)
to 15% today (with world population at over 7 billion)
the vast majority of whom are in Africa and Asia concerns
are increasing over the variety and nutritional quality of food.
FAO estimates that some 30% of the population (2 billion people)
suffers from hidden hunger. Some researchers argue that industrial
agriculture reduces the nutrient content of crops, thus escalating
the risk of hidden hunger. The International Food Policy Research
Institutes Global Hunger Index report notes that many of
the unhealthy food conditions in the developing world are related
to poor government social policies, income inequalities, inefficient
farming, posttraumatic stress following civil wars, and
the low status and educational level of women.
Chapter 3, Vulnerable Natural Infrastructure in Urban Coastal
Zones, shares an international assessment of the causes of
and solutions to the increasing deterioration of the natural infrastructure
along the urban coastal zones around the world. This deterioration
diminishes natures ability to reduce the impacts of hurricanes,
tsunamis, and pollution, as it also negatively affects ecosystem
services essential to livelihood. Over half the people in the
world live within 120 miles of a coastline. Hence, without appropriate
mitigation, prevention, and management of the natural infrastructure
within urban coastal zones, billions of people will be increasingly
vulnerable to a range of disasters. Chapter 4, SIMAD and Lone
Wolf Terrorism Prospects and Potential Strategies to Address the
Threat, shares an international assessment of the increasingly
destructive power of individuals acting alone. The number of terrorism
incidents increased over the past 20 years, reaching 8,441 in
2012 and more than 5,000 in the first half of 2013. Of all terrorism,
the lone wolf type is the most insidious, because it is exceedingly
difficult to anticipate, given the actions and intent of individuals
acting alone. The average opinion of the international panel participating
in this study is that nearly a quarter of terrorist attacks carried
out in 2015 might be by a lone wolf and that the situation might
escalate: about half of the participants in the study thought
that lone wolf terrorists might attempt to use weapons of mass
destruction around 2030.
Chapter 5, Global Futures Intelligence System, explains
an approach to bringing important information about the future
together with expert judgments and decision support software in
new structures for continuous updating and improvements to create
collective intelligence and wisdom about the future. Throughout
Chapter 1, references are made to GFIS as the online location
at www.themp.org for more detailed information on a subject that
is continually updated. Each of the 15 Global Challenges features
a menu that includes the following: both a short and a detailed
report; a situation chart of the present and desired situation,
as well as potential policies for progress; news aggregated from
selected RSS feeds; a scanning system with annotated information;
and key related web resources, books, papers, models, discussions,
questionnaires, and lists of edits to these items. The collective
intelligence emerges in GFIS from synergies among data/information/knowledge,
software/hardware, and experts and others with insight that continually
learn from feedback to produce justintime knowledge
for better decisions than any of these elements acting alone.
Figure 6 is a graphic illustration of these interactive elements.
rates of changes discussed in the State of the Future will
eventually connect humanity and technology into new kinds of decisionmaking
with global realtime feedback. GFIS is an early expression
of that future direction, as is the 201314 State of the
You can get the
full report at
State of the Future
Future Now Show
the future now, where near-future impact counts and visions and
strategies for preferred futures start.
Do we rise above global challenges? Or do we succumb to them?
The Future Now Show explores how we can shape our future
now - where near-future impact counts. We showcase strategies
and solutions that create futures that work.
Every month we roam through current events, discoveries, and challenges
- sparking discussion about the connection between today and the
futures we're making - and what we need, from strategy to vision
- to make the best ones.
Future Now Show
Governance for All / Philosophy unbound / Robotics and A.I.
Katie Aquino aka "Miss Metaverse", Futurista,
Karin Jironet, Co-founder of In Claritas,
Markus Petz, Head of Special Projects & Development,
Experience Alternative Tampere, Austria
Annegien Blokpoel, Founder & CEO, PerspeXo, the Netherlands
for All and ...
westernised world seems to be living in a state of increasing
fear, with many believing we face a clash of civilisations.
On one side our cherished democratic ways and on the other,
it seems, a rigid, hierarchical (religious) force hell-bent
on destroying us. Is there an outlook that is more inclusive
of the differences and would we even see it in this polarised
climate (which the Hebdo attack may have been intended to worsen)?
Might causes of the clash be going unrecognised, like blowback
from things we have done in their countries. Does our fear maybe
even stem from insecurity inflicted on ourselves by globalisation?
When the very nature and causes of the situation are so clouded,
how do you decide on a direction?
unbound and ...
unbound is a group trying to reclaim philosophy from stuffy
academia and bring it alive for people in something akin to
the underground music scene. (Imagine your teenage daughter
of a Saturday night saying Dad, Im going to a philosophy
gig in town tonight. I might be home late.) By keeping
it practical, relevant to peoples lives and participative,
the hope is that it will spread widely. Will it? What broader
impact might it have? And if you want to get really speculative,
how would it look with the involvement of enhanced humans or
power is growing exponentially, and technological advance is
accelerating - maybe also exponentially. There is no obvious
reason this will stop. Look far enough ahead - and given the
nature of exponential growth that might not be so far - and
our future offers artificial intelligences that make us look
puny, the possibility of humans merging with said intelligences
and wild ideas like uploading our consciousness into immortal
machines that could head out to the stars, unfettered by the
frailty of human bodies. But what is to stop an elite few from
taking the spoils and leaving the rest of us behind? We keep
losing jobs to machines and this wont stop so why are
working hours and the retirement age going up? A classic utopia
vs dystopia discussion seems in order. Which way are we leaning?
Event in London: the future of Collective Intelligence
The Club of Amsterdam
Location: The Cube,
Studio 5, 155 Commercial Street, London E1 6BJ
is a collaboration between The Cube and the Club of
The entrance is free. Please reserve your seat[s] - there is only
a limited amount of seats available.
To reserve your spot please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
will humanity manage the transition from a human based intelligence
to a superior machine intelligence in a constructive, peaceful
and practical way?
The emergence of Global Intelligence marks the fundamental transition
from event-based development and event-based learning to continuous
network enabled parallel development and continuous learning,
by man, and by machine; simultaneously and complimentary. Similar
to aspen trees, where the roots grow for 100s of meter underground,
to meet roots of other aspen trees, to exchange information about
water and soil conditions, the global networks of machines and
its operators begin more and more to understand in real-time the
causalities of changes in information streams and react in real-time
as well. This process will shape the future more than anything
else of the past 1,000 years. One of the most profound changes
will be that Intelligence will not be any longer a competitive
process, but a complimentary and cooperative process. This will
shape, how we govern countries, conduct commerce and manage crisis.
Managing Director, Schloer Consulting Group,
Advisory Board, Club of Amsterdam
When you join THECUBE,
you join a curated, diverse and smart community of scientists,
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We help our members innovate through our events, innovation labs
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Our story began as
a response to the financial crash of 2008; we hypothesised that
it was the start of an economic and anthropological pivot. This
kind of pivot brings monumental change, which needs a new way
of thinking and tools. In 2014 we are starting a series of workshops
which will extrapolate tools and intelligence from neuroscience,
culture and industrial engineering.
Asian Square Dance - Part 4
Akerib, Vice-Rector SWISS
Japan's population of 127 million, of which nearly a quarter is
over 65, is on a long-term downward trend, and is expected to
lose one third of its inhabitants by 2050 and by two thirds in
2100. It has the world's longest life expectancy and the lowest
child mortality rate. The aging population translates into a population
that is rapidly both aging and shrinking. Labor availability is
already an issue particularly considering the historical reluctance
of integrating immigrants - foreigners account for only 2% of
the population. An aging population is also synonymous with lower
prices for land and a lowering of real wages thus creating a strong
Facilitating entry into the employment market for women is an
unpopular measure and will most probably result in an even lower
birth rate than the present 1.47. Possibly Japanese industry will
increase its reliance on robots.
The country suffers from other woes: natural disasters, deflation,
and an increasingly uneasy relationship with China.
BFA 2010 (ab.eu)
Japanese corporations have made major investments in Asia, to
be present in these markets as they expand, but also to take advantage
of lower labor costs. This has reduced the dependence of Japanese
corporations on the yen, a traditionally strong currency.
Japan, together with the US, is the largest shareholder of the
Asian Development Bank in which there is a Japan Special Fund.
Under Prime Minister Abe, and in contradiction with the cultural
concept of sakoku or isolationism from the rest of the world,
the country has been eager to create an arc of freedom and prosperity
extending from Japan through South East and South Asia to the
Middle East. This is viewed with alarm by both China and Russia
that sees it as a means of containing them. In Asia, generally,
Japan is a partner co-opted reluctantly as memories of World War
II are still vivid and Japan, no longer wanting to be apologetic
about that part of history, is reviving these painful memories.
Japan wants to have friendly relations with other countries in
the area so as to counterbalance the rise of China. Thus, it has
recently agreed to a security alliance with Australia, and is
working at improving its relations with India, Russia and South
Korea, the latter being a country in which Japanese are simply
The limitation is essentially budgetary as Japan's economy will
face large challenges in the coming years and may no longer be
able to sustain its place as the world's second largest economy.
Its ranking by GDP per capita has already decreased from the 4th
to the 20th rank in fifteen years and its share of world GDP is
only 10% as against 18% in the mid-1990s. The country has a large
sovereign debt. Over a quarter of GDP is spent on health and nursery
care and family benefits.
Prime Minister Abe wants to delete Article 9 of the constitution
which prohibits war as a foreign policy instrument and does not
allow the country to have an army and thus gain a larger independence
from the US. It raises the issue of a possible nuclearization
of the country's military.
Indeed, Japan has undoubtedly the technological capabilities of
building a nuclear weapon. It sees itself threated by the rise
of China, the nuclear ambitions of North Korea, and is uneasy
about its dependency on the US, wondering if the US public opinion
would still, after the Iraqi fiasco, and the non-intervention
in Georgia and the Ukraine, let its forces engage in foreign combat
The government, however, is well aware that if it does not develop
nuclear weapons, it would instill even greater distrust among
its Asian partners and may well start a race to the bomb in South
Korea and Taiwan.
Japan spends a larger budget on the military than China does,
and its naval power is considerable. Investments are made in high-technology
weaponry and in particular satellite observation and submarine
detection. It is expected to spend USD 240 billion on items including
aircraft and amphibious landing ships.
Japan is integrated in the US-led Theater Missile Defense System,
is considered to have the world's third best army, thus considerably
reducing the possible threats that China could exercise in the
region. It has also announced the development of satellite capabilities
in liaison with the US.
It has recently created a Ministry of Defense. In December 2007,
its Navy successfully tested n American anti-missile system. Four
such interception systems are included in the defense setup. While
officially their purpose is to protect Japan from North Korean
missiles, they play an important part in the defense of Taiwan
should China attempt an invasion. Japan, as well as the US, have
repeatedly stated that they would not stand still should China
decide to invade the island state.
Asian Square Dance - Part 1
Asian Square Dance - Part 2: China
Asian Square Dance - Part 3: India
of Amsterdam blog
of Amsterdam blog
by Humberto Schwab, Philosopher, Owner, Humberto Schwab Filosofia
SL, Director, Club of Amsterdam
Ukrainian Dilemma and the Bigger Picture
by Hardy F. Schloer, Owner, Schloer Consulting Group - SCG, Advisory
Board of the Club of Amsterdam
impact of culture on education
by Huib Wursten, Senior Partner, itim International and
Carel Jacobs is senior consultant/trainer for itim in The Netherlands,
he is also Certification Agent for the Educational Sector of the
more demand for meat means for the future
Pelletier, The Happy Future Group Consulting Ltd.
peace and generosity
by Elisabet Sahtouris, Holder
of the Elisabet Sahtouris Chair in Living Economies, World Business
... and many more contributions.
about the Future
Year of Light 2015
International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015
is a global initiative adopted by the United Nations to raise
awareness of how optical technologies promote sustainable development
and provide solutions to worldwide challenges in energy, education,
agriculture, communications and health.
Rockefeller Foundation announce
the release of the Future of Youth Employment report. The report
offers an in-depth look at the changing nature of work in the
United States -- from microwork, to new coordination and automation
technologies, and beyond. The report explores challenges and opportunities
these changes present for poor and vulnerable youth, and suggests
policies and actions corporations, governments, and nonprofits
can take to ensure positive futures for them. In 2013, 22.5% of
workers aged 16-19 were unemployed, compared to 5.1% of workers
aged 55-64. The youth unemployment epidemic has no easy solution;
the disruptions emerging today can either exacerbate the problem,
or we can harness them to improve the lives of young people.
Collective Intelligence: Combining the Powers of Humans and Machines
to Build a Smarter Society
by Daniele Miorandi (Editor), Vincenzo Maltese (Editor), Michael
Rovatsos (Editor), Anton Nijholt (Editor), James Stewart (Editor)
The book focuses on Social Collective Intelligence, a term used
to denote a class of socio-technical systems that combine, in
a coordinated way, the strengths of humans, machines and collectives
in terms of competences, knowledge and problem solving capabilities
with the communication, computing and storage capabilities of
Social Collective Intelligence opens a number of challenges for
researchers in both computer science and social sciences; at the
same time it provides an innovative approach to solve challenges
in diverse application domains, ranging from health to education
and organization of work.
The book will provide a cohesive and holistic treatment of Social
Collective Intelligence, including challenges emerging in various
disciplines (computer science, sociology, ethics) and opportunities
for innovating in various application areas.
By going through the book the reader will gauge insight and knowledge
into the challenges and opportunities provided by this new, exciting,
field of investigation. Benefits for scientists will be in terms
of accessing a comprehensive treatment of the open research challenges
in a multidisciplinary perspective. Benefits for practitioners
and applied researchers will be in terms of access to novel approaches
to tackle relevant problems in their field. Benefits for policy-makers
and public bodies representatives will be in terms of understanding
how technological advances can support them in supporting the
progress of society and economy.
personal introduction to Mark Twain's The War Prayer
By Dario Poli
by Dario Poli aged
16 years old from "The Prophecies of Nostradamus" Published
Studio Editions Ltd England & Karl Muller Verlag Germany 1995
There is considerable visual evidence shown by the international
media of wars large and small currently taking place around the
world, and threats of new wars being openly discussed by professional
pundits, politicians, legal experts and business elites, most
of whom have never been in a real conflict or faced personal danger
We the ordinary public going about our everyday business, are
bombarded daily in the media outlets by the word "war";
the war on want, war on drugs, war on poverty; war on carbon,
war on disease, war on crime, war on illiteracy, war against injustice,
war of aggression, war of words, war against racism, war against
intolerance and the war on terror. It appears that mankind is
in a state of eternal war against its own social problems, the
class war and now cyber wars, but with no solutions in sight.
We are told that war is the "price of freedom." However
from an historical perspective, in reality it usually results
in the "loss of freedom" when we engage in war. The
subtle infiltration of the word "war" into our subconscious
is constant and needs to be understood as the ramifications can
be very serious.
Any war enterprise however well prepared, is a hazardous, unpredictable
undertaking, resulting in horrific experiences for those who fight
them, as well as for the civilians, the animal life, the waste
and contamination of our natural environment, not to mention the
physiological and unending psychological trauma and problems of
the victims. All suffer the painful consequences, including the
enormous destruction of property, infrastructure and the irreplaceable
loss of priceless art, culture and civilization.
All this barbarity because of the deliberate intentions and actions,
of those so few in number, using laws for war, created by the
few for this purpose, who lead us the majority, into these risky
adventures and horrendous conflicts, that in final analysis, come
to an abrupt end usually due to immense material and human
destruction, the high financial losses and the sheer exhaustion
of the populations involved. Conflicts always have to be resolved
by some form of dialogue and peaceful agreements, despite who
is the winner and loser.
All wars by their very nature are vile, nasty and destructive,
as the finest of our youth at the orders of the oldest, perish
or are permanently disfigured in conflict. War heavily sustained
by a suffocating blanket of misinformation and double speak, is
death, murder, rape, torture, incarceration and ruin. War always
destroys wealth and liberty and it can eradicate civilizations.
According to George Orwell, all the war propaganda, all
the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people
who are not fighting.
Amazingly despite all the above knowledge of war and its consequences,
this peace normally holds until the next war breaks out and then
the whole grizzly business begins again with renewed vigour, each
side forcefully proclaiming their just cause, ingeniously holstered
onto the trusting simplicity of the enthusiastically stimulated
tribal patriotism of the majority of the populations of those
involved, who still obediently follow the instructions and orders
of the few, as if nothing had been learned from the previous tragedy,
as they march meekly into the open doors of the house of carnage,
to be savagely minced in the unmerciful war machine. Their cries
of pity and fear vanishing unheeded into the universal ether,
together with millions of tears washed away into a river of their
Arthur Koestler observed The most persistent sound
which reverberates through mens history is the beating of
I confess without shame that I am tired and sick of war.
Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither
heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded, who cry aloud for
more blood, more vengeance, more desolation. War is Hell.
~ Civil War Union General William Tecumseh Sherman
Statesmen are the most directly responsible for the continuation
of a language of violence. They should be the first to speak the
language of peace.
The Wreck of Europe, Nitti
Humans daily face thousands of ways of dying from accidents and
a myriad of diseases waiting to take our lives, but this appears
not to be sufficient danger for us to face. Instead we deliberately
increase our own peril and survival by skilfully, often ingeniously
and effectively increasing the levels of killings by wars. What
an incredible waste of energy, time and resources. Wars need to
end as there are no victories, and as Benjamin Franklin
noted "there was never a good war or a bad peace."
Mark Twain's powerful The War Prayer is a reminder
of the absurdity and stupidity of war, especially for those who
have to fight them and is a timely warning to us all. - Dario
The War Prayer
By Mark Twain
It was a time of great and exalting excitement. The country was
up in arms, the war was on, in every breast burned the holy fire
of patriotism; the drums were beating, the bands playing, the
toy pistols popping, the bunched firecrackers hissing and sputtering;
on every hand and far down the receding and fading spreads of
roofs and balconies a fluttering wilderness of flags flashed in
the sun; daily the young volunteers marched down the wide avenue
gay and fine in their new uniforms, the proud fathers and mothers
and sisters and sweethearts cheering them with voices choked with
happy emotion as they swung by; nightly the packed mass meetings
listened, panting, to patriot oratory which stirred the deepest
deeps of their hearts and which they interrupted at briefest intervals
with cyclones of applause, the tears running down their cheeks
the while; in the churches the pastors preached devotion to flag
and country and invoked the God of Battles, beseeching His aid
in our good cause in outpouring of fervid eloquence which moved
It was indeed a glad and gracious time, and the half dozen rash
spirits that ventured to disapprove of the war and cast a doubt
upon its righteousness straightway got such a stern and angry
warning that for their personal safetys sake they quickly
shrank out of sight and offended no more in that way.
Sunday morning came next day the battalions would leave
for the front; the church was filled; the volunteers were there,
their faces alight with material dreams visions of a stern
advance, the gathering momentum, the rushing charge, the flashing
sabres, the flight of the foe, the tumult, the enveloping smoke,
the fierce pursuit, the surrender! then home from the war,
bronzed heroes, welcomed, adored, submerged in golden seas of
glory! With the volunteers sat their dear ones, proud, happy,
and envied by the neighbors and friends who had no sons and brothers
to send forth to the field of honor, there to win for the flag
or, failing, die the noblest of noble deaths. The service proceeded;
a war chapter from the Old Testament was read; the first prayer
was said; it was followed by an organ burst that shook the building,
and with one impulse the house rose, with glowing eyes and beating
hearts, and poured out that tremendous invocation God
the all-terrible! Thou who ordainest, Thunder thy clarion and
lightning thy sword!
Then came the long prayer. None could remember the
like of it for passionate pleading and moving and beautiful language.
The burden of its supplication was that an ever-merciful and benignant
Father of us all would watch over our noble young soldiers and
aid, comfort, and encourage them in their patriotic work; bless
them, shield them in His mighty hand, make them strong and confident,
invincible in the bloody onset; help them to crush the foe, grant
to them and to their flag and country imperishable honor and glory.
An aged stranger entered and moved with slow and noiseless step
up the main aisle, his eyes fixed upon the minister, his long
body clothed in a robe that reached to his feet, his head bare,
his white hair descending in a frothy cataract to his shoulders,
his seamy face unnaturally pale, pale even to ghastliness. With
all eyes following him and wondering, he made his silent way;
without pausing, he ascended to the preachers side and stood
With shut lids the preacher, unconscious of his presence, continued
his moving prayer, and at last finished it with the words, uttered
in fervent appeal, Bless our arms, grant us the victory,
O Lord our God, Father and Protector of our land and flag!
The stranger touched his arm, motioned him to step aside
which the startled minister did and took his place. During
some moments he surveyed the spellbound audience with solemn eyes
in which burned an uncanny light; then in a deep voice he said
I come from the Throne bearing a message from Almighty
God! The words smote the house with a shock; if the stranger
perceived it he gave no attention. He has heard the prayer
of His servant your shepherd and grant it if such shall be your
desire after I, His messenger, shall have explained to you its
import that is to say, its full import. For it is like
unto many of the prayers of men, in that it asks for more than
he who utters it is aware of except he pause and think.
Gods servant and yours has prayed his prayer. Has
he paused and taken thought? Is it one prayer? No, it is two
one uttered, the other not. Both have reached the ear of His Who
hearth all supplications, the spoken and the unspoken. Ponder
this keep it in mind. If you beseech a blessing upon yourself,
beware! lest without intent you invoke a curse upon a neighbor
at the same time. If you pray for the blessing of rain upon your
crop which needs it, by that act you are possibly praying for
a curse upon some neighbors crop which may not need rain
and can be injured by it.
You have heard your servants prayer the uttered
part of it. I am commissioned by God to put into words the other
part of it that part which the pastor, and also you in
your hearts, fervently prayed silently. And ignorantly and unthinkingly?
God grant that it was so! You heard these words: Grant us
the victory, O Lord our God! That is sufficient. The whole
of the uttered prayer is compact into those pregnant words. Elaborations
were not necessary. When you have prayed for victory you have
prayed for many unmentioned results which follow victory
must follow it, cannot help but follow it. Upon the listening
spirit of God the Father fell also the unspoken part of the prayer.
He commandeth me to put it into words. Listen!
O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts,
go forth to battle be Thou near them! With them, in spirit,
we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides
to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers
to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling
fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown
the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing
in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane
of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows
with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with
their little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their
desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun
flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit,
worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave
and denied it for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast
their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage,
make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain
the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it,
in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who
is ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset
and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.
(After a pause)
Ye have prayed it; if ye still desire it, speak! The messenger
of the Most High waits.
It was believed after wards that the man was a lunatic, because
there was no sense in what he said.
Twain wrote The War Prayer during the U.S. war on the Philippines.
Submitted it for publication, but on March 22, 1905, it was rejected
as unsuitable by Harpers Bazaar. Twain wrote to his friend
Dan Beard, I dont think the prayer will be published
in my time. None but the dead are permitted to tell the truth.
The War Prayer remained unpublished until 1923.
born and educated in Scotland, is an artist, writer, music composer.
He wrote magazine published articles and illustrated several published
books on Nostradamus.
He performed with his sister Delia in theatre and cabaret alongside
many international stars and had radio TV and film to their credit.
Dario, is co-author in the musical Drama on Princess Diana and
is currently completing a new show titled "Amsterdam the
Portrait: Marina Gorbis
Gorbis is a futurist and social scientist who serves as executive
director to the Institute
for the Future (IFTF),
a Silicon Valley nonprofit research and consulting organization.
In her 14 years with IFTF, Marina has brought a futures perspective
to hundreds of organizations in business, education, government,
and philanthropy to improve innovation capacity, develop strategies,
and design new products and services.
research focuses on how social production is changing the face
of major industries, a topic explored in detail in her book, The
Nature of the Future: Dispatches from the Socialstructed World.
She has also blogged and written for BoingBoing.net, FastCompany,
Harvard Business Review, and major media outlets. A native of
Odessa, Ukraine, yet equally at home in Silicon Valley, Europe,
India, and Kazakhstan, Marina is particularly well suited to see
things from a global viewpoint. She has keynoted such international
events as the World Economic Forum, The Next Web Conference, NEXT
Berlin, the World Business Forum, the National Association of
Broadcasters annual convention, and the Western Association of
Schools and Colleges annual conference. She holds a BA in psychology
and a masters of public policy from UC Berkeley.
Marina on Making
To paraphrase Margaret Mead, we are all immigrants to
the future; none of us is a native in that land. The very underpinnings
of our society and institutions from how we work to how
we create value, govern, trade, learn, and innovate are
being profoundly reshaped. We are all migrating to a new land
and should be looking at the new landscape emerging before us
like immigrants: ready to learn a new language, a new way of doing
things, anticipating new beginnings with a sense of excitement
if also with a bit of understandable trepidation.
Future Of Education Eliminates The Classroom, Because The World
Is Your Class
... Instead of worrying about how to distribute scarce educational
resources, the challenge we need to start grappling with in the
era of socialstructed learning is how to attract people to dip
into the rapidly growing flow of learning resources and how to
do this equitably, in order to create more opportunities for a
better life for more people.
Nature of the Future: Dispatches from the Socialstructed World
By Marina Gorbis
A vision of a reinvented world
big governments, and other centralized organizations have long
determined and dominated the way we work, access healthcare, get
an education, feed ourselves, and generally go about our lives.
The economist Ronald Coase, in his famous 1937 paper The
Nature of the Firm, provided an economic explanation for
this: Organizations lowered transaction costs, making the provision
of goods and services cheap, efficient, and reliable. Today, this
organizational advantage is rapidly disappearing. The Internet
is lowering transaction costs costs of connection, coordination,
and trade and pointing to a future that increasingly favors
distributed sources and social solutions to some of our most immediate
needs and our most intractable problems.
As Silicon Valley
thought-leader Marina Gorbis, head of the Institute for the Future,
portrays, a thriving new relationship-driven or socialstructed
economy is emerging in which individuals are harnessing the powers
of new technologies to join together and provide an array of products
and services. Examples of this changing economy range from BioCurious,
a members-run and free-to-use bio lab, to the peer-to-peer lending
platform Lending Club, to the remarkable Khan Academy, a free
online-teaching service. These engaged and innovative pioneers
are filling gaps and doing the seemingly impossible by reinventing
business, education, medicine, banking, government, and even scientific
research. Based on extensive research into current trends, she
travels to a socialstructed future and depicts an exciting vision
The Nature of the Future - Marina Gorbis and David Pescovitz
The Future Now Show!
Season Events 2014 / 2015
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