Mankind, the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche observed, does
not strive for happiness; only the Englishman does that. Yet,
famously enshrined in the US constitution, the pursuit of happiness
has conquered the world as a constant obligation: be happy now!
The ancient Greek sought
eudaimonia, happiness, as the highest desirable good and
the object of virtue. Jeremy Bentham, an English philosopher and reformer,
later turned utility, or Greatest Happiness", into the basis
or definition of virtue and made it useful as an organizing principle
Advances in neuroscience,
the empirical investigation of subjective well-being and quality-of-life
studies have brought an evidence based understanding on what makes us
happy. Once we have escaped from abject poverty, more wealth does not
make us feel happier, yet the relative status it provides adds to our
individual satisfaction. The reproductive advantage endowed by ambition
and status ensures we always want twice as much as we have. This keeps
our economy turning and suggests that we are destined to consume whatever
there is without ever getting any happier.
No future for happiness,
then? Some believe that happiness cannot only be measured but also taught,
and that societies and economies, even a future, can be built on the
idea that the opportunity to feel happy is truly valuable.
- What makes us happy?
(Human nature, the individual perspective)
- What contributes to our common happiness? (The effect of society)
- How can there be most happiness? (The future of happiness)
Auditorium, Singelgrachtgebouw, Rhijnspoorplein
1, 1091 GC Amsterdam
[corner Wibautstraat and Mauritskade] registration more
Introduction by our
Moderator Michael Münker
Michael briefly introduces Tim Mulgan, Professor of Moral
& Political Philosophy, Princeton / St.Andrews (in absence) Utilitarianism for a broken future.
Ruut Veenhoven, Emeritus-professor of 'social conditions
for human happiness', Erasmus University Rotterdam Greater happiness for a greater number
Is that possible?
Centre for Well-being, New Economics Foundation, London The Happy Planet
What is FUTUREforest?
A partnership of regions sharing ideas on how the forests
of Europe could adapt to climate change using innovative natural
solutions, contribute towards carbon sequestration and reduce
risks caused by climate change such as flooding, drought, fire
and soil erosion.
In particular it looks at:
Adaptation of forests to maintain their resilience
How forests can help society adapt to the impacts of climate
How trees and timber can do more than just lock away carbon
Each of the seven partners is responsible for looking at the challenges
to be faced:
Auvergne, France biodiversity
Brandenburg, Germany knowledge transfer
Bulgaria soil protection
Catalonia natural risks
Latvia timber production
Slovakia carbon sequestration
Wales water management
Why forests? Trees and woodlands deliver multiple economic, environmental
and social benefits including timber and non-timber products,
biodiversity, local climate regulation, soil protection, water
management and a healthy environment.
How does the project
work? In three phases FUTUREforest aims to identify the threats,
weaknesses and strengths of Europes forest as they face
up to climate change; developing best management techniques to
guide policy makers and stakeholders.
Seeing is believing
study visits to see examples of practice guidelines and
then promoting new best practice across the project regions.
- workshops on transferable good practice guides, policy recommendations,
strategic guidelines, forest programmes and policy tools.
Transfer to policy
- the exchange of experiences, transfer of policy and good practice
guides, between the regions, European public authorities and key
There is much to learn about salt. Salt, sodium chloride, touches
our lives more than any other chemical compound. The chemical properties
and physical properties of sodium chloride are a treasure to mankind.
Salt or salt-derived products are ubiquitous in our material world
and the very cells of our bodies swim in a saline solution. We take
for granted the salt crystals that make our foods safe and palatable
and we give thanks for salts lifesaving properties when applied
to slick winter roads. Most are unaware of the 14,000 known uses
for salt, how its produced and our success in ensuring the
environmental compatibility as it provides the foundation for the
quality of our lives. Salt
Institute is the world's foremost source of authoritative
information about salt (sodium chloride).
No other force is likely to shape the future of national economic
health, public finances, and policymaking as the irreversible rate
at which the world's population is aging. The problem has been long
observed and is well understood: U.N. figures show the proportion
of the world's population aged over 65 is set to more than double
by 2050, to 16.2% from 7.6% currently. By the middle of the century,
about 1 billion over 65s will join the ranks of those classed as
of non-working age. Standard & Poor's Ratings Services believes
that the cost of caring for these people will profoundly affect
growth prospects and dominate public finance policy debates worldwide.
Hybrid - the first car to have entire body 3D printed
and Kor Ecologic are creating one of the world's most fuel-efficient
and environmentally friendly vehicles. Code-named, Urbee, it is
the first car ever to have its entire body 3D printed by additive
The electric / liquid-fuel
hybrid reaches more than 200 mpg, highway and 100 mpg, city in
U.S. gallons with either gasoline or ethanol (250 mpg highway
/125 mpg city, Imperial gallons).
The car is charged
overnight for just pennies from any standard home electrical outlet.
Alternately, it can be charged by renewable energy from a windmill
or a solar-panel array small enough to fit on top a single-car
For combined city
and highway use, the Urbee gets about 150 mpg and costs only 2
cents per mile. This is only about 10 percent of the fuel consumed
by a typical SUV. And on the highway, it costs about 1 cent per
mile, or 95 percent less than that same SUV.
on the road today were developed by applying 'green' standards
to traditional vehicle formats, says Jim Kor, president and chief
technology officer, Kor Ecologic. "Urbee was designed with
environmentally sustainable principles dictating every step of
"Urbee is the
only practical car we're aware of that can run solely on renewable
energy," says Kor. "Our goal in designing it was to
be as 'green' as possible throughout the design and manufacturing
processes. FDM technology from Stratasys has been central to meeting
that objective. FDM lets us eliminate tooling, machining, and
handwork, and it brings incredible efficiency when a design change
is needed. If you can get to a pilot run without any tooling,
you have advantages."
Urbee is the first
prototype car ever to have its entire body 3D printed with an
additive process. All exterior components - including the glass
panel prototypes - were created using Dimension 3D Printers and
Fortus 3D Production Systems at Stratasys' digital manufacturing
service - RedEye on Demand.
Gilbert's central thesis is that, through perception and cognitive
biases, people imagine the future poorly, in particular what will
make them happy. He argues that imagination fails in three ways
to add and remove details, but people do not realize that key
details may be fabricated or missing from the imagined scenario.
(and pasts) are more like the present than they actually will
be (or were).
to realize that things will feel differently once they actually
happen -- most notably, the psychological immune system will make
bad things feel not so bad as they are imagined to feel.
The advice Gilbert
offers is to use other people's experiences to predict the future,
instead of imagining it. It is surprising how similar people are
in much of their experiences, he says. He does not expect too many
people to heed this advice, as our culture, accompanied by various
thinking tendencies, is against this method of decision making.
Also, Gilbert covers
the topic of 'filling in' or the frequent use of patterns, by the
mind, to connect events which we do actually recall with other events
we expect or anticipate fit into the expected experience. This 'filling
in' is also used by our eyes and optic nerves to remove our blind
spot or scotoma, and instead substitute what our mind expects to
be present in the blind spot.
The book is written
accessibly for the layperson, generally avoiding abstruse terminology
and explaining common quirks of reasoning through the simple experiments
that exploited them.
National Foundation for the Promotion of Happiness
The National Foundation
for the Promotion of Happiness
(abbreviated the Happiness) is a multicultural, not-for-profit
network of artists, play writers, actors, musicians and volunteers
who invest in children and teenagers in asylum-seeking centres.
The Happiness organises creative activities on a regular basis
in 30 asylum-seeking centres in the Netherlands. Creativity provides
space. Art challenges, but doesnt force. For children and
teenagers it is of great importance to be able to demonstrate
during their development who they are and who they can be. This
can be done through music, sculpture, theatre, play and game,
in brief, during creative activities.
Our target group
was, and still is a blind spot for public and private institutions
both in terms of refugee-policies and in terms of working for
asylum-seekers or children and teenagers. While the children and
teenagers of the Happiness are mentioned in the International
Covenant for the Rights of Children, they do not fit
into any mandate of the Dutch government. The Happiness has a
unique role through the diversity of its flexible regional network;
a large amount of the projects are executed by employees with
a refugee background. The Happiness is an independent organisation
supported by individuals and private funding.
Houle & Associates provides future oriented strategic
consulting at the highest level to clients. David Houle is a futurist,
strategist and keynote speaker. He has always been slightly ahead
the curve. Houle is consistently ranked as one of the top futurists
and futurist keynote speakers on the major search engines. He
has keynoted numerous conferences both across the country and
internationally. He is regularly invited to speak and corporate
management retreats. He recently won a Speaker of the Year award
from Vistage International, the leading organizations of CEOs
in the world. He is often called the "CEOs futurist"
having spoken to or advised 1200+ CEOs and business owners in
the past three years.
Houle spent more
than 20 years in media and entertainment. He has worked at NBC,
CBS and was part of the senior executive team that launched MTV,
Nickelodeon, VH1 and CNN Headline News. He helped to create television
series on A&E for his client Bill Kurtis, "Investigative
Reports and "American Justice, introducing single
subject documentaries and legal programming to prime time before
those programming concepts became common place. Both series were
award winning and ran for more than ten years.
Houle has won a
number of awards. He won two Emmys as Co-Executive Producer for
a nationally syndicated kids program, "Energy Express.
He won the prestigious George Foster Peabody award and the Heartland
award for "Hank Aaron: Chasing the Dream and was nominated
for an Academy Award.
He writes the highly
regarded futurist blog www.evolutionshift.com
with the tag line "A Future Look At Today". For those
of you on Twitter his user name is evolutionshift which is also
the name of his YouTube channel. He publishes a free monthly newsletter
and the highly acclaimed semi-annual Shift Age Trend Report. Both
are available at www.davidhoule.com/shiftstore/index.asp.
He has been speaking about the future for a number of years and
his first book "The Shift Age" was published in 2008.
He is currently working on two new books.
Seven Key Issues
America Must Face to Remain a Great Nation
18:30 - 21:15
future of Happiness
Location: Hogeschool van Amsterdam, Auditorium, Singelgrachtgebouw,
Rhijnspoorplein 1, 1091 GC Amsterdam [corner Wibautstraat and Mauritskade]