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Club of Amsterdam Journal, November 2003, Issue 13

Shaping Your Future in
the Knowledge Society

The Club of Amsterdam Journal appears 2 x per month.
You can find the online version at:
November 2003, Issue 13
the future of

Thursday, November 27
  Articles á
Nanocrystalline Materials

Some implications of human and social capital building

  Links á

The Disappearing Computer

Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe

Climate Technology Initiative

Institute for Alternative Futures


  .Q&A with Jonathan Marks

Jonathan Marks, Critical Distance BV

Club of Amsterdam:
Electronic media has been going through a rough patch lately. What can be learned from the downturn?
Jonathan Marks: I think it depends on where you are in Europe. Danish public broadcasting has carved itself an excellent market share in a small market. They have fully integrated web, radio and TV production and have worked hard to win over audiences. They drive the digital TV innovation and they are making important inroads with digital radio and audio on demand. Ten years ago, Denmarks Radio was the dinosaur of Europe. Now they are an example of how public broadcasting should be. Similarly, in some of the southern European countries, Spain and Portugal have digitized their archives and see themselves as the curator of national culture.

Any country, who's public broadcasting system is driven by government, technology or structural inertia is going to fail - probably in the short term. That's the case in Hungary when politicians are meddling. I believe that Holland's domestic public broadcasting system is on the verge of creative bankruptcy, where broadcasting organisations are being given impossible mission to profile AND work together. The answer is NOT the BBC model - unless Holland is planning to spend 4 billion Euro and employ 26,000 people. At that scale, of course some bits produce some jewels of programming. Instead, Holland needs to look at the UK's Channel 4 system of clearly defining the role of a channel and commissioning content from independent producers (who could be some of what are now called "omroepen". At the moment though, the Dutch broadcasting model has become the laughing stock of Europe - 5 years behind, when it used to be 5 years ahead.

Internet & websites is becoming mature, its not something on its own. It is part of a cross media approach which successful broadcasters (both commercial and public) are building on week by week.

Can you share some brief thoughts about how different generations consume the media? How is the gaming world going to change how information is going to be communicated in the future?
Jonathan Marks:
Younger audiences are able to absorb a much broader range of material than their parents, but may be in less depth. They can multitask much better. They react to programmes when they believe they can some-how change the outcome, even in a small way. Clever entrepreneurs like Endemol have spotted this and re-invented the audience participation formats of the 1950's, where SMS replaces the "clapometer" (a device measuring the applause of a studio audience).

But there is an overestimation that EVERYTHING must be interactive. I think certain sectors can score well, but only a few are going to get into interactive drama productions. Even callers to the phone-in shows are not a representative sample of the "average" listener and viewer.

In short, once the production tools change in studios from cut-and-paste, to drag-and-drop, we will see true cross media production. At the moment, a lot of time and money is wasted because TV, radio and web all use different and incompatible tools to produce. You can be put out of business trying to solve the logistics.

What future role has National TV in a globalised market to play?
Jonathan Marks: Think global, but act local. NOS Journaal or RTL Nieuws will always attract more viewers than any foreign network available in Holland. Its in Dutch about Dutch issues - and most people want to know what's going on around them first, before they get the briefing on the disasters happening in the Middle East or wherever. You can adapt formats and content to suit local tastes. But just taking shows from one culture and subtitling them for another doesn't work in most genres, except children's animation.
  .about the future of the Media & Entertainment Industry

ð New Entertainment Media: Transformation the Future of Work
by the Institute for the Future
By observing what is happening in the world of play and entertainment, businesses have a unique opportunity to get an early warning about how workplace practices will transform as a result of workers learning new modes of interaction, collaboration, and presence management from entertainment media.


ð IST 2003: The Opportunities ahead
by EC Directorate-General Information Society
This book shows how the IST Priority is working towards a vision of the future of IST that puts people first (“ambient intelligence”). It focuses on the use of IST within three key settings: by individuals and in the home (intelligent spaces); by enterprises and in the workplace (the knowledge economy); and by public services and society at large (digital communities). A fourth section covers core technologies which underpin future services and applications across these scenarios (enabling technologies).

.News about the Future
Flying cars
Moller International has developed a personal vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) vehicle.The Skycar volantor is capable of vertical take-off and landing much as a helicopter and flies from point of departure to destination much like an airplane. However, the Skycar volantor is uniquely qualified to travel short distances on the ground as an automobile as well.

"In order for volantors like the Skycar to be usable in large numbers they must be easy to use and have an environment in which they can function effectively. For several years now, we have described elements of a “Highway in the Sky” system that would provide highly automated navigation and control for each and every personal aircraft, directly responsible for the flow and management of air traffic. Automated systems offer the only realistic solution to the requirements of a new era of high-speed personal aircraft travelers. As we have watched ground traffic increase and roadways deteriorate, we have stated repeatedly that this new “skyway” should be an urgent national priority and a top priority for the FAA." - Paul S. Moller, President, Moller International
Automotive industry: Sustainability leaders clearly outperforming the rest
Shares in the vehicle manufacturers most committed to sustainability have performed significantly better over the last three years than those of their less environmentally- and socially-responsible competitors. This was the finding of Munich-based oekom research AG, which conducted sustainability ratings of the 20 largest car producers and compared the results with the companies’ respective share performances. According to oekom research, the share prices of the top ten companies, among them BMW (DE) and Renault (FR), rose by an average of 8.8 per cent between September 2000 and September 2003. By contrast, the share prices of the ten companies rated, on the basis of environmental and social criteria, as below average fell by nine per cent over the same period. This group is made up predominantly of Asian companies such as Kia Motors (KR) and Isuzu (JP).

The results are even clearer when one looks at the top five companies, which scored a Corporate Responsibility Rating of B- or above: with an average rise in their share prices of 36 per cent, the sustainability leaders are plainly outperforming the rest. These findings are confirmed by numerous studies showing that companies operating more sustainably are financially more successful than others. Growing numbers of investors are coming to the same conclusion and are taking sustainability criteria into account when making their investments. The analyses carried out by oekom research alone influence the management of 20 share and bond portfolios with assets valued at more than 800 million euros. 108 environmentally- and socially-oriented public funds, representing an investment volume of approximately 3.5 billion euros, are currently listed in Germany.

The sustainability rating shows BMW and Renault occupying, for differing reasons, the top places in the automotive industry. "Against the general trend, BMW, for example, was able to create about 4,000 jobs in 2002 alone, and is also the industry leader in the recycling field,” says Johannes Nikolopoulos, analyst at oekom research. Renault, by contrast, comes out on top in terms of vehicle safety and the low fuel consumption levels of its fleet. oekom research’s survey focussed on, amongst other things, vehicle-related environmental and social factors such as fuel consumption levels, materials used, recycling and vehicle safety, as well as on fundamental aspects such as sustainability strategies, management systems and environmental and social standards.
.Thursday, November 27, 2003
.Ambient Intelligence

ð Philips' vision of Ambient Intelligence
Philips vision of 'Ambient Intelligence': people living easily in digital environments in which the electronics are sensitive to people's needs, personalized to their requirements, anticipatory of their behaviour and responsive to their presence.

ð Fraunhofer Ambient Intelligence
Technology should serve people – and not the other way around! The classical input devices such as keyboard and mouse will not always fulfill human needs or even presents an unbridgeable barrier in some cases. Thanks to voice-recognition systems and camera supported motion analysis, the computer will soon respond to vocal input and the wink of an eye. Innovative input systems can help to overcome the digital inhibitions experienced by elderly or disabled persons.

“Ambient Intelligence“ is the target, the mobile use and incorporation of distributed, networked intelligent-components at work or at home. Smart environments in the home connect a huge variety of devices from video recorders to heating elements through to automobile electronics. Displays, sensors, control elements can be incorporated into a room, tailored to the needs of the user, and literally read his wishes from his eyes. From a technical point of view all these visions could soon be reality. Using the available information in the right place at the right time is more difficult. How can data be modeled so that it reflects a clear picture of the users needs?

ð MIT's Oxygen project
In the future, computation will be human-centered. It will be freely available everywhere, like batteries and power sockets, or oxygen in the air we breathe. It will enter the human world, handling our goals and needs and helping us to do more while doing less. We will not need to carry our own devices around with us. Instead, configurable generic devices, either handheld or embedded in the environment, will bring computation to us, whenever we need it and wherever we might be. As we interact with these "anonymous" devices, they will adopt our information personalities. They will respect our desires for privacy and security. We won't have to type, click, or learn new computer jargon. Instead, we'll communicate naturally, using speech and gestures that describe our intent ("send this to Hari" or "print that picture on the nearest color printer"), and leave it to the computer to carry out our will.

.'Learning Economies’

Innovation Scoreboard
Knowledge-based or ‘learning economies’ require a well-educated population with excellent foundation skills and a capacity for continuous learning. Lifelong learning should therefore form a key component of national innovative capabilities. This thematic Innovation Scoreboard assembles 15 indicators for measuring lifelong learning in each EU member state.

The most innovative countries in Europe, as identified in TrendChart’s Innovation Scoreboard, are also the leaders in lifelong learning: Sweden, Denmark, Finland, the UK, and Ireland. Conversely, some of the least innovative countries also have the lowest Best Performance Index in lifelong learning: Italy, Portugal and Greece. This result is confirmed by a high correlation between comparable Best Performance Indices for the Innovation and Lifelong Learning scoreboards. Although these results do not establish that good performance on lifelong learning can directly improve innovative performance, the results are suggestive of such a link. Unfortunately, good quality trend data is only available for three of the lifelong learning indicators, which prevents a direct analysis of the causal relationship between lifelong learning and innovation. (Source: TrendChart)

.Recommended Book

ð I Believe in Music: Life Experiences and Thoughts on the Future of Electronic Music by the Founder of the Roland Corporation
by Ikutaro Kakehashi, Robert Olsen (Contributor)

Published to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the Roland Corporation, this is the inspiring and heartfelt memoir of Ikutaro Kakehashi, a pioneering figure in electronic music instruments and the company's visionary founder. From war-torn Japan to his first watch repair business to the dawn of and subsequent enormous leaps of electronic musical instruments, Kakehashi's story is sometimes wry, sometimes touching, always wise. Through it all, Kakehashi has believed in music above else: his first priority has always been an unwavering passion for expanding the potential for artistic expression. Everyone from music aficionados to those looking for time-tested business savvy will enjoy his unique story. The book features fantastic photos throughout, including an 8-page full-color section.
Ikutaro Kakehashi founded the Roland Corporation in 1972. He lives in Hosoe-cho, Hamamatsu City, Japan.
Robert Olsen worked for 25 years in the international music trade before switching careers to become a college instructor and free-lance author. He lives in Northbrook, IL.


PricewaterhouseCoopers is a supporter of the Club of Amsterdam

Sponsor of the Club of Amsterdam event about 'the future of the Media & Entertainment Industry' on Thursday, November 27:


.The Club of Amsterdam Round Table: Wanda van Kerkvoorden

Wanda van Kerkvoorden
SOLV new business advocaten

"Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future." These words, spoken by John F. Kennedy decades ago, are still very true today. For me, they represent the vulnerable balance between the present and the future and especially how the law (but now in its literal sense) is being used both as an accelerator but also as a threshold when it comes to innovation.

The laws protecting intellectual property were written with a focus on the future. The idea was that innovation would be stimulated by granting legal protection to the creators of any innovative intellectual works. And so it did (and still does). However, the other side of the coin is that the same intellectual property laws may also be used to try to prevent other parties from exploiting their new inventions.

My law firm assists the founders of KaZaA in their ongoing struggle with the music and entertainment industry. Being in the middle of this, I often wondered why the industry chose to fight the new KaZaA technology, instead of embracing it and reversing the considered threat into an opportunity. This vision has been beautifully expressed by the Advocate General who recently rendered his opinion in the KaZaA case to the Supreme Court of The Netherlands:
"Even though new technologies may (temporarily) be to the detriment of certain professions and industries, legislators and judges alike have been reluctant - in my opinion rightfully so - to outlaw these technologies or hamper their development. At the danger of risking the objection that any comparison is flawed, I would like to note that the introduction of the railway was to the detriment of the shipping industry. But also this: phonographic music (Edison c.s.) and the radio were to the detriment of small individual performing artists and musicians. The composers (assembled in Buma/Stemra), the star phonographic performers and the phonographic industry benefited (enormously) from these new technologies. One may appreciate these benefits, although I shed a tear thinking of the fate of the small street and bar musicians as a result hereof. No legislator or judge, however, took interest in their fate."

Learn from the past and shape your own future, is what I've learned so far. This is what I would like to contribute to and simultaneously aim to find in the Club of Amsterdam.

.Questionnaire about the future of Food & Biotech

The Club of Amsterdam organised a conference about 'the future of Food & Biotech' on October 28, 2003. The participants of the event filled out a questionnaire:

85% of the participants agreed that we need new technologies to get a higher quality of food.

77% of the participants thought that The Netherlands would miss economic opportunities by discussing biotech for too long.

62% would like to have more political influence on developments of biotech & food.

38% of the visitors already try to influence biotech by buying or not buying genetic modified food.

69% of the participants believe that biotech is able to provide a more environmental friendly food production.

85% thought that the government should promote the development of new technologies, for example by subsidies, to increase the quality of food. All the participants who filled in the questionnaire stated that the right to know what they eat is important to them.

62% of the visitors thought that people are overreacting to the uncertainties of biotech.

.Club of Amsterdam Events 2003/2004

October 28, 2003

the future of Food & Biotech

November 27, 2003

the future of the Media & Entertainment Industry

January 28, 2004

the future of the European Knowledge Society

February 18, 2004

the future of Education & Learning

March 31, 2004

the future of Energy - the Hydrogen Economy?

April 28, 2004

the future of Healthcare & Technology

May 19, 2004

the future of Architecture

June 23, 2004

the future of Culture & Religion


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