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Club of Amsterdam Journal, July 2004, Issue 28

Shaping Your Future in
the Knowledge Society

The Club of Amsterdam Journal appears 2 x per month.
You can find the online version at:
July 2004, Issue 28
the future of

Monday, September 27
You and Your Health

A European Area of Science and Technology Foresight in the making

Desalination Directory

McGovern Capital

Canadian NanoBusiness Alliance

Friends of the Commons


  .Tim Harper about NanoWater

CEO, Cientifica
Executive Director,
European NanoBusiness Association

NanoWater is a very simple idea that grew out of a meeting with Former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres at the World NanoEconomic Congress in Washington DC last year. He made the only speech I have ever seen get a standing ovation at a nanotech conference, with the simple message that perhaps technology could do something positive. We followed this up with a visit to Israel just before Christmas last year to understand at first hand the problems facing countries with scarce water resources.

There are two compelling reasons for the nanowater initiative.

Firstly lack of clean, affordable water is not a problem confined to the developing world. Southern Europe, Israel, the western United States, the Middle East and areas of south-east Asia such as Singapore all suffer increasing pressure on scarce water shortages. While any number of programs are looking at ameliorating the situation in the developing world, the real resources to address water issues will come from the countries above. These are all rich countries whose economies and future prosperity could be damaged by lack of access to water. If there is a solution to be found, it will be driven by economics, not charity.

Secondly, water remediation is already available in the form of filters, desalination technologies, and water recovery systems. The reason we have a water problem is because these technologies are not yet cheap enough, either in terms of efficiency, maintenance, or the energy required to operate them. Nanotechnology is already being applied across a wide range of areas that be either be used directly, or adapted for use in the water industry. In addition, almost every application of nanotechnology in industry is being driven by the economics of the bottom line. So the question becomes, can we use nanotechnology to make water remediation more efficient, and ultimately more economically viable? The preliminary results indicate that we can.



  .about the future of Water & Nanotechnology

Water that won't freeze
The structure of water inside carbon nanotubes has been debated for several years. Now some experimental light has been shed on the issue.
By Philip Ball,
The structure of water inside carbon nanotubes has been debated for several years. Now some experimental light has been shed on the issue. Water held inside carbon nanotubes is very different from normal water, researchers in the USA have found. They say that it adopts a structure quite unlike that seen in the bulk liquid or in ice. The 'nanotube water' shows 'soft', liquid-like behaviour even at temperatures as low as 8 K. And it displays no abrupt melting transition between a solid and a liquid as it is warmed up.



A Soak Cycle at Inframat, and Pollutants Come Out in the Wash
By Candace Stuart, Small Times Features Editor
Millions of villagers in Bangladesh were exposed to unhealthy levels of arsenic in drinking water in the 1980s and ’90s after the naturally occurring poison seeped from bedrock into groundwater supplying wells.
After a decade of exposure, the Bangladeshis began to show skin abnormalities and other signs of toxicity, including cancers. The contamination still plagues Bangladesh, India and several South Asian nations.
A handful of companies and research labs are working to provide nanotechnology-based solutions for these domestic and foreign markets. One platform is proving versatile enough to capture not only arsenic in its various forms but also mercury.
“The opportunity for this kind of activity is excellent,” said
David Reisner, chief executive of Inframat Corp. in Farmington, Conn.

.News about the Future

Vision 20/20: Future Scenarios for the Communications Industry – Implications for Regulation
by the Australian Communication Authority
Two representatives from the Australian Communication Authority Vision 20/20 team undertook an international road test of the preliminary outcomes of the project to date. It was also an opportunity to discuss strategic implications with relevant experts and agencies including the Club of Amsterdam.

Europe and Germany in 2020 - A Future Scenario
by Z _punkt
We have no reason to expect miracles,but by 2020 society and state have managed to revitalise themselves.
The basic scenario described below assumes changes set off by existing trends and by widely accepted reforms rather than unsettling external events or sudden wide-spread changes of mind.We wanted it to be a down-to-earth vision,a desirable perspective based on realism;in this respect,it is a ‘preferable scenario ’.However, it demands high learning ability from society and individuals as its fundamental condition for change,as well as the willingness in everyone to shoulder responsibilities and to embark on a process of change which carries the risk of failure.


.Recommended Book

Springer Handbook of Nanotechnology
by Bharat Bhushan
"Professor Bhushan has harnessed his own knowledge and experience, gained in several industries and universities, and has assembled about 100 internationally recognized authors from three continents to write more than 40 chapters. The authors come from both academia and industry ... [This book] is a timely addition to the literature on nanotechnology, which I anticipate will stimulate further interest in this important new field and serve as an invaluable resource to members of the international scientific and industrial community."


IntelCities (Intelligent Cities) is a research and technological development project to pool advanced knowledge and experience of electronic government, planning systems and citizen participation from across Europe.

The project is being led by Manchester City Council (UK) and the City of Sienna (Italy).

It brings together eighteen European cities, twenty ICT companies (including Nokia and CISCO) and thirty-six research groups.

The project is part of the European Union’s Sixth Framework Programme, with €6.8m of the €11.4m budget from the EU’s Information Society Technologies programme.

IntelCities will help achieve the EU policy goal of the Knowledge Society by 2010 through new forms of electronic governance of cities and greater social inclusion through enhanced access to services by citizens and businesses.

The project aims to create a new and innovative set of interoperable, e-government services that will provide information to all citizens and businesses about all aspects of city life via interactive city-wide Internet based applications.

By providing these services, IntelCities will:

  • Address poor quality information that prevents the effective use, management and planning of cities.
  • Support the everyday needs of citizens and business by providing 24 hour access to stransactional city services.
  • Develop more efficient city management by integrating services across city authorities, regional and national government agencies, utility and transport system providers, non-governmental organisation networks and citizens.
  • Enable citizens and businesses to play a far more participative and inclusive role in city planning via more reliable city modelling, predictive planning, and advanced visualisation technologies.

.Questionnaire about 'the future of Culture & Religion'

At our recent Club of Amsterdam evening about 'the future of Culture & Religion' we asked the audience some questions:

1. Can the actions of politicians and moreover world leaders be legitimised by there religious convictions?

67 % yes
33 % no

2. Is there an overkill of religious and spiritual supply in modern society?

17 % yes
83 % no

3. Should separation of state and church be a world standard?

50 % yes
50 % no

4. Is religion an inevitable thing for the human kind that survives anyhow?

100 % yes
0 % no

5. Are you religious?

33 % yes
67 % no

6. Does Muslim culture in Europe have to change?
83 % yes
17 % no
7. Is there a need for a new religion?
33 % yes
67 % no

.Club of Amsterdam Upcoming Events
.Special Events

September 27, 2004

.January 26-28, 2005

.Summit for the Future

.Club of Amsterdam Season 2004/2005

.October 27, 2004

.the future of ICT

.November 30, 2004

.the future of Developing Countries
.February 23, 2005 .the future of the Service Industry
.March 30, 2005 .the future of Water
.April 27, 2005 .the future of Branding
.June 1, 2005 .the future of Robotics
.June 29, 2005 .the future of Philosophy


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

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