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Club of Amsterdam Journal, August 2004, Issue 29

Shaping Your Future in
the Knowledge Society

The Club of Amsterdam Journal appears 2 x per month.
You can find the online version at:
August 2004, Issue 29
the future of

Monday, September 27
Medical databases go mobile

Science and technology, the key to Europe's future - Guidelines for future European Union policy to support research
CSEM - Water & Environment

Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research

International Association for Environmental Hydrology

US Nanocorp



  .Fred Tepper about NanoWater

Fred Tepper,

President, Argonide Corpration,

Nanotech Solutions to Provide Safe Drinking Water

Since the discovery of bacteria and its involvement in cholera, man recognized that water could be contaminated and become unsafe to drink. Microbes are by far the greatest form of water contaminant leading to disease. Secondary but serious pollutants include arsenic, industrial solvents, pesticides, chromate and hundreds of others. A recent calamity involves millions of people in Bangladesh and Bengal, where drilling tube wells in order to avoid the seriously microbial-contaminated surface water then exposed the population to serious arsenic poisoning. Nanotechnology is likely to improve methods of cleaning water at both municipal plants and by individual users.

We are developing nano solutions aimed at removing microbes and arsenic in portable as well as point of use ("POU") applications. NanoCeram® is a filter media we developed based on nano alumina fibers 2 nanometers in diameter. When assembled into a cartridge it is capable of retaining greater than 99.9999% of bacteria, virus, cysts (protozoa) and general turbidity even at high rates of flow. The filter is a simple flow-through device that will be incorporated into portable water purifiers for campers and military, residential filters (faucet-level, under-the-sink, refrigerator) and gravity flow devices such as pitchers. The filter's cost is low enough to make it a candidate for third world users. Other markets include water purification for dental, hospital (e.g.-endotoxin filtration) and DNA/protein separation for pharmaceutical manufacture.

The first of third-party certified NanoCeram filters will become commercially available early in 2005. Much of the filter's development is being sponsored by NASA for purifying recirculated water and by the U S Air Force for a portable water purifier. The NanoCeram® media is also being adapted as a collector/concentrator of bio terror agents, to enhance bio detectors.

A companion product is a granular arsenic sorbent, capable of retaining both forms of arsenic at levels below 10 µg/liter, the newer, more rigorous standard adopted by EPA and WHO. Its proprietary composition includes two different nano materials, resulting in hard granules that are resistant to attrition. Its arsenic capacity exceeds that of known materials.



  .about the future of Water & Nanotechnology

Water for People - Water for Life
United Nations - The World Water Development Report

At the beginning of the twenty-first century, the Earth, with its diverse and abundant life forms, including over six billion humans, is facing a serious water crisis. All the signs suggest that it is getting worse and will continue to do so, unless corrective action is taken. This crisis is one of water governance, essentially caused by the ways in which we mismanage water. But the real tragedy is the effect it has on the everyday lives of poor people, who are blighted by the burden of water-related disease, living in degraded and often dangerous environments, struggling to get an education for their children and to earn a living, and to get enough to eat. The crisis is experienced also by the natural environment, which is groaning under the mountain of wastes dumped onto it daily, and from overuse and misuse, with seemingly little care for the future consequences and future generations.
Giving the poor better access to better managed water can make a big contribution to poverty eradication, as The World Water Development Report (WWDR) will show. Such better management will enable us to deal with the growing per capita scarcity of water in many parts of the developing world.



New nanotechnology effect – moving water molecules by light

The use of an ordinary beam of light to move water around without the need for potentially damaging electric fields, air bubbles (which can denature proteins), or moving microscopic mechanical pump parts (which are expensive to make and difficult to repair) could significantly aid development of microfluidic devices, which are themselves tiny, sophisticated devices that can analyze samples.

“This discovery can speed the development of microfluidic devices,” Garcia said. “These devices could require only one drop of blood for a battery of 20 to 30 tests, with results provided in the time spent waiting to consult with the physician,” Garcia explained. “They also could help pharmaceutical companies screen for a new drug by allowing for tests to be run on an extremely small scale and in simultaneous fashion.”

.News about the Future

Education for the Third Millennium: Looking Back From 2050
by Hazel Henderson

Education for this Third Millennium must be holistic. Teacher training and curricula needs to be geared to help all students to see our precious blue planet whole and understand the problems we humans face at the start of this new century. Since we only use about 10% of our brains, this expansion of our awareness is well within our grasp. One of the ways humans can expand their spatial and temporal frameworks is to create scenarios of possible and desirable futures. Using this futurist tool, let us imagine ourselves looking back from the middle of this Third Millennium. It is the year 2050 and much has changed - for the better!

Europe in the Creative Age
by Richard Florida, Irene Tinagli

A ‘creative crescent’ of northern European countries is challenging the economic power of the United States and ‘old Europe,’ according to a new index which measures performance in the knowledge economy.
In The Rise of the Creative Class, Richard Florida analysed the factors which enabled economically successful US cities to attract and retain talent.
His key finding was that this new 'creative class' wanted to live in open and tolerant places. Tolerant societies are able to attract talented people who contribute to technological innovation.
In his latest research published by Demos, Florida uses a similar approach to rank the European Union countries alongside the US.


.Recommended Book

European Dream, The: How Europe's Vision of the Future Is Quietly Eclipsing the American Dream
by Jeremy Rifkin, Jeremy P Tarcher, Penguin

The American Dream is in decline. Americans are increasingly overworked, underpaid, and squeezed for time. But there is an alternative: the European Dream-a more leisurely, healthy, prosperous, and sustainable way of life. Europe's lifestyle is not only desirable, argues Jeremy Rifkin, but may be crucial to sustaining prosperity in the new era.

With the dawn of the European Union, Europe has become an economic superpower in its own right-its GDP now surpasses that of the United States. Europe has achieved newfound dominance not by single-mindedly driving up stock prices, expanding working hours, and pressing every household into a double- wage-earner conundrum. Instead, the New Europe relies on market networks that place cooperation above competition; promotes a new sense of citizenship that extols the well-being of the whole person and the community rather than the dominant individual; and recognizes the necessity of deep play and leisure to create a better, more productive, and healthier workforce.

From the medieval era to modernity, Rifkin delves deeply into the history of Europe, and eventually America, to show how the continent has succeeded in slowly and steadily developing a more adaptive, sensible way of working and living. In The European Dream, Rifkin posits a dawning truth that only the most jingoistic can ignore: Europe's flexible, communitarian model of society, business, and citizenship is better suited to the challenges of the twenty-first century. Indeed, the European Dream may come to define the new century as the American Dream defined the century now past.

.Foresight, UK

Foresight aims to provide challenging visions of the future, to ensure effective strategies now. It does this by providing a core of skills in science-based futures projects and unequalled access to leaders in government, business and science.

Foresight projects

.Cognitive Systems directed by John Taylor, Director General of the Research Councils. This was the first project completed under the new Foresight programme. The aim of the project was to provide a vision for the future development of cognitive systems (artificial or biological systems, which respond to their environment, learn, reason and make their own decision) through an exploration of recent advances in neuroscience and computer science. It was based on the premise that parallel developments in the physical and life sciences showed trends that might benefit from greater collaborative working and that might deliver major scientific and economic prizes in the long term. Participants in the Cognitive Systems project spent 18 months exploring the science and developing a shared vision of where it might go in the future. This project created a community with common interests and a vision of the future direction of the science; an understanding of what needs to be in place to achieve that vision; and a growing body of people committed to enabling it to be raised. The sponsor Minister for this project was Lord Sainsbury, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

.Flood and Coastal Defence directed by Professor Sir David King, Chief Scientific Adviser. This project began in October 2002 and the outputs were published on 22nd April 2004. The aim of this project was to produce a challenging long-term vision of the future of flood and coastal defence that takes account of the many uncertainties, is robust, and can be used as a basis to inform policy and its delivery. As the future is uncertain, the project has looked at several different future scenarios in order to explore the potential impact of the problem. The sponsor Minister for this project is Elliot Morley, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

.Exploiting the Electromagnetic Spectrum directed by David Hughes, Director General Innovation Group, DTI. This Project began in April 2003 and the outputs were published on 29th April 2004. It has looked at the way in which individual developments in the use of parts of the electromagnetic spectrum have tended to derive from very different areas of science and at different times, searching for key topics where a focussed cross-disciplinary effort would be expected to lead to new applications.
Four key topics were found and investigate: "Switching to light: all optical data handling", "Manufacturing with light: photonics at the molecular level", "Inside the wavelength: electromagnetics in the near field", and "Picturing people: non-intrusive imaging". For each topic, the project has produced plans for action detailing options and responsibilities to secure UK exploitation of identified opportunities in the future. The sponsor Minister for this project is Stephen Timms (DTI).

.Cybertrust and Crime Prevention directed by Professor Sir David King, Chief Scientific Advisor. The aim is to look 15 - 20 years ahead at the impact of advances in next generation information technologies. In particular it will consider issues such as: identity and authenticity; trust in Information technologies; surveillance; and how products and systems may be developed that minimise crime opportunities. The project is currently in its penultimate stage, collating the findings and preparing them for publication. The sponsor Minister for this project is The Rt. Hon. John Denham (Home Office).

.Brain Science, Addiction and Drugs The fifth Foresight project, on Brain Science, Addiction and Drugs, is currently in the scoping phase. This project has been set up in response to rapid changes in our understanding of the brain and of the effects on it of both long-established and novel drugs and addiction. - Travel guide to Amsterdam features tourist information and tips, sights, entertainment, transport, map to print, and free pictures of Amsterdam.

.Club of Amsterdam Upcoming Events
.Special Events

August 24, 2004

.Media & Technology @ ANMI
.September 27, 2004 .NanoWater

.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


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