Club of Amsterdam, Future, Think Tank ..

Club of Amsterdam Journal
Free Subscription
click here

























































































































keyword search
Club of Amsterdam Journal, April 2013, Issue 156

April 2013, Issue 156

printable version
.tell a friend

Welcome to the Club of Amsterdam Journal.

"The positive effects of the digital revolution are endless. For hundreds of years we augmented ourselves, using glasses, hearing aids and artificial limbs to overcome our biological limits. More fully integrating digital technology enables us to truly transcend them. Instead of just our five senses, we will develop new senses and develop new ways of interacting with reality, people and tools. This will have an even larger impact on the way we live and work together." - John Grüter

Join us at our next Season Event about the future of Digital Identity - Thursday, April 25, 18:30 - 21:15!

Felix F Bopp, Founder & Chairman


Identity Theft in 2013: The Battle for Your Data

Next Event: the future of Digital Identity


Club of Amsterdam blog

News about the Future

International Institute of Tropical Agriculture

Recommended Book: Identity, Community, and Learning Lives in the Digital Age

Tree Houses

Futurist Portrait: Ross Dawson


Submit your article


Club of Amsterdam Ticket Corner













































































































































































































































































































































. Identity Theft in 2013: The Battle for Your Data

By Adam Levin – Chairman and cofounder of and Identity Theft 911.

In 2013, we’ll have to make a choice: Either we acknowledge we’re at war and push back hard, or we keep pretending nothing’s wrong — and pay the price.

In the coming weeks, as we’ve seen every year for the past six, there will be endless reports detailing the digital dangers and identity threats lurking in every corner of our highly networked universe. But to what end?

Despite considerable coverage and legislative initiatives, identity theft, cyber warfare, and the death of privacy at the hands of hackers and hyper-marketers are barely on the public radar. People say they care about identity theft but they don’t really understand it. Except for industry players, technocrats, and a handful of politicians and consumer advocates, few seemed moved to action.

Frankly, this situation is insane. Practically every day, someone flags risks and makes dire predictions — all deadly accurate, by the way — but unless there’s a class action suit pending, or an entire grid in darkness, no one seems to give a damn. Check your credit report? Only one out of five really do. Encrypt your database? “Encryption is hard.” Friends, the barbarians are no longer at the gate, they’re in our homes eating off our best china — yet we can’t be bothered to deal with them. The signs of things to come are everywhere — but like a man crossing a highway blindfolded, we refuse to see what’s coming.

This year the situation must change. For the next few minutes, I invite you to take off the blindfold and look reality right in the eye.

A war is being waged both here and abroad against our people, our economy, our institutions, indeed, our way of life. But until we take that seriously and respond strategically, we’re in for a serious can of whoop-ass. Even a fool can see where the enemy is headed, but for some reason the cavalry doesn’t seem up to the task of heading them off. As with all things in Washington and corporate America, folks are talking the talk, but few are walking the walk.

Here are a number of battlegrounds where the fighting will be fiercest in 2013:

Mobile devices. That smartphone in your pocket is one mother of a data storage device, and it’s like a bull’s-eye on your back. We use them to communicate our most intimate (and sometimes highly inappropriate) thoughts, figure out where we are, telegraph our next move, as well as check bank balances, deposit checks, even file taxes. There’s a gold mine behind that touch screen. Users may not realize how exposed their data is (I dare say most don’t use password-protection or remote data wiping in case of loss), but criminals know the weak spots, and they’re making mobile exploits a high priority.

One scenario to watch for: a malicious programmer sneaks a malware-bearing app past smartphone gatekeepers and millions of users realize the honeymoon is over.

Note that Europe already suffered the first large-scale attack on financial accounts via mobile phones: Eurograbber, a mobile SMS keylogger scam that pumped 36 million euros out of 30,000 European bank accounts. Make no mistake, we’re next.

The insider threat. These come in two flavors: duplicitous and duped. Either way, they’re sleeping with the enemy. Compromising or turning an insider is a big win for criminals, providing a precious pipeline to account info, network passwords, or a company’s deepest secrets. Infecting an outside (or inside) device used at work — mobile phone, tablet, laptop — by means of something as simple as an email can get keyloggers and other malware inside the firewall to infect other computers. The FBI warns of criminals targeting bank and credit union employees — and why wouldn’t they? They’ve gone after folks at the most secure companies in the world already with spectacular results — just ask RSA and Lockheed.

Medical identity theft. Our push to digitize medical records and associated data — including identity, insurance and financial information — has spawned system design flaws, sloppy data handling and everything in between. The logistics of conversion has exposed risks and led to countless breaches — including data theft and/or loss by third-party contractors. No wonder electronic health records are a magnet for identity thieves — with potentially deadly consequences for victims, since medical identity theft can mean co-mingled medical records, magically changed blood types, disappearing allergies and looted insurance policies.

Malware, Malware, Everywhere. These days any would-be cyber-mercenary can play “infect your way to riches.” Be prepared for more sophisticated, undetectable, and untraceable malware available for low-cost purchase, rental, or lease from the underground purveyors of havoc. Now that botnets (like jet skis) can be rented by the hour, we’ll also see more customer-facing networks crippled by denial-of-service attacks in 2013, as hackers distract and exhaust security teams to cover their own tracks.

Nonprofits and foundations. What’s more delicious than an unencrypted database overflowing with wealthy donor data? Doubtless, several foundation or charities will face big breaches in 2013. Just don’t expect them to be so forthcoming with the details.

[Credit Check Tool: Monitor your credit score and activity for free with]

Debt collectors. After breaches of several debt collector databases expose records for hundreds of thousands of debtors (many who shouldn’t be in those files in the first place), public pressure will build for controls on collection agencies’ handling of clients’ data — including a requirement that breach response programs be in place before they can be bonded or licensed.

Infrastructure threat. Some facet of our critical infrastructure — perhaps the electrical grid, public transportation, air traffic control, banking, medical facilities, or some large bridge or tunnel — will suffer one or a series of cyber attacks, highlighting the ever evolving, highly dangerous cyber-war threat and the shared goals of enemy agents, cybercriminals and identity thieves.

Mega breaches of government data. South Carolina’s “encryption is hard” data debacle showed how myopic and negligent a government can be. But don’t assume politicians learned anything from it — though it brought the number of improperly accessed files in government custody to nearly 100 million. If anyone learned a lesson, it was the criminals, who will be emboldened in 2013 to revisit that poorly guarded well again and again.

Identity theft is big business, and the bad guys want to make this their most profitable year ever. So expect repeated, persistent attacks on government databases — followed by rage from a frustrated citizenry demanding (but not getting) action. Expect an increasing tidal wave of fraudulent business and individual tax returns and refunds filed by criminals in the names of legitimate taxpayers. And remember, criminals file early!

Data breach fallout. To confront the inevitable surge in attacks, 2013 should be the year of mandatory encryption, stringent security, and tough legislation holding negligent data stewards accountable; and “accountable,” dear friends, means doing hard time, not mouthing lukewarm mea culpas. I would prefer to say “will be” — but given the inability of Congress to agree on even the mundane, like the hour of the day — action seems unlikely. At this rate, we may be forced to rely on the ultimate regulators of our economic system — class-action attorneys.

Strategic realignment. When we are truly focused on this issue, a depressingly rare occurrence indeed, we are playing by an arcane set of rules in the face of a highly sophisticated, totally committed, stealthy, deadly, hydra-headed opponent who knows no rules of engagement.

To properly address this threat, nothing short of a Manhattan Project, or a renewed commitment to the kind of national effort that put a man on the moon will suffice. Complete cooperation, collaboration and communication among all levels of government, law enforcement, the business community, consumer advocates, individuals and the media must be achieved.

Taking the fight to the criminals is exactly what we must do — along with shoring up our corporate and individual defenses and demanding that our lawmakers take this fight seriously. This is war — and whether the attacks come from hackers in Latvia, agents in Beijing, a botnet stretched across the globe, or the quiet employee in the next office, the adversary is the same, as is the M.O. These guys have one more thing in common: They play for keeps. So should we. Perhaps 2013 will be the year we start to get it right.

[Featured Products:
Research and compare Identity theft protection plans at]

Adam Levin is chairman and cofounder of and Identity Theft 911. Adam’s experience as former director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs gives him unique insight into consumer privacy, legislation and financial advocacy. He is a nationally recognized expert on identity theft and credit.

.Next Event: the future of Impact Investment

the future of Digital Identity
or the death of Social Media as we know it.

Thursday, April 25, 2013
Registration: 18:30-19:00, Conference: 19:00-21:15
Location: - Sint Antoniesbreestraat 16, 1011 HB Amsterdam [Next to Nieuwmarkt]
The conference language is English.
Tickets: Euro 10 (Students), Euro 20 (Members etc.) or Euro 30.

The conference language is English.
This event is supported by & Freelance Factory

The speakers and topics are

Michael Hagen, CEO, IDchecker
Can you be in control of your online identity?

Balázs Bodó, economist, piracy researcher at the Institute for Information Law (IViR), University of Amsterdam
How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Living in the Panopticon

Annie Machon
, Director, LEAP Europe. Formerly MI5
Panoptic Dystopia or Citizens' Utopia?

Our moderator is
John Grüter, Owner, Digital Knowledge. Club of Amsterdam Round Table


CubeSensors are small, cordless and connected devices that continuously measure temperature, humidity, noise, light, air quality and barometric pressure for every room, they can even pick up unwanted vibrations that shake up your building.

Access Anywhere
Cubes stream data to the cloud so that you can access it from any device anywhere. You can see the historical trends of environmental changes, or current view that shows the effectiveness of your actions.

CubeSensors analyze the data from your Cubes and sends you alerts and recommendations on how you can improve your indoor environment.

CubeSensors are small 2 inch cubes that continuously measure and stream indoor data. Each cube has the following sensors:
- thermometer, to accurately measure temperature
- barometer, to detect fluctuations in barometric pressure
- noise detection, to measure noise and it’s impact
- light meter, for illumination
- volatile organic compounds sensor, to measure indoor air pollution
- moisture sensors, for humidity detection
- accelerometer, for detection vibrations and cubes movement

Cubes are battery operated and communicate wirelessly.

.Club of Amsterdam blog

Club of Amsterdam blog

The Egg
Joy Rides and Robots are the Future of Space Travel
The Transposon
10-step program for a sick planet
Public Brainstorm:
Economic-Demographic Crisis
Public Brainstorm: Energy
Public Brainstorm: Environment
Public Brainstorm: Food and Water
Public Brainstorm: Overpopulation

.News about the Future

Wonder Nanomaterial: Multi-use Titanium Dioxide (TiO2)

A new wonder material that can generate hydrogen, produce clean water and even create energy.

“While there is no single silver bullet to solving two of the world’s biggest challenges: cheap renewable energy and an abundant supply of clean water; our single multi-use membrane comes close, with its titanium dioxide nanoparticles being a key catalyst in discovering such solutions,” Professor Sun from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore said. “With our unique nanomaterial, we hope to be able to help convert today’s waste into tomorrow’s resources, such as clean water and energy."

“With such a discovery, it is possible to concurrently treat wastewater and yet have a much cheaper option of storing solar energy in the form of hydrogen so that it can be available any time, day or night, regardless of whether the sun is shining or not, which makes it truly a source of clean fuel,” said Professor Sun.

“As of now, we are achieving a very high efficiency of about three times more than if we had used platinum, but at a much lower cost, allowing for cheap hydrogen production. In addition, we can concurrently produce clean water for close-to-zero energy cost, which may change our current water reclamation system over the world for future liveable cities.”

Year of Air

Clean air will be the focus of EU environmental policy discussions throughout 2013, the Year of Air. The European Environment Agency (EEA) provides a wealth of information underpinning the review of air pollutant legislation.

Air pollution remains a concern for public health and the environment, according to the most recent analyses published by the EEA. To improve the situation, the European Commission is reviewing the
EU Thematic Strategy on Air Pollution and related policies in 2013.

EEA Executive Director Jacqueline McGlade said: “As the Eurobarometer survey shows, the impact of air pollution is something that European citizens feel strongly about. The decision to designate 2013 as the Year of Air reflects both the economic seriousness of the problem, but also the impacts on humans. Lives are being cut short by air pollution and chronic respiratory disease makes life miserable for many across the continent.”

.International Institute of Tropical Agriculture

International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) is one of the world's leading research partners in finding solutions for hunger, malnutrition, and poverty. Our award-winning research for development (R4D) addresses the development needs of tropical countries. IITA works with partners to enhance crop quality and productivity, reduce producer and consumer risks, and generate wealth from agriculture.

IITA has aligned all its research programs to the new
CGIAR Research Programs. We conduct research on the following thematic areas: Biotechnology and genetic improvement, Natural resource management, Social science and agribusiness, and Plant production and plant health.

Roots, Tubers, and Bananas for Food Security and Income
This CRP combines the research activities of CGIAR centers working on bananas, plantains, cassava, potato, sweet potato, yam, and several other tropical and Andean root and tuber crops. Its primary objective is to more fully realize the potential of these crops for improving nutrition, income generation, and food security among some of the world's poorest and most vulnerable populations. The program builds on the expertise, complementarities, and comparative advantages of four CGIAR centers; Bioversity International, CIAT, IITA, and CIP (headquartered in Peru) as the lead center. It has 3-year budget of US$183 million.

Graham Thiele from CGIAR on the Roots, Tubers and Bananas .

IITA's Genetic Resource Center
IITA’s genebank holds plant material (germplasm) of major food crops of Africa. This germplasm is held in trust on behalf of humanity under the auspices of the United Nations. It is distributed without restriction for use in research for food and agriculture.

Dr Dominique Dumet, Head of IITA's Genetic Resource Center, explains why it is important to conserve African seeds in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault and how IITA contributes to this important effort.

.Recommended Book

Identity, Community, and Learning Lives in the Digital Age
By Ola Erstad (Editor), Julian Sefton-Green (Editor)

Recent work on education, identity, and community has expanded the intellectual boundaries of learning research. From home-based studies examining youth experiences with technology, to forms of entrepreneurial learning in informal settings, to communities of participation in the workplace, family, community, trade union, and school, research has attempted to describe and theorize the meaning and nature of learning. Learning Lives offers a systematic reflection on these studies, exploring how learning can be characterized across a range of "whole-life" experiences. The volume brings together hitherto discrete and competing scholarly traditions: sociocultural analyses of learning, ethnographic literacy research, geo-spatial location studies, discourse analysis, comparative anthropological studies of education research, and actor network theory. The contributions are united through a focus on the ways in which learning shapes lives in a digital age.

.Tree Houses


Baumraum designs constructions for natural and urban surroundings where you can unwind and let your imagination run free. From simple garden houses for private properties to elaborate constructions for commercial use, baumraum will realize your concept according to your individual wishes.
Photographer: Alasdair Jardine

It all began with a film. Treehotel's founders were inspired by ”The Tree Lover” by Jonas Selberg Augustsen. The unyielding question formed was:

Why not create a hotel that gives people a chance to experience nature amongst the tree-tops, while also providing a uniquely designed housing experience?

That led to the creation of Treehotel, Harads. The Mirrorcube is the flagship creation of Treehotel. A perfect match of design, sustainability, art and efficiency. Delivered by distinguished Scandinavian architects Bolle Tham & Martin Videgård.

Mirrorcube offers an extraordinary opportunity to experience nature on nature’s terms, without compromising on design or comfort.

You have the perfect spot for Mirrorcube in the back of your mind or in the back of your grounds. Treehotel introduces Mirrorcube – your link to nature.

.Futurist Portrait: Ross Dawson

Ross Dawson is globally recognized as a leading futurist, entrepreneur, keynote speaker, strategy advisor, and bestselling author. He is Founding Chairman of AHT Group, which consists of 3 companies: consulting, publishing, and ventures firm Advanced Human Technologies, future and strategy firm Future Exploration Network, and events company The Insight Exchange.

Ross is author most recently of Getting Results From Crowds, the prescient Living Networks, which anticipated the social network revolution, the bestseller Developing Knowledge-Based Client Relationships, and Implementing Enterprise 2.0. He is based in Sydney and San Francisco with his wife jewellery designer Victoria Buckley and two beautiful young daughters.

Ross: "Key principles of successful crowdsourcing are respect, relationships, rewards, and roles."

"What lessons have we learned on the conditions for creating great art from crowds?
The crowd is certainly capable of remarkable creativity. But expecting it to autonomously produce art is unrealistic. Rather, the key to creating the mass masterpiece — as in other crowdsourced projects — lies in controlling the crowd."

"In art — as well as business — the crowd needs a well-defined goal and clear work processes in place in order to achieve results.
While the crowd is indeed capable of creativity, it cannot yet achieve art alone."


Season Events 2012/2013

NEXT Event

April 25, 2013
the future of Digital Identity
or the death of Social Media as we know it.

April 25, 2013, 18:30 - 21:15
Location:, Sint Antoniesbreestraat 16, 1011 HB Amsterdam [Next to Nieuwmarkt]
Supported by & Freelance Factory

May 30, 2013
the future of Europe
May 30, 2013, 18:30 - 21:15
DoubleTree Hilton Hotel, Amsterdam Centraal Station, Oosterdoksstraat 4, 1011 DK Amsterdam
In collaboration with the World Future Society
Supported by India House

June 27, 2013

the future of Urban Gardening
June 27, 2013, 18:30 - 21:15
Location: Geelvinck Museum, Keizersgracht 633, 1017 DS
Supported by Geelvinck Museum

Check for updates!

Club of Amsterdam Ticket Corner


Your comments, ideas, articles are welcome!
Please write to

Visit our website at




Copyright 2002-2013, Club of Amsterdam. All rights reserved.

Copyright 2002-2018 Club of Amsterdam. All rights reserved.    Contact     Privacy statement    Cancellation Policy