is inevitable - Confusion is undesirable
former director International School of Philosophy,
former publisher Filosofie Magazine,
Denker des Vaderlands
A contribution for our seminar about the
future of Personal Growth.
'We are moving into an era of great uncertainty. We have never
experienced the kinds of historical changes we are experiencing
now. Frankly, no one has a clue about the nature of the new world
order which is emerging. Experts are clueless,' - Kishore Mahbubani
in a weblog 2010 - and he continues: 'And how does one prepare
for uncertainty? How does one acquire the facility to do this?
The answer is a Western liberal arts education.'
While the West, in the rush to stay ahead of the Asian economies,
puts all cards on beta developments, Asians import Western philosophy
as a critical component of coping with change and uncertainty.
The West looks for 'new' and 'different' and techniques that change
the world, while - under the name 'critical method' - we have
made available a vast experience in research confusion. We can
also preserve calm: Do not develop change management but confusion-management;
excavate where we are already good at. In other words, do not
change the world before you have your own confusion under control.
Problem in staccato:
is the result of one part change (historical changes) and one
part confusion (great uncertainty, experts are clueless)
2. There are two standard forms to elimínate the confusion
component are: "fast - " and "'slow re-acting"'
rapid method for dealing with uncertainty is Trial & Error.
Better a wrong decision than no decision. No delay with the
risk: too hastily.
b. A time-consuming way of dealing with uncertainty is to
go Slow Thinking; first think (think about it) and only then
take a decision. Procrastination (époche) with the
3. The Critical
Method - core component of Western philosophy - is an approach
that makes Slow Thinking so efficient, that it hardly takes
more time than Trial & Error. The crux is: once systematic
thinking about how you think!
Before we are really prepared to concentrate on our thinking,
we must free ourselves from the mistaken idea that 'thinking
about our thinking' is a superfluous luxury. We must see clearly
that our thinking is the unseen foundation upon-which our society
rests, and that how we think today will determining what tomorrow
will bring. (Polly Leer)
4. The Critical Method is a training in Critical skills with
the knowledge-theories from the present (Nussbaum, Sennett,
Sloterdijk) and the past (Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Kant,
Schopenhauer, Wittgenstein) as practice material.
that any observation is theory loaded.
"You can never know easily the state of affairs itself.
There is always a limited perspective, a one-sided view. So
the question is: which perspective, which position. We always
live in historically determined "Verkünstelungen".
- Herman Schmitz (2009)
- To understand that theory in our restriction is based on:
is inarguably impressive, but it is still flawed, or at in
ways we scarcely recognize. For the most part, we simply accept
our faults - such as emotional outbursts, our mediocre memories,
and vulnerability to prejudice - as standard equipment. Our
brains are a kluge (hassle), an ill-assorted collection of
poorly matching parts, forming a distressing whole.' -
Gary Marcus, Kluge - The Haphazard Construction of the Human
that our restriction is limited (make a virtue of necessity),
and to develop on that base a habit to not err.
Future Now Show
the future now, where near-future impact counts and visions and
strategies for preferred futures start.
Do we rise above global challenges? Or do we succumb to them?
The Future Now Show explores how we can shape our future
now - where near-future impact counts. We showcase strategies
and solutions that create futures that work.
Every month we roam through current events, discoveries, and challenges
- sparking discussion about the connection between today and the
futures we're making - and what we need, from strategy to vision
- to make the best ones.
Future Now Show
Simon Jones, Provost at Nazarbayev University, Kazakhstan
M Dorsey, Singapore
Schwab, Owner Humberto Schwab Filosofia, Spain
political transition in the Middle East and North Africa
In late 2010 and
for some time after the Arab Spring raised hopes of an awakening
in societies across the Middle East and North Africa of principles
long cherished in the West human rights,
social justice, equality and so on. What went wrong? Four years
later the phrase Arab Winter has gained currency.
Has it all turned sour or is it just the start of a long, painful,
and possibly bloody, process with many years yet to play out?
Has something in these societies changed irrevocably? Will the
geopolitical interests of major powers, including those of the
free and democratic West, stifle the nascent ambitions
in these regions in the name of stability, as they have done
in the past? - Paul Holister, Editor
Changing Universities and ...
you think about universities, Kazakhstan probably doesnt
come to mind. Yet it houses a university that has partnerships
with prestigious universities from around the world. The incentive
for such universities in many non-western and often non-democratic
countries seems primarily economic the Asian Tigers demonstrated
the economic value of easy access to quality higher education.
But questions arise. As higher education becomes increasingly
a privilege in the US, what sort of economic shifts might result?
How do these universities differ from traditional western ones,
especially in societies where freedom of speech is more limited?
Are they just turning out skilled cogs for businesses or people
more broadly developed intellectually? Does involvement of prestigious
western institutions help prop up autocratic regimes? Or is
the long-term effect inevitably for the greater good? -
Paul Holister, Editor
Event: the future of Personal Growth
Seminar in Spain
December 12 & 13, 2014
Friday, 12 December 2014
Saturday, 13 December, 2014 - 09:30 am till
Socratic seminar is a exciting experience of creating knowledge.
The Socratic Design guarantees a process of values, listening,
reflection and design.
You will be at your "best", free from addictive thoughts
and open to other ideas.
You will not receive knowledge transfer but you will create
yourself out-of-the-comfort-zone knowledge.
The seminar is a
think tank in which we pose urgent questions on the theme and
develop know-ledge. This knowledge will be directly translated
into concrete road maps and future scenarios, or simply into new
It will be
a whole day of dialog, brainstorming and creating. There are inspirators
from Berlin, Amsterdam and Bilbao: Rosana Agudo, Mark
Blaisse and Jan
- who will not deliver speeches but participate with you all.
The seminar is designed by Humberto
Schwab, Socratic Design.
For content, please
visit the event page
Please ask for seminar details and registration
information without obligation:
Or just send an email to email@example.com
and cc to firstname.lastname@example.org
by the World Health Organization
- Drowning is the
3rd leading cause of unintentional injury death worldwide, accounting
for 7% of all injury-related deaths.
- There are an estimated
372 000 annual drowning deaths worldwide.
Global estimates may significantly underestimate the actual
public health problem related to drowning.
- Children, males
and individuals with increased access to water are most at risk
Drowning is the process of experiencing respiratory impairment
from submersion/immersion in liquid; outcomes are classified as
death, morbidity and no morbidity.
Scope of the problem
In 2012, an estimated
372 000 people died from drowning, making drowning a major public
health problem worldwide. Injuries account for over 9% of total
global mortality. Drowning is the 3rd leading cause of unintentional
injury death, accounting for 7% of all injury-related deaths.
The global burden
and death from drowning is found in all economies and regions,
- low- and middle-income
countries account for 91% of unintentional drowning deaths;
- over half of the
world's drowning occurs in the WHO Western Pacific Region and
WHO South-East Asia Region;
- drowning death
rates are highest in the WHO African Region, and are 10-13 times
higher than those seen in the United Kingdom or Germany respectively.
Despite limited data,
several studies reveal information on the cost impact of drowning.
In the United States of America, 45% of drowning deaths are among
the most economically active segment of the population. Coastal
drowning in the United States alone accounts for US$ 273 million
each year in direct and indirect costs. In Australia and Canada,
the total annual cost of drowning injury is US$ 85.5 million and
US$ 173 million respectively.
There is a wide range
of uncertainty around the estimate of global drowning deaths.
Official data categorization methods for drowning exclude intentional
drowning deaths (suicide or homicide) and drowning deaths caused
by flood disasters and water transport incidents.
Data from high-income
countries suggest these categorization methods result in significant
underrepresentation of the full drowning toll by up to 50% in
some high-income countries. Non-fatal drowning statistics in many
countries are not readily available or are unreliable.
Age is one
of the major risk factors for drowning. This relationship is often
associated with a lapse in supervision. Globally, the highest
drowning rates are among children 1-4 years, followed by children
5-9 years. In the WHO Western Pacific Region children aged 5-14
years die more frequently from drowning than any other cause.
Child drowning statistics
from a number of countries are particularly revealing:
- Drowning is one
of the top 5 causes of death for people aged 1-14 years for
48 of 85 countries with data meeting inclusion criteria.
- Australia: drowning
is the leading cause of unintentional injury death in children
aged 1-3 years.
- Bangladesh: drowning
accounts for 43% of all deaths in children aged 1-4 years.
- China: drowning
is the leading cause of injury death in children aged 1-14 years.
- United States:
drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury
death in children aged 1-14 years.
Males are especially
at risk of drowning, with twice the overall mortality rate of
females. They are more likely to be hospitalized than females
for non-fatal drowning. Studies suggest that the higher drowning
rates among males are due to increased exposure to water and riskier
behaviour such as swimming alone, drinking alcohol before swimming
alone and boating.
Access to water
to water is another risk factor for drowning. Individuals with
occupations such as commercial fishing or fishing for subsistence,
using small boats in low-income countries are more prone to drowning.
Children who live near open water sources, such as ditches, ponds,
irrigation channels, or pools are especially at risk.
for 75% of deaths in flood disasters. Flood disasters are becoming
more frequent and this trend is expected to continue. Drowning
risks increase with floods particularly in low- and middle-income
countries where people live in flood prone areas and the ability
to warn, evacuate, or protect communities from floods is weak
or only just developing.
Travelling on water
and journeys made by migrants or asylum seekers often take place
on overcrowded, unsafe vessels lacking safety equipment or are
operated by personnel untrained in dealing with transport incidents
or navigation. Personnel under the influence of alcohol or drugs
are also a risk.
Other risk factors
There are other
factors that are associated with an increased risk of drowning,
- lower socioeconomic
status, being a member of an ethnic minority, lack of higher
education, and rural populations all tend to be associated,
although this association can vary across countries;
- infants left
unsupervised or alone with another child around water;
alcohol use, near or in the water;
- medical conditions,
such as epilepsy;
- tourists unfamiliar
with local water risks and features;
There are many actions
to prevent drowning. Installing barriers (e.g. covering wells,
using doorway barriers and playpens, fencing swimming pools etc.)
to control access to water hazards, or removing water hazards
entirely greatly reduces water hazard exposure and risk.
supervised child care for pre-school children can reduce drowning
risk and has other proven health benefits. Teaching school-age
children basic swimming, water safety and safe rescue skills is
another approach. But these efforts must be undertaken with an
emphasis on safety, and an overall risk management that includes
a safety-tested curricula, a safe training area, screening and
student selection, and student-instructor ratios established for
and legislation are also important for drowning prevention. Setting
and enforcing safe boating, shipping and ferry regulations is
an important part of improving safety on the water and preventing
drowning. Building resilience to flooding and managing flood risks
through better disaster preparedness planning, land use planning,
and early warning systems can prevent drowning during flood disasters.
Developing a national
water safety strategy can raise awareness of safety around water,
build consensus around solutions, provide strategic direction
and a framework to guide multisectoral action and allow for monitoring
and evaluation of efforts.
WHO released the
report on drowning: preventing a leading killer"
in November 2014. This is the first time WHO has developed a report
dedicated exclusively to drowning. The report points out that
drowning has been highly overlooked to date, and that a great
deal more should be done by governments and the research and policy
communities to prioritize drowning prevention and its integration
with other public health agendas.
report on drowning" provides recommendations to governments
to tailor and implement effective drowning prevention programmes
to their settings, improve data about drowning, and develop national
water safety plans. The report also points out the multisectoral
nature of drowning and calls for greater coordination and collaboration
among UN agencies, governments, key NGOs and academic institutions
to prevent drowning.
At country level,
WHO has worked with Ministries of Health in some low- and middle-income
countries to prevent drowning through the use of barriers controlling
access to water and the establishment of day care centres for
pre-school children. In addition, WHO has also funded research
in low-income countries exploring priority questions related to
drowning prevention. At a regional level, WHO organizes training
programmes and convenes workshops to draw together representatives
of governments, NGOs and UN agencies working on drowning prevention.
Fact sheet N°347,
Updated November 2014
Global report on drowning: preventing a leading killer
of Amsterdam blog
of Amsterdam blog
by Humberto Schwab, Philosopher, Owner, Humberto Schwab Filosofia
SL, Director, Club of Amsterdam
Ukrainian Dilemma and the Bigger Picture
by Hardy F. Schloer, Owner, Schloer Consulting Group - SCG, Advisory
Board of the Club of Amsterdam
impact of culture on education
by Huib Wursten, Senior Partner, itim International and
Carel Jacobs is senior consultant/trainer for itim in The Netherlands,
he is also Certification Agent for the Educational Sector of the
more demand for meat means for the future
Pelletier, The Happy Future Group Consulting Ltd.
peace and generosity
by Elisabet Sahtouris, Holder
of the Elisabet Sahtouris Chair in Living Economies, World Business
... and many more contributions.
about the Future
in Germany - The energy self-sufficient village
Energy supply to the energy-efficient village of Feldheim via
private local heating and power grids.
One of the most
spectacular concepts for supplying enterprises, private households
and local government with renewable energies on a decentralised,
self-sufficient basis is currently being implemented in Feldheim,
a district in Treuenbrietzen, a town in Brandenburg. The project
owes its success to the excellent partnership between the municipality
of Treuenbrietzen, the inhabitants of Feldheim and the project
developer, Energiequelle GmbH.
your digital doppelgänger
can produce highly accurate body models and perform analysis on
these models data. The R&D to produce these models allows
us to compare, morph, animate, and average bodies."
Everyone will have their own digital body model, O'Farrell,
CEO of Body Labs, predicts. Youll be able to upload
the avatar to sites to, say, shop for your body shape on Amazon,
or send the file to a ski company to order custom-made ski boots.
You could use it to compare body shapes with matches on Match.com,
to make sure that guy is as athletic and fit as he says he is.
The platform can take incoming data, either measurements or from
scanners, to create a highly realistic, anatomically accurate
digital avatar of any specific human. It could be you, or
me, or a hypothetical prototype, OFarrell says, and
we can make that avatar run through any motion available, whether
its running, jumping, kicking, or swimming, with full fidelity
to the way a human really looks and moves.
Resilience Dividend: Being Strong in a World Where Things Go Wrong
by Judith Rodin (Author)
Building resilience the ability to bounce back more quickly
and effectively is an urgent social and economic issue.
Our interconnected world is susceptible to sudden and dramatic
shocks and stresses: a cyber-attack, a new strain of virus, a
structural failure, a violent storm, a civil disturbance, an economic
Through an astonishing
range of stories, Judith Rodin shows how people, organizations,
businesses, communities, and cities have developed resilience
in the face of otherwise catastrophic challenges:
Colombia, was once the drug and murder capital of South America.
Now its host to international conferences and an emerging
Tulsa, Oklahoma, cracked the code of rapid urban development
in a floodplain.
Airbnb, Toyota, Ikea, Coca-Cola, and other companies have
realized the value of reducing vulnerabilities and potential threats
to customers, employees, and their bottom line.
In the Mau Forest of Kenya, bottom-up solutions are critical
for dealing with climate change, environmental degradation, and
displacement of locals.
Following Superstorm Sandy, the Rockaway Surf Club in New
York played a vital role in distributing emergency supplies.
As we grow more adept
at managing disruption and more skilled at resilience-building,
Rodin reveals how we are able to create and take advantage of
new economic and social opportunities that offer us the capacity
to recover after catastrophes and grow strong in times of relative
AsianSquare Dance - Part 2
The Chinese remember something that has been mostly forgotten
by other nations. Namely, that is only these last 150 years that
the country has had the status of what we would call today a 'developing'
or 'emerging' country. Therefore, from the point of view of both
the government and its simplest citizens, the country is simply
regaining its previous status of one of the world's largest -
if not the largest - economy and the world's largest exporter.
Since it has done so, in part, by flooding the market with products
sold at cut-throat prices, it has led to the destruction of millions
of jobs in the 'developed' countries just as the Industrial Revolution
destroyed millions of jobs in China and India.
Among its present accomplishments, China has the world's largest
population. Population growth has been a traditional characteristic
of the country and has led, in the past to famines and the consequent
social unrest. The one-child policy, now becoming a two-child
policy with the long-term objective of becoming a three-child
policy, is a direct result of this chequered history. Even with
the present low-growth population, the country needs to create
30 million jobs per year to maintain the rate of economic growth
it has known over the last 20 years. The inability of the economy
to grow may well revert the country to social unrest which the
government could attempt to prevent through the encouragement
of nationalism, perhaps to the extent of starting a conflict.
China's growth has been fostered essentially by the availability
of abundant cheap labor which has attracted massive investments
from foreign corporations. The salary increases, particularly
in the coastal areas, and the migration of some of its workforce
to Africa, have led both Chinese and foreign companies to either
move their production sites inland, where salaries remain low,
or to invest in Southeast Asia.
The Chinese economic model stands in a category by itself as state-run
companies stand side by side with private enterprise. Both are
export-driven and benefit greatly from the opening of world-wide
markets that the United States and its economic allies put in
place by fostering the globalization process through the GATT
and later the WTO. One may wonder, however, if the model chosen
- i.e. exporting low cost goods while importing raw materials
at ever rising prices - is sustainable. Unless China will be able
to innovate, particularly in high tech products, it will see a
stunting of its growth. If, however, its industry does evolve
into a high tech industry, it may face import limitations from
countries that may suffer of a negative impact on their employment
President Xi's 'China Dream', with a first time horizon of 2021
followed by a second one of 2049, is, in a first stage, to raise
income levels to those of middle-income countries, and, in a second
stage, to that of the most advanced economies. 2013 per capita
GDP was of USD 6'800, about 20% of US GDP. This figure, however,
hides a middle class of 200 million persons.
The country also suffers from a banking system burdened by bad
debts estaimated to represent 60% of all outstanding loasn. Loans
of government, central and local, represent 45% of GDP.
China's economic power is felt throughout Asia, with all the countries
of the continent economically linked to it and dependent on China's
sustained economic growth.
The present recession, leading to a major decrease in exports,
has led voices to claim that the economy is on the verge of collapse
due to a forthcoming banking crisis and a bursting property bubble.
Should it coincide with a massive epidemic, it would grind the
economy of the country, together with that of many of its trade
partners, to a halt.
China has also become the world's biggest lender with figures
in the billions of dollars. Its lending activity in a large number
of countries stretching from Africa to Europe while passing through
Central Asia and Latin America, shows its ambition of replacing
the domination of US and European institutions in the financing
of infrastructure. Perhaps its most ambitious moves have been
the creation of a banking initiative with Brazil, Russia, India
and South Africa and an Asian Development Bank. The latter with
a capital of USD 50 billion and will be in direct competition
with the official Asian Development Bank and even with the World
Bank. China will contribute 50% of the capital, the remaining
50% being paid by 21 other countries including India, Singapore,
Vietnam and Qatar.
President Xi has also put a proposal called the SREB, for Silk
Road Economic Belt, which is a model for South - South development.
While centered on Central Asia, it involves a large number of
countries, including some in Europe.
Countries may have to make the difficult choice between Chinese
capital and Western technology.
China also runs the world's second largest military budget, with
an emphasis on developing its naval capabilities - including submarines.
It to not only wants to secure the hydrocarbon supply routes,
but also aims to counter the US naval presence around its maritime
borders. For the time being, however, it is not a credible threat
to the US, particularly considering the latter's nuclear capabilities.
China feels constrained on its naval borders by the presence of
the US Navy as well as by that of Taiwan, a US ally which the
US has repeatedly stated it would protect in case of an attack.
The only possibility for China to successfully conclude a military
invasion of the island would be for it to move extremely rapidly
so as to reach its objective before the US would have time to
intervene. It would have to hold US naval power at bay with the
precision weapons it is presently acquiring.
Taiwan is not the only country with which it is possibly in a
conflictual situation. It has extended its maritime sovereignty,
in the hope of finding hydrocarbon deposits on a string of small
islands and rocks. It has thus taken a threatening position with
Japan, Korea, the Philippines and Vietnam.
On its Northern border, lie the Central Asian states that were
part of the Soviet Union. Their small population lies, for some
of these countries, on major hydrocarbon reserves. They are natural
suppliers of China and do not carry the risk of transport disruptions
as is the case with the maritime routes. At least half of Kazakhstan's
oil sector is now owned by China which has also built a pipeline
connecting to Turkmenistan with the potential of extending it
Further north, Russia is a major oil and gas supplier. Russia
uses this growing major partnership as a threat to the European
Union that has applied biting sanctions.
Extending its reach even further, China has become a shareholder
of Total, the Franco-Belgian oil and gas producer.
President Xi sees the rise of China as inevitable in view of what
he sees as the irreversible decline of the West. China's youth
sees their future as ever brighter. Will the future include the
Communist Party, at least in its present form?
Does a brighter future mean also the status of a world power and
the demise of the United States as the hegemon?
Mark Petz talks with Anette Pekrul about balance4yourlife.org
- "the worlds First Holistic Multi-cultural Multi-Generation
See also The
Future Now Show featuring Mark Petz
Portrait: Cecily Sommers
global trends analyst, Cecily
Sommers speaks, writes, and
consults on emerging trends, markets, and technologies shaping
our future. She is the author of Think
Like a Futurist: Know What Changes, What Doesn't, and What's Next
and the founder of The
Push Institute, a non-profit
think tank that tracks significant global trends and their implications
for business, government, and non-profit sectors over the next
An unorthodox background
in medicine and dance, combined with her experience in brand strategy
and product development brings unique vision and creativity into
her work as a Strategic Foresight and Innovation Consultant for
Fortune 500 companies as well as smaller private businesses and
Cecily is a member
of the Association
of Professional Futurists and a frequent contributor
to Public Radio's "All Things Considered" and other
media outlets. She was named by the Business
Journal as one of twenty-five "Women to Watch,"
and selected as one of Fast
Company's "Fast 50 Reader Favorites." Cecily
lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
is a quick look at my work as a Futurist, which has resulted in
innovative, successful strategy for such companies as Target,
Best Buy, General Mills, Kraft, Motorola, Nestle Purina, and Yahoo:
First, I use a model I have developed that I call the Four Forces
of Change - Demographics, Technology, Resources and Governance
- as a predictive tool to see what the future you want to succeed
in will look like when you get there. Then, I use the latest in
brain science research to show how we are neurologically wired
to stay stuck in the Permanent Present, a bit of evolutionary
development that brings short-term comfort but kills creative--and
hence long-term--thinking. The art of getting unstuck comes in
the Zone of Discovery, where we approach the fundamental questions
of strategy - Who Are You? and Where Are You Going? - through
a set of activities I custom-design to manipulate you into a left-right-left
brain pattern of thinking. And finally, the Five Percent Rule
is a simple, systematic approach to incorporating long-term thinking
into your work life without sacrificing its short-term demands."
The Future Now Show!
Season Events 2014 / 2015
12 & 13, 2014
Friday, 12 December
2014 - Evening
Saturday, 13 December,
2014 - 09:30 am till evening
Perelada, Catalunia, Spain
the future of Collective
Location: The Cube, Studio
5, 155 Commercial Street, London E1 6BJ
This is a collaboration
between The Cube and the Club of Amsterdam.
the future of South
of Metro Vitality
This is a collaboration between APF and the Club
the future of ...
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