2015, Issue 174

Welcome to the
Club of Amsterdam Journal.

In this show Madanmohan Rao, Simon Jones and Annegien Blokpoel talk about digital startups from Asia and about innovating in emerging economies
The Future Now Show

Watch the presentation about the future of Collective Intelligence by Hardy Schloer
at our event in London about the future of Collective Intelligence.

Enjoy this issue of the Club of Amsterdam Journal - we always welcome your feedback!

Felix F Bopp, Founder & Chairman


What's Hot in 2015
Technology Trends

The Future Now Show: Digital Startups from Asia / Innovating in Emerging Economies

the future of Collective Intelligence by Hardy Schloer

The Asian Square Dance - The Koreas

Club of Amsterdam blog

News about the Future

Recommended Book: Smart Biomaterials

Building Resilience and Livelihoods with Agroforestry in Uganda

Futurist Portrait: Claire A. Nelson


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.What's Hot in 2015
.Technology Trends

By Global Futures and Foresight

This is an abridged version of the original; for a more complete list of technologies and analysis,
click here

Rising wealth and greater global connectivity are combining to redefine what it means to be in any consumer facing industry. The 'what and how' of the way we work, live and consume are in considerable flux [Source:
Skift, 2013}. 86% of businesses believe their environment has become more complex since the Global Financial Crisis [Source: Economist Intelligence Unit, 2012] - and the shifting consumer dynamic adds to the complexity imparted by global change and evolving regulatory requirements.

In response, 70% of the C-suite recognises the importance of shifting to new models of social and digital interaction to reach new customer demands and markets [Source:
Forbes, 2013]. More than ever, businesses need to be aligned yet adaptable and the need to craft new models, revenue streams and organisational processes around established technologies such as social and mobile is pressing. However, 35% of large companies don't believe their web infrastructures will be able to meet the demands of mobile [Source: Venture Beat, 2014]. The need to develop a new digital operating paradigm is beyond doubt, as is the need to develop organisational flexibility and business model agility to benefit from a raft of emerging technologies.

The impact of IT and automation on the world of work and warnings about the impact on labour are nothing new. However, there is a growing consensus that things might be different this time - as automation impacts a broader set of knowledge worker jobs. 47% of jobs in the US could be at risk from automation through 2025 [Source:
Oxford Martin, 2013], whilst a third of UK jobs could be automated over the next two decades [Source: TechCrunch, 2014]. Automation could radically redefine the notion of value, work and employment.

Business must carefully consider where automation makes sense in their value chains. A more strategic review of where the impacts will be as well as possible opportunities and risks will need to be addressed at C-suite and Boardroom levels. The potential impacts on staff and consumers should be carefully considered against the increasingly attractive cost equation.

Quantum computing
Instead of using data encoded into binary digits, quantum computers use properties like superposition and entanglement to perform operations on data at an incredibly fast rate. Google and NASA have already announced the launch of a Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab, replete with functioning quantum computer that will be used to evolve machine learning [Source:
Google Research, 2013]. The enormous processing power of these computers could significantly reconfigure political, business, economic and social norms within the next fifteen to twenty years.

Engaging with the latest thought leaders and specialists in this area will be key in building a long term plan for how it could be used within the organisation.

Cognitive computing
Cognitive computing systems learn and interact naturally with people; ultimately helping human experts make better informed decisions by penetrating the complexity of big data [Source:
IBM Research, retrieved 2014].

In early 2014 IBM launched IBM Watson as a new business unit focused on cognitive computing technology and solutions. It has already been implemented in call centres, for legal and investment advice, and medical diagnosis [Source:
CapGemini, 2013].

Widespread adoption is some-way off, but ensuring your big data strategy and analytics capability is aligned to your corporate strategy is a solid first preparatory step.

The intercloud is a networked global 'cloud of clouds' - which allows workloads to migrate from private to hybrid and public clouds [Source:
NetworkWorld, 2014]. Some surveys have found an average of 759 cloud services per organisation [Source: CIO, 2014], which has significantly raised complexity. It is likely that an intercloud will become essential for managing multiple clouds [Source: CIO, 2014].

It could also form a platform for the Internet of Everything as it enables real-time analytics and scalability with distributed network and security architectures. Analysts suggest that by 2017 to 2020 we might begin to see some serious unification of this service.

The time to prepare is now, and mapping out current cloud deployments and their performance is an important first step. Management structures should adapt to maximise the effectiveness of the intercloud. The ability to embed, extend and integrate collaboration more broadly across an organisation will increase as the ability of this technology to drive business value becomes clear.

Software Defined Networks (SDNs)
Gartner denotes SDNs as a '...radical new approach to designing, building and operating networks that brings a degree of agility similar to what abstraction, virtualisation and orchestration have brought to server infrastructure [Source:
Zawya, 2014]. This helps remove the physical limitations of networks, which are being pushed to their limits by social media, mobile devices, and cloud computing.

With dynamic bandwidth, end-customers stand to benefit from simplicity, cost reduction opportunities, and the possibility for consolidation [Source: Forbes, 2013]. SDN may also better support cloud deployments [Source: Network Computing, 2013]. The SDN market is expected to reach $2 billion by 2016, up from $200 million in 2014 [Source: CIO Insight, 2014].

Engaging with experienced partners is an important first step in establishing potential utility. If SDN is deemed both viable and of benefit to your organisation, as a starting point, develop a pilot on a limited part of the network.

Atomic GPS
The costs to maintain GPS remains a barrier for more involved utility. A modern GPS satellite can cost around $223 million. DARPA funded initiatives are exploring the use of atomic physics for more accurate sensing without the need for satellites.

Without a satellite infrastructure, geo-location aware devices become more economical and capable. Real-time models and those relying on precision - self-driving cars and UAVs- could all be optimised by such technology. The greater impact however, could be on privacy and the relationship between consumers, governments and businesses. Atomic GPS could boost privacy and redefine location based marketing as there are no signals to be intercepted [Source:
Defense One, 2014]. Given a decade of refinement we can expect the current bulky size to shrink considerably and become commercially viable.

Investing in developing a horizon scanning capability; of new white papers, possible legislation and the latest technical and academic papers will be important for organisations, as will scenario planning.

Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) - links people, processes and data. Cisco estimates that 99.4% of physical objects in the world are still unconnected [Source:
Cisco, 2013], with only about 10 billion of the 1.5 trillion items currently connected globally.

Given the potential value of the IoT - $14.4 trillion to 2022 by some counts [Source: Cisco, 2013], there is clearly a business rationale for developing a strategic approach to what, how and where the IoT can be used to unlock new value streams and create new business. Cisco CEO John Chambers notes that for an organisation to fully realise the benefits of the IoT, cooperation across business units will be needed as will a closer CMO-CTO partnership. The IoT will also demand that traditionally non-technical industries begin to acquire IT expertise [Source: Information Week, 2013].

Prescriptive analytics
As we learn to apply predictive analytics to the waves of machine-to-machine data generated by the IoT data, often in near real-time, we will need help in deciding what to do about the predictions.

A prescriptive model can be viewed as a combination of multiple predictive models running in parallel, one for each possible input action, and able to recommend a course based on numerous variables.

Embedding data analytics at the heart of your organisation is a critical prerequisite for the use of any analytical technique. Developing a capacity amongst employees and a digital platform that enables the right person to access pertinent data at the right time will ensure the benefits of such insights are actionable.

Social networks are evolving into platforms for content creation, idea sharing, and self-service. These networks not only lower business costs, but also engage and empower consumers [Source:
Information Week, 2014].

Given the creative and collaborative nature of a social platform and the concurrent realisation that gamification also features elements of what makes social an appealing business proposition, forthcoming social platforms could well be game-based [Source: Fast Company, 2014]. This could evolve as either a formal training platform or a communication system - indeed next generational thinking and use of social networks will be to increasingly replace e-mail as the preferred electronic communication platform within the corporation.

Business must ensure its social processes connect people with information, enable greater collaboration and encourage knowledge sharing. The need to embark on a transformation program that enables new ways of working and is fully supported by senior management, is needed if the benefits of social are to be realised.

Avatars are evolving into a highly sophisticated computer generated set of images with a variety of purposes - from customer service to advertising [Source:
PwC, 2012]. Ultimately avatars are enabling companies and organisations to leverage human-like images to communicate their messages. Many industries stand to utilise this technology - for example, electronic avatars, either in holographic form or via a TV have been used to monitor heart rate and blood pressure as well as provide medication reminders. Such avatars could potentially analyse a person's speech, movement and facial expression to detect mood and formulate an appropriate response [Source: Metro, 2014].

Research suggests that by 2025 '...holographic teleconferencing and virtual 'dry runs' of projects will consign old office templates to the dustbin [Source: BBC, 2012]. In their place, projected 3D avatars of colleagues at a single touch.' Discuss how you might use avatar advisers to engage with your distribution channels and end consumers. Is your IT system ready for such changes? Are your employees?

Haptic interfaces

Across a range of industries,the marriage of the physical and online is critical in providing more efficient and satisfying service propositions. The technology that may drive this is haptic interfaces. Japanese researchers have made haptic interfaces that create the sensation of being pushed or pulled by an invisible force. Vincent Hayward at the Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris, suggests haptics ' reaching a critical mass [Source:
MIT Technology Review, 2014].'

As it evolves in complexity, it is probable we will see this technology extend beyond smartphone interfaces and video game controllers and in to retail circles, whether for checking the firmness of fruit bought with the online groceries or the feel of items of clothing.

Since its range of uses is broad, it could prove useful to develop the capability of IT personnel (and even those who perform their roles but are external to the department) to enable strategic views and a greater sense of how, where, when and why certain technologies can be used and to what effect.

Instant language translation
In 2013 Japanese telecom giant NTT Docomo's unveiled its new Augmented Reality glasses that they hope will be able to accurately translate text in near real-time by 2020.

However, successful real-time speech translation hinges on artificial intelligence of the highest quality. To reach the level of accuracy a human interpreter achieves, these machines have to not only convert each word into the target language, but analyse entire phrases and infer their meaning before offering up a translation. Franz Och, Google's head of translation services, estimates it could only be a 'few years' before speech to speech translation could work reasonably well [Source: International Business Blog, 2013].

Potential impacts on talent shortages, global collaboration and the need for more cultural nuanced management across global enterprises will all shape the business response to this technology.

Virtual Retinal Display
Examples such as The Glyph, from Avegant, dispense with screens and use '...a combination of optics to reflect an image directly onto your retina, effectively using the back of your eyeball as a screen [Source:
Quartz, 2013].'

Available in 2015, such devices could reduce eye strain and therefore enhance reading time, as well as provide an additional AR interface. Virtual retinal displays and other wearables more generally represent a new paradigm - of fusing digital and physical worlds together.

An aligned IT strategy and streamlined operations is a must. Bain acknowledges that many organisations possess '... an IT environment that is a patchwork of legacy systems and ill-suited technologies [Source:
Bain, 2013].' A strategic review of the state of internal technology efficacy must inform decisions over the need for new technologies.

Imaging the mind's eye
Mary Lou Jepsen, the founder of Pixel Qi Corporation, gave a TED talk [Source:
TED, via Youtube, 2012] in which she talked about displaying images from the mind on to a screen. We can already use scanning technology like MRIs to 'visualise' what you are seeing in your mind's eye and it is perhaps only a matter of time before the method shifts sufficiently to become commercially viable. Jepsen suggests that ultimately, we're '...going to be able to dump our ideas directly to digital media.' As a tool used to amplify our cognitive and communication skills, Jepsen believes it could help lead to a cure for Alzheimer's and similar diseases.

The ability of the CIO to relate technical knowledge in terms of bottom-line business value will be important, for all the technologies previewed here.

NextGen Virtual Reality
Oculus VR is a company that is on the verge of releasing the Rift, an affordable virtual-reality headset for playing ultra-immersive video games. Facebook bought the company for $2 billion in spring 2014.

The idea of merging immersive virtual reality with social communications is intriguing. It could also be a compelling tool for teleconferencing, online shopping, or more passive forms of entertainment. Separately, Sony is also working with NASA to create a virtual-reality simulation of Mars using images pulled from the Mars Rover. Another application that Sony is exploring would let travellers visit virtual hotel rooms before booking the real thing [Source: MIT Technology Review, 2014].

The ubiquity and scope of emerging technologies such as NextGen VR will demand greater attention to the strategic use of technologies in their implementation; for employees, customers and ultimately in how they align to the goals and visions of an organisation.

Programmable matter
Programmable matter is a broad field subject area in which atoms or molecules can rearrange themselves to a desired state. We are starting to see smart substances which can self-heal like the G-Flex phone from LG, but programmable matter potential goes much further. Programmable matter might, in the future, be able to self-replicate, which has huge implications for everything from medicine to manufacturing [Source:
Chief Disruption Officer, 2014]. 'Such a capability could change society even more profoundly than the Internet has.

Smart dust / Micro motes
Thousands of tiny computers that power themselves from their surroundings could one day be used to monitor your world. Micro Motes could be used to monitor every movement of large structures like bridges or skyscrapers. Motes in a smart house could report back on occupancy, comfort or even danger levels.

With motes embedded in all of your belongings it might be possible to run a Google search in the physical world. Smart dust computers could make efficient medical implants too [Source:
New Scientist, 2013]. Businesses need to assess whether this technology could fir their IoT strategy and map out the implicit challenges and threats it holds.

3D Printing
Although additive manufacturing has been around since the 1980s [Source:
Computer World, 2014], recent progress in materials, cost reduction and the emergence of an industry ecosystem have all combined to give impetus for recent and future growth.

Within the next two or three years, some analysts suggest that entry-level machines could fall below the psychologically crucial $100 level. This could mean the start of a process of radical change in the retail, supply chain and manufacturing sectors as consumer products effectively become digital content [Source:
Forbes, 2014]. For example, 3D printing could account for half of the $770bn market for low-volume, highly customisable parts by 2025 [Source: McKinsey, 2014]. Planning for the impacts, opportunities and challenges across the value chain must start in 2015 if companies are to avoid significant disruption in the coming decade.

Terehertz Frequency Electronics and Meta-materials

The area of the electromagnetic spectrum between microwave, which we use for mobile phones, and infrared, is the Terehertz range. If scientists can figure out how to harness it, we could open up a vast frontier of devices that don't compete against others for spectrum access.

Meta-material smart clothes made with small THz sensors would allow for real-time health assessments [Source: Defense One, 2014]. In practical terms, for many businesses this is a wearables and big data issue. Ensuring adequate analysis capacity is a given.

Wireless electricity
Wireless electricity, notes Inc, ' complex and still years from perfection, but magnetic resonance - created by coils of conductive materials like copper - could eventually replace wires as the main power source for everything in our lives [Source:
Inc, 2013].

Inductive power transfer has already been developed at a range of 5 metres [Source: Science Daily, 2014] so whilst 2015 should see smartphones charging remotely, the groundwork may also be prepared for Wi-Power zones at places such as restaurants and streets that offer electric power wirelessly to electronic devices [Source: Science Daily, 2014] and perhaps even for electric cars to be able to recharge while sitting in a car-park [Source: CNN, 2014]. Although long-range wireless power transfer is still in an early stage of commercialisation and quite costly to implement, the cost will fall as the technology evolves. This technology will not be appearing ubiquitously in 2015, but this time should be used to plan out how wireless electricity could impact operations.

Rapid Threat Assessment (RTA)
The globalised nature of the economy also raises the possibility of rapidly spreading pandemics. DARPA's RTA project seeks to enable researchers to '...within 30 days of exposure to a human cell, map the complete molecular mechanism through which a threat agent alters cellular processes.'

Better understanding of the interplay between disease vector and human physiology could enable better planning, response and care for the ill during such a pandemic. In the decades ahead, the biggest contribution of the program may be fundamental changes in future drug discovery [Source: Defense One, 2014].


As disruptive and transformative as technology can be, change does not happen in a vacuum. Across all industries, how a technology is used to change organisational processes and further customer interaction will be key. It is also worth noting that it is often the unintended consequences of technology, or else misuse or re-appropriation of it that can define its impact. With each new technology, first we do things differently; then we do different things.

David Smith
Chief Executive
Global Futures and Foresight

.The Future Now Show
.Digital Startups from Asia / Innovating in Emerging Economies

Shape 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.

The Future Now Show
March 2015

about Digital Startups from Asia: AliBaba, Flipkart, InMobi and beyond and
"me and my shadows - innovating in emerging economies"...

Madanmohan Rao, Research Advisor, Asian Media Information and Communication Centre, India
Simon Jones, Provost at Nazarbayev University, Kazakhstan

Annegien Blokpoel, Founder & CEO, PerspeXo, the Netherlands
Paul Holister, Editor, Summary Text

about Digital Startups from Asia and ...

This show takes a look at the boom in digital start-ups in Asia and how this might evolve. What do newly developed, or still underdeveloped, environments offer as benefits and hindrances for such endeavours and what sort of interaction is there with the older established western economies? With the very different environments of India and Kazakhstan as a backdrop for discussion, this program explores both the potential and the prerequisites for such developments.

about Innovating in Emerging Economies and ...

In mature western economies the mention of innovation brings to mind corporate R&D labs or spin-outs from academic research environments. In emerging markets the foundations for this kind of innovation are often lacking or incomplete. So to nurture innovation what are the essential foundations you need to build and what might you do differently because you must or because you can? The discussion in this show covers ideas and phenomena from frugal innovation to 'silicon bridges'. There is no magic formula, for sure, but there is enormous space for new approaches and perspectives, and no lack of inspiration.


You can find The Future Now Show also at

LinkedIn Group: The Future Now Show

.the future of Collective Intelligence by Hardy Schloer

How will humanity manage the transition from a human based intelligence to a superior machine intelligence in a constructive, peaceful and practical way?

Hardy Schloer, Managing Director, Schloer Consulting Group
About the future of Collective Intelligence

.The Asian Square Dance - The Koreas

By Michael Akerib, Vice-Rector SWISS UMEF UNIVERSITY

The Koreas

The two countries occupying the peninsula are the only countries in the world surrounded by the world's major powers - China, Japan, Russia and the US which is slightly removed geographically, but very present on the territory of South Korea.

South Korea is one of the world's top 20 economies and home to high-tech companies. The country's population is the major user of cellphones and internet in the world. North Korea is mired into major problems and famines due to mismanagement by the dynasty that rules it.

The country's major problems are access to energy and the situation in North Korea, particularly the possibility of a regime collapse leading to massive immigration towards the South. South Korea would be unable to sustain economically a large number of immigrants fleeing the North even if China would be willing to accept part of the flow of refugees such a situation would entail.

The best way to prevent such a collapse is reunification and this appears at this point to be most unlikely.

The two countries are still technically at war with each other. North Korea has a nuclear program, has repeatedly tested its delivery capabilities, has transferred nuclear technology to other countries and engages regularly in provocations.

The South Korean army is believed to be one of the world's best with a budget of close to USD 30 billion which compares favorably with North Korea's lower than USD 10 billion. South Korea's hardware, whether tanks or planes, are recent while that of North Korea dates back to the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s.

While Russia has very recently agreed to conduct joint maneuvers with North Korea, that country's most important backer is China. Should North Korea escalate its provocations, China might decide to move troops into North Korea and occupy the country risking a wider conflict in which no doubt not only South Korea, but also the US, might be drawn. It would run contrary to China's present need of the existence of North Korea which is to act as a buffer between itself and the US troops stationed in South Korea.

Another major danger is that skirmishes between the two Koreas escalate and lead to an all-out war.


Read also

The Asian Square Dance - Part 1
The Asian Square Dance - Part 2: China
The Asian Square Dance - Part 3: India
The Asian Square Dance - Part 4: Japan

.Club of Amsterdam blog

Club of Amsterdam blog

Socratic Design
by Humberto Schwab, Philosopher, Owner, Humberto Schwab Filosofia SL, Director, Club of Amsterdam

The Ukrainian Dilemma and the Bigger Picture
by Hardy F. Schloer, Owner, Schloer Consulting Group - SCG, Advisory Board of the Club of Amsterdam

The 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 Hofstede Centre.

What more demand for meat means for the future
by Christophe Pelletier, The Happy Future Group Consulting Ltd.

Inner peace and generosity
by Elisabet Sahtouris,
Holder of the Elisabet Sahtouris Chair in Living Economies, World Business Academy

... and many more contributions.

.News about the Future

Data-storage for eternity

"DNA lends itself to this task as it can store large amounts of information in a compact manner. Unfortunately, the data is not always retrievable error-free: gaps and false information in the encoded data arise through chemical degradation and mistakes in DNA sequencing. Now researchers led by Robert Grass, a lecturer at ETH Zurich’s Department of Chemistry and Applied Biosciences, have revealed how the long-term, error-free storage of information can be achieved, potentially for more than a million years. First, they encapsulate the information-bearing segments of DNA in silica (glass) and second, they use an algorithm in order to correct mistakes in the data."

"We love space probes to the Moon and beyond! catalogs the active human-made machines that freckle our solar system and dot our galaxy. For each space probe, we've affectionately crafted a short-and-sweet summary as well as handpicked geeky hyperlinks we think are worth exploring. Where possible, we utilize data from the Deep Space Network."

.Recommended Book

Smart Biomaterials

by Mitsuhiro Ebara (Author), Yohei Kotsuchibashi (Author), Ravin Narain (Author), Naokazu Idota (Author), Young-Jin Kim (Author), John M. Hoffman (Author), Koichiro Uto (Author), Takao Aoyagi (Author)

This book provides comprehensive coverage of smart biomaterials and their potential applications, a field that is developing at a very rapid pace. Because smart biomaterials are an emerging class of biomaterials that respond to small changes in external stimuli with large discontinuous changes in their physical properties, they have been designed to act as an “on–off” switch for, among others, bio separation, immunoanalysis, drug delivery technologies, gene therapy, diagnostics, bio sensors and artificial muscles. After an introduction to the topic and the history of smart biomaterials, the author gives the reader an in-depth look at the properties, mechanics, and characterization of smart biomaterials including hydrogels, particles, assemblies, surfaces, fibers and conjugates. Information on the wide range of applications for these materials follows, including drug delivery, tissue engineering, diagnostics, biosensors, bio separation and actuators. In addition, recent advances in shape memory biomaterials as active components of medical devices are also presented.

.Building Resilience and Livelihoods with Agroforestry in Uganda

Made by leading Ugandan documentarist Nathan Ochole, this film explains what agroforestry is and the myriad of contributions that it has made to Uganda. It starts in the highlands of Kabale, where trees on farms prevented landslides and floods, provided fruit to villagers and made their agriculture more sustainable. It then roams to the parklands of northern Uganda where Borassus palms and Shea trees provide valuable nutrition and cash earnings (particularly for women in the case of Shea) and improve the yields of the crops grown near them. It visits Kapchorwa where we see the use of the nitrogen-fixing shrub Calliandra as feed for dairy cows and then documents the improvements that orange trees have made to livelihoods in Namatumba.

Along the way, the film interviews farmers as well as Dr Clement Okia, the representative of the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) in Uganda, and Dr Hilary Agaba, Programme Leader Agroforestry at Uganda’s National Forestry Resources Research Institute (NaFORRI NARO). It was produced by Cathy Watson, formerly of Tree Talk and Muvle Trust in Uganda and now Head of Programme Development at ICRAF, and by Australian AVID volunteer, Laura Keenan.

.Futurist Portrait: Claire A. Nelson

Claire A. Nelson is Futurist, Development Engineer, Social Entrepreneur and Founder & President, Institute of Caribbean Studies (ICS)

Dr. Claire Nelson has been actively engaged in the business of international development for more than twenty-five years. She works in the area of project development and management, with a particular focus on private sector development. A renaissance woman, she is a Development Engineer, Social Entrepreneur, and Futurist.

The first Jamaican woman to earn a Doctorate degree in an engineering discipline and the only black in her graduating class, Dr. Nelson holds Industrial Engineering Degrees from the State University of New York at Buffalo, Purdue University, and a Doctorate in Engineering Management from George Washington University. She has served on numerous boards and committees including: US Department of Commerce US/Caribbean Business Development Council Advisory Board; Black Leadership Forum; DC Caribbean Carnival Association; International Think Tank Commission on Pan-African Affairs, Office of the Prime Minister of Barbados; African-American Unity Caucus; National Democratic Institute/Carter Center Election Observer Mission to the Dominican Republic; Black Professionals in International Affairs; and the International Committee of the National Society of Black Engineers-Alumni Extension.

Recognized as a White House Champion of Change, she is sought after as a speaker on issues pertaining to economic development, globalization, and issues concerning the Caribbean and its peoples. She is a frequent guest on the television talk show CARIBNATION seen on cable TV in the Washington D.C. area, as well as CARIBBEAN EXCHANGE on WEAA, Morgan University Radio. Her speaking engagements have included: National Association of Security Professionals; Congressional Black Caucus Conference; Harvard University Black MBA Association Conference; Women & Micro-enterprise Conference, African Development Bank; Florida International University; Cincinnati Women's Chamber of Commerce; US Black Engineer of the Year Annual Conference; Howard University; Sacramento State University; National Council of Negro Women; and National Congress of Black Women.

Dr. Nelson has been a frontrunner in the challenge of placing the topic of social exclusion and diversity on the agenda of the multilateral development assistance institutions. As a result of her pioneering work, she was invited to the Salzburg Seminar as a Fellow in 1997 and 1999 of the Seminars on Race and Ethnicity, in 2000 and 2003 to the Fetzer Institute Advisory Group on Moral, Ethical and Spiritual Leadership; and as Faculty at the Seminar on Leadership Across Geographic Borders and Cultural Boundaries. Dr. Nelson was also a participant in the Bellagio Consultation on the UN World Conference on Racism (WCAR) organized by the International Human Rights Law Group, and was active on the Working Group on Globalization and Transnational Corporations.

Dr. Nelson is Ideation Leader of
The Futures Forum and Sagient Futures LLC, which provides strategic foresight and development futures consulting practice. She is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the World Futures Society, and an emerging voice as a Black Futurist. An award-winning writer and performance artiste, Dr. Nelson's OpEd pieces have appeared in media outlets such as Morning Edition, National Public Radio; WEAA FM and WHUR FM; and CaribNation TV.


Dr. Claire Nelson: “For most people, the Caribbean Sea is seen as a blue horizon of beauty, a beautiful backdrop for beach photos and relaxing moments, and the source of the escoveitched fish and curried conch we crave. While we enjoy and celebrate these uses, we want to increase knowledge about the life of the sea itself, and the life it supports for us — humans.”

“The Caribbean and Haitian population must be represented in full for continued economic and political progress in our community,” said Nelson. “We must communicate to all Caribbean Americans that participation in the U.S. Census will not adversely affect our communities, but allow them to flourish and be strengthened. It is important to us and our children that we stand up and be counted.”

"My Purdue engineering degree was my bulwark against the discrimination I sometimes faced in the international development community as the first Black woman engineer to join the Inter-American Development Bank. I must thank Purdue for providing me the four jobs and tuition assistance which made it possible for me to secure my dream of engineering change for global development."

PEP Talk with Dr. Claire Nelson



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