MindBullets is a part of the global FutureWorld Network, constantly sensitive to changes in the technological, economic, social, political and business landscape. The MindBullets Contributors scan this rapidly changing environment for clues about possible future trends. The results of this synthesis are combined by our contributors into an on-going series of MindBullets: News from the Future - with a summary emailed to you every Thursday and the complete MindBullets data base available online to explore each scenario in more detail. Exciting scenarios of alternative futures based on breakthrough thinking today. A powerful tool to help you learn from the future - a new MindBullet every week!

"I find the weekly email inspiring and thought provoking. In the deluge of email that one receives, MindBullets is always one that I take time to read."

"A Thursday awaiting to see your latest concept to stretch my thinking is a red letter day of the week."



SWEDEN APPLIES FOR IMF BAILOUT

Published on: 17 May 2018 3 Comments

Nordic nation runs out of money for UBI program

Dateline: 24 November 2029

Six years after voting to implement a universal basic income (UBI) of 5,200 Swedish Krona per citizen, Sweden has applied for an International Monetary Fund bailout. "UBI has bankrupted us!" said Jarl Johansson, spokesperson for the Swedish National Debt Office (Riksgälden). The first-of-its kind national UBI scheme pays every Swedish resident over the age of 13, regardless of working status and formal citizenship, a monthly living wage. The program was hailed as a progressive social success when ...

Complete story...

CHINESE MILLENNIALS OVERRUN THE WORLD

Published on: 10 May 2018

Tourism is the new addiction for affluent young Chinese

Dateline: 5 June 2025

In just over two decades China has grown from small fry in travel terms to the world's biggest outbound market, leapfrogging and outpacing the United States. "May you live in interesting times!" is an ancient Chinese curse, a bit like a reverse compliment. Now it should be "May you be visited by many Chillennials!" It's a double-edged sword, both a blessing and a curse. Chinese millennials, as a segment or cohort, have more spending power than their American or European counter-parts; partly due to ...

Complete story...

ALICENT IS THE NEW DIGITAL CURRENCY

Published on: 3 May 2018

Bitcoin faces irrelevance as network based digital cash takes over

Dateline: 1 May 2026

When Bitcoin reached its all-time high, it operated on a network with only a few million subscribers, and faced a multitude of copycat coins and tokens that had the potential to supersede it. What it really needed was global critical mass. The opportunity was there for a truly massive network to launch its own blockchain currency, or take on the open source system already in the wild. At the same time, cryptocurrencies needed a technology fix; something to make them more user friendly, trusted and ...

Complete story...

ALEX, PLEASE GET ME A PIZZA

Published on: 26 April 2018 1 Comment

And bring it to the TV lounge

Dateline: 24 April 2020

Amazon has released its home robot, and it's called Alex. It works with Alexa, to buy things and stream stuff to your home. But Alex is fundamentally different; it can move around the house and help you with domestic chores. Just like the robot butler featured in sci-fi movies. Alex has been quietly, almost secretly, developed by Amazon over the last three years, and now it's ready for Prime Time. There's already a waiting list from Amazon Prime customers, who have been given first dibs on the new ...

Complete story...

FEMTECH: IS IT A BUBBLE?

Published on: 19 April 2018

The market for non-male tech gadgets and apps is exploding

Dateline: 1 May 2023

It's official. If you want to be the next tech giant, make sure you're aiming at the Femtech market. And it's even better if your company is run by women too! For years, actually decades, the personal computing and IT sectors were dominated by products and services created by men for men. About the only application where women were heavily involved was word processing, and later, desktop publishing. That's all changed, but the big names in tech startups are still heavily biased to the male gender, ...

Complete story...

WIRELESS INTERNET REINVENTED

Published on: 12 April 2018 1 Comment

5G is more than just a speed upgrade - it's mission critical

Dateline: 4 April 2020

It's finally here, and 5G mobile broadband isn't just a quicker internet - it's going to save us from the future! You'll forgive me for being a bit cynical, but we all remember the hype surrounding 4G wireless broadband, how it would solve all our congestion problems, and allow us to watch live-streamed video on our phones. Then finally the LTE (Long Term Evolution) demos began, and it looked so cool. And then another wait, while the handset makers caught up, until Bingo! you could get an iPhone ...

Complete story...

WHERE HAVE ALL THE DEALERS GONE?

Published on: 5 April 2018

Who killed the retail auto showroom?

Dateline: 7 April 2022

Buying a new car is often the second most important financial decision we make, after buying or building a home. It's a rite of passage for many middle class adults; it shows you have arrived, you've achieved a life-stage milestone. It's not a decision taken lightly, or driven by impulse. You've had a feeling for some time, that you might be getting close, so you've been checking out your options. Which models make for a sweet ride, and fit with your self-image? If you're at all interested in cars ...

Complete story...

SLEEPING BEAUTIES HEAL THEMSELVES

Published on: 29 March 2018 1 Comment

The answer is more than a good night's rest

Dateline: 7 March 2021

Remember the classic doctor's advice? "Take two aspirin and call me in the morning." It often worked, as after a restful night made more comfortable by the analgesic, you no longer needed the doctor the next day. Since then self-administered remedies have come a long way, and many of us have smart devices and wearables that monitor our health and well-being, providing us with personalized recommendations for preventative as well as curative therapies. But how do we maximize the benefits of a good ...

Complete story...

INNOVATION IS NOT A GOOD IDEA

Published on: 22 March 2018

It's about working on a really great problem

Dateline: 5 April 2023

You might have a great idea, and be obsessed with it, to the extent that you can't sleep, can barely eat, and all your conscious hours are spent on thinking how you can improve on this idea, and share it with the world. Stop. This is not how innovation, truly great, disruptive innovation, works. It's all very well to be obsessed; but be obsessed with a problem, a real problem. Like how to feed the world, or solve water scarcity, or make a car that gets 100 miles to the gallon, and costs 1,000 ...

Complete story...

SPICE TRADE TAKES ON A NEW FLAVOUR

Published on: 15 March 2018

Reverse direction is the new normal as Silicon Valley dominates

Dateline: 21 March 2025

Do you remember the tea clippers plying the oceans or the camel trains bringing exotic spices from the east? Probably not, but those were important trade routes in their day. Flavours and fragrances have always had global appeal. Since then, coffee and tea cultivation has migrated all over the world, and artificial flavouring has dominated commercial food production. There's still a demand for the real thing, like organic vanilla from tropical islands, but it commands a hefty premium. Flavours and ...

Complete story...

YOU'RE NEVER ALONE WITH A CLONE

Published on: 8 March 2018

When your intelligent assistant is a digital you

Dateline: 11 March 2035

There are two types of cloning; biological clones of a plant or animal, and digital copies of data, programs, or even an entire system. Microsoft has just announced a breakthrough - digitally cloning your brain. But the vision for this new service goes far beyond just making a backup of your memories, in case you become forgetful. They want to energize your personal robotic assistant with a digital copy of you. Think of it as a full-size Mini Me. A humanoid robot with artificial intelligence, that ...

Complete story...

WE WANTED TELEPORTATION

Published on: 1 March 2018

We got VR glasses instead

Dateline: 7 May 2024

We wanted flying cars. All we got were passenger drones, eventually. We were hoping for limitless fusion energy; instead we got solar panels. Everybody did. The future doesn't always deliver on our hopes and dreams. We dreamed about cheating death, an elixir from the fountain of youth, that would keep us forever young. Instead we have developed CRISPR and stem cells that keep us healthier in old age, but we still get old. That's the thing about the future. Our sci-fi fantasies and high tech ...

Complete story...

I THINK I'M GOING SLIGHTLY MAD

Published on: 22 February 2018

It's finally happened, according to my smartphone app

Dateline: 8 March 2021

That's the thing about our phones, they listen to everything we have to say. That fact alone might drive you nuts, but even if it keeps your conversations private, your phone can learn a lot about you, just by listening to how you speak. It's called metadata and there's a lot of it; who you called and how often, when you called and for how long, your location when you called, and so on. Phone companies and law enforcement have been making use of metadata for a long time; even without recording your ...

Complete story...

THE GARDEN OF REASON (OR IS IT TREASON?)

Published on: 15 February 2018 1 Comment

Urban farming is here to stay, and that's a good thing, isn't it?

Dateline: 1 March 2021

For some time now, various cities have been experimenting with vertical farming, rooftop farming, and even basement farming with LED lighting. Now it's maturing into a fully-fledged industry, just like fish farming. Farming without land, or even soil, sounds like a contradiction in terms, but hydroponics is not a new idea - it's just become more profitable. Being physically close to the consumers is the ultimate competitive advantage. Beyond the need for land, traditional farming has to contend ...

Complete story...

NO LAWYERS REQUIRED

Published on: 8 February 2018

Smart contracts threaten legal industry

Dateline: 23 January 2020

Now that the open source blockchain known as Hyperledger Sawtooth has gone commercial, there's no need for lawyers and attorneys to draw up legal agreements and contracts. Your PA or AI assistant can do it for you, online and for free. Hyperledger is a platform which can run your customized Smart Contract app. Once installed, a smart contract automatically performs routine tasks, like paying the rent, and validating that it's been received. Using technology similar to bitcoin, the smart contract ...

Complete story...

CONTROLLING THE DIGITAL ECONOMY

Published on: 1 February 2018

Government tries to follow the money

Dateline: 1 February 2021

Now that the bulk of the so-called 'capitalist political economy' operates on digital platforms and through digital channels, it's inevitable that government wants more influence and control. But will it work? In the aftermath of the dotcom boom, everybody wanted more access and better networks, and it wasn't long before broadband came to be regarded as a basic human right. Wireless networks and smartphones connected everyone else, and suddenly the whole world was on the 'net! Sure, some ...

Complete story...

MAGIC MIRRORS MAKE MARKETING FUN

Published on: 25 January 2018 1 Comment

Augmented reality selling seals the deal

Dateline: 26 January 2023

How do you let someone test a product or article of clothing without using samples? A virtual reality demo, that's how. And to highlight your product on a cluttered shelf, you would use augmented reality to add visual cues, and data. This is the new world of Digital Reality, a blend of VR, AR and well, just normal 'reality'. And whether it's through a smartphone, digital glasses or an in-store display, digital reality is becoming big business. A customer walks past your magic mirror, and suddenly ...

Complete story...

USING GRAVITY TO SEE BLACK HOLES

Published on: 18 January 2018

New attempt to observe the unobservable

Dateline: 2 February 2022

For decades scientists have speculated about the nature of black holes, but their existence has never been proven - yet. The theory says supermassive stars that have collapsed on themselves exert such powerful gravitational force, that even light can't escape; hence the name 'black holes'. We know that light and other forms of electromagnetic waves like radio and X-rays travel at constant speeds, depending in their wavelength. But what travels faster than light? Perhaps gravitational waves. Gravity ...

Complete story...

POD RACING TAKES OFF

Published on: 11 January 2018 1 Comment

Racing flying cars is a thing

Dateline: 12 January 2020

It's exhilarating, it's dangerous, and it's happening. Contrary to common sense and good advice, young geeks are taking part in a dangerous game, racing against each other in real life, flying machines. Passenger Optimized Drones, or PODs are the nearest thing we have to flying cars. The problem is, they don't have wheels, so they're not cars, and the batteries don't last long enough for a serious journey, so they're not really useful for travel; and with only one passenger (or pilot) they're more ...

Complete story...

WHO TURNED OFF THE NIGHT?

Published on: 4 January 2018

Greenpeace calls for light curfew to bring back the dark

Dateline: 9 January 2023

What happened to those lovely dark nights, when all the stars came out? They're gone, along with hurricane lamps and black outs. Now that LED lighting has conquered the world, seen from space our planet is a bright, glittering jewel at night. Even darkest Africa is filled with a billion points of light, and more's the pity. It's unnatural and astronomers hate it. The obsession with climate change has waned, and activists are focusing heavily on pollution, especially light pollution. They want ...

Complete story...