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!

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ALGORITHM SAVES YOU FROM YOURSELF

Published on: 21 June 2018

There's a new digital gatekeeper holding your hand and saving your reputation

Dateline: 4 January 2021

It's funny to think that we were impressed when filters could make our photos look cooler. Or that Spotify could suggest other artists based on our taste in music. Clever and entertaining, but not really significant. An algorithm that stops you from ruining your reputation, now that's a completely different story. A former Facebook bigshot has now started his own firm called Barrier. Trevor Scott saw his opportunity as numerous Facebook users ended up being fired or sued based on what they sent ...

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PERSONAL DATA GETS A PRICE

Published on: 14 June 2018

11 Year old sues parents for the value of his social profiling data

Dateline: 6 June 2023

Jayden Foley an eleven-year-old Californian student is suing his parents for the value of his leaked personal data. Says Foley, "Through their thoughtless social media posts on Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram that exposed every detail of my life, personal preferences, fashion style and demographic details, my parents effectively gifted my personal data profile to those social networks, without my consent. I think its only fair that I'm compensated for the value of my own ...

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CHINA GOBBLES UP EUROPE

Published on: 7 June 2018

EU shareholders are selling out - to China

Dateline: 23 April 2023

If you want to exit from a large, EU-based, multinational concern, just sell it to the Chinese. They're buying. Everything. In the last five years, Chinese acquisitions and investments in Europe have tripled, compared to the previous decade. China's 'economic imperialism' in Africa and Latin America is widely recognized and well documented, but its forays into Europe have been more stealthy. Published details of deals to acquire or invest in power and logistics, property and football clubs, are ...

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RISE OF THE NOT SO EMPTY NEST

Published on: 31 May 2018

Young would-be homebuyers forced to move back in with mom and dad

Dateline: 5 April 2021

It's the moment almost all parents wait for - graduation cap in hand, the chicks finally leave the nest. Spread your wings and fly little birdies, mom and dad think to themselves. It's just a pity that lately the peace and quiet doesn't seem to last long. Initially it looked like a blip that would pass, but multigenerational households are here to stay, at least for the near future. In fact, one in four Americans now have such a setup at home. Global property prices have ballooned and many a ...

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DISRUPTION DÉJÀ VU

Published on: 24 May 2018

We've seen it all before, but this time it's different

Dateline: 6 June 2020

It's just like 20, or maybe 200 years ago, but it's completely different! Disruption has always plagued established markets and societies, throughout the ages. The first waterwheel or windmill for grinding wheat into flour was disruptive technology at work; nascent and naïve, but a foretaste of things to come, in a tumultuous tsunami of ever accelerating change. Steam power and traction engines, threshing machines and cotton gins; it seemed as though there was no end to our ability to employ ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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, ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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I THINK I'M GOING SLIGHTLY MAD

Published on: 22 February 2018 2 Comments

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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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