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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THE CARBON BUBBLE BURSTS

Published on: 20 July 2017 1 Comment

Stocks crash as executive orders bite

Dateline: 5 February 2021

US President Bernie Sanders has signed a series of Executive Orders designed as emergency measures to combat climate change. The net effect is to make fossil fuels way too costly to produce and consume, forcing emissions lower and a massive swing to nuclear and renewable power. On top of that, the plummeting cost of solar has convinced many consumers, even those skeptical about global warming, to switch to a system of distributed power generation and consumption. These micro-grids and rooftop panels ...

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LIKE UBER FOR SPACE

Published on: 13 July 2017 3 Comments

Now anyone can put a sputnik into orbit

Dateline: 5 October 2020

Rocket Lab has gone fully commercial, offering launches for small satellites at a tenth of the cost of SpaceX. The 3D printed rockets are less than three stories tall, but they still make it to orbit, in just a few minutes. It's like Uber for space launches. You book your slot on the app, and get a real-time quote on your phone, which varies with the size and weight of your satellite. Most popular are cubesats, only slightly larger than a smartphone, and controlled by users on the ground. The ...

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MAKING SCIENCE FICTION A DAILY REALITY

Published on: 6 July 2017

The 'Youth-Tech' factor is reinventing our world!

Dateline: 30 July 2019

FutureWorld started talking about the impact of the 'Youth-Tech' factor many years ago - that fearless, entrepreneurial and smart young people, empowered by easy access to radical technologies, were working to reinvent the world. In so many ways, the science fiction of our past is becoming a daily reality. Just a few weeks ago the first 'Willy Wonka' elevators were installed in a Dubai high-rise (much of which, incidentally, was 3D printed). Remember the movie based on the Roald Dahl story 'Charlie ...

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NERDS TRIUMPH OVER COWS

Published on: 29 June 2017

Clean meat comes to market

Dateline: 28 June 2019

It's common cause that the meat industry is not very kind to animals, and intensive cattle farming is not very good for the environment in general. What's more, more than enough food is grown globally to adequately feed the world's growing population, but a large part of crop production goes to feeding cows, so that affluent people can enjoy nice juicy steaks. All this while the poor go hungry and survive on foreign aid in times of drought. In the interests of social justice and animal humanity, ...

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SOLAR PAINT MAKES ITS DEBUT

Published on: 22 June 2017 1 Comment

Just paint that wall for instant solar fuel

Dateline: 23 June 2022

It's taken five years to come to fruition, but the magic of solar paint is finally something every building owner can benefit from. Why pay for costly 3D printed solar panels and film, when you can just slap it on like paint - literally. Discovered back in 2017, solar paint is a special mixture of synthetic molecules and titanium oxide, which has been used in paint for decades. It turns out the oxide helps the paint absorb the sun's energy, while the molybdenum molecules act as a catalyst, splitting ...

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FAREWELL BANKS, HELLO BANKING

Published on: 15 June 2017

New players dominate financial services

Dateline: 26 August 2022

It was Microsoft founder Bill Gates who famously said in 1994 that we need banking, but we don't need banks. It's taken nearly 30 years, but he was dead right. Worldwide, financial services have moved out of the hands of traditional banks and into an array of mobile, FinTech and data companies. Some forward-thinking banks grasped the new world of collaboration and entered into early partnerships and have survived, albeit in a different form. Others have failed or, at best, become simply the ...

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MOVING GRIDLOCK UNDERGROUND

Published on: 8 June 2017 1 Comment

Tesla Tunnels aren't boring, they're totally congested

Dateline: 7 June 2027

Since Elon Musk's Boring Company provided automated underground highways to move traffic underground, it's been wonderful to walk the streets again. The high street has become more like a pedestrian mall, and the occasional, electric, car that passes is quiet and discreet. Electric cars quickly get swallowed up by the new Tesla Tunnels, or TT, that permeate the city links; the airport and all major hubs and parking garages are connected by automated elevators, that whisk the car, and its passengers ...

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ELECTRIC CARS CAN'T STEER THE CLIMATE

Published on: 1 June 2017

But they're driving the Energy Internet and saving the city

Dateline: 2 June 2030

It's official. It's now cheaper, on average, to buy a new electric car than one that burns gasoline, without subsidies. But it's not having any effect on climate change. It seems the global climate runs on its own largely unexplained clock, and nothing we do affects it much. Electric cars have become the vehicle of choice for two reasons; cheaper, more efficient batteries, and charging convenience. Now that the vast majority of electric power comes from renewable sources, it makes sense to put the ...

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THE NEXT BIG THING IS A MASHUP

Published on: 25 May 2017

Combinatorial tech evolves to constant mashups

Dateline: 21 May 2020

A few years ago, all the tech gurus talked about amazing new technologies that would disrupt businesses in all industries. One common theme was that these technologies all relied on digital processing power, and the advances being made in computing and communications were behind the explosion of innovation on all fronts. Looking at internet-of-things, massive data analysis, deep learning and artificial intelligence, all the way through to 3D printing and self-driving cars; even blockchain and the ...

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ONE BELT FOR A NEW WORLD ORDER

Published on: 18 May 2017

China leads the push for Globalization 2.0

Dateline: 4 July 2035

It's taken two decades, but the demise of the United States as top nation was predicted way back in 2015. Now China is firmly #1 in economic terms, and the west looks decidedly lower-middle class. The global power shift to the east has been driven partly by demographics, but also by China's determination to expand its sphere of economic influence, and to co-opt key nations en route. Central to this ambition was the 'One Belt, One Road' initiative, which links up dozens of nodes from Guangzhou to ...

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STEP INTO THE MATRIX

Published on: 11 May 2017 1 Comment

Now you can upload new skills to your brain

Dateline: 10 April 2029

Need a new skill or ability? There's an app for that! Neuroscience and neuroprosthetics have advanced to the point where, if you need to learn Arabic in a hurry, or how to make sense of DNA analysis, you can just upload it to your brain. On demand, just like an app for your phone. The first breakthrough was the 'hardware'; memory chips wired into the brains of stroke and accident victims have been replaced by nanoparticle 'liquid electronics', implantable with minimally invasive techniques. They ...

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CYCLING ON A RECYCLED CYCLE

Published on: 4 May 2017 1 Comment

There are 29 million bicycles in Beijing - and that's a problem

Dateline: 29 October 2019

The craze for 'dockless' share bikes in China and elsewhere soon led to a massive problem; piles of discarded bikes all over big cities, clogging up sidewalks and alleyways, malls and stations. The boom in bike manufacture, almost exclusively in China, accelerated, as bicycles essentially became disposable items. With large, automated production runs, producing a standardized bike every 10 seconds, the price per unit plummeted further. Cycle manufacturer Fushida and others together now produce ...

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WATER IS NO LONGER THE NEW OIL

Published on: 27 April 2017

Water in plentiful supply as 'Star Wars' tech makes it out of fresh air

Dateline: 24 April 2020

The first Star Wars movie featured Vaporators on the planet Tatooine for water farming from the atmosphere. Now they are available on Earth, although they look slightly different in real life. It's been known for many decades that condensing water vapor from the air holds the key to water supplies in arid, inland areas; but getting that water from dry rather than humid air was the challenge. By the same token, desalination has offered a solution for coastal cities, but only at substantial energy ...

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THE NEW GOLD OF THE 21st CENTURY

Published on: 21 April 2017 1 Comment

Data drives massive profits for the new corporate titans

Dateline: 23 October 2026

It's certainly not oil, it's not even water. The new 'gold' of the 21st century is data. And a range of corporate giants are using it to drive massive profits. Yuval Noah Harari, author of the 2016 book 'Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow', was right on the mark when he wrote: "One of the most important questions in the world is who owns the data of humankind. Maybe the most important asset of the 21st Century is not land, and it's not money, it's really data." At the turn of the century, ...

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SEE THE WORLD THROUGH MY EYES

Published on: 13 April 2017

Sharing your real-time view of life is bigger than Twitter or Instagram

Dateline: 26 April 2019

We had blogs, then vlogs, then Twitter and Periscope; everything becomes more immediate, as the news cycle and attention spans shorten. Remember when, a couple of years ago, a passenger was dragged off a United plane? The video of the poor guy went viral in hours. Now, the latest social media phenomenon is to share what you see - in real time, using Samsung's video contact lenses, called Viddyize. People who subscribe to your feed can see what you see - as you see it. With Viddyize, we could have ...

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THE BATTLE FOR A FREE INTERNET

Published on: 6 April 2017

Citizens vs. governments as the next generation of the internet unfolds

Dateline: 11 March 2020

It's 31 years since Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web; and he is the first to admit that many things have gone wrong since his original dream. Sir Tim envisaged, in his own words, "an open platform that would allow everyone, everywhere to share information, access opportunities, and collaborate across geographic and cultural boundaries." Certainly the internet has achieved that - but increasingly it is a place where trolls attack with crude, vicious posts; where governments and political ...

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GET ME TO THE GATE ON TIME

Published on: 30 March 2017 3 Comments

Self-driving luggage, for the truly 'last yards'

Dateline: 1 April 2019

Anyone who travels regularly on business knows what a schlep it is to drag your roll-aboard cabin bag around with you for what seems like - and probably is - miles and miles of airport concourses. And terminals seem to get bigger every year. Putting wheels on luggage was an innovative idea; one wonders why it took decades before that caught on in a big way. Then it was just a matter of time before someone added a laptop battery and a tiny electric motor, so your smart luggage could follow you ...

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WHERE HAVE ALL THE DESERTS GONE?

Published on: 23 March 2017 1 Comment

Climate change is making the world greener

Dateline: 11 August 2028

Climate change is a reality that we've all come to accept, even though the debate surrounding the root cause of climate change rages on. Whether it's warming caused by carbon emissions, natural release of methane gasses, dimming caused by polluting aerosols, or just the cosmic cycle of the solar system, the fact is the climate has changed. The change has been quite dramatic in some regions, while barely noticeable in others; but the climate continues to change, despite the best efforts of activists ...

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HOORAY FOR THE MACHINES! THEY'VE CREATED MILLIONS OF NEW JOBS

Published on: 17 March 2017 3 Comments

Fears of jobless growth recede as markets demand new human skills

Dateline: 17 June 2023

The prophets of doom have been hard at work for the past decade, telling us that automation, robotics and machine learning are going to destroy jobs and leave millions of people unemployed and destitute. The reality has been somewhat different! Yes, some jobs have been taken over by the machines. But they're the dirty and dangerous jobs that most people did not want to do. Who wants to be a farm labourer or a production-line worker? It also true that many higher-level jobs have changed. AI systems ...

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ROSES ARE RED, BATTERIES ARE GREEN

Published on: 9 March 2017

A field of daffodils can power a town

Dateline: 8 March 2023

Once we thought that batteries were made of corrosive chemicals and heavy metals. But what happens when you can grow e-plants that store solar energy like super-capacitors? Back in 2017, scientists discovered they could grow nanowires inside a red rose, using the plant's own capillary system to create an internal network, and absorb electrolyte. It's a little like that old school lab experiment, where you run an LED off a potato - natural, organic electricity. Except that, in the case of e-plants, ...

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