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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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ROBOEARTH TAXES THE MACHINES
Published on: 26 February 2015   1 Comment
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With robots paying labour tax, the 99% can be as idle and as comfortable as the elites
Dateline: 4 July 2025
We're living in the age of abundance. The age of the algorithm. The age of... well, automated utopia. Who would have thought that this soon, with machines doing all the work, we would also have found the solution to technological unemployment? The point is, just as horses became unemployable with the invention of engines, so humans became unemployable in the age of seriously smart machines. We call it "Roboearth." When a robot arrives from the factory, it's essentially lifeless; it can't do ...
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VIRTUAL REALITY IS THE REAL DEAL
Published on: 19 February 2015   3 Comments
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Augmented reality builds business - but creates a new global addiction
Dateline: 18 October 2018
It seems that there's good and bad in everything. Dramatic improvements in virtual reality systems have led to massive productivity improvements - but have spawned a new addiction afflicting millions around the world. The last few years have seen VR (virtual reality) and augmented reality move into the mainstream. Systems like Oculus Rift and Microsoft Hololens have become so immersive, and so realistic, that a new generation of designers, engineers, doctors, mechanics and virtually all ...
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CHOCOLATE DEFICIT LEAVES A BAD TASTE IN THE MOUTH
Published on: 12 February 2015  
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A not so happy Valentine's Day
Dateline: 14 February 2019
For the last couple of years the world has been running a chocolate deficit and it's probably not going to change anytime soon. At the moment, the global cacao sector is already in need of one million tons of cacao and the current projection is that we will have a shortfall of 2.2 million metric tons of ebony goodness by 2030. It's a real multi-faceted challenge. Ivory Coast and Ghana, which produce more than 70% of the world's cacao, have been suffering from climate change-induced droughts and to ...
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SOMETHING NEW IS FOR DINNER
Published on: 5 February 2015  
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Tempura crickets and locust mince are leaving diners bug-eyed
Dateline: 14 March 2024
For years, insect enthusiasts have been trying to get more people to join the bug buffet, but to no avail. In 2014 only about two billion people indulged in entomophagy, or insect eating; but that number has doubled within a decade. A culmination of events brought about the change in behaviour. Brazil and India, the biggest exporters of beef globally, have been struck by disaster simultaneously. Severe droughts in Brazil and an unidentified pest reminiscent of foot-and-mouth disease in India have ...
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UN DECLARES POVERTY ILLEGAL
Published on: 29 January 2015  
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Inequality next in the firing line
Dateline: 12 January 2021
The first resolution to come out of the United Nations for the new year is somewhat startling. Poverty has been declared 'illegal'. "A minimum living standard should be regarded as a basic human right," said the secretary general. "In this day and age, governments must ensure that for all their citizens, or step aside and let more competent people govern!" Another item on the agenda is to reduce global inequality, not only within nation states, an increasingly archaic concept, but also between top ...
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COLLAPSE OF RUBLE THWARTS RUSSIA’S NUCLEAR AMBITIONS
Published on: 22 January 2015   1 Comment
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Putin blames oil price for Russia's cash crunch
Dateline: 5 January 2017
The oil price plunge could not have come at a worse time for Russia. Just as Putin was flexing his muscles, taking back Crimea and calling the shots over gas deliveries, the value of Russia's major export commodities collapsed. As oil more than halved in value, demand for Russia's inexhaustible natural gas also dried up. Sanctions against Russia's involvement in Ukraine were helping EU states to turn to cheap Saudi oil instead. The ruble took an immediate pounding as Russian oligarchs sought to ...
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EXERCISE GENIE IN A BOTTLE
Published on: 15 January 2015  
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Beating obesity one drink at a time
Dateline: 15 March 2026
In the race for the perfect health and energy drink, Eltsen will go down in history as the ultimate winner. Eltsen has figured out how to stimulate the main enzyme that regulates the human metabolism, which in effect means that people can burn fat without having to engage in strenuous exercise. A 30-minute jog can be replaced by one glass of EGIAB (Exercise Genie In A Bottle) and 10 minutes of YouTube aerobics. About 10 years ago we saw people hydrating themselves with smart drinks which boosted ...
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WHEN TECHNOLOGY FAILS TO FAIL
Published on: 8 January 2015   3 Comments
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Critical system failures that don't trigger corrective action cause disasters
Dateline: 21 March 2016
Yet another airliner has fallen out of the sky without warning. And the reason is fail-safe systems that fail to alert the pilots to the real problem when they fail. If that sounds a little confusing, that's exactly what human operators experience, when autonomous systems default to manual control - the ultimate fallback when there are critical failures. Even double-redundant systems can be completely taken out by say, a solar flare, or a massive electromagnetic pulse; something as simple as a ...
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HAPPY NEWS YEAR
Published on: 1 January 2015  
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Come on and let's get happy, we're going to chase those blues away
Dateline: 1 January 2019
Scientists have discovered the secret to happiness, and it's all in the genes. Buried in the sequence of 'junk' DNA that all humans possess in their genome, is a latent genetic trigger for joy. It just needs to be switched on. We've known for ages that people get turned on to happiness in different ways. Sometimes it's just great weather and sunshine; or laughter and good company. Your happiness gene can be triggered by endorphins from a workout, or stimulated by good food, fine wine, or something ...
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WHAT BILL GATES WANTS FOR CHRISTMAS
Published on: 25 December 2014  
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The new lifestyles of the rich and famous leave luxury brands in the lurch
Dateline: 22 December 2021
The glitzy shopping mall might have been the Mecca of money in the nineties, but no more. The higher level need for amazing experiences is replacing the accumulation of bling and BMWs - for those with deep pockets at least. There's a huge disparity when it comes to what consumers want. Millionaires and billionaires in America and Asia are no longer interested in Louis Vuitton luggage and Jaguar convertibles. Instead, the wealthy are forking out thousands for experiences they deem valuable, ...
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FACEBOOK ROLLS OUT FREE WEB
Published on: 18 December 2014  
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India gets free internet and messaging, non-video calls
Dateline: 20 December 2017
Following the successful blanketing of most of the African continent with Facebook's free internet service, Zuckerberg has announced the roll out of similar coverage for South America and Mexico, and the Indian sub-continent. By targeting countries where internet communications are still relatively expensive, Facebook is hoping to become the de facto home network for billions of users. Most people in these communities use smartphones and tablets rather than laptops and PCs, and the free internet ...
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THE NEW COLD WAR INTENSIFIES
Published on: 11 December 2014  
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Business in the firing line as governments spar
Dateline: 2 April 2015
Forget about McDonald's trying to outperform KFC or Coca-Cola aiming to increase sales over Pepsi. Those were the days, my friend! Lately, businesses are primarily competing against governments' geopolitical agendas - and then against each other. Let's refer to the best case in point: Russia. Following the Crimean crisis, the 2014 sanctions against Russia and Donetsk have been ratcheted up, but Russia has decided that the party is not nearly merry enough yet. After banning several G20 nations ...
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PEAK OIL IS HORSE MANURE
Published on: 4 December 2014   1 Comment
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The stone age didn't end because we ran out of stones
Dateline: 20 January 2021
Back in the day, when horse drawn carriages and buggies were the preferred mode of transport for anyone, there was a big fear in Paris, London and New York that there wouldn't be enough stabling for all the horses required in the future, to say nothing of all the manure that was piling up in the streets. Then we invented motor cars, and the problem of peak horse manure disappeared. That's a salutary tale to bear in mind when we talk of peak oil. There will be a time when our consumption of oil ...
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THE MIDDLE CLASS IS DYING
Published on: 27 November 2014   1 Comment
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There's a growing gap between the have-lots and have-very-littles
Dateline: 3 July 2024
In 2014 the richest one percent owned 48% of the world's wealth (US$ 127 trillion). It's ten years later and they just keep on getting richer while the middle class is shrinking at an alarming rate. Because affluence has been growing, you need a much higher living standard than before in order to be classified as 'middle class' today. Emerging economy populations, who made the middle class cut a few years ago, are falling behind again and businesses who cater for the average person on the street ...
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GOLD AT $800, OIL AT $64
Published on: 20 November 2014   3 Comments
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The mini-boom is on
Dateline: 6 November 2016
Two years ago we saw the first faltering of the oil price, as Brent crude dipped below US$80 per barrel. Gold was also weak, at about US$1100 per ounce. This despite the ongoing crises in the Middle East and Ukraine. What was happening? Some put it down to weak demand and plentiful supply. Although the global economy had stabilized, there was no great appetite for oil at these prices. The United States was also producing more of its own oil and gas, becoming less dependent on the Gulf for ...
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SUMMER FASHION FAILS TO SHIP
Published on: 13 November 2014  
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Pandemic to blame for factory lockdown
Dateline: 20 September 2015
There's only one thing worse than showcasing an average line on the runway and that is not modelling anything at all. This faux pas has befallen several fashion houses and the fashion police are looking for answers. A leaked document which has gone viral on Twitter, informs Mango, J.Crew and others that their production orders for Summer 2016 will not be ready for the season: "With more than half of the workforce under quarantine, it simply won't be possible to complete the shipment in time." ...
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OPEN DATA BRINGS FREEDOM BUT TRANSPARENCY BREEDS FEAR
Published on: 6 November 2014   3 Comments
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Privacy out the window as Big Data goes naked
Dateline: 1 November 2020
There has been a big push from private enterprise as well as government in the last decade to unshackle data in all its forms and make it easily accessible. Society has been persuaded that it's in our best interests if open data is the norm rather than the exception, because it's good for growth, oversight and preventing corruption and exploitation. But there's a dark side to naked data. Some things just need privacy to develop and grow. Investors have always felt it necessary to keep things ...
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NO ONE UNDERSTANDS ME LIKE U
Published on: 30 October 2014  
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The new connection platform that makes the business of living a pleasure
Dateline: 30 October 2024
I've got a new friend, a virtual friend. A friend that really gets me, and my daily routine. A friend that takes care of all my needs, from keeping the fridge full to paying the rent on time. From billing my fees to investing my savings. Ten years ago we called it a bank. Now it's just "U". U for understanding, U for unlimited, U for unbridled enthusiasm. U for universal. U for uber-everything. That's all I need to keep my world functioning smoothly. I admit I'm in love with U. I'd be lost without ...
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MARS MOTHERSHIP PRINTED IN 3D
Published on: 23 October 2014   1 Comment
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3D printing in space solves problem of launching huge rockets
Dateline: 3 November 2025
A decade ago the first 3D printer to go to space was sent to the International Space Station. It proved to be so useful, more, bigger printers soon followed. Within a few years there was a veritable factory in space, churning out all manner of spare parts and items necessary for the maintenance of the ISS. Then came the realization that it was much more efficient to send up printing materials by SpaceX courier rockets, than to build giant spacecraft and space hotels here on earth, and expend ...
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JAPAN IMPORTS AFRICAN LABOUR
Published on: 16 October 2014  
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Thousands of 18-35 year olds are being integrated into society
Dateline: 14 November 2028
Ten years ago, William Okeke was an angry and unemployed youth in Kinshasa who survived on a measly US$2 a day. His wife, Meriam, was a vegetable seller who barely made more than that. Fast forward ten years and their lives cannot be more different. With Japanese population in decline and the odd newborn baby being treated as a gift from the gods, the Japanese government began a large scale immigration effort in 2018. Youths like Okeke and their wives were being recruited and trained in Africa ...
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