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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OWNERSHIP LITE

Published on: 13 June 2019

Sharing homes and lives, not just power drills

Dateline: 2 June 2024

Co-living has been on the block for a while, but it's no longer a fringe phenomenon. You won't see singles scouting for bachelor flats or studio apartments. Instead, digital nomads are co-living by choice, opting for shared residences that are part dorm and part hotel, giving their inhabitants private bedrooms with en suite bathrooms, but communal kitchens and living rooms. It's quite a stretch from renting out your power drill in the sharing economy, to sharing home life 24/7, but multiple ...

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TRUST ME, I’M AN AI

Published on: 6 June 2019

Smart software is so convincingly smart, we trust it more than people

Dateline: 3 June 2022

"Trust me, I'm a doctor!" is an old cliché, that we've all learned to take with a pinch of salt, but now there's a new benchmark for trust. How often, when a friend or colleague spouts a factoid or news bite, do you check it out on Google for accuracy? And when driving to a new destination, or trying to beat traffic, you rely on your smart device - car or phone - for navigation, don't you? You'd never ask a stranger for advice. All these things are driven by artificial intelligence, and we've come ...

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SCREENS ARE SO NINETIES

Published on: 30 May 2019

Now the rich are outsourcing their aching neck muscles

Dateline: 9 May 2023

Back when mobile phones just arrived on the market, it was all the rage to walk around with the Nokia brick in your hand. As the years went by, the more screens you had, the higher your status; laptop, tablet, phone, smart watch - the more you had, the better. Time and again though, what happens after ubiquity? Yes, you guessed it, the exact inverse. It's the poor who are living, learning, and dying by screens because the rich are opting for real people. A single mom in the Bronx can't afford a ...

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REMEMBERING TO FORGET

Published on: 23 May 2019

The art of anticipating the future is forgetting the past

Dateline: 22 May 2024

If there's one thing we've learned over the past decade, it's that the future will be different to what we expected, and often surprisingly so. You've got to remember to forget. We're now used to moon landings from private companies, and space-age internet that blankets the planet and is virtually free. All this using technology that hadn't been invented in 2014. Well, some of it, like SpaceX reusable rockets, was being developed, but they were hardly mainstream back then. And ten years later ...

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BITCOIN FINDS ITS BASE

Published on: 16 May 2019

It's looking a lot like gold

Dateline: 15 June 2021

We all remember the great Bitcoin crash of 2018, and the volatility that followed, but now it seems that the cryptocurrency is finding its niche, with investors at least. Bitcoin has been to the peak of inflated expectations, and through the troughs of disillusion and despair; the hype is finally (almost) over, and it's emerging onto the plateau of acceptance. As the poster child of blockchain tokens of value, Bitcoin has weathered the storm of extreme volatility better than most of the junkcoins ...

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GLOBAL POPULATION BOOM GOES BUST

Published on: 9 May 2019

Our planet will be a lot emptier than we first expected

Dateline: 18 June 2024

It's always been hard to question the status quo, whether it's speaking out against Apartheid or tackling climate change. Very few people take on the UN over one of the most widespread assumptions in society. But thank goodness someone did. In 2019 the weak signals were there for those who wanted to see. Whereas the UN projected 9 billion people in 2050 and 11 billion by 2100, a select group of scientists and demographers modelled a different future; one in which the global population stabilizes ...

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DEAD BATTERIES WORSE THAN NUCLEAR WASTE

Published on: 2 May 2019 2 Comments

China is drowning in unusable electric car batteries

Dateline: 3 May 2024

They say that the only real problem with nuclear power is taking care of the depleted fuel rods, often called nuclear waste, for hundreds of years after they've ceased to function. Sure, a small percentage can be 'reprocessed' into new types of nuclear fuel, but costs are so punitive, most power stations simply store the used fuel on site. Now we're running into a similar problem with electric cars, but on an exponential scale. New energy vehicles, or NEVs, have been a runaway success, in the US, ...

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TAKING THE WORK OUT OF JOBS

Published on: 25 April 2019 1 Comment

And the busyness out of business

Dateline: 1 May 2029

It's almost amusing to think that, just over a decade ago, people were worried that automation would kill off jobs, and leave workers destitute. At the same time, tycoons like Jack Ma were supporting the '996' work ethic of ambitious young Chinese workers; that's where you work from 9am to 9pm, 6 days a week. But then it dawned on management and staff alike, that you can get more out of your talented employees with goal-directed work, with more time to reflect and refresh, than an exhausting ...

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CALLS GROW TO GIVE ANIMALS HUMAN RIGHTS

Published on: 18 April 2019

Big tech scrambles to hire bio-ethicists as inter-species genetic engineering debate heats up

Dateline: 11 April 2028

It's 2019 all over again. Silicon Valley is on a hiring spree - for bio-ethicists. Advances in genetic engineering involving integrating animal DNA into human embryos, and human DNA into animals, using CRISPR technology, to enhance health and cognitive ability, have caused an ethical and legal conundrum. If some humans are technically partly animals, and some animals are part-human, who decided who qualifies for human rights? And who counts as a real person? Human rights groups are ...

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TERAHERTZ CHIP ACCELERATES EVERYTHING

Published on: 11 April 2019

It's like an actual superpower for devices

Dateline: 11 May 2025

See through clothing, analyze chemicals without touching them, and communicate in nanoseconds - these are just some of the new things our smart devices can do, thanks to terahertz frequency waves, or t-wavez as they are known in the industry. It's astounding to think that, only six years ago, t-wavez were new, and although promising, not very powerful; just like lasers and LEDs, when they were first invented. Now, technology for producing the ultra high speed chips has also accelerated beyond ...

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HYDROGEN ECONOMY EXPLODES

Published on: 4 April 2019

Cheap solar powers the next energy revolution

Dateline: 5 April 2036

Now that solar power has become so ubiquitous and abundant that it's almost free, energy companies are turning to the most efficient and harmless way of storing excess electricity for later use - hydrogen. It's over 30 years since Jeremy Rifkin predicted the hydrogen economy, but it's finally in full swing. The beauty of hydrogen is that it's easily manufactured from water if you have lots of spare power, can be stored and transported, burnt as ultra-clean fuel, or simply converted back into ...

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SOCIAL ISOLATION REACHES EPIC PROPORTIONS

Published on: 28 March 2019

Japan calls digital timeout to save society

Dateline: 17 April 2025

The Internet will bring us closer, they said. It will improve social connection, they said. Yeah, about that... In the early days of the web and social media, we all thought that it's simply an add-on to actual, face-to-face, relationships. However, with time it became all too easy to create the facade of a perfect life on Instagram. Real-life conversations gradually morphed into superficiality, devoid of any vulnerability (Brené Brown regularly cried herself to sleep at night). The explosion of ...

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YOUR ROBOT CAR NEEDS A DRIVER UPDATE

Published on: 21 March 2019 3 Comments

Computers can also make mistakes

Dateline: 22 March 2022

Your driverless car does have a driver, but it's not human, it's a machine; or rather, a system, including bits of hardware and software, and things to make them operate independently and together. If it sounds pretty complicated, that's because modern automated systems are. In fact, if it wasn't for the sophistication of electronic components and their advanced programmability, we wouldn't have reusable space rockets or driverless cars at all. Assuming you've used a laptop computer for many years, ...

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FROM INTERNET TO SPLINTERNET

Published on: 14 March 2019

It just ain't the global web anymore

Dateline: 4 May 2023

It started with certain sites being blocked to protect regimes and minimize dissent. But it wasn't long before we saw the blackout of the Internet in whole nations, for days. Now we're heading for the splintering of the Internet into multiple networks with so much bureaucracy involved, we'll likely run out of red tape. In 2016 there were 75 Internet shutdowns globally. Within a year it rose to 108 and in 2018 almost 200 disruptions took place. Governments wanted to safeguard themselves from their ...

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THE NEW DUTCH EAST INDIA COMPANY IS... CHINESE

Published on: 7 March 2019

African government outsources its citizens to Alipay

Dateline: 1 April 2024

They say history never repeats itself - but it sure does rhyme. In a move that can best be compared to the way large parts and populations of Africa and India were divided up and dished out to the management of private firms, such as the British and Dutch East India companies in the 17th and 18th centuries; Zimbabwe's embattled military government has decided to delegate the governance of its citizens to the Chinese tech giant, Alipay. Under the new deal, Zimbabwean citizens will each be ...

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MIRRORWORLD IS THE ULTIMATE BUSINESS BACKUP PLAN

Published on: 28 February 2019 1 Comment

Now everything has a digital twin

Dateline: 27 February 2024

Who remembers disaster recovery plans and business continuity strategies? Big companies, especially banks and financial services, that owned and managed their own servers and corporate networks, had to have a complete physical backup site from which they could operate, if their headquarters suffered a major disaster. Then came the cloud, virtual datacenters, and working from anywhere, as long as you were connected. The internet couldn't collapse, not with giants like Google and Microsoft and Amazon, ...

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THE RETURN OF A JOB FOR LIFE

Published on: 21 February 2019

The gig economy fails to deliver the dream

Dateline: 7 April 2024

The freelancers wanted to be free, so they went their own way. The corporate rebels quit their cubicle jobs and threw off their chains. The entrepreneurs were born to answer the call of independence. Going it alone, however, was much more daunting than many realized. Since 2008, trend and research reports started proclaiming that "the Japanese model of lifelong employment is dead!" By 2022, more than half of the US workforce was made up of freelancers. For a while it went well, as the consultants ...

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MY FUTURE VALENTINE

Published on: 14 February 2019

Love in the post digital age

Dateline: 14 February 2029

Ten years ago, it was all about sending a selfie, or perhaps something more risqué and risky, to your beloved, or the secret of your heart's desire. Now it's a lot different. We've moved beyond snapchat and Instagram; haptic telepresence is simulated teleportation. We've conquered space and time, virtually; and with brain-computer interfaces our very thoughts can be shared. But still lovers lament... Roses are red, violets are blue,
I searched for a mate, my AI chose you. Our first date was ...

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HOLOGRAM INHERITS BILLIONS

Published on: 7 February 2019

Tycoon's family in feud with his avatar wife's lawyers

Dateline: 1 February 2034

Dr Akihiro Miaku the famous Japanese tycoon who died earlier this year under mysterious circumstances (rumoured poisoning) is back in the headlines, after his will was leaked to the press by a disgruntled, anonymous, family member. Dr Miaku, who had significant business interests in the Japanese renewable energy sector, was revealed to have left his entire 3 billion Yen (27.5 million USD) fortune to his wife - a hologram nicknamed Suzi. The eccentric billionaire married his hologram wife 11 ...

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WHOSE BUSINESS IS IT ANYWAY?

Published on: 31 January 2019

Customers dictate the course of business

Dateline: 1 February 2023

Change is inevitable, but many businesses don't like or want change. Not when they're on top, and milking the cash cow; if it's not broke, don't try to fix it! But just because you're making super profits, and your customers adore you, doesn't mean it's going to be that way forever, even if you're Apple or Coca-Cola. Just ask Kodak. Shareholders and employees like to think it's 'their' business, but it's not much fun running or owning a business with no customers; a bit like a morgue, except that ...

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