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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Filtered by tag: Conflict

RUNAWAY TOURISM THREATENS EUROPE

Published on: 17 August 2017 1 Comment

Local activists stirring up resistance to the invasion

Dateline: 11 August 2019

"It's worse than migration," says an Arran spokesperson, "they are destroying our neighbourhoods and culture!" Arran is the radical anti-tourist movement in Spain. In Barcelona, Rome and Venice, protest marches have turned violent, and travel advisories have been issued by British and American authorities. Tensions between hordes of foreign tourists and nationalist locals have been escalating for the past two years, and are now boiling over. Share bikes and Uber cars have had their tyres slashed, ...

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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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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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WALLS GO UP, TRADE COMES DOWN

Published on: 23 February 2017

Global downturn follows isolationist resurgence

Dateline: 7 March 2021

Brexit, Trump and now Le Pen. As the old, established economies turn inward and nationalist, global trade and co-operation suffer. It's been left to the new, New World, what used to be called Emerging Markets, to carry the torch of free trade. As Tim Harford notes: "The first and most fundamental insight is that all human civilisation is built on some sort of trade." ALL human civilisation. Productivity and progress rely on exploiting comparative advantages with trade, to everyone's gain. But the ...

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ENGLAND AND WALES KEPT OUT OF EUROPE FOR A SECOND TIME

Published on: 15 December 2016

Scotland's veto ensures their old British colleagues are refused

Dateline: 18 January 2044

In a blow for the aspirations of citizens of England and Wales, the island nation's hopes of joining the EEU (Extended EU) have once again been crushed. "It's a tragedy. Why can't the Scottish recognize that we have changed. The old generation that hated membership and never understood its benefits have died out. We're the generation that were stripped of a future," says Denis Franks, International Secretary in the Liberal government. "Nothing has changed," says Humphrey Dalfries, the Scottish ...

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GOODBYE TRUMP, HELLO MADAM PRESIDENT

Published on: 10 November 2016

After one term in office, America has had enough of the Orange POTUS

Dateline: 10 November 2020

At long last, the United States has a female head of state. Hillary Clinton's big mistake was one of timing. She couldn't beat Obama, and when up against Trump, she failed to inspire or engender trust. Many voters saw her as a has-been. But now the tables have been turned. Trump, like Jimmy Carter, has failed to secure a second term. And his ouster is a woman. To some extent, Trump was his own worst enemy. Having exposed himself, his thinking and biases, the kind of person he was deep down, ...

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AI FOR PRESIDENT

Published on: 20 October 2016 1 Comment

The next Commander in Chief is an avatar

Dateline: 3 November 2020

When a Presidential decision can affect millions of people's lives, it's a weighty matter; one that must balance ethics, integrity and pragmatism with what is best for the majority of the people. It's not easy to arrive at the best decision, even with a host of expert advisors. That's why it is best left to the dispassionate rationality of Artificial Intelligence. Since Watson learned to diagnose cancer quicker and more accurately than the most experienced oncologist, the IBM AI platform has also ...

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CHINA TRUMPS TRUMP, RUSSIA LOOMS LARGE

Published on: 6 October 2016

Brexit looks benign in the face of new shocks

Dateline: 14 October 2017

Disruption and turbulence are the new normal, as Black and 'Grey' Swans hatch repeatedly. When the British voted to leave the EU, it was a great shock to the global system, and markets reacted in both predictable, and unpredictable ways. While everyone was 'waiting and seeing' which way the wind would blow, Donald Trump became POTUS, sending another shockwave through the world. Within a year, France and Germany saw populism and reactionary forces replace their governing parties, and the EU is ...

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RELIGION IS A DYING BUSINESS

Published on: 8 September 2016

Traditional religious beliefs are dying out as global living standards rise

Dateline: 1 September 2034

A charismatic preacher once wrote that to get seriously rich, start your own religion. But academics suggest the world's major religions, including Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and Buddhism, emerged as an evolutionary response to the differences in lifestyle between wealthy elites and other, poorer, communities. The disadvantaged classes needed hope for a better future, and a deity to blame for their misfortunes; a higher order being in which to place their faith. Now that poverty is ...

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DEADLY DISAPPEARING DRONES

Published on: 4 August 2016 1 Comment

The technology is neutral, the applications not

Dateline: 12 December 2023

It's a dream come true for gadget geeks and Bond-aficionados alike: tech toys that self-destruct and leave no trace. That's not always a good thing. Initial research conducted by the US military lead to the development of VAPR (Vanishing Programmable Resources) systems. Labelled "Snapchat for hardware," VAPR aimed to develop an electronic system that could literally disappear into thin air when triggered. This made 'object evaporation' possible - systems would not be of any value beyond enemy ...

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SKY WARS: HACKING THE CLIMATE

Published on: 23 June 2016

'Weapons' and casualties have just increased by an order of magnitude

Dateline: 1 March 2027

It was supposed to be the last ditch, 'in-case-of-emergency-break-glass' solution to climate change. Unfortunately, geoengineering - or climate hacking as it is also called - has now become the latest weapon in the arsenal of petty and desperate governments who want their way. Weather patterns have been going haywire. In Kenya it's been raining for three weeks straight; in Mumbai the average high temperature has increased from 33°C to 45°C; and in Texas the number of tornadoes for the first ...

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ATTACK OF THE DRONES

Published on: 2 June 2016 2 Comments

The drone apocalypse starts out of someone's garage

Dateline: 8 June 2021

You might be forgiven for thinking that they were filming a new episode of that old movie series, Star Wars. But the drone attack in Los Angeles yesterday wasn't staged by movie moguls. It was a local attempt at urban terror. Police and FBI are still investigating, but it appears to have been the work of a lone wolf, possibly an ordinary embittered citizen who has gone 'dronal'. The attack was launched with 76 home-printed quadcopter drones fitted with improvised explosive and chemical weapons. ...

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SPAM BOTS FOR HATE SPEECH

Published on: 5 May 2016

Bigots and racists hide behind chatbots using online artificial intelligence

Dateline: 6 June 2018

The backlash to effectively censoring social media by outing bigots and haters has pushed them underground. Now tech-savvy racists and trolls have turned to anonymous chatbots and 'intelligent' software systems to spew their invective into the public domain. Ironically, they were handed the idea by Microsoft's own experiment with a naïve AI bot on Twitter called Tay, who was designed to learn from conversations with others. Very soon, it had been trained by cynical nerds to "love Hitler" and drop ...

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WHO IS WATCHING THE WATCHER WATCHERS?

Published on: 21 April 2016 1 Comment

Mass surveillance has come full circle

Dateline: 19 April 2019

We're all connected, and most of our smart devices have cameras and sensors which can detect and analyze peoples' behaviour. What's more, our smart systems can aggregate and dissect everything happening online; mobile, financial, social - you name it. Nothing escapes the attention of the internet of things. In the age of transparency, artificial intelligence (AI) is being used to police the police. To avoid human failures and criminal sabotage of surveillance for society's benefit, we need impartial ...

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GOOGLE INVADES CUBA

Published on: 14 April 2016

People rejoice as Castro's firewall goes up in smoke

Dateline: 26 May 2019

Google Networks has launched its balloon and drone infrastructure over Cuba, bringing wireless internet to everyone in the country, for free. It's great for Cubans, who have endured decades of poor connectivity and strong censorship, but it's even greater for Google, who now has millions of new users for its advertising and products. It's liberating. "Cubans have been cut off from the benefits of being online for far too long," said Larry Page. "It's about time they had the opportunity to freely ...

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CHINA TURNS ON FIRST PRE-CRIME DETECTION SYSTEM

Published on: 31 March 2016 1 Comment

Using online behaviour and social activity, government looks to catch terrorists and criminals in advance

Dateline: 1 April 2019

Reports from the Dark Web are filtering through: China has activated its 'predictive policing' platform known as the Peoples' Public Security Evaluation or PPSE. Integrating a complex network of surveillance apparatus that has been in use for some time, China has added artificial intelligence based algorithms and sophisticated machine learning programs to trigger advance warning of criminal activity and social unrest. This allows authorities to profile individual citizens not only on their online ...

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BORDERS CRUMBLE, COUNTRIES MERGE AND SPLIT

Published on: 29 October 2015 1 Comment

Migration is the new normal as ultra-mobility ramps up

Dateline: 28 October 2023

In the face of a constant flood of political and economic refugees, as well as 'citizens of the world,' geographic borders are becoming an increasingly archaic concept. People who have a home in Africa and an apartment in France, or Spain, are so tired of being quizzed by banks and online markets for 'Country of residence' and then treated like that's their only language or national identity. We are global citizens, and spend as much time, if not more, in 'foreign' lands as we do 'at home.' And why ...

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MUTANT GENE SAVES RHINO

Published on: 15 October 2015 3 Comments

Endangered species saved from extinction by genetic modification

Dateline: 8 October 2024

A decade ago, the African rhino was threatened with extinction as poaching escalated every year. Demand for rhino horn reached an all-time high in 2016, and poachers, desperate for instant riches, risked their lives to kill the remaining animals in South Africa's national parks. Powdered rhino horn is highly prized in east Asia for its mythical medicinal and aphrodisiac qualities - all false; but now it's an important status symbol in newly affluent Chinese and Vietnamese communities. Private rhino ...

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TRANSFORMERS SMACKDOWN WOWS THE WORLD!

Published on: 10 September 2015 2 Comments

Lessons from Battling Bots are shaping industry

Dateline: 16 August 2018

Who would have believed even three years ago that wrestling matches between giant robots would become the world's most popular TV entertainment - and would explosively advance the development of industrial and commercial robots? Transformers Smackdown, the weekly televised bot-battle, has entranced virtually every nation on the planet. The sight of giant metal beasts fighting to the death seems to appeal to some visceral instinct in mankind. So much so that 2019 will see the first Battling Bots ...

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DRONE HUNTING GOES VIRAL

Published on: 27 August 2015 5 Comments

Bullet-proof paint creates need for cyber weapons

Dateline: 27 August 2017

Since the development of bullet-proof paint two years ago, drone manufacturers were quick to protect their products from the 'drone hunters' who typically shot them down at every opportunity, using special shotgun cartridges called "dronemunition." Drone hunting goes beyond vandalism. Many people feel drones are a threat to their privacy, trespassing on their individual rights, so why not shoot them down? So what if they're legal, or even helping the police and city managers, performing useful ...

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Filtered by tag: Conflict