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: Distribution

CHINA GOBBLES UP EUROPE

Published on: 7 June 2018 1 Comment

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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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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THE GARDEN OF REASON (OR IS IT TREASON?)

Published on: 15 February 2018 2 Comments

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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EARLY START TO THE NEW YEAR

Published on: 28 December 2017

Ringing in the changes ahead of schedule

Dateline: 29 December 2020

There's something significant about 1/1/21. Maybe it's just the symmetry of the numbers that has got everyone excited; remember Y2K, and all that fuss over nothing? Well, now that this millennium is turning 21, there's another hullabaloo. Like we're all suddenly adults. Whatever the reasons, all over north America people are planning a double New Year's party, and both 31 December and 1 January are public holidays. They'll be saying a nostalgic farewell to 2020, a year that promised and brought so ...

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INSTANT OBJECTS

Published on: 21 December 2017 1 Comment

Printing holograms - in seconds

Dateline: 16 December 2020

Let's say you need a couple of shiny, glittery baubles for your festival tree, or maybe something to fix the garden hose. Now, if you can imagine it, it's there in seconds! Back in 2017, scientists at MIT demonstrated that it was possible to print things in 3D resin, using lasers and a holographic image. Starting with a beaker full of photosensitive liquid polymer, they exposed the resin to a set of three intersecting lasers, which caused the liquid to harden, but only at the point of maximum ...

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PHYSICAL NEEDS, DIGITAL SOLUTIONS

Published on: 2 November 2017

Food, shelter and clothing - they're all IT

Dateline: 3 November 2022

We're all familiar with Maslow's hierarchy, and we know that basic needs like food, shelter and personal comfort come first. But it seems information technology, that enabling force for modern civilization, was focused far up the scale, at education, entertainment and research, and of course, finance. Now the world of smart robotics and nanotech production has turned basic businesses into digital technologies. Energy is solid state solar and batteries, and traded like information on the internet. ...

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ELECTRIC CAR GLUT THREATENS WORLD TRADE

Published on: 14 September 2017 3 Comments

China accused of dumping as prices plummet

Dateline: 5 March 2029

China's success as the biggest producer of cars - mainly electric cars - the world has ever seen, has led to a problem of massive over capacity. There are not enough adults in the world, with driving skills, to drive all the cars produced every year. Admittedly many of the latest vehicles are self-driving, but at the budget end of the scale, devoid of radar and software, basic cars are just dumb machines, even if they run on batteries rather than gasoline. The shift to autonomous cars has also ...

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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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BORDERS CRUMBLE, COUNTRIES MERGE AND SPLIT

Published on: 29 October 2015 3 Comments

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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PLASTIC UNFANTASTIC

Published on: 22 October 2015 3 Comments

EU to ban plastic packaging for groceries - unless you can eat it

Dateline: 29 January 2018

It started slowly. First we stopped giving away plastic bags for free. Then water bottles died a quick death. Now, in a revolutionary move, European grocery stores are ready to call it quits - completely. After marathon meetings behind closed doors that apparently started back in 2017, we have learned that consumers will have two options starting from 1 July. Shoppers will be able to bring their own Tupperware-like containers or they could choose to pay more for products with edible protective ...

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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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THE NEW COLD WAR INTENSIFIES

Published on: 11 December 2014

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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SUMMER FASHION FAILS TO SHIP

Published on: 13 November 2014

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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THE CURSE OF ABUNDANCE

Published on: 10 July 2014 9 Comments

Free energy spawns hordes of wetbots and kills off big brands

Dateline: 13 July 2033

"We're closing up shop. Wetbots made us broke." The production chief of iRobot consumer products grins ruefully. "Luckily we've still got our military contracts!" Since open source, peer production of printed solar panels has made electric power almost zero cost, robots have taken over agriculture, mining and most manufacturing. With no jobs but plenty of creative spirit, the 'maker' movement has spawned millions of backyard factories, churning out low volume, low cost 3D printed products for ...

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GAZPROM THE BIGGEST CASUALTY IN CRIMEA CRISIS AFTERMATH

Published on: 20 March 2014 4 Comments

Merkel declares Germany free of Russian gas

Dateline: 5 April 2019

Yesterday, Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that Germany had achieved a new level of energy security and independence. "It has taken us five years to wean ourselves from Russian gas but today I can announce that the last Gazprom supplies are being officially switched off." In March 2014, Russia claimed Crimea as their own. In the diplomatic crisis that ensued, Russia held an economic weapon - Europe's dependence on gas supplies from the east. The crisis was a catalyst for EU leaders to rethink ...

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DHL FLYING ON WIRELESS POWER

Published on: 13 March 2014 20 Comments

No batteries needed for these delivery drones

Dateline: 7 March 2017

The biggest hurdle for electric aircraft has always been the weight of the batteries, and as nimble as they are, quadrotors and octocopters typically had limited flying time before they had to land to recharge. But what if you could charge them in mid-air? When Artemis Networks launched their revolutionary bandwidth breaking wireless data technology in 2014, few people suspected they had another, related invention up their sleeves. Their unique algorithms for creating powerful radio bubbles from ...

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LET G-DROIDS DO THE DIRTY WORK

Published on: 27 February 2014 23 Comments

Google's robots do the heavy lifting, drive the dump trucks and haul the garbage

Dateline: 17 July 2018

Now that Google has become the leading developer of robots, including humanoid robots, we can leave them to do all the unpleasant, dangerous, and boring work. Robots have moved out of the factories, and into the mines, fields and skies. Google's drones watch over traffic and crops, and are contracted to law enforcement and local authorities. In Africa, the drones keep tabs on endangered rhinos, calling in air support when poachers are spotted. In Boston, they deliver fresh produce from eBay; all the ...

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ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS MY SHOPPING DONE

Published on: 26 December 2013 2 Comments

The age of digital abundance is mired in old fashioned industrial business practices

Dateline: 26 December 2016

A few years ago it was easy to buy things on the internet. Remember the story of someone who ordered a curry online, from a London restaurant, and had it shipped to Australia? Then Amazon introduced one-click shopping, and talked about drone delivery within hours. Then, why is it that manufacturers and retailers think they can still fool us with ten different model numbers for the same product - take phones and cameras for example. Just to give Wal-Mart a price advantage they'll invent a new model ...

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NICARAGUA GIVES INDEPENDENCE FROM THE PANAMA CANAL

Published on: 4 July 2013

Chinese engineering completes the mammoth project in record time

Dateline: 26 June 2020

The 100-year-old Panama canal now has a rival for shipping between the Pacific and Caribbean, and although it's longer, it's wider and less congested. The Canal Development Company president, Jenny Martínez, was on hand when President Daniel Ortega performed the opening ritual at the first lock, cutting a symbolic ribbon, then pressing a button to open the automated lock gates. "This is a great day for Nicaragua, and for world shipping," said Martinez, flushed with excitement. "We couldn't have ...

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Filtered by tag: Distribution