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: Government

LIFE BEHIND THE WIFI CURTAIN

Published on: 5 July 2018

China's social credit score system forms an impenetrable virtual barrier

Dateline: 5 February 2020

Dubbed the "WiFi Curtain", China's mandatory social credit score system, which went live last month is shaping up to be the 21st Century's answer to the Iron Curtain. Chinese citizens trying to escape the restrictive system, which punishes bad behaviour by limiting access to top jobs, credit and other perks, have realized that they are now effectively trapped inside the new, invisible Chinese Wall. A particularly poor social credit score completely prohibits citizens from traveling by air, or ...

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SWEDEN APPLIES FOR IMF BAILOUT

Published on: 17 May 2018 3 Comments

Nordic nation runs out of money for UBI program

Dateline: 24 November 2029

Six years after voting to implement a universal basic income (UBI) of 5,200 Swedish Krona per citizen, Sweden has applied for an International Monetary Fund bailout. "UBI has bankrupted us!" said Jarl Johansson, spokesperson for the Swedish National Debt Office (Riksgälden). The first-of-its kind national UBI scheme pays every Swedish resident over the age of 13, regardless of working status and formal citizenship, a monthly living wage. The program was hailed as a progressive social success when ...

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CONTROLLING THE DIGITAL ECONOMY

Published on: 1 February 2018

Government tries to follow the money

Dateline: 1 February 2021

Now that the bulk of the so-called 'capitalist political economy' operates on digital platforms and through digital channels, it's inevitable that government wants more influence and control. But will it work? In the aftermath of the dotcom boom, everybody wanted more access and better networks, and it wasn't long before broadband came to be regarded as a basic human right. Wireless networks and smartphones connected everyone else, and suddenly the whole world was on the 'net! Sure, some ...

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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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THE STREETS HAVE NO NAMES

Published on: 19 October 2017 1 Comment

In today’s modern cityscape, there are no streets or cars

Dateline: 19 October 2028

We live in a strange new world. Odourless aftershave. Wheat-free bread. Virtual assistants. Pointless pastries, devoid of sugar, made with boosted broccoli from basement farms, yet deliciously popular. And cities without streets. China's latest planned urban extravaganza, a megalopolis known as Yuyuan or 'Harmony Garden', isn't built around roads and streets. The walkways and thoroughfares linking the multiuse 3D-printed buildings can accommodate pedestrians, ebikes and hoverboards. Jogging and ...

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CARIBBEAN DEPOPULATED AS FINAL HOLDOUTS LEAVE CUBA

Published on: 21 September 2017

Millions relocated to Latin America as superstorms wreak havoc

Dateline: 23 September 2023

Celia Estefan broke down and wept as she stepped onto the runway in Sucre, Bolivia. She is the last person evacuated from Cuba and marks the end of an appalling and heroic six-year migration of 44 million people from the Caribbean to new lives all across Latin America. "It is just in time," says Miriam Gomez of Mexico's National Hurricane Centre. "We've just upgraded Hurricane Franklin to Category 5, and we have Gert, Harvey and Irma right behind him. There is no way anyone will be able to live on ...

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IT'S AN INSIDE JOB

Published on: 7 September 2017

Black-market organ transplants performed by microbot

Dateline: 6 September 2027

The WHO (World Health Organization) predicts an increase in illegal surgeries and black-market organ transplants because of the increasing capability of medical microbots. They are designed for patients to swallow, as if it were a pill made out of digestible enzymes. Fitted with tiny microblades or needles, they quickly move to clean blocked arteries, detect disease and treat cancer. Microbots are also useful for delivering medication to specific parts of the body and addressing hormone or metabolic ...

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WE'RE ALL CRIMINALS NOW!

Published on: 10 August 2017 1 Comment

The internet of everything exposes all our faults

Dateline: 9 August 2020

There's an old adage of mobsters everywhere: "You're only guilty if you get caught!" Now it seems that everyone is guilty. Who can say they've never, ever committed a crime? Perhaps you cheated on a tax expense, or told a little white lie that made you look good; maybe you embellished your resume - just a bit - or left out a part of your history when you told all to your spouse-to-be. Probably most of us have exceeded the speed limit on occasion, or perhaps smoked or drank something we legally ...

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THE CARBON BUBBLE BURSTS

Published on: 20 July 2017 3 Comments

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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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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SMART DOLLS FROM CHINA HACK AMERICAN CONSUMER DATA

Published on: 2 March 2017

FBI issues warning to families to destroy robotic toys

Dateline: 3 March 2019

Why send spies to gather industrial espionage, when your products can do it for you? The artificially intelligent Cutie Pie doll which is such a hit with American children is connected to the internet, so that it can interact with its owners, and answer questions. But it can also ask questions, like "What's your favorite colour?" or "What car does your mommy drive?" Innocent questions, unless they are coming from China, where the dolls are manufactured. Aggregate all the answers to those questions, ...

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WALLS GO UP, TRADE COMES DOWN

Published on: 23 February 2017 3 Comments

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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EMERGING MARKETS RACE FOR DIGITAL CURRENCY FIRST PLACE

Published on: 16 February 2017 3 Comments

Who will lead the global chaincash system?

Dateline: 13 March 2019

Several emerging economies are in a desperate tech race to be the first to establish a blockchain based fiat currency with global acceptance. The contenders, perhaps surprisingly, are the new giants, China and India, and little-known South Africa. Rich countries are too rigid in their financial structures and too protective of their established reserve currency status to risk a game changing innovation like this. An upsurge in nationalism and rejection of globalisation by America, Britain and Europe ...

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NO MORE FAKE NEWS TO SWAY YOUR VIEWS

Published on: 5 January 2017 3 Comments

'Pants-on-fire' detector comes to the rescue

Dateline: 29 May 2021

The Internet and globalization brought hordes of information with it, but unfortunately no easy way of verifying the truth or validity of all those search pages. How clearly did we see the consequences in 2016, when the US election results baffled, well, basically everyone! In a world where 'Reality Hacking' is now a thing, we need all the help we can get. Fake news and targeted propaganda are altering peoples' perception of reality. Now, the latest innovation in real-time speech processing ...

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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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SMART CAR INCRIMINATES VODKA-LOVING OWNER

Published on: 1 December 2016

Should your own things be able to rat you out?

Dateline: 10 January 2018

Gone are the days when a highway surveillance system or patrol cop were the only triggers for your traffic infringements. Welcome to a brand-new world. Gregor Kashniv from Moscow had a few too many vodkas last Friday and when he eventually surfaced late Saturday afternoon, he found himself in a cold, dark jail cell in the inner city. He vaguely recalled being arrested within 300 metres of his home. Apparently he protested heavily, saying that he was definitely under the limit and that he has no ...

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LONDON WANTS TO SHANGHAI YOU

Published on: 17 November 2016

Now various city 'passports' are vying for your attention

Dateline: 4 March 2029

People used to compare and evaluate national passports in terms of what they offered and how many doors such a document would open for them. Now it's not so much about countries competing against one another; instead megacities are trying to appeal to skilled workers by throwing numerous benefits into the mix. The first signs of this revolution appeared in 2019 when, after Brexit, trade and financial services in London were allowed to attract foreign workers to their industries in exchange for ...

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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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Filtered by tag: Government