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

SOCIAL COHESION NOW FOR SALE

Published on: 27 June 2019

Politicians are now buying votes in the open market

Dateline: 28 June 2028

Why make promises you can't keep, and end up with disillusioned voters? Rather enter into a contract, pay them to vote for you, and deliver on your contract; then everyone's happy. That's the new philosophy behind open, transparent bidding for votes, and it works both ways. Voters can't complain about politicians whose money they've accepted, and pols have a contract they have to honour, or get sued. And it's all above board and legally enforceable. Cynics would say, this is what happens anyway, ...

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BIG DATA IS A DOUBLE-EDGED SWORD FOR BIG BUSINESS

Published on: 20 June 2019

Car manufacturers in trouble for colluding with insurance companies

Dateline: 29 May 2022

Big data has been big business for some time now. The more you know about your customer, the more you can personalize offers, and the easier it is to sell more people more things. Even better, you also get to on-sell all that data that your customers pay you to collect on them, to other third-party businesses to use in their own marketing and product development: win-win! However, big car companies are starting to learn that the so called "surveillance capitalism" economy cuts both ways. Two large ...

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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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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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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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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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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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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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STATE-SPONSORED EUTHANASIA ADS HORRIFY ACTIVISTS

Published on: 10 January 2019

As lifespans get longer, China invests in a population control 'solution'

Dateline: 1 July 2033

As everyone knows, expected lifespans have increased dramatically over the last ten years. According to top genetic scientists, a 100-year-old today can expect to live until 150. That's fantastic, unless you are the government that has to foot the bill to keep all these geriatrics alive, healthy and well-fed. Although people may well be able to live until they are 150, since most people still retire at 75, the elderly are becoming an unaffordable burden on the state, and the society compelled to look ...

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THERE'S A NEW FOREST IN TOWN

Published on: 3 January 2019 1 Comment

Printed bio solar cells are greening the city

Dateline: 3 January 2028

We've had vertical gardens and basement farms for some time now, in our cities, but now landscaping has taken on a whole new dimension. With 3D printers and bio-engineered shrubs and trees, terraced gardens and leafy lanes can be laid out by the robots, straight from the architect's designs. What's more, genetically altered algae are used to construct bio solar cells that form part of the leaf structure, harvesting solar power from panels that look and act like, well, leaves - nature's very own ...

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CEO BEATS PHD FOR BETTER GDP

Published on: 27 December 2018 1 Comment

Startups as dissertations are remaking economies

Dateline: 28 March 2025

What students need and what society needs, is not a PhD thesis in the form of 200-400 pages of new analysis, but rather the results of an applied trial in the real business world. It's a no-brainer, right? You'd think so, but it took hundreds of student protests around the globe and a US$ 3.5 trillion defaulted student loans crisis in the US; but now the world can finally see that startups should be the new dissertations. In 2018, the Indian Institute of Technology announced that they would ...

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BIG BROTHER AT BORDER CREATES BIG STOCK DRAMA

Published on: 25 October 2018

Did New Zealand Customs official leak info from traveller's phone?

Dateline: 7 June 2019

Very few people expected that the New Zealand law, which allows customs officials to inspect and copy data on travellers' digital devices, would still be enforced months later. The only alternative is for the passenger to pay a hefty fine, but how is that really different from a bribe? Right from the start, with the new law introduced in October last year, human rights groups have been up in arms, but this week the wider world took notice as well. A highly agitated male, sweating profusely, was ...

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UN REJECTS MARKET MECHANISM

Published on: 27 September 2018

Favours increasing state intervention to realize development goals

Dateline: 15 March 2020

"Existing economic theories are incapable of meeting the needs of the future, and we need an economic transition, away from neoclassical economics and market capitalism," said the latest Sustainable Development report. In other words, capitalism and free markets are not good enough to guarantee prosperity for the people of the world. According to the UN. This position is bound to stir up heated debate from all quarters. No one can argue with the fact that democratic market economies and global trade ...

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INTELLIGENT MACHINES CREATE THE NEW HEGEMONY

Published on: 20 September 2018 3 Comments

China and America reap the AI dividend

Dateline: 3 December 2030

In the last 15 years, we have witnessed the stunning rise of an exponential technology - machine learning and artificial intelligence. Like Moore's Law on steroids, smart machines and computer systems have created entirely new global industries, turbo-boosted productivity, and destroyed old, industrial age business sectors. The Economist, now a purely digital research and analysis house, estimates the 'new value' created by this phenomenon at over US$ 19 trillion globally. But a full 70% of this ...

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THE FREE REPUBLIC OF LIBERLAND GETS UNITED NATIONS SEAT

Published on: 9 August 2018

Not-so-small-anymore micro nation sets precedent for other tiny tax havens

Dateline: 16 July 2030

The Free Republic of Liberland has grown from an eccentric community of radical libertarians into a diplomatic force to be reckoned with, in the 15 short years since it was founded. The small sovereign state, which occupies a seven square kilometre area of disputed territory between Croatia and Serbia on the west bank of the Danube river, now boasts almost five million citizens. Many of Liberland's citizens are Bitcoin billionaires and millionaires who have use their citizenship to hide their ...

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HUMANITY TRUMPS TECHNOLOGY

Published on: 19 July 2018

Mind-reading tech worn by employees is alienating customers

Dateline: 1 May 2024

Lisa Chen's mother always said that Lisa's whole spectrum of emotions is reflected on her face. Regardless of whether she's angry or ecstatic, Lisa has always been unable to mask what she's feeling. She always felt bad about it, until now. Back in 2018 it came to light that firms in the electronic equipment, power supply and telecoms industries were using sensor-fitted hats and helmets to measure their workers' levels of stress, anxiety and depression. Based on the data, employers adjusted shifts ...

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LIFE BEHIND THE WIFI CURTAIN

Published on: 5 July 2018 2 Comments

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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Filtered by tag: Government