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: Manufacturing

THE NEXT BIG THING IS A MASHUP

Published on: 25 May 2017

Combinatorial tech evolves to constant mashups

Dateline: 21 May 2020

A few years ago, all the tech gurus talked about amazing new technologies that would disrupt businesses in all industries. One common theme was that these technologies all relied on digital processing power, and the advances being made in computing and communications were behind the explosion of innovation on all fronts. Looking at internet-of-things, massive data analysis, deep learning and artificial intelligence, all the way through to 3D printing and self-driving cars; even blockchain and 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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CYCLING ON A RECYCLED CYCLE

Published on: 4 May 2017 1 Comment

There are 29 million bicycles in Beijing - and that's a problem

Dateline: 29 October 2019

The craze for 'dockless' share bikes in China and elsewhere soon led to a massive problem; piles of discarded bikes all over big cities, clogging up sidewalks and alleyways, malls and stations. The boom in bike manufacture, almost exclusively in China, accelerated, as bicycles essentially became disposable items. With large, automated production runs, producing a standardized bike every 10 seconds, the price per unit plummeted further. Cycle manufacturer Fushida and others together now produce ...

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HOORAY FOR THE MACHINES! THEY'VE CREATED MILLIONS OF NEW JOBS

Published on: 17 March 2017 3 Comments

Fears of jobless growth recede as markets demand new human skills

Dateline: 17 June 2023

The prophets of doom have been hard at work for the past decade, telling us that automation, robotics and machine learning are going to destroy jobs and leave millions of people unemployed and destitute. The reality has been somewhat different! Yes, some jobs have been taken over by the machines. But they're the dirty and dangerous jobs that most people did not want to do. Who wants to be a farm labourer or a production-line worker? It also true that many higher-level jobs have changed. AI systems ...

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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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CREEPY CRAWLIES CLEAN THE HOUSE AND POOL

Published on: 8 December 2016

Combining biotech with 3D printing and robotics creates quantum leap

Dateline: 7 December 2019

Another breakthrough has been revealed, this time in the arcane science of biobotics; not bionic appliances for humans, but organic robots. These are machines built with ceramics, metals and living tissue - usually cells cultured from lab rats. Biobots are not really living machines like radio controlled cockroaches or zombie moths. Rather they are a combination of biological material like muscle and synthetics like silicon, controlled by electronics, enzymes and light pulses. In 2016, scientists ...

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LET YOUR SHIRT FIX ITSELF

Published on: 29 September 2016

Self-repairing clothing works like magic

Dateline: 26 November 2019

With Millennials lacking basic needlework skills and only thinking of Twitter when you say 'thread' - someone had to come up with a sewing solution that is so easy, even the laziest among us would have no excuse. Researchers at D-IT in Paris have created a detergent that can infiltrate torn or damaged clothing fibers and enable them to re-attach. Just use cold water, a spoonful of Mendy (provisional name) and 25 minutes later your sweater will really be as good as new! Mendy was developed from an ...

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DASHY FACTORY TO BE MOVED AND RESTACKED LIKE LEGO

Published on: 14 July 2016

New construction models will enable reassembly in 21 days

Dateline: 27 June 2021

After a massive flood, caused by a higher-than-expected rise in sea-level for this year, the Bangladeshi textile industry has been mired in chaos. The behemoth factory of Indami textiles is a mess of drenched material and soiled garments. Critical machinery has also been rendered totally useless. They have cancelled all orders and are only expected to be back in production six months from now. Fortunately, not everyone remained unprepared. The owner of the small, but always nimble Dashy factory ...

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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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PRESIDENT TRUMP WINS BALLOT SCRAPPING TERM LIMITS

Published on: 17 March 2016

Poll garners 95% turnout and universal support

Dateline: 14 October 2023

The counts are in and President Trump has an overwhelming vote of confidence in his continued leadership. With 95% of Americans voting for the motion, he will compete in his third presidential election in 2024. Mustapha Junar [ID21394230]*, representative of Citizens for Democracy, claims widespread ballot fraud, but President Trump scoffed at there being any impropriety under his reign. "Americans have never been happier, even if our economy is still shedding jobs. The results demonstrate that ...

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SOLID HYDROGEN BREAKS THE RULES OF PHYSICS

Published on: 21 January 2016

Hydrogen compressed beyond a liquid into a metallic state is the ultimate super conductor

Dateline: 25 January 2035

Imagine a stable, solid metal that is made of pure hydrogen - the ultimate solid fuel and lightweight material. That is now within our grasp, as scientists perfect a new method of 'growing' hydrogen crystals and nano-wires. Twenty years ago, scientists saw the first signs that achieving metallic hydrogen was possible. By compressing microscopic amounts of hydrogen between two diamonds with massive force, the gas was observed to partially solidify, proving the theory that, with sufficient force, ...

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SUMMER OF SUPER SURPLUS

Published on: 17 December 2015 1 Comment

Commodity prices hit 60-year lows as oil halves

Dateline: 4 July 2016

The world is awash with basic commodities, and for many people, prices have not been so low in living memory. It's back to the 1950's in real terms for resources like coal and iron ore; wheat and corn are dirt cheap too. Fueled by fears of climate change and radical new energy and transport technologies, oil has halved in a year and is now floating around US$ 20 per barrel. Supply continues to exceed demand worldwide, as producers fight for market share. Global electricity prices have continued ...

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PLASTIC UNFANTASTIC

Published on: 22 October 2015 2 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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TRANSFORMERS SMACKDOWN WOWS THE WORLD!

Published on: 10 September 2015 1 Comment

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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BLOCKCHAIN BUSINESSES THAT RUN THEMSELVES GO VIRAL

Published on: 19 March 2015 7 Comments

The rise of the distributed autonomous company has disrupted markets and nations

Dateline: 17 February 2027

CarCoin has ubered Uber. AppCoin has upstaged Apple. And Africoin has made African countries irrelevant; fiscally and economically at least. Based on the cryptography that underpins BitCoin, the blockchain technology makes it possible for the value of these blockbuster businesses to be widely distributed over the internet. Unlike a listing on a stock exchange, there is no central registry, and the ledger of who owns what portion of the stock is self-contained in the blockchain itself. What's more, ...

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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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MARS MOTHERSHIP PRINTED IN 3D

Published on: 23 October 2014 6 Comments

3D printing in space solves problem of launching huge rockets

Dateline: 3 November 2025

A decade ago the first 3D printer to go to space was sent to the International Space Station. It proved to be so useful, more, bigger printers soon followed. Within a few years there was a veritable factory in space, churning out all manner of spare parts and items necessary for the maintenance of the ISS. Then came the realization that it was much more efficient to send up printing materials by SpaceX courier rockets, than to build giant spacecraft and space hotels here on earth, and expend ...

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NEW DIMENSION FOR METAL MINING

Published on: 18 September 2014 4 Comments

3-D printing creates unusual alliances

Dateline: 26 August 2016

Five years ago, it would have seemed an unlikely partnership. But the alliance announced today between BHP Billiton, the world's largest mining group, and printing technology company Hewlett Packard, makes perfect sense. And the reason? 3-D printing has gone mainstream as an industrial production technique, and HP-BHP wants to corner the market. There's hardly an industry within which 3-D printing is not hard at work, from construction to aerospace. And the demand for the specialized metal ...

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FLASHBRANDS DODGE THE TAXMAN

Published on: 21 August 2014 3 Comments

Pop-up companies the new breed of corporate entity for innovateurs

Dateline: 7 August 2018

It all started with flashmobs and food trucks. Flashmobs, self-organizing groups of people who congregated around a temporary idea, vanished into plain sight after accomplishing their mission. Food trucks had no premises, no fixed location, and could change their menu and branding overnight. Then came pop-up retail stores, bars and hotels; and entire software coding or micro-manufacturing operations around a specific event or project. Pop-up enterprises graduated from personalized T-shirts at a ...

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Filtered by tag: Manufacturing