The Top Ten Trends of the Extreme Future

The following ten trends identify the strategic challenges that every person, organization and nation will be dealing with in the future.

The Extreme Future, based on Dr. Canton’s new book, is an emerging era of complex new changes and challenges; many we have never had to deal with before. Also, the combination of trends, from energy to innovation and population, will challenge leaders in new ways. Best to prepare today to meet the challenges of this Extreme Future.

The Top Ten Trends of the Extreme Future

1. Fueling the Future – The energy crisis, the costs, the post-oil future, and the future of energy alternatives like hydrogen, hybrids, and biofuels will be an essential factor into every business decision. The critical role that energy will play in every aspect of our lives in the 21st century will shape business and society.

2. The Innovation Economy – The central driver of future commerce will be innovation industries. Investing today in fast moving patents, innovations, ideas, like the Four Power Tools of the future: nano-bio-neuro-info, and products will shape competitive advantage.

3. Talent War – Talented people are the key to business success. There will be more jobs than skilled people to fill them. Companies will compete for the growing shortage of skilled people. More incentives to keep and recruit the best people will emerge.

4. Longevity Medicine – Health care is being transformed by biotech and genomics. People will be living longer, healthier and more productive lives. The human enhancement marketplace, offering new organs, new memories, new limbs, new skin and new lives, will translate into the largest market of the future"”even immortality, for some, will be possible.

5. Weird Science – Always-On wireless Internet, teleportation, smart materials, space tourism"”Weird new science will change every aspect of our lives, culture and economy, leading to new jobs, new products and new options. Nations and businesses that invest in future science will profit in economic growth.

6. Securing the Future – A new risk landscape is emerging from war, to hackers, to terrorists, to mind control, which will pose new challenges for individuals, governments and business. The personal security market will be lucrative.

7. The Future of Globalization – The new realities of more open global trade will offer both risk and opportunity in the near future. The rise of China and India; the clash of different cultures and ideas. Free trade, open markets and improved quality of life will define the 21st century.

8. The Future of Climate Change – The environment is changing and we need to prepare for increased global warming, pollution, and threats to biodiversity that will present new business opportunities. At the same time, the Clean Tech market will offer business a large financial opportunity to clean up the planet.

9. The Future of the Individual – The near future will provide opportunities for personal wealth creation that will underlie all other trends. Individual invention and innovation will accelerate business success. We will also see a struggle to balance individual freedom, privacy and security.

10. The Future of America and China – How the destiny of these two great nations – from capitalism to democracy, to innovation and security – will shape the future.

Stop miljø-hykleriet og gør noget for miljøet istedet!

Nye tal fra Energistyrelsen viser samtidig, at CO2-udslippet i Danmark sidste år voksede med 0,7 pct, mens energiforbruget steg med 0,5 pct.

Og det er tredje Ã¥r i træk, at forbruget stiger. Det skriver Ingeniøren.dk.

Men miljødebattens store akilleshæl er tilsyneladende, at den ikke formÃ¥r at gøre os borgere personligt ansvarligt for den forværrede miljøtilstand. Danskernes CO2-forbrug er alarmerende højt, men der er intet der tyder pÃ¥, at vi er klar til at omlægge vores forbrug. Det er meget paradoksalt, for samtidig har vi meget travlt med at begræde jordens tilstand og klage over, hvor grelt det ser ud.

Miljøprædikanter som Al Gore har formÃ¥et at dokumentere for den almindelige borger, hvor galt det faktisk stÃ¥r til med miljøet. Folk fÃ¥r et meget markant billede af miljøtruslen, og skaber for eksempel en sammenhæng imellem vejret og den globale opvarmning i ders egne bevidsthed. En slags dommedagseffekt.

Vi synes tilsyneladende at det er mere interessant at have noget at bekymre os om -end reelt set at gøre noget ved bekymringerne eller rettere for miljøet.

Gad vide hvorfor?

Why vegans were right all along

The Christians stole the winter solstice from the pagans, and capitalism stole it from the Christians. But one feature of the celebrations has remained unchanged: the consumption of vast quantities of meat. The practice used to make sense. Livestock slaughtered in the autumn, before the grass ran out, would be about to decay, and fat-starved people would have to survive a further three months. Today we face the opposite problem: we spend the next three months trying to work it off.
Our seasonal excesses would be perfectly sustainable, if we weren’t doing the same thing every other week of the year. But, because of the rich world’s disproportionate purchasing power, many of us can feast every day. And this would also be fine, if we did not live in a finite world.

By comparison to most of the animals we eat, turkeys are relatively efficient converters: they produce about three times as much meat per pound of grain as feedlot cattle. But there are still plenty of reasons to feel uncomfortable about eating them. Most are reared in darkness, so tightly packed that they can scarcely move. Their beaks are removed with a hot knife to prevent them from hurting each other. As Christmas approaches, they become so heavy that their hips buckle. When you see the inside of a turkey broilerhouse, you begin to entertain grave doubts about European civilisation.

This is one of the reasons why many people have returned to eating red meat at Christmas. Beef cattle appear to be happier animals. But the improvement in animal welfare is offset by the loss in human welfare. The world produces enough food for its people and its livestock, though (largely because they are so poor) some 800 million are malnourished. But as the population rises, structural global famine will be avoided only if the rich start to eat less meat. The number of farm animals on earth has risen fivefold since 1950: humans are now outnumbered three to one. Livestock already consume half the world’s grain, and their numbers are still growing almost exponentially.

This is why biotechnology – whose promoters claim that it will feed the world – has been deployed to produce not food but feed: it allows farmers to switch from grains which keep people alive to the production of more lucrative crops for livestock. Within as little as 10 years, the world will be faced with a choice: arable farming either continues to feed the world’s animals or it continues to feed the world’s people. It cannot do both.

The impending crisis will be accelerated by the depletion of both phosphate fertiliser and the water used to grow crops. Every kilogram of beef we consume, according to research by the agronomists David Pimental and Robert Goodland, requires around 100,000 litres of water. Aquifers are beginning the run dry all over the world, largely because of abstraction by farmers.

Many of those who have begun to understand the finity of global grain production have responded by becoming vegetarians. But vegetarians who continue to consume milk and eggs scarcely reduce their impact on the ecosystem. The conversion efficiency of dairy and egg production is generally better than meat rearing, but even if everyone who now eats beef were to eat cheese instead, this would merely delay the global famine. As both dairy cattle and poultry are often fed with fishmeal (which means that no one can claim to eat cheese but not fish), it might, in one respect, even accelerate it. The shift would be accompanied too by a massive deterioration in animal welfare: with the possible exception of intensively reared broilers and pigs, battery chickens and dairy cows are the farm animals which appear to suffer most.

We could eat pheasants, many of which are dumped in landfill after they’ve been shot, and whose price, at this time of the year, falls to around £2 a bird, but most people would feel uncomfortable about subsidising the bloodlust of brandy-soaked hoorays. Eating pheasants, which are also fed on grain, is sustainable only up to the point at which demand meets supply. We can eat fish, but only if we are prepared to contribute to the collapse of marine ecosystems and – as the European fleet plunders the seas off West Africa – the starvation of some of the hungriest people on earth. It’s impossible to avoid the conclusion that the only sustainable and socially just option is for the inhabitants of the rich world to become, like most of the earth’s people, broadly vegan, eating meat only on special occasions like Christmas.

As a meat-eater, I’ve long found it convenient to categorise veganism as a response to animal suffering or a health fad. But, faced with these figures, it now seems plain that it’s the only ethical response to what is arguably the world’s most urgent social justice issue. We stuff ourselves, and the poor get stuffed.

Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2002/dec/24/christmas.famine

Alcohol bans enforced across Thailand

Thailand bans the sale of alcohol during elections - December 2007Last Friday night, with Christmas just a week or so away I felt like having a beer with dinner. Arriving at one of the Mexican restaurants in Chiang Mai old city (The Salsa Kitchen) I ordered a Singha beer, and the waitress responded with what I just about understood to be a barrage of apologies in Thai. She was not allowed to serve me a beer, or any other alcoholic drink for that matter.

I soon remembered that with the Thai elections approaching, there would inevitably be some kind of nationwide alcohol ban in operation. I wandered around to one of the local pubs – a favourite backpacker hangout, and asked a depressed-looking manager what was happening. He responded by telling me that although they could usually carry on selling alcohol to expats and tourists, and the police would turn a blind eye, this year the police had been in twice and were actually sitting out on the road watching all the local restaurants.

On Friday 14th, Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th December no one can purchase alcohol in Thailand – local, expats or tourists – because these are the days that Thais who have registered to vote early will be voting. The second alcohol ban is due to the main elections taking place on Sunday 23rd December. No alcohol will therefore be sold again between 6pm on Saturday 22nd December and midnight on Sunday 23rd December. The publicized reason for this ban is that, particularly in rural areas, local politicians hold ‘voting’ parties where they ply the locals with free whiskey with the aim of buying their vote, or at least ‘coercing’ their vote through getting them inebriated.

The result is that a lot of the bars and restaurants in Chiang Mai (and across Thailand) shut this weekend, and will do the same next weekend. Of course, you can imagine how happy the holiday makers are, arriving in Thailand for Christmas – and I have already heard more than one story of disgruntled tourists ‘speaking their minds’ when being refused a drink.

It is hard to imagine how refusing to sell alcohol to everyone in Thailand for two weekends will really solve the problems of vote-buying and corruption but I suppose we should grit our teeth and try to admire the intention .

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

25 November is observed as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Many activities are organized in Chiang Mai to mark this day to raise awareness and sensitivity on issues around violence against women.

This day also marks the beginning of the 16 days of Activism Against Gender Violence globally (25 November – 10 December). The 16 Days Campaign has been used as an organizing strategy by individuals and groups around the world to call for the elimination of all forms of violence against women by raising awareness about gender-based violence as a human rights issue.

On 12 November 2007, the Domestic Violence Act came into effect in Thailand (better late than never!). Violence against women within their own houses is no longer an internal matter and there are now specific legal and social obligations. People who witness any form of domestic violence are now duty-bound to report to authorities. The Act imposes a jail term of up to six months and/ or a fine of up to 5000 Baht on offenders. The number of reported cases of violence against women within the home has been rising year-by-year in Thailand. Last year there were more than 14,000 documented cases of domestic abuse in Thailand. Bu the actual figure could be much higher, as many cases still go unreported.

Violence against women often results from sexual prejudice existing under a socio-cultural system that favours the domination of males. A large number of women still have to face different forms of violence; ranging from physical, sexual and psychological abuses. Some women are discriminated against due to the social contexts they are in, or because of the specific identities they have regarding religion, race, or sexuality.

In Chiang Mai the "International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women" event takes place in Central Kad Suan Kaew on Tuesday, November 27th at 4:00 – 8:00 pm.

A representative from Thai Women & HIV/AIDS Task Force (TWAT), Monrudee Laphimon, and a freelance writer popularly known by her pen name as ‘Kham Phaka’ are guest speakers.

The event is organized and facilitated by Northern NGO Coalition on AIDS (NNCA), Health & Development Networks (HDN), Thai Women & HIV/AIDS Task Force (TWAT), MPLUS, EMPOWER, Asian Harm Reduction Network (AHRN), MAP Foundation, Raksthai Foundation, The Upper Northern Thai Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS (TNP+_NO), Shan Women Action Network (SWAN), Women League Burma (WLB) and WEAVE.

Programme:

Time Session
4.00-4.20 Open ceremony
4.20-4.40 Empowerment performance
4.40-4.50 Music by ethnic minorities (Lahu and Shan)
4.50-5.30 Performance by EQ Group and PREVAIDS
5.30-5.40 Music by ethnic minorities (Kasin and Burmese)
5.40-6.40 NGO Forum
Speakers:

  • Kham Phaka, an independent writer
  • Monrudee Laphimon, TWAT

6.40-7.00 Music by Chi
7.00-7.05 Animation- Hangman
7.05-7.15 Statement
7.15-7.45 Music & Poem
7.45-8.00 Candle light &singing

Hilltribe concert in Chiang Mai for legal status and against HIV/AIDS, human trafficking, and drug abuse

On November 3rd, 2007, we went to the second International hill tribe concert to advocate for recognition of legal status and the prevention of HIV/AIDS, human trafficking, and drug abuse. The concert attracted more than 20 popular hill tribe singers, from seven ethnic groups, who led the show with songs, entertainment and messages delivered in Karen, Hmong, Mien, Akha, Lisu, Tai Yai and Lahu languages. The show took place at Chiang Mai University.

Three years ago, Thailand’s first International Hill tribe Pop Concert, organized by UNESCO and Radio Thailand Chiang Mai, shook the mountains around Chiang Mai with a crowd of 4,000 stomping, dancing, jumping and singing fans. "The first concert was a major success – both as entertainment and in bringing attention to the issues facing hill tribe people ," said Dr. David A. Feingold, head of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Trafficking and HIV/AIDS Project and one of the event’s co-organizers. This year’s event was a bit smaller, mostly due to the weather conditions of rain which changed the location of the event in the last minute (probably with the result that many people couldn’t find it or stayed home due to the rain).

One of the main purposes of the concert was also to help educate lowland Thai people to think of the hill tribe people as citizens of the country and not simply a tourist attraction. Organized in honor of H.M. the King of Thailand’s 80th Birthday, the concert was furthermore an opportunity for highlanders to express their gratitude to King Bhumipol for his work in improving the livelihood and welfare of mountain people.

The concert, which was free of charge, was very well presented and we enjoyed the performance very much. If you get the chance to go next time the event takes place, do go – it supports a great cause and is very enjoyable at the same time.

Oxfam: Susie Smith Memorial Prize for a piece of published work in the field of HIV and AIDS

Oxfam Great Britain is awarding the Susie Smith Memorial Prize for a piece of published work in the field of HIV and AIDS. The Susie Smith memorial prize of £3000 will be awarded to an already published piece of work on HIV and AIDS from sub-Saharan Africa. Any type of piece – (e.g. poetry, fiction, article, chapter of a book) – of up to 10,000 words, in English, and published since January 2006, will be eligible.

The judges will focus on two key elements: quality of the piece itself (writing, analysis, insights) evidence of impact of the writing in the media and/or with people, governments or other institutions. All submissions must be received by 31 January 2008. You should include a cover letter outlining what kind of impact the piece has had and/or what it has achieved.

A shortlist of five will be published on Oxfam’s website in early April 2008 and the winner will be announced at the end of April 2008. They will notify who has made it through to the shortlist, but will be unable to advise any other applicants of the panel’s decision.

All submissions and cover letter should be sent to: Susie Smith Memorial Prize Submission Oxfam Great Britain Oxfam House John Smith Drive Oxford OX4 2JY Or emailed to: susiesmithmemorialprize@oxfam.org.uk . Oxfam regrets that posted submissions will not be returned. For further information, please visit the website: www.oxfam.org.uk/susiesmith or contact Oxfam directly at susiesmithmemorialprize@oxfam.org.uk.

Good luck with your writing.