So, how is life in 2020? The future of Europe in a clip. Created by independent European Futurist Marcel Bullinga, guest speaker and chairman about the future. His motto: "There is not one single future, there are many thousands. Pick the one you want!"

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

So, how is life in 2020? The future of Europe in a clip

Thursday, May 04, 2006


20 Tips for Futurebuilders & Innovators in Government & Business

So you are a futurebuilder, an innovator. You want to prepare your country, your profession, your company, your government for the future. But you do not have much time. No big deal. Let me guide you. Here is how you travel from the present to the future. It takes just one day. Learn to know the probable future, then create your desireable future, then create an Innovation Plan. It is as simple as that. Do the futurecheck in the morning, have lunch, and innovate in the afternoon. Follow these tips and you will be successful in 2020.
PS. Including free formula for the ideal government.

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Crime solving rate 50%, civil rights 100%. Open Letter to all democratic Police & Justice Leaders

In 2020, smart, semi automatic law enforcement ensures that citizens can protect themselves better. Only offenders of the law and criminals, not decent citizens, are confronted, bothered and checked. Smart law enforcement is preventive law enforcement. Non-fraudulent persons can remain anonymous; fraudulent persons and people violating the rules, are exposed in real-time. An intelligent device does not function anymore after it is stolen, so why bother to steal? No more embarrassing pictures on internet put there by angry ex-partners; without the built in permission the screen automatically goes black. From "punishment and fines afterwards" we move towards "preventing rules from being broken".

The mobile telephone will be the ultimate safety instrument. In 2020 it will be used as environmental check, passport and lie detector. It will enable citizens to protect themselves better. Personal camera's will be used for personal safety. We will have "victim technology for victim empowerment". Privacy will no longer function as unlawful hiding place for evil, but as rightful hiding place for decent citizens. In 2020, citizens will have gained back control over their (virtual) life. Key words are: self control, self protection, self defense, self safety.

Thanks to smart law enforcement, the world will be a much safer place in 2020, and citizens will have more power. We will have a crime solving percentage of 50% (and not 20% as it is now), without any loss of civil rights. At last, crime does not pay anymore... Smart enforcement means less criminal justice and more civil law, which is more effective. It also means that a sizeable portion of police work disappears. Police officers shall have more effective time on the streets for their monopoly: using physical violence. They will spend considerable less time at their desk. Of course, fines as an income source for government will have disappeared. That barrier prevented the innovation. Smart innovation by the police and justice departments means: integrating smart enforcement in every day safety processes. Getting rid of perverse institutional incentives, like police fines as a source of government income. And, most important, restoring the authority of the police officers on the streets. Without that, all technology is useless.

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Open Letter to Bill Gates & Larry page. Please give us back control over our life

Dear Mr. Gates and Mr. Page,

In 2020, there will be so many companies and governments wanting to communicate with us, that it is impossible to keep overview. There will be so many criminals spamming us, trying to steal our identity and invading our privacy, that we will feel like loosing the battle. In 2020, more than ever before in history, we need control. We will want back control over our personal life, and we will want technology to enable "personal selfservice dashboards" and "permission instruments", like pictures and video's that only display if we give permission. We will want back control over our personal data, our subscriptions, our financial transactions, our privacy. Control over our communications with the rest of the world. We don't want to be available 24/7, we want to be selectively available. We need a tool to manage all our transactions, our communications and our personal files. We need a tool to protect us against identity theft and spam. A tool that integrates all information and communication flowing into and out of our mobile phone, our laptop, our home, and gives us the power of selective availability and selective communication. This tool will help us to make choices and create simplicity. We need this virtual driver seat because it is an essential tool for survival in the virtual and transparent future of 2020. And we must be in the driver's seat. Not the government. Not the bank. Not a global company. But we. We will be in charge and we can be in charge, for the first time in history.

I call this tool Personal Dashboard, a self-service Information, Communication & Privacy Control Centre. The next big thing after the website, and a likely bestseller to 8 billion citizens worldwide. Consider it to be your personal manager. With a few clicks, you subscribe and unsubscribe to the newspaper, you order your passport and a pizza, you obtain a residence permit, pay the rent. You allow or block ads. You allow companies and governments and friends to get access to you and to deal with you -- or not. You grant permission to companies and governments to use your personal data -- or not. In this Personal Dashboard, you will have a current account with your government. Government will act truly as one government, not as many. The motto is: 1 government, 1 face, 1 interface, 1 citizen card -- and your dashboard is the interface.

The problem is, no one is building Dashboard yet. Sure, there are some attempts, but they are weak. I urge everyone who cares about customer control, to build Dashboard. 8 billion people will buy Dashboard. Dashboard Company will be the new Google and the new Microsoft of 2020. Stop thinking paper. Stop thinking websites. Start thinking customer power. Start creating Dashboard, please. Give us back control over our life in 2020.

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Future Essay. Open Letter to Thomas Friedman, Jeremy Rifkin & Richard Florida
  • So, what is life like in 2020? What inventions will be the telephone, TV & car of 2020?
  • Here is how Europe can prepare for the future
  • With multiple chances for business & government innovation

Dear Mr. Friedman, Rifkin and Florida,

Yes indeed, you are right. The world is getting flatter and we need technology, creativity and talented people to survive. We have to deal with wealth worldwide, not poverty anymore. Europe possesses a very strong and very positive legacy. It can and will survive 2020, but it is necessity, not choice, that will drive us. We lose low and high end jobs, disappearing into the technology and into other countries. We lose our educational strength. Europe is too rich and too lazy. Europe needs a dream, a focus. Please permit me -- an independent European futurist, a native of the old continent, and proud of it -- to outline European survival in 2020.
So, what's life like in 2020?

We will witness an acceleration in change and an overall sense of insecurity. Due to globalisation, 2020 is flat, with less trade, knowledge and entry barriers. 2020 is filled with nomadic people in a constant flow of short and semi-permanent stays all over the world, creating a constant brain and workplace circulation. Due to digitalization, 2020 is virtual with intelligent houses, cars and streets. Basically, it is one giant video camera. We will gain and lose privacy. 2020 is transparent and, as a result, hyper competitive. Every one knows your achievements and your failures, and only highest quality will survive. Government and law enforcement will turn digital and invisible: less bureaucratic, more powerful. In this world it is difficult to lie or to hide. The mix of bits, atoms and genes will cause a production and services revolution, such as: printing products at a distance; personal selfservice dashboards for customers & citizens; and low cost, high quality virtual mobility tools. These inventions will have the same effect around 2020 as telephone, TV, and automobile had in the 20th century...

All of this may lead us into a new Golden Century -- which we will need to tackle the enormous energy and congestion problems of 2020. In some ways, 2020 resembles the Middle Ages. Back then the city provided safety, stimulated trade, and made children grow up very fast. The world will be crowded with old people with a lesser drive for innovation. It will make traditional social security unaffordable, but it will also create a wealthy grey market: Silver Century.

2020 is about customer power, self control and self service. It is about personalized services around global commodity products, about making technology invisible. It is about simplicity of choice, about identity and lifestyle -- the only real cliff hangers in the fast world of 2020. Such a world needs flat & flexible organisations, and creative people with a drive for success.

The trend of globalisation, no matter how powerful it is, can be reversed. The following emerging counter trends might do the job. Unmanageable congestion problems. Global energy wars. A failure to stop low talent immigrants, thus creating major safety and social security problems. A failure to attract top talent immigrants, thus creating a fallback in research and innovation.

Any European dream worth the name must recognize these trends and counter trends and must have answers to them. What we need the most, is energy, passion and enthusiasm. The energy derived from a shared goal, a goal that every normal citizen understands and embraces. We need the European equivalent of a moon landing. In fact, we need multiple moon landings in 2020. Here they are. We need to be energy independent and self sufficient. We need global, individual portability of pensions, education possibilities and health care. We need to implement smart law enforcement. We need to develop low cost high quality virtual mobility tools. We need to take advantage of the Silver Century. We need to lead the production and services revolution. To maintain our wealth, we need to make our organisation flexible & creative. To maintain our civilization, we need a straight back and a secular society.

A dream is not about dreaming. It is about taking action! If in the next 15 years we land on all these moons, we will survive. So, let's start innovating now!

(This Future Essay contains 3 articles that go into more detail on specific issues: Personal Dashboard 2020 (Open Letter to Bill Gates and Larry Page); Smart Law Enforcement 2020 (Open Letter to all democratic police & justice leaders); and Checklist Succesful Innovation in 1 Day)

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