Six developments paving the way for our food system in 2050

Vegetarian butcher in The Hague, the Netherlands

We all know that there are huge challenges in feeding nine billion people, and eradicating hunger and  malnutrition, in a world plagued by climate change and water shortages. Fortunately, people aren’t just sitting and waiting for things to happen. Instead, the global food system is undergoing deep, transformational changes on … Continue reading

Big data for humanity

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As big data have shown their advantages in commerce, governance, surveillance and many other areas, now is the time to explore how to put them to use for humanity. Data generated by people, unstructured texts, digital traces and everything else could be used for agile responses to changes regionally. There … Continue reading

The living room of the future: the place we call home

Retro future living room

Step into the living room of the future and what will you see? Many people start dreaming of technology. The internet of things that connects all the products in the house. Screens that make you communicate and be involved in all kinds of experiences, whether it be gaming, shopping, or … Continue reading

Towards a planetary consciousness?

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Nearly everyone, over the age of fifty, knows the photo of the Vietnamese girl, Kim Phuc, who, half burnt, is running away after a napalm bombing by the Americans. At the time, this photo was an icon in the protests against the war in Vietnam. What has this image to … Continue reading

At the crossroads of new business development

Image: Thinkstock

This year at the World Economic Forum in Davos, there was much concern over the growing inequality of incomes. The gap between rich and the poor gets ever bigger. The continuing economic crisis is not making things better. It used to be that economic investments help to create more jobs … Continue reading

Revisiting New Productive Communes: A foresight in realisation through the revival of India’s Ancient Cattle Based Economic Model

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Background of Foresight In the first half of 2013, The Rise of New Productive Communes: A Reality by the Year 2050, a foresight article, was shared on the Visioning 2050 . The New Productive Commune was presented as a self-sufficient, self-contained and sustainable model, that would cause no detriment to … Continue reading

Five promising trends for the future of food packaging

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Packaging may sometimes appear very wasteful to people. Used only temporarily and the act of throwing it away does not feel good. The times of a ‘throw away society’ have definitely given way for the circular society, where we share and reuse as much as possible. However, packaging, even for … Continue reading

Three key values of the farm of the future

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The Netherlands is a densely populated country. It is also one of the biggest agri-economies, exporting its dairy, meat and fresh produce all over the world. There is a great pressure for farm companies to grow their business, which changes the character of their businesses. The threat of animal diseases, … Continue reading

How our Present is steering us into an Innovation Centric Future

15 year old girl who created a hollow thermo-electrif flashight

Our world is in transition; from the information age into the innovation age. The symptoms are the unprecedent accelerations in the speed of change all around, particularly where technology is the subject matter at the core. Upon the transition, what awaits ahead, is a prolonged period of time that is … Continue reading

Resilience, why things bounce back

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From the banking crisis to earthquakes, from the Arab spring to major floods, we have seen many disasters and disruptions, year after year. Given the risks of climate change and the grand challenges of feeding nine billion people, the potential of disruptions is not expected to diminish soon. It is … Continue reading

17 trends to inspire Dutch Government

Binnnehof: centre of Dutch politics (ThinkStock)

When researching trends, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by publications. Every now and then, however, we are pleased to find a clear, well-written overview of relevant trends. The Dutch Interdepartmental trend-scan for 2025 is such an example. The first edition was published in 2011, the update in June 2013. Read more … Continue reading

Pioneers of the new public sector

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Something is bubbling in society. They do not want to wait for the government to set targets and take action. Sustainability initiatives like Urgenda are born that way. Self organised actions to change the status quo. Grass roots initiatives that reach thousands of people. But don’t think that people working … Continue reading

Paving the way for the circular economy, keynote by Prof. Herman Wijffels

Prof. Herman Wijffels

Herman Wijffels, professor of sustainability and societal change at Utrecht University and one of the most authoritative economists in the Netherlands, presented his view on the transition towards the circular economy. New principles and a new way of working are the only way to get out economic crisis. Prosumers (consumers … Continue reading

Transformative technologies, which applications will we embrace as a society?

Photo credits by Twisted Nerve (Flickr)

McKinsey presented a comprehensive analysis of the most important disruptive technologies that are changing the world, right now and in the years to come. Mobile internet, automation of work, internet of things, cloud technology, advanced robotics,(near) autonomous vehicles, next generation genomics, energy storage, 3D printing, advanced materials, advanced oil and … Continue reading

Scenarios for the future of urban farming

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Over many centuries, attempts have been made to get food production out of the cities. Produce comes from the land and is transported into the cities. In most western cities, abattoirs have disappeared. Markets are still there, but no longer have a central role in our shopping. This image is … Continue reading

Resilience: Exploring the edge of new possibilities in the Anthropocene

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One definition of resilience is “the ability to cope with shocks and keep functioning in a satisfying way”. Resilience is about the self organizing capacity of systems. This means the ability to bounce back after disaster, or the ability to transform if a bad stage has happened. Both of these … Continue reading

The future is the connected company

Drawings by Dave Grey, the connected company

The future is all about connectedness. Dave Gray made that point clearly in his recent book “The connected company“. Online and offline social networks are getting deeper engrained in society. People start to grasp new opportunities of connectedness every time. To keep in pace with connected customers and clients, organizations … Continue reading

Meat eaters of the 21th century

Meat consumption in the 21th century

At the heat of the horse meat crisis in Europe, UNEP published ‘Our nutrient world’, a report that looked closely at the massive impact of nutrient use by agriculture and especially meat production. The report proposed many actions to improve the management of nutrients in agriculture. But one recommendation received … Continue reading

The walletless future

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We know that the possibilities of our smart phones are virtually endless. One of the functions that we will see more and more are mobile payment services. Digital wallets are potentially everywhere. But would we, society as a whole, be willing to give up physical money completely? Google Wallet, Paypal, … Continue reading

Visionaries of the future: Robert Heinlein

Picture: SubtleTea.com

Many experts see Robert Heinlein (1907-1988) as the father of modern social science fiction. Not only did he think about the technology and science of his time, his stories are also strongly influenced by world politics. Heinlein started out as a military (navy) man in his early twenties. He held the military … Continue reading