For English version, please click here    
 Ett center som erbjuder resurser för långtidsutveckling för företag, myndigheter och enskilda

 Hem  Kontakt

Om oss
 Visionscentret
 Natalie Dian
 Avslutade uppdrag

Resurser
"Environmental Scanning 1999-2008"
 Artiklar & Utgivningar
 Bibliotek
 Länkar
 Fackjournaler

Framtidsträning
 Introduktion
 Framtidsbygget
 Framtidsbygget för kvinnor
 Framtidsspanarna

 

Environmental Scanning through a collection of:
SIGNS OF THE TIMES, TRENDS AND TREND BABIES 1999-2009



 

What is a Sign of the Times? Signs of the times are the result of information gathering that looks for inventions, innovations, attitudes and actions. Signs of the times come from many sources, are systematically gathered and have meaning for the future.

What is a Trend? A trend is long-range and persistent; it effects many societal groups, grows slowly and is profound. In contrast, a fad is short-term, "in", effects particular societal groups, spreads quickly and is superficial.

What is a Mega-trend? A mega-trend extends over many generations, and in cases of weather, mega-trends can cover periods prior to human existence. They describe complex interactions with many factors and they often represent the introduction of several new paradigms or worldviews that arise in hunting and gathering, agriculture, and industrial societies.

Trend babies: Here you find general trends or signs of new trends ("trend babies") from the categories social, technical, ecological, economic or political. Trend babies grow from innovations in the above categories that have the potential of going mainstream in the future (for example: just a few years ago, alternative medicine was truly alternative. Now it is big business and very respectable). The choice of trends is naturally influenced by the author's values.

Trend families: Very often, the chosen Signs are members of a trend family. A parent trend (for example, the change from an industrial society to a knowledge-based society) is well documented. The ways in which such sweeping trends play themselves out in various parts of the community represent the "members of that trends family".

Examples: Jobs in the industrial sector have shrunk causing widespread unemployment.

 

Many countries see small business as a solution to unemployment, driving unprecedented attention to small business in many countries legislatures.

Another example of a trend related to the move from industrial to knowledge society is the privatization of the education industry.

As in all cases in Signs, sustainability is one of the larger branches from which many other twig-sized trends grow. Sustainability is "the property of being sustainable", "using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged". In Signs, I use it to mean sustainable development, "an approach to economic planning that attempts to foster economic growth while preserving the quality of the environment for future generations."

Confirming Trends: When does a "trend baby", gain acceptance as a bona fide trend? When it gets enough confirmation in the various media to show it is an increasingly accepted value, behavior or technology.

Geographical trend growth and "bellwether" geographic sites: There is also an attempt to follow the global spread of trends that have started in the West (for example, Women's rights are a generally accepted topic in the media and on the Internet. Just how and when women's rights develop in various countries can represent global growth of that trend.) Some places seem to lead development in one or a variety of areas and are looked to as the source of new trends. California has long been considered as bellwether for the United States. The Nordic countries of Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark have been considered bellwether in social innovation.

All trends, to a greater or lesser degree affect our lives, our work and our futures. Our ability to understand that effect can many times make a positive difference in the quality of our lives.

 

Back to Signs of the Times.

 

from Oktober 21, 2001
 

Search Signs of the Times:

*Source/Date

**Title

***Subject

****Trend

Tidskrift för Kriminalvård

Roddy Nilsson

1999 nr 3

http://www.algonet.se/
~schlyter/TFK399.pdf

http://www.kvv.se/

 

Scan contributed by Mikael Mangold - A Visionscentret Framtidsbygget Intern

Med sikte på framtiden The number of convicts is decreasing in Swedish prisons, as community service and electronic control become attractive options. The usage of electronic devises is a good alternative to the last 6 months in prison.

Increasingly harder punishment is not a solution. Sooner or later the punishment must work toward less recidivism.

More humane prison environment

*Source/Date

**Title

***Subject

****Trend

Trend Letter

Vol. 20, No 18

September 10. 2001

Corrinne Kuypers-Denlinger, Editor-in- Chief

In Search of community, Homeowners Find Ties That Bind Co-housing, inspired by Denmark and Sweden is gaining popularity in the United States. Between 1999 and 2001 the number of completed communities have doubled and are expected to continue doubling.

Families live in their own units, with certain shared facilities like, land, community houses and tools. With the population growing older it is expected that many new communities will be older people who want to be independent. They might share nursing care for example.

While globalization continues at a rapid pace, the need for “local” or community grows. Co-housing is a way to keep ones privacy and sharing and holding down costs. One important aspect is often shared values.

Local and small

*Source/Date

**Title

***Subject

****Trend

Mediachannel.org

Danny Schechter

July 18, 2001

http://www.mediachannel.
org/views/
dissector/covering
violence.shtml
      Act For Change (Working Assets)

Media Alliance

October 2, 2001

http://www.workingfor
change.com/
activism/action.cfm?
itemid=12009&CFID
=2077525
&CFTOKEN=99769829

Covering Violence:How Should Media Handle Conflict?

l. Decontextualizing violence: focusing on the irrational without looking at the reasons for unresolved conflicts and polarization.

2. Dualism: reducing the number of parties in a conflict to two, when often more are involved. Stories that just focus on internal developments often ignore such outside or "external" forces as foreign governments and transnational companies.

3. Manicheanism: portraying one side as good and demonizing the other as "evil."

4. Armageddon: presenting violence as inevitable, omitting alternatives.

5. Focusing on individual acts of violence while avoiding structural causes, like poverty, government neglect and military or police repression.

6. Confusion: focusing only on the conflict arena (i.e., the battlefield or location of violent incidents) but not on the forces and factors that influence the violence.

7. Excluding and omitting the bereaved, thus never explaining why there are acts of revenge and spirals of violence.

8. Failure to explore the causes of escalation and the impact of media coverage itself.

9. Failure to explore the goals of outside interventionists, especially big powers.

l0. Failure to explore peace proposals and offer images of peaceful outcomes.

11. Confusing cease-fires and negotiations with actual peace.

12. Omitting reconciliation: conflicts tend to reemerge if attention is not paid to efforts to heal fractured societies. When news about attempts to resolve conflicts are absent, fatalism is reinforced. That can help engender even more violence, when people have no images or information about possible peaceful outcomes and the promise of healing. Demand Diverse Views in Media Coverage of Terrorist Attacks

Professor of Peace Studies Johann Galtung of Norway, presented 12 “Points of Concern” in media reportage (Please see Title column).         Act For Change is calling for “people to be able to think critically about what happened and make informed decisions about what the U.S. government's response should be, they need to hear a diversity of voices and perspectives in the media coverage of these events.”

It is possible for a new trend to begin in media coverage. One example was heard on Swedish Radio. September 24-30th on a program which described some of the reasons young men might be willing to perform the suicide terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. They up filled a part of Point 5, by focusing on “ structural causes, like poverty, government neglect and military or police repression” that caused these young men to act. Cross-disciplinary studies are causing more nuance in explaining research results, the concept of system thinking is becoming more widely known. Complexity is more acceptable when trying to describe situations and reactions to limited news sources is increasing. All of these signs could mean that we might see more reportage that follows the 12 points.

Trend baby- new paradigm in media coverage.

*Source/Date

**Title

***Subject

****Trend

The Futurist

Cynthia G. Wagner

September/October 2001

Aging vs. Antiaging-Geriatrics is in trouble while antiaging medicine takes off. There is a new branch of medicine called Anti-aging. The professional organization for this medical field is called The American Academy of Anti-aging with 10,000 members in 65 countries. The group sees their work as representing a profound paradigm shift in how medicine looks at aging and the diseases related to it. The goal of the group is to slow, stop, and reverse the processes that make elderly people frail. The old paradigm is represented by the American Geriatrics Their goal is to offer comprehensive health care to frail elderly for wellness and prevention.

So much research is being done on life extension that it is natural for practitioners to want to implement the results. This is also a paradigm shift in the whole population. Survival until old age was the driving force earlier and now survival means never dying.

Life extension

*Source/Date

**Title

***Subject

****Trend

Cosmiverse

September 27, 2001

http://www.cosmiverse.com/
science09270101.html

Experiment Brings Teleportation a Step Closer Using quantum theory Eugene Polzik and his research team at the University of Aarhus in Denmark have made two separate samples of atoms (trillions in each sample) interact. According to the theory atoms ”can be persuaded to interact with each other so that events affecting one instantly affect another - no matter how far apart they are.”

Ramifications of this type of research could lead to “super fast quantum communications systems and ways of teleporting objects by instantly transferring their properties from place to place”. We are now beginning to see the results of the new theories from quantum theory. It is difficult to guess when we might actually be using the results of such research. Before you dismiss it, try to imagine a person from 1700 trying to imagine a computer.

The New Sciences

*Source/Date

**Title

***Subject

****Trend

Reuters Health

Health e-line

SOURCE: Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 2001;69

October 2, 2001

Self-hypnosis may cut stress, boost immune system Many research studies have been done on stress as a factor in healing. Latest research shows that self-hypnosis brings about stronger immune responses.

Many people might see this as another of those studies with a common sense answer and questions why the study needed to be done in the first place. The fact is that science knows very little about the mind-body connection and how our thoughts influence our bodies. The next step is to understand what happens on a physiological basis.

Understanding the Mind-Body connection

*Source/Date

**Title

***Subject

****Trend

UniSi October 15, 2001

http://unisci.com/stories/
20014/1012013.htm

New Solvent Systems Recyclable, True Green Chemistry Liquid solvents can be used in metal finishing such as chromium plating, batteries and metal waste product reprocessing and more. They are environmentally and financially positive replacements for current polluting solvents. They are made of a mixture of zinc chloride (found in some skin ointments and batteries) and choline chloride (a common additive to chicken feed). They are non-volatile liquids.

These products are currently going on the market and go a long way toward meeting the environmental standards of the Montreal protocols.

Environmental

*Source/Date

**Title

***Subject

****Trend

Michigan Land Use Institute

Keith Schneider

September 27, 1996

http://www.mlui.org/
projects/growthmanagement/
sprawl/nprcomt.html

Utne Reader

Jay Walljasper

September- October 2001

 

The Communitarian Network

http://www.communitarian
network.org/
platformtext.htm

NPR Living on Earth, Broadcast New transportation and land use policies are developing.

 

 

 

New planning policies ending a trend to build large schools away from the local community and attention to the needs of communities over the needs of individuals are being discussed.

All of these signs of the times report on a longing for new policies that make neighborhoods and cities that increase the quality of life. less urban sprawl and increased quality of life. An organization that recognizes the different communities within which people live and raise their families is The Communitarian Network. They fight for a balance between individual’s rights and the rights of the community.

Local and Small – Community
Back to Signs of the Times.

 

 from September 17, 2001

*Source/Date

**Title

***Subject

****Trend

Swedish Radio Program 1

Program leader: Martin Dyfverman

August 5, Time 17:00

http://www.sr.se/p1/
program/sommarrummet/
0131.htm
    Utne Reader

Pythia Peay

July-August 2001

"Fil som terapi"

Philosophy as therapy           Politics on the Couch

Norway has for some time have had people trained in philosophy and therapy who start a practices for people who seek help with existence and other philosophically based questions. They have their own professional group. In Sweden two practices have started.

 

A number of therapists are beginning to see a need to integrate an individual’s psychological problems with their civic or political issues. The feelings generated by holocausts, the death of Princess Diana or seeing homeless are given the same respect as the feelings connected to the relationship with a parent.

We are making slow gains in integrated human emotional development even as we become less human (see Bionic trend below).

Human emotion and psychological development

*Source/Date

**Title

***Subject

****Trend

Dagens Nyheter

August 7, 2001

Patricia Bergenhem

Torsk - Från fiskpinne till finmat

Codfish – From fish sticks to gourmet food

In some parts of Sweden cod is starting to disappear and the total available fish stock is shrinking. The cost of codfish has reach record highs. In Stockholm, Sweden it costs about $20 for a kilo. Ten to fifteen years ago cod didn’t have the same status; it was used for fish sticks.

Watch for the same to happen with other types of fish. The reasons will be pollution, over fishing and disease.

Resource Depletion -fish

*Source/Date

**Title

***Subject

****Trend

NewScientist.com

September 1, 2001

Damian Carrington, Glasgow

"Environmentally friendly" explosives get ready for ignition An attempt is being made to create “green” bombs. German Scientist Thomas Klapotke, University of Munich, says that "It may sound strange that the military are concerned about health and safety". "But 99.9 percent of missile launches and explosions take place in training, over your own territory and involving your own personnel."

There are a number of groups in NATO countries that are investigating green explosives, but are taking different approaches. The end result may greater short-term ad long-range destruction.

Environmentally friendly war

*Source/Date

**Title

***Subject

****Trend

GALLUP TUESDAY BRIEFING

September 4, 2001

http://www.gallup.com/
poll/releases/pr000905.asp

**Kids Back in School** The pollster, Gallup estimates about 2% of all elementary and secondary students in America are home schooled, that is, taught at home by their parents. While it has always existed to some degree, home schooling given rise to a group of businesses that offer materials and advise to parents. Of all Americans, 51% give public schools the highest rating, so it is hard to say if those businesses will continue to have clients. Question- is home schooling a trend that will move to other countries where parents are dissatisfied with the current school system? Education-
As education moves from teaching for the industrial society to teaching for the knowledge society, schools go through a period of turbulence. Private schools and home teaching are two reactions. As schools learn how to teach for the future knowledge based society there might be a return to public schools. The trend toward individualized learning might encourage more and varied forms of schooling to pop up.

*Source/Date

**Title

***Subject

****Trend

Metro

August 29, 2001           The Futurist

September-Oct issue

Sinnen kan återfås med elektronik

The senses can function again with electronics       Rörelse vill skjuta upp åldrandet

Movement wants to push back aging

Three articles spread over two-page talk about remote control of paralyzed muscles with electronic stimulation, cochlea-implants for improved hearing, microchips to send signals between a persons nerve system and a computer.

In a search for the “post-human” stage of life, Transhumanists seek freedom from ageing, sickness and death. They believe in diversity, success and the right to spread their ideas.

Medical profession has a new branch

Many people over 40 remember the TV series about a bionic man and woman. Science fiction is becoming reality. Not only are we becoming more bionic, but some of us have turned it into a movement.

More bionic human beings

Extended life length.

*Source/Date

**Title

***Subject

****Trend

Fast Company.com

September 2001

Linda Tischler

http://www.fastcompany.
com/invent/invent
_feature/
simplicity.html

Simplicity + Technology = Sweet Success Consumer complaints on electronic equipment and appliances are reaching designers. Engineers are giving over power to designers who have listened to consumer complaints for simplicity, elegance, and user friendliness. Simplicity

*Source/Date

**Title

***Subject

****Trend

Ananova.com

September11, 2001

http://www.ananova.com/
news/story/
sm_395636.html?menu=
news.technology

Energy-producing homes launched Twenty-seven homes have been built for rent to social housing clients in the UK. They are equipped with solar panels for heat and Photovoltaic panels to convert sunlight into electricity for other household appliances. There is no storage, but in times of high production energy can be sold.

Private energy production was a trend baby we introduced in Nov, 2000 Now almost one year later this story comes from England giving strength to the trend.

Private energy production
Back to Signs of the Times.

 

 from August 15, 2001

*Source/Date

**Title

***Subject

****Trend

The Economists

Jul 26th 2001

http://www.economist.com/
surveys/displaystory.
cfm?story_id=706591

http://www.economist.com/
surveys/displaystory.
cfm?story_id=706583

SURVEY: ILLEGAL DRUGS

How did we get here?

From The Economist print edition

History has a habit of repeating itself

Attitudes and policies about drugs are changing. The emphasis is changing from punishment to treatment. Earlier we have reported on attempts in various American states to legalize marijuana for medical use. That was just a small indication of the change in attitudes. The treatment over prison issue was voted in by a referendum in California. “Soft” drug possession laws have relaxed in Europe and Australia. In Switzerland and Holland would totally liberalize drug laws if they had not signed a UN agreement against drugs. Political voices in Britain, says Michael Portillo, advocate legalization.

Just as attitudes against gambling and drinking change over time so do those on drugs. The underlying value, which shape our views is the degree we think humans are basically good or basically evil.

Values changes -Drug legalization

*Source/Date

**Title

***Subject

****Trend

Trend Letter

Vol. 20, No 15

July 16, 2001

Corrinne Kuypers-Denlinger, Editor-in- Chief

States Move to Reduce The Cost of Prescription Drugs Twenty-six states in the U.S. have formed ”multi-state pharmaceutical-purchasing pools” in an attempt to lower the costs of medicine.

The Pharmaceutical business is under attack on many fronts. While this is a phenomenon specific to one country, it will be interesting to see if it spreads in some form to other countries.

Reducing health costs

*Source/Date

**Title

***Subject

****Trend

Watson Wyatt/The Commission on Global Aging Report

May 25,2001

http://www.watsonwyatt.
com/homepage/gl/
resrender.asp?id=W
-315&page=1

Global Aging- The Challenge of the New Millennium Global companies started efforts to retain older workers and the trend continues. Of 600 companies 40% were modifying retirement policies to keep older workers on the job. Some are offering flexible schedules, the best assignments, part-time hours and reductions in travel and responsibility in order to keep them.

The need to fill positions with older workers has been discussed, but not how this would be accomplished when early retirement is the trend. It will take a lot of planning, ten to thirty years in advance to mitigate the potential problems of an aging society.

Population changes - aging

*Source/Date

**Title

***Subject

****Trend

Swedish Radio Station P1

Nyheter från Vetenskapsradion
(News from Science Radio)
Weekdays 6.45, 7.42 8.55

August 6, 2001

http://www.sr.se/
p1/program/vetenskap/

  Illiterate people can now use computer technology. Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore developed a computer that uses pictures and symbols. It is called simputer, Poor farmers in the countryside can get information about the weather, what diseases are expected and what pesticides to use on them.

We know that voice technologies are available for blind and other handicapped peoples. Voice and pictures could level out the differences between literate and non-literate peoples. For now, picture technologies are cheaper to produce and it is thought that a whole village could have access to one computer. Look for other such computer innovations from India for the poor and illiterate.

Technology relieving poverty

*Source/Date

**Title

***Subject

****Trend

American Medical Association Medical Journal

Vol. 286 No. 5,

Barry Krakow, MD; Michael Hollifield, MD; Lisa Johnston, MA, MPH; Mary Koss, PhD; Ron Schrader, PhD; Teddy D. Warner, PhD; Dan Tandberg, MD; John Lauriello, MD; Leslie McBride, BA; Lisa Cutchen, MA; Diana Cheng, MA; Shawn Emmons, PhD; Anne Germain, MPs; Dominic Melendrez, PSG-T; Diane Sandoval, BS; Holly Prince, MA

August 1, 2001

Imagery Rehearsal Therapy for Chronic Nightmares in Sexual Assault Survivors With Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

A Randomized Controlled Trial

Researchers have found a short-term cognitive therapy that relieves the nightmares of people with posttraumatic stress disorder primarily from traumatic rape and torture experiences. Using imagery rehearsal therapy, they present an active reworking of the contents of their nightmares to positive scenarios. These are rehearsed in a prescribed way and succeeded in decreasing the nightmares.

We continue to report on treatments that help solve our deep social problems. They increase our quality of life in a way that technology and prosperity can not, and they contribute to the health of future generations.

Solving deep social problems

*Source/Date

**Title

***Subject

****Trend

World Watch Institute
Press Release on new book Hydrogen Futures: Toward A Sustainable Energy System

Seth Dunn

August 2, 2001

http://www.worldwatch.org/
alerts/010802.html

HYDROGEN RISING IN ENERGY POLICY DEBATE:Global race for "tomorrow's petroleum" heats up You have heard about the new economy, now we are reporting on the ”hydrogen economy”. Companies have been the first to see the applications both in cars and buses. They could replace not only internal combustion engines, but also central power plants and batteries in portable electronics-like laptop computers and cell phones.

There are many advantages to the companies and households who are early adaptors of this new clean technology. Iceland is determined to be the first early adaptor country of hydrogen fuel.

Pollution Free Cars and Sustainable Energy
Back to Signs of the Times.

 

 from July 31, 2001

*Source/Date

**Title

***Subject

****Trend

Earth Times News Service

NINA MEHRA

February 27, 2001

http://www.earthtimes.org/
feb/businesssocially
resonbilefeb8_01.htm

Socially responsible funds in high demand in Europe As an addition previous mention of socially responsible investment (SRI), it is important to note that the European fund management community is also responding to demands for social criteria. The U.K. seems to be leading with the French and German following. An example from the U.K. is Hermes Investment Management, who manages a $73 billion fund owned the BT pension scheme. They have published their SRI, for 2001.

Watch for SRI criteria spread to other countries as well.

Sustainability investment

*Source/Date

**Title

***Subject

****Trend

Utne Reader

Writen in articles by Jim Shultz, In these Times and This Magazine Maude Barlow, International Forum on Globalization, Vandana Shiva, Canadian Dimension, Daniel Zoll and Pratap Chatterjee, San Francisco Bay Guardian

July-August, 2001

http://www.faithpopcorn.
com/trends/
atmosphere.htm

Multinational Corporations Seek to Privatize Water The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Mora National Fish Hatchery and Technology Center recently won an award for water conservation with it's a high-density water-reuse system. It re-circulates about 1,500 gallons of water a minute, for a total of 4,500 gallons per minute.

We have reported earlier on projected water shortages in Signs of the Times from November 2000. At that time the World Resources Institute predicted that by 2025, at least 3.5 billion people or half the world’s population will experience water shortages. This series of articles reports that water consumption has increased by 25% over the past 20 years and by 2025 the supply will far exceed the amount of fresh water currently available. Whichever statistics are correct, water is a problem. Futurists have predicted that water rights will be, and are already the cause of wars. Monsanto who is marketing water in India and Mexico is selling this naturally produced and necessary resource. Bottled water sales in U.S. have risen 144% in last 10 years.* In Cochabamba, Boliva attempts to privatize the water system caused strikes that shut down the city for a week.

Tests in Sweden have shown that local tap water is as pure or purer than bottled water. Water is a natural resource owned equally by all. Yet we are willing to let some people profit from the sale of a product we collectively own, even at the risk of large numbers of deaths and possible wars over this basic of all elements.

Water Depletion

*Source/Date

**Title

***Subject

****Trend

American Demographics

Hassan Fattah

April 2001

http://demographics.com/

The Rising Tide Marketing the poor is a new discussion in the United States. At least the lower middle class that now accounts for one-sixth of the population. It is estimated that the market amounts to a $120 billion per year.

Marketing has been segmenting the market for some time now. What is new here is the in- congruency of seeing the poor as a source of profit.

Trend baby- marketing to increasingly lower income groups.

*Source/Date

**Title

***Subject

****Trend

Sustainable Development International

June 13, 2001

http://www.sustdev.org/
energy/Industry%20News/
06.01/13.01.shtml

http://www.sustdev.org/
energy/Industry%20News/
06.01/01.01.shtml

GM Takes Steps Towards Fuel Cell Vehicles Toyota Motor Corp. and oil giant Exxon Mobil Corp. are working with General Motors in researching hydrogen storage tanks for safe storage of hydrogen at 5,000 psi. Driving range could then be extended to 175 to 250 miles. Pushed by governments and environmentalists to reduce pollution they see fuel cells as the ultimate solution.

The same site reports a new fuel for automobiles. Dimethyl-ether (DME) is said to be a clean fuel that can be made from natural gas, coal or biomass and could be used for power generation, domestic use and transport. Within 5-6 years this fuel will be approved for use in Japan. BP and India plan to produce one million tons a year.

This isn’t the first time we have profiled changes in automobile fuel systems. Looking at what research money is being spent on and who is doing the spending gives some idea of how soon we can expect to see reduction in pollution due to vehicle use.

Pollution Free Cars

*Source/Date

**Title

***Subject

****Trend

Trend Letter
Vol. 20, No. 13

Corinne Kuypers-Denlinger, Editor-in-Chief

June 18, 2001

Consumers Thinking Twice about Buying Into Technology Some companies are consciously rejecting the common assumption in the technology field that new technologies are going to change mankind, empower people and bring the world together. Forty-seven percent of the American population are not online now and don’t plan to be. Technology enthusiasts in Europe felt overwhelmed by the continuous presentation of new products (Study by FCB Worldwide, an add agency.)

Every trend has it’s downward swing and it looks the fast paced technology introductions that we have been experiencing may begin to slow down. There has been little time to absorb the fast and furious innovations.

Simplicity Trend

*Source/Date

**Title

***Subject

****Trend

Trend Letter
Vol. 20, No. 15

Corinne Kuypers-Denlinger, Editor-in-Chief

July 16, 2001

Free Trade Pacts: A Model for Economic growth Regional Trade agreements are a definite trend. NAFTA- is becoming the FTAA Free Trade Area of the Americas. It will cover the area from the Artic to the top of Argentina with a population of 800 million. China, Japan and South Korea are forming a trade group as well. Trade agreements between individual countries already connected to different regions are also occurring. The South American countries have had the Merssur Customs Union for ten years.

It will be interesting to see how regulation developes within these trade regions, will they be globally regulated or self-regulated? The nation state will be forced to change. A safe prediction is that trade areas will grow in competition with other trade regions and that competition will mean that global trade is next.

Globalization -trade
Back to Signs of the Times.

 

 from February 28, 2001

*Source/Date

**Title

***Subject

****Trend

Office.com
Marceia Lathou

Feb. 16, 2001

http://www.office.com/
global/0,2724,57-22546,
FF.html

Green Policies Put Firms in the Black New reports show that green companies have a "quality" mentality that equals superior financial returns. Two bits of information show that environmental issues are becoming mainstream in America. Number one is shown in two recent studies that support the theory that corporate environmental commitment can enhance financial returns. They have shown that multinational firms that adopt high environmental standards — even in locales with lower standards — are rewarded with higher stock-market value. Number two: Some of the nation's largest money managers are incorporating environmental analysis into financial analysis in investment portfolios. Larger pension plans are some of the major investors in environmental or social funds. Some examples are: Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association, College Retirement Equities Fund and California Public Employees Retirement System.

The trend of integrating economy and ecology is maturing and soon not considering the environment will be unthinkable. That doesn't mean utopia, we still have to integrate recycling of chemicals and pollutants into our "productivity" measures.

Sustainability- economy

*Source/Date

**Title

***Subject

****Trend

Yahoo
Office.com
Latayne C. Scott

February 18, 2001

http://smallbusiness.yahoo.
com/smallbusiness/l2s/
article.html?s=n/
smallbiz/front/l2s/
20010206001

Hatchery's Innovative Water Reuse Saves Fish The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Mora National Fish Hatchery and Technology Center recently won an award for water conservation with it's a high-density water-reuse system. It re-circulates about 1,500 gallons of water a minute, for a total of 4,500 gallons per minute.

Fast recycling of water is only one component, the second involves screening out tiny particles and chemically breaking down fish-waste ammoniates into nitrates that can be tolerated by the fish. A third part of the system provides an ozone treatment that destroys bacteria, parasites and fungi. Water treated this way can be reused in the hatchery about 20 times and is gradually replaced, at the rate of 5 percent, with new water. In other words, at any given time, the hatchery's water is 95 percent reused and 5 percent new water.

While this system is best suited to water saving in hatcheries in dry climates, it shows the quality of innovation needed in this area. We have reported on other water saving and recycling projects and will continue to do so because water shortages are major dark cloud over the future.

Sustainability and water

*Source/Date

**Title

***Subject

****Trend

Office.com
Marceia Lathou

February 7, 2001

http://www.office.com/
global/0,2724,57-22249,
FF.html

Business Sets Global Transportation Goals- An expert discusses an industry-driven project that aims to solve transportation problems at the global level. Many of the world's air-quality problems are transportation-related, and new industry-backed initiative hopes to lead transportation down a sustainable path. Their project is Mobility Vision 2030 or what mobility could be like in the year 2030. It is a global initiative and will cover the three main modes of transportation: air, land and sea. It originated with key players in the transport industry itself — the nine core companies are BP, DaimlerChrysler, Ford, General Motors, Michelin, Norsk Hydro, Shell, Toyota and Volkswagen.
Some of the assumptions they are making going in are that it is common sense that alternative, environmental friendly fuels are something that are worth pursuing as well as good, integrated, public-transport systems.

We are beginning to see some changes in the planners of transportation, transportation companies themselves. This is a big step for them.

Sustainability and economy.

*Source/Date

**Title

***Subject

****Trend

New Scientist
Michael Perry

February 20, 2001

http://dailynews.yahoo.com/
h/nm/20010220/sc/
evolution_china_dc_1.html

China's 'Nanjing Man' Challenges Out of Africa Theory Humankind's search for understanding of it's development has traditionally been explained by the Out of Africa theory which states that Homo erectus in Asia was replaced by Homo sapiens out of Africa about 100,000 to 200,000 years ago.
With the find in 1993 in Tangshan Cave near Shanghai, China of a male and female skull a new theory called new multi-regional theory has developed. It showed that humans evolved in isolation in China and much earlier than previously thought. Small communities of Homo erectus probably developed in widely separate locations, but had some communications, which explains DNA similarities.

While this new knowledge is probably not representative of a particular trend it could lead to possibly negative consequences. If the new theory becomes accepted, the family of man concept might also be in question. Asians could be seen as a superior or inferior race by those who have need of such differentiation's. Are we prepared for all the new knowledge we are able to uncover?

Possible change in attitudes to the fellowship of man.

*Source/Date

**Title

***Subject

****Trend

The National Foundation for Science
Science Nuggets

February 24, 2001

http://www.nsf.gov/
sbe/nuggets/029/
nugget.htm

Into the Minds of Babes: Examining children's fabulous capacity to learn. Out of the research of Psychologist Dare Baldwin come new tips on how babies and children learn. Babies use social clues The research shows, for instance, that children as young as 12-18 months spontaneously check where a speaker is looking when she utters a word that is new to them, and link the word with the object the speaker is looking at. In this way, infants avoid many potential word learning errors. They link words with the correct objects -- the ones speakers are indeed referring to -- rather than to whatever objects happen to be capturing their own attention when new words are heard.
Baldwin and a team of colleagues found that autistic children lack these skills for making use of social cues to guide word learning, which leaves them prone to errors in the word learning process. With doctoral student Mark Sabbagh, Baldwin has also been studying whether three and four year old children evaluate another person's apparent level of knowledge when acquiring a new word.
Young children are less likely to remember a word linked to an object if an adult speaker expresses uncertainty about whether the label is correct.
Infants as young as 12-18 months are able to understand something about the intentions that underlie people's behavior.

How will the fact that we are becoming increasingly dependent on what we know influence behavioral and learning research? How long will it take to get this information integrated into parent's basic knowledge and into classroom environments?

 
Back to Signs of the Times.

 

 from February 03, 2001

*Source/Date

**Title

***Subject

****Trend

The Herman Group

January 3, 2001

http://www.moller.com/

Fly your Car This scanning tip is about Skycars, two seated vehicles that fly without having to be a pilot due to GPS technology. They are directed to an upscale audience and are being developed in an American market.

Since flying cars or individually propelled vehicles have been discussed before, it indicates a great deal of interest in such products. It remains to be seen if the buying public will accept this ”boys toy”.

Possible values change reflected in increasing class differences in travel. Car travel would be for the poor and flying machines would be for those with more resources.

*Source/Date

**Title

***Subject

****Trend

The Palm Beach Post

2001-01-14

http://b2bnow.yellowbrix.com/
pages/b2bnow/Story.nsp?
story_id=17422894&ID=
b2bnow&scategory=
Small+Business%3AHome
+Business

Telecommuting What Sounded Good In Theory Never Really Took Off Telecommuting has been considered a growing trend. Now there is question that the trend is growing in spite of figures reported by The International Telework Association & Council in Washington, D.C. who say that Telecommuting grew from 19.6 million in 1999 to 23.6 million in 2000. Reports from companies and other research show a decided lack of interest in letting their employees work from home.

Telecommuting was supposed to eliminate traffic problems, help those with small children and older parents. Negatives are that office morale and teamwork and loyalty are lower. Employees fear missing promotions, and resentment is reported by the non-telecommuters and managing is harder.

Relates to a general trend of Changing Work Life.

*Source/Date

**Title

***Subject

****Trend

New Scientist magazine

Paul Marks

January 20 2001

http://www.newscientist.com/
news/news.jsp?id=
ns227439

A clear winner Magnets and microchips combine in a transparent supermaterial A new, thin, material has been invented by the Tokyo Institute of Technology (Titech) in Yokohama which can be used in flat-panel displays. All these panel displays processing and storage circuits will be invisibly built-in. Because the material is magnetic, parts of it could store data in much the same way as a computer hard drive, other parts could process information like the transistors in a microchip.

This product is still in the research stage, but it gives inspiration to possible usages, Imagine a thin, transparent film that contains memory, processing and viewing capabilities.

Technology as a driver in work and lifestyles.

*Source/Date

**Title

***Subject

****Trend

Utne Reader

Paul Hawken

Page 72

For a clearer view of the relationship between the World Economic Forum and the World Social Forum see the Financial Times Article and International Herald Tribune articles reported on at this address:

http://wbln0018.worldbank.
org/NEWS/DEVNEWS.
NSF/46773469c477da
9285256716000f7221/
d0ac08d7d906bbba
852569df0054ccd3?
OpenDocument#Story3

5 Signs of the Coming Revolution Paul Hawken describes a new ”sustainability” movement. This new movement started with a diverse group of organizations each with their own worldviews. Examples: environmental justice, women’s rights, population growth, labor rights, trade rules etc. They all share a basic set of basic ideas about the earth and it’s life giving systems and fairness for to people. It is the fastest growing and powerful movement in the world today and a change from the earlier social movements that started with a centralized collection of ideas.

Evidence of their strength we have seen in the development of the World Social Forum, a counter-balance to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland and at WTO, IMF and World Bank meetings.

Globalization- social movements, economic movement and sustainability.

*Source/Date

**Title

***Subject

****Trend

The World Bank

January 25, 2001

http://www.worldbank.org/
developmentnews/

In Times of Trouble—World Bank report says new forms of social protection can reduce poverty The World Bank has just announced its plan to create social protection for the world’s poor by providing disaster prevention and minimizing the risk of natural disasters. They call it social risk management.

The World Bank is seeing the connection between disaster prevention and economic well-being. It will be interesting to see what results social risk management will bring.

Economic sustainability through prevention.

*Source/Date

**Title

***Subject

****Trend

New Scientist

27 January 2001

http://www.newscientist.com/
features/features.jsp
?id=ns22751

Read My Mind How do people develop the ability to anticipate other people's behavior and empathize with their feelings? For example: A child watches her mother pick up a toy. The child smiles: Mum wants to play. The new neurons are active when their owners perform a certain task, the same neurons fire when their owner watches someone else perform that same task. Vilayanur Ramachandran of the University of California at San Diego says understanding the new neurons, "... will provide a unifying framework and help explain a host of mental abilities that have hitherto remained mysterious." This discovery could represent a “great leap forward' in human evolution”. Life Long Learning

*Source/Date

**Title

***Subject

****Trend

Discover Magazine

Joseph D'Agnese

DISCOVER Vol. 21 No. 1 ()

January 2000

http://www.discover.com/
current_issue/index.html

The Year In Science Technology Sinking Chips Chip miniaturization is expected to reach a stopping point this year, or very soon. Different light sources are being explored for etching chips. Alternatives to silicon are also being tested. Molecules are being trained to flip chemical switches of rotaxine, and Escherichia coli bacteria are might possibly transmit electrical information.

For those in the chips business, beware of needing to implement new production processes and get ready to re-train your people. If you didn’t see it coming don’t say “Signs of the Times” didn’t warn you!

Technology as a driver of change. In this case technology could effect jobs and education, economy and production costs.
Back to Signs of the Times.

 

 from January 14, 2001

*Source/Date

**Title

***Subject

****Trend

Xinhua News Agency CHONGQING XINHUA

December 1, 2000

http://www.individual.com/
servlet/BuildIssue
?mode=topics&
content_src=/frames/
topic.shtml?topic=277&date=
20001201&inIssue=TRUE

 

 

 

Associated Press

December 1, 2000,

http://www.individual.com/
servlet/BuildIssue?mode=
topics&content_src=/frames/
topic.shtml?topic=2874
&date= 20001201&inIssue
=TRUE

51-Year-Old Chinese Woman Gives Birth to Test Tube Baby             New French abortion law passes first hurdle in National Assembly A 51-year-old Chinese woman in China's Chongqing Municipality gave birth to a female test tube baby, weighing three kilograms afternoon.

The Chongqing Women and Children Health Care Hospital is one of the three hospitals in China that have had over 100 successful test tube babies.

 

 

 

The French National Assembly voted to adopt a bill that would change abortion laws giving teen-agers the right to have abortions without their parents consent.

These articles are material for a discussion about our conflicting values. One common thread is the woman’s right to choose when she will become a mother. How does that trend fit in an overpopulated world?

Trend to give woman control over their reproduction systems.

Growing trend- the acceptance of medically controlled conception methods.

Trend to more mature motherhood.

*Source/Date

**Title

***Subject

****Trend

Center for Voting and Democracy

http://www.fairvote.org/
irv/index.html

Instant Runoff Voting In light of the recent crisis in American elections there is an election reform that is rapidly gaining attention. Instant Runoff Voting allows voters to prioritize candidates as first choice, second choice, third, fourth. Major efforts to go over to IRV are occurring in Alaska, New Mexico, Vermont, Washington, California, among others. In case of a tie, a series of runoff counts are conducted eliminating current problems. Instant runoff voting is a system that ensures a winning candidate an absolute majority of the votes over a marginal win.

Democracy is not dead it has just been suffering from a lack of creativity. Maybe this is changing.

Trend - Trend baby that could grow to a trend if States and other countries continue adapt it.

*Source/Date

**Title

***Subject

****Trend

The Economist print edition p> Source: Aase Dillmann

December 1, 2000
October 26th 2000

http://www.economist.com/
displayStory.
cfm?Story_ID=404574

The Cinderella syndrom Adopted, fostered and stepchildren seem to get less food, education and health care than other children. These are the results of three studies at Princeton University conducted by Anne Case. More than half of American children will spend their early years with at least one parent. It is that mothers invest more of themselves in biological children.

Studies from over the past four decades, the number of couples tying the knot has steadily declined, as the number of divorces, cohabiting unmarried couples, and children living in single-parent households has increased.

This information has huge implications for social changes in the future. It will probably be ignored as the trend away from biological, two parent families is still strong.

Trend- Trend baby that could grow to a trend if States and other countries continue adapt it.

*Source/Date

**Title

***Subject

****Trend

HSV Technologies Inc

November, 2000

Press Release

http://hsvt.org/

  A company in San Diego, California is developing a non-lethal weapon that uses ultraviolet laser beams to harmlessly immobilize people and animals at a distance. The current within these beams is a close replication of the neuro-electric impulses that control skeletal muscles. The person being immobilized doesn’t notice it. It freezes the muscles and doesn’t hurt the eyes. Trend - Technique solves all problems.

*Source/Date

**Title

***Subject

****Trend

New Scientist

Fred Pearce

18 November 2000

http://www.newscientist.com/
nlf/1118/people.html

People power
Forget big generators, in ten years' time we could be making and even selling our own electricity. We might even save the planet
Industry strategist, Karl Yeager thinks that most of our electricity will come from small generators. He heads Electric Power Research Institute in California. By 2050 he predicts, energy will come from micro turbines, solar panels and, most importantly, hydrogen-powered fuel cells. Natural gas fuelled microgenerators are in testing now and should be available in 2002.

A linked prediction is the use of "intelligent" grids like those in use in California, to collect and distribute electricity at every node.

The result is cleaner power production and cleaner air as well as being able to meet coming demands for electric power.

Trend - This is a prediction of a coming trend to electricity generation in every home. Families or businesses will be able to supply their own electricity and sell any left over power to the national grid.

*Source/Date

**Title

***Subject

****Trend

Trend Letter Vol. 19, No.22

November 3, 2000

Big Business Courts Smaller Players Small business has come to the attention of big business. This new niche has started in the U.S., but promises to spread. Software developers, Internet services, survey organizations and financial services are some of the fields expected to increase company revenues with small business clients.

There are 30 million small businesses in the United States. Sweden, China and others are encouraging the growth of small business. Having been identified as a market niche is important for their continued existence.

Trend - Small business as a growing market.

*Source/Date

**Title

***Subject

****Trend

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Virginia Baldwin Gilbert Of the Post-Dispatch

December 4, 2000

http://www.brainconnection.
com/SITEWare/2000/12/04/
SLMO/0000-0689-KEYWORD.
Missing.php3

Pollution's Impact on Development of Children Needs Study, Groups SayIllinois Is No. 8, Missouri 18 in Amount of Neurotoxins The National Academy of Sciences looked at frequencies of developmental disabilities against levels of pollution in various states. They found that 3 percent of the developmental and neurological deficits identified in children were caused by toluene, formaldehyde, freon, zinc dust and compounds of lead and mercury which are poisonous to nerve cells.

More detailed research needs to be done as to the effect of these pollutants on the individual child.

Trend- Growing understanding of how the brain works and what effects it.
    Back to Signs of the Times.
 
Webmaster  Kontakt: visionscentret@framtidsbygget.se