• "THERE'S a long list of things we took for granted in 2000 that no longer exist: Saddam Hussein, Lehman Brothers, the World Trade Centre, the lira, franc and deutschmark. Each of these vanishing acts played a crucial role in shaping the world we live in. With this in mind, researchers at the Sydney-based Lowy Institute have compiled a list of significant aspects of our world that may vanish in the decade ahead." The list includes Pax Americana, diplomats, the concept of the international community, Tuvalu, secrets, seafood, Pakistan, the globally dominant dollar, truth, and capital punishment.
    (tags: future)
  • On likely deaths of notable world leaders in the coming decade– something futurists don't generally think about, even though we all know that well-placed individuals can have a significant effect on events (hollah, Massachusetts!). "To paraphrase the satirical newspaper, The Onion, it’s safe to predict that, in the next decade, the world death rate will hold steady at 100%. But although we’re all going to die, in geo-political terms, some deaths matter more than others. So without going into ghoulish speculation about which political leaders might fall to war, terrorism or assassination, here are a few notable people who continue to influence world affairs, but who are statistically unlikely to see out the decade."
    (tags: future)
  • "The title, “Future Knowledge Ecosystems,” is a real snooze but the report actually has a lot to say to communities everywhere…. Here’s why the report matters. It captures a worry that is universal. Manufacturing hubs from Eindhoven in Holland to Northeast Ohio, USA fret about losing their competitive edge to nimble, low-cost manufacturers in Asia. Small cities and towns from Bristol, Virginia USA to Ballarat, Australia fear that they will dry up and blow away as youth leave for greater opportunity elsewhere. Even financial capitals from New York City to Hong Kong worry as more transactions move online, empowering smaller financial centers at their expense."