The future of ...

Erwin van Lun predict the long term future and blogs about developments today gradually shaping that future. Also in Dutch

Category: World Evolution

The world changes. Not just the media, the virtual world, but also the physical world. Think of the globalization, global warming, terrorism or the shifted balance of power.

Excited staff shows new iPhone 5s en iPhone 5c Amsterdam Apple Store

Excited staff shows new iPhone 5s en iPhone 5c Amsterdam Apple Store. This is theater!! Personally, I love it. But many Dutchies perceive this as overdone, to much, to American, not Dutch. Dutch love 'doing normal'. I love: 'live life to the max'. Thanks Apple for energizing my day!


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

Over time, cultures are about to integrate. We are all human beings, and cultures are a product of their natural environment. Cultures with lots of predators are different from cultures living near the sea, different from cultures very high of the mountains. However, the virtual world is everywhere. This technology makes people aware that we are all humans. Lots of our behaviour is programmed during our youth. Interestingly, the more we are aware of the differences while approaching these differences without fear, the more likely that we are prepared to let go of our past and search for what we have in common: the biology of the newborn child we all still carry. That is a good foundation for building future society, worldwide.

In 2013 we are living in a era were we still feel a bit uncomfortable with other cultures, even subtle differences between western cultures. Over time, with even stronger social media available across the world, and youth visiting every country, cultures will slowly (very slowly) integrate.

I love this example of how cultures merge!!!! Just a thought for your life: The more open you are to other cultures, the more you can enjoy them, and the more you can enjoy life! You’re only here once. It is not a rehearsal. Get everything out of it!

Efficiency African companies is increasing

In Africa manufacturing industries, contact centers, the IT-sector and construction are fast-growing sectors. "Despite a bad image of war, hunger, poverty and corruption, Africa is becoming increasingly more interesting for big investors," concludes Harvard Business Review. Not just many African countries have stabilized significantly in the past years; many countries are aiming for global connection and are introducing economic reforms. The International Monetary Fund calculated an economic growth of 6.3% for sub-Saharan countries while for Uganda, Tanzania an Nigeria a growth of 8% has been predicted.

A study amongst 954 production companies and tertiary services shows that the majority of the companies is very profitable. This is especially thanks to low wages (that are significantly lower than in China and India) and strongly increased operational efficiency. The average yearly return on invested capital was even 65-70% higher than of comparable enterprises in China, India, Indonesia and Vietnam. The average profit margin was 11%, higher than that of Asia or South-America.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

After China and India have developed into prosperous nations in the coming ten does, it’ll be less interesting to produce things in these countries. Africa will be their successor. But because not just the west, but China and India too, will outsource to Africa, and half the world population throws itself onto one continent the effect will be even stronger than it ever was in China. In combination with upcoming communication devices that can cover great distances and is, furthermore, solar powered – which will allow the level of education to rise rapidly – Africa will develop into a prosperous continent with a never-before seen speed. When the robots take work from our hands in 2020 and 2035, a completely prosperous world will be created, a world in which it’s all about communication, understanding and peace. It sounds almost mushy. And that’s how we’d experience it if we were dropped into it now.

Google Earth used by terrorists

The terrorists who attacked in various locations in the south of Mumbai used to maps on Google Earth to get acquainted wit the area. So say a number of officials investigating the attack.

"Investigations by the Mumbai police, including the interrogation of one nabbed terrorist, suggest that the terrorists were highly trained and used technologies such as satellite phones and the Global Positioning System".

Google Earth has been in the line of fire in India for a while now. One of those opposing it is former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. In 2005 he already warned that the availability of detailed maps, like amongst others those used in Google Earth, can be used by terrorists.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

We’ve traditionally organised the world in ‘countries’, a concept we came up with to keep the world organisable. Within that, some countries have ‘states’, for the same reason.

The virtual world, however, is borderless, and change of people’s behaviour in all countries, even less well-meaning people (in the eye of most inhabitants of this planet), will be determined especially by the developments in the virtual world in the coming decades. Eventually it will lead to behaviour being more alike worldwide, but we’ll have to go through a few confrontations first.

Google, Microsoft and Yahoo for human rights

Google, Microsoft and Yahoo have signed a world wide treaty that's intended to better protect online freedom of speech and privacy. This Global Initiative Network is supposed to silence criticism that the companies let themselves be used by censuring governments like China.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

The power of national governments is getting increasingly smaller. Worldwide networks that people join freely – call them companies for now, call it communities, call it brands – are taking over. So it’s not about the limited amount of people in the offices of these companies, but the whole community they serve. That community will eventually decide. And that community will ‘seize’ power.

Doctor in Congo amputates via text message

David Nott, a British doctor without any experience with amputations, has saved the life of a boy in Congo thanks to instructions he received in text messages.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

The development of the virtual world in combination with cheap devices and solar energy is one of the biggest developments in the world. It’ll ensure that knowledge which is currently only available in the west will be available in even the smallest of villages as needed. This is just a simple example. Currently text messages, soon mobile internet with video. Now in a place where electricity is already found, but soon in all sorts of places where it’s never even been near.

African labor force to 1.12 billion in 2050

In 2050 the labor force in Africa will have tripled to 1.12 billion. This is evident from the World Migration Report (Dutch).

Over 40 years 2.5 times as many migrants

There are over 200 million immigrants in the world. That's about 2.5 times as many as in 1965. That's what's been concluded in the World Migration Report (Dutch) released by the International Organisation for Migration.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

We’re taking away more and more hurdles for people to travel across the globe and find a new spot. Security, costs and language barriers. Or the lack of contact with the home front. It’s all becoming increasingly easier, and this trend shows that.

22% of Africa IPv6

Figures from ICANN show that Africa has the most new IPv6-connections. IPv6 is the newest and necessary version of the Internet Protocol. 22 percent of the new connections in Africa have an IPv6-prefix.


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Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

After China and India have been able to develop themselves to their full glory, it’s Africa’s turn. It’ll be a few decennia yet, but the infrastructure is being laid down.

War Child organised Peace March in Habbo world

During the International Day of Peace, War Child Netherlands organized a virtual Peace March on the online community Habbo. The goal of the march was to make the youth stop to think about war and to call on them to support the necessity of peace. The peace march was part of the Global Peace Gathering organized by War Child and Habbo in 32 countries. Beside the Peace March Habbos could sign a Peace Petition by War Child with which they could show their support.

During the march the visitors of Habbo, the so-called Habbos, made a communal trip through different virtual rooms. They were accompanied by several youths from Uganda, which visited the online world from a refuge camp.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

The Habbo world knows no country borders, just as the whole virtual world doesn’t know them. As a result, people will act more like world citizens, starting with the smallest amongst us. This generation, which will control the world in 2050 will view other cultures completely differently from previous generations. And they’ll also rule the world differently.

Seatwave buys tradesite Skelper

Seatwave (Dutch), is taking over the Dutch site Skelper. Seatwave is, according to themselves, the biggest ticket service site in Europe where consumers can sell tickets for events.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

In the past we’ve devised country borders for our own safety. Within these borders economies have been able to grow on the basis of physical goods and services. The coming decade most innovations will be made in the virtual world. This world, per definition, knows no borders. New companies such as this one, but also for example social networks, start in their own country (optimalized for language, local law or combination with local massmedia), but after a couple of years it’ll become clear that you’re doing things double in different countries: there are a lot of differences, but especially also a lot of similarities. Then the consolidation strike follows. This is happening extensively in Europe right now and the worldwide expansions will be the inevitable next step in a year or 5-10.

China invests in African agriculture

After investing in infrastructure and oil, China is now investing money in the African agricultural sector. Agriculture is one of Africa's main sources of revenue, but it's also one of the most plagued sectors. It's plagued by, amongst others, climate change and a lack of means. Last week the Chinese governor Chen Yuan spoke with African ministers of finance and banks and told them that the China Development Bank has planned investments in African agriculture. These investments are aimed at decreasing the food shortage.


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Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

Nearly invisibly and very slowly China and India are gaining the status of a developed country, something that’ll take decennia yet. In a parallel process Africa develops itself as a low-wages country to ultimately become at least just as prosperous as the rest of the world. We’ll be past 2050 then, though.

China’s investments in Africa

While western eyes are trained on China and India, China is looking chiefly at Africa: the next continent that will bloom up in a year or twenty. The Chinese quest for fossil fuels is leading more and more often to extremely active governmental support for projects in African countries that can offer oil. For example, China has been investing billions in oil-rich Angola for years and it's now investing in the electricity grid of the poor, West-African country of Nigeria. China has recently awarded Angola the support of 135 million dollars for rebuilding their electricity grid, water supplies and the infrastructure. In 2002 the civil war that had been raging in Angola for the past 27 years and had destroyed the infrastructure was finally ended. The Angolan media reported that the Chinese dollars will fund the modernization of the electricity grid in two cities in the Lunda Norte and Lunda-sul provinces, as well as the construction of a water purification plant, canals in Luanda and an improvement of the infrastructure in two other provinces. Furthermore the Chinese money will be used to build a center for the treatment and prevention of malaria in the hospital of Luanda.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

In a long term development, the virtual world will cause the world’s prosperity to be more or less equally divided. Huge differences, such as we still know today will disappear. The fact that China can develop like this is partially caused by the extremely good opportunities to communicate across continents and to share knowledge. This allows a land with 1.3 billion people to develop rapidly and take control. These kinds of developments are part of this.

China has stopped giving away plastic bags

China has stopped giving away plastic bags with the groceries. Retail chains will have to ask at least the cost for making the bags. This means about 3 billion bags a year less will be produced. It's the most radical ecological policy ever in China.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

And so China develops into a thriving country with health, economic prosperity and happiness. Maybe there’s some child labor still, maybe some issues with human rights, maybe some with the environment, but step by step the greatest economical power in the world is created here.

Eperium will be able to find people for Curacao

Dutch webshop company Eperium has divided its branches neatly across different timezones to be available 24 hours a day. With the opening of the establishment on Curaçao the e-Commerce specialist offers service around the clock. On top of that the exotic location works as a magnet on the rare ITers.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

The network economy doesn’t limit itself to one country, but stretches across the entire globe. The experience economy, in which this vast network is formed, furthermore needs people that can design and produce experiences in a virtual world. A job that can be done anywhere in the world. This working method of companies is one that we’ll see more and more often as a result.

Google starts competition in Africa

Through a context for East-African students, Google has developed new gadgets, small pieces of software with which users can share things (such as movies, games or information) on their weblog. It's expected that this will lead to locally applicable gadgets that help the community. The first prize is $600 and the 2nd to 6th prize winners get $350 each.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

And so the focus of the world is slowly shifting to Africa. Now that China and India are developing like mad we enter the last decades in which small children will produce products for the Western world seven days a week for a paltry sum.
As developed country children will be able to go to school, grow and design products that help people in the world. Cheap manufacturing will only be available through robots or underdeveloped countries. Which will develop in turn. This long term strategy of Google anticipates this. For a few hundred dollars it’s not a bad investment. wink

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