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World Futurists Newsletter October 2009

Page history last edited by Rog Rydberg 14 years, 4 months ago


News & Previews from the World Future Society  

October 2009 (Vol. 10, No. 10)  


Read online: www.wfs.org/futuristupdate.htm  


Pass this newsletter along! FUTURIST UPDATE may be freely shared if  

forwarded in its entirety.  


Receiving a pass-along copy or haven't joined WFS yet? Check out our  

special membership offer. http://www.wfs.org/foresight  



In This Issue:  

* Early Spring Warning: Blooms Too Soon?  

* Artificial Intelligence Aids Diagnosis  

* Denmark Offers Educational "Green" Vacations  

* Click of the Month: Futurity  

* News for the Futurist Community  

* What's Hot @WFS.ORG  







By 2080, some of the world's flowers could be blooming as much as two  

months earlier than they do today, warn researchers studying data from  

the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh. The earlier blooming would throw  

other plant and animal life out of synch.  


Plants adjust the timing of flowering to adapt to changes in local  

climate; for every 1 degree Celsius change in climate, blossoming may  

begin eleven days earlier, according to mathematician Robert Clark of  

Monash University in Australia and geoscientist Roy Thompson of the  

University of Edinburgh.  


Recent climate-change models foresee a median rise of 5.2 degrees in  

the earth's surface temperature--double the warming rate projected just  

six years ago. This would lead to dramatic desynchronization between  

the early bloomers and other less-quickly changing species, the  

researchers predict.  


SOURCE: "Predicting the Impact of Global Warming on the Timing of  

Spring Flowering" by Robert Clark and Roy Thompson, INTERNATIONAL  

JOURNAL OF CLIMATOLOGY, Wiley-Blackwell, 2009. DOl 10.1002/JOC.2004.  

Web site www.interscience.wiley.com  







Mayo Clinic researchers have developed an artificial-intelligence  

program that could help reduce invasive diagnostic testing on patients  

suspected of having cardiac infections.  


The software is an artificial neural network that responds to unique  

situations based on accumulated knowledge, just as doctors do.  


The program underwent three separate trainings to learn how to evaluate  

symptoms of endocarditis--infection of the heart's valves and chambers.  

Diagnosis typically involves an invasive and risky procedure, with a  

probe inserted into the patient's esophagus.  


The program was tested retrospectively on known cases, and made correct  

diagnoses "most of the time," with 99% confidence levels, the  

researchers report.  


SOURCE: Mayo Clinic www.mayoclinic.org/news2009-rst/5411.html  







Plans are under way for the World Future Society's 2010 conference in  

Boston, to be held July 8-10 at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel. The  

theme will be Sustainable Futures, Strategies, and Technologies.  


Among the estimated 150 speakers will be inventors Ray Kurzweil and  

Stephen Thaler, health futurist Kevin Fickenscher, public affairs  

specialist Anthony Flint, and media experts Janna Quitney Anderson,  

Michael Rogers, Lee Rainie, and Michael R. Nelson.  


Panel sessions, workshops, and stimulating keynote presentations will  

focus on what we mean by "sustainable futures," what paths may lead us  

there, and what strategies and technologies we may be able to use to  

create the futures we aspire to achieve.  


SESSION PROPOSALS (Deadline November 15, 2009):  



CONFERENCE VOLUME PAPER GUIDELINES (Deadline February 22, 2010):  



LEARN MORE: www.wfs.org/2010main.htm  


DOWNLOAD BROCHURE: www.wfs.org/WorldFuture_2010_Boston.pdf  





SAVE $250! REGISTER FOR WorldFuture 2010 BY OCTOBER 16:  








Denmark, which will host the UN Climate Change conference in December,  

has established an EnergyTours Network so visiting politicians,  

business leaders, and facilities managers can take an educational tour  

of the country's innovative sustainability programs.  


The Danes have been among the world's pioneers in energy projects, with  

15.5% of the country's gross electricity consumption met by renewable  

sources. Danish cities are also bicycle-friendly, and "green  

consciousness" has largely been integrated into daily life.  


The EnergyTours program aims to help give international policy makers  

"a behind-the-scenes look at how Denmark does green." Visits include  

wave-machine installations, municipal buildings designed for low carbon  

emissions, and a region where 70,000 people receive electricity  

entirely from renewable sources.  


SOURCES: EnergyTours Network www.energytours.com  

VisitDenmark www.visitdenmark.com  








Duke University researchers mapped a baby's retina for signs of  

blindness. Iowa State University scientists found a way to breed a  

better cow from the embryo up. And Emory University researchers  

observing chimpanzee behavior gained a better understanding of empathy,  

suggesting new therapeutic approaches for children with autism.  


These are among the latest breakthroughs reported on Futurity, a new  

site offering one-stop shopping for scientific news emerging from U.S.  

and Canadian colleges and universities. Futurity is the result of a  

partnership of more than 35 institutions aiming to disseminate news  

about science, engineering, environmental issues, health breakthroughs,  

and more.  


As mainstream news media struggle for revenue and readership, reporting  

on science news and research has diminished in recent years. Research  

institutes and universities have adapted to the new media environment  

by increasingly using iTunes and YouTube, for instance, to get their  

information out to the public.  


Futurity is "ad-free and agenda-free," according to co-founder Lisa  

Lapin, assistant vice president for communications at Stanford  

University, but the site will also expand its reach by partnering with  

major commercial portals such as Yahoo News.  







The World Future Society has launched several exciting projects in  

recent years, including a Global Youth Foresight Program, a revamped  

Professional Membership program with its new journal WORLD FUTURE  

REVIEW, and a variety of multimedia and outreach programs under  



Trends in the global economy have taken their toll on nonprofit  

organizations like the Society, so we need your help to sustain our  

current work and pursue our long-term goals of providing the  

methodologies, the networks, the information, and the inspiration to  

help all people build a better future for themselves, their businesses,  

and their descendants.  


Donations to the World Future Society are tax deductible on U.S. tax  

returns. Please consider a generous donation now!  


SUPPORT THE SOCIETY: Contributors donating $50 or more will receive a  

complimentary WFS tote bag! www.wfs.org/donate.htm  


GOODSHOP FOR WFS: www.goodshop.com/?charityid=845602  








Summit will be held October 3-4, 2009, at the 92nd Street Y, 1395  

Lexington Avenue, New York, New York.  


The Summit is an annual event to further understanding and discussion  

about the Singularity concept and the future of human technological  

progress. Speakers at this year's summit include PayPal founder Peter  

Thiel, longevity author Aubrey de Grey, and inventor and futurist Ray  

Kurzweil, among others.  


READ THE FUTURIST's exclusive interview with Singularity Institute  

President Michael Vassar: www.tinyurl.com/lqkepl  


REGISTER at www.singularitysummit.com/  


The World Future Society is a media partner for the Singularity Summit.  



* UNDERSTANDING THE TRANSFORMATION: The fifth European Futurists  

Conference will be held October 14-16 in Lucerne, Switzerland. The  

meeting, "Visioning 20.20--Escaping the Age of Stupid: Necessary  

Transformation Beyond the Turmoil," aims to bring civilization out of  

its worst crisis since the Great Depression.  

DETAILS: www.european-futurists.org/wEnglisch/index.php  


* DESIGN FOR LIFE: DesignBoost 2009 will be held October 14 through  

November 15 in Malm, Sweden, offering exhibitions and lectures open to  

the public, plus workshops for architects, designers, and others  

working toward creating more-sustainable human habitats—and better  

future lives for all. DETAILS: www.designboost.se  


* NEW DIMENSIONS OF CONSUMER LIFE: Social Technologies' upcoming  

Futures Consortium meeting (November 9-10 in Washington, D.C.) "will  

explore emerging consumer need states and bring insights to life via  

archetypal personas." What do businesses need to know about the values  

and needs of their customers as the economy and society change? CONTACT  

Don Abraham mailto:don.abraham@socialtechnologies.com or Chris Carbone  



* RICHARD S. KIRBY (1949-2009): The World Future Society was saddened  

to learn of the recent death of a great friend and supporter. Richard  

Kirby was a frequent speaker at WFS conferences and a contributor to  

its publications. His unique perspective united spirituality and  

prospective thinking, offering an optimistic yet realistic worldview.  

He died on September 24 at his home in Seattle; he will be greatly  

missed. DETAILS: World Network of Religious Futurists  








* FUTURIST senior editor Patrick Tucker was a big hit on "CBS Sunday  

Morning" on its 30th anniversary program September 6. He assured CBS  

correspondent Tracy Smith that the future will be okay without flying  

cars and jet packs. WATCH www.youtube.com/watch?v=8RGgiqFjn_I RECAP:  



* 3-FOR-2 FALL SALE! The World Future Society has announced a special  

membership deal for both Regular Membership and Professional  

Membership: Join (or renew) at the regular price for two years and get  

your third year free! Plan ahead, save money, and never miss a single  

issue of THE FUTURIST (or WORLD FUTURE REVIEW for Professionals). This  

special offer expires on October 16. ACT NOW: www.wfs.org/renew/  


* OUTLOOK 2010, living in the postliterate age, climate change and the  

information "haves" versus "have nots," and why we may turn to nuclear  

energy: These stories plus World Trends & Forecasts, Tomorrow in Brief,  

book reviews, and more are in the November-December 2009 issue of THE  

FUTURIST. JOIN NOW or renew your membership in the World Future Society  

so you won't miss a thing! www.wfs.org/forecasts/#memberapp  





FUTURIST UPDATE: News & Previews from the World Future Society is an e-  

mail newsletter published monthly as a supplement to THE FUTURIST  

magazine. Copyright © 2009, World Future Society, 7910 Woodmont Avenue,  

Suite 450, Bethesda, MD 20814, USA. Telephone 1-301-656-8274; e-mail  

mailto:info@wfs.org  Web site www.wfs.org  


Editor: Cindy Wagner, mailto:cwagner@wfs.org  


Senior Editor: Patrick Tucker, mailto:ptucker@wfs.org  


Network Administrator: Jeff Cornish, mailto:jcornish@wfs.org  


Vice President, Membership/Conference Operations: Susan Echard,  



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To unsubscribe or change your e-mail address, send an e-mail to  

jcornish@wfs.org with "unsubscribe" or "change address" in the subject  



Submit feedback: mailto:cwagner@wfs.org  


The WORLD FUTURE SOCIETY is a nonprofit, nonpartisan scientific and  

educational association with a global membership. Regular membership in  

the Society, including a subscription to THE FUTURIST, is $59 per year,  

or $20 for full-time students under age 25. Professional and  

Institutional membership programs are also offered; contact Society  

headquarters for details: www.wfs.org  


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