Blockchain: More blocks, less chains!

I took this picture already after the event, but it somehow captures the content of what was happening during that day. There are some ‘blocks’ here, and the curvy tubes can be counted as ‘chains’; it is not quite clear what it is.

This, I guess, was an impression of many participants of the round-table on ‘blockchain and energy’ I was invited to attend the other day. A small issue is that the event was ‘by invitation only’, and I can’t tell much more about its specific content. Yes, we had a general intro into blockchain technology (too general, I am afraid), and then a story or two about its current use by some startups (who say that they use it for the energy sector). Apparently, both stories were not informative and inspiring enough for the participants to take off and discuss the potential of blockchain in the Netherlands and specifically in their own businesses. The discussion stayed on a fairly ‘philosophical’ level.

However, this was perhaps the best backdrop for Jan-Peter Doomernik who shared this very daring views on the future of blockchain, the futures of energy and, by extension, the future of our society at large.

‘Daring’ is a very mild way to describe his story, and if I would call it by the reaction of the audience the word ‘jaw-dropping’ would be much more accurate 🙂  It was so radical that I had to recall an attempt to build communist society in one country (we are commemorating its 100th anniversary this very year).

It was agreed that to make this daring future true we need equally daring experiments to run. Or perhaps to ‘play’.  Which is, of course, is what we propose with Summ( )n all the time. Only now we have to do it with less ‘chains’!



Green Village @TUDelft (now literally)

Last week I was invited to the roundtable on Blockchain technology in the energy sector – which was appropriately hosted by the so-called Green Village at the TU Delft. I didn’t know about this new initiative and took the opportunity to join a tour, with a marketing manager Serge Santoo.

NOTE: For the record, the sky was deep blue, and the green splashes are added to attract your attention only 🙂

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More Bliksems on Donderdags

I was glad to attend an inaugural session of the Bliksem en Donderdag (literally Lightning and Thursday), almost a year ago.  Back then it was an experimental gathering, called by Koen Snoeckx from the Baltan Labs. By its fifth edition, it already looks like an established platform that brings together young innovators and all sorts of ‘helping hands’.

The format of the gathering was more or less the same, a chain of micro-presentations followed by feedback from the audience (some fifty people gathered in Kazerne this time.) However, I sense a more balanced collection of the pitches, ranging from more mature and technology-oriented, to more societal and cultural initiatives.

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Millenium Project: The Dutch Node

The Millennium Project is perhaps one of the most well-known – as well as the most ambitious programs in the field of future studies. It was started in 1996 by Jerome Glenn, with the goal that can’t be called unambitious: To improve humanity’s prospects for building a better future.

During more than twenty years of its existence, the project has grown into the largest network of ‘futurists’, for the lack of better word, of people who are not only thinking about the possible futures but also undertake practical steps of building a bit better future for us all. Current ‘collective intelligence network’ of the Millenium Projects includes 4,500k professionals grouped in 62 national and regional nodes.

And now the number is 63!

Thanks to the efforts of Erica Bol, from Teach the Future project, and other people from the Dutch Future Society, there exists now the Dutch Node of the Millenium project! We at Summ( )n were very proud to receive an invitation to the inaugural session of this new entity.


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Dutch Future Society: Interesting Day’16

I wrote earlier about a coming Interesting Day, an annual gathering of the Dutch Future Society. Back then it was in the future, and by now it’s already a past: the event was held last Friday. On the picture above (and the one below) you see Freija van Duijne, the Chair of the DFS, opening the event and welcoming the participants.

Below is a quick recap of the day:

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Theorizing Technological Mediation @ U Twente

Thanks to hyperactive activity of Peter Paul Verbeek and his team, University of Twente in the Dutch city Enschede has become one of the world-leading institutions in the domain of philosophy of technology. The subject of human-technology mediation is way more complex that your typical HCI or even UX, and requires a more in-depth, multi-disciplinary approach, and indeed more philosophical take.

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Transforming the Future: An Interesting Day 2016 by the Dutch Future Society

An Interesting Day, an annual gathering of the Dutch Future Society, will be held this year in AmsterdamConnected on November 25th.  The theme of this year is “Transforming the Future” and the event is for (and by) the members of the DFS, but my previous experience says that both the theoretical presentations and practical workshops run during this day can be very valuable for broader audiences.

Summ( )n team will be presenting a demo-version of our Future Probing method during one of the parallel sessions. More information about the program and practicalities can be found here: Interesting Day 2016: Transforming the Future.

On business, design, and futures

Last week we managed to get to a very interesting conference that was situated right on the intersection of our main interests:  futures, design, and business. It was also situated in the newly opened Design Museum in Kerkrade that we visited not so long ago.

The program of the conference is still online and you can read more about its purposes (and the lineup of speakers) – the official title of the event was Business Meets Design.  Below I will share just a few random impressions about different presentations we’ve seen.

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Gamescom’16: Games of the future

Summ()n is not a game design agency per se, but the topics of games and play (and many collaterals, such as ‘serous games’ and gamification) are very central to what  we do. At the end, we suggest that the only way to deal with the futures is to play with them!

Gamescom, the annual exhibition/ trade fair of games in Cologne, one of the largest events of this kind in the world, is thus an obvious attractor for us. We were visiting this expo almost every year when Summ()n existed (missing only 2010, if I remember). The event always serves a source of information about the latest developments and trends, a source of new inspirations for our own games, and o course simply a source of fun 🙂

This year we went to Gamescom again, but didn’t manage to write about it here in our blog, being very busy with preparations of our Future Probing sessions here in Eindhoven. Perhaps, a bit retroactively, but I would like to share some of the impression from this event:

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