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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MyFutures & More

 

This is what happens when I forget to take pictures during our meetings 🙁 I then have to use any other (more or less) relevant images to illustrate it – in this case, this is just a picture of sunny but a very stormy day of Feb 24th, when we had a follow-up meeting with the MyFutures team.

I wrote earlier about a 1/2 day conference that we attended earlier in January (MyFutures Symposium in U Delft), and also mentioned that I sent my feedback about MyFutures’ approach. Well, apparently this and other conversations within the project team lead to invitation to a meeting  where we would tell more about our Future Probing method.

The meeting was kindly hosted by the Alissa+Nienke, a design studio in Eindhoven (Alissa van Asseldonk, one of the co-founders, was present, too). It was quite intense conversation, very amicable too, but with a lot of ‘probing questions’. I sense that what we do (and the dolphins!) have stirred a considerable interest.  We agreed to think about a possible demo version of Future Probing for the project team, perhaps later in the summer.

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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Materia is bright and colorful

Already very traditional visit to Materia’s exhibitions (this time in Utrecht), that are nevertheless are always full of new and amazing materials!

It is of course more than just colorful materials (though there are plenty of those on these shows, too)…

It is equally important to witness what people do with these new materials!

We are not chasing new clients one these shows (that is, we don’t mind, it’s just there are usually not quite right people there for our conversations). But there are always good exceptions, for instance, we had a good talk with Lintec from Japan.  

MyFutures Symposium in TU Delft

Few days ago we attended a very interesting event, a symposium (?) of the MyFutures project run by the Design Department of University of Delft together with a few partners. We have learned about this project last year, from our partners from STBY, but by then the information was very sparse.

Now there is a proper project website that explains the goals of the project and also reports on its key developments (MyFutures), but by the time we decided to go the exact scope of this endeavour was still pretty vague. Nevertheless, its key promise, as to develop the “Tools to support thinking about personal futures”, was obviously pretty dear to us in Summ( )n.

In short, the project is aimed to better understand how people (especially soon_to_be_old ones) think about their personal futures and what they do to make these futures ‘better’. If we replace ‘people’ to ‘companies’ that’s exactly what Summ()n does anyway (and we even thought about expanding our services to individuals, right from the start of the agency, though it’s still not happened).

Below is a short account of the event, and some thoughts along the lines (or rather ‘pictures’):

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Visit to the Advanced Textile Group of the Nottingham Trent University

Quite an interesting follow-up of our conversation with Prof. Tom Fisher back in Twente last year! He told a bit about their research group, and about the Art and Humanities School of the Nottingham Trent University, and I told a bit about our methods of Future Probing. The latter has apparently made some sense, and we agreed to follow-up.

The follow-up has happened in form of my trip to the very Nottingham, and included a nice tour through the multiple units of the lab, and then a very interesting range of presentations and conversations with the team.

You never know these things upfront, but we could brew a join project one day soon!