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Featured in this month's newsletter:
Futures Thinker Profile
        ■ John Gbenagnon - Community Developer:
        Global Observatory for Inclusion
        Executive Director: SOHOUTOU Initiative
        ■ Collection of publications: Urban Futures
        ■ Alternative economics publications
        ■ Urban Futures quotes in Talk-@-ive.
        ■ Alternative economics quotes in Talk-@-ive.
        ■ Videos on this month's theme: Urban Futures

Must Read
North Africa Horizons - Special Edition
        Reflections on 2016
        Foresight Africa: Top priorities for the
        continent in 2017
        Future-Proofing Justice

Insight on Urban Tomorrows
Expert Survey on Futures of Liveable Cities


This paper presents the results of an international survey on futures of liveable cities, conducted by Finland Futures Research Centre (FFRC), University of Turku, and the Helsinki Node of the Millennium Project. The results from this expert survey feed insights to the ENCORE research project (2015–2016), with an aim to contribute to a successful and pro-active urban governance.
Seven futures-oriented urban development experts, mainly from different Millennium Project nodes, answered the questionnaire. The responses are presented in four intertwining themes, in which they were clustered during the analysis: 1) liveable urban environment, 2) smart city, 3) participation, and 4) governance.

Download the paper

Also read:

Bitcoin and the surprising “disturbance in the force” that will upend our financial systems

by Futurist Thomas Frey

In 1984, Congressman Jack Kemp introduced the “Gold Standard Act of 1984.” At the time, many people found it inconceivable to have anything more stable than gold to serve as the basis for our economy.

32 years later, gold is losing its luster, and the emerging new kid on the block, Bitcoin, would have seemed like science fiction back in 1984.

Today, we are seeing clear signs that Bitcoin is replacing gold as the safe haven currency of choice for key investors in countries all over the world.

When surprises happen, people buy Bitcoin.

In Venezuela where hyperinflation is causing the bolivar to spiral out of control, the smart money has moved to Bitcoin.

When Greece threatened to leave the European Union in 2015, investors surged into the digital currency.

The same thing happened with the Brexit vote in the European Union, and when Donald Trump defied polls to win the U.S. presidential election. Recent economic surprises in China, India and Philippines that threatened to destabilize those countries’ paper currencies sparked an interest in the digital alternative as well.

In China, Bitcoin use is skyrocketing. Much of the time Bitcoin use is tied to a sense of desperation, and this desperation-driven demand is what’s forcing the value of Bitcoin higher. Over time, its value will be driven more by its usability because a digital global currency is infinitely more usable than cash, gold, diamonds, and even digital national currencies.

Ironically, I’ve often said that for Bitcoin to become widely accepted around the world it would have to learn how to play well with national currencies. Instead, the tables are starting to turn and national currencies are beginning to realize that they have to play well with Bitcoin.

Read the full feature article.

Peering into a murky crystal ball; where will Africa be in 2030?

To build a better future, Africa will have to drive its own development agenda.
Africa will miss most of the internationally-agreed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the target date of 2030. But it might just reach ‘escape velocity’ enabling it to break out of its extreme poverty orbit by 2045 or 2050.
This is the sense of experts who participated in a seminar on Africa’s future at the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) in Pretoria recently.
‘Almost no Sustainable Development Goals will be met without truly revolutionary improvements in governance and the way services are delivered,’ said ISS chairperson Jakkie Cilliers, who also heads the institute’s African Futures and Innovation programme.  Even in an optimistic ‘Africa Rising’ scenario projected by the ISS, most African countries would not meet the 17 SDGs.
The principle SDG is to eliminate poverty. But extreme poverty (quantified as living on US$1.90 per person, per day or less) was unlikely to be eliminated by the 2030 SDG target date in any plausible scenario, Cilliers said.
Over 37% of Africans now live in extreme poverty.

Read the full feature article.


Futures Thinker of the month

John Gbenagnon

Community Developer: Global Observatory for Inclusion
Executive Director: SOHOUTOU Initiative

John answered a few questions about his perspective and on being a futures thinker.

Interested in being profiled as a futures thinker on FFD? Submit your profile here.

Urban Futures Bibliozone

Featured in Bibliozone this month is a collection of publications related to the urban futures. The selection of documents is partial and based on accessible material. Therefore, we would like to invite everyone to supplement our library with additional materials. 

Some of the topics we focus on in this issue include: Various other publications are available in our FFD library on urban future.


Alternative Economies Bibliozone

Featured in Bibliozone this month is a collection of publications related to the alternative economies. The selection of documents is partial and based on accessible material. Therefore, we would like to invite everyone to supplement our library with additional materials.

Publications include:


Who is talking? - Urban Futures Talk-@-ive.

“With foresight, political will and intelligent planning, cities can be the blueprint and map to a sustainable future." - Achim Steiner


A selection of quotes - Alternative Economies Talk-@-ive
“Finding an alternative to capitalism begins with confronting the reality of the economic system we all participate in and how it shapes our lives and the planet we live on." - Allan G. Johnson



Our selection of videos on the theme: Urban Futures.
Videos include:
Future Cities Africa summit
Megacities on the Move
New Cities Summit  and many more.


Must read

Futures Studies Forum (FSF)
North Africa Horizons - Special Edition Reflections on 2016

I. Millennial Preparing for the Future Leadership    
II. Rethinking the Concept of Security                     
III. New Voices, New Space Shaping The Society     
IV. The Emergence of the Innovative Governance  
Download pdf
Foresight Africa: Top priorities for the continent in 2017
In this year’s Foresight Africa, the Brookings Africa Growth Initiative scholars and outside experts explore six overarching themes that provide opportunities for Africa to overcome its obstacles to spur fruitful and inclusive growth. These six interconnected, crossing-cutting themes demonstrate the prospects for Africa’s success for its policymakers, businessmen and women, and all its citizens. By examining such closely intertwined issues, we hope to bring a holistic view of the continent, emphasizing that with each challenge there is a solution, though it might be found where we least expect it.

Download pdf
Future-Proofing Justice
Building a Research Agenda to Address the Effects of Technological Change on the Protection of Constitutional Rights

New technologies have changed the types of data that are routinely collected about citizens on a daily basis. For example, smart devices collect location and communication data, and fitness trackers and medical devices capture physiological and other data. As technology changes, new portable and connected devices have the potential to gather even more information. Such data have great potential utility in criminal justice proceedings, and they are already being used in case preparations, plea negotiations, and trials. But the broad expansion of technological capability also has the potential to stress approaches for ensuring that individuals' constitutional rights are protected through legal processes. In an effort to consider those implications, we convened a panel of criminal justice practitioners, legal scholars, and individuals from the civil liberties community to identify research and other needs to prepare the legal systems both for technologies we are seeing today and for technologies we are likely to see in the future. Through structured brainstorming, the panel explored a wide range of potential issues regarding these technologies, from evidentiary and procedural concerns to questions about the technologies' accuracy and efficient use. Via a Delphi-based prioritization of the results, the panel crafted a research agenda — including best practice and training development, evaluation, and fundamental research efforts — to provide the criminal justice community with the knowledge and capabilities needed to address these important and complex technological questions going forward.
Download pdf
We would like to keep FFD going and need your support, involvement and participation. Are you interested in exploring partnership or sponsorship opportunities with us or do you see synergies between the Node and what you do? We would like to hear from you. Contact us for further details.

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