CONTENT

Lead Article

Public perceptions of forestry and the forest-based bioeconomy in the European Union
Making bioeconomy circular: How far can circular economy principles be applied
to the bioeconomy?

Article 01

Regenerative agriculture
Can Regenerative Agriculture Reverse Climate Change? | One Small Step
By NowThis Earth

The Future Now Show

The New Future of Marketing
with Myléna Pierremont

Article 02

Why don't we all just use Geothermal Energy?
By Just Have a Think

News about the Future

> A vast new ocean sanctuary
> Food Outlook – Biannual Report on Global Food Markets

Article 03

Recession and Automation Changes Our Future of Work, But There are Jobs Coming, Report Says
By World Economic Forum

Recommended Book

The Future After COVID: Futurist Expectations for Changes, Challenges, and Opportunities After the COVID-19 Pandemic
By Jason Schenker

Article 04

The fastest drummer in the world is a cyborg
By Big Think x Freethink

Climate Change Success Story

The GELCLAD project
Portugal/ES/DE/GB/SI

Futurist Portrait

Bronwyn Williams
Johannesburg, South Africa


Club of Amsterdam Search
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Welcome



Felix B Bopp

We are happy to launch our new website. It includes a collection of memorable events, journals, videos, presentations and articles. You are invited to play an active role and share your insights. We are looking forward to an inspiring new time and thank our supporter Prisma Analytics,

Lead Article

Public perceptions of forestry and the forest-based bioeconomy in the European Union




The forest-based sector's contribution to a bioeconomy depends on policymakers, citizens and consumers, and how they perceive, accept and promote the forest-based value chain and its products and services.
In the past decade, several surveys looking at perceptions and attitudes towards forests, forestry and the forest-based sector have been carried out in different European countries. A new meta-study from the European Forest Institute now reviews and summarises current knowledge, providing a European-level perspective on public attitudes to four topic areas: forest ecosystem services, forestry and forest management, forest-based industry and wood and wood-based products.
The study team carried out a systematic literature review, focusing on peer-reviewed studies based on primary data. Analysis of those studies showed that:

  • Primarily, European citizens perceive forests to be beneficial for the climate, as a place of biodiversity and to experience nature and recreation in the forest.
  • Mixed forests and diversity of stands are preferred and perceived as being "more natural".
  • The economic role of forests, specifically as provider of raw materials and for generating regional income - central aspects in bioeconomy - was less recognised.
  • Forest management activities, especially clear cuts, the use of exotic tree species and the application of chemicals for productivity or pest measurement, receive little acceptance.
  • The public has a limited understanding of the activities related to forestry and the forest-based industry.
  • Wood and wood products have a positive image. Yet the positive impact of wood and wood-based products on climate change mitigation is questioned.
  • Sustainable wood sourcing (country and legal origin) is an important piece of product information. Yet consumers assign similar or even more importance to product quality and prices and little is known about the actual purchasing decisions of consumers.
  • European citizens are fond of forest-based sector innovation, despite having little awareness of them and few studies being available.
  • Respondents' characteristics, such as socio-demographics and psychographics (e.g. values, beliefs, attitudes), influence their perceptions of forestry and the forest-based bioeconomy.

    The review further shows that there are no transnational studies that monitor public perception of forests in the European Union on a regular basis. The only exceptions are the Eurobarometer studies, which sometimes contain forestry related questions. As forests and their use is a very emotional topic for the general public, surveying these perceptions is recommended in the future to develop socially accepted forest policy and forest-based value chains.

    Lea Ranacher, Anna Sedmik, Peter Schwarzbauer (2020).
    Public perceptions of forestry and the forest-based bioeconomy in the European Union. Knowledge to Action 3. European Forest Institute.
    https://doi.org/10.36333/k2a03

    The study is published on 27 October and is freely downloadable.



    Making bioeconomy circular: How far can circular economy principles be applied
    to the bioeconomy?


    The European Commission has adopted an ambitious new Circular Economy Package to help European businesses and
    consumers make the transition to a stronger and more circular economy where resources are used in a more sustainable way. At the same time, the bioeconomy has become a policy priority in Europe.

    The concepts of circular economy and bioeconomy have similar targets, but none is fully part of the other nor embedded in the other. The Circular Economy proposal can be seen as an opportunity to link the circular and the bio-based economies.

    The bioeconomy encompasses the production of renewable biological resources and the conversion of these resources and waste streams into value added products, such as food, feed, bio-based products and bioenergy. And the circular economy is presented as the economic space “where the value of products, materials and resources is maintained in the economy for as long as possible, and the generation of waste minimised“. It is clear that the bioeconomy and circular economy have a common target and both concepts are crucial for a more sustainable and resource efficient world with a low carbon footprint.

    EURACTIV organised this workshop to examine where the bioeconomy and circular economy connect, and how synergies can be further developed. Questions included:
    – How can the bioeconomy contribute to the circular economy?
    – How does circularity contribute to the bioeconomy?
    – Will the bioeconomy promote further investment in environmental research, innovation and skills?
    – What should be in the Commission communication on the update of the Bioeconomy Strategy?


    CONTENT

Article 01

Regenerative agriculture


Regenerative agriculture is a conservation and rehabilitation approach to food and farming systems. It focuses on topsoil regeneration, increasing biodiversity, improving the water cycle, enhancing ecosystem services, supporting biosequestration, increasing resilience to climate change, and strengthening the health and vitality of farm soil. Practices include recycling as much farm waste as possible and adding composted material from sources outside the farm.

Regenerative agriculture on small farms and gardens is often based on philosophies like permaculture, agroecology, agroforestry, restoration ecology, keyline design, and holistic management. Large farms tend to be less philosophy driven and often use "no-till" and/or "reduced till" practices.

On a regenerative farm, yield should increase over time. As the topsoil deepens, production may increase and fewer external compost inputs are required. Actual output is dependent on the nutritional value of the composting materials and the structure and content of the soil. Wikipedia

Can Regenerative Agriculture Reverse Climate Change? | One Small Step
By NowThis Earth



CONTENT

The Future Now Show


The New Future of Marketing
with Myléna Pierremont

During the months of lockdown and self-isolation, we have been, in fact, writing a new future.
This has important implications for marketers trying to build lasting relationships with customers. In depth monitoring of data and trends in consumer behaviour has always been fundamental to support innovations. Given the unprecedented nature of the pandemic and the profound changes it is causing, we believe that harnessing imagination will be just as critical.

Right now, there's a great opportunity to revolutionize visibility, reach, and trust. Social media that is based on community and intimacy between brand and consumer communities generate a higher degree of trust. The exact same is true in terms of marketing strategies and within the grand scheme of the omnichannel. New technologies have made a new level of connectedness and intimacy possible, and it's time to start.








Shape the future now, where near-future impact counts and visions and strategies for preferred futures start.
Do we rise above global challenges? Or do we succumb to them? The Future Now Show explores how we can shape our future now - where near-future impact counts. We showcase strategies and solutions that create futures that work.
Every month we roam through current events, discoveries, and challenges - sparking discussion about the connection between today and the futures we're making - and what we need, from strategy to vision - to make the best ones.

You can find The Future Now Show also at

LinkedIn: The Future Now Show Group
YouTube: The Future Now Show Channel

Producer: Felix B Bopp

CONTENT

Article 02


Why don't we all just use Geothermal Energy?
By Just Have a Think


Science tells us there's enough energy in the first 10 kilometres below our planet's surface to provide all our energy needs for millions of years. The Romans tapped into it for their hot water spas. Today, we all know it as Geothermal Energy. There's no carbon dioxide emissions and no air pollution with geothermal, and it's literally right there beneath our feet. So why isn't our entire planet powered by it?




CONTENT

News about the Future



> A vast new ocean sanctuary
> Food Outlook – Biannual Report on Global Food Markets


A vast new ocean sanctuary

Currently less than 3% of the world's ocean area is fully protected from human activity, compared to 13% of the world's much smaller land mass. With the oceans coming under increasing pressure from fishing, pollution and climate change, expanding true marine sanctuaries is more important than ever.

The waters around the remote inhabited island of Tristan da Cunha in the South Atlantic are set to become the world's fourth-largest marine sanctuary.

The new marine sanctuary will encompass 265,437 square miles, making it almost three times larger than the entire United Kingdom.The four-island archipelago of Tristan da Cunha is a British territory that is more than 2,000 miles east of South America and a week-long boat trip from South Africa. 90% of the waters around the island chain will become a full "no-take" sanctuary, meaning that fishing, mining, and any other kind of extractive activity will be banned.


Food Outlook – Biannual Report on Global Food Markets
By FAO

As it was projected earlier in the year, while most markets were braced for a major global economic downturn, the food sector, including markets for bananas and tropical fruits, continued to display more resilience to the Covid-19 pandemic than other sectors.

This report provides supply and demand forecasts for basic foodstuffs, fish and fishery products along with price analysis, policy information and a preliminary assessment of the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on trade in bananas and tropical fruits. The report’s special feature reviews recent trends in food imports bills and export earnings.

Food Outlook is published by the Markets and Trade Division of FAO as part of the Global Information and Early Warning System (GIEWS). It is a biannual publication (November and June) focusing on developments in global food markets. Food Outlook maintains a close synergy with another major GIEWS publication, Crop Prospects and Food Situation, especially with regard to the coverage of cereals. Food Outlook is available in English. The summary section is also available in Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish.

CONTENT

Article 03


Recession and Automation Changes Our Future of Work, But There are Jobs Coming, Report Says
By World Economic Forum


20 Oct 2020


The Future of Jobs Report 2020



The Future of Jobs report maps the jobs and skills of the future, tracking the pace of change. It aims to shed light on the pandemic-related disruptions in 2020, contextualized within a longer history of economic cycles and the expected outlook for technology adoption, jobs and skills in the next five years.


  • The workforce is automating faster than expected, displacing 85 million jobs in next five years
  • The robot revolution will create 97 million new jobs, but communities most at risk from disruption will need support from businesses and governments
  • In 2025, analytical thinking, creativity and flexibility are among the top skills needed; with data and artificial intelligence, content creation and cloud computing the top emerging professions
  • The most competitive businesses will be those that choose to reskill and upskill current employees
  • Read the Future of Jobs Report.

The Future of Jobs 2020 report has found that COVID-19 has caused the labour market to change faster than expected. The research released today by the World Economic Forum indicates that what used to be considered the “future of work” has already arrived.

By 2025, automation and a new division of labour between humans and machines will disrupt 85 million jobs globally in medium and large businesses across 15 industries and 26 economies. Roles in areas such as data entry, accounting and administrative support are decreasing in demand as automation and digitization in the workplace increases. More than 80% of business executives are accelerating plans to digitize work processes and deploy new technologies; and 50% of employers are expecting to accelerate the automation of some roles in their companies. In contrast to previous years, job creation is now slowing while job destruction is accelerating.

“COVID-19 has accelerated the arrival of the future of work,” said Saadia Zahidi, Manging Director, World Economic Forum. “Accelerating automation and the fallout from the COVID-19 recession has deepened existing inequalities across labour markets and reversed gains in employment made since the global financial crisis in 2007-2008. It’s a double disruption scenario that presents another hurdle for workers in this difficult time. The window of opportunity for proactive management of this change is closing fast. Businesses, governments and workers must plan to urgently work together to implement a new vision for the global workforce.”

Some 43% of businesses surveyed indicate that they are set to reduce their workforce due to technology integration, 41% plan to expand their use of contractors for task-specialized work, and 34% plan to expand their workforce due to technology integration.

By 2025, employers will divide work between human and machines equally. Roles that leverage human skills will rise in demand. Machines will be primarily focused on information and data processing, administrative tasks and routine manual jobs for white- and blue-collar positions.

New sense of urgency for the reskilling revolution

As the economy and job markets evolve, 97 million new roles will emerge across the care economy, in fourth industrial revolution technology industries like artificial intelligence, and in content creation fields. The tasks where humans are set to retain their comparative advantage include managing, advising, decision-making, reasoning, communicating and interacting. There will be a surge in demand for workers who can fill green economy jobs, roles at the forefront of the data and artificial intelligence economy, as well as new roles in engineering, cloud computing and product development.

For those workers set to remain in their roles in the next five years, nearly 50% will need reskilling for their core skills.

Despite the current economic downturn, most employers recognize the value of reskilling their workforce. An average of 66% of employers surveyed expect to see a return on investment in upskilling and reskilling of current employees within one year. They also expect to successfully redeploy 46% of workers within their own organization. “In the future, we will see the most competitive businesses are the ones that have invested heavily in their human capital – the skills and competencies of their employees,” Zahidi said.

Building a more inclusive future of work

The individuals and communities most negatively affected by the unprecedented changes brought about by COVID-19 are likely to be those that are already most disadvantaged. In the absence of proactive efforts, inequality is likely to be exacerbated by the dual impact of technology and the pandemic recession.

The Future of Jobs 2020 report partner ADP Research Institute tracked the impact of COVID-19 on the United States labour market. Between February and May 2020, data showed that displaced workers were, on average, mostly female, younger and had a lower wage. Comparing the impact of the global financial crisis of 2008 on individuals with lower education levels to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, the impact today is far more significant and more likely to deepen existing inequalities.

"In the wake of COVID-19, the US workforce experienced immense change, and we were able to track this impact on the labour market in near real time," said Ahu Yildirmaz, Head of ADP Research Institute Labour Market Research. "While the swift and staggering job loss in the initial months was significant, it is only one anomaly of this 'recession.' Industry distribution, business size and worker demographics were all disrupted due to labour market changes brought about by COVID-19, signalling that this downturn is unlike any other in modern US history."

“The pandemic has disproportionately impacted millions of low-skilled workers,” said Jeff Maggioncalda, Chief Executive Officer of Coursera, another report partner. “The recovery must include a coordinated reskilling effort by institutions to provide accessible and job-relevant learning that individuals can take from anywhere in order to return to the workforce.”

Currently, only 21% of businesses worldwide are able to make use of public funds for reskilling and upskilling programmes. The public sector will need a three-tiered approach to help workers. This includes providing stronger safety nets for displaced workers, improving the education and training systems and creating incentives for investments in markets and the jobs of tomorrow.

Companies can measure and disclose their treatment of employees by adopting environmental, social and governance (ESG) metrics. This will help benchmark success, provide support where it is needed and ensure new gaps that arise are quickly identified and closed.

Remote working is here to stay but requires adaptation

Some 84% of employers are set to rapidly digitalize working processes, including a significant expansion of remote working. Employers say there is the potential to move 44% of their workforce to operate remotely.

According to the report, 78% of business leaders expect some negative impact on worker productivity. This suggests that some industries and companies are struggling to adapt quickly enough to the shift to remote working caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

To address concerns about productivity and well-being, about one-third of all employers said they will take steps to create a sense of community, connection and belonging among their employees.

Career pivots become the “new normal”

The research also indicated that a growing number of people are making career changes to entirely new occupations. According to LinkedIn data gathered over the past five years, some 50% of career shifts into data and artificial intelligence are from different fields. That figure is much higher for sales roles (75%), content creation and production positions, such as social media managers and content writers (72%), and engineering roles (67%).

"As we think about ways to upskill or transition large populations of the workforce who are out of work as a result of COVID-19 into new, more future-proofed jobs, these new insights into career transitions and the skills required to make them have huge potential for leaders in the public and the private sector alike,” said Karin Kimbrough, Chief Economist at LinkedIn.

“Our research reveals the majority of transitions into jobs of tomorrow come from non-emerging jobs, proving that many of these jobs are more accessible than workers might think, Kimbrough continued. “If we can help individuals, and the leaders who are directing workforce funding and investment, identify the small clusters of skills that would have an outsized impact on opening up more sustainable career paths, we can make a real difference in addressing the unprecedented levels of unemployment that we're seeing globally.”

Data shows how long to reskill

According to The Future of Jobs Survey, core skills such as critical thinking, analysis and problem-solving are consistently top of the reskilling and upskilling priorities for educators and businesses. Newly emerging in 2020 are skills in self-management such as resilience, stress tolerance and flexibility.

Data from Coursera suggests that individuals could start gaining the top 10 skills for each emerging profession in people and culture, content writing, sales and marketing in one to two months. Those wishing to expand their skills in product development and data and artificial intelligence could do so in two to three months, and those switching into cloud computing and engineering could make headway in the new skillset through a four to five-month learning programme.

There has been a fourfold increase in the number of people seeking opportunities for online learning under their own initiative, a fivefold increase in employers offering their workers online learning opportunities and a ninefold enrolment increase in people accessing online learning through government programmes.

Those in employment are placing larger emphasis on personal development courses; those unemployed have placed greater emphasis on learning digital skills such as data analysis, computer science and information technology.

"The pandemic has accelerated many of the trends around the future of work, dramatically shrinking the window of opportunity to reskill and transition workers into future-fit jobs,” said Hamoon Ekhtiari, CEO of FutureFit AI. “No matter what prediction you believe about jobs and skills, what is bound to be true is heightened intensity and higher frequency of career transitions especially for those already most vulnerable and marginalized.”

“The Future of Jobs Report is a critical source of insights in supporting companies and government through these workforce transitions, and FutureFit AI is honoured to share our data and insights in the Report, Ekhtiari continued. “We look forward to continuing to contribute to a just, worker-first, and data-powered recovery as a partner of the World Economic Forum's New Economy & Society community and its Reskilling Revolutions Platform."

The Future of Jobs

Now in its third edition, The Future of Jobs report maps the jobs and skills of the future, tracking the pace of change. It aims to shed light on the pandemic-related disruptions in 2020, contextualized within a longer history of economic cycles and the expected outlook for technology adoption, jobs and skills in the next five years. The Future of Jobs survey informs the report. It is based on the projections of senior business leaders (typically Chief Human Resource Officers and Chief Strategy Officers) representing nearly 300 global companies, which collectively employ 8 million workers.

It presents the workforce planning and quantitative projections of chief human resource and strategy officers through to 2025, while also drawing on the expertise of a wide range of World Economic Forum executive and expert communities. The report features data from LinkedIn, Coursera, ADP and FutureFit.AI, which have provided innovative new metrics to shed light on one of the most important challenges of our time.


CONTENT

Recommended Book


The Future After COVID: Futurist Expectations for Changes, Challenges, and Opportunities After the COVID-19 Pandemic
By Jason Schenker



As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic there have been unprecedented impacts on business, the economy, and society. But what comes next? In The Future After COVID top-ranked forecaster and Chairman of The Futurist Institute, Jason Schenker, offers a futurist perspective into the potential long-term changes, challenges, and opportunities that the experience of COVID-19 is likely to mean for over a dozen different critical fields and industries, including the future of work, education, healthcare, supply chain, and more.

CONTENT

Article 04


The fastest drummer in the world is a cyborg
By Big Think x Freethink




CONTENT

Climate Change Success Story


The GELCLAD project
Portugal/ES/DE/GB/SI


Around 40% of EU energy consumption and 36 % of its CO2 emissions come from buildings. EU-funded researchers have developed easy-to-install eco-panels to place on the outside of the buildings to dramatically cut both.

Making Europe carbon-neutral by 2050 is no easy task, especially when its ageing buildings, many of them poorly insulated, waste massive amounts of energy. By some estimates, up to 110 million buildings in Europe need renovation when it comes to energy.

To address this enormous challenge, the EU-funded GELCLAD project has created cost-effective, easy-to-install eco-panels that can fit on the outside of buildings.

‘While the EU’s building stock is quite old, averaging 35 % over 50 years old, it is also quite energy inefficient, meaning that buildings should be regarded as a critical pathway towards the decarbonisation goals set for 2050,’ says GELCLAD project coordinator Jorge Corker of the Instituto Pedro Nunes in Portugal.


The Aerogel handshake

The deep renovation of even 3 % of the building stock would generate energy savings of approximately 100 terawatt hours per year (TWh/y). Increase it to 20 % by 2030 and it could save some 750 TWh/y, a European Parliament report shows. To put that into perspective, France’s yearly nuclear energy production is approximately 400 TWh/y.

In an effort to help meet the EU climate objectives, GELCLAD researchers designed a smart modular cladding panel made of advanced nano-insulation materials, weatherproofed recycled polymers, plastic foams and wood biopolymer composites.

‘The product is intended to be a ready-to-use and easy-to-install one, while superiorly capable of complying with the latest and strictest building energy-efficiency requirements,’ says Corker, noting it will last for more than 30 years. The facade panel includes an aerogel material that surpasses the performance of conventional insulations by around 45 %.

Some 100 tests were needed before the project team came up with a successful skin frame system. And it took more than 70 formulations processed by a ground-breaking extrusion technique at industrial-pilot scale before GELCLAD found its foamable and extrudable aerogel nanomaterial.

The result is a panel that can be applied to old buildings as well as new ones, with the advantage of being a modular all-in-one superior insulation.
Better insulation, more jobs

Given the scale of the challenge, the project also sought to cut the production cost of the nanotechnology-driven aerogel foam material by a third and maintenance and installation expenses by 65 % over typical systems.

Reducing such costs is key to rolling out a system in an energy renovation market that was worth some EUR 109 billion in 2015, providing almost 900 000 jobs.

‘Three different pilots in the UK, Slovenia and Germany have been successfully set up representing various industrial solutions accomplished at a full scale, towards future market demand,’ says Corker.

He adds, citing a conservative assumption, that should GELCLAD penetrate just 0.5 % of the exterior insulation facade systems market in the first years of commercialisation, it might represent a 60 000 m2/year market share. It is one step, among many, towards greening the future.

The GELCLAD project
aims at creating a novel cost-effective, durable, industrialised and easy to install composite insulation cladding system, based on a single structured panel with excellent insulation properties. The GELCLAD panels shall be made from a functional bio-polymer composite and an advanced foamable extrudable aerogel, produced using a co-extrusion/injection procedure, in which both the framing skin and the aerogel core will be simultaneously formed in a single product. Complementary, the novel cladding system can be set with passive pre-programed materials, able to respond dynamically to ambient stimuli and control the air flow in the building facade system. The foreseen main impacts of the novel GELCLAD system will be 20% lower embodied energy than traditional oil based panels and attain an improvement of more than 40% on energy savings in building refurbishment actions, while combining reduced installation and maintenance costs with a life span of 50 years. Full scale demonstration of the GELCLAD solution will be performed in demo and real size buildings for ready uptake and spreading of the new facade system.





https://www.gelclad.eu/video2.mp4


CONTENT

Futurist Portrait


Bronwyn Williams
Johannesburg, South Africa




Bronwyn Williams is a Trend Translator and Future Finance Specialist for Flux Trends. Bronwyn has over a decade’s experience in marketing management and trend research, working predominantly with brands in the financial and B2B industries. Bronwyn managed the largest circulation of South African financial newsletters and worked closely with a network of local and international financial thought leaders, giving her access to a wealth of ‘insider’ insights on how the world of money really works. In this talk Bronwyn shares her ideas on Big Data and how Big Brother companies are shaping the society and its individuals.

Bronwyn has over a decade’s experience in strategic management, trend research and foresight; consulting to clients in the public and private sector across the African continent. Her educational credentials include tertiary qualifications in Marketing Management (University of Johannesburg), Economics (University of London), Foresight (University of Manchester), and Future Studies (University of Stellenbosch). She is currently completing a Masters in Applied Economics from the University of Bath.

Today, as a partner at Flux Trends, Bronwyn’s research focuses on how macro socio-economic trends and emerging technologies will impact businesses, industries, and nations in the near and long term future. Part economist, part strategist, Bronwyn’s particular areas of expertise include fintech trends, alternative economic models, and sustainable future design.

Bronwyn’s clients include Top 40 JSE listed companies, The South African Reserve Bank, African government departments, and global business leaders. She also guest lectures for leading business schools, such as Duke, GIBS, UCT, and the University of Johannesburg. Bronwyn is also a published writer and a well- known media commentator on future trends and economic trajectories for network channels including CNBC Africa and ENCA News.

Bronwyn Ruth Williams: How Big Brother Companies Are Shaping Society



CONTENT