Club of Amsterdam Journal, March 2021, Issue 230

CONTENT

Lead Article

Why the EU’s proposed carbon border levy is an important test for global action on climate change
By Neil Kellard

Article 01

The Triple-Challenge of Feeding the World
By Patrick Crehan

The Future Now Show

Food Strategies
with Christophe Pelletier

Article 02

Solve Fake News with Digital Identity
By Niels van den Bergh

News about the Future

> Osmotex Steriliser
> Aerogel that turns air into drinking water

Article 03

Chronicle from the Future
By Rosana Agudo

Recommended Book

The Grand Biocentric Design: How Life Creates Reality
By Robert Lanza, Matej Pavsic and Bob Berman

Article 04

Tim Berners-Lee's plan to save the internet: give us back control of our data
By Pieter Verdegem

Climate Change Success Story

District Heating and Cooling in Greater Copenhagen

Futurist Portrait

Rom Krupp
Technology Futurist, Speaker & Entrepreneur


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Welcome



Felix B Bopp

Patrick Crehan: "The challenge of feeding the world is inseparable from the that of achieving net-zero in 2050, avoiding catastrophic climate change and loss of biodiversity. To adequate address this challenge, farmers must now become key players in the carbon economy."

Christophe Pelletier: "Sustainability is at least as much about morals and behaviour as it is about technology. We need to shift thinking from always more to always enough."

Rom Krupp: "Restaurants don’t need MORE technology to improve their CX — they just need smart, strategic technology. When that’s in place, the kitchen and back-office can operate far more efficiently, customers are able to devote more time to enjoying their dining out experience, and — perhaps most importantly — servers are freed up to focus more on creating a memorable, standout guest experience.

Lead Article

Why the EU’s proposed carbon border levy is an important test for global action on climate change
By Neil Kellard





Neil Kellard
, Dean, Professor in Finance, Essex Business School, University of Essex

 


m.mphoto / shutterstock

In the more than two decades since the Kyoto Protocol was adopted, national policies on climate change have had dangerously and disappointingly little effect on global emissions.

Within the current economic system, perhaps the most ambitious attempt to reduce emissions has been the EU’s emissions trading system (or ETS). In operation since 2005, the ETS covers more than 11,000 heavy-energy-using power stations, factories and airlines, representing around 40% of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions. The scheme operates via a cap-and-trade principle where an EU-wide cap on emissions means that firms must buy allowances, essentially paying for their polluting activities.

Yet although the ETS has had some success in reducing emissions, finance professor Panayiotis Andreou and I recently showed that the scheme is under-penalising those who pollute the most – primarily because the price of allowances has typically been too low.

The current price of an allowance to emit greenhouse gases is around €33 per tonne, a price already much higher than the average over the life of the ETS. However, to meet EU climate change targets, this price will need to be more like €40 by 2030 and close to €250 in 2050. Given the substantial costs this will impose on EU firms, either to pay for allowances or to invest in low carbon technologies, companies based outside the EU will have a hefty competitive advantage unless they face similar regulatory controls in their own countries.

This is why the European Commission, the EU’s executive branch, plans to present its carbon border levy in June 2021 as part of its Green Deal planning. Frans Timmermans, the first vice-president of the European Commission, recently stressed that:

It’s a matter of survival of our industry. So, if others will not move in the same direction, we will have to protect the European Union against distortion of competition and against the risk of carbon leakage.

Three workers loading large steel rods

The carbon border levy for steel could be around €57 per tonne.
Mr. Amarin Jitnathum / shutterstock

Although its details are still undecided, the carbon border levy is expected to charge imports into the EU at an amount related to the emissions trading system price. As commission official Benjamin Angel notes, this could mean setting a carbon amount per product and multiplying it by the ETS price. For example, given production of each tonne of steel typically generates around 1.9 tonnes of CO2 emissions, if we assume an ETS price of €30 then a firm would pay €57 extra to import it.

Having such a levy in place would send a strong signal to EU firms that potentially expensive investments in environmentally beneficial technologies would not result in undercutting, either by non-EU rivals that enjoy looser regulations, or by firms relocating to outside the EU – the so called “carbon leakage” that Frans Timmermans mentions.

Combining the EU ETS with a border levy is a sensible and workable strategy, providing a long-term context for firms that encourages the reduction of emissions by pricing in the pollution they produce. The benefits of a border levy may also spill over to outside the EU in at least one of two ways. First, and most obviously, non-EU firms that wish to export into Europe will be encouraged to reduce emissions to limit their charge. Secondly, other governments and regulatory authorities will be watching closely to see if the approach is workable and this could see the spread of cap-and-trade agreements more globally.

Of course, less optimistically, the levy could result in protectionist moves by other trading blocs and this leads to a wider question. The world faces a number of issues which can only be solved by international co-operation, including climate change and protection of biodiversity but also encompassing issues such as the taxation of global technology firms. Can we work together to answer global challenges, or will national agendas stop this happening? The success or otherwise of the EU’s carbon border levy will provide some answers. The Conversation





This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license.

CONTENT

Article 01

The Triple-Challenge of Feeding the World
By Patrick Crehan





The challenge of feeding the world is inseparable from the that of achieving net-zero in 2050, avoiding catastrophic climate change and loss of biodiversity. To adequate address this challenge, farmers must now become key players in the carbon economy.


The Consequences of Feeding the World in 2050

By 2020, the world population already stood at 7.8 billion people. Various models attempt to predict how this will grow and by 2050 and 2100. Projections require all kinds of assumptions about the rates of fertility and life expectancy in different parts of the world, as well as the effects of conflict, disease, and rising prosperity. And so, the modelers run scenarios and try to estimate the most likely outcome. The general consensus is that the global population will reach about 9.7 billion in 2050 and 10.9 billion in 2100, after which it will start to decline. On this basis the challenge of feeding the world sustainably is that of catering to the needs of about 11 billion people.

On the face of it, there are two ways forward. One is to develop technologies and production systems to grow more food with the limited amount of land, soil, and water that is available. Understandably, this approach has overwhelming and enthusiastic support from large industrial producers of food, seeds, fertilizers, and other inputs to the global food productions system.

Another approach is to tackle the issue of food waste. This is a global issue. Globally, one third of all food produced is wasted, approximately 1.3 billion tonnes a year. Food production is responsible for 8% of GHG emissions and an average of 4kg of CO2 or other GHG equivalent is emitted for every kg of food produced. Waste can occur at any stage in the food production cycle. Normally unharvested crops are not counted as part of the food waste problem, but the probably should be. What is counted is food lost in the field at harvest time and during storage, transport, and processing. A lot is also wasted in the shop when it reaches its sell-by date and even more is thrown out at home, bought but never used. In the EU alone food waste comes to 88 million tonnes a year, more than 170 kilos for every man, woman, and child. Most of the waste in the EU occurs during processing (19%) and in households (53%) and it corresponds to the annual emission of 70 million tons of CO2.

Tackling the issue of food waste, presents a more complex challenge because it requires a change in behavior from the general public, from the managers of commercial kitchens as well as from the companies that put food products on the shelves in shops.

But all of this deflects from arguable bigger issues which accompany population growth, and which are intimately linked with the challenge of food production.

The general consensus is that while the population will likely increase from 7.8 billion to 9.7 billion in 2050, an increase of just over 24%, demand for food will grow at a much higher rate, somewhere between 59% and 98%, and demand for energy will likely grow by 50% in 2050 compared to the levels of demand today.

Of course, people need far more than food and energy. They also need the material resources that provide for other essential needs such as accommodation, communication, and mobility.

A bigger population translates into greater demand for shelter and transport. This uses up land that could have been used for food production. It also leads to the destruction of forests, and the spoiling of natural habitats for insects, birds, and mammals. This in turns puts added pressure on food systems. It adds to the emissions that are driving climate change, and aggravates the damage being done by the use of non-renewal energy sources.

The IPBES
(Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services) a working group of the UN that studies biodiversity reports that loss of bio-diversity is become an issues of great concern. It has pointed out that the main diver of loss of bio-diversity is now climate change, even more important than land use. In early reports it pointed out that Europe had already lost more than 50% of its wetlands, that a third of European species have an unfavorable conservation status, that South East Asia risks losing 90% of its coral reefs by 2050 and that Africa could lose half of its animal species by 2100. More recently, it has updated its assessment noting that the decline in biodiversity is proceeding at an accelerated pace, and that as many as 1 million species are under threat of extinction, with the next ten years or so.

Other organizations reflect similar concerns. Eco-watch estimates that almost 90% of land animals could lose habitat by 2050, as a result of growth in agricultural production.

A 2017 study found that flying insect populations in the EU have declined by over 75% in just 27 years. Wild pollinators in particular face threats from intensive agricultural practices, loss of habitat, pesticide use and climate change. The study also notes that in the EU, 78% of native flora and 84% of crops are either partially or fully dependent on these invertebrates for pollination.

Alarm bells are also ringing for global fish stocks. Claims that global fish stocks could be all but wiped out by 2048, that were dismissed by many in 2006, have more recently been substantiated. The drives of such decline is not just over-fishing but the destruction of coral reefs and spawning grounds due to climate change, as well as the growth of dead zones due to pollution including agricultural run-off. The WWF has recently written about work by the FAO suggesting that as much as 70% of the global fish population is already fully used, overused or in crisis. The damage is not limited to ocean fish stocks but to fresh water and migratory fish stocks as well.

It is clear that agricultural activity, though necessary for life on this planet is having a devasting effect on nature and is undermining the possibility of its own existence due to its impact on land, soil, water, climate, and biodiversity. Arguably, the measures being taken until now to link agriculture with the climate and biodiversity until now have been far too timid. Even in the EU, where the Common Agricultural Policy has sought to link farming with the environment for decades, by rewarding farmers for employing climate and environment-friendly practices.

One of the biggest risk to the global food system is the inadequate remuneration of farmers and the concentration of production in a relatively small number of global players, producing a small number of major crops. This makes the system vulnerable to climate change and e risk of loss through disease or adverse weather phenomena. Kit also makes it vulnerable to people moving away from farming as a career and taking up other jobs, due to the perception of hardship or an inability to make a reasonable living from agriculture.

The EU has had some success in maintain a highly diverse system of food production. But not all actors fare well in this system. Some do very well, but many barely scrape by and survive on the basis of off-farm work, occasional windfalls from the sale of land or incomes from the alternative work of a spouse, often in a nearby town.

One possibility for improving farm incomes and thereby boosting food security in Europe on the basis of a more diverse system of production, is related to the need to guarantee the provision of essential eco-system services.

Consumers, the Food Industry and Farmers

Most will be are of the consumer backlash against beef and dairy. In its most extreme form, this is expressed by the emergence of the vegan movement, which has even resorted to violence against farmers in the past. Less extreme but highly committed are the various vegetarian movements. These are quite ideological and avoid animal products on the basis of various ideologies and a concern for animal rights. These movements have a long history but have never grown beyond to any significant size. New movements include the flexitarians and climatarians. These involve a significant and increasing number of people who are "flexible" and consume vegetarian options, out of curiosity, out of concern for their own health or for that of the planet, or because they want to accommodate vegetarian-vegan friends or family members. The climatarians are a more recent but increasingly significant group. They consists of conscious consumers that think about the consequences of what they consume and its impact on the planet. Some signal their affiliation by explicitly labelling themselves as such, but most are essential concerned citizens that are unaware of the term. Nevertheless, they are increasingly important market segment and are driving the adoption of consumer labelling systems such as the eco-score.

Food processors have been reacting to these trends for many years now. Danone recently report that its 2020 turnover from plant-based dairy substitutes was more than €2B for the year. It also announced its ambition to exceed turnover of €5B from these products by 2025. Danone of course is not the only major food company to follow this trend, and many VC backed have also started to enter the domain, with plant-based or lab-based substitutes for beef, chicken fish, milk, and eggs, as well as anything else that comes from traditional agriculture, such as silk, leather, and various forms of packaging and insulation.

At the same time the biggest companies have started to announce their
ambition to achieve net-zero, setting end-dates as well as intermediary dates and milestone for achievement. Danone is quite explicit on its own website that 57% of its CO2 emissions come from the farms that supply it. It has also accepted "responsibility" for those emissions and has undertaken to see them reduced. Danone of course is not the only one. Unilever, Nestlé, and Barry Callebaut are other examples. Note that both Nestlé and Barry Callebaut, each have more than 500,000 farmers in their supply chains. These companies cannot credibly achieve net-zero unless the farmers that supply them, start to measure and report on their emissions.

Note that ESG or Natural Capital reporting required or increasing required or even demanded of large companies, such as Danone, Nestlé and Barry Callebaut, includes reporting not only on CO2 emissions, but also on de-forestation, impact on biodiversity and scarce natural resources such as high-quality soils and water, as well as employment conditions, it is easy to imagine a future where much more will be asked on farmers in terms of measuring and reporting their impact on the planet and its inhabitants, in order to retain their status as a qualified supplier to these major food systems.

Although the main focus of consumers has been on avoiding animal products and reducing the negative impact that beef and dairy in particular has on the climate and on the availability of scarce natural resources such as land, soil and water, the reality is that all agricultural activity has an impact on the environment, despite the fact that some sectors are singled out as more damaging or more virtuous than others.

Although it is common to decry the rules imposed on farmers in the EU by the CAP policy, these rules are needed to preserve what is left of European biodiversity, drinkable water sources and sustainably productive farm-lands. They are also inadequate in terms of the real challenges that farming poses for the future of humanity, not only in the EU but internationally.

The biggest elephant in the room right now, is arguable that of emissions. The EU and many member states have studiously avoided the issue of CO2 and methane emissions from farming. The lobbying of large agro-industry concerns has been highly effective in this regard. But there are signs that this position may not be entirely representative of farmers.

On February 3, 2020, the Irish Farmers Journal streamed a live debate between politicians and farmers to talk about their most pressing concerns in advance of general which were held on February 8. Farmers were (and still are) one of the most vulnerable economic groups, especially those working in the beef sector, who often rely on second jobs to make ends meet. It is interesting to note that several of the farmers involved in the debate referred to the carbon economy.

The discussion was very rich and wide-ranging and among the main issues put forward was the observation that they are constantly by certain consumer groups and activists in particular for the damage they do to the environment. They pointed out that this is a very one-sided assessment of their contribution, that they also sequester carbon in soils and hedgerows, they preserve certain habitats and maintain high levels of bio-diversity. They were of the vies that be being more filly included in the carbon economy and in the economy of eco-system services, they would not only earn more income, but earn more respect among consumers for their contribution to the maintenance of a healthy planet. They pointed out that this could be a source of competitive advantage, but that it cannot be tapped until farming fully participates in the carbon economy. (Details and a more detailed note on this interview can be obtained from the author on request)

Conclusions

I started off by looking at the triple challenge of feeding the world, by framing it not as the simple challenge of producing more food, but as the triple challenge of doing so while also achieving net zero and avoiding the catastrophic collapse of bio-diversity and essential eco-system services.

I argued that the triple-nature of the challenge is not being adequately addressed, and at best only partially addressed by the EU in its CAP. I argued that it is becoming urgent and necessary to address the issue of sustainable food systems fully and in all their complexity, including the link between food and the carbon economy.

I observed that powerful factors are driving change in recognition of these issues and that by some happy accident, they may converge to create a situation where the systemic change needed to fully address the triple challenge of feeding the world becomes possible, at least in advanced economies such as the EU. Those factors include the needs of citizens as conscious consumers of food, the need of all to act on climate, the increasingly detailed reporting requirements of large companies with global supply chains, and the willingness of farmers to consider becoming full actors in the carbon economy.

All of the issues discussed above deserve more complete treatment, and I will try to do this in future articles, but for now the conclusion for me is clear, that farming must be treated as a full member of the carbon economy. Not only is this necessary for the EU to achieve net-zero in 2050, for the world to avoid climate catastrophe and biodiversity collapse, but that it could pave the way for a new model of farming and promote a form of social justice whereby farmers are adequately compensated for the entire range of services they provide.



CONTENT

The Future Now Show


Food Strategies
with Christophe Pelletier

We must produce better and smarter. The same is true for consumption. We can't succeed the future if we don't all contribute to improvements.
Over-consumption is the forgotten food waste. It doesn't end in garbage, but in fat. In rich countries, food consumption is twice the actual nutrition needs. This means a waste of 50%.
Sustainability is at least as much about morals and behaviour as it is about technology. We need to shift thinking from always more to always enough. - Christophe Pelletier

Keywords: Climate Change / USA - Europe / Consumption / Education / Innovation / Global Situation - Example India








You find more by Christophe Pelletier:

What more demand for meat means for the future




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


Solve Fake News with Digital Identity
By Niels van den Bergh







Solve Fake News with Digital Identity





The ability to trace our actions online back to us as individuals will shape our behaviour.

Authorities guard the prevailing moral code

Why is it that most of us fill out our tax returns properly? Or that we scan that truffle tapenade on the self-scan checkout at the supermarket? You could say that we follow our moral compass as humans, but this is only half of the truth. We do these things because there are certain rules with consequences if we fail to comply, and the authorities can identify us if we break them. We are held accountable for our actions, and that’s why we behave; the authorities are guarding our morals, and ultimately that is a good thing.

Privacy and anonymity

However, an important side note here is the difference between privacy and anonymity. We are pseudonymous in the public. If we steal something in the supermarket, the authorities may ask us for identification. If we wear a mask when stealing in the supermarket, we’re anonymous and the authorities can’t identify us. Our face acts as a pseudonym; recognizable, but not identifiable to everyone.

Online it is a ‘wild wild west’

Currently, there is almost no accountability online because of a lack of traceability. To spread disinformation on the internet, all anyone has to do is create an email address and social media accounts with a fake name or unidentifiable username (also free of charge), register a new domain name that sounds official, and design a website to look like a news site. Voila! You have your own news site. Now, any information – true or false – can be shared on this unverified news site without the author suffering any consequences, as there is no way to identify the creator and hold them accountable. Without accountability, the creation and spread of “fake news” are incredibly easy.

Accountability on the internet

The hypothesis is that when Twitter users or blog writers are held accountable for the content they post, they will pay more attention to its integrity – just like in the offline world. If a piece of content is not accurate and/or against the law, and a regulatory organization discovers this, it can be traced back to the author who will have to face sanctions.

For example, we see this accountability mechanism working online when we look at social media influencers: if a vlogger posts a video with “law-breaking” content under their name, the vlogger is held responsible for this.

However, this system does not always work online as it does in the offline world. As it is possible to conceal your identity online, not all online content is traceable and people are no longer held accountable for their actions. As a result of this lack of digital traceability, we see changes in behaviour (compared to the offline world); in theory, anyone can do anything online without suffering any consequences.

Tackling fake news

Currently, we do not have any mechanism in place that can effectively identify fake news. Algorithms try to separate the wheat from the chaff and identify unverified news, but fail to do so effectively. Next to this, even if the content is found to be unverified, identifying law-breaking internet users costs authorities a lot of energy, and is sometimes impossible – especially if they mask their IP address with a VPN service. Besides, the programming of these algorithms lies with organizations such as Google and Facebook that have commercial motives, whilst the core of this problem is moral.

We have also attempted to solve the problems of fake news and legal violations on the internet with new legislation or by imposing (financial) sanctions on media platforms, however, the effectiveness of these methods is also limited. The new legislation is incredibly difficult to enforce given the size and scope of the internet, and especially because the (technically un-savvy) government will have to try to keep up with the Big Tech companies. Furthermore, so far, financial sanctions do not seem to be effective given the amount of wealth these media platforms have amassed, in addition to the political tension it can create.

A key reason that these solutions are not effective to combat fake news is that they do not tackle the underlying issue: the fact that authors have no accountability because they can be anonymous online.

The solution for fake news

To tackle fake news effectively, a system is needed that registers activities of individuals online to create an ‘evidence trail’, but without endangering privacy, and guaranteeing pseudonymity. Only when a crime is committed could the authorities conduct a retroactive investigation targeted on a very specific piece of content to find out the identity of the author with a court order.

This would not mean that the authorities could retroactively retrieve all information about a suspect from such a system – each logged activity (think comments, likes, posts, articles published) has a separate pseudonym and thus requires a new court order from the police to access it. This in turn will ensure accountability from the police; Trias Politica in the digital age. Compare this to a thief being caught in a supermarket: the police can get the identity of the thief, but they cannot ask in which supermarkets they have been in the last 5 years. That is separate data that the police cannot see nor receive via a court order.

Now the key question is: who manages this system that records every activity of every online entity under pseudonyms? Currently, online activity is recorded and managed by Big Tech companies such as Google. However, this is problematic as it is privately owned by companies with commercial motives, and as the administrators of these databases, it is possible for this information to be manipulated or deleted.

In contrast, if we would build that activity-logging system on a distributed system and store the information there, no individual or organization would control it, and due to the nature of technology, data cannot be manipulated or deleted. With a system like this, untraceable fake accounts would be a thing of the past.

Unifying the online with the offline world

When an online activity is stored immutably on a distributed database, actions are traceable yet pseudonymous. A court order can link a specific action back to the individual, ensuring accountability, and resulting in the same system that we have always relied upon in the offline world.



Niels van den Bergh is an Amsterdam based Growth Hacker working on marketing and innovation projects for Google, Allianz, Achmea, HEMA and more. He thinks that a single shared ledger will ensure accountability and enables data integrity. This will be the key in solving things like Fake News, Deep Fakes and other forms of Fraud.
Niels currently is CEO of
https://kyrt.net a simple solution to connect your business to the blockchain.

this article originally appeared on nielsvandenbergh.com/solve-fake-news-with-digital-identity'

CONTENT

News about the Future


> Osmotex Steriliser
> Aerogel that turns air into drinking water

Osmotex Steriliser Self-disinfecting mask protecting against Covid-19

Osmotex Steriliser eliminates 99,999% of virus and bacteria. Powered by moisture and electric pulses.
Osmotex Steriliser is a quick, effective, safe and environmentally friendly technology. Through a controlled interaction of moisture and electric pulses we create an anti-viral and anti-bacterial effect inside and on the surface of a textile, proven by the Zürich University of Applied Sciences. For more details on the tests and results, please scroll down and take a look at the the enclosed reports from the Zurich University of Applied Sciences.
The Osmotex Steriliser face mask is our first commercial sterilising product. The face mask is a reusable textile facemask with a lifespan of two months. In addition to the Osmotex Steriliser technology, we have also implemented a N95 filter to meet the regular standards for face masks and optimise the safety for the wearer. The mask is powered by a fully reusable electronic control unit connected to the face mask with a textile cable. In our initial production we use a control box the user can put in a pocket, but in the volume production we are setting up we are planning to integrate the control box on the back of the head - similar to a head-light.



Aerogel that turns air into drinking water

The team of researchers at Singapore university has created an ultra-light aerogel that works like a sponge that does not need a battery.

To extract water from this underutilised source, a team led by Professor Ho Ghim Wei from the NUS Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering created a type of aerogel, a solid material that weighs almost nothing. Under the microscope, it looks like a sponge, but it does not have to be squeezed to release the water it absorbs from the air. It also does not need a battery. In a humid environment, one kilogramme of it will produce 17 litres of water a day.

“Given that atmospheric water is continuously replenished by the global hydrological cycle, our invention offers a promising solution for achieving sustainable freshwater production in a variety of climatic conditions, at minimal energy cost,” shared Prof Ho.

CONTENT

Article 03


Chronicle from the Future
By Rosana Agudo



By Rosana Agudo. Vision & Life Coach

In the year 2020, “The Year of the Great Pause”, human beings, in search of Unity in Diversity as the main global aspiration, found that the planetary crisis, the COVID 19 virus, not only affected human beings without distinction of race, gender, social class… but also made us aware that it was a virus that affected the HUMAN BEING, not as a plural concept, but as the unity we represent, as the species that represents the mind, the thought on the planet, the HUMAN archetype. That of which the great Masters speak to us, “The Only Son of God”, “The One”, “The Buddha” …….

That year, we discovered that we represent the One, who we are, because we are not really separated. We understood that everything the Human Being had created is the representation of what it is, the step-by-step narration of its existence, the need to tear away the veil of ignorance and fear and to discover what we are and what we represent in the world of the reality we live. Our cells remembered their immortality and ceased the insanity of destroying their host, the body of the human being, instead they began spreading their discovery of light and the mutation of the human began to become conscious.

We realized that if we were able to understand, retrospectively, our evolution as a species, if we had become aware of this, and had accepted it as a reality, we were at the historical point where it was important to help our evolution in a voluntary way, it was the great Adventure of Our Time, and we were going to participate.

In the year 2020, “The Year of the Great Pause”, the Human Being became aware that the global crisis was due to a great planetary evolutionary crisis, led by the thinking species. The entire planet was preparing to offer the necessary resources to that species and a critical mass of humans was able to see and understood that the contagion not only served in terms of disease, but was also necessary for the transmission of confidence and certainty. Great pressure on the different forms of human unity, on the means of production, agriculture, energy… spread and created great confusion; these were the years of “post-truth” due to the great differences among social classes and fear of the future, of the new.

Little by little, the binary dimension of our mind opened up and diversity stopped being a theoretical concept of the binary, contradictory and dual thinking mind. The disruptive went viral and gave way to a great surge of creativity and made the species support each other and understand themselves as responsible partners in a new form of planetary association.

Diet was one of the first changes experienced. The body of the more evolved Human Being could no longer digest certain foods, depending on which, and especially those of animal origin. Non-exploitation began to include not only fellow human beings but also other evolving species; collaboration was the key.

On the other hand, Democracy, having regressed towards “Democracism”, took a step forward and diverse national confederations began to be established. Nationalisms ended and Unity in Diversity emerged. The Ideals of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity finally acquired their broadest and deepest spiritual dimension. A new Human organization, more in line with the aspiration of a more evolved being, was gradually installed.

In short, these were very difficult and complex times for understanding and implementing, mainly because the mind we were accustomed to for working, thinking and therefore building our reality, no longer served us, we could only make versions of the known, versions that quickly became useless vanished like sand between the fingers.

Only the certainty of our Unity as cells of the great ONE, the Human Being, the Only Begotten, helped us to move forward, with iron will. The seed of our continuity in life without limit, as creators in time and space, in this body made of time, like everything created, everything we can comprehend and understand, that seed was already buried in fertile soil and brought forth wonderful human beings.

These, equipped with Strength, Clarity and Beauty, were pioneers, great sculptors of reality, gave unexpected, multidimensional forms to all matter. They created the symphony of the World in which all species had their own score and we played together, at first a little distorted, but then in a majestic way.

We, the children of those pioneers, little by little we were building the societies of Unified Consciousness once we were acquiring consciousness of our temporal matter in its form, but knowing that our primordial substance, pure consciousness vibrating, is eternal, infinite, multi-diverse, all vibration ……

All this came in that Year of the Great Pause, and for those who heard, the Great Adventure of Our Time began, it began to come true.

Time became Art, because we understood that this, our body is made of Time, and Consciousness.

 

 



rosanaagudo@gmail.com
Rosana Agudo. © Mayo 2020


CONTENT

Recommended Book


The Grand Biocentric Design: How Life Creates Reality
By Robert Lanza, Matej Pavsic and Bob Berman





What if life isn’t just a part of the universe . . . what if it determines the very structure of the universe itself?

The theory that blew your mind in Biocentrism and Beyond Biocentrism is back, with brand-new research revealing that its radical claims might not be so radical after all.

What is consciousness? Why are we here? Where did it all come from - the laws of nature, the stars, the universe? Humans have been asking these questions forever, but science hasn’t succeeded in providing many answers - until now. In The Grand Biocentric Design, Robert Lanza is joined by theoretical physicist Matej Pavšic and astronomer Bob Berman to shed light on the big picture that has long eluded philosophers and scientists alike.

This engaging, mind-stretching exposition of how the history of physics has led us to Biocentrism - the idea that life creates reality - takes readers on a step-by-step adventure into the great science breakthroughs of the past centuries, from Newton to the weirdness of quantum theory, culminating in recent revelations that will challenge everything you think you know about our role in the universe.

This book offers the most complete explanation of the science behind Biocentrism to date, delving into the origins of the memorable principles introduced in previous books in this series, as well as introducing new principles that complete the theory. The authors dive deep into topics including consciousness, time, and the evidence that our observations - or even knowledge in our minds - can affect how physical objects behave.

The Grand Biocentric Design is a one-of-a-kind, groundbreaking explanation of how the universe works, and an exploration of the science behind the astounding fact that time, space, and reality itself, all ultimately depend upon us.



Robert Lanza, MD is one of the most respected scientists in the world-a U.S. News & World Report cover story called him a “genius” and “renegade thinker,” even likening him to Einstein. Lanza is head of Astellas Global Regenerative Medicine, Chief Scientific Officer of the Astellas Institute for Regenerative Medicine, and adjunct professor at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. He was recognized by TIME magazine in 2014 on its list of the “100 Most Influential People in the World.” Prospect magazine named him one of the Top 50 “World Thinkers” in 2015. He is credited with several hundred publications and inventions, and more than 30 scientific books, including the definitive references in the field of stem cells and regenerative medicine. A former Fulbright Scholar, he studied with polio pioneer Jonas Salk and Nobel Laureates Gerald Edelman and Rodney Porter. He also worked closely (and coauthored a series of papers) with noted Harvard psychologist B. F. Skinner and heart transplant pioneer Christiaan Barnard. Dr. Lanza received his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was both a University Scholar and Benjamin Franklin Scholar. Lanza was part of the team that cloned the world’s first human embryo, as well as the first to successfully generate stem cells from adults using somatic-cell nuclear transfer (therapeutic cloning). In 2001 he was also the first to clone an endangered species, and recently published the first-ever report of pluripotent stem cell use in humans.



Matej Pavšic is a physicist interested in foundations of theoretical physics. During his more than forty years of research at the Jozef Stefan Institute in Ljubljana, Slovenia, he often investigated the subjects that were not currently of wide interest, but later became hot topics. For example, in the 70s he studied higher dimensional, Kaluza-Klein, theories when they were not very popular, and in the 80s he proposed an early version of the braneworld scenario that was published, among others, in Classical and Quantum Gravity. Altogether, Pavšic published more than one hundred scientific papers and the book The Landscape of Theoretical Physics: A Global View. He is among the pioneering authors in topics such as mirror particles, braneworld, and Clifford space, and has recently published important works explaining why negative energies in higher derivative theories are not problematic, which is crucial for quantum gravity. Pavšic studied physics at the University of Ljubljana. After obtaining his master’s degree in 1975, he spent a year at the Institute of Theoretical Physics in Catania, Italy, where he collaborated with Erasmo Recami and Piero Caldirola. Under their supervision he completed his PhD thesis which he later defended at the University of Ljubljana. Pavšic has participated at many conferences as an invited speaker and regularly visited the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in Trieste.



Bob Berman is one of the best known and most widely read astronomers in the world. He’s Astronomy magazine’s “Strange Universe” columnist as well as Discover Magazine’s astronomy columnist since 1989, and is responsible for the astronomy section of the Old Farmers Almanac. He is perhaps uniquely able to translate complex scientific concepts into language that is understandable to the casual observer yet meaningful to the most advanced.


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Article 04


Tim Berners-Lee's plan to save the internet: give us back control of our data
By Pieter Verdegem, Senior Lecturer, School of Media and Communication, University of Westminster






Tim Berners-Lee letters

 



Releasing his creation for free 30 years ago, the inventor of the world wide web, Tim Berners-Lee, famously declared: “this is for everyone”. Today, his invention is used by billions – but it also hosts the authoritarian crackdowns of antidemocratic governments, and supports the infrastructure of the most wealthy and powerful companies on Earth.

Now, in an effort to return the internet to the golden age that existed before its current incarnation as Web 2.0 – characterised by invasive data harvesting by governments and corporations – Berners-Lee has devised a plan to save his invention.

This involves his brand of “data sovereignty” – which means giving users power over their data – and it means wrestling back control of the personal information we surrendered to big tech many years ago.

Berners-Lee’s latest intervention comes as increasing numbers of people regard the online world as a landscape dominated by a few tech giants, thriving on a system of “surveillance capitalism” – which sees our personal data extracted and harvested by online giants before being used to target advertisements at us as we browse the web.

Courts in the US and the EU have filed cases against big tech as part of what’s been dubbed the “techlash” against their growing power. But Berners-Lee’s answer to big tech’s overreach is far simpler: to give individuals the power to control their own data.

Net gains

The idea of data sovereignty has its roots in the claims of the world’s indigenous people, who have leveraged the concept to protect the intellectual property of their cultural heritage.

Applied to all web users, data sovereignty means giving individuals complete authority over their personal data. This includes the self-determination of which elements of our personal data we permit to be collected, and how we allow it to be analysed, stored, owned and used.

This would be in stark contrast to the current data practices that underpin big tech’s business models. The practice of “data extraction”, for instance, refers to personal information that is taken from people surfing the web without their meaningful consent or fair compensation. This depends on a model in which your data is not regarded as being your property.

Scholars argue that data extraction, combined with “network effects”, has led to teach monopolies. Network effects are seen when a platform becomes dominant, encouraging even more users join and use it. This allows the dominant platform more possibilities to extract data, which they use to produce better services. In turn, these better services attract even more users. This tends to amplify the power (and database size) of dominant firms at the expense of smaller ones.

This monopolisation tendency explains why the data extraction and ownership landscape is dominated by the so-called GAFAM – Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft – in the US and the so-called BAT – Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent – in China. In addition to companies, governments also have monopoly power over their citizens’ data.

A smartphone screen showing the five 'GAFAM' branded apps
The world’s largest tech companies are increasingly regarded as monopolistic. Koshiro K/Shutterstock

Data sovereignty” has been proposed as a promising means of reversing this monopolising tendency. It’s an idea that’s been kicked about on the fringes of internet debates for some time, but its backing by Tim Berners-Lee will mean it garners much greater attention.

Building data vaults

Berners-Lee isn’t just backing data sovereignty: he’s building the tech to support it. He recently set up Inrupt, a company with the express goal of moving towards the kind of world wide web that its inventor had originally envisioned. Inrupt plans to do that through a new system called “pods” – personal online data stores.

Pods work like personal data safes. By storing their data in a pod, individuals retain ownership and control of their own data, rather than transferring this to digital platforms. Under this system, companies can request access to an individual’s pod, offering certain services in return – but they cannot extract or sell that data onwards.

Inrupt has built these pods as part of its Solid project, which has followed the form of a Silicon Valley startup – though with the express objective of making pods accessible for all. All websites or apps a user with a pod visits will require authentication by Solid before being allowed to request an individual’s personal data. If pods are like safes, Solid acts like the bank in which the safe is stored.

One of the criticisms of the idea of pods is that it approaches data as a commodity. The concept of “data markets” has been mooted, for instance, as a system that enables companies to make micro-payments in exchange for our data. The fundamental flaw of such a system is that data is of little value when it is bought and sold on its own: the value of data only emerges from its aggregation and analysis, accrued via network effects.

Common good

An alternative to the commodification of data could lie in categorising data as “commons”. The idea of the commons was first popularised by the work of Nobel Prize-winning political economist Elinor Ostrom.

A commons approach to data would regard it as owned not by individuals or by companies, but as something that’s owned by society. Data as commons is an emerging idea which could unlock the value of data as a public good, keeping ownership in the hands of the community.

Tim Berners-Lee’s intervention in debates about the destiny of the internet is a welcome development. Governments and communities are coming to realise that big tech’s data-driven digital dominance is unhealthy for society. Pods represent one answer among many to the question of how we should respond.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license.

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Climate Change Success Story


District Heating and Cooling in Greater Copenhagen



"Greater Copenhagen and all the utilities taking part in this system can present smart sustainable energy solutions at the level of the metropol as well as specific city districts, e.g. Carlsbergbyen, Høje Taastrup and Taarnby.

Denmark is one of the most energy efficient countries in the world. The widespread use of district heating systems and CHP supported by national energy policies since the 1970s has proved to be a successful way to improve the energy efficiency and tackle climate change and security of supply in Danish cities.

These successful results can be illustrated through Greater Copenhagen’s integrated DHC system; the City of Copenhagen and 24 surrounding municipalities have since the 1980s developed a world-class DHC system which today covers 98% of the total heat demand in the district heating zones, mainly through CHP and waste-to-energy."





Energy-efficient heating and cooling solutions are an ingrained part of the Danish mindset. While many countries have opted for individual, on-site heating and cooling solutions, Denmark decided to focus on collective heating systems after the oil crisis of the 1970s. Today, 64 per cent of all Danish households are supplied by district heating, contributing to making Denmark one of the most energy-efficient countries in the world. The efficiency of the system is created in three parts; creating heated or chilled water, avoiding heat loss in the distribution as well as effective connection and use on the consumer side.

Denmark passed its first heat supply law in 1979. Based on this law, Danish stakeholders have developed a political framework to implement district heating successfully across Denmark and thereby gained valuable experience over the past four decades. This has also spurred the growth of numerous companies that deliver state-of-the-art technologies and know-how within all parts of the value chain of district energy systems.
Flexible, clean co-generation of electrical and thermal energy

Co-generation of electrical and thermal energy at Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plants enables to reach efficiency levels above 90 per cent, making it a particularly efficient and cost-effective way of supplying heat and cooling in densely populated areas. An example is the Danish capital Copenhagen, where 98 per cent of the households are supplied by district heating. Also, district heating and cooling are able to utilise all energy sources, including renewables, which allows a flexible and clean production. In fact, 60 per cent of the Danish district heating is based on renewable energy.

Similar to district heating, district cooling possesses immense potential for reducing costs and CO2 emissions. For instance, district cooling systems in Copenhagen can use seawater from the harbour.
Integrating upgraded biogas and heat pumps

In combination with district energy, Denmark also utilises a natural gas grid as well as individual solutions for heating and cooling. Upgraded biogas is fed into the natural gas grid and heat pumps are increasingly used for individual heating solutions. Large heat pumps are also used at various CHP plants to help integrate surplus renewable power into the thermal energy system and thereby balance the energy system.
Heating and cooling for all

With more than 100 years of experience in district heating, Denmark hosts some of the world’s leading suppliers in the fields of district heating and cooling, as well as in waste-to-energy. Their technologies, solutions and knowhow can serve as inspiration for other countries looking for energy-efficient heating and cooling systems.

State of Green is a not-for-profit, public-private partnership from Denmark. We foster relations with international stakeholders interested in discussing their challenges and bring into play relevant Danish competencies and technologies that enable the green transition.



DBDH is Denmark’s leading district heating export organisation.

DBDH’s mission is to promote district energy for a sustainable city transformation. We represent the leading actors of the district energy sector, and identify, inform and facilitate partnerships between our members and partners in more than 70 countries. Through co-operation, DBDH strengthens the export of Danish technology and knowledge, consequently providing a brighter future for the environment globally while creating jobs and growth.

Globally there is an enormous amount of energy loss caused by inefficient power plants and distribution. In Europe, the energy waste is equivalent to 1000 euros per EU citizen annually. DHC (district heating and cooling) is an energy efficient technology that effectively reduces this waste. At the same time it is economically advantageous, environmentally safe and extremely reliable.

Denmark has accumulated know-how through more than 100 years of experience in district heating systems, ranging from energy planning, renewable energy and surplus energy, which results in today´s most efficient combined heat and power technology. DBDH wishes to share this experience worldwide as well as serving the interest of the industry at a local level.

We invite you to learn from our members by participating in our activities and by inviting us to participate in your events. Do you have an interest in learning more about the worlds most advanced DHC system, we also invite you to visit Denmark and we will help you with a relevant program for your visit.

 

Heat planning for the Greater Copenhagen area

Danish Energy Agency (DEA)
At the Danish Energy Agency, we monitor and develop energy and supply sectors in Denmark. We focus on being a diverse working environment always strengthening the interdisciplinary cooperation.


Danish Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities
The Danish Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities is responsible for national and international efforts to prevent climate change. Through visionary green leadership we aim to achieve the Danish Government's target to reduce Danish greenhouse gas emissions by 70 percent by 2030.

The Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities and leads the promotion of world class utility and energy services to support sustainable growth. Through professionalism, transparency and credibility they secure a clear path towards an efficient and effective energy supply system for Denmark.



By replacing existing stand-alone water- and space-heating systems, district heating can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 6.3-9.9 gigatons by 2050 and save $1.6-$2.4 trillion in energy costs (setup costs would be $219-$329 billion). Our analysis estimates that currently, less than 2 percent of delivered building heat is supplied with renewable district heating systems. While natural gas is currently the most prevalent fuel source for district heating facilities, we model the impact only of renewable sources such as geothermal and biomass energy that will become more prevalent over time, and an availability analysis shows that there is much room to grow. - Project Drawdown



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Futurist Portrait


Rom Krupp
Technology Futurist, Speaker & Entrepreneur




Rom Krupp is a visionary, disruptor, and thought leader with over 24 years of experience innovating technologies for the restaurant and hospitality industries. Prior to launching OneDine Rom founded Marketing Vitals, the most comprehensive analytics solution specifically developed for the restaurant industry and currently used in over 200 brands around the world to drive top-line sales. An official member of the Forbes Business Council, Rom’s passion is to help drive growth in the restaurant industry while maintaining a purpose-driven culture.


OneDine
was born when Founder & CEO Rom Krupp recognized that many POS systems lack the agility and functionality to allow servers to deliver the best dining experience to their guests. In creating the handheld tablets that interface with the merchant’s existing tech stack, Krupp developed a solution that optimizes labor, creates a contactless and efficient ordering and payment process for both servers and guests, and establishes PCI and EMV compliance, immediately eliminating 100% of fraudulent chargebacks.

But that was only the beginning. Krupp and his team of restaurant and hospitality industry veterans have expanded the product offering to incorporate additional contactless payment technologies, mobile menu browsing, and curbside order and payment options that help restaurants generate additional off-premise revenue. AI surveys, guest preference tracking, and offer management have all made their way into the 360-degree solution to make OneDine the single preferred technology provider for the restaurant and hospitality industries.

The initial platform has now been expanded to accommodate multi-merchant venues (such as malls and entertainment districts), hotels, airports, retail establishments, and event venues, and can quickly adapt to the changing requirements that brands are seeking in today’s world.




The Future of Restaurants & Hospitality with Rom Krupp of OneDine & Shama Hyder - "Let's Take a Moment"



12-19-20 Rom Krupp





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