Sunday, 30 December 2007

Four luxurious wishes for 2008

Beyond the macro challenges I work with, like climate change, destruction of the planet, poverty, WMD, manipulation with the gene-pool, tensions between different ideologies, geopolitical changes, etc, there is another world. In this world I feel there is important work to be done by clever people. Here are the things I hope that I do not need to spend time on next year this time. As you might guess I have been trying to clean up my storing spaces today to get things in order for 2008:

- Receipts:
I do not know how much money that I do not claim for expenses, I started to count a few of the piles but stopped after a while… Why not have a system that the payment with cards can go straight into a database and where you just fill in the relevant information for the expenses. Is it that hard?

- Different currencies:
While I like diversity the fact that the world still have different currencies have resulted in an ever increasing piles of bills from all over the world that I forget to bring on the next trip. Why not introduce a global “standard bill” that everybody have to accept everywhere. In order to not encourage crime the bills would have to be small and have a limited lifetime (maximum 100€ and lifetime of one year).

-Standard connections.
Long live USB! It is the best standard so far, but chargers and other connections is a sad chapter. Trying to keep everything that is needed to keep all the gadgets alive is a nightmare that most have experienced. Let USB be the one that also power the gadgets and connect sound and vision equipment…

- Washing and the dishes:
Why is the washing machines the best we have? I want something that I put my clothing in and then find it folded/ironed on the drawer again. How much do I have to pay? Same with dishes, I want to leave the table and when I’m coming back I want everything out away in the right place.

I strongly believe that the macro challenges and micro are linked. For most people it is a struggle to find time with all the “small things” and this makes it harder to focus on the big challenges (including personal development and hobbies). For those very rich that have people working for them and often take important decisions this is not a challenge so they do not see a need for innovation (instead they can focus on arguing for cheaper labor for these services). As the vast majority on the planet is still very poor this can seem like a tempting path, but I believe that this will stop innovation and turn society into a more closed mind and less innovation. It is also not sustainable as the lifestyles of the rich (including 99% of those that will read this) require too much natural resources.

As my contribution I hope during 2008 to :

- Explore how the relation between increased income and use of natural resources can be changes so that increased income will allow you to live a more sustainable life.

- Explore the balance between robots/intelligent solutions and services provided by humans under different sustainable scenarios.