Blockchain, cryptocurrencies or artificial intelligence are not only transforming the world technologically. They also lead to cultural and political change. This provides a lot discussion among futurologists. GDI researcher Zhan Li attended a number of future conferences this summer and summarised the most important trends.
New technologies promise progress. Especially in times of global uncertainty and instability, they are booming. But they also represent a challenge, because major technological changes are accompanied by cultural and political changes. Recently, for example, the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which assures individuals control over their privacy on the Internet and is sometimes compared by its opponents with China's "Great Firewall", triggered heated discussions. For example at this year's Brain Bar, one of the biggest future festivals in Europe.
However, it is not only the consequences of technological innovations, but also their not yet fully exploited potentials that are attracting futurists worldwide. They were the topic of this year's Refactor Camp under the title "Cryptoeconomics and Blockchain Weirding". The main focus here was on blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies, which have changed the financial sector significantly in the last few years but are hardly used in other areas. Where and how can they also be used? And what would be the consequences of a wider use of these technologies?
Questions that arise not only in connection with blockchain and crypto currencies, but also regarding the potentials of artificial intelligence. This year's FutureFest in London was dedicated to the impact of the AI on our lives and work as well as the possibilities of creating more democratic and human systems through new technologies. However, topics in connection with Brexit and the associated disintegration of Europe were also dominant: How can politics be rethought in these times of disintegration? And in general: how can a larger audience, one outside the future community, be attracted to discuss such topics? New technologies could possibly increase participation.
In the next stages of this summer tour to the topics of the future, Zhan Li will introduce a number of thought leaders who deal with new forms of state policy, changing consumer and work behavior and artificial intelligence.