The populations of the rich countries are ageing (pretty quickly) and scientists are working hard to extend ‘normal’ longevity into the 90s, 100s, or beyond. Author Gemma Malley has explored the consequences in an interesting ‘what.. if’ novel for young adults, The Declaration, set in 2140. This caught my eye in a short interview in The Big Issue. It’s not online, so I’ve retyped the good bits below.
The notion that on-street advertising – ‘outdoor’ as it’s known – is a blight which might damage the public’s “mental environment” was floated by Culture Jammers in the last decade – as part of a wider critique of the impact of advertising. It was one of those weak signals of change which seemed unlikely to happen soon. But now Sao Paulo – the world’s fourth biggest city – has acted on it.
I spent Friday at an event in Reading organised by the Sustainable Development Commission to explore the sustainable future of the retail sector. Easy to imagine that in the coming world of more expensive energy, increased transparency, tighter borders and tighter money, maybe there isn’t one, at least not in a form similar to that of today, but we were asked to think about radical possibilities.
Some recent reports and trends – the Conservatives propose a happiness index; first UK wave turbine off Cornwall; and Greenspan teases on oil and the war. (more…)
With London Fashion Week upon us, industry critics – and the independent inquiry set up by the fashion industry to deflect criticism – are both active. But the ethical challenges faced by the industry seem to be getting sharper, across the political spectrum.
The latest State of the Future 2007 (press release and executive summary can be found here), from the United Nations-backed Millennium Project, is, frankly, depressing, despite its attempts to reassure. Consider: the richest 225 people on the planet earth earn as much as the poorest 2,5 billion. The revenues from organised crime are running at twice the world’s defence budgets. And 27 million people – mostly Asian women – are held in slavery, far more than at the height of the African slave trade. Thank goodness that incomes are rising, health outcomes are improving, and life expectancy increasing.