Dr Michael Moynagh and Richard Worsley, directors of The Tomorrow Project, argue that, in the future, more and more people will work in virtual worlds like Second Life.
A growing number of companies like IBM are already establishing a presence in Second Life. Earnings in Second Life can be converted into US dollars and some people are even giving a Second Life address on their business cards.
In the future it is likely that the distinction between work and leisure will blur as virtual games provide individuals with a second income in their spare time. Already, over 100,000 Chinese are thought to earn their living from online games. Going Global predicts that more and more people are likely to work full time in virtual worlds in the years ahead.
‘In August 2007 several hundred thousand dollars of virtual currency exchanged hands every day in Second Life’, said Michael Moynagh. ‘The site has already produced its first real-world millionaire – a Chinese property developer who now employs 60 people full time to manage her portfolio in Second Life. Imagine if employees were as addicted to their work as players are to their games!’
Virtual worlds are just one example of a vast range of activities and products that will increasingly be developed and marketed online, creating a new virtual economy that could eventually supersede manufacturing and services. ‘Within 10 years of the internet opening for business, online sales accounted for nearly 25% of manufacturing revenue in the US and 10% of retailing and some services’, Moynagh added.
Going Global examines emerging trends and the potential future of business, global poverty, communications and the world food supply. Conclusions include:
• The threat from al-Qaeda may not last long as the organisation is faced with clashes from within which could divert attacks on the West. In the short term, al-Qaeda-based terrorism is likely to continue to be fuelled by the desire for respect, a reaction to Muslims’ deep-seated feeling of distrust in the West. But in the longer term, internal conflicts may rip the organization apart. A strong possibility is that al-Qaeda will disintegrate. Cells that already gain strength from local conflicts, as in the Philippines, might increasingly focus on these local struggles leading to the decline of Al-Qaeda as an overarching threat to the West.
• Increases in global migration will make populations more diverse, and benefit both "sending" and "receiving" nations. Migrants from developing countries sent over $167 billion to their families back home in 2005, more than twice the level of international aid.
• Global crime will expand, including credit card fraud, insurance fraud and other consumer-based crimes, and new types of crime will emerge as technology develops. As youth unemployment increases, the number of potential criminals will rise.
• Dangerous climate change is almost inevitable because consumers will resist sharp cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. However, the authors suggest that technology could "save us from the worst effects of climate change, confounding the gloomy projections widespread today?"
• There will be enough oil to meet the world's needs till at least 2030. Technology will increase the amount produced by known reserves and enable inaccessible reserves to come on stream. When oil does start to run out, the process will be gradual, giving the world time to adjust. The big challenge in the short term will be to invest enough in oil production to keep the price steady.
The authors offer a forward-looking approach to globalisation, asking whether governments and societies will rise to the challenge of a changing world.
Danielle Moore | alfa
Mathematical confirmation: Rewiring financial networks reduces systemic risk
22.06.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Frugal Innovations: when less is more
19.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...
19.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
27.06.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
27.06.2017 | Information Technology
27.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy