Insights June 28th, 2021

Each week Nikolas Badminton curates a weekly list of insights and learnings for progressive executives, world leaders and foresight practitioners – CEO Futures Briefing: Prosecuting Ecoside and the Metaverse.

This week we look at legal experts from across the globe drawing up a “historic” definition of ecocide, Apollo Go’s robotaxis, Japan’s proposal for a four-day working week, the crypto property boom, and longtermism.

Also featured is an insightful interview on the Exponential Minds Podcast with Pia Puolakka who talks about rethinking the prison system.

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If you have questions about these things we’re sharing, or a challenge with seeing the futures for you and your organization? Reach out to speak with Nikolas today to arrange a time to talk.

Three articles to read

Legal experts worldwide draw up ‘historic’ definition of ecocide

Legal experts from across the globe have drawn up a “historic” definition of ecocide, intended to be adopted by the international criminal court to prosecute the most egregious offences against the environment.

The draft law, unveiled on Tuesday, defines ecocide as “unlawful or wanton acts committed with knowledge that there is a substantial likelihood of severe and widespread or long-term damage to the environment being caused by those acts”.

The Stop Ecocide Foundation initiative comes amid concerns that not enough is being done to tackle the climate and ecological crisis.

If adopted by the ICC’s members, it would become just the fifth offence the court prosecutes – alongside war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and the crime of aggression – and the first new international crime since the 1940s when Nazi leaders were prosecuted at the Nuremberg trials.

Read more at The Guardian

Baidu To Operate 3,000 Driverless Apollo Go Robotaxis in 30 Cities in 3 Years

The Chinese search engine giant Baidu began on Sunday, May 2, offering the first rides to commercial customers in its self-driving robotaxis. Known as Apollo Go, the service has been open to the public as a pilot since last October, but on May 2 it was the first time that drivers had to pay to benefit from it.

Baidu is one of the largest tech companies in China. The company is often compared to Google because it operates in similar areas. Baidu operates the second largest search engine after Google and is one of the leading AI companies in the world. In the field of autonomous driving, the group has been drawing attention to itself since 2017 with its own platform “Apollo.”

Read more at Torque News

Japan proposes four-day working week to improve work-life balance

Japan’s famously hard-working salarymen — and, increasingly, salarywomen — are to be encouraged to reduce the amount of time they spend in the office environment as part of the government’s initiative to improve the nation’s work-life balance.  

The recently unveiled annual economic policy guidelines include new recommendations that companies permit their staff to opt to work four days a week instead of the typical five

Read more at DW

Three videos to watch

Crypto Property Boom: NFTs, Ethereum and the MetaVerse

Online MetaVerses are virtual worlds where players can live out their digital lives and are being touted as the Web 3.0.  There have been massive online games and communities before, but because of Big tech investments and the booming interest in NFTs, the value of crypto real estate is rivalling the real world. Will these investments reach a high score or will it be game over? 

Tex Avery MGM Cartoons – Car of Tomorrow (1951)

An MGM Cartoon released on September 22nd, 1951

Longtermism: an idea that could save 100 billion trillion lives

Longtermism is the idea that because humanity’s future is potentially vast in size, we could have a massive altruistic impact by positively influencing it. In this video, we illustrate the papers “The Case for Strong Longtermism” by Hilary Greaves and William MacAskill and “Astronomical Waste: The Opportunity Cost of Delayed Technological Development” by Nick Bostrom. 

We’ll examine two main ways in which we might most positively influence the far future: accelerating technological development and reducing existential risk, which is the risk of human extinction and of catastrophes so large that would curtail humanity’s potential forever. Advancing technological progress and preventing existential risk look much more compelling under a totalist view of population ethics, but they still look extremely important even under a person-affecting view.

A conversation that counts

Each week we dig into the archives of all of the interviews Nikolas has undertaken with the insightful and entertaining Exponential Minds Podcast. This week we feature Pia Puolakka who talks about rethinking the prison system.

The last word…

“The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum….”

Noam Chomsky, The Common Good

About Nikolas Badminton

Nikolas Badminton is the Chief Futurist at and a world-renowned futurist speakerconsultant, researcher, and media producer. He helps trillion-dollar companies, progressive governments and the media shift their mindset from “what is” to “WHAT IF…” The result is empowered employees, new innovative products and incredible growth that leads to more revenues and a more resilient future.

Nikolas advised Robert Downey Jr.’s team for the ‘Age of A.I.’ documentary series, starred in ‘SMART DRUGS – a Futurist’s journey into biohacking’, and features on CTV, Global News, Sirius XM regularly. His mind-expanding research and opinion can be found on BBC, VICE, The Atlantic, Fast Company, Techcrunch, Business Insider, Huffington Post, Forbes, Sputnik and Venturebeat. 

Nikolas provides the opening chapter – ‘Start with Dystopia’ in a new book – ‘The Future Starts Now: Expert Insights into the Future of Business, Technology and Society’ for Bloomsbury. He is currently researching and writing a new book that equips executives and world leaders with insights and foresight tools to imagine disruption, strengthen strategic planning, and see unforeseen risks.

Nikolas is a Fellow of The Royal Society for Arts, Manufactures and Commerce – The RSA. The organization has been at the forefront of significant social impact for over 260 years with notable past fellows including Charles Dickens, Benjamin Franklin, Stephen Hawking, Nelson Mandela, and Tim Berners-Lee. 

Cities Society Work

Nikolas Badminton

Nikolas Badminton is the Chief Futurist of the Futurist Think Tank. He is world-renowned futurist speaker, a Fellow of The RSA (FRSA), a media personality, and has worked with over 400 of the world’s most impactful companies to establish strategic foresight capabilities, identify trends shaping our world, help anticipate unforeseen risks, and design equitable futures for all. In his new book – ‘Facing Our Futures’ – he challenges short-term thinking and provides executives and organizations with the foundations for futures design and the tools to ignite curiosity, create a framework for futures exploration, and shift their mindset from what is to WHAT IF…

Contact Nikolas