Category Archives: Noticias

Las habilidades que los niños y jóvenes de hoy deberán tener para los trabajos del futuro

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This is the one skill your child needs for the jobs of the future

Image: REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

Where can your kids learn creativity and critical thinking? The answer is simpler than you think


However, this mindset is often eroded or even erased by conventional educational practices when young children enter school.

The Torrance Test of Creative Thinking is often cited as an example of how children’s divergent thinking diminishes over time. 98% of children in kindergarten are “creative geniuses” – they can think of endless opportunities of how to use a paper clip.

This ability is reduced drastically as children go through the formal schooling system and by age 25, only 3% remain creative geniuses.

Most of us only come up with one or a handful of uses for a paperclip.

What is most concerning in connection with the human capital question is that over the last 25 years, the Torrance Test has shown a decrease in originality among young children (kindergarten to grade 3).

By the way, did you know you could combine six standard LEGO bricks in more than 915 million ways?

Wrong focus

The World Economic Forum has just released its Human Capital Report with the subtitle “Preparing People for the Future of Work”.

The report states that “many of today’s education systems are already disconnected from the skills needed to function in today’s labour markets”.

It goes on to underline how schools tend to focus primarily on developing children’s cognitive skills – or skills within more traditional subjects – rather than fostering skills like problem solving, creativity or collaboration.

This should be cause for concern when looking at the skill set required in the Fourth Industrial Revolution: Complex problem solving, critical thinking and creativity are the three most important skills a child needs to thrive, according to the Future of Jobs Report.

Let’s take a moment to underscore that creativity has jumped from 10th place to third place in just five years.

And that emotional intelligence and cognitive flexibility have also entered the skills list for 2020.

Worryingly, these skills are often not featured prominently in children’s school day where the norm still is the chalk-and-talk teaching approach that has prevailed for centuries.

Child’s play

study in New Zealand compared children who learned how to read at age five with those who learned at age seven.

When they were 11 years old, both sets of children displayed the same reading ability. But the children who only learned how to read at age seven actually showed a higher comprehension level.

One of the explanations is that they had more time to explore the world around them through play.

It is clear that preparing children for the future demands re-focusing concepts of learning and education.

Knowing how to read, write and do maths remain important for children to unlock the world in front of them.

An increasingly interconnected and dynamic world means children will find themselves changing jobs several times during their lives – switching to jobs that don’t exist today, and which they might have to invent themselves.

The question is how do we foster the above-mentioned breadth of skills, and keep alive the natural ability of children to learn throughout a lifetime – instead of eroding it when they enter formal schooling?

Achieving this is simpler than you might think: engaging children in positive, playful experiences.

Different forms of play provide children with the opportunity to develop social, emotional, physical and creative skills in addition to cognitive ones.

Lifelong play

If we agree on the urgent need for developing skills of complex problem solving, critical thinking and creativity, it is essential that we recognise that these skills are built by learning through play across the lifespan.

As we invest in our children’s future, let’s be sure to guard against directed learning, “schoolification” or three-year-olds learning their alphabet and numbers in written form when there is no evidence that this will make them better readers.

We need to challenge ourselves on the logic of flashcards and homework for our youngest at home, and see the value of continuing to create joyful, meaningful play moments with our children.

The natural ability of children to learn through play may be the best-kept, low-cost secret for addressing the skills agenda with potential to equip both our children and our economies to thrive.

Plus, it’s fun. So, what’s stopping us? Let’s play!


Porqué el mundo está mejorando y posiblemente así continúe?

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Why the World Is Still Getting Better—and That’s Likely to Continue

If you read or watch the news, you’ll likely think the world is falling to pieces. Trends like terrorism, climate change, and a growing population straining the planet’s finite resources can easily lead you to think our world is in crisis.

But there’s another story, a story the news doesn’t often report. This story is backed by data, and it says we’re actually living in the most peaceful, abundant time in history, and things are likely to continue getting better.

The News vs. the Data

The reality that’s often clouded by a constant stream of bad news is we’re actually seeing a massive drop in poverty, fewer deaths from violent crime and preventable diseases. On top of that, we’re the most educated populace to ever walk the planet.

“Violence has been in decline for thousands of years, and today we may be living in the most peaceful era in the existence of our species.” –Steven Pinker

In the last hundred years, we’ve seen the average human life expectancy nearly double, the global GDP per capita rise exponentially, and childhood mortality drop 10-fold.


That’s pretty good progress! Maybe the world isn’t all gloom and doom.

If you’re still not convinced the world is getting better, check out the charts in this article from Vox and on Peter Diamandis’ website for a lot more data.

Abundance for All Is Possible  

So now that you know the world isn’t so bad after all, here’s another thing to think about: it can get much better, very soon.

In their book Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think, Steven Kotler and Peter Diamandis suggest it may be possible for us to meet and even exceed the basic needs of all the people living on the planet today.

“In the hands of smart and driven innovators, science and technology take things which were once scarce and make them abundant and accessible to all.”

This means making sure every single person in the world has adequate food, water and shelter, as well as a good education, access to healthcare, and personal freedom.

This might seem unimaginable, especially if you tend to think the world is only getting worse. But given how much progress we’ve already made in the last few hundred years, coupled with the recent explosion of information sharing and new, powerful technologies, abundance for all is not as out of reach as you might believe.

Throughout history, we’ve seen that in the hands of smart and driven innovators, science and technology take things which were once scarce and make them abundant and accessible to all.

Napoleon III
Napoleon III

In Abundance, Diamandis and Kotler tell the story of how aluminum went from being one of the rarest metals on the planet to being one of the most abundant…

In the 1800s, aluminum was more valuable than silver and gold because it was rarer. So when Napoleon III entertained the King of Siam, the king and his guests were honored by being given aluminum utensils, while the rest of the dinner party ate with gold.

But aluminum is not really rare.

In fact, aluminum is the third most abundant element in the Earth’s crust, making up 8.3% of the weight of our planet. But it wasn’t until chemists Charles Martin Hall and Paul Héroult discovered how to use electrolysis to cheaply separate aluminum from surrounding materials that the element became suddenly abundant.

The problems keeping us from achieving a world where everyone’s basic needs are met may seem like resource problems — when in reality, many are accessibility problems.

The Engine Driving Us Toward Abundance: Exponential Technology

History is full of examples like the aluminum story.  The most powerful one of the last few decades is information technology. Think about all the things that computers and the internet made abundant that were previously far less accessible because of cost or availability …

Here are just a few examples:

  • Easy access to the world’s information
  • Ability to share information freely with anyone and everyone
  • Free/cheap long-distance communication
  • Buying and selling goods/services regardless of location

Less than two decades ago, when someone reached a certain level of economic stability, they could spend somewhere around $10K on stereos, cameras, entertainment systems, etc — today, we have all that equipment in the palm of our hand.

Now, there is a new generation of technologies heavily dependant on information technology and, therefore, similarly riding the wave of exponential growth. When put to the right use, emerging technologies like artificial intelligenceroboticsdigital manufacturing, nano-materials and digital biology make it possible for us to drastically raise the standard of living for every person on the planet.


These are just some of the innovations which are unlocking currently scarce resources:

    • IBM’s Watson Health is being trained and used in medical facilities like the Cleveland Clinic to help doctors diagnose disease. In the future, it’s likely we’ll trust AI just as much, if not more than humans to diagnose disease, allowing people all over the world to have access to great diagnostic tools regardless of whether there is a well-trained doctor near them.
    • Self-driving cars are already on the roads of several American cities and will be coming to a road near you in the next couple years. Considering the average American spends nearly two hours driving every day, not having to drive would free up an increasingly scarce resource: time.

The Change-Makers

Today’s innovators can create enormous change because they have these incredible tools—which would have once been available only to big organizations—at their fingertips. And, as a result of our hyper-connected world, there is an unprecedented ability for people across the planet to work together to create solutions to some of our most pressing problems today.

“In today’s hyperlinked world, solving problems anywhere, solves problems everywhere.” –Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler, Abundance

According to Diamandis and Kotler, there are three groups of people accelerating positive change.


  1. DIY Innovators

    In the 1970s and 1980s, the Homebrew Computer Club was a meeting place of “do-it-yourself” computer enthusiasts who shared ideas and spare parts. By the 1990s and 2000s, that little club became known as an inception point for the personal computer industry — dozens of companies, including Apple Computer, can directly trace their origins back to Homebrew.

    Since then, we’ve seen the rise of the social entrepreneur, the Maker Movement and the DIY Bio movement, which have similar ambitions to democratize social reform, manufacturing, and biology, the way Homebrew democratized computers. These are the people who look for new opportunities and aren’t afraid to take risks to create something new that will change the status-quo.

  2. Techno-Philanthropists

    Unlike the robber barons of the 19th and early 20th centuries, today’s “techno-philanthropists” are not just giving away some of their wealth for a new museum, they are using their wealth to solve global problems and investing in social entrepreneurs aiming to do the same.

    The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has given away at least $28 billion, with a strong focus on ending diseases like polio, malaria, and measles for good. Jeff Skoll, after cashing out of eBay with $2 billion in 1998, went on to create the Skoll Foundation, which funds social entrepreneurs across the world. And last year, Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan pledged to give away 99% of their $46 billion in Facebook stock during their lifetimes.

  3. The Rising Billion

    Cisco estimates that by 2020, there will be 4.1 billion people connected to the internet, up from 3 billion in 2015. This number might even be higher, given the efforts of companies like Facebook, Google, Virgin Group, and SpaceX to bring internet access to the world. That’s a billion new people in the next several years who will be connected to the global conversation, looking to learn, create and better their own lives and communities.In his book, Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, C.K. Pahalad writes that finding co-creative ways to serve this rising market can help lift people out of poverty while creating viable businesses for inventive companies.

The Path to Abundance

Eager to create change, innovators armed with powerful technologies can accomplish incredible feats. Kotler and Diamandis imagine that the path to abundance occurs in three tiers:

  • Basic Needs (food, water, shelter)
  • Tools of Growth (energy, education, access to information)
  • Ideal Health and Freedom


Of course, progress doesn’t always happen in a straight, logical way, but having a framework to visualize the needs is helpful.

Many people don’t believe it’s possible to end the persistent global problems we’re facing. However, looking at history, we can see many examples where technological tools have unlocked resources that previously seemed scarce.

Technological solutions are not always the answer, and we need social change and policy solutions as much as we need technology solutions. But we have seen time and time again, that powerful tools in the hands of innovative, driven change-makers can make the seemingly impossible happen.

You can download the full “Path to Abundance” infographic here. It was created under a CC BY-NC-ND license. If you share, please attribute to Singularity University.

Image Credit: janez volmajer /


Mirada tendencial al 2030 WEF

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Cuarta revolución industrial
Medium xgbnjuevfyviaoncfgrsfrb5 xzsqu260ghhi2hqmxw
Les pedimos a los expertos de nuestros Consejos Mundiales Futuros que compartieran su opinión acerca del mundo en 2030; y estos son los resultados, desde la muerte de las compras hasta el resurgimiento de los Estados nación.

“Nada me pertenece. No tengo coche. No soy dueña de mi casa. No poseo electrodomésticos ni ropa”, escribe la parlamentaria danesa Ida Auken. En la ciudad de 2030, las compras son un recuerdo lejano; sus habitantes han encontrado la solución de la energía limpia y toman prestado lo que necesitan a pedido.

“China tomó la delantera en 2017 con un mercado para negociar el derecho a emitir una tonelada de CO2, y colocó al mundo en un camino hacia un solo precio del carbono y un poderoso incentivo para abandonar los combustibles fósiles”, predice Jane Burston, directora de Clima y Medioambiente del Laboratorio Nacional de Física del Reino Unido. Paralelamente, Europa se encontró en el centro del comercio de paneles solares baratos y eficientes, ya que los precios de las energías renovables descendieron considerablemente.

Robert Muggah, director de Investigación del Instituto Igarapé, predice que no habrá una sola potencia mundial, sino un puñado de países —entre los que se destacan Estados Unidos, Rusia, China, Alemania, India y Japón— que presentarán tendencias semiimperiales. Sin embargo, al mismo tiempo, el papel del Estado se ve amenazado por otras tendencias, que incluyen el crecimiento de las ciudades.

Según Melanie Walker, una médica y asesora del Banco Mundial, el hospital tal como lo conocemos está en vías de desaparición; habrá menos accidentes gracias a los vehículos autodirigidos y grandes avances en medicina preventiva y personalizada. No habrá escalpelos ni donantes de órganos, sino pequeños tubos robotizados y órganos bioimpresos.

Al igual que nuestros abuelos, no utilizaremos la carne como alimento básico, escribe Tim Benton, profesor de Ecología de Poblaciones de la Universidad de Leeds, Reino Unido. No serán la gran agricultura o los pequeños productores artesanales quienes ganen, sino una combinación de ambos, con alimentos preparados rediseñados para ser más saludables y menos dañinos para el medioambiente y nuestro cuerpo.

Los refugiados sirios con formación académica superior habrán alcanzado la mayoría de edad para el año 2030, y defenderán la integración económica de aquellos que han sido forzados a huir del conflicto. Según Lorna Solís, fundadora y directora ejecutiva de la ONG Blue Rose Compass, el mundo necesita estar mejor preparado para las poblaciones en movimiento, ya que el cambio climático desplazará alrededor de 1000 millones de personas.

“Nos olvidamos de los derechos y libertades que refuerzan nuestras democracias a nuestro propio riesgo”, escribe Kenneth Roth, director ejecutivo de Human Rights Watch.

Además, una vez que lleguemos allí, es probable que descubramos evidencia de vida extraterrestre, escribe Ellen Stofan, jefa científica de la NASA. La “gran ciencia” nos ayudará a responder a grandes preguntas sobre la vida en la tierra, así como a abrir aplicaciones prácticas para la tecnología espacial.

Club de Amsterdam Journal

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.Club of Amsterdam Journal, September 2017, Issue 197
Welcome to the  Club of Amsterdam Journal.
A mobile version of the Club of Amsterdam Journal can be downloaded here  portable & printable version

Once upon a time there was money. It has lubricated our civilisations from the earliest days. But how many people really understand it? And if people don’t understand money, how can they understand the implications of banks being increasingly in control of, and knowledgeable about, our transactions? Then along come cryptocurrencies, which can take banks out of the equation. A fascinating evolution, or is it a battle?- Paul Holister
 The Future Now Show: Cryptocurrencies with Hardy F Schloer 
ULTRANOW briefings by Lise Voldeng are advisory bullets traversing every sector of civilization – providing forecasting, analysis and advisory insights on how to prosper integrously.

Felix F Bopp, Founder & Chairman

 Club of Amsterdam Journal, September 2017, Issue 197

The EU Global Strategy – Year 1
What humans will look like in 1,000 years
The Future Now Show: Cryptocurrencies with Hardy F Schloer
The Pregnancy Panopticon
News about the Future:
Future of an Ageing Population /
New horizons: Future scenarios for research & innovation policies in Europe – Study
How Will Nanotechnology Change the World
Recommended Book:
Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence
Trump’s Afghan Military Solution Will Fail with James Dorsey
ULTRANOW Briefings with Lise Voldeng:
Futurist Portrait: Glen Hiemstra

 mobile & printable version

The EU Global Strategy – Year 1

Personal Message by Federica Mogherin High Representative of the Union for foreign and security policy / Vice-President of the European Commission…… read full article

What humans will look like in 1,000 years

by Tech Insider…… watch the video

The Future Now Show: Cryptocurrencies with Hardy F Schloer

Once upon a time there was money. It has lubricated our civilisations from the earliest days. But how many people really understand it? And if people don’t understand money, how can they understand the implications of banks being increasingly in control of, and knowledgeable about, our transactions? Then along come cryptocurrencies, which can take banks out of the equation. A fascinating evolution, or is it a battle?. – Paul Holister …… watch the video

The Pregnancy Panopticon

by Cooper Quintin, Staff Technologist, Electronic Frontier Foundation
Women’s health is big business. There are a staggering number of applications for Android and iOS which claim to…… read full article

News about the Future:
Future of an Ageing Population /
New horizons: Future scenarios for research & innovation policies in Europe – Study


…… read full article

How Will Nanotechnology Change the World

by National Geographic …… watch the video

Recommended Book:
Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

by Max Tegmark Knopf
How will Artificial Intelligence affect crime, war, justice, jobs, society and our very sense of being human? The rise of AI has the potential to ……read full article

Trump’s Afghan Military Solution Will Fail with James Dorsey

James Dorsey tells Paul Jay, The Real News Network, that Trump’s plan is to force the Taliban to negotiate, but there is no reason for them to …… watch video

ULTRANOW Briefings with Lise Voldeng:

……listen to the brief

Futurist Portrait: Glen Hiemstra

Glen Hiemstra is the founder and owner of Glen is dedicated to disseminating information about the future to…… read full article

 Your comments, ideas, articles are welcome!

Please write to
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Transhumanismo: el engaño de la trascendencia tecnológica – Richard Jones

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Richard Jones on Against Transhumanism: the Delusion of Technological Transcendence

Audio Player

 We often tend to ignore people and books that we have strong disagreement with. And yet, often times it is precisely those interactions that are very productive in helping us re-evaluate our own positions and see things from a fresh perspective. I find that, more often than not, confronting rather than ignoring a good argument, is not only a more honest approach but can also be quite rewarding in a variety of ways. And my interview with Prof. Richard Jones is a perfect example of that. So, while I may disagree with him on his general verdict on transhumanism, I found an impressive amount of specific things we agree on. And, more importantly, I managed to learn a thing or two about nanotechnology and the human brain.

During our 75 min discussion with Prof. Richard Jones we cover a variety of interesting topics such as: his general work in nanotechnology, his book and blog on the topic; whether technological progress is accelerating or not; transhumanismRay Kurzweil and technological determinism; physics, Platonism and Frank J. Tipler‘s claim that “the singularity is inevitable”; the strange ideological routes of transhumanism; Eric Drexler’s vision of nanotechnology as reducing the material world to software; the over-representation of physicists on both sides of the transhumanism and AI debate; mind uploading and the importance of molecules as the most fundamental units of biological processing; Aubrey de Grey‘s quest for indefinite life extension; the importance of ethics and politics…

As always you can listen to or download the audio file above or scroll down and watch the video interview in full. To show your support you can write a review on iTunes or make a donation.

Who is Richard Jones?

Richard JonesRichard Jones is Professor of Physics and Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation at the University of Sheffield. His first degree and PhD in Physics both come from Cambridge University, and following postdoctoral work at Cornell University, U.S.A., he was a lecturer at the University of Cambridge’s Cavendish Laboratory.  In 1998 he moved to the University of Sheffield.  He is an experimental physicist who specialises in elucidating the nanoscale structure and properties of polymers and biological macromolecules at interfaces.

He is the author of more than 190 research papers, and three books, including Soft Machines: nanotechnology and life, published by Oxford University Press in 2004.  He was the Senior Strategic Advisor for Nanotechnology for the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council from 2007 to 2009, and is currently a member of EPSRC Council.  In 2006 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, and in 2009 he won the Tabor Medal of the UK’s Institute of Physics for his contributions to nanoscience.

His blog – at – has, since 2004, discussed topics related to nanotechnology in all its varieties, together with other issues in science and innovation policy.  He has recently released the free e-book Against transhumanism: the delusion of technological transcendence.

Newsletter No 10 Agosto 2017 Consejo Chileno de Prospectiva y Estrategia

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Mundo Digital, ¿Ser o no ser?

El dilema shakesperiano tras cuatro siglos mantiene su vigencia: “Ser o no ser, esa es la cuestión.”
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Hyperloop one, una nueva forma de viajar a alta velocidad

Hyperloop one ha pasado su segunda prueba completa del sistema, llegando a 308 km/h.
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Política Nacional de Ciberseguridad

El ciberespacio dejó de ser algo de ciencia ficción para convertirse en uno de los principales espacios de interacción social.
Bajar Documento

Plan Estratégico 2017-2022 PDI

Plan Estratégico 2017-2022 de la Policía de Investigaciones de Chile.
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Plan de acción nacional
de cambio climático
Plan de acción nacional de cambio climático, período 2017 – 2022.
Bajar Documento
Prospectiva política para
la toma de decisiones
Curso de aprendizaje ‘Prospectiva política para la toma de decisiones’ pertenenciente a FLACSO Chile.
Leer más
Prospectiva para el Desarrollo en América Latina y el Caribe: Enfoques, escuelas y aplicaciones

Curso organizado por la Dirección y el Equipo de Prospectiva del Instituto Latinoamericano y del Caribe de Planificación Económica y Social ILPES.
Leer Más

Prospectiva para el Desarrollo y los ODS de la Agenda 2030

Curso organizado por el Instituto Latinoamericano y del Caribe de Planificación Económica y Social (ILPES)
Leer Más

Visión de futuro para el sector
de la salud 2025
Estudio realizado por el Club Innovación y Futuro y ejecutado por la Fundación OPTI.
Bajar Documento


Uso del suelo y seguridad alimentaria al 2050

INRA y CIRAD han puesto su atención en los cambios del uso del suelo, y sus conexiones con la seguridad alimentaria y el cambio climático.
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Seminario prospectiva para
el diseño del futuro
Este 21 de Agosto en la Universidad de Talca se desarrolló el seminario “Prospectiva para el diseño del futuro: aplicaciones en universidad-empresa-territorio”.
Leer Más
3er Congreso Nacional de Prospectiva – PROSPECTA ARGENTINA 2017

El Centro de Estudios Prospectivos de la Facultad de Ciencias Políticas y Sociales de la Universidad Nacional de Cuyo convoca a participar activamente del 3º Congreso Nacional de Prospectiva – PROSPECTA ARGENTINA 2017.
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China inaugura rápido servicio de tren Shanghai-Beijing

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China to rev up bullet train revolution with world’s fastest service on Shanghai-Beijing line

New generation of trains named after Xi’s favoured slogan will travel at speeds of 350km/h when they go into service next month

PUBLISHED : Monday, 21 August, 2017, 12:04am

Sarah Zheng
Sarah Zheng      /             /      
The high-speed railway connecting Hefei and Fuzhou in eastern China covers more than 800km in about four hours. Photo: Xinhua

China will soon start official operation of the world’s fastest train service, knocking an hour off the 1,318km journey between Beijing and Shanghai.

The Beijing-Shanghai line will start on September 21, while operation in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei area starts on Monday, state media CGTN reported.

At present, the fastest trains in China, which have their top speed capped at 300km/h, are named Hexie, or Harmony, a key slogan for Xi’s predecessor Hu Jintao.

China had briefly tried a maximum speed of 350km/h, but a deadly train crash in Wenzhou, Zhejiang province, in 2011 forced the railway authority to reduce the upper limit.

However, the desire to up the speed on the world’s most extensive high-speed network remained strong as the country tried to stay ahead of Japan, Germany and France in a technological race.

China’s bullet trains and railways are now a key product for Beijing to sell to other countries, especially under the “Belt and Road Initiative”.

The Beijing-Shanghai route is one of the most used lines, with around 600 million passengers using the service a year since it opened in 2011, according to China Railway, the state-owned operator.

The line is also one of the most profitable in China. China Railway has not released financial data for specific lines, but a bond issuance prospectus last year said the corporate entity running the line made a profit of 6.6 billion yuan in 2015, or about US$1 billion.

According to the current train schedule, the fastest bullet train running between the cities takes four hours and 55 minutes, and most bullet trains take around 5½ hours. A one-way ticket costs 553 yuan (US$83) for a regular seat and 933 yuan for a first-class seat.

It is not known whether China Railway will raise ticket prices after the speed is increased.

Authorities tested the 350 km/h services on some parts of the line last month and the results convinced officials they would be able to run at higher speeds along the whole line.

According to Xinhua, the trains are capable of going even faster and have a maximum speed of 400km/h.

Zhao Jian, a professor at Beijing Jiaotong University and a leading researcher on the country’s high-speed railway network, told the South China Morning Post that the higher speeds could increase the risk of collisions, so to avoid accidents the railway operator would have to reduce the number of trains on the line.

China’s bullet trains have developed rapidly over the past decade since the opening of a service between Beijing and Tianjin in 2008.

By last year there was about 22,000km of high-speed line, or about two-thirds of the world’s total.

The central government now plans to boost that to 30,000km by 2020.

This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as:


¿Por qué los negocios necesitan un código de ética para el uso de la tecnología?

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Why businesses need a code of ethics for use of technology

The use of powerful technologies is increasing in firms of every size as prices falls and access becomes easier – particularly using online Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions. These can make high functionality software applications and services available to even the smallest of firms for a relatively affordable monthly fee – thus enabling them to compete with larger and better resourced players. Many are exploiting the transformative potential of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), cloud storage, big data, the internet of things (IoT), wearable devices, and blockchain. The goals are typically to enable new offerings, enhance service, maximise efficiency, cut costs, and improve marketing and sales effectiveness.

These technologies raise new ethical questions; notions of privacy and ownership are being challenged; questions arise over who owns customer data and how it can be used; what licence do we have to aggregate, analyse and interpret information gleaned from hundreds, thousands or millions of customer interactions? Informed consent processes are becoming necessary; and ideas on what constitutes harm and fair use are being called into question. These challenges are arising across industry value chains, so no one is surprised to see businesses develop digital codes to ensure employees, clients and partners know they are operating within acceptable ethical standards. Those in organisational and functional leadership roles are in key positions to instigate and steer the ethical discourse to enable each company to form its code.

Technological Upheaval

There are many potential ethical questions being raised around new technologies. The ubiquity of the IoT may raise concerns about the extent to which employee behaviour can be monitored; is the amount of food staff consume something the company could or should monitor? Should company’s aggregate and analyse data from employees’ wearable health trackers – is such wellness monitoring beneficial or invasive? Brain scanning technology is already in place to monitor employee concentration, is this appropriate or invasive? Is tracking health and mental activity a natural extension of monitoring productivity? Powerful technologies are no longer simply mechanical tools, they are increasingly redefining the nature and scope of employees’ work and their relationship with the employer. Hence it is critical for those in leadership to set the tone around the use of technology and data. What is commercially sensible may seem ethically questionable – challenging the boundaries of privacy and sensitivity. Just because we can, does it mean we should?

Public Dialogue

With an accelerating pace of digital disruption across society, critical ethical questions are moving up the public agenda faster. For example, 2016 has seen intense public debate around fair presentation of information on social media, the rise of the ‘post truth’ society and the employment implications of AI. Corporations cannot sit on the sidelines in these discussions. In some senses, there is no template to follow; there is no gold standard or global consensus over what is considered ethical. Businesses must engage in continual public and professional dialogue to determine what is permissible, what is acceptable and what would be best for shareholders, employees and customers.

Regular discourse highlights emerging issues and potential solutions. For example, if unbridled monitoring of employees’ health trackers is generally considered invasive, informed consent systems can be adopted with clear options defined for employees. Choices can be agreed with staff on the extent of monitoring, with clearly defined employee opt out clauses.

As business leaders, we must stay abreast of technological progress and engage with the questions being raised by the technologies, other organisations’ choices and societal responses. This engagement can help inform choice – providing alternative scenarios and ideas that drive our own ethical guidelines.

Compliance and Consistency

A clear internal view of what is considered ethically permissible is vital for any organisation. Once ethical frameworks have been established, these guiding principles must become cornerstones of strategic policy with regular monitoring of adherence. To be effective, the guiding principles must underpin subsequent actions consistently. Conformance with digital ethics cannot be a grey area or easily bypassed because of commercial considerations. Alongside driving home the message in regular communications and public statements, leaders need to demonstrate case examples of clear choices that have been made or rejected because of digital ethics. Corrective measures must be clear and applied consistently when these guidelines are bypassed.

Leading the Way

The necessity to form codes of digital ethics will increase, and the next 3-5 years will see widespread adoption – with some firms losing out where they don’t meet customers’ ethical expectations. In a world where the public discourse is almost impossible to control, CEOs must lead the way in ensuring their firms adopt and hold themselves to the highest standards of digital ethical behaviour and respond accordingly when gaps in the framework emerge. As the world becomes increasingly digital, and it becomes harder to distinguish our offerings from the competitors, who we are being and what we stand for will be become critical differentiators.

El papel de la academia frente a la corrupción

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El papel de la academia frente a la corrupción

De la universidad también depende acabar con ese fenómeno y superar la idea de que ‘todo se vale’. En este mundo atravesado por retos complejos, las humanidades no pueden ser excluidas de las aulas ni del debate público.
Doctor en Filosofía y especialista en filosofía del humanismo, de la Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana. Profesor de la Universidad Eafit.
06 de agosto 2017 , 10:19 p.m.
Múltiples escándalos y corruptelas en innumerables países evidencian que el mundo se encuentra hoy ante una crisis moral de grandes proporciones y, además, no se insinúan salidas en el horizonte.
En el nivel público, intervenciones electorales soterradas, presidentes y ministros destituidos, macroescándalos en el deporte mundial, cuestionamientos a casi todos los presidentes suramericanos y al estadounidense, para no hablar de países verdaderamente inviables por asaltos personalistas al Estado como Venezuela o Siria.

En el plano privado (que afecta también a lo público), los escándalos de Odebrecht, las exportaciones brasileñas de carne descompuesta, la alteración de los medidores
de gases contaminantes de los vehículos alemanes, los papeles de Panamá, los corruptos tentáculos de la compañía de aguas de la Comunidad de Madrid, entre muchos otros.

¿Qué penas podrían recibir congresistas mencionados en caso Odebrecht?

 Estos escándalos tenían otros nombres en la década anterior: recuérdense WorldCom, Enron, Arthur Andersen, Tyco y Global Crossing, Parmalat, Vivendi, Chiquita Brands, Xerox y, un poco más recientemente, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns y Merrill Lynch en la tan publicitada crisis estadounidense de las hipotecas ‘subprime’ en 2008, que tantos efectos perversos generó en todo el mundo.

Colombia no se queda atrás en materia de corrupción y exhibe casos como el ya citado Odebrecht, los de Interbolsa, Fondo Premium, Factor Group, Electricaribe, 
Saludcoop, Friogán, Petrotiger, Reficar, Termocandelaria, Bioenergy, Inassa (Triple A y Metroaguas), Elite, Estraval, TYPSA –con los juegos nacionales de Ibagué–. También encontramos los casos de los ‘carruseles’ de contratos de Bogotá, La Guajira, Chocó y Córdoba, y los carteles de precios (cementos, pañales, cuadernos escolares, papel higiénico, azúcar), para mencionar solo los más sonados.

Algo debe andar mal en la cultura para que en gran parte del planeta se presenten tantos comportamientos ilícitos

Algo debe andar mal en la cultura para que en gran parte del planeta se presenten tantos comportamientos ilícitos del mismo corte; algo no debe marchar bien con las ideologías e ideales que mueven a la humanidad.

Alguna vez, en un congreso internacional, escuché decir a un profesor canadiense algo así como que nunca el mundo había tenido tantos profesionales diplomados (sobre todo en especialidades administrativas), pero que nunca antes tampoco había estado tan mal manejado.

¿Será entonces que un cierto sustrato ideológico y moral de nuestra educación actual, en particular la profesional, está, en primer lugar, legitimando una especie de “todo se vale y contra todos”, y, en segundo término, invadiendo profusamente los campos del conocimiento y de la acción humana?

Filosofías que rigen el mundo

Existen dos grandes idearios que hoy comandan el mundo y determinan, en consecuencia, el tipo de investigación que hacemos y la orientación de la educación que impartimos.

Se refieren a grandes cosmovisiones en lo científico y en lo económico a las que se acogen consciente o inconscientemente los educadores y sus instituciones,incluyendo el Ministerio de Educación y otras entidades como Colciencias, donde surgen los grandes lineamentos y orientaciones que los educadores deben adoptar en su labor.

Debemos buscar en la epistemología (o filosofía de la ciencia) y en la filosofía de la educación el primer ideario y ese sustrato del que hablábamos arriba que, quizás por su carácter implícito, no ha sido abiertamente identificado y denunciado.

Los medios masivos regularmente hacen su tarea de comunicar y denunciar los negociados e ilícitos, pero develar lo que se mueve en las correntías subterráneas de la sociedad cuando esos fenómenos se vuelven tan recurrentes no ha sido tradicionalmente su papel.

Muchos filósofos disidentes de la gran euforia por los logros de la ciencia y el progreso han puesto el dedo en la llaga por la forma como el conocimiento, en particular el de las ciencias sociales, se elabora y enseña.

Podría decirse que la constante de sus críticas es que tanto científicos como educadores se han acogido a un modelo de investigación basado en el abstraccionismo científico (o positivismo), una orientación epistemológica que poco se preocupa por la pertinencia del conocimiento de las realidades concretas de cada sociedad, y pretende más bien conformarse con las metodologías matemáticas y de precisión de las ciencias naturales y exactas.

En consecuencia, la producción de conocimiento, lo mismo que su impartición, se ocupa más de cosas como la explicación causal o la relación causa-efecto
 (el cómo se produce un fenómeno) y menos por el sentido que el fenómeno tiene (el qué, el porqué, la razón de ser) dentro de un contexto cultural o en una sociedad.

Edgar Morin diría que ese conocimiento en abstracto deja por fuera sus “conexiones y solidaridades” con otras esferas de lo social y con la totalidad.

Por lo tanto, los profesionales educados casi exclusivamente bajo esa orientación no forman en su mente un vínculo consciente, realista y responsable entre su carrera y el mundo social en el que la ejercen. No construyen elementos que les ayuden a conectar su saber con la sociedad y, por tanto, ignoran la complejidad y diversidad de dimensiones que la integran y que se afectan por la acción de los agentes sociales.

El segundo ideario que nos rige tiene que ver con el discurso económico que promueve casi religiosamente la globalización y que se impone por múltiples vías a la soberanía de los países.

Se trata del discurso del neoliberalismo, basado en su fondo en la desinstitucionalización, es decir, en el imperativo de que haya menos Estado y que este, además, controle y grave mínimamente la circulación de mercancías y servicios entre países.

En función de esto, los servicios esenciales de salud, vivienda, educación, cultura, diversión, infraestructura, servicios públicos, entre otros, deben operar bajo las exigencias de la libre oferta y demanda y generar, además, beneficios privados. En suma, esta ideología persigue la privatización de lo público.

El mensaje que esta arrasadora ideología envía a la formación profesional es que lo único que realmente importa en la educación es el desarrollo de capacidades de transacción para que toda interacción profesional sea ejercida como mercantil.

Todo, en este sentido, deberá apuntar a que cualquier relación humana pueda asimilarse a una relación de compraventa que debe producir beneficios económicos.

Esta concepción de la educación afecta la integridad ética e intelectual del profesional, pues moldea sus valores en torno al individualismo y al éxito personal

Esta concepción de la educación afecta la integridad ética e intelectual del profesional, pues moldea y focaliza sus valores en torno al individualismo y al éxito personal. El entorno social y natural no se constituye en un referente significativo dentro de las finalidades de su acción.

En el centro de este discurso está el mercado como rector indiscutible de las relaciones y transacciones humanas. 
Un mercado autónomo, sin injerencia del Estado, que de manera impersonal ‘decide’ sobre todos los aspectos de la vida social con base solamente en criterios de competitividad, rentabilidad y eficiencia.

Al respecto, Zygmunt Bauman decía: “Somos dolorosamente conscientes de que, sin control alguno, los mercados que se guían únicamente por el criterio de la rentabilidad conducen a catástrofes económicas y sociales”.

De los fines y de los medios

Esa desconexión entre educación y vida social opera en la realidad reduciendo a lo estrictamente económico los fines que se trazan los individuos, las empresas y las instituciones. Como consecuencia, estos actores acomodan o dimensionan los medios, es decir, los conocimientos, los métodos y los procesos, al tenor de esos fines estrechos.

En virtud del afán economicista que se apoderó de la sociedad, las profesiones se centran en metas o fines de orden exclusivamente cuantitativo y económico como la maximización de los ingresos o las utilidades, el posicionamiento en algún ranquin de competitividad, eficiencia o innovación.

Como consecuencia, los conocimientos que se imparten en las aulas se limitan a los medios puramente instrumentales (procedimientos, fórmulas, técnicas, modelos) que mejor sirvan al logro de esas metas cuantitativas.

A propósito de esa reducción de miras, Martha Nussbaum nos recuerda la frase de Tagore: “El hombre moral, el hombre íntegro, está cediendo cada vez más espacio, casi sin saberlo (…) al hombre comercial, al hombre limitado a un solo fin”.

Los profesionales formados con esa pobreza de miras y esa miopía de fines y medios no contarán con los conocimientos ni los criterios para prever, más allá de las metas cuantitativas que se trazaron, los eventuales efectos perversos de sus decisiones y acciones sobre la sociedad y el medioambiente.

Serán, además, sujetos propicios a la corrupción, pues la aprobación y presión sociales con respecto al enriquecimiento, la optimización o la maximización como fines a ultranza legitiman la laxitud moral de los medios para lograrlos.

¿Cómo sería, entonces, una educación profesional éticamente conectada? ¿Existe la posibilidad de que quienes diseñan y dirigen el currículo profesional, que regularmente tienen a su vez una formación marcadamente técnica o funcional (y que hoy dirigen facultades, departamentos académicos, programas, grupos de investigación, revistas, etc.), se abran a una nueva comprensión de su tarea?

En primer término, la universidad debe erigirse en guardiana de los fines de la sociedad y no debe responder acríticamente a las demandas de los actores sociales si tales demandas no corresponden a ideales de integridad e inclusión. La universidad está llamada a problematizar y cambiar esas grandes ideologías que hoy atrapan al mundo y lo empujan a una carrera loca por el economicismo y el éxito individual.

En segundo lugar, la enseñanza de las humanidades constituye la mejor forma de comprensión del hombre y su vínculo social en todos sus espacios de actuación. Es solo que –como lo expresé en este mismo medio en un artículo titulado ‘La nuestra, una educación de saberes desintegrados’– “abogo por unas humanidades pertinentes, problematizadoras y social y ambientalmente comprometidas”.

Obviamente es necesario estudiar las humanidades como disciplinas autónomas, pero sería preferible, para la formación de profesionales, si adicionalmente las humanidades se ponen al servicio de la comprensión de los fenómenos humanos en y desde las organizaciones y las instituciones, no instrumentalizándolas para el logro de la eficiencia, sino sirviéndose de ellas para comprender al hombre y su acción. Es precisa, además, una postura crítica con respecto a las profesiones y disciplinas objeto de la formación.

Las humanidades serían, pues, el vehículo de problematización entre los medios y los fines –en particular sobre la pertinencia y el tenor humanista de estos últimos– y ayudarían a que los profesionales en formación establecieran una conexión consciente y responsable entre su profesión y la sociedad.

A modo de conclusión, podría decirse que formar profesionales éticamente conectados, más que aprender teorías, técnicas e instrumentos (que son también importantes), implica asegurar la apropiación de criterios asociados a la aplicación de tales instrumentos y teorías.

Podríamos entender estos criterios como referentes claros en la interpretación, la decisión y la acción del profesional. Y estos solo se construyen en la resonancia del conocimiento técnico-científico con la realidad social integralmente considerada.

En un mundo atravesado por problemas y retos cada vez más complejos y acuciantes como el calentamiento global, el terrorismo, los desplazamientos masivos, la corrupción, las catástrofes humanitarias, los autoritarismos, el desmoronamiento de las democracias, entre tantos otros, las humanidades no pueden ser excluidas de las aulas ni del debate público.

Doctor en Filosofía y especialista en filosofía del humanismo, de la Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana. Profesor de la Universidad Eafit.

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