Feeding a rapidly growing world in the face of climate change and resource scarcity will be an immense challenge and test for human ingenuity. The effects of climate change on food production around the world are accelerating and could lead to more than 500,000 deaths by the year 2050, according to a grim new study. Rising temperatures, more frequent droughts and extreme weather events will result in crop productivity losses for farmers in many parts of the world.

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Slush 2017 Global Impact Community Event participants

Slush is a startup and tech conference organised annually in Helsinki, Finland. Last year Slush took place 30 Nov - 1 Dec 2017. The event which was established in 2008 by a few techies and game producers, has grown to a huge international event, from a small gathering of 300 people.

This was my first experience with Slush. Arriving there was like stepping into the future. There were cool startups and new inventions everywhere you looked. It felt super inspiring and motivating to see what these intelligent and innovative people had come up with, to help other people and the community.

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When I was a boy Finnish winters used to be cold and snowy. A white Christmas was more of a rule than an exception. Today, things have turned the other way around, at least in the Helsinki region: winters have gradually become rainy and warmer than before. However, globally we are among the very fortunate ones – it can be annoying to walk dark and rainy streets for months but that is nothing compared to the extreme weather conditions caused by climate change in other parts of the world.

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Forecasting is a tricky business, but Nesta isn’t backing down from the human-versus-machine battle.

Forecasting is a fool’s errand, so why we do fallible humans persist in trying to peer into an uncertain future, especially when machines are outpacing us on so many other predictive tasks?

People who should have known much better dismissed the telephone, the car and, famously, the Beatles as fads. That’s because discerning the difference between a flash in the pan and a truly disruptive development is a very tricky art with a long and chequered history. As far back as Nostradamus in the 16th Century, we have long been drawn to the tantalizing idea that we can control an uncertain future by predicting it. While this sense of control might be illusory, it is true that sketching out possible futures is the first step in creating a desired one.

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During a visit to Ohio to promote his infrastructure plan on March 29, US president Donald Trump dropped one of the bombshells that Americans have become accustomed to over the last year and a half: "We'll be coming out of Syria, like, very soon .... Let the other people take care of it now."

If he's serious, if the more hawkish members of his administration don't dissuade him, and if he follows through, Trump will be taking a giant step in the right direction on foreign policy. The US never had any legitimate business in Syria. Its military adventurism there has been both dumb and illegal from the beginning.

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In late February, Venezuela's government began accepting presidential candidate registrations and announced a snap legislative election for April. The country's opposition denounces the process as a sham and Maduro as a dictator, both of which may be true.
 
Oddly,  a third voice -- the US government -- also weighed in. Per US state media outlet Voice of America, "the United States, which under President Donald Trump has been deeply critical of Maduro's leadership in crisis-torn and economically suffering Venezuela, on Saturday rejected the call for an early legislative vote."
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In the first part of a series that will explore Year Two of the Trump presidency, John Tirman has serious misgivings about his misguided worldview and the potentially dire consequences for global stability. 

If there’s one thing President Donald Trump demonstrated in his first year in the White House, it is a penchant for disruption. 

Not the disruption we hear so much about in the tech industry or as a tool of innovation, but just sheer destructiveness. A health care system that took 60 years to bring to fruition, is sabotaged piece by piece. Hard-won climate action is torn apart. The great beauty of public lands in the Western United States is cavalierly auctioned off to mining companies. 

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Nature has always inspired me and it has played a significant role in my life. For me, nature is a place to calm down and think, and be a part of it. That’s why I joined an environmental organisation in my early ages: To protect nature from certain powers in the society that have lost their connection with it. Perhaps that is even one reason why I ended up as the Minister of the Environment.

Every time I pass Hanasaari, the huge pile of black coal steals my focus. I can’t help asking myself “why are we still burning coal for energy in 2018 when we have had the technologies for clean and sustainable energy production for decades already?”

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That the rich and powerful have gained control of Washington is clear. Their plutocratic rule – geared to the interests of a tiny elite – is eroding U.S. democratic institutions, values and global influence. Now is the time for all good Americans to come to the aid of their democracy.

In the year since President Donald Trump took office, cries of kleptocracy have grown louder.
Consider the evidence: Lobbyists buy $100,000 memberships at his golf clubs for face time. Foreign regimes redirect business to his hotels, such as the $270,000 spending spree by Saudi Arabia at Trump’s DC outpost. Business deals in endemically corrupt countries, such as the Philippines, bind his empire (held not in a blind trust, but by his sons) to questionable foreign entanglements.

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APEC family photo 2017


“Creating New Dynamism, Fostering a Shared Future”. This is theme for APEC 2017 in Viet Nam.
More than 21,000 delegates took part in 243 activities held during the APEC Year 2017 in Vietnam. The APEC Economic Leaders’ Week from November 6 to 11 attracted about 11,000 delegates and leaders of all 21 member economies. Eight major documents were passed, particularly the Da Nang Declaration and the joint statement of the APEC Ministerial Meeting.
The most important outcome is that APEC continues its economic cooperation and connection impetus, brings into play its role as the leading economic connection mechanism of the region, keeps its core value of trade and investment liberalisation, and supports multilateral trade.

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Geoff Mulgan, Chief Executive of Nesta.

 

Although many jobs are at risk of upheaval due to automation, humans still possess valuable skills unmatched by robots. As long as educational institutions adapt traditional curriculum, and stay ahead of the curve, people will always be able to find something to do.

Unless you’ve been living on Mars, you will be aware that the world is going through another bout of soul-searching about how robots could take our jobs.

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Finland in the world press

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