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Mapping Wild Cards

Inspired by: FP7 » Nano dreams - more than a reality?

version: 4 / updated: 2011-02-04
id: #1606 / version id: #745
mode: VIEW

Originally submitted by: Anthony Walker
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Last changed by: Anthony Walker
WI-WE status:

Source of inspiration

European Commission Framework Programme for RTD (FP7)

Theme/activity of inspiration

Theme 4 - Nanosciences, nanotechnologies, materials & new production technologies

Sub-theme/area of inspiration

Nanosciences and converging sciences

Optional reference/s to FP7 project/s

Use the following format: Project Acronym (Project Reference No.). Use commas if more than one project is associated to this Wild Card, for example: ALFA-BIRD (213266), SAFAR (213374), LAPCAT-II (211485)


(max. 9 words)

Nano dreams - more than a reality?


(approx. 150 words)
Please describe the Wild Card (approx. 150 words)
Brain-computer interfaces are created to manipulate dreams and parts of society become addicted to this alternative quest for utopia and false states of euphoria are created. Dream manipulation becomes a priority for parts of society and reality is neglected. People spend less time socialising as they are spending more time in the "dream world", and the population decreases as there is limited opportunity to date, marry or have children.


brain-computer interface, designer dreams, virtual reality


(max. 250 characters)

Brain-computer interfaces are created to manipulate dreams and parts of society become addicted to this quest for utopia and false states of euphoria are created. Dream manipulation becomes priority for parts of society - reality is neglected.


Closest timeframe for at least 50% likelihood
Please use one of the following options:

Features of life if the wild card manifests

Feature 2: education and research environment
Positive applications for enhanced education through direct stimulus of the brain.
Feature 3: consumers, markets and lifestyles
People spend less time socialising as they are spending more time in the "dream world", people no not date/marry/have children and the population decreases.
Feature 5: politics and global affairs
Battle to control the technology. Reorganisation in the shift of power, with possible genocide.
Feature 6: health and quality of life
This would severely affect human and societal behaviour and could take over life like an addiction, the equivalent to drug abuse. Possible side effects – any ‘glitch’ in the system could cause seizures or have control over the mind.
Feature 7: security and defence
Technology could be abused to aid criminal behaviour. Behavioural modification.

Type of event

Human planned (e.g. terrorist attack or funded scientific breakthrough)

Type of emergence

please select (if any) describe related trend or situation
A new development/situation
(e.g. a Romani state is established in central Europe; A message from an alien civilisation existing on a distant planet is received and understood, etc.
technology advance

Historical parallels

Recreational drug abuse through recent histort from opium used as elite drug onwards

Type of systems affected

Human-built Systems - E.g. organisations, processes, technologies, etc.




please specify:
please select
Level 1: important for a particular country
Level 2: important for a particular world region
Level 3: important for the European Union
Level 4: important for the whole world Rich countries

Early indicators

(including weak signals)

Current obsession with IT use for leisure, especially new generations

Latent phase

Obstacles for early indentification

information/communicational filters (media/editorial interests, language, reasoning)
cultural/religious filters (values, traditions, faith, spiritual beliefs)
social filters (class, status, education level)

Manifestation phase

Type of manifestation

In a probably enclosed way (e.g. geographically, sectorally)

Aftermath phase

Important implications
Emergence of a new system (e.g. new technologies, new paradigms)


Affected by media promotion or reporting. Money required so not affect third world countries so much. May be positive applications too.

Key drivers or triggers

Provide up to 2 possible drivers or triggers of HIGH importance. Click on HELP to see examples:
please describe
Driver / Trigger 1
please describe
Driver / Trigger 2
Social Peer pressure
Technological/Scientific Advances
Economic Poduct making money
Values/Ethical/Cultural Peer pressure

Potential impacts (risks & opportunities)

Timeframe options
Risks Opportunities
(within 1 year after the Wild Card manifests)
Lost productivity
short term
(1 to 5 years after the Wild Card manifests)
Lost generation New beneficial applications. Economic benefit.

Potential stakeholders' actions

it occurs
it occurs
Academic/Research sector Research positive applications Research positive applications
Media Report adverse effects

Relevance for Grand Challenges

where? please justify:
particularly relevant Europe world
Behavioural change Affect behaviour
Social pathologies & ethics Equivalent to drug abuse
Social cohesion and diversity Affect behaviour
Work-Life balance and mental health Could take over life like addiction

Relevance for thematic research areas

please justify:
particularly relevant
Social Sciences and Humanities Affect society

 Features of a research-friendly ecology contributing to deal with the wild card

For further information about 'research-friendly strategies' click here

please justify:
particularly relevant
Creating a closer link between researchers & policy-makers
(e.g. supporting both thematic and cross-cutting policies, highlighting the strategic purpose of the European Research Area, etc.
Important to restrict adverse use

Relevance for future R&D and STI policies

Note: RTD = research and technology development; STI = science, technology and innovation
Legislation control is essential for this technology. Education of public and ethical review required.