Clement Charles

Clement Charles 's thoughts

Archive for the ‘Society & Mankind’ Category

January 19th, 2015 by Clement Charles

Buckle Up. And let’s get started.

The upcoming 25 years are going to be so exciting. Check this great video, both greatly produced and with a profoundly optimistic message.

October 17th, 2014 by Clement Charles


From YT:


On May 28, 2008, Adam LeWinter and Director Jeff Orlowski filmed a historic breakup at the Ilulissat Glacier in Western Greenland. The calving event lasted for 75 minutes and the glacier retreated a full mile across a calving face three miles wide. The height of the ice is about 3,000 feet, 300-400 feet above water and the rest below water.

Chasing Ice won the award for Excellence in Cinematography at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and the Best Documentary from the International Press Association. It has won over 30 awards at festivals worldwide. Still playing in theaters worldwide.



October 14th, 2014 by Clement Charles


During my last QS session, I was thrilled with a great discussion we’ve had of how much tracking devices can expand your perception to reach a stage where sensors become nearly useless as your senses would have have been augmented  « organically ».

Think about time. Must of us had a watch when kids. A lot of us – even here in Switzerland – do not wear any. For me, like plenty of other it’s very very easy to tell, without watch or other kind of display what time it is, with a 15-30 precision. Nothing exceptional there. I would assume that before, the watch, before the ticking of the clock every hour, makind also kew how fast / how slow time was moving but that their « intimate organic precision » was not as precises than today. Men and women of the early US or the French revolution could easily say « it’s mid morning, not far from lunch »,, but not able to say « it must be between 10.30 and 11 am » as we easily can today. They could roughly say the time « more or less » two hours.
At the QS session, a fellow self trackers explained that, after 2 years of tracking steps daily with fitbit, he could say – with a 500 steps margin – how much steps he walked in his day. I’ve said many time that QS « makes the unseen visible », unlike lifelogging “with stores that your sense did feel ».
Based on Oliver’s take, yes, QS could make the unseen become visible, but it could also teach you to see it. Without devices. To improve (hack?) your brain into countings steps.
I’ve never been a believer of 10/90 theory regarding brain usage or brain capabilites. Why  ? BecauseI think we are the very early stage of understanding the brain, so instead of « 90% un-used », my take is « 90% not yet understood ».
Nevertheless, in such perspectives, I think we could consider some Quantified Self tracking practices as brain power expander, as a way to expand your senses and gain new one , where QS devices would the « small wheels » of your brain bicycle, teaching securely and progressively how to ride without those small wheels. Or how to track without the tracker.
To conclude, I want to relate this with the « wetware » pioneers that get magnet implants in their finger pulls, and thus, truly « senses » new feel, new vision, when they walk in the street.
We can all be super hero. We don’t even need to be Gamma ray exposed or GM-spider bitten. We just need to find the right tools to expand our brain. And the Quantified Self movement has plenty of those to propose. Well, I love QS just even more !  And ready for a new milestones in expanding human capabilities, organic transhumanism.
September 12th, 2014 by Clement Charles

And vertical communities became key targets

Following the breakdown of social, religious and family structures over the course of the twentieth century, individualisation is speeding up. The logical consequence for the media, the communitisation of information consumption, is becoming commonplace today with the digitization of data flows.


In 1980, newsagents sold 70% general content newspapers, with the other 30% being special interest publications around broad themes. Today, that proportion has evolved into 10% general interest publications and 90% specialist publications, dedicated to very specific topics and aimed at smaller but dedicated audiences.


This individualisation of information consumption can also be observed in the field of traditional media through television placement in homes. While in the 1980s most households had one shared television in the living room, regardless of their income level, most families today, even those on a modest income, have a television in every room.


Unsurprisingly, this trend has exploded since the beginning of the new century with the digitization of data flows and digital publishing tools that have drastically reduced the cost of creating and distributing specialised media. With a supply of digital content indexed and available on demand, everyone can put together their own digitized media content according to their desires, time available and personal interests. With passion at the heart of identity-building, the main factor in establishing common ground is and will remain the community to which users belong, which brings consequences both for communication and information.


Belonging to one or several specific communities means that audiences know their subject well and perceive added value only in information that is in-depth and original. Those communicating thus need to find the right mix of mass-market and specialist, between community language and universal vocabulary.


On the other hand, each community should be seen as a fluctuating group, with its own expectations, vocabulary, practices and codes. The individuals who make up these groups identify with a series of communities, interconnected ‘tribes’, representing the various facets of their personalities and their interests at any given moment.


Web 2.0 applications (YouTube, Facebook, Twitter), RSS feeds and Video On Demand are the main tools in the popularisation of this trend. A fundamental, inevitable trend from common ground towards the private sphere; a trend which is moving in the direction of history and steering us into the future.


Thanks for reading.  Written in May 2009. First published in July 2009 in CominMag:  Republished in Sept 2014 on personal and corporate blogs.

Happy to discuss this and any other topic with you ; )

September 5th, 2014 by Clement Charles

Innovation VS Product Lifecyle

Innovation VS product lifecycle: must innovation always be doomed by product’s lifecycle?

 In 2009, I was invited to speak to Lift Conference, here in Geneva. I gave a short but dense speech, on why in my perspective, product lifecycle was killing innovation. It still relevant today, so here I share :  ) You can also view the video from the conference. Cheers. CC

Clement Charles “Innovation VS product… par liftconference
Hello Lifters !!


We all know that innovation goes fast: good idea burst in one second. On the other side, we know that product lifecycles dictate the tempo of all industries based technologies and R&D, if not all. As you know, as will be said over and over during those uplifting days, alternative energy, low fuel cars, water engine, all the things we need to save the day…. were there already yesterday!


So, how can we explain that we still use the same model of motor than the one in Ford T and the same keyboard than the earliest typing machine?


My thesis is that the short-term financial vision of product lifecycle dooms innovation and slows the mass market adoption of new technologies. I will advocate long-term strategies to build new markets. A strategy where the concept of product lifecycle, managed product by product, is replaced by larger vision of industrial lifecycle, that reflects the fact that various products, various technologies are actually milestones along the same road, steps on the same stairway.


Swiss dairy farmers say no different things when they explain that, if you keep milking the same cow for ever, you won’t stay long a producer of cheese or chocolate ; ) Having a wider scope, focusing on the full livestock rather than on the individual cows, is certainly a key to farmer’s sustainability.


If you had to draw a scheme of product lifecycle, they could be two axis: one with time, one other with the various type of messages addressing the different receiving communities that you find in most industrial process: project phase, engineering and conceptual phase, market stage with media, professional and last but not least consumer. Most companies will combine various products in one scheme. Therefore, the management of the timing of the product lifecycle will be central to their success.


Now, I want to share two visions with you looking back on the failure of mobile content services by operators, and looking ahead on the necessary move that medias must make towards a next industrial cycle.


In 99, I attended ITU Telecom and two majors innovations convinced me that my future were, as citizen, as person and as a professional, in the field of digital media. The first one was mobile broadband, and the crazy idea that you would soon be able to carry the whole world with you in your pocket. The second one was Web Television, internet video and the opportunity to create medias and TV’s at nearly no cost.


Mobile broadband is just emerging now in the mass market, but also for a large amount of IT professional that discovered mobile surfing only last year with their iPhone. Again, Jobs and its team succeeded where others failed, thanks to a great user interface and more than anything else, thanks to communication orientated towards the devices’ services, a thing that surely changes the ton for the technical speech of telcos’ engineers.


People don’t care about technology, they care about services: Trust me, if you had to be able to explain how a motor work to drive a car, pollution would not be problem : )


With WAP, they were in theory selling a full mobile internet access directly in your pocket, but were actually providing a slower, hardly-working service-less version of the French Minitel of the 80’s. Telco still pay this communication mistake today. They also repeated it with 3G a few years later.

3G was the same: telco announced to everybody that full live tv and video services would be available in 2001. When they finally launched their services in 04, all the money of those technical companies went to technology, and therefore, the whole communication also underline the tech aspect. Nothing was thought for services, no room was created for services provider, no one thought that the pipe should contain something. Consumers perfectly understood the message. They did not care about that new technology at all. And now, as handsets are sponsored and often changed, most people do indeed have a 3G phone now, although nearly none of them use any 3G services. Indeed, most people don’t care about technology, they care about services: Trust me, if you had to be able to understand how a motor works to drive a car, pollution would not be problem : )


As companies wait the very last stage of the product lifecycle to introduce the next generation, they are not allocating a sufficient time for the necessary services ecosystem to emerge. They then enter a terrible vicious circle of overselling technologies, providing no services no added value. This leads early adopters to spread the word negatively and engage a truly destructive buzz on the novelty. You don’t get back on the ring after that.


The story was similar with web tv, internet video and high band. In 99, video codec and DV technologies were largely sufficient to create web TV, which lead to the foundation of plenty of start-ups. But operators were still the middle of dial up lifecycle, and really enjoyed minute / based Internet fees. In the rare case were they provided high band ADSL line, the traffic was charged. Well, start-ups are not banks, and when they crash, they crash, without any public money to guarantee their bonus. Therefore, nearly all the companies created between 98 and 2001 around Internet video had ceased to exist in early 2003.


In 2003, operators were actually deploying broadband quite massively, and had the exact same problem. As they kept to dial up lifecycle running for too long, they killed in the egg the broadband services’ ecosystem. As they started to sell broadband, they faced the lack of services to provide to their consumer to justify the high band pipe. A this time, if you remember, all those ISP and operators that are now in close contact with majors and anti-piracy leagues, were airing adds on all media showing how much free music, free video and free games you would be able to access with their high band offering….

In 2003, we at launched our first web tv bouquet, with 50 programs with weekly update. Honestly, I really started to sell this product last year.




Media face a similar problem, at the other end of the pipe. Although their product, the content, stays king in the new millennium, the lifecycle they have been living in, is now over. Indeed, media are facing today the biggest paradigm shift since Gutenberg. No all of them are getting it, but they should. Indeed, non-changing media won’t disappear tomorrow early morning, but they surely will, as surely as electricity did replace steam.


Those traditional media are often wailing on their terrible situation but they remind me of a hungry guy dying from hunger because he doesn’t make the effort to pick up the food lying at its feet. The media industry is supposed to be a sector of smart curious people asking question and finding answers, it’s just a shame they never questioned their own status, their own fear of power loss and their own practices. If they did, they would definitely have found answers. They then can surely implement those new logics and strategies, as – we – in rather small and independent media company – Geneva born and bread – we’ve been doing it since 2001.


First of all, all the content should always benefit of a fully multimedia production process. All print journalists should tape their interviews on video, or at least, have an audio file and take some pictures. All the TV companies should be able to derive text, still pix and audio files from their audiovisual products.


Secondly, newsrooms should be digital and built as an electronic workflow where the traditional hierarchy is translated into paths of validation with nodes of decision. With their current resources, doing so would create the tool and the intellectual incentives to provide various streams of information to customers.


Those flows could be:


–       a raw / uncut flow as things arrived from the fields and from the agency

–       an eye on the editorial decision process: choice is an angle, a view, let’s share it

–       access to sources and raw material used to produce the final content

–       enrich content with open standard meta-datas and enable automated encoding to ensure optimal cross-plateform devices

–       insert the content into a map of a meaning, a map of stories, with hyperlinks, on demand multimedia and mash ups


Of course, letting media consumer into the newsroom is a risk of loss of power. That’s why most media don’t do it. It’s also why strong brands like CNN take the risk and succeed.


On the economic side, media brands should really focused their USP based on their specialization and the on the added value they bring to their segment. They really should avoid to re-invent the wheel on daily basis and focus their resources of their specialization, instead of spending 40 to 70% of their HR budget in telling the exact same stories that their neighbor and competitor.




Despite the move initiated by 2.0 applications and web-services, media are still very much network centric. The future will be user centric.
Today, the use is still in the situation of a guy entering plenty of rooms (services with login and any kind of conditional access) that is obliged to have one key per room. The future will provide 1 unique personal key per user that would open all the doors, 1 key to open them all, as other said with rings : )


Clearly, yesterday’s and today’s media run as network centric broadcaster. Tomorrow, user centric broadband data network will enable user to create their own personal narrowcast.


First of all, a unique digital ID will be required. The type of ID – ID card number, VISA card, social security number, gmail address – is not really important.


Logically, this unique ID would linked to a unique profile with a fully integrated payment system (again, if it’s VISA, pre-paid or reported on monthly invoice is not central). The unique profile will also integrate more personal data, both static data like birth date, height, shoes size and dynamic data as center of interest or main keywords typed.


With that unique ID, that unique payment system, that unique ever-changing personal profile, the user can really be at the center of its web of interest, communities or services.


The promise is anything, anywhere, any time. The anywhere and anytime are easy to set up, already available with the most popular content such as news, sports and erotic. The anything really depends on services provider and their common will to open the standards insuring interoperability of systems, content, billing methods, conditional access. It’s a hard move, as it forces competitors to share proprietary information, but it’s a necessary one, as mass market and revenue generating retail industries will never be built on highly fragmented user base.


Well that’s it. I leave the conclusion to you, thanks you for reading this largely longer version on my speech online and am looking forward to discussions that I would be more than happy to have with you during Lift conferences or anytime if you contact me.


Clement from



Was our future killed by product lifecycle ?

Who’s fault is it if we presently live the past ?

Open innovation seems to go faster, with quicker cycle from conception to market. Is it because it’s free, that they is no finance in the loop ?

Are decision and will able to reduce the gap?

Can we do otherwise?
















September 3rd, 2014 by Clement Charles

discover what’s in your blood

Capture d’écran 2014-09-02 à 20.21.45

Pre-registration are now open with upcoming blood testing company, based in Switzerland. I did met the founder, the product looks neat and great.  Insert your mail to kept in touch.

September 1st, 2014 by Clement Charles


Capture d’écran 2014-09-01 à 18.35.29

5 years ago, I looked crazy stupid naive when I mentioned the idea, that in the future (which is now), telco’s will be selling disconnection as much as connection, access restriction as much full access.

Similarly, when I spoke at ITU last year on data privacy in World Telecom in Bangkok, I mentioned the fact that selling privacy and secured data access, I remember people being really surprised in the audience. Then, later during the event, I was happy to see fellow future-thinker (Swiss too) Gerd Leonard mentioned the exact same concept when he addressed the crowd of operators and regulators telling them “telcos are in the trust business”. You can view the full keynote here.

Logically, in the space of personal data, especially with lifelogin and quantified self data, trust is not an option, it must should be a central piece of the product offering.  This is way I’ve loved the concept of Pryv from the very start, in the field of QS  meta platforms to aggregate your various data. Contained in the name (Pryv, as in private) , but also in their DNA (they’re Swiss, and as such love secrecy), their concept is really right and fair, proposed in a rich user interface.

Now to the business, I just discovered the business of Respect Networks, dubbed as “the leading platform for secure, verified and mutually agreed sharing of personal data”. This is just a start of new business, where people will pay for trust.

August 11th, 2014 by Clement Charles

electronic bushido

Martial arts pushed to the next level of electronic / physical entertainment with the Lorica armor, builds by Unified Weapons Master from Australia.

Think of the new e-sport that could be created with that.

July 12th, 2014 by Clement Charles

On Switzerland

Juste looooooooooooovvvvvvveeeedddd that quote. You know it’s right if you live and/or work in Switzerland.



July 8th, 2014 by Clement Charles

A world of data

I just discovered the Good Country website and the Good Country Index, dubbed as a new way of looking at the world. It’s a really interesting proposition and this, for many reasons. Below, more infos about the site and what I find great.

As the founders explains, the idea of the Good Country Index is pretty simple: “to measure what each country on earth contributes to the common good of humanity, and what it takes away“. In terms of sources and data set, the site is using a wide range of data from the U.N. and other international organisations.  “We’ve given each country a balance-sheet to show at a glance whether it’s a net creditor to mankind, a burden on the planet, or something in between”  explains founder Simon Anholt. He adds “it’s important to explain that we are not making any moral judgments about countries. What I mean by a Good Country is something much simpler: it’s a country that contributes to the greater good.”

It will rate important topic for the future of our planet, and even more central for one of the species of this rather unique ecosystem, mankind. You will then information and takings about Science and Technology, Culture, Int’l Peace and Security, World Planet and Climate, Prosperity and Equality or Health and Wellbeing

In addition to the great first site that you can visit right now, the project is questioning the purpose of nation, sparking or contributing to a global debate about what countries are really for. As Simon Arnholt ask on its homepage “Do they exist purely to serve the interests of their own politicians, businesses and citizens, or are they actively working for all of humanity and the whole planet? The debate is a critical one, because if the first answer is the correct one, we’re all in deep trouble”.

Also, in terms of focus, it’s important to note that the Good Country Index doesn’t measure what countries do at home. Nothing new there. Indeed, what the Index does aim to do is to start a global discussion about how countries can balance their duty to their own citizens with their responsibility to the wider world, because this is essential for the future of humanity and the health of our planet.

Simon Arnholt, like many, including me is what I could call a hopeful pessimist or a careful optimist. Things may get better. Not only if know where to go (we do), but also if we have the true will to get there. On its website, Arnholt concludes “Today as never before, we desperately need a world made of good countries. We will only get them by demanding them: from our leaders, our companies, our societies, and of course from ourselves”.

You will agree that the approach is really interesting and quite original. In addition, the project pushes the logic of open data a step further. Indeed, in our world of algorithm and big data, you may access the results (you often do), possibly the data set (it’s rare), the raw data (nearly never) but you can hardly identify the “paradigm”, the philosophy between how raw data are interpreted, on how data set are consolidated and how results uses/ponderate/exclude elements of the data sets. On that site, I really enjoyed the fact that the logic behind the data is full transparent. Indeed, if you want to know is ranked number 2 in ” prosperity and equality” (why?don’t underestimate the importance of good chocolate for all) and 71 in “international peace” (why? we do host the red cross, but we also sell land mines), you can view the whole logic that led to that conclusion at the end of the ranking, by accessible a deep document on the source of data and how they were used. You can also view the whole site by country (ie. Switzerland).

Good initiative. To be followed.


June 17th, 2014 by Clement Charles

Flying in 2050

Airbus has delivered that great video on the future of flying circa 2050.Good clip.

I discovered this 2011 video through a recent article from Swiss magazine Bilan.

June 12th, 2014 by Clement Charles

GET YOUR DATA Now. or loose it forever

SpringPad is shutting down. I tested this life logging / note app a couple of year ago. It was good, quite easy to use, but not complete enough to compete with my premium Evernote.

While shutting down, SpringPad is being really fair play (and it’s not that easy when you manage a company closing down and your dreams going down the gutter). They are playing it fair in the sense that they warn you (not a in Zeo way) that they are closing, they give you various choice to export your data (including direct to Evernote export) and send you reminder about the deadlines to get your data back. Great job, guys.

Below, a few elements received from them if you need to get your data back.

Message from Springpad

We recently notified you that Springpad will be shutting down. During this transition, we are committed to helping you save a copy of your Springpad data so that you can have it for the future. Please visit before June 25th to export your data.

Thank you to our loyal users – We hope that you have enjoyed using Springpad as much as we enjoyed building it for you!

We understand that this transition may be difficult for many of you and we will try to help as much as possible. If you have questions or need help, please visit the Springpad Shutdown FAQ

June 5th, 2014 by Clement Charles


The more I listen, the more I hear concerns about data ownership and control. Concerns, yes, but solutions, not much. All of it flavored by pessimism – as if the current abuse were here to stay.

Well I don’t think so.

Fist of all, I am sure, and I’ve said publicly in event like ITU Telecom World 2013, that today, a good privacy and data protection are like the icing on the cake, but that they may become the cake itself in the soon to come future. Indeed, I think that in 10 years from now, to create a real data economy where growth is possible, privacy will be part of the game, as much as letting users control the usage of their data.

Secondly, the logic, the technical paradigm to reach that goal is already public today. One of the greatest initiative to protect personal data, in my view, is the IDCUBED project from the MIT , headed by John Henry Clippinger. I had the pleasure to meet John at ITU Telecom World 2012, in Dubai, in a session on privacy. On that day, and in our lunch that followed, I discovered their idea of a “data mark up language” that would encapsulate all types of possible usages of the data produced.

In my view, based on that idea from the MIT, each data should have its own meta-mark up information, like the EXIFF files in a photo or the XML files in a web content.

It should answer the following question, from the biggest to the smallest:

1 / Do you allow your data to be share ? Yes. No. If no, end of the question.

2 / If yes, would you like this data to be share with

– scientific organizations that would use your data anonimmized for research purpose
– a specific person (please list as many, please use group or “circles” that you’ve already curated)
– all or part of yours contacts (from one or more database of personal contact, from address books to Facebook friends)
– commercial organization that may uses your data commercially (and possibly, pay you a share of the revenues)


What do you think ? What rights would you give to who ? Let’s chat .



June 3rd, 2014 by Clement Charles

The Future of Shopping

As many consumer industries, the shopping and retails is investing great amount of thoughts into its future. And IT will logically be an important part of that future, to improve productivity, relation with clients, and monitoring operations.

In that logic, CISCO is like .- in any industry – investing a lot of effort to showcase what could be the future of the shopping experiences.


On the other side of the cash register, PayPal has also a interesting – and well funded – vision for the future of shopping.


IBM is pushing a more “short term” vision

What closer from your vision ?

June 3rd, 2014 by Clement Charles

Simulate your process

Since my studies in political sciences and organization, I always loved processes. If you are like me or just want to test your process, this free and online Business Processes Simulator is a funny and rather impressive tool (for a free one.)
Please find some more information below from the site itself.

The Business Processes Simulator is an online service for simulating of business processes for professional business efficiency analysis in BPM and Lean Manufacturing.
Purpose of Business Simulation:

* ♦Identification of manufacturing bottlenecks and optimization of the company’s business processes;
* ♦Analysis of actors’ workload and sufficiency of resources available to a business process;
* ♦Estimation of the efficiency of business process improvements

Key Features of Application:

1. Easy visual modeling of business processes using a task-oriented notation;
2. Step-by-step or automatic control of process simulation execution;
3. Collection the imitation modeling results for applications in Lean 6 Sigma;
4. Automatic analysis of the results of business process simulation and suggestion of improvements;
5. Only local or cloud resources are used for storing user models: Google Drive, Dropbox and Yandex.Disk;
6. Free for personal and commercial use;
7. Ability to work offline;
8. No installation required.

June 2nd, 2014 by Clement Charles

Solar Panels Roads

I loved that video on roads made of solar panels.

A huge buzz around my personal social web over the past two weeks. Great idea. Looking forward to see it live.

April 10th, 2014 by Clement Charles

Mars & Beyond. Panel discussion.

I was honored to moderate and drive the debate at the CSEM event on Mars and beyond. On April 9th, at the event Mars & Beyond, organized by the CSEM. The event had a fantastic line up with astronautes such as Claude Nicollier,  Elena Kondakova, moonwalker Charlie Duke as well as industrial ecology specialist Prof. Erkman or the technical director of the European Space Agency, Mr. Franco Ongaro.


Below, please find more information about the questions discussed with the panel and a presentation of the fantastic panelist and my personal conclusion on what means the future of space for mankind.

During this panel, we did talk about the three upcoming moments for the conquest of space in the 21st century. First of all, right now, the private space era is open, while public space still leads.
Then, the second moment will be the missions – with an S, they will be many – that will take us to work and live permanently in space, around earth, on the moon or on Mars.
The third phase, in the second half of the century, could see a wider seeding of the solar system by courageous women and men, paving the way for further, more massive, migration.
Private & Public Space ( 2015-2020)
While government have open the door to most of the achievement in the conquest of space, the last 10 years have seen the rise of the new generation of private spaces companies. Initiated by Peter Diamandis’ X Prize in 2004, the rate for private space is on with majors companies such as Space X, Blue Origin, Bigelow Aerospace, 3S, Orbital Sciences are now in business. Space X billionaire founder Elon Musk has planned to travel to Mars and possible die there – I mean, not during the landing phase.
– How credible are the private ventures for Mars ? will there be private companies there in the 10 years ?
– There is a lot of excitation around private space. What is the biggest risk for those corporations… Run out of financing ? Impossible technical challenge ?
– How will government be able to maintain /reinvest their position in the space while having difficulties to raise awareness of the need for space ? How can they be sure not to leave the table before the winning bet ?
Living & Working In Space (2020-2040)
Let’s know see the moment where both private and public spaces succeeded in going to Mars and in installing industries and real estate in orbit of any of our two planets, the blue and the red one.
– How will those company make money in space: zero gravity industries ? Asteroid mining ? Deuterium collection ?
– How to invest today to serve market that don’t exist yet but that may huge (i.e. deuterium)? Is « Planetary Ressources » just a joke for investor ?
– Low orbit, high orbit, the moon, Mars… What is the juridiction ? Will it be a new frontier, with a « fist come, first served » basis ? What’s the risk to have « de facto » space nation or orbital corporation unlinked in any earth powers ?
And Beyond (2040-2100)
Technical challenges are only a part of the problems that we need to solve. As in computer security, where the risk is always between the keyboard and the chair, all the technical solutions will not solve the psychological challenge of travelling away from earth  for long times, for generation, and without never coming back .
Is there plenty of people that would be ready to leave for ever ? 
Going beyond…. When we have the technology (not discussed), how can we handle the psychology, the deep change in the purpose of one’s life.  A life in a can ? In multi-generational motherships ? A crew on pause ?
How are the next destination for mankind… We all read and saw artist views about Mars and Galilean moons, … What next in the solar system ?
Living on solid ground or orbiting around anything with a mass ? Any where and any way, what’s the expected benefit ?
Create the adequate technology to support extreme conditions or invest in genetical engineering to adapt to all the upcoming natural conditions?
Going away from the solar system: any miles stone / pit stop until Alpha Centauri…  Oort cloud? Brown dwarfs ?
Making mankind a multi planetary species is the mission and the purpose of our generation. Astronautes like Elena Kondakova, Charlie Duke or Claude Nicollier and today’s professionals like Prof. Erkman or Mr. Ongaro are now to be followed by a new generation of pioneers, pushing the frontier, paving roads to new worlds. Their commitment, their emotions  are proof that the exploring are central to the uniqueness of mankind.
We saw today the convergence between improving life on earth and expanding the reach of mankind. We confirmed the similarities between the challenge of sending a crew in a metal ship  on Mars and the necessity that everyone’s mothership, Earth, can host, feed and support all its human passenger.
Indeed, despite the fantastic progress that we encountered over the past centuries, we – the human species – are a turning point where we are deciding now, at the dawn of the millenium, the type of futures that upcoming generation will be able to enjoy.
Whatever your vision of the future is, expanding to space is essential to our future and the upcoming generations. To keep learning, to improve life on earth, to find solution that are universally applicable or to be sure we have somewhere else to survive if our Earth vessel has problems.
The sky is the limit ? This is so 20th century… Sky is not the limit, it’s the starting line.
A starting line to reach and live everywhere we can – on the low orbit, on moon, on mars, on the moons of Jupiter, to then go outside our solar systems to other stars, other suns, other worlds.
Mankind, as a whole, is capable of the worse and of the best. The history and the present of space is a tale of science, mutual respect, innovative technology, a tale of peace and courage… A tale of the best in ourselves. This is what we need to spread, what we need to cherish and support, what we need take away in other worlds.
Our long term is future is on Earth.
Our long term future is also everywhere else.
So let’s go….
April 9th, 2014 by Clement Charles

The future of mankind. On Mars. And beyond.

Vision of the event, and of the present and future of the spaces industries

This articles is derived from my presentation, intros and moderation performed on April 9th, at the event Mars & Beyond, organized by the CSEM. The event had a fantastic line up with astronautes such as Claude Nicollier,  Elena Kondakova, moonwalker Charlie Dukem as well as industrial ecology specialist Prof. Erkman or the technical director of the European Space Agency, Mr. Franco Ongaro.

From the dawn of pre-history, pre-historic men and women have always looked at the skies to dream and organize their life or belief. If you see the importance the astrology page in your favorite newspaper, it seems to be still the case today. After nearly 2000 years of writing and dreaming about travelling to the skies and the moon, the 20th century made the giant leap for mankind that we all know. In a bit more than 50 years of existence, the space industry has proven to be the only place on earth or above where nations peacefully collaborate, where the rules of reason and knowledge supersedes all other forms of power, where the spirit of the science blossom and where mankind can show the best of itself.

At the dawn of the new millennium, living times of climatic, economic and social challenges, that great spirit of space is more needed than ever. To solves the problems of Earth and to transform mankind into a truly multi planetary species, the time has come to reach the stars.

To quote the father of modern rocket sciences, Constantin Tsiolkovski, “Earth is the cradle of mankind but one cannot live in a cradle for ever. »

During that event, the audience has been able to hear and see why the sky is not the limit. The sky is the starting line. Indeed, the event did welcome speaker that pushed the limit of mankind, a unique set of fantastic pioneer that started to open the door of a incredibly large new world, the rest of the universe.

Long duration space flights, walking on other planets or orbital engineering are amongst the most important know how to have to make mankind a multi planetary species. Three essentials skills, three essentials experiences and successes, represented today by three unique profile of astronauts, coming today to share with you their experiences in space, and their vision for Mars, and beyond.

To go and succeed in space, you need heroes and public figures like our astronautes. But the mission is only is the visible part of the iceberg, and nothing would be possible without all the talents that stays on the ground. Space agencies, universities or research centers are also essential to the venture. A research center and technology transfer like the CSEM is developing today the technologies that mankind will need tomorrow to go further. Next to the recent boom of the private space, the space agencies have maintained, financed and improved the key engineering competencies inherited from the 60’s until today, while expanding our knowledge the solar system with many successful unmanned vehicles. Last but not least, universities, thinkers and communicators are also a essential link, as sending astronautes in space or making mankind a multi planetary species can only succeed if the production of knowledge, the quest for meaning, the philosophy supporting the action is continuous, ambitious and well shared.

At the Mars & Beyond event, we did not speak about the use of space and orbital ventures. In a world of GPS, smartphones and satellite TV, this is not an open question. We did not speak about the type of fuel to use or the best way to recycle water, as that’s a practical question where many answers are possible and technically valid.

We spoke about Mars. And Beyond, About humanity, mankind, men and women of this planet to expand the reach of our species, boardings space ships tomorrow like pilgrims boarded on the Mayflower yesterday.

April 4th, 2014 by Clement Charles


Amazing. And scary. Good to read it’s only a sim.

PTWC’s near real-time animation for the tsunami from northern Chile on 1 April 2014 resulting from an offshore 8.2 magnitude earthquake in the region. The animation shows simulated tsunami wave propagation for 30 hours followed by an “energy map” showing the maximum open-ocean wave heights over that period and the forecasted tsunami runup heights on the coastlines.

March 18th, 2014 by Clement Charles



Capture d’écran 2014-03-18 à 12.00.07

Almost half a century ago, man walked on the Moon. Ever since, men and women have worked tirelessly  on many other  space-based endeavors, with the latest goal being to reach Mars – a true human and  technological challenge.

To better understand this challenge, CSEM brings together keynote speakers such as Charlie Duke, who walked on the moon during the Apollo 16 mission; Elena Kondakova, the first Russian woman to make a long-duration spaceflight; “our” Claude Nicollier, also Chairman of CSEM; as well as Franco Ongaro, Head of ESTEC, the technology branch of ESA, who will provide us with the agency’s perspective; and Suren Erkman, Professor at the University of Lausanne, who will address the
relevance of manned interplanetary missions to terrestrial sustainability.

To my pleasure and honor, I will be moderating the debate with the fantastic panel.

The conference will take place at the Hotel Schweizerhof in Bern (Switzerland) on Wednesday, 9 April, 2014 from 13:30 to 18:00. Attendance is free of charge, but registration is compulsory. Simply register with your the following link no later than 31 March 2014. After registering, you will receive a personal invitation by post that will be your official ticket to the

Please download here the full PDF program of the Mars_and_beyond_2014 conference.