As David Bornstein claims, we are riding the verge of a social change enlightenment.
Successful social change programs are targeting the heart as well as the head, effecting change by appealing to ‘non-rational’ factors such as emotion, group identity, and relationships. (...)
At the heart of the social change enlightenment, there is a new emphasis on data and facts to evaluate the impact of social change programs. Where the historical exponents of Enlightenment used scientific experiments and logical arguments to explain the world, we are drawing on the infinite capacities of online data clouds and innovative data visualization tools to make social change challenges and solutions apparent to all. This is radically reducing costs and exponentially boosting the effectiveness of social change programs. (...)
Smart data can feed into social change in three main ways:
1. Data visualization. Visualizing problems makes it easier to respond to them. We see this in the world of crisis mapping. In the 2010 Haitian earthquake, Ushahidi’s crisis mapping tools were hailed as a breakthrough innovation.
2. ‘Socialize’ the process of systems change with smart interactive campaigns. Smart data doesn’t just enable us to visualize problems, it opens up new ways of mobilizing crowds to engage with them too. We can take inspiration here from flashmob culture and groups like ImprovEverywhere, who seek to create ‘scenes of chaos and joy in public places’.
3. Empower entrepreneurs to engage with social change initiatives. The most talented people in the world are not necessarily working for social change organizations. This doesn’t mean that they are not willing to pitch in and get involved. (...)
Our collective capacity today is truly miraculous. All that we need are tools to transform this capacity into millions of enlightened actions.
“Our problem is not lack of growth but too much of it,” Sedláček said. An economy that uses debt to grow must continue to do so by taking on more and more debt or, alternatively, face a slowdown that will lead to bankruptcy. It is like owning a car that explodes when it stops, argued Sedláček."
Brilliant presentation at the Fifth Annual European Investment Conference in Prague by Czech economist Tomáš Sedláček, who was an advisor to Vaclav Havel in the past.
The open-source world has learned to deal with a flood of new, oftentimes divergent, ideas using hosting services like GitHub -- so why can’t governments? In this rousing TED talk Clay Shirky shows how democracies can take a lesson from the Internet, to be not just transparent but also to draw on the knowledge of all their citizens.
Clay Shirky argues that the history of the modern world could be rendered as the history of ways of arguing, where changes in media change what sort of arguments are possible -- with deep social and political implications.
It seems to be the season for fascinating meditations on consciousness, exploring such questions as what happens while we sleep, how complex cognition evolved, and why the world exists. Joining them and prior explorations of what it means to be human is The Ravenous Brain: How the New Science of Consciousness Explains Our Insatiable Search for Meaning (public library) by Cambridge neuroscientist Daniel Bor in which, among other things, he sheds light on how our species' penchant for pattern-recognition is essential to consciousness and our entire experience of life.
The process of combining more primitive pieces of information to create something more meaningful is a crucial aspect both of learning and of consciousness and is one of the defining features of human experience. Once we have reached adulthood, we have decades of intensive learning behind us, where the discovery of thousands of useful combinations of features, as well as combinations of combinations and so on, has collectively generated an amazingly rich, hierarchical model of the world. Inside us is also written a multitude of mini strategies about how to direct our attention in order to maximize further learning. We can allow our attention to roam anywhere around us and glean interesting new clues about any facet of our local environment, to compare and potentially add to our extensive internal model.
History as-we-know-it is now ending because the dominator culture has led the human species into a blind alley and lost its vitality. As the inevitable chaos approaches, people are now looking for... (Yes!
Most of us take for granted that those rectangular green slips of paper we keep in our wallets are inviolable: the physical embodiment of value. But alternative forms of money have a long history and appear to be growing in popularity. It's not merely barter or primitive means of exchange like seashells or beads. Beneath the financial radar, in hip U.S. towns or South African townships, in shops, markets and even banks, people throughout the world are exchanging goods and services via thousands of currency types that look nothing like official tender.
Robin Good: Participatory culture writer and book author Henry Jenkins interviews cyberculture pioneer Howard Rheingold (Net Smart, 2012) by asking him to explain some of the concepts that have helped him become a paladin of the and "new literacies" so essential for survival in the always-on information-world we live in today.
This is part three of a long and in-depth interview (Part 2, Part 1) covering key concepts and ideas as the value of "community" and "networks", the architecture of participation, affinity working spaces, and curation.
Here is a short excerpt of Howard response to a question about curation and its value as both a “fundamental building block” of networked communities and as an important form of participation:
Howard Rheingold: "...at the fundamental level, curation depends on individuals making mindful and informed decisions in a publicly detectable way.
Certainly just clicking on a link, “liking” or “plussing” an item online, adding a tag to a photograph is a lightweight element that can be aggregated in valuable ways (ask Facebook).
But the kind of curation that is already mining the mountains of Internet ore for useful and trustworthy nuggets of knowledge, and the kind that will come in the future, has a strong literacy element.
Curators don’t just add good-looking resources to lists, or add their vote through a link or like, they summarize and contextualize in their own words, explicitly explain why the resource is worthy of attention, choose relevant excerpts, tag thoughtfully, group resources and clearly describe the grouping criteria."
In other words, "curators" are the ones creating the metadata needed to empower our emerging collective intelligence.
Curation Is The Social Choice About What Is Worth Paying Attention To.
Imagine a world where banks take into account your online reputation alongside traditional credit ratings to determine your loan; where headhunters hire you based on the expertise you've demonstrated on online forums such as Quora; where your status from renting a house through Airbnb helps you become a trusted car renter on WhipCar; where your feedback on eBay can be used to get a head-start selling on Etsy; where traditional business cards are replaced by profiles of your digital trustworthiness, updated in real-time. Where reputation data becomes the window into how we behave, what motivates us, how our peers view us and ultimately whether we can or can't be trusted.
Welcome to the reputation economy, where your online history becomes more powerful than your credit history.
"Context for this post: I’m currently working on a social network application that demonstrates the value of connection strength and context for making networks more useful and intelligent. Connection strength and context are currently only rudimentarily and mushily implemented in social network apps. This post describes some of the underlying theory for why connection strength and context are key to next generation social network applications."
As consumer technology evolves at an ever-quickening pace, opportunities for new forms of storytelling are emerging. Experimentation is all well and good, but what do audiences actually want? To answer this question, research group Latitude has interviewed 158 early adopters and compiled a report that forms the first phase of its The Future of Storytelling project.
Unsurprisingly, these early adopters are keen to take advantage of everything that technology has to offer. Their key demands are summarized in Latitude’s report as ‘The 4 I’s': Immersion, Interactivity, Integration and Impact. Essentially, they want to be able to explore a story in greater depth, and have it reach out of the confines of a single medium and play out in ‘the real world’....
From the roots of the word Economy as the 'Rules of the household' into a whole fluent explanation of how we should look at nature's cero waste economy to design or economic system. She says -We never really had a science of economics-
She ends with speaking about a gift currency of how money is issued to make the transaction happens but disappears afterwards. Highest evolution is a gifted currency.
The thing that I think is important about it, and why it could be transformative — including the direction that is represented by this cutting-edge part of the movement — is that it is asking itself: Are we up to, really, what it would take to transform an economic system? Not just doing projects isolated, but projects that build up and begin to ask that big, big question in a strategic way, not simply a tactical way. …
I don’t think we here are talking about projects alone, I don’t think we are talking only about entrepreneurship, I don’t think we are talking only about impact investing.
I think we are talking — and I sometimes wear a historian’s hat — I think we are talking about laying down the foundations. … We are establishing the pre-history in this work, step by step, of the possible great transformation.
At the end of 2010 a Spanish Google search for “consumo colaborativo” only rendered few results, among them this note from the Discovery Channel Latin America and an article on Argentina’s Rolling Stone website (2011), which were mostly focused on American examples. We are now in 2012 and I am pleased to report that collaborative consumption projects in Latin America have exploded. Would you like to learn more about some of these interesting projects?
What if software got out of our way so ideas could flow freely? What if using the web was like reading each others minds? So we could think a mile in somebody's shoes. What if my work merged with your work to become ours? I think in pictures, you think in words, they think in numbers, but we all think together. Our knowledge flowing, filtering and improving to serve and enlighten us all.
The Finnish government has approved the technology behind a new 'Open Ministry' platform, which will act as a hub for citizens who want new laws voted on in the country's parliament. But could that work elsewhere?
It is becoming more obvious that we need to transform our ways of living and operating. The biggest inhibitor to our transformation is our dis-connection with life/nature. Nature is transformation
Transformation requires a re-connection; a re-connection with our true human nature and nature. It is that simple and yet we often grasp at ‘activity’ before undertaking this re-connection (at ‘doing’ before ‘being’). Perhaps this is because the re-connection flies in the face of what we have been taught, what has become so ingrained in our mental make-up; hence re-connecting challenges our sense of self-importance, our individuality (our ego) which we believe is so important for our ‘success’ in the world.
Fritjof Capra, in his book ‘The Hidden Connections’ applies aspects of complexity theory, particularly the analysis of networks, to global capitalism and the state of the world; and eloquently argues the case that social systems such as organisations and networks are not just like living systems – they are living systems. The concept and theory of living systems (technically known as autopoiesis) was introduced in 1972 by Chilean biologists Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela.
This is a complete version of a ‘long-blog’ written by Al Kennedy on behalf of ‘The Nature of Business’ blog and BCI: Biomimicry for Creative Innovation www.businessinspired...
Our proposal is that the users of the commons should be commons-friendly enterprise structures and not profit-maximising companies. These ethical companies, whose members are the commoners/contributors themselves, would be organised as global open design companies. These would be linked to networks of small factories that produce on the basis of shared values and could more easily adopt open-book management, open recruiting and open supply lines, ensuring transparency to the whole network, in order to create maximum mutual alignment between participants. This is simply an extension of the existing organisational practices of ‘immaterial commons production’, which combines full transparency of all actions with negotiated coordination. (...)
It requires distributed access to physical places for collaboration – co-working centres – as well as the widespread possibility for peer learning. Distributed access to financial capital is a further condition, notably crowd-funding, social lending and distributed, decentralised currencies such as cryptography-based digital money Bitcoin. The spread of these peer to peer forms of funding has already attracted the attention of the Bank of England executive director, Andrew Haldane, who has suggested that peer to peer finance models could sweep away the inefficient retail banks before too long.