The Power of Networks | World Economic Forum 2012

"*Nowadays, any organization should employ network scientists/analysts who are able to map and analyse complex systems that are of importance to the organization (e.g. the organization itself, its activities, a country’s economic activities, transportation networks, research networks).

 

*Interconnectivity is beneficial but also brings in vulnerability: if you and I are connected we can share resources; meanwhile your problems can become mine and vice versa.

 

*The concept of “crystallized imagination” refers to things that are first in our head and then become reality. This concept can be turned into network applied research on economic complexity of a country’s economic activities and development prospects".

Transformative Change: conversations with Fritjof Capra
On Monday, January 29th, 2018, Gaia Education and Fritjof Capra’s ‘Capra Course’ collaborated in offering a free webinar on ‘Transformative Change, Sustainability and Regeneration’ as part of our…
Six strategies for creating system change for a sustainable future

To work systemically towards sustainability:
1. Convene people
2. Find opportunities
3. Align visions to our living systems
4. Experiment with systems
5. Innovation and learning platforms
6. Communicate a coherent story

The post-hierarchical organization

"Complex problems cannot be solved alone. They require the sharing of tacit knowledge, which cannot easily be put into a manual. In addition, tacit knowledge flows best in trusted networks. This trust also promotes individual autonomy and can become a foundation for organizational  learning, as knowledge is freely shared. Without trust, few people are willing to share their knowledge"

Systems Thinking and the Future of Cities

In Brief

The idea that nothing exists in isolation−but only as part of a system−has long been embedded in folklore, religious scriptures, and common sense. Yet, systems dynamics as a science has yet to transform the way we conduct the public business. This article first briefly explores the question of why advances in systems theory have failed to transform public policy. The second part describes the ways in which our understanding of systems is growing−not so much from theorizing, but from practical applications in agriculture, building design, and medical science. The third part focuses on whether and how that knowledge and systems science can be deployed to improve urban governance in the face of rapid climate destabilization so that sustainability becomes the norm, not the occasional success story.


Key Concepts

Reducing wholes to parts lies at the core of the scientific worldview we inherited from Galileo, Bacon, Descartes, and their modern acolytes in the sciences of economics, efficiency, and management.The decades between 1950 and 1980 were the grand era for systems theory. However despite a great deal of talk about systems, we continue to administer, organize, analyze, manage, and govern complex ecological systems as if they were a collection of isolated parts and not an indissoluble union of energy, water, soils, land, forests, biota, and air.Much of what we have learned about managing real systems began in agriculture. One of the most important lessons being that land is an evolving organism of interrelated parts soils, hydrology, biota, wildlife, plants, animals, and people.The challenge is to transition organized urban complexity built on an industrial model and designed for automobiles, sprawl, and economic growth into coherent, civil, and durable places.A systems perspective to urban governance is a lens by which we might see more clearly through the fog of change, and potentially better manage the complex cause and effect relationships between social and ecological phenomena. The application of systems offers at least six possibilities to improve urban governance.

 

A system is an interconnected set of elements that is coherently organized in a way that achieves something . . . . [it] must consist of three kinds of things: elements, interconnections, and a function or purpose.
—Donella Meadows, Thinking in Systems1

 

A system [is] (a) a set of units or elements interconnected so that changes in some elements or their relations produce changes in other parts of the system, and (b) the entire system exhibits properties and behaviors that are different from those of the parts.
—Robert Jervis, Systems Effects 2

 

One of the most important ideas in modern science is the idea of a system; and it is almost impossible to define.
—Garrett Hardin, The Cybernetics of Competition3

Collective Leadership: Doing and Being « Interaction Institute for Social Change Blog

"...collective leadership is not an end in itself.  Those of us who seek social transformation are actively seeking better ways of responding to the seemingly intractable challenges of our day.  Physicist Amit Goswami charmingly speaks about the interplay between doing and being, as do-be-do-be-do.  An evolution towards collective leadership demands our capacity to simultaneously tend to both – how we are and what we do".

The Creative Climate

"the Lennon-McCartney story also illustrates the key feature of creativity; it is the joining of the unlike to create harmony. Creativity rarely flows out of an act of complete originality. It is rarely a virgin birth. It is usually the clash of two value systems or traditions, which, in collision, create a transcendent third thing".

Puppies! Now that I’ve got your attention, complexity theory | Nicholas Perony | TEDxZurich
Animal behavior isn't complicated, but it is complex. Nicolas Perony studies how individual animals -- be they Scottish Terriers, bats or meerkats -- follow simple rules that, collectively, create larger patterns of behavior. And how this complexity born of simplicity can help them adapt to new c...
Knoco stories: Why dialogue is so important for Knowledge Management

"...knowledge transfer is a social process, and if you want to transfer detailed knowledge you have to engage in conversation (specifically, in dialogue) with other human beings".

The New Science of Building Great Teams

"With remarkable consistency, the data confirmed that communication indeed plays a critical role in building successful teams. In fact, we’ve found patterns of communication to be the most important predictor of a team’s success. Not only that, but they are as significant as all the other factors—individual intelligence, personality, skill, and the substance of discussions—combined".

Culture Eats Strategy For Breakfast
Culture eats strategy for breakfast, technology for lunch, and products for dinner, and soon thereafter everything else too.Why? Because company culture, a concept pioneered by Edgar Schein, is the operationalizing of an organization’s values. Culture guides employee decisions about both technica...
Robert Wright: The logic of non-zero-sum progress
"Author Robert Wright explains "non-zero-sumness," a game-theory term describing how players with linked fortunes tend to cooperate for mutual benefit. This dynamic has guided our biological and cultural evolution, he says -- but our unwillingness to understand one another, as in the clash betwee...
Neil deGrasse Tyson on the New Cosmos

"As your area of knowledge grows, so too does your perimeter of ignorance"

With this quote during his succinct explanation of our place in an ever-expanding universe, dark matter, and dark energy, Tyson also explains some basic concepts of knowledge management, including the known unknowns, and unknown unknowns. 

The Re-Emerging Art of Funding Innovation (SSIR)

"The idea of “funding experiments” requires foundations to develop a deep appreciation for iteration, failure, and learning. Social change is a messy and uncertain process, and innovations rarely follow a linear path. They move ahead in fits and starts, through repeated trial and error. And because it’s hard to know the path forward from the start, supporting this type of experimentation requires an unusual degree of flexibility. Innovation funders often use an emergent approach, adapting their strategies as they learn more about issues and leverage points. They leave themselves open to possibilities. And they trust and support recipients as they learn and find new solutions that are built on the backs of early failures.

Innovation funders also experiment with their own strategies, trying continuously to challenge their thinking, adapt to changing circumstances, and take advantage of serendipitous opportunities. They work hard to improve their peripheral vision and to explore trends and strategies that may emerge from beyond their usual field of view. As Lori McGlinchey of the Open Society Foundations explains, “We don’t want our ideas to get stale. So we often look for ways to refresh and sharpen our thinking within the foundations. We’re encouraged to seek out interactions with contrarians—people who may be approaching the issues we work on from a different perspective. The question is how to increase our access to forwardthinking people and ideas that will help us anticipate future challenges coming five or ten years down the road.”
Using Empathic Listening to Collaborate

Stephen Covey, author of bestseller, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, describes the power of empathic listening.

 

"Empathic listening involves much more than registering, reflecting, or even understanding the words that are said. Communications experts estimate, in fact, that only 10% of our communication is represented by the words we say. Another 30 percent is represented by our sounds, and 60% by our body language. In empathic listening, you listen with your ears, but you also, and more importantly, listen with your eyes and with your heart. You listen for feeling, for meaning. You listen for behavior. You use your right brain as well as your left. You sense, you intuit, you feel".

The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge | Brain Pickings by Maria Popova

"In an age obsessed with practicality, productivity, and efficiency, I frequently worry that we are leaving little room for abstract knowledge and for the kind of curiosity that invites just enough serendipity to allow for the discovery of ideas we didn’t know we were interested in until we are, ideas that we may later transform into new combinations with applications both practical and metaphysical".

The One Thing You Should Do After Meeting Anyone New - Forbes

"Relationship building has become the antithesis of this idea. It represents personalized and relevant giving in order to build a relationship.

 

Segmentation, when used properly, is one of the most powerful tools to deepen and scale the most important relationships in your life".

Developing a Culture of Knowledge Management (SSIR)

"Will foundations learn to use data? Philanthropy has evolved from an early notion of “giving away money” to the strategic practice of “social investment." But for strategic philanthropy to realize its true potential, foundations need to learn how to manage information (data) to produce and share knowledge. Doing so will depend on changing internal incentive systems, in which foundations employ static data primarily as means for approving strategies and monitoring grants. Foundations will need to view their grants management systems as virtual work spaces, and the digital information that flows through them as knowledge assets".

Science Wants to Be Free

Interesting perspective on the peer-review process, among other things.

Not Business As Usual - The Documentary | Institute B
"Not Business As Usual is a provocative look at capitalism and its unintended price of success. The film tracks the changing landscape of business with the rising tide of conscious capitalism through the stories of local entrepreneurs who have found innovative ways to bring humanity back into bus...
We need to talk about TED | Benjamin Bratton | The Guardian

Some good questions to ponder here for folks interested in 'Ideas Worth Spreading' and 'Riveting talks by remarkable people, free to the world'.

 

"...does TED epitomize a situation where if a scientist's work (or an artist's or philosopher's or activist's or whoever) is told that their work is not worthy of support, because the public doesn't feel good listening to them?"

 

"I'm sorry but this fails to meet the challenges that we are supposedly here to confront. These are complicated and difficult and are not given to tidy just-so solutions. They don't care about anyone's experience of optimism. Given the stakes, making our best and brightest waste their time – and the audience's time – dancing like infomercial hosts is too high a price. It is cynical. Also, it just doesn't work."

The Next Big Thing You Missed: The Sharing Economy Goes Corporate | Wired Business | Wired.com

"The language of corporate competition doesn’t always sit that comfortably with the rhetoric of sharing, which largely originated among grassroots internet communities and non-profits. Like so much else in the history of the web, which began as a more decentralized, bottom-up approach to publishing and communication, the corporate co-opting of sharing is already well under way.

 

That could mean the exact kind of centralized control the sharing economy’s democratizing effects were supposed to undermine. Or it could mean that sharing goes from a niche market of tech-savvy early adopters to a mainstream reimagining of consumer culture as commonplace in Sarasota as San Francisco. Or, as is the case with just about everything else online, it could mean a little of both".

Tina Seelig: The 6 Characteristics of Truly Creative People | 99u

“Often, answers are baked into the questions we ask. We need to question, examine, and reframe the questions we’re asking.”

 

About this presentation

Determined not to just write just another book on creativity, Stanford professor Tina Seelig painstakingly researched what makes good ideas spring forward. The result is her “innovation engine,” a special mix of six characteristics like attitude, resources and environment.

 

But the special concoction of forces that makes our ideas come to life is nothing with out the willingness to fail. “Most call it failure, but we scientists just call it data,” she says. The most creative organizations and people embrace experimentation to get the needed data to determine they’re on to something. 

 

“Workers are puzzle builders, they get stuck when missing a piece,” she says. Truly creative people “are quilt makers — they can fit anything together.”

 

About Tina Seelig

Tina Seelig is the executive director for the Stanford Technology Ventures Program and the director of the National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter) at Stanford University’s School of Engineering. She teaches courses on creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship in the department of Management Science and Engineering, and within the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford. She received the 2009 Gordon Prize from the National Academy of Engineering, recognizing her as a national leader in engineering education.

 

Seelig earned her PhD in 1985 from Stanford University School of Medicine, where she studied Neuroscience. She has been a management consultant, multimedia producer, and an entrepreneur. Seelig has also written 16 popular science books and educational games. Her newest books are Wish I Knew When I Was 20 (HarperCollins 2009) and inGenius: A Crash Course on Creativity(HarperCollins 2012).

How to Build a Mass Movement Now - Jeremy Heimans - YouTube

Jeremy Heimans, co-founder and CEO, Purpose.com on movement building.

Wealth, Responsibility & Shifting Business Culture | Richard Branson | Business Insider
"The Virgin Founder and B-Team leader Derek Handley recently sat down with Business Insider to discuss social responsibility, business for good and the challenges facing society. “With any type of wealth comes some serious responsibility…”
Thinking Out Loud: How Successful Networks Nurture Good Ideas by Clive Thompson | Wired.com
Why Even the Worst Bloggers Are Making Us Smarter | Wired Opinion | Wired.com This article is adapted and excerpted from WIRED contributing editor Clive Thompson’s new book, Smarter Than You Think.

"We write the equivalent of 520 million books every day on social media and email. The fact that ...
A Neuroscientist's Radical Theory of How Networks Become Conscious - Wired Science

Neuroscientist Christof Koch, chief scientific officer at the Allen Institute for Brain Science, argues that "we live in a universe of space, time, mass, energy, and consciousness arising out of complex systems.”

 

"What Koch proposes is a scientifically refined version of an ancient philosophical doctrine calledpanpsychism — and, coming from someone else, it might sound more like spirituality than science. But Koch has devoted the last three decades to studying the neurological basis of consciousness. His work at the Allen Institute now puts him at the forefront of the BRAIN Initiative, the massive new effort to understand how brains work, which will begin next year".

Ditch Time-Wasting Meetings By Turning Your Office Into An Ant Colony

"The secret is uncoordinated decision making. Ants perceive and react to the world through the lens of colonies’ thousands (or millions) of tiny interactions, rather than a single agent’s directions. This collective intelligence is far more efficient and effective than any individual. In a way, ant colonies act as an enormous brain: Each individual isanalagous to a neuron in the human brain. Intelligence is embedded in the interaction of the many parts".

The Expression of Phenomenology in Business

Chaos + Order = Chaord. 

"There is a sweet spot in living dynamic systems, a zone where ambiguity enables the emergence and creation of new meanings to arise, a form of innovation if you like. This is where language lies, in that although language can never truly model reality, it can guide us towards a deeper comprehension of that which we are aiming to understand".

Joe Gebbia: Executing Your Idea Starts With a Small Single Step

"We all have that idea that we can’t shake out of our head, the one that we think about in the shower or daydream about. Entrepreneur Job Gebbia, shares how his team grew their idea, Airbnb, into a national startup the hard way: by staying lean, “doing things that don’t scale” like meeting users one at a time, and by taking one small step at a time.

 

Joe leads us in a storyboarding exercise that helped his team take ideas and push them into reality. If you’d like to follow along, download the Airbnb Storyboard Frame sheet and grab a pencil. When finished, tweet Joe at @jgebbia, and be sure to use the hashtag #nextstep".

Simon Sinek: Why Leaders Eat Last

"In this in-depth talk, ethnographer and leadership expert Simon Sinek reveals the hidden dynamics that inspire leadership and trust. In biological terms, leaders get the first pick of food and other spoils, but at a cost. When danger is present, the group expects the leader to mitigate all threats even at the expense of their personal well-being. Understanding this deep-seated expectation is the key difference between someone who is just an “authority” versus a true “leader.” 

Impact Hub Movement Growing Worldwide

"Kevin Jones, one of the other owners of the Bay Area Hubs, reported, “I’m passionate about the Hub because I’ve seen people make the connections, find the mentors, partners, peers, employees and investors that take their social enterprises to the next level, to enable them to enact their dreams to build a better world. We built the Impact Hub as a place where visionaries and doers could meet and make magic together. It’s working, and it’s growing. It’s expanding in the U.S. and in the world because it’s working.”

The TED of all Leadership Management Conferences - A Review of the Drucker Forum 2013
"Once in a while, you get inspired by events in your life that seem to be a precursor to real societal change. A hopeful change. A needed change. An evolutionary change. The Drucker Forum 2013 edition that was recently held in Vienna, Austria –14 and 15, November — was one of those moments..."
The knowledge sharing paradox | Harold Jarche

Brilliant insights (as usual) from Harold Jarche - Life in Perpetual Beta

 

"The elephant in the room is human nature. Enterprise knowledge sharing will never be as good as what networked individuals can do. Individuals who own their knowledge networks will invest more in them. I think this means that innovation outside of organizations will continue to evolve faster than inside. It may mean that the half-life of organizations will continue to decrease, as more nimble businesses continuously emerge to compete with incumbents. Whoever creates an organizational structure that bridges the individual-organizational knowledge sharing divide may have significant business advantages".

Philanthropy's Power to Lead on Divest-Invest | Health & Environmental Funders Network

"Fossil fuel stocks, whose valuations are linked to their reserves, are over-valued. Conservative estimates point to a “carbon bubble” many times larger than the recent $2 trillion housing bust.  When investors realize that up to 80% of current fossil fuel reserves cannot be used, the carbon bubble will pop, with profound economic consequences.

 

Such warnings are coming from a growing body of financial analysis, includingCarbon Tracker, the London School of Economics, Lord Nicholas Stern, The Grantham Institute, HSBC, Standard & Poor’s the University of Oxford, and theEconomist. The existence of a global carbon bubble and the reality of stranded fossil assets are fast becoming mainstream wisdom".

Why We Are Wired to Connect: Scientific American

"With respect to understanding human nature, I think this finding is pretty significant.  The things that cause us to feel pain are things that are evolutionary recognized as threats to our survival and the existence of social pain is a sign that evolution has treated social connection like a necessity, not a luxury.  It also alters our motivational landscape.  We tend to assume that people’s behavior is narrowly self-interested, focused on getting more material benefits for themselves and avoiding physical threats and the exertion of effort.  But because of how social pain and pleasure are wired into our operating system, these are motivational ends in and of themselves.  We don’t focus on being connected solely in order to extract money and other resources from people – being connected needs no ulterior motive". 

Sharing Can Truly Disrupt Business--By Mixing Money And Social Change

"Social change emerges from disruptive innovations--business model hacks that upend industries, enlarge markets, extend access, and stir power dynamics. Disruptive innovations challenge the prevailing economics of industries by finding ways to offer products drastically cheaper or more accessibly. This was how the computing revolution accelerated from million dollar mainframes to mobile for the masses, all the while changing every aspect of social life".

Social media, knowledge exchange, and the social determinants of health | National Collaborating ...

"By placing organizations, networks and individuals on equal ground, social media can create opportunities to engage multiple sectors on issues related to the social determinants of health and health equity, and can offer a complementary online environment within which public health professionals can share thoughts, resources, and follow opportunities for further exchange".

Social Grant Makers | Stanford Social Innovation Review: Letting Go

"To make steady forward progress solving problems in dynamic environments of complexity and uncertainty, foundations must shift from centrally planned, narrowly focused grant making strategies to more decentralized, diversified strategies that are better able to catch the waves of effective leadership, distributed wisdom, and innovation. There are two ways foundations need to let go. The first is to enable effective nonprofits to take the lead in designing solutions to social problems. The second is to diversify investments across multiple solutions or pathways to the goal. Let's take a closer look at the problems with current practice in philanthropy".

Mitch Joel & Seth Godin, "CTRL ALT DELETE" | Talks At Google

"Successful Entreprenuers: There are certain people who are trying to create the industry before it exists, and that's the right posture". Mitch Joel.

Wicked Problems and Social Complexity by Jeff Conklin PhD

Intro chapter to a book about Collective Intelligence - the creativity and resourcefulness that a group or team can bring to a collaborative problem.

Why Organizations Should Embrace Randomness Like Ant Colonies
Surprise is information.
How the Science of Swarms Can Help Us Fight Cancer and Predict the Future - Wired Science

"And it may turn out that crowds of humans have more in common with schools of fish than we ever imagined".

Institute for the Future (IFTF): Ten-Year Forecast
We face a decade of the impossible. We stand eye-to-eye with challenges that seem unimaginable even as we face them. Global warming. Human population collapse. Widespread economic failure. We respond with untested solutions on scales we have never before attempted: molecular-scale manufacturing, ...
Encyclopedia of Life - Animals - Plants - Pictures & Information

The Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) is a free, online collaborative encyclopedia intended to document all of the 1.9 million living species known to science. 

 

From Open Culture:
http://www.openculture.com/2013/09/e-o-wilsons-the-encyclopedia-of-life.html ;

"One of the treasures of our time, biologist E.O. Wilson, the folksy and brilliant author of two Pulitzer Prize-winning books and the world’s leading authority on ants, is 84 years old and retired from his professorship at Harvard. But even in retirement he came up with one of the most innovative new scientific resources available today: the Encyclopedia of Life, a networked encyclopedia of all the world’s knowledge about life.

 

Six years ago Wilson announced his vision for such a project while accepting the 2007 TED Prize. He expressed a wish for a collaborative tool to create an infinitely expandable page for each species—all 1.9 million known so far—where scientists around the world can contribute text and images.

 

Wilson’s dream came true, not long after he announced it, and the EOL was so popular right away that it had to go off-line for a spell to expand its capacity to handle the traffic. The site was redesigned to be more accessible and to encourage contributions from users. It’s vision: to continue to dynamically catalog every living species, as research is completed, and to include the roughly 20,000 new species discovered every year.

 

Wilson’s vision is manifest in a fun and well-designed site useful for educators, academics, and any curious person with access to the Internet.

No more consultants: or are we all consultants now?
Joanna Goodman reports from David Gurteen’s London knowledge café,where Chris Collison and Geoff Parcell led a discussion on the central theme of their latest book – the role of consultants in modern companies and organisations.
Socialogy: A Look Back After Seven Interviews | Stowe Boyd

Stowe Boyd defines Socialogy as the theory and practice behind social business, its tools and techniques, and their impact on business culture, structure, operations, and people.

 

He talks with smart people and always asks the question — ‘How do you think a scientifically-grounded understanding of people as social beings will change business in the future and how?’

Power Laws and Fragility in Flow Networks
What makes economic and ecological networks so unlike other highly skewed networks in their tendency toward turbulence and collapse? Here, we explore the consequences of a defining feature of these networks: their nodes are tied together by flow. We show that flow networks tend to the power law d...
The 12 Habits Of Highly Collaborative Organizations

Collaboration can make the world a better place

 

"Perhaps the most important principle of collaboration is that it can make the world a better place. Sure, collaboration can make our employee more productive and benefit our customers. But collaboration also allows employees to feel more connected to their jobs and co-workers, reduces stress at the workplace, makes their jobs easier, allows for more work freedom, and in general makes them happier people. This means less stress at home, less arguments with spouses, and more time to spend with loved ones. Collaboration not only positively impacts the lives of employees at work but also at home".

 

Jacob is the author of the Amazon best-selling book, The Collaborative Organization: A Strategic Guide to Solving Your Internal Business Challenges Using Social and Collaborative Tools (McGraw Hill).

The Nonprofitization of Business (SSIR)

"The right answer is not to disparage companies, in a sort of tit-for-tat “Sector War,” but rather to point out that each sector has its strengths and limitations. There is much to be learned, and much work to do, across sectors … But we need to remember that each of the sectors play distinct, and vital, roles".

The Science of Familiar Strangers: Society's Hidden Social Network | MIT Technology Review

Going beyond 'weak ties' of social network analysis, this study looks at how hidden networks of familiar strangers form the bedrock of society.

The nature of collective intelligence

Levy on how human communications and digital media create platforms for augmented collective intelligence.

Question the Answers: Using Critical Thinking to Change Workplace Dynamics
“Heresy is another word for freedom of thought.” Graham Greene I often hear people say, “We need more critical thinking in the world, we should be teaching it in schools.” I don’t disagree with tho...
Leadership in Transformation in Complex Environments
Yesterday I was a guest of both Harvard Business Review Brasil and Infinity Conferences who were hosting their first event on the transformation of leadership in complex environments. This event ha...
Is An MFA The New MBA?

FastCo takes a look at what business leaders might consider in tapping talent from the creative economy.

 

"Is art school the next B-school? Hardly, though artists often possess the skills and temperament that business leaders regularly say are in short supply: creativity, resiliency, flexibility, high tolerance for risk and ambiguity, as well as the courage to fail".

Survival of the ... Nicest? Check Out the Other Theory of Evolution

"New peer-reviewed research by Michael Tomasello, an American psychologist and co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, has synthesized three decades of research to develop a comprehensive evolutionary theory of human cooperation. What can we learn about sharing as a result?"

IBM Collective intelligence
Can you use more useful information in your business and don't know where to find it. Then read this IBM white paper to see how using your staff can use the pow
Brainstorming Is A Terrible Way To Come Up With Ideas

Research shows coming up with the most good ideas is inversely proportional to the size of the group. In other words, skip the traditional 'brainstorming' exercise. Instead, think of ideas on your own first, employ some rules of acceptable ideas, and encourage discussion.

Steven Pinker on Scientific Communication for the 21st Century | MIT Video

Steven Pinker: "The Sense of Style: Scientific Communication for the 21st Century"
Harvard College Professor, and Johnstone Family Professor, Department of Psychology, Harvard University

Let's face it: most scientists are terrible communicators. Why do the world's most cerebral people find it so hard to convey their ideas? And how can we learn to do better? I suggest that answers can be found in a number of ideas from the modern sciences of mind and language. Among them are: The Tree and the Chain (how multidimensional ideas are mapped onto one-dimensional strings); The Curse of Knowledge (why it's so hard to imagine what it's like not to know something you do know); and Long Shadow of Mrs. Grundy (how to distinguish rules of proper usage that are worth keeping from those that are bogus)

The first annual Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering lecture about communicating complex scientific and technological subjects clearly and engagingly in the series: "Communicating Science and Technology in the 21st Century."

Recorded on 9/12/12

CREDIT

Nuclear Science and Engineering

What is Wisdom? (Backstage at Wisdom 2.0)

Thoughts on the distinctions between Knowledge and Wisdom

Science Commons - Jesse Dylan
Watch Science Commons - Jesse Dylan from Creative Commons right now on Blip
Mapping a Green & Fair World
The Global Transition to a New Economy maps innovative projects that challenge business as usual and contribute to the systemic change to our economy that we urgently require. Together, these projects create a world that prioritizes human wellbeing, within environmental limits.
Can We Reach the End of Knowledge?
Knowledge is an island. As this island grows, Dartmouth physicist-philosopher Marcelo Gleise says, the border of what we do not know also grows. So the history of knowledge will always be incomplete.
Adbusters’ War Against Too Much of Everything

Adbusters is an important contributor to a more conscious culture.

The New York Times Insights - The Psychology of Sharing
Why do people share? The Psychology of Sharing reveals groundbreaking research conducted by The New York Times Customer Insight Group, that fills this knowledge gap.
Be an Information DJ | Harvard Business Review | Blog Network
How ideas go viral....
"...mentalizing this way is similar to what a DJ does when listening to music: He doesn't just think about which music he wants to be listening to, he thinks about how different groups of people would respond to the songs he is considering. He has their interest in mind, ...
The Problem With Measuring Digital Influence | TechCrunch
PageRank, Klout and other ranking systems are starting to realize their limited relevance.//EH

"Influence Engine Optimization is an inevitable consequence of scoring people’s influence. So, do influence scores still have any meaning? It’s definitely not a measure of someone’s influence; and it’...
Climate of Doubt – FRONTLINE
FRONTLINE explores the massive shift in public opinion on climate change.
RSA Animate: The Truth About Dishonesty
Are you more honest than a banker? Under what circumstances would you lie, or cheat, and what effect does your deception have on society at large? Dan Ariely, one of the world's leading voices on human motivation and behaviour is the latest big thinker to get the RSA Animate treatment.
Simon Sinek: If You Don't Understand People, You Don't Understand Business
How and why generosity and selfless acts benefit us in organizations.
"We're not good at everything, we're not good by ourselves," says Simon Sinek at the 99% Conference.
RSA Animate - The Power of Networks
In this RSA Animate, Manuel Lima, senior UX design lead at Microsoft Bing, explores the power of network visualisation to help navigate our complex modern world. Taken from a lecture given by Manuel Lima as part of the RSA's free public events programme. Listen to the full talk: http://www.thersa...
How Did Howard Rheingold Get So “Net Smart”: An Interview (Part One)
What has led you right now to focus so much on giving everyday people the skills they need to more meaningfully participate in the new media landscape?

"...What people know about how to use media matters. The underlying technologies are important because of the way they amplify human cognitive ...
Power and Networks | Networking Action: Organizing for the 21st Century
At a recent keynote address I was asked “Where is the issue of “power” in what you are talking about? It seems that you are ignoring it.” Grrrrr. Sigh. This has been an on-going critique, so it must have validity. So I was pleased to come across a new book that deals with the topic and presents a...
Is Solving Nonprofits' Challenges as Easy as Creating a Map? - News - GOOD
Organizations frustrated by scarce resources, missed opportunities for collaboration, and the inability to conduct research are looking to mapping.
Can The World Handle Complexity?
Despite the fact that global issues are incredibly complicated, people tend to break them down into easy-to-understand, black and white terms. But is a new generation prepared to embrace nuance?
Planning vs. Doing? « Interaction Institute for Social Change Blog
It often emerges as a core tension in our complex multi-stakeholder change work. It’s embodied in comments such as, “Let’s stop all this talking and start doing something!” Or, “I’m not a big process person, I just want to get to action.”
Rippling: How Social Entrepreneurs Spread Innovation Throughout the World
A look at how social entrepreneurs spread innovation throughout the world.
Currently, social entrepreneurship is as much a field as it is a social movement. A whole new generation of ethical change agents—whether in business or academia or the media—is building a new sensibility about the way w...
Social Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation: Are They Potentially in Conflict? - Nonprofit Quar...
More on the Supernova vs. Red Dwarf discussion

When implemented wisely, social innovation is a positive approach to nonprofit growth; but most current practice falling under that rubric tends to invest primarily in one organization or program.

"NPQ has run a number of articles over the past y...
Developing better change leaders - McKinsey Quarterly - Organization - Change Management
Putting leadership development at the heart of a major operations-improvement effort paid big dividends for a global industrial company. A McKinsey Quarterly Organization article.
"Too often, however, senior executives overlook the “softer” skills their leaders will need to disseminate changes ...
Mobilize This! --What is Knowledge Mobilisation and Why Does it Matter to Universities?
"The social sciences and humanities (SSH) matter. They matter because they help us understand and address “wicked problems” such as poverty, housing, immigration, climate change, security, Aboriginal issues and social determinants of health – to name a few. We can address wicked problems, but we ...
Hamlet and the Power of Beliefs to Shape Reality | Literally Psyched, Scientific American Blog Ne...
"From the data, it seems that a growth mindset, whereby you believe that intelligence can improve, lends itself to a more adaptive response to mistakes – not just behaviorally, but also neurally: the more someone believes in improvement, the larger the amplitude of a brain signal that reflects a ...
Making Bold Moves | 6 Habits of True Strategic Thinkers | Inc.
You're the boss, but you still spend too much time on the day-to-day. Here's how to become the strategic leader your company needs.
Ethan Zuckerman | Cute Cats and The Arab Spring | CBC Ideas: The Vancouver Human Rights Lecture
In the 2011 Vancouver Human Rights Lecture, Ethan Zuckerman, director of the Center for Civic Media at MIT, looks at the "cute cat" theory of internet activism, and how it helps explain the Arab Spring. He discusses how activists around the world are turning to social media tools which are extrem...
James Fowler: Power of Networks | PopTech! Popcasts
Can your social network make you fat? Affect your mood? Political scientist James H. Fowler reveals the dynamics of social networks, the invisible webs that connect each of us to the other. With Nicholas A Christakis, Fowler recently coauthored, Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Netwo...
Nilofer Merchant: Stop Talking About Social and Do It | Yes & Know
“Leadership” has changed when a decentralized group of people can take down a government. “The Value Chain” has changed when the customer is no longer just the “buyer” but also a co-creator. “Human Resources” have changed when most of the people who create value for your organization are neither ...
Social Entrepreneurs Must Stop Throwing Starfish | Stanford Social Innovation Review
Too often we engage in linear, simplistic solutions, when lasting change requires collaborative efforts.

"Starfish throwing, like charity, isn’t a bad thing, but it is not a solution. When we confuse charity and justice, we perpetuate injustice. True world change requires more of its leaders....
The True Hive Mind – How Honeybee Colonies Think
"This extends to decision-making, which is the main subject of Honeybee Democracy. The bees exercise a collective intelligence that mimics not just small-group decision-making but the cognitive deliberations of our own brains:"
E. O. Wilson's Theory of Everything
“Within groups, the selfish are more likely to succeed,” Wilson told me in a telephone conversation. “But in competition between groups, groups of altruists are more likely to succeed. In addition, it is clear that groups of humans proselytize other groups and accept them as allies, and that that...
Writing an e-book: Occupy This! | rabble.ca
"Feminist and social activist Judy Rebick brings decades of experience to her account of the Occupy movement in cities across North America. Linking Occupy to social movements of the past and exploring the courage and creativity of a new generation, Rebick argues that the Occupy movement and its ...
Make Culture Change, Not War | Stanford Social Innovation Review
The fight for rights needs the fight for culture change.
Ultimately, we must impact both policy and culture to create lasting social change.

The question of policy and culture change is not a zero-sum game, but rather a both/and proposition. The externalities of the political process (legisla...
The Nonprofit Quarterly | The Inclusive Nonprofit Boardroom: Leveraging the Transformative Potent...
Diversity on boards has to be good, right? So how is it that study after study suggests the opposite? A closer look at boards today reveals that exactly how we diversify makes all the difference.
From Scarcity to Abundance | Charity Village Blog
The need to embrace diversity and make it an organizational reality beyond a diversity policy or a youth engagement strategy is enormous. As Amy Mapara from the Canadian Red Cross said: "I look forward to a time when diversity policies and youth engagement strategies aren't needed because they ar...
Informal coalitions: Reframing leadership – Seven would-be shifts in how we think and talk about ...
Here, I want to challenge these established conceptions of what's actually going on in organizations - and what that means in terms of the ways in which we think and talk about leadership practice. I've therefore set out below seven possible shifts in the ways that we conventionally make sense of...
How Research can Support Occupy Movement Strategizing
According to a Pew Research Center poll released January 11, two-thirds of Americans now believe there are “very strong” or “strong” class conflicts in their country—a marked increase from 2009.
Carol Cone: The Changing Face of Purpose In 2012 | Best Financial News
In 2012, as Purpose continues its pervasive growth throughout the most recognizable and admirable brands and corporations worldwide, we will discuss how these programs come to life. As we view these strategies through an ever-changing global context, let’s take a look at a few of the trends and c...
Principles For Social Innovation In 2012: Follow Emerging Economies
The world economy is rapidly reorienting toward a growing middle class in the global East and South. And social innovators should follow, helping to aggregate consumer and citizen power to create change.
Minority rules: Scientists discover tipping point for the spread of ideas
Scientists have found that when just 10 percent of the population holds an unshakable belief, their belief will always be adopted by the majority of the society.
John Hunter on the World Peace Game | TEDTalks
John Hunter puts all the problems of the world on a 4'x5' plywood board -- and lets his 4th-graders solve them. At TED2011, he explains how his World Peace Game engages schoolkids, and why the complex lessons it teaches -- spontaneous, and always surprising -- go further than classroom lectures can.
Collaborative Communication: Why Methods Matter
Teamwork depends on good communication. Choosing the best method improves your team's chance of success.
Network Thinking « Interaction Institute for Social Change Blog
Last week, I had the opportunity to work with a cross-sectoral group of emerging and established leaders from around southern Maine through the Institute for Civic Leadership, an initiative IISC had a hand in establishing some 18 years ago. For the past six years I’ve offered three days of collab...