28 March 2005

News - The 2005 Sumatran Earthquake

Another earthquake for Indonesia - The 2005 Sumatran earthquake occurred at 16:09:37 UTC (23:09:37 local time) on March 28, 2005. The epicenter was located at 2° 05' 35" N 97° 00' 58" and 30 km below the surface of the Indian Ocean, 200 km west of Sibolga, Sumatra, or 1400 km northwest of Jakarta.

You can follow the latest news as it is updated on Wikipedia.

22 March 2005

Clarifying our Roles between Citizen & Consumer

My answer to Margaret's challenge below is another challenge:
How can we clarify our roles between citizen and consumer?

For me, I can begin to see from all the conferences, discussions, issues - and also our human need to belong and give from ourselves - that we have to start making informed and responsible choices about world issues, and local ones as well, from our roles as citizens and not from our roles as consumers.

For too long, we have behaved out of our consumer role...and this has led us into the permanent struggle of consumer politics. Statesmenship and active citizenship have gotten hijacked along the way by consumerism. It was fun while it lasted, but we gave corporations way too much power over our real lives, which then found it's way into the political agenda as a norm.

So many of us - now enabled through social media and technology - have acted on our social cause and banded together to enable a transformation. Even some corporations and businesses are acting on this - CSR - corporate social responsibility.

I will drop a very interesting fact here: By 2015, India will have 60 million PhD scientists, which is more than the whole of the population of the the UK and 4 times the population of The Netherlands. How will that impact our country and global economics? How will that impact our social agenda? How will that impact our creative capital?

How can we clarify our role of citizen and learn to act from that value paradigm when we are faced with the responsibility regarding difficult issues that impact our education, our health, our commons and our human welfare? How can we use our consumer role to empower our role as citizen to build the necessary bridges and the critical mass needed to get people to cross them?

Can we be more creative with information and knowledge to find innovative solutions to larger issues if we change our roles?

Please share your thoughts on this. Does this touch anyone?

Image borrowed from Roy Christopher with credit due and many thanks

Margaret Gold posted a challenge today on the The Dutch Connection Forum:
What is the frontier of our generation?
I just read the most amazing idea, in an HBS Working Knowledge article about how a group of fresh grads decided to start-up a company in the space industry:
"At the Space Foundation awards ceremony earlier that day, Webster had heard featured speaker Ben Bova quote from James Michener's novel Space, and in that moment, he knew he had to work in the space industry. "The quote was about how each generation is presented with a frontier," he says now. "And if you didn't find a way to work on your generation's frontier, you would miss the meaning of your own epic, your own age. Our frontier was, and is, space, and I wanted to be there."
It really got me to thinking - what is the frontier of my generation? Is it bioscience? Biotech? It seems too easy and short-sighted to say the Internet.....

Margaret Gold

21 March 2005

Podcasting the Future

Jonathan working his production magic
Jonathan Marks and I interviewed Joi Ito on Saturday for our new podcasting format. We also captutred his interview on film. Joi shared his views with us on where the world should be going. He was here in Amsterdam to speak at the Creative Captial Conference last week, which we also attended, and to meet with others about the Creative Commons.

We are accumulating podcasts in preparation for the premiere. Keep your eyes and ears open...this will be something completely unexpected.

20 March 2005

Global Rich List

If you would like to put your earnings into perspective, have a play with this interactive tool from Poke. See where you land on the Global Rich List of the world.
Global rich list logo
Poke is a creative group from London who wants "to inspire people through interactive media." Their rationale for putting this tool at our fingertips is to raise our awareness of how rich we are by world standards...and to possibly help us see how easy it is to share that wealth.

Report on the Creative Capital Conference - Amsterdam

I've just spent a few days with 300 people from 20 different countries discussing and debating "what society needs to enable people to be creative".

We heard from a range of well-informed speakers with relevant insights into new ways of organizing ourselves (Leadbeater); cities as artworks (Landry); remediating urban environments (Graham); the culture of creativity (Himanen); and remixing creativty and issues for the creative commons (Ito).

We attended break-out sessions with the same people to pursue a deeper conversation about these topics in the context of specific issues like Open Innovation, The Role of Artists and Creative Producers, Creative Cities, Climate for Creative Industries, Interaction between Creatives & Industry, Open Source as Innovation Model, Publicly Financed Content, Policy Challenges, and a New Agenda for Creative Cities.

My perspective of the conference has more to do with living here in the Netherlands than with the wealth of foreign talent and ideas that were present in the conference. We had a wonderful opportunity to take these ideas and explore how we could actually generate content to script an agenda for building creative capital. What happened was more prescriptive. It seemed like certain moderators had their own agenda already written and we were just assembled there to validate that. Other moderators were not aligned with their sessions speakers and didn't give the space to come to a common agreement on what we could contribute from our sessions.

What I truly appreciated about this conference was the networking between people sparked by the inspiration that somehow we might be able to come together and collaborate on a greater scale to bring this alive - here in Amsterdam or in the Netherlands.

Unfortunately, we have a special set of environmental factors that work against building creative capital here. First, the country's core value is security, which means Nederlanders and business here are risk aversive. Second, failure is severely punished, which means we have little or no entrepereneurial activities. Third, the national motto is "doe maar gewoon" - loosely translated that means "hold back, stifle yourself and don't try to be more than the next guy". Forth, it is a country that believes in transactions rather than relationships. Fifth, it is a country that puts everything in pigeonholes ("hokjes").

What does this mean for creativity here? We have to discover that. That is our new agenda. Innovation requires creativity, collaboration and an understanding of culture as context. Perhaps, with this as a starting point, we can begin the discussion that just might lead us through the crisis.

Let's pull off the security blanket and have a look at what's possible.

13 March 2005

EconoPhysics - Why it is hard to share the wealth

An article from New Scientist Breaking News - Why it is hard to share the wealth identifies a group of physicists who are building new models based on simple physical laws to understand wealth distribution.

"Economists will join physicists to discuss these issues next week in Kolkata, India, at the first ever conference on the "econophysics" of wealth distribution. "We are interested in understanding whether there is some kind of social injustice behind this skewed distribution," says Sudhakar Yarlagadda of the Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics (SINP) in Kolkata."

"While economists' models traditionally regard humans as rational beings who always make intelligent decisions, econophysicists argue that in large systems the behaviour of each individual is influenced by so many factors that the net result is random, so it makes sense to treat people like atoms in a gas."

The article discusses a few models and the roles they could play informing policy.

Saving seems to be the key to accumulating wealth.

11 March 2005

The Madrid Agenda - International Summit on Democracy, Terrorism and Security

The Madrid Agenda - International Summit on Democracy, Terrorism and Security honors the victims of the terrorist attack there one year ago today, 11 March 2005. The Club of Madrid - former presidents and prime ministers - collected leaders, experts and concerned citizens from around the world to discuss and establish guiding principles regarding terrorism, democracy and peace.

They call for adoption of The Madrid Recommendations and international cooperation in the fight against terrorism. They want to create an inter-linking of resources and a trust fund for those who cannot afford the resources to fight terrorism.

They identified intimidation, fear and hatred as the risk factors underlying terrorism. They want to promote dialogue through round tables about cultural differences. They ask the media to review their use of language. They propose to create programs to monitor racism, extremism and to promote cultural and religious tolerance.

They call for building democracy through reinforcing a civil society.

You can find The Infrastructure of Democracy: Strengthening the Open Internet for a Safer World - March 11, 2005 on the Global Voices wiki.

This is worth reading and serious reflection.

6 March 2005

Chris Allen's Presentation on Social Software & Social Networking

Many thanks to Dave Teten from the Brain Food Blog. He posted a link to a rather comprehensive presentation that Christopher Allen delivered as keynote speaker to the FVHA about Social Software & Social Networking. In his presentation, Chris lays out the landscape, tools and explains the journey. It's in .pdf format, so you can download it.

Last July, in his Life with Alacrity blog, Chris turned me on to the world of Dunbar's magical number of 150. He was exploring network ecosystems and effective group participation. That prompted me to write a blog about The Science of Dunbar's Number.

In this presentation, Chris once again raises the specter of just how many relationships can we truly manage as we reach out and touch hundreds through social business network platforms (SBNs) like Ecademy and LinkedIn?

Again, many thanks to both Dave Tetan and Chris Allen for sharing this.


Wists is a visual bookmarking platform that lets you tag each site with an image or screenshot. You can link up with others by clicking on images they have tagged.

Think about this. Hey, we like the same images. What are you surfing and bookmarking? Folksonomies just took a learning curve into the visual identity forrest. Now, are you going to populate your bookmarks with images? Words? Both? The old saying is a picture's worth a 1000 words.

Of course, del.icio.us remains key for tracking with word tags. Both have the opportunity to pave a pathway toward new communities of interest.

But...I wonder if there are copyright issues here. Perhaps, this is where Creative Commons really comes into play.

Let me know how you play with Wist. I'm going to explore it as well...sniff, sniff...wonder when they'll have smells we can associate with the concepts we find attractive or useful.

Thanks to David Weinberger who posted Wist on the Many2Many group weblog on social software.

5 March 2005

Why vision is important

Yesterday, the class that I teach at The University of Amsterdam Graduate School of Business finally landed the vision for the alumni brand that they are developing.

I am teaching them how to use Applied Connective Dynamics to construct a dynamic network system incorporating the social, material and conceptual frameworks of human organizational systems. Basically, they learn about brands, identity and concepts and the business models that can support that organizationally.

Why is vision so important? We are moving from a product driven business model to a model of mobilizing communities. Communities are people. People need vision on their life, their beliefs, their way of coming together in practice.

Having a vision about where you take people is beacon for developing the guiding key strategies that will define the path forward for all involved in the brand. But, how do they know whether their vision is right?

I asked them to define the theory behind the practice of the brand. What is the ideology that will lead to results? If they can define this out of what they believe they can create for others, they will have the philosophy for their brand manifesto.

As far as I can see, they are on the right track. If you would like to follow their journey, let me know.

Snowed again in Amsterdam

Nes by Harkema, originally uploaded by Colby.

Last night I used the camera in my Nokia 6230 to capture the street in the snowstorm as I left the Harkema Restaurant in Amsterdam. The atmosphere had this feeling that we were transported back in time.

We're just not used to snow here. It's like a new toy for us.

4 March 2005

Yahoo! Netrospective: 10 years, 100 moments of the Web

Inspired by 10x10 by Jonathan J. Harris.

Yahoo celebrates 10 years. Remember the Yahoo portal back in 1995?

How Things Are Made

On this site from Stanford University, you can click "How everyday Things Are Made". Expect an entertaining surprise, fitted with snazzy Flash.

The Alliance for Innovative Manufacturing at Standford University has designed an online video show about how products are made and processes occur. I chose Jelly Beans for a start and moved straight into motorcycles. I closed it out with waterjet/laser cutting.

Companies could use this innovative piece of media tech for desktop training, and educators could distribute courses, narrated and documented.

We could put our course on Blogging & Wiki-ing for Idiots into this and sell it like petrol for mass mobilization in the new economy.

3 March 2005

Where do you keep your art?

Heart, originally uploaded by Colby.

I've just had the most engaging conversation with an 8 year old friend of mine. She asked me, "Where do you keep your art?"

Of course, I started to explain that the large paintings get boxed and stored in the studio before they get shipped. She interrupted me and asked me again, "I mean, where do you keep your art? In your body." She stared at me, expecting me to know the answer.

This would require some thinking, I thought. She immediately pointed to my heart and asked me again, "Where do you keep your art? In there?"

I took a deep breath and said, "My art is in a place I cannot reach, but I can always touch it with my mind if I go deep enough inside." She looked at me very seriously and asked, "Can you take me there once with you? I would like to go there and see what it's like. I don't think I've ever been there."

I am going to invite this wonderful little person to a day of brushes and paints and exploration.

Where do you keep your art?

Could Social Networking Save the World

Dave Pollard's blog - How to Save the World - is one of my favorite reads every day. He manages to consistently touch on topics dear to my heart and my head, and express wisdom that moves us further down our paths. He has once again caught the spirit of what is happening in our worlds.

He refers to Rob Patterson's paper about how social networking could save the world. Rob likens the impact of social software tools to how the printing press transformed life.

People now have the tools, software and platforms through Social Media to find like-minded souls and build communities online and face to face. This is transforming society, academia, business, economics, politics and will eventually reach politics. Personal social cause is at the heart of it. The power of sharing ideas with a sense of urgency is driving new ways of collaboration.

Read Dave's blog on this. You'll be inspired and will learn something enlightening about our human nature. He also has an amazing photo of networked colors of purple and green on black, which demonstrates networks, hubs and connections.

2 March 2005

Amsterdam Snowstorm

Amsterdam Snowstorm, originally uploaded by Colby.

This is the biggest snowstorm in Amsterdam in 50 years. No cars, no bikes, no trams...it's so quiet.

And...it's still snowing.

7 Habits of Highly Effective Blog PR

In less than a year, blogging has become one of the essential channels in the journalistic mix for a PR campaign. Blogs have impact and repercussions beyond TV and print because they connect people together in cause.

Last week, Nick Wreden from FusionBrand captured the essence of experienced PR experts in blogging - FusionBrand: 7 Habits of Highly Effective Blog PR.

1. Never pitch, personalize
2. Respect a blogger's time and intelligence
3. "A blog is not about you, it is about me"
4. Quality, not quantity
5. Feed the food chain
6. It's no longer just about the media
7. Keep learning