28 December 2006

Are you a Geek, Nerd or Dork?

This has to be one of the clearest profiling descriptions that I've seen. Thanks to Militant Geek blog,

An alarming trend that we've noticed at the Militant Geek HQ is the sloppy usage of the terms geek, nerd, and dork. It was almost as if certain individuals assumed that they meant the same thing!

For the record, Geeks are those that have technical aptitude. Nerds are bright but socially awkward. And, Dorks are just inept excuses for protoplasm. To prevent such future travesties of verboten wonders, the retired circus-monkey crew at Militant Geek have prepared this handy comparison chart:

Geek vs. Nerd vs. Dork

Fictional Differences Expressed in Terms of Everyday Items

Chief Cell-Phone ConcernDoes it have BlueTooth?Does it play games?Who would I call?
MantraCan we fix it? Yes we can!The meek shall inherit the earthWhere’s the remote?
Dream Job(s)Nasa/ILM/GoogleWizards of the Coast/Marvel Comics‘American Idol’ Archivist
UniformJeans and Ironic TPenny loafers and AcneWhatever Mom wants
Starter Apartment FurnitureComputer DeskKitchen Table for D&DStarter Apartment?
Favorite SportRobot WarsCaptain Kirk Drinking GameHandheld video poker
PlaylistsKnight Rider/A-Team MashupsLord of the Rings/Star Wars Soundtracks139.5 ‘Best Hits of Today, Tomorrow, and Beyond!!!’
Favorite Childhood ToyLegosSuperhero doll action-figureOwn snot
Boner WorthyAPI DocumentationBabylon 5 MarathonBra section in the JCPenny Catalogue

20 December 2006

Time's Person of the Year is YOU!

According to a Time magazine article, the Person of the Year 2006 is YOU!

"But look at 2006 through a different lens and you'll see another story, one that isn't about conflict or great men. It's a story about community and collaboration on a scale never seen before. It's about the cosmic compendium of knowledge Wikipedia and the million-channel people's network YouTube and the online metropolis MySpace. It's about the many wresting power from the few and helping one another for nothing and how that will not only change the world, but also change the way the world changes.

The tool that makes this possible is the World Wide Web. Not the Web that Tim Berners-Lee hacked together (15 years ago, according to Wikipedia) as a way for scientists to share research. It's not even the overhyped dotcom Web of the late 1990s. The new Web is a very different thing. It's a tool for bringing together the small contributions of millions of people and making them matter. Silicon Valley consultants call it Web 2.0, as if it were a new
version of some old software.

But it's really a revolution."

17 December 2006

What is your BIG idea to shape the future?

As we review 2006, examine what we've learned and discuss where we want to do, I hear so many people talking about changing the future. We are always changing the future. Everything we do impacts the future. What we do today shapes the world tomorrow.

Walk around with this thought in your head for the rest of 2006:
What is your BIG idea to shape the future?

Really think about about this. What would this mean for you, your family, your friends and community, your country, the world?

What is your BIG idea to shape the future? Share it!

13 December 2006


SocialMeter.com is another ranking tool that measures the links connected to a site. There is a bookmarklet that you can drag to your toolbar and use to analyze any site that you come across.

It gives you a numerical score based on the number of links from Bloglines, Google, Del.icio.us, Technorati, Yahoo, Digg and Shadows.

18 November 2006

Responsible Investment

During the Eco6 conference on SRI, I finally got face-to-face time with many people that had only been names to me. Since then, I have been working with a several people to develop another conference under the banner of the Planet 2025 Network. Planet 2025 is organizing The Responsible Investment Forum to engage delegates in defining benchmarks for responsible investment.

When it comes to social responsibility and money, the real problems we are trying to address are complex. We have been engaged in political polemics instead of resolution-based dialogue about sustainability. In order to change the polemics, we need to work with the contradictions between the economics of competition and our social responsibility to sustainable development for human life.

Reading through the Stern Review final report on The Economics of Climate Change, understanding the workings of adaptation will be key to finding the devices that will set business and public administration on to the path of setting real targets.
The Economics of Climate Change

What are the real impacts of setting attainable targets and adhering to the processes of attaining them?

Download the Principles for Responsible Investment Overview
The PRI overview contains background on the Principles, the 6 Principles -- with their possible actions for signatories -- and an extensive FAQ. How do we take these principles and use them to guide our behavior and make better choices? A sustainable future can also be prosperous.

6 November 2006

State of the Blogosphere from Technorati

Dave Sifry, the CEO of Technorati, posted the State of the Blogosphere, on the Technorati weblog today.

"In Summary:

* Technorati is now tracking more than 57 Million blogs.
* Spam-, splog- and sping-fighting efforts at Technorati are paying dividends in terms of the reduction of garbage in our indexes, even if it does seem to impact overall growth rates.
* Today, the blogosphere is doubling in size approximately every 230 days.
* About 100,000 new weblogs were created each day, again down slightly quarter-over-quarter but probably due in part to spam fighting efforts.
* About 4% of new splogs get past Technorati's filters, even if it is only for a few hours or days.
* There is a strong correlation between the aging and post frequency of blogs and their authority and Technorati ranking.
* The globalization of the blogosphere continues. Our data appears to show both English and Spanish languages are a more universal blog language than the other two most dominant language, Japanese and Chinese, which seem to be more regionally localized.
* Coincident with a rise in blog posts about escalating Middle East tensions throughout the summer and fall, Farsi has moved into the top 10 languages of the blogosphere, indicating that blogging continues to play a critical role in debates about the important issues of our times."

The Geek Test v.3.1

The geek test v.3.1 was rather scary. Someone sent it to me - (thanks for making that point!) - for fun.

As I scrolled through the list, I became more and more aware that there is a large gap between being techno-saavvy and being techno-challenged. To the techno-challenged, I guess we are "geeks". Does it have to sound so nerdy?
innergeek logo
Take the geek test v.3.1, and let me know where you stand.

26 October 2006

Media Education in the 21st Century

Read a white paper on media education by Henry Jenkinds today. I found it on Peter Morville's blog. In Jenkins paper - Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education in the 21st Century - makes clear that we have to rethink how we define literacy.

As a teacher at different graduate schools, I have noticed (and have been vocal about) the lack of skill sets needed to cope with and engage in a world driven by multi-streamed communication messages embedded in multi-media and shared on web-based platforms. The average person has been educated to deliver transactional value by performing simple tasks repeatedly. The Internet changed all that at a speed of change not yet met by education, business processes, or daily life. Nor is there even awareness at the decision-making level responsible to adapt everything - from education and training through to organizational behaviors and simple communication - to address that speed of change and build the new skills required to cope with it.

Jenkins makes several points about the skills required to become literate in the 21st century. These skills require the same kinds of finesse that being good at sports or dance or music...playful engagement and practice that builds the kind of experience that makes someone feel comfortable playing that way.

I really suggest that you read both Peter's blog and Jenkin's white paper. We need to become more aware of these challenges and the gaps they have already created and will continue to create.

21 October 2006

Photos from Location-scouting in Portgual

Trying to get photos from the location scouting we did in Portugal edited and uploaded to Flickr this weekend. We traveled through several different remote geographic locations and found glaciers, standing stones, and deserted buildings that still retained some of their old glory. Having lived there for a few years, we know so many wonderful and unknown locations for shoots.
If you're interested in seeing some of those photos, check my Portugal set on Flickr regularly.

2 October 2006

Back in Amsterdam sorting emails, photos and post

Of course, one of the first things we’ve done - after returning from 6 weeks of vacation and location scouting - is try and get through the emails and to organize some of the photos we shot over these past 6 weeks.

This means sorting and processing and converting all digital photos we shot in RAW to .jpeg format. This is fun, even though it’s time consuming. It’s also a nice distraction from hours of sorting and deleting thousands of emails that have piled up during that time. The snail mail post is no longer a problem - we had that sorted within an hour.

image courtesy of www.visibleoffice.com
I’ve realized that it is no longer possible to even sort through thousands of emails. It simply requires too much time - time we just do not have. I’ve tried to just scan through over 3000 emails (not spam) for important client or personal emails and then dump the rest. This alone cost me 3 days - and I’m still working through reading all the attachments. All those under the heading of “thought this would interest you” have met the trash even before opening them. Unfortunately, this process has caused some problems - lost documents.

It has also made me rethink how I communicate with others - and to limit attachments to only extremely important or relevant content that would contribute to the knowledge or processes around a project.

What is the solution to this massive overflow of emails? How can we successfully manage so many email communications? Why is it so difficult to move the communication process into forum discussions on our regular networking platforms? Do you have a method that seems to work?

30 August 2006

Le Provence & Decision-making

The trip to Provence was wonderful...great people, great conversations, great weather, great food. Unfortunately, I caught some kind of flu and ended up in bed with a very high fever for 5 days.
View house Lacoste.jpg
The big discussions were about decision-making processes inside the organization and the cost of those decisions due to lack of due diligence regarding decisions. This is something we're going to explore further because it is becoming a global discussion.

I am off to Portugal on Friday - some work, and lots of play. Back on 24th of September.

16 August 2006

Blogger has been Googled!

I've just discovered that this new beta-Blogger now works with Google accounts. Check out the Blogger Buzz blog for all the details.

Currently, you have to open a separate blog from your existing one. You can merge them later. I opened one to play with it - have a look.

In Provence until end of August

I am joining some very interesting people in Provence until the end of the month. Many of the conversations and discussions will define how I plan out my travel and teaching schedule for next year. I will also be spending some time with dear friends and reconnecting.

Since I am not traveling with my laptop, I probably will not be posting until the end of the month...but, who knows!

Enjoy the rest of your summer.

13 August 2006

Identity & Ego Bandwidth

We suffer from the illusion that our egos are entitled to to more bandwidth than our authentic selves. In this false picture, we continually repaint ourselves, building up layers of old paint that actually cover the beauty of who we are.

We only have to start removing those old layers of paint to reveal the real material. How? Find the right kind of removal substance, appropriate tools, and take the time to do it right. Sounds so easy, huh? What do we do once that surface is clean and prepped? Most of us will just start painting it again.

What is the real difference between your ego and your authentic self?

6 August 2006

Graziela - My Apprentice is Here!

Several months ago, a young woman from Brazil contacted me about studying and working with me. At first, I thought, "Do I have the time for this?" Then she made the trip to Amsterdam so that we could spend time learning about each other. She impressed me with her daring, her thoughtfulness and her desire to learn about my core work and methodologies.

Graziela Di Giorgi started working with me mid-July. She has focused my attention on bringing all those products to life that have been sitting on the shelf for a long time. We agreed that the best way for her to learn about innovation practices was to engage with each methodology through its different products.
Grazi pensive.JPG
She began learning about Applied Connective Dynamics by building her manifesto for The Evolutionary Brand Called M.E. - My Emergence. For the past three weeks, our studio has been filled with discussions about core human values, vision thinking, and the roles these play in the life choices we make that shape our future. Her astute questioning process has opened my mind to looking at this in a completely new way. When you develop something and work with it as an essential part of life, you become de-sensitized to its nuances. Basically, I take for granted much of the way that people engage with BCME.

I now see a new way to present the idea of values. If I lead with choices, people immediately grasp the importance of being informed about how we make choices. Armed with this new perspective, I am re-shaping and visualizing the material so that it’s inviting and easier to work out your personal content.

Going though this whole exercise with Graziela in such a step by step, personal way has helped me to see that BCME is about personal innovation. We’re all so focused on innovation for our businesses and organizations that we forget that the easiest way to understand and learn how to do something is to make it personal.

So, thanks, Graziela. Let’s continue down this path and see where it leads us. You started out immediately making some key contributions.

26 July 2006

Download Skype for Mac

Hooray! You can now download Skype for Mac with VIDEO!

If you have a USB video camera that came packaged with your headphones, you might have trouble geting it to work. MacCam is a driver that works not only with Skype, but comes with a component that you drop into your QuickTime library folder to get past the tricky issues of whether the camera is a Mac or Windows compatible USB video camera.
Skype video screenshot
Download the latest release of MacCam. Just make sure you're ready for sharing that "look" with your Skype partners!

19 July 2006

Lost your mobile phone?

Microtechnologies - a software company in Mumbai - has developed software to help you find your mobile phone. It's called "Lost Mobile Tracking Solution". For basically $8.00, you download this software into your mobile phone...not the SIM card. The moment someone inserts a new SIM card into your lost mobile, it sends you a text message or email.

Photo © Justin Lee

Now what?!

Ok, this is a GIANT service opportunity. With the millions of stolen phones now made visible through mapping, how do you get your phone back. Or, how can you swap it with someone else locally for theirs, now in your neighborhood?

Mark Edwards, CEO of mFormation, predicts that locking, erasing, and protecting smart phones will be a billion dollar business by 2010. (Thanks to International Herald Tribune 2 May 2006.) That's less than 3 and a half years from now.

4 July 2006

Social Responsibility

There is a movement for corporate social responsibility (CSR). There is a movement for socially responsible investment (SRI). Both of these movements have redefined and demonstrated how companies and individuals can generate value with more than just money.

As I posted last month, I have been working with my client - Economie - on Eco6, their conference about socially responsible value creation, which we need to get ready for in Zurich on the 9th and 10th of October this fall.

This has raised a lot of questions and dialogue about social responsibility. After all, this belief is driving the activities to our change behavior for value creation to something more than just greed for accumulating money and power and stuff. It asks us to explore what we believe in. It asks us to face the hard questions of how do we put this into practice and how do we continue to grow value. It also asks us to put our money where our beliefs are. This means investing in practices that support this way of generating value.

I am learning that this movement is unusual from other movements. It looks at the contradictions and practical issues of how to build socially responsible behavior into the financial practices of corporate development, value creation and investment. Brian Spence and Gwyn Jones are opening my eyes and shining the spotlight on how this works, and in different cultures as well.

There is legislation being put into place in many countries that will require a certain percentage of activities and investments meet specific criteria for socially responsible behavior. Did you know that SRI investments reach well over 3 trillion dollars globally?

In 2005, a thought leader study - (download) The Future of Socially Responsible Investment - assessed the financial trends and indicators for SRI over the next 10 years. They looked at the competitive landscape, the critics, the sustainability impacts, the consumer and products, the behaviors and practices like sustainability reporting (see Global Reporting Inititative GRI), rating systems and shareholder advocacy. This is no small movement. This is a global change in how we invest and how we create value.

I am more and more convinced that the virtuous value stream model of 4 levels of generative capital - human, social, creative, and transactional - need to build on one another for people to really perceive balance in value creation. This builds on our idea of socio-economic development.

I begin to see how this can unify many other efforts. If people can really see the value in these practices, companies and indiviuals will use them more and more until we evolve into a much more dynamic way of creating value for ourselves and our businesses.

25 June 2006

Readers Digest Civility Survey - or - How rude is your city?

There's been a lot of discussion and controversy since Reader's Digest released its issue for July 2006. It heralds the results of research they did on civil behavior in the world major cities.

The Survey on the World of Courtesy was quite a surprise for the Dutch population here in Amsterdam. (ahem...ahem...throat clearing...But, not for us!) They could not believe it, so the local TV station AT5 ran its own survey. No surprise there, the results were no different. They had no idea that people in Amsterdam could be so rude to visitors just asking for directions (ignoring them) or completely ignore someone who had dropped papers on the street (walking around them). The filmed results were hilarious and shameful.

Thanks to Timothy Evans for this photo.

World of Courtesy: Ranking of 35 Cities
"Below is a ranking of the most courteous to the least courteous -- 35 major cities included in RD's Global Courtesy Test. Figures reflect the percentage of people who passed in each city. When multiple cities had identical scores, they are listed in alphabetical order.

1. New York USA 80%
2. Zurich Switzerland 77
3. Toronto Canada 70
4. Berlin Germany 68
5. São Paulo Brazil 68
6. Zagreb Croatia 68
7. Auckland New Zealand 67
8. Warsaw Poland 67
9. Mexico City Mexico 65
10. Stockholm Sweden 63
11. Budapest Hungary 60
12. Madrid Spain 60
13. Prague Czech Republic 60
14. Vienna Austria 60
15. Buenos Aires Argentina 57
16. Johannesburg South Africa 57
17. Lisbon Portugal 57
18. London United Kingdom 57
19. Paris France 57
20. Amsterdam Netherlands 52
22. Helsinki Finland 48
23. Manila Philippines 48
24. Milan Italy 47
25. Sydney Australia 47
26. Bangkok Thailand 45
27. Hong Kong 45
28. Ljubljana Slovenia 45
29. Jakarta Indonesia 43
30. Taipei Taiwan 43
31. Moscow Russia 42
32. Singapore 42
33. Seoul South Korea 40
34. Kuala Lumpur Malaysia 37
35. Bucharest Romania 35
36. Mumbai India 32

There's a nice article in the English Times online with a bit of discussion.

Tags: culture, behavior, survey, cities

Powered by Qumana

Quantum Man by Julian Voss-Andreae

Quantum Man

Julian Voss-Andreae has created another stunning sculpture. Quantum Man stands 2 and a half meters tall. When seen from different perspectives, it gives new meaning to “slice of life”!

He also created another piece from 2004 that I really enjoy.

Julian is based in Portland, Oregon. He did his graduate research in Quantum Physics in Anton Zeilinger's lab in Vienna, Austria. He moved to America and studied sculpture. His art offers an insight into a world generally accessible only through the intellect.

20 June 2006

The Algorithmic Alchemy of Physics

Check out these digital expositions from Levitated Design & Code in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Below is a selection of some of the computational models in their inventory. They're all generated through open source Flash modules.

click on one of the modules on Levitated | Everything and experience the algorithmic alchemy of physics.

algorithmic alchemy

18 June 2006

Investing in your Values through SRI & CSR

SRI (Socially Responsible Investment) and CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) are terms that get thrown about in lots of conversation. Who is really acting on them? How are they doing that? What is the role that values play?

I have a new client - Economie - who is addressing these issues through education and certification. On October 9th and 10th, they are going to hold the eco6 conference in Zurich, Switzerland.

What attracted me to Economie was their deep belief that values are key to innovating how we look at investment. Of course, money plays a role. Generally, that is at the expense of our values. It's where we turn a blind eye. And...it is here that opportunities abound to change that. There's nothing wrong with earning a profit, but not at the expense of what we believe goes against our norms of behavior.

Economie is trying to change that. During eco6, Economie will introduce the role of values in investment in the Muslim culture. They want to create the opportunity for the western world to see the advantages and impact of family values in the world of business and investment.

Working Session on Networks of Meaning

It has been a whirlwind of events, meetings and working sessions over the past couple of weeks. I'm trying to catch up with my emails, reading, writing and posting notes to the wikis and blogs and forums. There are so many great clients and projects right now. My decision over the winter to put a project evaluation process into place has really worked out for the best.

Some of our IFCCC projects are beginning to take shape. On June 10th, Ton, Valeri, Alex and I met at Ton's & Elmine's place in Enschede to map out how we were going to address building a prototype for the Networks of Meaning project.
Valeri Elmine Alex Ton.JPG

Our collective vision is to create an application that allows people to visually describe concepts - getting them past the limitations of languages and words - to create understanding. We know that one of the most difficult hurdles we'll have to cross is developing a cultural filter algorithm. We're collecting samplings of images now and tagging them to play with during the next session.

7 June 2006

Download The Free iPod Book 2.0

Download The Free iPod Book 2.0 and learn how to get the most out of your iPod.

I downloaded this a few days ago and immediately sent the link to Elmine for her sweet little NanoPod.

If you've got an iPod, this is for you!

6 June 2006

We Feel Fine

Jonathan Harris and Sepandar Kamvar have cultivated an online space - We Feel Fine - that that is a garden of human emotion pulled into in six creative movements titled: Madness, Murmurs, Montage, Mobs, Metrics, and Mounds.

It is actually a series of interfaces that cull and sort through “feelings” posted by people in words and images. Just click on Madness, a swarming mass of colorful particles, each one holding the key to a particular moment. In one mad moment, you click on one of those dots and “voila!” - a peek inside someone’s feelings. You can even check out the weather in your own city - or somewhere else.

With all the work, the stress, the traffic, the noise, isn’t it charming to find something like this once in awhile?

Jonathan Harris and Sepandar Kamvar have also partnered on other web applications like Love-lines. Jonathan Harris has been on my radar ever since he developed 10x10 and created the Yahoo Netrospective of 10 Years 100 Moments of the Web for Yahoo's 10th anniversary in March 2005.

3 June 2006

Two New Business Books on Blogging

There are two new business books on blogging that were published in January this year. At this point in time - where we are trying to educate clients at the same time we are developing and executing social media strategies - these two books offer a wonderfully rich scope of detail on blogging. They are definitely worth a read.

Naked Conversations: How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers offers an inside look at what Robert Scoble from Microsoft experienced and learned during his years of blogging. Robert Scoble and Shel Israel have really collected a work of best practices here that can inspire companies who are new to the realities of social media.

In their book Blogging for Business : Everything You Need to Know and Why You Should Care, Shel Holtz and Ted Demopoulos have created a working manual for those in the business of communication and marketing. I paid attention to this book because Shel Holtz hosts the podcast "For Immediate Release" with one of our IFCCC fellows, Neville Hobson.

I would love to hear what you think about these two books. Has anyone borrowed any great ideas and put them into practice?

27 May 2006

HTML DOM Visualization of Blogs and Websites

Interested in seeing how your website or blog looks when it's visualized into a garden graph? Surf over to Websites as Graphs
Here's my blog:
my blog visualized

Here's our site for Institute for Collaboration Creativity and Culture (IFCCC):
ifccc.org visualization

Here's Jonathan Marks' blog - Critical Distance - he's one of our partners in IFCCC:
criticaldistance blog visualization

Finally, My Review of the Summit for the Future 2006

Felix will be very happy with me. I've finally gotten a chance to write my review from the Summit for the Future 2006.

Over two weeks ago, May 3-5th, I participated in The Summit for the Future 2006 hosted by the Club of Amsterdam. The theme was “Risk in Innovation and Global Growth”. I played trendwatcher for the Media stream and the knowledge stream on Values & Spirituality. Throughout the conference, we had many opportunities to share in delicious conversations with people from all over the planet and from many different disciplines. We engaged in a wide range of approaches to the theme of risk.

Within the knowledge streams and break out sessions, we deepened our engagement with the theme of risk, sometimes even unexpectedly. This was very apparent in the media stream where I sat.

Jonathan Marks was moderator for the Media stream. He had arranged a line of speakers that entertained us, informed us and shared their toys. There were two presentations that raised critical issues for us.

Eccky, the game, was the most provocative because it awakened our sense of parenthood and protective instincts on a deep and personal value level. We explored this questioning with a sense of real purpose, and Yme Bosma responded with an openness and shared our concern. He also opened our eyes to other perspectives. The real risk here is parental engagement. How willing are we to engage in the kind of discussion with our children that establishes acceptable parameters for their behavior? Because Microsoft is one of their investors, they are “American-izing” elements of the game for the moral driven American market. Isn’t that a risk as well?
Yme Bosma.JPG
Marc Canter raised a different set of issues regarding our digital identity. He was larger than life in his beautiful bright orange shirt, and so was his thinking. He challenged us to think about who is really accountable for how our identity gets managed online. Where does the authority, authentication, and the authorization lie? It certainly opens up the discussion about companies and software with an open source strategy versus those with protectionism strategies (like Microsoft). It should be user-permission driven - but is it?

During other presentations in the media stream, we looked at the impact on future business models. With the introduction of IP TV, will viewer participation begin to dictate content and programming, much like bloggers and social media have democratized publishing? No one really understands the real impact of social media, and yet they do understand that it is already changing the economy and the conventional business models.
Summit participants during break.JPG
The knowledge stream on Values & Spirituality gave us an opportunity to experience an exchange in consciousness. Led by JJohn Renesch and Bill Liao, the discussion opened up dialogue about how we manifest our engagement with risk. It became obvious that the Dutch culture is driven by fear of risk on almost all levels. That opened a door into our personal cultures and the values that drive our behavior.

During the collective sessions during the Summit, we listened to sound bites from speakers and participants in the many knowledge streams. The real eye-opener was the disruptive behavior of interrupting the presentations with comments that people needed to share. Most of the speakers and participants accepted this with good nature and even welcomed the interaction it generated. The presentations and sessions became richer through a more interactive and less broadcast format.

I would like to see more follow up from events like this Summit. There should be a knowledge gardener and someone responsible for knitting the learnings together, sharing that and building something. What we really walked away with were new relationships or confirmations of older ones. I guess what people choose to do with that is their own prerogative.

24 May 2006

Competing on How We Share Information

We're in a competition - no longer for product - but for how we share information. The content, and its package, formats and channels that we use to build our story, is key to how we build value.

Expertise in this area is no longer about PR or advertising, but in how to competently express an idea and how to align that idea and share its expression with compatible communities. How we share and build the story in those relationships will set the scenario for how those communities continue to share it with others.

Meaning and purpose play the greatest role here. Social media campaigns position and profile our ideas by connecting the purpose to people with great meaning and context.

We see ad agencies and even new media agencies trying to build social media campaigns based on the old tradition of “selling” product. Don’t you find that an intrusion in a world where you’re sharing ideas?

What works best for you when someone wants to share the value of something or sell something? Is the real difference the sense that something seems either authentic or contrived? Or, does it have to do more with something else? Share some of your stories about what works for you and what doesn’t.

21 May 2006

Are you exploring innovation as a culture?

This was a week of surprises for new business opportunities. We've been asked to explore some new client relationships - both need communication strategies for new media. As if this wasn't wonderful enough, I get a phone call from the USA about our campaign - "Exploring Innovation as a Culture" - for Nederland. They read my blog postings on "The Big Idea and Exploring Innovation as a Culture. They are developing a city campaign for New York and wanted to know if I would be interested in helping them. They are planning a conference to launch their campaign and also asked me if I would be interested in speaking about the European perspective on innovation. I was completely chuffed when they asked if I would mind if they called the campaign "Exploring Innovation as a Culture". Of course, I said, "Yes, spread the word, and remember that it can not be trademarked or copyrighted because it is covered by a Creative Commons license." This made them even more curious about what this really means, so they want to learn more about how we are actually "putting all this social media to work"."

These prospective new clients came through my personal relationships that have developed over time, through a conference, and through my blog. What I found surprising is the depth of discussion with each person. Social media not only gives us tools and new ways to connect, but it also sets the stage for more meaningful conversations and experiences...even in business.

If you are also exploring innovation as a culture, I would really enjoy hearing about your thoughts and experiences.

17 May 2006

Back from Barcelona

IMG_2915.JPG, originally uploaded by Colby Stuart.

I was in Barcelona last week with Gil Agnew, one of my partners in The Institute for Collaboration Creativity & Culture. We were bringing two great guys together. David Steele is Dean of the business school at Florida Institute of Technology. Pep Escolando is developing B-Tec in Barcelona.

We all had a great time together. The discussions were rich, the food and drink satisfying, and the sphere of the whole city was a delight. Check out the photos from Barcelona.

The week before that I took part in the Summit for the Future 2006, which I still want to review. You can see the photos from the Summit as a preview.

I'm going to take some time this week to catch up and share what's been going on with my work.

8 May 2006

The Networks of Meaning Project

Last week was a crazy week. Lots of great interactions.

After quite a long time searching for the right development partners for my Networks of Meaning project, I finally hooked up with Valeri Soukhov and Alex Demenshin, both Russian. Valeri is a TRIZ expert and Alex's focus is the technical side of ICT.
Alex Julia Valeri.JPG
We've agreed to build a proto-type of the concept. Ultimately, we want to build visual models of concepts with personal and cultural filters that will aid people in visually communicating meaning through The Networks of Meaning project.

Now we have to assemble an image data bank.

1 May 2006

Evolutionary Leadership - Leadership 3.0

This past week, I had to the honor to contribute to the development of a proposal for a center for leadership - a joint project between an American university and a global technology client. From my experience working with management teams and Boards, I found it easy to create the context for this proposal. Perhaps this contextual perspective was my unique contribution.

Leaders today face a world where strategy and value play a greater role than ever before. They need insight into evolving business models triggered by paradigm shifts in technology that have affected every area of life. The internet has released a knowledge revolution that has triggered another revolution - how we create and sustain value. This has happened in such a short timeline that leaders are struggling to find the coping strategies needed to explore how to deal with this phenomenon.

Life is a journey, not a destination. Leadership is much the same. When we take on the responsibility to lead others, we must learn to serve our constituency - much like the government statesmen of days gone by - by clearing the path forward to generate the expected value needed to grow and sustain a prosperous life in the context of all the conditions and contradictions that face us.

In the 21st century, we must learn statesmanship, how to steer our business constituency through a dynamic, ever-changing, multi-cultural world. This requires a different strategy than the typical political style adopted by many business leaders in the 20th century. Why? We are no longer followers. We are no longer consumers in target-groups, waiting for companies to tell us what to buy and pushing their products at us through broadcast channels. Our collective and individual role as consumer is evolving into our collective and individual role as citizen in numerous community contexts created online and off. This requires a different kind of approach in leadership to truly connect with us. It requires an understanding of community.

What does it mean to be a leader today?

How do we evolve our role as a leader? First, we have to re-think value creation. We have to realize that value creation is more than the exclusive bottom-line focus and generating shareholder value. What does that really mean? If we have traditionally focused on squeezing the most out of consumers, how can we create value in a new ways that are more inclusive of all levels of capital creation? These are the kinds of questions that open new discussions and lead to the kind of dialogue necessary to evolve our leadership roles. There are no fixed answers.

As in a journey, evolutionary leadership is about discovery - and creating value at every step along the way. It's about people and culture and the unexpected value that comes from engagement and conversation.

As today’s leaders, we have to face the task of managing expectations on this level that world leaders like Churchill and Ghandi faced at a different transitional moments in time. The Internet has given us a global reach and with it, the responsibilities to lead social as well as economic development. We cannot change the course of this direction. We cannot continue to prepare leaders with skills that serve the past. Leaders need skills that serve the present and the future. We need to broaden the scope of our dialogue to include people in community with one another, and not just as consumers in a sellers market. Different game, different context, different focus, different requirements, different expectations.

What are you doing to create value in new ways in the context of people as citizens and not just consumers? How do we establish the new value parameters as we transit from an economy driven by money as the major currency of trade into an economy driven by knowledge as the currency of trade? What is the real identity supporting this new face of business? What is the identity of the new leaders today? Until we figure this out, we don’t know how to engage. We also don’t know whom to follow. How do we develop strategies to cope with this fast speed of change?

The impact of this means we have to focus on the health, education and welfare of our citizens and not just on those who can afford to buy something. Knowledge as currency changes everything. Knowledge as currency changes the whole game.

Could it be that each of us becomes responsible to become an evolutionary leader in each of own communities, sharing our expertise and opening a new kind of dialogue?

30 April 2006

Blognomics 2006

Guido van Nispen invited me again this year to attend his second annual Blognomics symposium. It was part of the TINE ICT Networking Event and MacExpo on everything to do with computing, held at the RAI convention center in Amsterdam on Thursday this past week.

When Guido opened Blognomics 2006, he mentioned that he did not see many laptops in the audience compared to other conferences on social media. I had to chuckle. At conferences in other countries, there is a WiFi connection so that it makes sense to bring your laptop. How can we blog if we’re not connected?

That seemed to be the underlying issue as I listened to the first three speakers broadcasting their reality at us of how they’re experiencing this new business model created by the Internet. The real theme for this year was The Power of New Media. If I were to depend on these three speakers to open my mind about The Power of New Media, I would certainly not have learned much.

In all fairness, I left at the end of the 3rd speaker’s endless slide presentation. I have a torn hamstring, which makes sitting unbearable for any length of time. Had it been more engaging and relevant to creating some value proposition on the learning level, I might have just taken a walk and returned. I just didn’t think my attention span could endure another few hours of the broadcast mode.

The Netherlands is such a transactional culture that even under the guise of The Power of New Media, the Dutch are still busy just trying to make a transaction by treating new media and advertising in the old broadcast way. I heard nothing about interacting with communities, but lots about reaching target groups. The old push and shove sales model is still in place here.

The first speaker was Erik Gerritsen, the Secretary for the City of Amsterdam. Just like most politicians in The Netherlands, he bowed his head and read his speech, bobbing up and down, hardly able to focus on the audience. His gave us the usual historical references to 250 years of citizen journalism here. I could here the younger audience heave a collective sigh.

Paul Molenaar, General Manager of Ilse Media, was next up. Ilse is one of the largest online players in The Netherlands and hosts 260,000 of the 600,000 weblogs in this country. Paul gave us a statistical review of growth this past year, and then reviewed his predictions from Blognomics 2005. He asked the room if anyone was earning a living from their blog. Of course, this is the transactional context question. Many of us have grown our business because of the authority our blogs have afforded us. But, he did not ask the question to that answer.

Then Ralf Hesen, Managing Director of Tribal/DDB, started his slide show on how an advertising and media guy is making money from his consumers in target groups. At this point, I departed to explore the ICT Networking Event and MacExpo.

I could not find anything in the convention center about networking, but I did find lots of stands focused on storage and archiving. That seemed to be the real theme of this event. So, I took advantage of that and bought the new LaCie All Terrain Rugged Hard Drive with a triple interface connection, including Firewire 800. I backed up everything in my PowerBook in minutes with this speedy little gem. It’s a great design, which fits in your hand, and is built for travel. Now, this is a nice accessory to my community of traveling creatives who have to work on the run and back up serious of video and photography MBs.

21 April 2006

Europeans Not Creating Online Content

Ran into an interesting report from Jupiter Research through Robin Hamman's cybersoc.com blog posting "europeans still surfing, not creating online content".

Apparently, three quarters of Europeans on the web do not contribute to content creation. A disproportionately small group of web users in Europe are dominating public conversation and instigating business trends.

This brings two big questions to my mind:
What would happen if they actually did start contributing?
Is this a mirror reflection of their behavior at work as well?

14 April 2006

Vroom-vroom! Go Nano-car!

Great article about Rice scientists attach motor to singlemolecule car. It's powered by light. The molecular frameworks for the motor were developed by a Dutch scientist, Ben L. Feringa, at the University of Groningen, in the north of our country.

'The first nanocar research paper, published the journal Nano Letters last October, was the most-accessed article from all American Chemical Society journals in 2005. That paper was co-authored by Kevin Kelly, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering."

So when do we get to take it for a ride?

GetHuman Advocacy for Customer Service

GetHuman is an online advocacy for high quality customer service.

It is a website run by volunteers, and it services over one million consumers in the USA. It provides a rating system and keeps a data base of customer service experiences.

"The most popular part of the gethuman website is the gethuman database of secret phone numbers and codes to get to a human when calling a company for customer service."

Wow - we could really benefit from having a site like this in The Netherlands.

12 April 2006

Web 2.0 List on the Web2List Site

Wow - a Web2.0 List. Now you don't have to look any further - just pop over there and click away. You can Digg it, comment, and rate the sites.

9 April 2006

The Big Idea: Exploring Innovation as a Culture

Getting ready to present the Big Idea of Exploring Innovation as a Culture. Have been refining the core concept and trying to trim all excess distractions. Inspired by the work that I did with Gil Agnew and Arjan Kamphuis this past week, I used Open Source as inspiration and rationale for the presentation.

I tried to address all the problems and conditioning that we face here in The Netherlands. That's why I thought we needed a powerful Big Idea that would unify everything and really seduce people into a transformation.

We live in a country weighted down by a huge social contract where people feel entitled to their subsidized behavior. Combine this with a transactional based economy and we're ready for an innovation revolution.

Our task becomes: How to replace the syndrome of “entitlement” with the behavior of “performance with a conscience”. We have a real chance to transform ourselves through socio-economic behavior, capturing the need to address the basic health, educaiton and welfare of our society with an innovative and sustainable economy. This means changes from protectionism strategies to open source strategies - and embracing the benefits of diversity, instead of fearing it.

The Strategic Opportunity: Develop a new vision on investment, giving investment a new purpose and a new role for creating value - more than just transactional value - and replacing the existing entitlement practice of subsidizing. If we can convincingly encourage people to engage in new practices that network ideas, people and practices across all diverse areas, we have a path forward to a new economy that has a social conscience.

4 April 2006

Open Source is Driving a Knowledge Revolution

Just returned from a discussion with Arjan Kamphuis and Gil Agnew in my studio about the role of Open Source in our society. Most people do not realize the pivotal role that Open Spurce plays in liberating knowledge for the masses. Gil related it to the relationship between the printing press and the book. The printing press caused a revolution in literacy once books got into the hands of the masses and out of the control of the keepers.

With behemoths like Microsoft taking up the sound-bite space, it's sometimes difficult to give the purpose of Open Source technology the spotlight and attention that it deserves.

Arjan Kamphuis is a crusader for Open Source. In 2002, he authored and lobbied a parliament motion to make open source software core to the Dutch technology strategy. He believes in Open Source with a passion and is busy rounding up other proponents to really take the message into the heart of Dutch culture. His message is that Open Source is driving a knowledge revolution, much like the printing press did.

Talkr Converts Blogs into Podcasts

Blogcasting has been born! Talkr is the new social application of the month. It converts a blog into a podcast. That's the technology side. It also begins to join the long list of brands that host a live listing of what people are posting, or in this case, what people are converting to podcasts.

I'm going to play with this and see how to use it for clients. This could be perfect for people I coach. I can direct them to BlogCasts relevant to issues at hand.

Has anyone else discovered new ways to put this to use?

2 April 2006

Idea Logistics

I’ve been working on the research protocols for IFCCC. While defining parameters, I got to thinking about how to define paths for ideas – idea logistics. We can build algorithms for networks and search and value creation. Why not look for how to define negotiating an idea through a human operational system?

What would we have to address? How do we build in the political dynamics and open paths when an idea hit the old political wall? What are the natural paths that an idea follows. Meme research could illuminate the scenario...and perhaps, also, research on informational cascades.

I love puzzling this out. I’m going to play with this and see if there are some valuable lessons in the discovery process. If anyone else has also been playing with idea logistics, please share your thoughts. Maybe we could collaborate on an human behavior algorithm.

31 March 2006

Visual Modeling

When I work with people, I generally use a large marker pad for visualizing the content and connections emerging from the dialogue. Everyone can then see what they're discussing and very quickly identify what is different from what they had intended. It helps everyone get the picture.

Finding great resources for visual modeling is rare. Marshall Clemens from Idiagram seems to have the gift. Just run your cursor over the the list under the "Art of Complex Problem Solving". Several different graphics will appear to explain the topic.

His talent seems to be embedding the content in a simple and elegant design so that the graphics reveal the story you're trying to tell.

29 March 2006

The Solar Eclipse 29 March 2006

Since childhood, I've been fascinated by eclipses. My father filled a pail with water and then poked a hole in a piece of cardboard for us to watch our first one.

You can follow the path of the sun and moon by watching this animation from NASA.

According to NASA, "The special coverage is part of Sun-Earth Day, celebrated every year to help everyone better understand how our sun interacts with the Earth and other planets in the solar system. This year's theme, 'Eclipse: In a Different Light' shows how eclipses have inspired people to observe and understand the Sun-Earth-Moon system.

The eclipse coverage also has a historic first. NASA and Libyan scientists are conducting joint scientific activities to observe and study the event. NASA is contacting scientists in Libya to share their comments on their activities as well as their observations."

A total solar eclipse is very rare. In a total eclipse like this one, the entire central portion of the Sun is blocked out and the sky darkens. It did get a bit darker here in The Netherlands, but not like in Libya or Turkey.

Will this solar eclipse portend a rash of events through natural forces, like earthquakes, as feared in Turkey?

28 March 2006

Debate Europe - online public debate

The European Commission has launched a website - Debate Europe - to engage us in an online discussion platform about the future of Europe.

"This debate on the internet is part of our 'Plan D' – where D stands for Dialogue, Debate and Democracy. Plan D is the Commission's contribution to the 'period of reflection' on the future of the EU, which was called for by Heads of State and Government of the EU in June 2005 following the rejection of the proposed Constitutional Treaty by voters in France and The Netherlands."

Considering the student riots throughout France, this comes at an opportune moment. It's time to stop complaining and start joining a wider discussion with others. Unless we let our voices be heard, no one will know what we want to accomplish together. The Debate Europe site offers a choice of 20 different languages.