TED Global 2013.1

This year’s TED GLobal was probably one of the best TED events that i have had the privilege of attending. The breadth, humanity and humility was both refreshing and inspiring. I came away really focused on striving to be the best version of myself… so the Big Hits were really impressive and impactful. One of the first to be posted is the talk by the young North Korean refugee Joseph Kim. He watched his father starve to death and his mother and sister depart for China promising to return for him. He tells his story better than I could begin to, so go to TED.COM/KIM and watch it. Be prepared to be moved.


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a fascinating gaming method to sort out hard budget decisions

the 10 conference near Seattle last week was really interesting. good conversations and great people. Heidi de Laubenfels, from McKinstry of Seattle, told me about this game which was reported in BusinessWeek to help a city solve its tough budget problems. it really looks great!


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a tip from my son on a youtube must see

these guys are awesome. full stop.


watch the big red balloon…..

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transportation 2050

i was asked for thoughts on what transport would look like in 2050. this as part of a query to our transport planers/designers… so here is what i think….

It is really not quite as much about what i think 2050 will bring, as what the next generations think. They are the ones who have the vision which will go over, around or underneath any of ours.  My son assumes that he will not be required to drive his vehicle. He assumes that it will take him where he needs to go with his friends. He does not equate personal car ownership with freedom like most northern hemisphere boomers. he knows that his vehicle will not be driving on fossil fuel. he also assumes that he will be taking some sort of public transportation, even from where we live – which is not ‘in the city’.

I grew up in a suburb of Cincinnati, Ohio which is in the mid-west of the USA. I did not take a bus regularly anywhere. I think my younger brother might have periodically, but public transportation was not in our ‘normal’ vocabulary.  I car pooled to high school, then drove everywhere once i was of age.  An automobile was the same a ‘freedom’. but, that was the ’70s and our world has fundamentally changed. there are more than twice as many people trying to get around…

I assume that there will continue to be a mix of public private – there always has been and there always will be. The best way for me to get my head into it is to do the slingshot to the early 1900′s. what was the mix then? Who had private ‘vehicles’? There were more options then, then now to get around. I believe that we will have more options over the next 30 years in ‘degrees’ of ‘publicness” in our modes. everything will be ‘smart’. the internet of things will be real and efficiencies which we cannot even imagine will become the norm. these efficiencies will be both in motive power as well as in the way we get from place to place. i am not so sure the hub and spoke method which is so much the norm will be the preferred network. i rather think we will see more ‘maps’ like that of the London Underground. there is little systemic logic if it was to be created anew, but fundamental logic given the historical way that it has been built up. the beauty of it is in the pathway redundancy. if there is a blockage somewhere, then you simply find aoother pathwayt to follow around it.
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I am looking forward to leading an interactive session at the VERGE@Greenbuiild event.

VERGE @ Greenbuild live: http://www.greenbiz.com/events/verge/2012/11/san-francisco
VERGE Virtual: http://vergecon.greenbiz.com

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WEF Global Risks Survey 2013

I received the following today in my inbox…. at the end, there was an invitation to share it with others. Thus….

… I invite you to take our Global Risks Perception Survey, which is sent annually to a select group of experts and leaders worldwide. The results shape the intellectual foundation for the Forum’s flagship publication on major risks (Global Risks 2013), which will be published in January.

Your responses to this important survey will also shape the Forum’s programming in the coming year as we embark on a series of regional- and industry-specific projects aimed at better understanding and responding to complex global risks. The deadline for responding to the survey, which will take no longer than 30 minutes to complete, is Wednesday 26 September 2012.

Given its international importance, this survey is available in 11 languages for your convenience (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese). Upon completion of the survey, you will see a personalized Global Risks Map summarising your responses. You will also receive an electronic version of the Global risks 2013 report upon its launch in January 2013.

the following is the link to complete the survey…https://www.weforum-grr-survey.com/uc/start/?a=1

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TEN conference

i am looking forward to speaking at the TEN conference near Seattle! it looks like a really eclectic group of speakers….lots that i have never met, which will be a welcome change!

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The Global Mind is us, augmented. a talk at Long Now by Tim O’Reilly

a repost of Stewart Brand’s summary….
As a student of the classics at Harvard in the 1970s, O’Reilly was impressed by a book titled The Discovery of the Mind: In Greek Philosophy and Literature, by Bruno Snell.  In the four centuries between Homer and classical Athens, wrote Snell, the Greeks invented the modern human mind, with its sense of free will and agency.  (In Homer, for example, no one makes a decision.)  O’Reilly sees a parallel with the emerging of a global mind in this century.

Global consciousness was a recurrent idea in the 1970s—from Teilhard de Chardin’s noosphere and Omega point (“the Singularity of its day”) to “New Age mumbo-jumbo” such as the Harmonic Covergence.  O’Reilly noted that the term “singularity” for technology acceleration was first used in 1958 by John von Neumann.  In 1960 J.C.R. Licklider wrote an influential paper titled “Human-computer Symbiosis.”  O’Reilly predicted that “exploring the possibility space of human-computer symbiosis is one of the fascinating frontiers of the next decades and possibly century.”

Echoing Dale Dougherty, he says the Web has become the leading platform for harnessing collective intelligence.  Wikipedia is a virtual city.  Connected smart phones have become our “outboard brain.”  Through device automation, Apple has imbued retail clerks with superpowers in its stores.  Watson, the AI that beat human champions at “Jeopardy,” is now being deployed to advise doctors in real time, having read ALL the scientific papers.  YouTube has mastered the attention economy.  Humanity has a shared memory in the cloud.  Data scientists rule.

The global mind is not an artificial intelligence.  It’s us, connected and augmented.

What keeps driving it is the generosity and joy we take in creating and sharing.  The global mind is built on the gift culture of every medium of connectedness since the invention of language.  You gain status by what you give away, by the value you create, not the value you take.

–Stewart Brand (sb@gbn.org)

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WEF technology pioneers 2013

the WEF announced the 23 companies which have been chosen as technology pioneers today. the report is here or [ http://reports.weforum.org/technology-pioneers-2013/]. this is the second year that i have been on the selection panel. the companies are fascinating and each have a very high potential to either disrupt a market segment or to strongly impact it. i encourage you to check them out.

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Neil Armstrong….need clippings!!!!

from a friend….

Dear friends:
Saturday Cincinnati Museum Center lost a dear friend and the world a remarkable human being. Neil Armstrong was an avid supporter of Cincinnati Museum Center, had served as board chair of the Museum of Natural History when it voted to become a part of Cincinnati Museum Center, was an emeritus trustee of Cincinnati Museum Center and supported the museum publicly.
Yesterday I wrote of my personal reflections of Neil and his role with our museum. www.doug4cincy.com
Today I write you asking if you will help us collect newspapers from throughout the world which have articles about Neil. We would like to collect them in the museum’s archives and they may become an extension of the small exhibit we presently have which features a rock Neil brought back from the moon and presented to Cincinnati Museum Center.
This might be your local paper or you know of someone else from a unique place who might be helpful.
If you can be helpful in this request, please let me know and send the newspapers to the address below.
Thank you so much and as his family requested, when you see the moon on a clear night, look at it, wink and think about how you can make a difference giving selflessly to our community.
Douglass W McDonald
Cincinnati Museum Center
National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
1301 Western Ave.
Cincinnati, OH
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the green thing back then.

The following was forwarded to me by a friend……

Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the older woman, that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment.

The woman apologized and explained, “We didn’t have this green thing back in my earlier days.”

The young clerk responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations.”

She was right — our generation didn’t have the green thing in its day.

Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled.

But we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

Grocery stores bagged our groceries in brown paper bags, that we reused for numerous things, most memorable besides household garbage bags, was the use of brown paper bags as book covers for our schoolbooks. This was to ensure that public property, (the books provided for our use by the school) was not defaced by our scribblings. Then we were able to personalize our books on the brown paper bags.

But too bad we didn’t do the green thing back then.

We walked up stairs, because we didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks.

 But she was right. We didn’t have the green thing in our day.

Back then, we washed the baby’s diapers because we didn’t have the throwaway kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up 220 volts — wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.

But that young lady is right; we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house — not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana . In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But she’s right; we didn’t have the green thing back then.

We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

But we didn’t have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 23,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest burger joint. 

But isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn’t have the green thing back then?

Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a smartass young person…We don’t like being old in the first place, so it doesn’t take much to tick us off.

Live well, laugh often, love much!

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the Ocean Health Index is launched!

From my friend Enric Sala:

Dear All,

On behalf of Conservation International, I’m excited to announce the release of the Ocean Health Index, which signals a new way of thinking about our relationship with the ocean. The Index is the first comprehensive, annual assessment of the benefits that a healthy ocean provides through 10 goals, which emphasize the human-ocean relationship. The Index has been an important priority for Conservation International and will be used in our future ocean programs.

The research, which was led by Dr Ben Halpern and engaged 65 scientists and experts, was just released online in Nature .  The paper reports that the overall global score is 60 out of a sustainable state scored at 100, indicating that this relationship is out of balance and unsustainable.  Country-specific and goal-specific scores as well as a wealth of information on ocean health are provided at www.oceanhealthindex.org .  To access the methods and theNature paper visit http://www.oceanhealthindex.org/About/Methods/ .

I’m also writing to ask your help in promoting the importance of the oceans to people and the need for action as demonstrated by this tool.  If you would like, please share the Ocean Health Index news with your colleagues and anyone else interested in ocean health, including scientists, NGOs, foundations and decision-makers.  No single entity owns the Ocean Health Index; the Index is an independent brand.  For inquiries, please direct interested parties to info@oceanhealthindex.org.

Thank you,

Enric Sala, PhD
National Geographic Society

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