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Chris Turner, “The Geography of Hope”, Quirks and Quarks, 2008/06/21 August 28, 2008

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In planning more sustainable communities, we can travel the world to look for exemplars.

When Canadian journalist Chris Turner set out on a journey around the world last year, he wanted to see what people were doing to save the planet. He visited communities on each of the settled continents, looking for examples of ecologically-friendly living. He put his finding together in a book, The Geography of Hope. [....]

Samsø, Denmark

In the middle of Denmark is the island of Samsø. About a decade ago, the island won a competition being run by the Danish government. They agreed to find ways to make the whole community carbon neutral by 2007. The island encouraged local and foreign investment and built a series of wind turbines both on, and off, the island. Now, the island doesn’t just produce its own electricity, but is a net exporter of power. At the same time, the island installed a series of district heating plants. Basically, instead of heating houses individually, these district heating plants provide central heating for all the houses in the neighbourhood, dramatically cutting down on energy waste. [....]

The EcoVillage at Ithaca, New York

Just outside the city of Ithaca, in upstate New York, there’s a small community of about one hundred people. They share some common meals, participate in running two organic farms, and live as low a carbon lifestyle as possible. It’s called an EcoVillage, and it’s a model of an “intentional community.” In intentional communities, all the residents agree to certain principles; in this case, it’s a commitment to carbon neutrality. Everyone pitches in to run the community, but it’s not a low-tech affair. They are all allowed one car per family, and high-speed internet is the norm. [....]

Freiburg, Germany

Chris Turner was also impressed by the commitment of Freiburg, and other cities in Germany, to reducing fossil fuel use. There’s an area of redevelopment in Freiburg where the houses are so energy efficient that they actually produce power that can feed back into the grid. And importantly, the residents of these houses don’t find themselves living frugally to achieve this. High quality insulation, solar panels on the roofs and other technological innovations have meant the houses can meet all the owners’ needs and more.

CBC Radio | Quirks & Quarks | June 21, 2008

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Iqbal Quadir, “Technology Empowers the Poorest”, Longnow Foundation, 2008/05/21 August 28, 2008

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Quadir came from Bangladesh to study in the U.S., and then returned to his home country. He believes in entrepreneurism over government policies.

In Quadir’s view, it’s not that centralization per se creates poverty. Poverty is the natural beginning state of all societies, east or west. Rather, decentralization is the engine which removes poverty and brings wealth. To the degree that infrastructure, education, and trade can be decentralized, wealth will rise in proportion. To the degree that infrastructure, education and trade are centralized, poverty will remain.

[....] Aid, as we know it, kills development. This harm occurs because almost all previous aid has funneled through a central government or semi-governmental organizations and that official route tightens centrality. Even if the governments were saintly, and they are definitely not, the scale of money flowing through these centralizing nodes prohibits the distribution of resources, infrastructure, trade, and education. The more aid that arrives, the less development can actually happen.

Technology is the escape from this quandary. Quadir came to see that “technologies that connect” could liberate productivity. He matched his experience in Bangladesh as a 13-year-old boy having to walk 10 kilometers to get medicine, only to find out the medicine man he sought was not home, and then walking back empty handed, having wasted a day — all because there was no connection between his home and the pharmacist. Many years later in New York he wasted a day at work when there was no electricity to run phones or computers. Productivity required connectivity. If connectivity could be decentralized then it would lead to increased wealth.

The Long Now Blog » Blog Archive » Iqbal Quadir, “Technology Empowers the Poorest3 ”

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Lou Carbone, “Creating Customer Loyalty”, IT Conversations, 2007/02/12 August 28, 2008

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I know Lou Carbone from the Adaptive Enterprise community. His talk reminded me about how the number of people who haven’t heard about Experience Engineering is a lot bigger than those who have.

Lou Carbone … will change the way you think about customer experience forever. His message to business leaders and professionals is simple: Create customers that come back and customers that tell others, by connecting emotionally with them through the experiences you deliver.

Carbone urges business to focus on managing experience “clues”, conscious and unconscious, because experiences are what customers value most. He stresses that the world has moved from making and selling to sensing and responding—a dynamic change that requires new competencies. Through illustrations from Fortune 100 clients, Carbone shares how the systematic design and delivery of experience clues can have immense impact on customer value, loyalty, and the bottom line.

IT Conversations | Adaptive Path | Lou Carbone (Free Podcast)

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Amanda Sinclair and Chris Turner, “Are some cultures more conducive to innovation than others?”, SBS World View, 2008/06/04 August 9, 2008

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Is innovation could be related to geography?

What sort of environment or society sets the conditions for new ideas and innovation, that will improve our lives?

Why do some people and societies seem to do it better than others?You’ve heard the age-old saying, “necessity is the mother of invention”. Is it as simple as that?

It’s a question Caroline Davey put to Australian business professor Amanda Sinclair… (who works in Management Diversity & Change at the Melbourne Business School) … and Canadian technology writer Chris Turner ….(who’s recently written “The Geography of Hope: A Tour of the World We Need“).

SBS Podcasting

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Paul Romer, “On Growth”, Econtalk, 2007/08/27 August 9, 2008

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Paul Romer is known as the researcher who developed New Growth Theory.

Paul Romer, Stanford University professor and Hoover Institution Senior Fellow talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about growth, China, innovation, and the role of human capital. Also discussed are ideas in creating growth, the idea that ideas allow for increasing returns, and intellectual property and how it should be treated. This 75 minute podcast is a wonderful introduction to thinking about what creates and sustains our standard of living in the modern world.

EconTalk: Paul Romer Archives

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Dave Winer, AfterTv, 2006/08/26 August 9, 2008

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I’ve seen Dave Winer’s name around the development of RSS and Atom as standards.

From Frontier to RadioUserland to RSS to Podcasting, Dave Winer’s had a hand in it all. Inventing most of it and improving all of it. At the same time, his irrascible personality has given him the reputation of one who “does not play well with others.” Winer makes no apologies. And after all, if you are hearing this podcast or reading a blog or RSS feeds of any flavor, it is in a large measure because Winer thought it would be “a good idea” and made it happen. He’ll fill you in daily on more ideas at what may be the “original blog,

AfterTV:

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Marc Rotenberg, “Technology and Privacy: The New Landscape”; and Susan Landau, “Privacy on the Line: The Politics of Wiretapping and Encryption”, MIT Press Podcast, 2008/02/04 August 9, 2008

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Two talks on privacy in the information age.

Marc Rotenberg is co-editor of Technology and Privacy: The New Landscape. Mr. Rotenberg is Executive Director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) in Washington, DC, and teaches information privacy law at Georgetown University Law Center.

Susan Landau is co-author of Privacy on the Line: The Politics of Wiretapping and Encryption. Ms. Landau is Distinguished Engineer at Sun Microsystems.

The MIT Press Podcast – The MIT Press

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Don Boudreaux, “The Economics of ‘Buy Local'”, Econtalk, 2007/04/16 August 9, 2008

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On one hand, buying locally means reduced costs, but on the other hand, importing from developing countries makes better use of local resources.

Proponents of buying local argue that it is better to buy from the local hardware store owner and nearby farmer than from the Big Box chain store or the grocery store headquartered out of town because the money from the purchase is more likely to “stay in the local economy.” Don Boudreaux of George Mason University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the economics of this idea. Is it better to buy local than from a seller based out of town? Is it better to buy American than to buy foreign products? Does the money matter? In this conversation, Boudreaux and Roberts pierce through the veil of money to expose what trade, whether local, national, or international, really accomplishes.

Boudreaux on the Economics of “Buy Local” | EconTalk | Library of Economics and Liberty

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Niall Ferguson & Peter Schwartz, “Historian vs. Futurist on Human Progress”, Longnow Foundation, 2008/04/28 August 9, 2008

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In thinking about the future, what can we learn from how historians think, versus how futurists think?

… historian Niall Ferguson and futurist Peter Schwartz fire-hosed each other with enough ideas, frames of reference, ripostes, and eloquences to lead to a clear conceptual divergence. At the same time, the two were discovering, live in front of an audience, new ways they might work together on future projects.

Ferguson began by pointing out that while we face many futures, there is only one past, and its residents outnumber us— only 6 percent of all humans are now alive. Historians, he said, “commune with the dead. We re-enact their thoughts, in their context and ours.

”Historians look for rough regularities, such as he found in his analysis of the wars and hatred played out in the 20th Century. [....]

Ferguson ended with a critique of Schwartz’s book on scenario planning, THE ART OF THE LONG VIEW, which he thought showed signs of “heuristic bias.” When Schwartz asked Ferguson to expand on that idea, Ferguson pointed out there was a whole chapter in the book about “The Global Teenager,” which seemed spurious. It merely reflected Schwartz’s personal experience: “You were a teenager when teenagers mattered. [....]

In Schwartz’s opening remarks, he said that his plans to write a book titled THE CASE FOR OPTIMISM were derailed by reading Ferguson’s WAR OF THE WORLD. He’s been grappling with the issues Ferguson raised for 18 months. “You do alternative pasts, I do alternative futures. Where historians commune with the dead, futurists have imaginary friends.”

Schwartz characterized Ferguson’s view of history as basically down, with an upside possibility, whereas his own view was of history as basically up, with always the possibility of getting things wrong.”

The Long Now Blog » Blog Archive » Niall Ferguson & Peter Schwartz, “Historian vs. Futurist on Human Progress”

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Robert Sutton, “The No Asshole Rule”, Tech Nation, 2007/03/09 August 9, 2008

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Robert Sutton is well-respected academic, so to studying the workplace with a title so provocative draws can certainly draw attention.

Dr. Moira Gunn speaks with Robert Sutton, the Stanford Professor and author, who has scientific research proving a negative work atmosphere is bad for you. They talk about Sutton’s new book which looks at “Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t.”

IT Conversations | Tech Nation | Robert Sutton (Free Podcast)

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Esther Dyson, AfterTv, 2006/08/14 August 9, 2008

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Esther Dyson is well respected in her views on technological change. This interview provides a little more background on her history, and her current interest in education.

Entrepreneur, venture capitalist, publisher, author, and central Net presence for nearly two decades, Esther Dyson ( Release 1.0 ) always seems to know where the Web is and where it is going next. In this exclusive interview she talks about the once and future Internet with Andrew Keen.

AfterTV: Esther Dyson

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George Soros, “Freedom”, Leonard Lopate Show, 2006/06/12 August 9, 2008

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I’ve been interested in understanding more about the ideas of George Soros as the philosopher, rather than the George Soros the financier.

George Soros and George Bush both champion promoting freedom worldwide. Yet they have very different ideas about the best way to do it. In The Age of Fallibility: Consequences of the War on Terror, George Soros explains why his policies are so different from those of President Bush.

WNYC – The Leonard Lopate Show: Freedom and Discovery (June 12, 2006)

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Etienne Wenger, “Collaborative Communities of Practice”, Tamarack, 2007/11/08 August 9, 2008

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Etienne Wenger is famous for his original research on Communities of Practice, leading to popularization in organizational learning in business. This informal conversation gives more insight on how the research came about.

A pioneer of “communities of practice” research, Etienne Wenger is author and co-author of a number of seminal articles and books, including Situated Learning, Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning and Identity, and Cultivating Communities of Practice: A Guide to Managing Knowledge.

Etienne was born in Switzerland to a French-speaking family and moved to the United States to pursue his PhD. His interest in education has led him to many corners of the world.

He is a researcher, author and consultant, and his work has influenced both the thinking and practice of a wide variety of fields, including business, education, government and social theory.

Learning Centre – Communities Collaborating for Impact

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Margaret Wheatley, “Collaboration in a Chaotic World”, Tamarack, 2007/08/30 August 5, 2008

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Margaret Wheatley is known as one of the pioneers to bring complexity thinking to organizations.

If we understood how life organizes, how might we organize differently?

Through her photos, poetry, prose, research and collaboration, Margaret Wheatley explores this question to seek the conditions that nurture life.

The latest edition of her book Leadership and the New Science: Discovering Order in a Chaotic World has established a fundamentally new approach to how we think about organization and collaboration. Margaret shares with us her latest thinking on leadership and collaboration in a chaotic world.

Learning Centre – Communities Collaborating for Impact

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Eric Hanushek, “Educational Quality and Economic Growth”, Econtalk, 2007/08/6 August 5, 2008

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There’s a correlation between education and economic growth, but not many have tackled the relationship between the two.

Hoover Institution Senior Fellow Eric Hanushek talks about his research on the impact of educational quality on economic growth.

Past efforts to increase the economic growth rate of poor countries have focused on years of schooling, neglecting the quality and true education that needs to take place. Hanushek presents dramatic findings about the decisive nature of cognitive ability and knowledge in driving economic growth. Hanushek talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his findings and the implications for public policy around the world and in the United States.

Hanushek on Educational Quality and Economic Growth | EconTalk | Library of Economics and Liberty

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Mike Milinkovich, “Eclipse”, 2004/06/29 August 5, 2008

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This 2004 talk on Eclipse describes some of the history of this development environment in the open source world.

At JavaOne, Scott Mace talked with Eclipse Foundation Executive Director Mike Milinkovich. Listen to Mike discuss the origins of Eclipse, who belongs to the community and who is benefiting from it, what’s new in Eclipse 3.0, what differentiates SWT from Swing, Red Hat’s recent implementation of Eclipse on native hardware, and the Eclipse perspective on the Java Community Process.

The Eclipse Foundation board of directors appointed Mike Milinkovich as executive director in June 2004. Milinkovich, a 20-year veteran of the technology industry, previously served as vice president of Oracle AS Technical Services at Oracle Corporation. He has also held key management positions at WebGain, The Object People, and Object Technology International Inc. (which subsequently became an IBM subsidiary). At Eclipse, his role includes building the foundation’s membership; launching Eclipse 3.0 this summer; establishing a solid foundation for the new open WebTools project, which extends Eclipse to server-side Java; and forming the Eclipse Management Organization and supervising the requirements, planning and architecture councils.

IT Conversations | Opening Move | Mike Milinkovich

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Cass Sunstein “Infotopia, Information and Decision-Making”, Econtalk, 2007/05/14 August 5, 2008

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Paralleling the idea of the Wisdom of Crowds, the perspective of an economist has some commonalities and some differences.

Cass Sunstein of the University of Chicago talks about the ideas in his latest book, Infotopia: How Many Minds Produce Knowledge.

What are the best ways to get the information needed to make wise decisions when that information is spread out among an organization’s members or a society’s citizens? He argues that prediction markets can help both politicians and business leaders make better decisions and discusses the surprising ways they’re already being used today. Deliberation, the standard way we often gather information at various kinds of meetings, has some unpleasant biases that hamper its usefulness relative to surveys and incentive-based alternatives.

Sunstein on Infotopia, Information and Decision-Making | EconTalk | Library of Economics and Liberty

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Thomas Homer-Dixon, “Catastrophe, Creativity and Renewal: The Upside of Down”, Tamarack, 2007/03/16 August 5, 2008

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Thomas-Homer Dixon gives lots of formal talks. Here’s one that is a little more casual and conversational. It’s no less content-filled.

In his latest book, The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity and the Renewal of Civilization, Thomas Homer-Dixon sets out a theory of growth, crisis and renewal of societies and explores how converging energy, environmental and political-economic stresses could cause a breakdown of national and global order – a social earthquake that could affect millions of people.

However, Homer-Dixon contends that such a breakdown does not have to be catastrophic and argues that it could even open up extraordinary opportunities for creative, bold reform – if we’re prepared for them when they arise.

Despite a potentially dire outcome, Homer-Dixon emphasizes that if people are well-prepared, they may be able to exploit less extreme forms of breakdown to achieve deep reform and renewal of institutions, social relations, technologies, and entrenched habits of behaviour.

Learning Centre – Communities Collaborating for Impact

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Michael Schrage, AfterTv, 2006/07/31 August 5, 2008

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I’m most familiar with Michael Schrage from his writings in Fortune Magazine. This talk illustrates his more educational side.

Michael Schrage discusses the lack of quality in “quality education,” the cyber shaping of a child’s mind, and the true nature of innovation.“The innovations that are successful world-wide are the result of ongoing collaborations between businesses and their customers ….The audience is what makes Google valuable.”

Michael Schrage is co-director of the MIT Media Lab’s E-Markets Initiative and a senior adviser to MIT¹s Security Studies Program. Michael Schrage advises organizations on the economics of innovation through rapid experimentation, simulation and digital design.

AfterTV:

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Stephen Walli, “How Microsoft Could Give More to Open Source”, Opening Move, 2007/01/08 August 5, 2008

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I hadn’t heard about Microsoft’s Shared Source program until I listened to this interview.

Many people have urged Microsoft to contribute more of its software code under an open source license, but few offer more informed advice on how to do it than Stephen Walli. While at Microsoft, Walli helped the company explore moving beyond more restricted shared-source software licensing schemes to freer GPL-oriented projects such as WIX. As such, Walli offers a unique perspective on Microsoft’s gradual acceptance of open source. Now an executive at a stealth startup with a software-as-a-service aspect and open source infrastructure, Walli in this conversation urges Microsoft to contribute far more into open source, and cites the new release of SQL Server as an example. Walli says why this type of contribution would benefit the company, and why attempting to liberate core Windows or Office software assets would be much harder. Walli also discusses patent issues raised during Microsoft’s recent agreement to work with Novell and its SUSE Linux distribution. Walli also takes issue with the Open Source Initiative’s Open Standards Requirement. He also comments on the legacy of Microsoft’s shared source initiative, its Open Specification Promise, and his optimism regarding GPL version 3.

Stephen Walli has worked in the IT industry since 1980 as both customer and vendor. He is currently CTO and vice president of engineering at a new stealth start-up. Previously, he was vice president of open source development strategy at Optaros, Inc. through its initial 18 months. Prior to that he was a business development manager in the Windows platform team at Microsoft, working in the space between community development, standards, and intellectual property concerns. Before joining the platforms business team, he was a program manager on Rotor, the shared-source implementation of the ECMA Common Language Infrastructure standard on Windows and FreeBSD.

IT Conversations | Opening Move | Stephen Walli

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