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Hajo Neis, “Battle for Life and Beauty of the Earth: Urban Architecture and (Re)Generative Process” (web video) | April 14, 2014 | U. Oregon July 1, 2015

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Hajo Neis, co-author with Christopher Alexander on his 2012 book, lectured on experiences not only with the Eishin Campus in Japan in 1985, but also other works.
Hajo Neis

In this lecture Neis will report about the recently published book ‘Battle for the Life and Beauty of the Earth’ by Christopher Alexander, Hans Joachim Neis and Maggie Alexander, in which the authors present “a revolutionary vision for the human environment: in coming eras, the environment will be conceived, designed, made, and widely understood as a necessary part of our emotional and social life.” But the book also addresses a major problem in the production of today’s human environment, or the kind of problems you can encounter when you try to implement essential principles for a human and beautiful architecture in large-scale projects. The book can best be understood as an excellent example of the fascinating interplay between theory and practice, between thinking and making, with a deep concern for human life and the environment, and a battle worth fighting. Neis will show several more projects closely related to the book and its main topic and theme and the University of Oregon.

Below is some of the text from the slides.

[06:40] “Battle for the Life and Beauty of the Earth”, Urban Architecture and Re(Generative) Process, by Hajo Neis, Ph.D., Contents

  • Part A
    • 1. Urban Architecture – Portland
    • 2. BOOK: Battle for Life and Beauty of the Earth
    • 3. (Urban) Theory Part 1:  Generative Design Patterns and Pattern Language
    • 4. Project 1:  Eugene Campus (Agate and Amazon)
    • 5. Project 2:  Portland Campus – White Stag
    • 6. Project 3:  Eishin Campus – Tokyo
    • 7. Project 4:  Frankfurt Hoechst I
    • 8. Project 5:  Julian Inn – San Jose
  • Part B
    • (Urban) Theory Part II:  Dynamic Generative Process
    • 10. San Francisco Waterfront Project – Transbay Terminal
    • 11 Project 6:  Frankfurt Hoescht II
    • 12. Project 7: New University of Oregon Portland
    • 13. Project 8: Guasare New Town, Venezuela
    • 14. Project 9: Emoto Apartment Building – Tokyo
    • 15. Conclusion-Outlook:  Theory Part III Generative Code
    • Thank you

[9:33] Architect Prof. Christopher Alexander, Winner of the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture 2014

[10:46] Beauty, Sustainability, Social Justice, Urban Life

[11:21] Battle, p. 2

  • “The purpose of all architecture, the purpose of its spatial-geometric organization, is to provide opportunities for life-giving situations. The central issue of architecture, and its central purpose, is to create those configurations and social situations, which provide encouragement and support for life-giving comfort and profound satisfaction — sometimes excitement — so that one experiences life as worth living.  When this purpose is forgotten or abandoned, then there is indeed no architecture to speak of.”

[13:31] Battle cover jacket

  • “Achieving this vision will require an intensive lengthy global Battle between two production systems, System-B, the dominant production system today, seeks to profit from development and produce structures, through unfeeling mechanical procedures that destroy opportunities for joy and human satisfaction.  System-A, the alternative, allows meaning to be built-up progressively by benign, modest steps in the careful nurturing of our physical world.”

[14:40] Review – A Pattern of Abuse

[17:42] Why did it take so many years to finish the book Battle?

[19:39] “The Ordinary Way” – Early book title, 1983

  • Contents
  • Introduction
  • 1. The contact
  • 2. The pattern language
  • 3. The site plan
  • 4. The << handwriting illegible >>
  • 5. Materials of construction
  • 6. Design of buildings
  • 7. Breaking ground
  • 8. The construction process
  • 9. First years in use

[20:14]  First pages of the book “The Ordinary Way”, 1983

  • The new Eishin university is a university entirely dedicated to the problem of the community and local autonomy.
  • It is founded on the simple belief that one great period of human society just ended, and that another is just beginning.
  • What they may call the modern age began at about the end of the fifteenth century.  We believe that is has ended about 1980, and that the last part of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century, an entirely new age will be created.
  • A new age, in which new methods of production, and new human relationships will form the basis of society, is now about to begin.  One of the central ideas in the formation of this new age is the idea of local autonomy and local control.
  • This idea may be summarized in the German work “Gemeinschaft“.  It is also summarized by the old meaning of the Russian “soviet” even though this word even though this word has been entirely destroyed by its connection with 20th century Russian communism, and is described by some degree by the English word community.  All these concepts refer to a type of human group, in which personal relations and personal identification of people within the society form the basic interaction and also most important for the definition of the individual self.
  • However, the concept of Gemeinschaft is defined more succinctly by the inner idea of the world which people carry with them, and by the fundamental motive which guides these actions.
  • In brief, a Gemeinschaft is formed by a group of people whose actions large or small are guided by one simple principle: the idea that every act must somehow increase wholeness.
  • This single idea, applied to ethics, architecture, personal acts, family relations, political economy.  In short, to absolutely all actions and event which take place in a human society.
  • When this principle does form the basis for personal actions, this is entirely different from the situation which existed for the last five hundred years in the so called modern age.  In this recent period, actions have instead been guided by a variety of other motives, including money, efficiency, social justice and military power.  Even democracy, powerful as it may be as an idea, with its fundamental search for justice and equality, actually it fails entirely to provide the underlying motive which we may call wholeness.
  • In the same way, all forms of modern socialism, though searching for something better, have so far failed to grasp this need to see motives and human life, in an entirely different framework.

[22:58] CES List of Books since 1965

[24:24] The Eishin Highschool and College Campus in Tokyo – Japan 1984- Present

[25:46] Unpublished Chapter:  24.  Large Scale Building Production, Unification of the Human System and the Physical System

  • Published Chapter
  • 23. Elements are Being Created at the Same Time that the Whole is Being Created
  • 24. Following the Golden Glow

[28:59] Organic Tradition California – West Coast CES and HNA

  • With small and medium size buildings and projects we can create the kind of timeless quality of beauty and life relatively easily.
  • When it comes to larger projects, we can encounter a lot of problems and also opposition to the production of life and beauty.
  • We started a research project with the question:  Kinds of Production that can generate life and beauty in the world

[30:22]  PUARL

  • Portland Urban Architecture Research Laboratory http://puarl.uoregon.edu/, Hajo Neis, Director
  • Pattern Urban Architecture Research Laboratory

[32:17] Principles of Overall Pattern Language Approach

  • Meta-Principles
    • Wholeness
    • Growing Whiole
    • Wholeness and Sustainability
    • Wholeness in the Structure of the City
    • The City as a Growing Whole
    • Generative and Regenerative Processes
  • Primary Principles
    • Organic Order
    • Piecemeal Growth
    • Participation
    • Patterns and Pattern Languages
    • Structure Preserving Transformations
    • Adaptation
    • Formations of Centers and Fields of Centers
    • Formation of Larger Wholes
    • Formation of Positive Urban Open Space
    • Application of Geometric Properties
    • Application of Color Properties
    • Generative Design and Building Sequences
    • Integrated Design and Construction (Creative Production)
  • Other Principles and Techniques
    • Diagnosis and Coordination
    • Working Directly with the Building or Urban Area
    • Starting out with the Site
    • Primary Responsibility to the Building
    • Innovation through Building
    • etc.

[34.04] Portland Urban Architecture Research Laboratory PUARL:

  • PUARL Fields of Research and Investigation: Wholeness and Sustainability
    • BATTLE for the Life and Beauty of the Earth
  • Urban Morpholoogy and Urban Patterns
    • Portland Urban Atlas Project
    • Innovation City – Ruhr/Essen
  • Urban Building Typologies and Building Patterns
    • City of Tigard Downtown Vision and Improvement Project
    • Green Urban Campus – Essen
  • Design, Urban Process and Generative Process
    • University of Oregon Portland User and Pattern Design Process
  • Urban Ecology and Urban Landscapes, Patterns
    • City of Tigard Urban Corridor Project
    • Eco-Pattern Districts and Neighborhoods
  • Sustainable Downtown Growth
    • The Dalles
    • OT/CT/JT (with CIU)
  • (Re)generative Process and Design
    • Tsunami Evacuation and Wayfinding, Coastal Oregon
    • Workshop in Fukushima, Japan
    • Arthur Hotel Portland
  • Quality of Structure and Process
    • Wellness Project
  • Next Projects
    • Patterns and Sustainability/Streets
    • Creation Production for a Living World (with CES)

[37:49] Generative and Regenerative Urban Architecture and Urban Design

  • Theory, Part 1, Generative Design
  • Design Process at the University of Oregon, Pattern Language

[38:05]Regenerative Design and (Re)Generative Design

  • Regenerative Design
    • Regenerative design is a process oriented systems theory based approach to design. The term “regenerative” describes processes that restore, renew, or revitalize their own sources of energy and materials, creating sustainable systems that integrate the needs of society with the integrity of nature.  The basis is derived from systems ecology.
    • Source:  1. Jon Tilman Lyle: Regenerative Design for Sustainable Development.
  • (Re)Generative Design
    • Generative or (re)generative design is an applied for of generative science that tries to understand and conceptualize the world and its complex structure as a generative or (re)generative process.
    • Generative design attempts to formulate limited parameters, principles, and rules that interact with each other to create richness of life and behavior, and endless variation of form, shape and place.  Here generative and (re)generative design are closely related in terms of rules and principles.
    • Source:  2. Christopher Alexander: The Nature of Order (Wholeness Extending Transformation)
    • Source:  3. William McDonough and Michael Baumgart: From Cradle to Cradle.  Walter R. Stahel (From Cradle to Cradle).  Key words:  Permaculture, Biophilia, Sustainability, Environmentalism, Resilience, Complexity.

[40:54] Re(Generative Process: Generative Architecture and Urban Design

  • 1. Pattern Languages (since ~1970)
  • 2. Generative (Design and Building) Processes and Sequences (since ~1990)
  • 3. Generative Urban Code (since ~2005)
  • Interdisciplinary Process

[41:42] 10 Large Scale Regional/Urban Patterns

  • World
    • 1. Independent Regions
  • Region
    • 2. The Distribution of Towns
    • 3. City Country Fingers
    • 4. Agricultural Valleys
    • 5. Lace of Country Streets
    • 6. Country Towns
    • 7. The Countryside
  • City
    • 8. Mosaic of Subcultures
    • 9. Scattered Work
    • 10. Magic of the City

[45:14] Composition of a Pattern from the Book:  A Pattern Language (Looped Local Roads)

  • Archetypes – Phenotypes
  • **
  • Pattern Title
  • An Illustration
  • Hyperlinks
  • Definition of the Problem
  • Main Text
  • Solution Proposals
  • Solution Sketch
  • Hyperlinks

[47:58]  [network map around 40. Old People Everywhere]

[48:43] Pattern Languages as Generative Systems and Processes

[49:30] Application of Patterns and Pattern Languages

  • Three Examples of University Campi
  • 1. The University of Oregon Eugene Campus Plan 1974-Present
  • 2. The University of Oregon Portland Urban Campus 2008-Present
  • 3. The Eishin Highschool and College Campus in Tokyo – Japan 1984 – Present

[50:58] University of Oregon – Design Procedures

  • Patterns from the book A Pattern Language
  • Patterns specifically developed for the Oregon Campus Plan

[51:57] University of Oregon, Campus Plan, May 31, 2005

[52:24] University Science Complex, Charles Moore

[52:30] Matthew Knight Arena

[52:33] John E Jaqua Academic Center for Student Athletes

[52:38] Erb Memorial Union, Creating a New Center of Campus

[53:17] Eugene Kiln Shelter – University of Oregon, Stephen Duff

[54:16] Agate Housing Project Eugene – CES + T&E

[56:56] Three apartment Archetypes – twenty Phenotypes

[1:01:20] The Amazon Village – 340 housing units

[1:01:31] White Stag Urban Facilities – University of Oregon, Project 2

[1:02:28] University of Oregon, Portland: Current, New and Considered sites

[1:02:42] University of Oregon – Desing Procedures

  • New Portland Patterns:
  • Abundant Natural Light
  • An Atrium for Architecture and Allied Arts
  • Prominent Main Entry
  • A Street Presence
  • Galleries, Event Rooms, and a Cafe
  • Studios as Social Classrooms
  • Generous Hallways and Lobbies

[1:05:41] WSB – LEED Gold Certified http://design.uoregon.edu/wsb/stories.html

[1:06:16] Revitalizing a historical urban neighborhood with catalyst projects: OCOM Oregon College of Medicine as latest development 2013

[1:07:29[ Mercy Corps, OT CT JT

[1:08:05] Julian Inn Shelter for the Homeless, SF Bay Area, San Jose

  • Project 5:  Generative design and Creative Production
  • The Real Meaning of Construction

[1:08:39] Patterns

  • 1. Entrance Transition
  • 2. Living Courtyard
  • 3. Communal Dining
  • 4. Private Sleeping stall
  • 5. Entrance Fountain
  • 6. Thick walls and benches at bottom of buildings

[1:10:41] CES Builder’s yard, Martinez

[1:16:55] Battle, p. 476  END


Full abstract

A lecture by Hajo Neis, Associate Professor of Architecture, University of Oregon

“The purpose of all architecture, the purpose of its spatial-geometric organization, is to provide opportunities for life-giving situations. The central issue of architecture, and its central purpose, is to create those configurations and social situations, which provide encouragement and support for life-giving comfort and profound satisfaction — sometimes excitement — so that one experiences life as worth living. When this purpose is forgotten or abandoned, then there is indeed no architecture to speak of.” C. Alexander, H. Neis, M. Alexander. Battle for the Life and Beauty of the Earth. Oxford University Press. N.Y. November 2012, p. 2

Dr. Hajo Neis is an architect and urban designer with more than 35 years of professional experience and projects internationally. From his early days in the Frankfurt School of Philosophy and, at the same time, working in his father’s modernist architecture office, Neis was intrigued by the critical relationship between theory and practice. This focus sharpened considerably in his still ongoing cooperation with Chris Alexander, in theoretical practical projects, and educational work from 1990-2000 at the University of California, the Center for Environmental Structure (CES) in Berkeley, and his own office HNA. In 2006, Neis founded the Portland Architecture Research Laboratory (PUARL), at the UO, where he continues to explore and expand this work though urban research as well as practical and experimental projects.

In this lecture Neis will report about the recently published book ‘Battle for the Life and Beauty of the Earth’ by Christopher Alexander, Hans Joachim Neis and Maggie Alexander, in which the authors present “a revolutionary vision for the human environment: in coming eras, the environment will be conceived, designed, made, and widely understood as a necessary part of our emotional and social life.” But the book also addresses a major problem in the production of today’s human environment, or the kind of problems you can encounter when you try to implement essential principles for a human and beautiful architecture in large-scale projects. The book can best be understood as an excellent example of the fascinating interplay between theory and practice, between thinking and making, with a deep concern for human life and the environment, and a battle worth fighting. Neis will show several more projects closely related to the book and its main topic and theme and the University of Oregon.

The Long Now, now (MP3 audio) | Brian Eno, Danny Hillis | January 21, 2014 | Long Now Foundation February 3, 2015

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The difference between long term thinking and long term planning was articulated by Danny Hillis, with Brian Eno and Stewart Brand.

Brian Eno, Danny Hillis

[61:40 Danny Hillis] Maybe the one thing I’ve learned about long term thinking is the difference between long term planning and long term thinking.

[Stewart Brand] Yeah, say more about that. My sense is that we learned that at Yucca Mountain.

[Danny Hillis] Yeah. Yucca Mountain is a good example. I guess that I really don’t believe in long term planning, which is trying to take a long distance out and control the future for a while. Many of our attempts to look at, nuclear waste, for example, are things where we try to control the future for 10,000 years. In some sense, Yucca Mountain is sold as that. But Yucca Mountain, I actually think, is a pretty good idea, because everything is just sitting there in a can, and within a 100 years, people will go in to get them, to mine for …. It’s reversible. So, it’s really just a 100 year solution that gives you a lot of options for what to do in 100 years.

[Stewart Brand] By the way, it’s a lot more politically tractable, to say we’re just going to park it here for 100 years.

[Danny Hillis] Indeed, where we’re heading, by default, of less-good idea [and dear] solutions is the idea of options is much more valuable than making real long term plans.

[Brian Eno] The resistance there, is that people feel less secure with long term plans. And people don’t feel we’ll always be improvising, which is something that we’ve come to accept, more and more.

[Stewart Brand] The hacker ethic was to trying to make everyone into a hacker.

[On Soundcloud, downloadable MP3 audio] [Video on fora.tv]

[Intro at Seminars about Long Term Thinking]

Brian Eno delivered the first SALT talk exactly ten years ago. He gave The Long Now Foundation its name, contributed in no end of artistic and financial ways, and designed the chimes for the 10,000-year Clock. Danny Hillis instigated and co-founded Long Now and designed its series of Clocks, culminating currently in the 500-foot one being built inside a west Texas mountain. In the course of their collaboration, Eno and Hillis became fast friends.

Thousands of years pass a decade at a time. The idea and works of Long Now have been active for two decades (1/500th of 10,000 years). Between the conception and initial delivery of a deep idea, much transpires. If the idea resonates with people, it gains a life of its own. Allies assemble, and shape things. Public engagement shapes things. Funding or its absence shapes things. Refinements of the idea emerge, branch off, and thrive or don’t. Initial questions metastasize into potent new questions.

Over time, the promotion of “long-term thinking” begins to acquire a bit of its own long term to conjure with. Eno and Hillis have spent 20 years thinking about long-term thinking and building art for it, with ever increasing fascination. What gets them about it?

[Summary at Seminars about Long Term Thinking]

“Journalism as a service” (web video) | Jeff Jarvis | Dec. 11, 2014 | David Weinberger interview December 17, 2014

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Journalism is not manufacturing content, says @jeffjarvis, but instead is a service. Social journalism then becomes a new degree program in the age of the Internet. Interviewed by @dweinberger.

[00:00 Jeff Jarvis] When I started writing — I look at new relationships, new forms and new models for news — I started with forms. That’s what we do. We are encased in this form, and we know the formula is just to tap that. And I quickly realized — well, not so quickly — that that was all wrong

[00:25] In fact, what the Internet changes is our relationship with the public we serve. And then this forced me to think about what the proper relationship is, for journalists to the public. And we tend to think that it’s manufacturing a product called content, that we think you should honor and buy, and encases all of our value. That’s a legacy of mass media. Treating everyone the same because we had to make a product to serve everyone and everyone the same.

[00:50] The Internet obviously changes that. We now see the opportunity to serve people as individuals. That’s what made me think journalism, properly conceived, is a service. A service, properly defined, accomplishes things for people. If I’m going to accomplish something for you, then I’m going to have to know what your needs are, before I can pretend that I can meet them. This means I have to know you as an individual, or as a member of a community, and no longer a mass. Quoting Raymond Williams: “there are no masses, only ways of seeing people as masses”.

[01:20] If I see you as an individual, if I want to serve you as an individual, I have to know you as an individual, before I can get to know your needs. Once I got there, that changed … that tore it all apart.

[…]

[03:25 David Weinberger] Would you recommend that a newspaper first look at the services that we have traditionally wanted from them, and/or look at the services that are part of their capabilities of things they can do … or is that just the wrong way of fighting it?

[03:40] We have to deconstruct more than that. It forces us to deconstruct journalism school as well. When I gave this relationship schpiel, my dean — Sarah Barlett — called my bluff, and said … “Okay, what if you’re right, that journalism becomes about relationships. Are we teaching those skills in depth in a journalism school?” I thought about it, and said, “no”. She said, “how about a new degree?”, in some strange degree we’ll call social journalism.

[04:00] The first skill of this degree is to listen to communities. It is to understanding the community, what binds the community. What needs and interests bind this community? How do they define themselves, and then how do they define their needs? Only when you know that, can you start to believe that you can help them meet their needs. Then you say, what can I bring to meet those needs? That may be a wide range of different things. Will articles, and stories and news and information meet those needs? In some cases they will. But in some cases, it will be tools, it will be bringing people together to meet each other, it will be organizing like a community (pace Barack Obama). It will be educating them. It will be convening them. There’s all kinds of things that we can do or have done, that we can indeed bring to bear again, but probably not in the form that we have.

See also “Content vs. service”, What now for News? Part II | Jeff Jarvis | Medium at http://medium.com/whither-news/content-vs-service-ddbb432ab77

… if we are not in the content business, what business are we in? Consider journalism as a service. Content is that which fills something. Service is that which accomplishes something. To be a service, news must be concerned with outcomes rather than products. What should journalism’s result be? That seems obvious: better informed individuals and a better-informed society. But who’s to define “informed” and who’s to measure success: journalists or citizens? Journalists believe informing the public is their job and that it is the role of editors to decide what the public ought to know. Let’s put aside that rather paternalistic attitude toward the public we serve, for if we do not believe in the will of the public to be informed, then we might as well give up on democracy, free markets, and the ideals of education, not to mention journalism. I am confident that there will continue to be a market demand for the information a society needs to function. That must be an article of faith if we are to hold out hope to sustain journalism.

Jeff Jarvis

“The Systems View of Life” (web video) |Fritjof Capra | Schumacher College | May 7, 2014 June 17, 2014

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Launch of textbook by Fritjof Capra, collecting 40 years of writings with additions by coauthor Pier Luigi Luisi.  The lecture shows precise language about the science of systems, with clear references tying together research strands.  Mature systems thinkers will be reminded of concepts that they know but may not be immediately salient to their current endeavours.  Novice systems thinkers may appreciate the easy pace of the speech, with linkages to other concepts and figures in the systems community.

The Systems View of Life (Cover)

My forthcoming book is the realization of a dream I have had for many years. It is a multidisciplinary textbook, coauthored with my friend and colleague Pier Luigi Luisi, Professor of Biology at the University of Rome, and to be published by Cambridge University Press in April 2014.

In this book, titled The Systems View of Life: A Unifying Vision, we present a coherent systemic framework that integrates four dimensions of life: the biological, the cognitive, the social, and the ecological dimension; and we discuss the philosophical, social, and political implications of this unifying vision.

To write this book, I went through all my previous books, collected the relevant passages, updated and modified them as appropriate for an undergraduate textbook, and added many new passages in collaboration with my coauthor. So, for me this book is a summary of my work as a writer over the past forty years.

We believe that it will be critical for present and future generations of young students and researchers to understand the new systemic conception of life and its implications for a broad range of professions — from economics, management, and politics, to medicine, psychology, and law. In addition, the book will be useful for undergraduate students in the life sciences and the humanities.

The book offers a broad sweep through the history of ideas and across scientific disciplines. Beginning with the Renaissance and the Scientific Revolution, the historical account includes the evolution of Cartesian mechanism from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries, the rise of systems thinking, the development of complexity theory, recent discoveries at the forefront of biology, the emergence of the systems view of life at the turn of this century, and its economic, ecological, political, and spiritual implications.

http://www.fritjofcapra.net/blog.html#textbook

A talk given at Schumacher College (UK), Dartington on May 7th 2014.

The great challenge of our time is to build and nurture sustainable communities, designed in such a manner that their ways of life, physical structures, and technologies do not interfere with nature’s inherent ability to sustain life. To do so, requires a new ecological understanding of life, as well as a new kind of “systemic” thinking.

In this lecture, Fritjof Capra describes that such a new understanding of life in terms of complexity, networks, and patterns of organization, has recently emerged at the forefront of science. He will emphasize, in particular, the new conception of the nature of mind and consciousness, which is one of the most radical philosophical implications of the systemic understanding of life; and the urgency of this new understanding for dealing with our global ecological crisis and protecting the continuation and flourishing of life on Earth.

Fritjof Capra was speaking as part of his short course running at Schumacher College.

I heard Fritjof Capra speak in person, at the ISSS 2006 Sonoma meeting.

Introduction to NodeJS (web video) | Ryan Dahl | May 5, 2010 | YUI Theater May 9, 2014

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Why node.js? Blocking and non-blocking input/output is explained for novices by the Ryan Dahl, the original node.js author. There’s a clear analogy of taking a sheet of paper out of your desk, versus having to go to Los Angeles for it.

Ryan Dahl: Introduction to Node.js at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-sc73Y-zQA.

Ryan describes his talk this way:

It is well known that event loops rather than threads are required for high-performance servers. Javascript is a language unencumbered of threads and designed specifically to be used with asynchronous evented I/O, making it an attractive means of programming server software. Node.js ties together the V8 Javascript compiler with an event loop, a thread pool for making blocking system calls, and a carefully designed HTTP parser to provide a browser-like interface to creating fast server-side software. This talk will explain Node’s design and how to get started with it.”

Cinco de NodeJS — May’s BayJax Celebrates Server-Side JavaScript with Ryan Dahl, Elijah Insua, and Dav Glass | April 27, 2010 | YUI Blog at http://www.yuiblog.com/blog/2010/04/27/cinco-de-nodejs/.

Internet users shouldn’t have to put up with slow user interfaces when the design of the application is blocked in an event loop.

YUI Theater — Ryan Dahl: “Introduction to NodeJS” (58 min.) – YUI Blog at http://www.yuiblog.com/blog/2010/05/20/video-dahl/.

Pounding Simplicity into Wiki (video) |Ward Cunningham | April 15, 2013 | MountainWest RubyConf 2013 February 8, 2014

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Ward Cunningham describes the features in federated wiki new to the original 1994 wiki technology at the Mountain West Ruby Conference 2013.

This last year I set out to do for numbers what I had done for words, give them depth and meaning that ordinary people can depend on every day.  [….] My quest has been to make knowing and using data an everyday thing. This means the study of data must be an everyday thing too. To this end I’ve pushed visualization, I’ve pushed domain specific markups, I’ve pushed streaming measurements. But through this I’ve retained wiki’s greatest strength: the ability to create with those who we have just met and don’t yet have reason to trust. Finding trust on the modern web may be this year’s biggest accomplishment.

The Mountain West Ruby Conference 2013 was attended by Mike Farmer, who wrote a digest at http://blog.endpoint.com/2013/04/pounding-simplicity-into-wiki.html , including:

Promise

[….]. The promise of this new kind of wiki is to give numbers depth and meaning that ordinary people can depend on every day.

This means data visualization intermixed with context. For example, a weather map can show you numbers on a map to tell you temperatures. A meteorologist doesn’t just see a number, he sees the actual weather, the hot and cold, the wind or the rain, etc. Data visualizations like a wind map excel at helping users to visually see the wind in region.

To accomplish this promise, Cunningham implemented a new kind of wiki. The main difference in this new wiki is that the data is federated among several different locations on the web and then assembled in the browser. You can think of it as a traditional mashup. The wiki content is both self generated and programatically generated from data on the web or attached to the web via some device.

Process

  • 0 Story: Pages with datasets, images and paragraphs with history (versions).
  • 1 Binding: Attaches the data to different versions of the page revisions.
  • 2 Attribution: Source is dynamically generated so that it can be tracked back.
  • 3 Link Context: Links to other pages on other servers give hints to tell you where the data originates.
  • 4 Neighborhood: Click on a page that doesn’t exist (red link) server looks for similar page on other wikis in the federated network.
  • 5 Search: Global search looks in all the wikis in the federated network.

Principle

The principle behind this project is one of discovery. As the development continues, the possibilities for it increase and new thoughts and ideas are discovered. This was talked about in a talk by Bret Victor called Inventing on Principle. If you were to compare this to agile, it might look like this:

Agile Principle
velocity smallest
customer curiosity
confidence wonder

Downloadable versions are available from confreaks.

Pounding Simplicity into Wiki |Ward Cunningham | April 15, 2013 | MountainWest RubyConf 2013 at via http://www.confreaks.com/videos/2342-mwrc2013-pounding-simplicity-into-wiki.

Learning how to learn | Rodrigo Arboleda | Apr. 10 2013 | TEDxCMU November 3, 2013

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Computer programming is a way of learning to learn, says @rarboleda2, with @OLPC now releasing the XO Tablet putting Sugar on top of Android.

Rodrigo Arboleda is Chairman and CEO of One Laptop Per Child Association (OLPCA), a not-for-profit entity seeking to provide equal opportunity of access to knowledge to small children in Developing Nations and in some communities within the USA.

OLPCA’s mission focuses on socio-economic and cultural change via education, with primary interest in children of 3 years and up.

Arboleda is in charge of worldwide operational issues related to the project. More than 2,700,000 laptops have been distributed so far to children in 41 countries and in 21 languages including many indigenous languages.

Arboleda has been also a Visiting Scholar at the Media Lab of MIT, where he worked on the Digital Nations Consortium project and on the Education for Peace initiative, E4P. He has served also as a Board Member of the 2B1 Foundation, which made possible some of the projects developed at the Media Lab.

He was born in Medellin, Colombia and completed his Bachelor Degree in Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), in 1965.

Learning how to learn | Rodrigo Arboleda | Apr. 10 2013 | TEDxCMU at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DhEFEyD7Pc8.

An slightly longer extended talk, with a little more technology, was presented shortly afterwards at Google.

GoogleTalks features Rodrigo Arboleda | May 8, 2013 | OLPC | laptop.org at http://blog.laptop.org/2013/05/08/googletalks-features-rodrigo-arboleda

GoogleTalks features Rodrigo Arboleda

Mike Cohn | Prioritizing Your Product Backlog (slides + web video) October 1, 2013

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After agile estimate and agile planning, prioritizing the product backlog has a few more techniques worth watching.  Mike Cohn has a variety of techniques described in prior years, but this set of slides hasn’t been as popular as the ones on planning and estimating.  The content tends to run:

Approaches to prioritizing include:

  • Kano analysis
  • Expert opinion
  • Theme screening
  • Theme scoring
  • Relative weighting
  • Financial analysis

Kano analysis maps the presence of features against satisfaction, as:

  • Mandatory / Baseline:  must be present for users to be satisfied
  • Linear:  the more of it, the better
  • Exciters / Delighters:  Features a user doesn’t know she wants, until she sees it

The other approaches are more typical scorecarding approaches.

Here’s a slide deck dated June 8, 2010.

The Agile 2008 presentation is unfortunately not embeddable in this blog post, but viewable in a browser at http://www.infoq.com/presentations/prioritizing-your-product-backlog-mike-cohn .

A June 19, 2009 presentation from the Norwegian Developers Conference can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LfcTORR2dBM

A variety of slides over many years is available on Mike Cohn’s web site at http://www.mountaingoatsoftware.com/presentations/prioritizing-your-product-backlog .

Chinese Dining Etiquette | Sept. 18, 2013 | Off the Great Wall September 22, 2013

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Chinese Dining Etiquette by @ntdOTGW explains practices commonly adopted by children regularly attending parents’ dinners, which may be unknown by others.  Entertaining 5-minute video describes how Chinese parents should have taught their children:

1. Where to sit?

  • Seat of guest of honour faces the door.
  • Next most important to right of guest of honour, and to the left of guest of honour.
  • Person paying the bill faces the guest.

2. How to order?

  • One person orders for table, sometimes with host ordering a few dishes and then asking others for additional dishes
  • Even number of dishes

3 and 4.  How to Pour Tea and Show Gratitude

  • Tea handle with right hand, top with left hand
  • Teapot top partially off signals for more water, teapot top entirely off is bad luck.
  • Verbal thank you, or tap the table with two fingers.

5. Chopsticks handling

  • Chopstick is extension to fingers, so don’t point
  • Don’t stand chopsticks upright in rice, which looks like incense in dishes left to honour the dead

6. How to Eat Your Food

  • On the lazy susan, the most senior person selects first
  • Take a small portion to ensure everyone gets some

7. How to Eat Fish

  • When whole fish is served, once one side is eaten, never flip the fish over; lift out the backbone of the fish

8.  How to Pay the Bill

  • Guests should never split the bill, as that would be ingracious, saying that the host could not afford the bill, or that the hospitality is not appreciated.
  • Guest should offer to pay the bill a few times

Chinese Dining Etiquette | Sept. 18, 2013 | Off the Great Wall at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkyE2rPac3s.

Chinese Dining Etiquette | Off the Great Wall | Youtube

Cantonese Vs. Mandarin | Aug. 25, 2013 | Off the Great Wall September 14, 2013

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On our family visit back to our ancestral village at Lougang (or Lowkong), the members of the collective group mostly spoke no more than two of four dialects, from the heritage Toisanese, to local standard Cantonese, the modern Mandarin, and the new world English.  This meant conversations with multiple translations from the 92-year-old grandfather down to the pre-school great grand-daughter.

“Why Use Traditional Characters? | April 23, 2013 | Learn Chinese Now September 14, 2013

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The shift from traditional Chinese characters to simplified is compared to Orwell’s 1984 newspeak. Our sons who studied in Mandarin language classes at university in Beijing may have missed the deeper cultural understanding of the original ideograms.

Mike Cohn | Advanced Agile Planning (web video + MP4) | June 6, 2012 | Norwegian Developers Conference July 27, 2013

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Release and iteration planning described in a 57-minute video, is better as a third in series, following the video on Agile Estimating.  Mike Cohn presents:

  • after the user stories have been created, and duration (as story points) have been estimated …
  • velocity is the amount of the work completed per iteration;
  • planning in five scenarios:
    • 1. a team with historical data;
      • where confidence intervals can be calculated from historical data
    • 2. fixed-date plans;
      • with partitions of “will have”, “might have” and “won’t have”;
    • 3. fixed-scope plans;
      • where a date range can be provided;
    • 4. a team with no velocity data;
      • where a first iteration breaks features (backlog items) into tasks, and hours are estimated for each task; and then
      • the second iteration may be estimated as a range, and/or compared with other teams; and
    • 5. a team changing size
      • where the average velocity change can be tracked.

Mike Cohn – Advanced Topics in Agile Planning from NDCOslo on Vimeo.

Velocity is perhaps the most useful metric available to agile teams. In this session we will look at advanced uses of velocity for planning under special but common circumstances. We will see how to forecast velocity in the complete absence of any historical data. We will look at how a new team can forecast velocity by looking at other teams. We will see how to predict the velocity of a team that will grow or shrink in size. Most importantly we will look at the use of confidence intervals to create plans we can be 90% confident in, even on fixed-price or fixed-date contracts.

The slides for this presentation are also available at http://www.mountaingoatsoftware.com/presentations/advanced-topics-in-agile-planning .

There’s a velocity range estimator available at http://www.mountaingoatsoftware.com/tools/velocity-range-calculator .

Mike Cohn | Agile Estimating (web video + MP4) | June 6, 2012 | Norwegian Developers Conference July 27, 2013

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This 59-minute video on Agile Estimating is better sequenced for viewing secondly, following the video on User Stories.  Mike Cohn presents:

  • estimating size (before) deriving duration (with a range);
  • story points as relative effort for a user story in a product backlog;
  • ideal time (to complete) as compared to elapsed time (with interruptions);
  • “Planning Poker” as an iterative approach to estimating (collaboratively).

Mike Cohn – Agile Estimating from NDCOslo on Vimeo.

The first step in creating a useful plan is the ability to estimate reliably. In this session we will discuss how to do this. We will look at various approaches to estimating including unit-less points and ideal time. The class will present four specific techniques for deriving reliable estimates, including how to use the popular Planning Poker® technique and other techniques that dramatically improve a project’s chances of on-time completion.

The slides for this presentation are also available at http://www.mountaingoatsoftware.com/presentations/agile-estimating .

Planning Poker is a free (no-charge) collaborative estimation tool at http://www.planningpoker.com/

Mike Cohn | User Stories (web video + MP4) | Norwegian Developers Conference | June 6, 2012 July 27, 2013

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This 52-minute video is a comprehensive introduction to User Stories, as practiced in Agile Development.  Mike Cohn presents:

  • resource allocation under imperfect schedules as a shared problem between developers and business people;
  • user stories as 3 C’s:  the Card supporting Conversations with Confirmation (of conditions of satisfaction);
  • story details as (i) conditions of satisfaction, or (ii) sub-stories;
  • epics as large stories, and user stories clustered into themes;
  • story-writing workshops as supporting participative design.

While this talk was the last for the day, it’s better as the first for viewing as an easy introduction to the agile way.


Mike Cohn – User Stories for Agile Requirements from NDCOslo on Vimeo.

The technique of expressing requirements as user stories is one of the most broadly applicable techniques introduced by the agile processes. User stories are an effective approach on all time constrained projects and are a great way to begin introducing a bit of agility to your projects.In this session, we will look at how to identify and write good user stories. The class will describe the six attributes that good stories should exhibit and present thirteen guidelines for writing better stories. We will explore how user role modeling can help when gathering a project’s initial stories.

Because requirements touch all job functions on a development project, this tutorial will be equally suited for analysts, customers, testers, programmers, managers, or anyone involved in a software development project. By the end of this tutorial, you will leave knowing the six attributes of a good story, learn a good format for writing most user stories, learn practical techniques for gathering user stories, know how much work to do up-front and how much to do just-in-time.

The slides are also available at http://www.mountaingoatsoftware.com/presentations/introduction-to-user-stories

Sustainable Development Goals must sustain people and planet, experts say | March 20, 2013 | sciencedaily.com March 24, 2013

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Six Sustainable Development goals from U.N. to supersede Millennium Development Goals that expire 2015, based on new appreciation of anthropocene.

In the wake of last week’s meetings at the UN on the definition of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a group of international scientists have published a call in the journal Nature today, arguing for a set of six SDGs that link poverty eradication to protection of Earth’s life support. The researchers argue that in the face of increasing pressure on the planet’s ability to support life, adherence to out-dated definitions of sustainable development threaten to reverse progress made in developing countries over past decades. [….]

The team asserts that the classic model of sustainable development, of three integrated pillars — economic, social and environmental — that has served nations and the UN for over a decade, is flawed because it does not reflect reality. “As the global population increases towards nine billion people sustainable development should be seen as an economy serving society within Earth’s life support system, not as three pillars,” says co-author Dr. Priya Shyamsundar from the South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics, Nepal.

The researchers say that the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), set to expire in 2015, have helped focus international efforts on eight poverty-related goals. However, despite successes in some areas — the number of people living on less than one dollar a day has been more than halved — many MDGs have not been met, and some remain in conflict with one another. Economic gains, for example, have come at the expense of environmental protection. Politicians are struggling to link global environmental concerns with addressing poverty.

The new set of goals — thriving lives and livelihoods, food security, water security, clean energy, healthy and productive ecosystems, and governance for sustainable societies — aim to resolve this conflict. The targets beneath each goal include updates and expanded targets under the MDGs, including ending poverty and hunger, combating HIV/aids, and improving maternal and child health. But they also define a set of planetary “must haves”: climate stability, the reduction biodiversity loss, protection of ecosystem services, a healthy water cycle and oceans, sustainable nitrogen and phosphorus use, clean air and sustainable material use.

Sustainable Development Goals must sustain people and planet, experts say | March 20, 2013 | sciencedaily.com at http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130320155228.htm.  The full article is Griggs, David, Mark Stafford-Smith, Owen Gaffney, Johan Rockström, Marcus C. Öhman, Priya Shyamsundar, Will Steffen, Gisbert Glaser, Norichika Kanie, and Ian Noble. 2013. “Policy: Sustainable Development Goals for People and Planet.” Nature 495 (7441) (March 21): 305–307. doi:10.1038/495305a. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/495305a.

The new graphic has earth’s support system with society inside, and the economy inside of that.
Redefining sustainable development

“Ending poverty and safeguarding Earth’s life support system must be the twin priorities for the Sustainable Development Goals, says Johan Rockström, centre director and a co-author of the Nature article.

Together with the international team he identified six goals that, if met, would contribute to global sustainability while helping to alleviate poverty. [….]

The new set of goals — thriving lives and livelihoods, food security, water security, clean energy, healthy and productive ecosystems, and governance for sustainable societies — aim to resolve this conflict. The targets beneath each goal include updates and expanded targets under the MDGs, including ending poverty and hunger, combating HIV/aids, and improving maternal and child health.

But also a set of planetary “must haves”: climate stability, reducing biodiversity loss, protection of ecosystem services, a healthy water cycle and oceans, sustainable nitrogen and phosphorus use, clean air and sustainable material use.

From “Redefining sustainable development” | March 20, 2013 | Stockholm Resilience Centre at http://www.stockholmresilience.org/21/research/research-news/3-20-2013-redefining-sustainable-development.html

The sidebar at the Stockholm Resilience Centre has a pointer to “Future Earth” as a 10-year international research initiative at the ICSU International Council for Science.

Johan Rockström introduces Future Earth | February 2013 | at http://vimeo.com/5720929 from http://vimeo.com/futureearth.

What Most Schools Don’t Teach (web video) | Feb. 26, 2013 | code.org March 10, 2013

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“Over the next 10 years, there will be 1.4 million jobs in computer science, and only about 400,000 grads qualified for those job”.

Learn about a new “superpower” that isn’t being taught in 90% of US schools.

Starring Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, will.i.am, Chris Bosh, Jack Dorsey, Tony Hsieh, Drew Houston, Gabe Newell, Ruchi Sanghvi, Elena Silenok, Vanessa Hurst, and Hadi Partovi.

Directed by Leslie Chilcott. Executive producers Hadi and Ali Partovi

What Most Schools Don’t Teach (web video) | Feb. 26, 2013 | code.org at http://youtu.be/dU1xS07N-FA

code.org

Dr. Lorelei Lingard | Collective Competence (web video) | September 13, 2012 | TedX Bayfield March 7, 2013

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Not infrequently, competent individuals come together to form an incompetent team, says Lorelei Lingard.

Joe got competent care in hospital. He recovered from his pneumonia. He got competent care from his family doctor, his diabetes specialist, his homecare nurses and the pharmacist. Each of those individuals, within their scope of practice, and acting on the information at hand, did the right thing for Joe. But the sum total of those care events is not overall competent care for Joe. [around 4:50]

Now this is a very complex problem, and it’s being tackled from a number of different angles. Systems engineers are trying to understand it better, to improve the situation. Organizational scientists are trying to work on it. Sociologists are working on it. Tonight, I’m going to shed some light on this problem from my perspective of a communications researcher trying to improve medical education. [around 5:20]

There are significant barriers that make it difficult for individual competence to translate into collective competence. I’m going to focus on three. [around 5:45]

The first is scientific reductionism. This refers to the way that we tackle complex scientific phenomena, by breaking them down into their component parts. [….] [around 6:00]

The second barrier between individual and collective competence is specialization. [….] [around 6:20]

The third barrier between individual and collective competence is the very concept of individual competence itself. The goal of producing an individually competent healthcare provider, with their own specific tightly-bounded expertise drives everything: in health profession education generally, and medical education specifically. [around 7:00]

[….]

Together, and kind of paradoxically, these three factors combine, to produce one of healthcare’s greatest weaknesses. That is, that providers work in isolation from one other, each person focused on the particular issue about which they are an expert. When that happens, patients can fall into the cracks between the individually competent healthcare providers. [around 8:00]

[….]

What do we need to adapt from? I would argue that we need to adapt from our exclusive focus on the goal of individual competence. Individual competence is a set of pervasive, and rarely challenged assumptions. It’s not unique to medical education, it’s true of education everywhere.

I would like to touch on three ways in which we are, right now, moving towards collective competence. [around 12:20]

[….]

Joe travels through the healthcare system more quickly than his healthcare information does. We have the technology to address this problem, to move information more efficiently. One example … is the global medication electronic record. [around 13:40]

[….]

The shift to delivery primary care through family health teams. [….]

The third way in which we’re moving toward collective competence is a more strategic way. [….] Take a look at the healthcare system, find those points in the system where a failure of collective competence can have dire consequences, and build initiatives to support collective competence in those moments.

Dr. Lorelei Lingard | Collective Competence | September 13, 2012 | TedX Bayfield at http://www.ted.com/tedx/events/4674, video at http://youtu.be/vI-hifp4u40

Lorelei Lingard is founding director and senior scienist at the Centre for Education Research and Innovation, at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, at the Western University.  Here’s her bio:

Dr. Lorelei Lingard is a leading researcher in the study of communication and collaboration on healthcare teams. She is a Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Western Ontario (UWO) and the inaugural Director of the Centre for Education Research & Innovation at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry. Dr. Lingard obtained her Ph.D. in Rhetoric from the English Department at Simon Fraser University, specializing in rhetorical theory, genre theory, medical discourse, and qualitative methodology. As a rhetorician, she investigates ‘language as social action’: that is, how social groups use language to get things done, and how that language acts on them, their identities, their purposes, their situations, and their relationships. Her research program has investigated the nature of communication on inter-professional healthcare teams in a variety of clinical settings, including the operating room, the intensive care unit, the internal medicine ward, the adult rehabilitation unit, and the family health centre.

Via TedX Bayfield, Theme: Adaptation at http://www.ted.com/tedx/events/4674.

Lorelei Lingard, Western University

The Complicated Chinese Family Tree (streaming video) | Feb. 26, 2013 | Off the Great Wall March 7, 2013

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Addressing Chinese extended family members is complicated, as it’s about each individual’s relation to the other.  Relatives are called not by their given names, but by the social tie.  The complicatedness is further confused as as person older than yourself (e.g. younger cousin) gets address differently from an person younger than yourself … and the gender factors in, too.

Did you know that every member of a Chinese family is called something different? Depending on whether it’s from your mom’s side or your dad’s side and their seniority? It gets quite confusing, so we will draw it out for you in a family tree and hope you can learn some Chinese along the way! :) Please don’t mind our terrible handwriting!

Watch the behind the scenes on how we created the family tree:http://e.ntd.tv/WefUsf

Note: There are still many more ways to call the same person, for example husband’s mother can be called 家姑,家婆,婆婆 or 奶奶. This all depends on where you are from. To keep it simple, we just chose the more generic terms.

Subscribe for more Off the Great Wall:http://e.ntd.tv/SubscribeOTGW

Another reason for trepidation in visiting the ancestral village this summer!

Video at The Complicated Chinese Family Tree (streaming video) | Feb. 26, 2013 | Off the Great Wall http://youtu.be/nCFRoILS1jY

John Hagel | Rethinking Race Against the Machines (web video) | Dec. 17, 2012 | Big Think (on Youtube) February 23, 2013

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Innovate by Racing WITH the Machine, says @jhagel, extending @erikbryn and @amcafee Racing Against the Machine where technology is an engine of change, leading to automation taking away jobs.  Counter with new work practices and institutions.

The traditional industrial push model of right people, right place, right time, following tightly activities to respond to demand where creativity not required can more easily be taken over by machines that are more predictable and reliable than human beings.

Opinion expressed by John Hagel | Rethinking Race Against the Machines (web video) | Dec. 17, 2012 | Big Think at http://youtu.be/XPHwzJS8mRY

Russell Ackoff’s 87th Birthday Celebration (video) | UNAM, Mexico City | February 2006 February 17, 2013

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What’s the difference between a forecast and an assumption?  Ackoff illustrates through the metaphor of preparing for a flat tire.  What’s the difference between development and charity?  Teaching a man to fish, versus giving a man a fish.

Ackoff at UNAM — The National Autonomous University of Mexico

Javier Livas kindly shared the video that he took from the talk given by late Russell Ackoff at the conference on “Participation and Development: The Mexico of the Future.” The conference was in Mexico City: Celebrating Russell L. Ackoff’s 87th Anniversary, February 14 – 15, 2006.

Russ Ackoff had a long history of collaboration with Mexican scholars and professionals since the early 60’s. His planning methodology has been put into practice in several instances along a variety of institutions and corporations. All of the projects he has been involved in are unmistakably geared towards development with emphasis in stakeholder participation. His books in systems thinking, organizational design, development and other topics are widely used in Mexican universities. Many Mexican students as well as professionals have benefited from his thought by directly interacting with him as graduate students, in seminars, consulting or through personal communication.

The National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) through the Institutes of Applied Mathematics and Systems (IIMAS), Engineering (II) and The School of Engineering (FI) organized the Symposium honoring Dr. Ackoff, focused on participation, development and the Mexico of the future.

To watch the video, click on the following link: ACKOFF AT UNAM

Video surfaced at “Ackoff at UNAM — The National Autonomous University of Mexico” | February 8, 2013 | Ackoff Collaboratory for Advancement fo the Systems Approach at http://ackoffcenter.blogs.com/ackoff_center_weblog/2013/02/ackoff-at-unam-the-national-autonomous-university-of-mexico.html.

[The video is supplemented with a photographic montage at the outset, and then settles in to a hand-held lecture]

2006_Ackoff_UNAM

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