AppreciaTED – a longer term perspective on nation states and the global economy

TEDxBrussels, which I attended earlier this week (November 22, 2011), had the tagline “A day deep in the future” – the talks covered a broad range of perspectives around this theme, covering “Technology”, “Science from Fiction”, “Science”, “Made in Belgium”, and “Politics and Economics” – within this last category, Paddy Ashdown gave an excellent 18 minute talk titled “Why the world will never be the same & what we should do about it” (click on the video above to watch the talk).

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Are enough people benefiting from your performances?

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/podgorsek

There are already many great performances that are recorded and available on the web that will improve the lives of many (enjoyment, education, informative, etc.). Live performances that are great, but are not recorded or shared, will however most likely not be remembered – the presenter will not achieve the reputation or legacy that they are potentially capable of, and the potential maximum audience that that could have benefited from hearing/seeing the performance (and enjoying it, or learning from it) won’t have done so.

It frustrates me that ‘great’ training performances aren’t leveraged for the benefit of others; it frustrates me that only live participants benefit from great conferences or leadership updates (is there really such a premium on live attendance that means those unfortunate not to be able to attend should pay the penalty of missing out?).

Given readily available tools to enable the recording and sharing of audio and video recordings, I feel we have reached an important stage of development, where we can all benefit from sharing our performances more often and more widely.

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Current interests

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/DrAfter123

Beyond work related topics, there are a number of other topics that also interest me at the moment, including:

  1. Ideas, innovation and creativity, both individually and collectively, including crowdsourcing
  2. Disruptive technology and disruptive business strategies
  3. Social media developments, and how they impact communication and collaboration
  4. Globalisation and Capitalism 2.0 (or 3.0, etc. – whatever you want to call it …)
  5. ‘Popular sociology/psychology’ (eg, topics raised by Malcolm Gladwell and others)

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Are you frustraTED?


I’ve already written two blog posts on TED (Technology Entertainment and Design), the global set of conferences owned by the private non-profit Sapling Foundation, whereby the talks from those conferences, as well as franchise TEDx conferences are made available for free viewing online (“TED Talks. We listen.” and “My TEDxperience“), as well as having referred to it in a number of other blog posts. I like TED.

TED offers so many good ideas – indeed it’s tag line is ‘ideas worth spreading’.

Our mission: Spreading ideas.

We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world. So we’re building here a clearinghouse that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world’s most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other.

So we spread those ideas, what next? Do those ideas turn into reality? Perhaps not always, and maybe that can lead to some frustration.

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An outsider’s perspective on Spiral Dynamics

A friend who I run with has often talked about how his thinking, and his actions have been influenced by a theory/concept called “Spiral Dynamics”. He talks about how he uses this to observe and categorize himself and people who he might, in order to better understand himself and them, and how he might interact with them, in both personal and professional situations.

In some ways one might initially be encouraged to see Spiral Dynamics as a religious/spiritual movement or a management theory. It is, in my view, neither. It might also come across as arrogant, or even radical. I could understand how these views arise (more on this below), but it doesn’t bother me if that would be how others see it – I see that it can have a positive effect in those who decide to learn about it and apply it responsibly.

Through its altruistic perspectives Spiral Dynamics seems to achieve a clear, methodical basis on which to understand human and social development. The benefits of this can be ‘enlightenment’ (satisfaction from greater knowledge/understanding of oneself and others) as well as, potentially, more effective interactions with other people.

Thoughts on Clay Shirky’s concept of “Cognitive surplus”

I recently came across various reviews and marketing for Clay Shirky’s new book ‘Cognitive surplus‘.  While deceptively simple, I love the “concept” of ‘Cognitive surplus’ – in two words it sums up intellectual and creative potential, and the question as to what we do with that.

One of the key points of Clay’s argument is the disparity between time spent watching television (‘consuming’) and time spent ‘creating’ / ‘contributing’, and the consequent waste of our intellectual and creative potential during this time (he compares the “200 billion hours spent by Americans annually watching TV“, and the “100 million hours so far invested in creating Wikipedia“).

David McCandle has a prepared a brilliant, simple visualization of this on his excellent website ‘Information is beautiful’ (which I see as a sort of artistic version of my thoughts on ‘Killer charts’, which I blogged about a while ago).

It was that graphic, sent to me in a link in an email from a friend, that prompted me into this post, and the following thoughts.

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My TEDxperience (TEDxMunich, Monday 7 June 2010)


Today I attended the TEDxMunich event, held in the BMW Museum in Munich, Germany. The TEDx events are independently organized TED events, which are held under guidelines set by TED (see my earlier post, ‘TED Talks. We listen.‘, for further details about what TED is, and my thoughts and opinions thereon).

In this post I aim to share some feedback on the TEDx event. My primary interest in attending the event was to better understand the TED ‘movement’ and how it works in the background, beyond just being a series of videos of talks recorded on TED.com or YouTube.

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