The Relationship Revolution

Thu, 2005-09-15 11:16.
Consider a small thought-experiment: Whenever you see the word "information" -- as in the strategic importance of managing information, or the importance of timely information in solving problems, or the need to make substantial investments in information technology in order to compete in the cutthroat world of global competition -- substitute the word "relationship."
Ultimately, the issue boils down to value: How do organizations, markets and individuals create and manage value? The fact is, people -- not information -- create the value that matters, and information is merely one of many ingredients that people use. Consequently, the real future of digital technologies and networks rests with the architects of great relationships -- not just the architects for timely bits and bytes of information. People who believe in the hype of the Information Age are -- pun intended -- badly misinformed.

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Jane Jacobs: what makes a vital city?

Thu, 2005-09-15 11:01.

Jane Jacobs: Cities are the chief motors of economies. You can't talk about economies without talking, at least obliquely, about cities. Any human settlement is an economic equivalent to a local ecosystem. Just as ecology is the economy of nature. I've just been looking at the same thing from the opposite point of view�”the nature of economies.

Stewart Brand: Presumably that steps you right up to the question of global economy?

Jane Jacobs: Yes. The nature of economies comes to that. But people want these prescriptions. You can't prescribe for a global economy any more than you can get a handle on prescribing for a global ecosystem. Also, if you get too abstract about these things they become meaningless. You can't put everything in one ball of wax without it becoming abstract.

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Limitations of networks unanchored to geography

Thu, 2005-09-15 10:51.
Services like Craigslist have local incarnations -- Craigslist New York, say -- which are essentially convenient abstractions of geography in order to control the nature of the content. That's ideal for selling stuff, finding a job, or renting an apartment -- for transactional interactions. Ten years after Netscape went public, I can still get a little thrill at how easy it's become to find out that someone in Sydney needs a rideshare, or a date, but some of the limitations of networks unanchored to geography are also more apparent. I and millions like me can look at this board from anywhere on the globe, and the chances that I'm going to connect with someone around the corner are correspondingly small.
From finding out why the nearest laundromat has shut down (big local quality of life issue, trust me!) to why the cops were on the block last night, from where the good yard sale is to changes in local zoning, to simply making a few friends right nearby, there are all sorts of down-to-earth reasons it might be good to shift attention from the cross-continental, trans-oceanic network for a bit, and get better connected with the local neighborhood.

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Irving Wladawsky-Berger on emergent change

Thu, 2005-09-15 10:47.

We are living in times of intense change. In any kind of system or organization, the more components the system has, the faster those individual components are changing, and the more integrated the components are, the harder it is to predict how that system or organization will evolve into the future. The system becomes "emergent," a term used to describe highly interactive, complex systems whose behavior -- indeed, whose very nature -- is essentially unpredictable.
It is not hard to see how our world, its institutions, perhaps even our personal lives are becoming increasingly "emergent", that is, hard to predict. Technology is changing at a prodigious rate, new products and services are born almost every day, and to top it all off, ever since the Internet hit in the mid '90s, we are living in an increasingly interconnected, global world. If your business and/or your life feel more chaotic . . . . it is because they are. (Or, at least, they look chaotic through the lens of our familiar paradigms.)

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Wikipedia: Emergence

Communities and governments

Thu, 2005-09-15 10:35.
Relationships - family and community - preceded governance and markets. This view from Jeremy Rifkin is in an interview published in May 2000:

"What I say to business leaders is "understand that your sector and the government sector are derivatives, not primary institutions." There is no example in history where you first create a government or establish a market, then you create a community. It's always the other way around, although we have lost sight of that lesson. First people establish communities, then they create social exchange, shared metaphors, shared meetings in life. Only when the social capital is well developed do communities create markets for trade and establish governments."

The full interview

"Psychotherapie und Gesellschaft" zur Frage nach der Identität im "globalen Dorf"

Thu, 2005-09-15 00:39.

Was passiert mit unserer Identität, wenn die Grenzen im "globalen Dorf" sich aufzulösen beginnen? Und wie wirkt sich das auf die Psyche und die seelische Gesundheit der Menschen aus? Diese Fragen stehen im Mittelpunkt des diesjährigen Kongresses "Psychotherapie und Gesellschaft", der Ende Juni in Weimar stattfand.

"Viele Menschen empfinden derzeit vor allem die ökonomischen Folgen der Globalisierung als eine existenzielle Bedrohung", erläutert Prof. Dr. Bernhard Strauß, Leiter des Instituts für Medizinische Psychologie am Universitätsklinikum Jena und wissenschaftlicher Leiter des Kongresses. "In einer über das Internet vernetzten Welt mit durchlässigen Grenzen, verschwimmenden nationalen Identitäten und einem von den Zwängen der Globalisierung geprägten Arbeitsmarkt verlieren traditionelle Lebensentwürfe immer mehr ihre Gültigkeit", so Strauß weiter. "Damit entfallen aber auch die Grundfesten, auf die wir unsere Lebenspläne bauen. Das kann zu Verunsicherungen führen und in der Folge auch zu psychischen Störungen wie Angsterkrankungen oder Depressionen". Doch was die einen als bedrohlich empfinden, sehen andere durchaus als Chance. Strauß: "Für manche stellen die verschwindenden Grenzen und variablen Lebensmodelle, die Vermischung der Kulturen und Religionen gerade eine Bereicherung dar". Daher wird auf der Weimarer Tagung auch beides - die positiv wie auch die negativ empfundenen Folgen der Globalisierung und deren Auswirkungen auf die Seele - thematisiert.

"Grenzen - Psychotherapie und Identität in Zeiten der Globalisierung"
2. Weimarer Kongress " Psychotherapie und Gesellschaft", 30. Juni bis 3. Juli 2005, Weimar

"Individuals are the engine that makes a healthy local economy grow."

Thu, 2005-09-15 00:09.
Quotings from "A Global Look to the Local" by Colin Hines:
A Focus on the Individual and Taking Control of the Economy

‘Individuals are the engine that makes a healthy local economy grow. It is individuals, working independently and collectively, that form the fabric of community life. It is the skills, abilities, and experience of these individuals that can be mobilized to develop a vibrant local economy.’
Historically, significant community development tends mostly to take place when people in a local community are committed to investing their time, skills and resources in the effort. In the US, John Kretzman and John McKnight summarised successful community-building initiatives in hundreds of neighbourhoods across America.
They found that a key was to ‘map’ their local human, institutional and resource assets and to combine and mobilise these strengths to build stronger, more self-reliant communities and hence local economies. This consists of drawing on individual’s skills, the local associations where people assemble to solve problems or share common interests, and the more formal institutions that are located in the community. These include private businesses and public institutions such as schools, libraries, hospitals and social service agencies.
This drawing on local capacity is the start of a process which reinvigorates local economic and physical assets. Local government officials have been most useful when their role has been to support local problem solvers and strengthen and connect other local assets. The most helpful approach has been one where local government representatives have asked how they can assist local citizens in their development efforts. (The more usual approach has been to ask how local citizens can participate in the government’s efforts.) At a national government level a primary role is to ensure that a substantial part of government expenditures provides direct economic benefits in terms of local jobs, contracts and purchases .

A Global Look to the Local - pdf

The Globalist - Beyond the Nation State

Wed, 2005-09-14 23:48.

The ongoing integration of the global economy will lead to an inevitable undermining of the nation state in favor of the region. This is anathema to those who believe that a big, centralized state is the only way to run a territory. In "The Next Global Stage," Kenichi Ohmae argues that nation states are declining because their fixation on borders is not in line with today's transnational world.

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The citizens' media industry

Tue, 2005-09-13 12:29.
Jeff Jarvis: I asked Jonathan Miller, the head of AOL, how much of his audience's time is spent with audience-generated content.
He replied: 60-70 percent.
Think about that: Two-thirds of the time, the audience is looking at the audience's own content, not the pro's.
There's an industry there, an industry that has barely been born.

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