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Archive for the ‘Singularity’ Category

I have been away for some while. Many of you thought I was on a sabbatical leave, but that was just a smoke curtain for a much more dramatic makeover and re-invention of myself. I decided to become a true cyborg.

Oculus Ruft Headset Shoot

Zuck was onto something when he decided to acquire Oculus for 1.9B$ earlier this month: blurring the virtual world with the physical world to tap into the enormous opportunity of virtual experiences. But I believe he did not go till the end of his thoughts. You see, the Oculus is “only” one-directional. Giving you the input of virtual worlds. What if you could also give-back and share-back into the virtual world? The ultimate sharing economy?

That’s why I recently decided to become angel investor in a small start-up from Ukraine called “The Fishery”. We are really in stealth mode, I can’t say too much of it. But we are applying the lean startup methodology and we now have our first MVP (Minimal Viable Product) that we start iterating with our celebrity customers. I hope you will understand I can’t share names at this stage.

fitbit-flex-jawbone-up-review-19

Whereas products such as FitBit, Jawbone and others focus on QS (Quantified Self), we believe that with the Fishery we are entering the space of the Qualified Self – it’s about depth and quality, not quantity. We are still hesitating what will be the name of the product: something between the “Fishbit” of the “iFish”: indeed, what we are doing is starting to fish into the deep oceans of the subconscious and the unconscious, where data and the human species become integral one and holistic.

For quite some time, I was a big believer in so called “Personal Data Stores”: tools for the user that allow us to decide ourselves which pieces of our data we share with what vendor in what particular transaction context. But I realized that this only covers the data that we share intentionally. It does not cover data that we share non-intentionally (like the signals from our SIM cards), or data that are collected in surveillance and co-veillance scenarios.

So why not bite the bullet, accept that privacy is dead, and move into the realm of extreme transparency? And what if we could just plainly connect our own human brain to the internet, and create a distributed peer-to-peer exchange of human brainpower, and start to keep a human ledger that is cryptographically secured and trusted? This goes way beyond the Minority Report scenarios (after all, a film of more that a decade old). In this case, you only have to start thinking about something you would do, and hop! It would be immediately shared and algorithmically processed by the hive of connected brains. Of course, we’d have to make some major changes to legislation and regulation, but that can be overcome, it has been done before.

Anyway, last week I was back in our labs in Ukraine, and I volunteered to become the first test case for the latest beta version of our Fishbit.

Petervan with Fishbit

What you see on the picture is me on the lab-bed, right after the 3 hour operation. The little brick on my chest is the prototype of the Fishbit. About 35 wires are connected to different sensors on my brain, my heart, my blood pressure, my lungs, skin, my legs, arms, etc: it’s a true virtual and “brick”-and-mortar tricoder of all my physical and mental sensations and experiences, not only at the cognitive level, but more importantly also tracking and tracing the sub- and unconscious activities of my brain and body.

The Fishbit has of course a number of well-documented open APIs, as this is clearly a platform play where developers can let explode their creativity for thousands of apps tapping into my body, mind, and soul. And to fully bite the bullet of transparency and surveillance, we have added a couple of more secret “dark” APIs to give direct access to governments and other trustworthy organizations looking after the greater good of society at large. But I am deviating.

The mask and the tube are there to add extra oxygen and creative gases, because the sensations are so strong that I need to breath much more consciously to let my heart pumps more oxygen in the blood streams. I can tune the tube, for example per season or month, when for example in April I get an extra dose of laughing gas, and in May some smell or spring blossoms to bring me back to my 60ies hippie memories.

One of the earlier versions had an API with Twitter that made it much easier for me to tweet. I just had to think “tweet”, and hop, there where 140 characters describing what I had spotted in my 2,500 RSS feeds that I follow on a daily basis.

But now we can go a lot further

Jung Man and his Symbols

Many of you know that I am a deep expert in the works of Carl Jung, especially his Book of Dreams, The Man and his Symbols, and his work on the Self, the Archetypes, the personal and the collective unconscious

Jung Sphere

Illustration from the book: “Jung, a very short introduction” by Anthony Stevens

What we discovered with Fishbit, is that sharing as we know in Facebook, Twitter, etc is so… well, outdated. If we reflect on Jung, this sort of FB-sharing only addresses the outer shell of who we are, the ego. In many cases that ego is made up and self-created, and by no means reflecting our deeper selves and motivations. Now, with Fishbit we can tap into that power.

Now, I can share my dreams as they happen. The Fishbit sensors sense when I am entering my REM sleep, can capture my dreams, and in the preferences I can set whether I want my dream to be shared as a literal transcript, as a film scenario or as a piece of poetry.

Now, I can connect my collective and personal conscious to the grid, and share with vendors my really true subconscious needs, to they can shoot better ads to me, the target. Finally! Indeed, as my hero Frank Zappa used to say: “without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.”

Zappa deviation norm

And is it not progress when now, for the first time, data, dualism, humanism and the deep unconscious merge into a exciting melting pot with unseen business opportunities on the medium and long term? I hope you share my enthusiasm for this wonderful new world. Welcome to the world of Fishbit. Welcome to my ultimate cyborg make-over.

UPDATE: obviously this post was related to it’s fishy publication date. Thanks for your reactions of concern about my health, I am doing 100% fine ;-)

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On 10-12 June 2013, I was invited as a panel participant to the ISACA Insights World Congress. It was the second time in two weeks – the previous time was during a session at the Amplify Festival – that the panel was asked by the moderator what the future would look like in 2040. At Amplify the question was around the future of work. At ISACA, the question was even more open ended.

untitled-by-allison-mcd-on-flickr

Although nobody of course knows what the future will hold, and everything I say on this topic is almost wrong by definition, I believe I surprised my audience with my very dystopian view on the future.

Many seem to believe that the future will be “bright”, with lots of possibilities for hyper-collaboration, in open and shared spaces, where serendipities happen every minute, where hierarchies don’t exist anymore, sort of love-and-peace in a sharing collaborative back-to-Woodstock environment.

woodstock-poster-for-sale

That may be the case in 2020, but I think the picture will be less rosy in 2040. Already today, algorithms trade in matter of milliseconds, a real-time world that we as humans can’t even grasp, let only survive. Where those algorithms now work for stock trading companies, by 2040 we will most probably be “augmented” – at best – by our personal algorithms.

It will not be a nice picture to look forward to: by that time, we will be totally ruled by robots and algorithms, and we will have to fight – assisted by our “devices” – for that very last minute of work in a crowded world marketplace where we will have to compete at rates of 1.5$ per hour. And this for probably high-skilled tasks, as the rest will be taken over by robots: a “Present Shock” of technological presence, a world undone of human presence, a very disturbing place where we are ruled by algorithms working on our behalf, where betting on peoples future is the new normal, where siren server masters raise interest fees on the mortgage of the personal success/failure of the data slaves.

The Singularity will have happened, but in quite a different way, in a way that technology owns us, eats us, swallows us, not a singularity of jolly happy people being more intelligent or augmented. A world of technology versus machines, where technology will dictate what it wants from us (See also Kevin Kelly “What Technology Wants” – with Kelly being the technology optimist he is – and Jaron Lanier “Who Owns the Future?”).

What we have witnessed during the last weeks’ revelations represents a true tipping point. Where we still may have had the illusion that we could empower ourselves, take charge, we will be at best be empowered by other powers: a new dystopian world where authoritarian technology rules, an authoritarian singularity, where we are reduced to data slaves of the new data masters.

As part of the Digital Asset Grid (DAG) project (an Innotribe project stopped after its incubation phase, and given back to the community), I have written in the past about the “Catastrophic Complexity” that is emerging right now through the explosion of the number of nodes on the grid, ànd the explosion of data. Where these data are more and more stored by “Siren Servers” – a metaphor used by Jaron Lanier – and where the DAG proposed a 100% distributed model of data storage in personal or corporate clouds, but with a choice of appropriate Trust Models, so that we don’t end up in another worldwide west. Indeed, with the advent of trillions of nodes on the grid, we will require a new kind of species, a new kind of architecture, but more importantly a new type of governance.

camel

I am also getting more and more disturbed by a sort of “over-glorification of technology. This may be surprising as a “Techonomist”, where the belief is that technology will enable a new philosophy for progress – I still believe that – but we need some solid healthy criticism in the debate.

techonomy

When I read this week in The Guardian – a quality newspaper, right? – about the “gadgetry and behavior concepts for the 21 century” and the related comments that these are “super important” new behaviors, I believe we are missing the point; we need to counterbalance all this excitement with way more attention for humanizing our businesses.

I am afraid we are slipping into an “Authoritarian Surveillance State” as described in Washington Post, or even a “Techtarian State” as articulated by Stan Stalnaker in The Huffington Post.

To understand what’s really going on, let’s looks at some understreams that cause the waves of change at the surface. I have split them in technological and more societal changes:

  • Technological:
    • SMAC: Social, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud
    • Platforms and APIs leading towards the end of highly vertically integrated organizations, and where the new skill becomes horizontal sourcing of pin-point functionality
    • Explosion and loss of control of data.
    • Explosion of Cyber-threats
    • Our identity schemes not keeping up with the sheer explosion of nodes, hampering our security, as the internet was never built with identity in mind
    • Disintermediation through hyper-connectivity (example Über)
  • Societal
    • Erosion of Privacy
    • Platform, everything as a service
    • New economies (P2P, Sharing, Reputation,…)
    • New expression of value, currencies, assets, cred, influence, reputation,
    • Crowdsourcing everything (credit cards, funding, investing, lending, mapping, reputation, …)

We probably most underestimate this trend of crowd-everything. There is something deeper going on: this is really about the use of external power to scale; think platform, using crowds as change accelerators, like developers for building on your APIs, but now through users. Google recently acquired Waze for 1B$ !.

waze

The industrial scale application of crowd is very much a “Singularity University Meme”, says Haydn Shaughnessy in Forbes.  Crowd-recording, crowd-sensing, crowd-data collection, more eyes and ears and sensors, through Waze, through Glasses, etc. It’s clear some parties want way more data to be available,  searchable, to be monetized, with us working like slaves to provide all these data for free. We evolve from democracy to “crowdocracy”.

Our near future will witness the “fragmentation of everything”: the fragmentation of work, of applications, of hierarchies, and states giving in to power data houses, data guerillas, pods, and cells.

We will see the “asymmetry of everything”: asymmetry of transparency, of search and computing power, of concentration of data. This will lead to power unbalances, to surveillance mania, to loss of freedom of speech. Already now the recent developments makes me more selective on what I tweet and share. The only way out is a 100% distributed system, but I am afraid that it is already too late for that and that our future is already owned by Jaron Lanier’s “Siren Servers”

We already see the “exceptionalism of everything”, where the exceptions become the norm: events such as stock exchange black swans become the norm. We take for granted the exceptional qualities of uber-people like Marissa Mayer, Zuckerberg, and other “heroes”.

We are “attacked by everything”: our secrecy is attacked by Wikileaks, our privacy by Siren-Servers, our security by cyber-attacks, our value creation by thousands of narrow innovations at the speed of light. All this happens at the speed of light, at “Un-Human” speeds, runs on a different clock, lives in another world.

We seem to live in a “perpetual crisis”, jumping from one incident to another, where there is no room anymore for building a story with a begin, middle, and an end; no room for reflection, no room to assess and scan the waves of change on the surface of the data ocean.

The world enters into a complexity

that cannot be addressed anymore

by conventional binary linear thinking.

 

We need new tools, capabilities, and ways of thinking, more non-linear, be prepared to open up for more options. These new tools are about forecasting and assessing in different ways (scenario thinking), decide our options in different ways, design thinking in context with intent and within constraints, and richer ways of expressing our options through visual thinking and other techniques more leveraging the human senses of color, sound, smell, trust, sensuality, presence.

We have come at a point where our only options out are a revolution of the data slaves and evolving as a new kind of species in the data ocean, trying to preserve what makes us human.

I have no clue how we can avoid this dystopia, but we will need a new set of practices for value creation; where data slaves dare to stand up and call for a revolution; where value creation and tax declarations go way beyond being compliant with the law; where we see the emergence of ethically responsible individuals and organizations. But it will be very difficult to turn back the wheel that has already been set in motion several decades ago.

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Last week, I attended the PurpleBeach launch event (check out the twitter stream at #purplebeachlaunch). It’s one of those events that got me again into hyper-reflection mode.

Purplebeacj

I was not really sure what the launch was about – initially I thought it was about the launch of a new consultancy firm – but once on site, it looked like being an experiment driven by Annemie Ress about “People Innovation”. Annemie had been heading HR and people efforts at eBAY, PayPal and Skype and I think she was not sure yet herself where this happening was going to land. She was maybe taken a bit by surprise by the number of folks who signed up for this invitation-only event – and in some way I liked a lot the authenticity of her and the team, being and staying open and curious about what could emerge from a gathering of about 180 folks of quite diverse “plumage”.

I got invited via MJ Petroni, owner and founder of Causeit.org. I met MJ last year when he and his team coached the Innotribe team on making quality team alignments and intentions. Petroni is mentored by Mark Bonchek, PhD, former SVP of Networks and Communities at Sears, now heading his own consultancy Orbit about pulling customers and communities in “orbit” around your brand. Enough credentials to follow-up on the invitation and checkout the event that took place in Audi Quattro Rooms, West-Side of London.

quattro rooms

Day one started with some strange mix of “quite-ok” talks about mobile, big data, digital identity, trends, leadership, HR, and the blurred zone between HR and Marketing.

In essence, the glue binding the different activities was “business humanization” and “people innovation”. The basic premise that innovation in organizations does not happen without people rediscovering themselves in their full being, a rich combination of left/right brain activities, and greater levels of personal awareness.

And yes, there was some strange Californian “wu-wu”, “mindfulness”, “well-being” and poetry and artistic performance elements as well. After all, we were on the “beach”, a place where you can relax, be idle, and be open to whatever comes your way.

Day one was ok, but not more than that: I was more or less familiar already with the content presented, and was in search for the new insight, the new synthesis, the new “AHA” moment. Alas, I waited in vain for the muse to inspire me.

But Day-2 kicked off by a great discussion about being “on”-line all the time, after a presentation by a trends watcher about future trends, micro work, etc. The presenter was depicting a future of always-on, nowism and “on-ism”, a future where you have to check your smart-device or sensor every second to capture that 5 minute chunk of work on a worldwide marketplace for mechanical turks.

In the following panel, Doug MacCallum (ex eBay but still advisor to the CEO of eBAY and non-executive Director on the board of Ocado) couldn’t hold it anymore:

“What a horror! I don’t want to live in a future like that. People need their time off to reflect and recalibrate. This is a dystopian future”

Doug MacMallum almost got a standing ovation for his intervention, and just the fact he got the ovation is a proof of how deep “presentism” is disturbing our human lives. It was like some sort of relief going through the room.

He went on describing a practice of Executives not sending mails in the weekend, to respect their own free time and that of their collaborators. Great initiative, but I have seen such promises before, and in some occasions the executive is preparing her emails during the weekend, queuing them up, and releasing them on Monday morning, so you have your inbox loaded with fresh instructions and work (sic).

present shock

It made me think of Douglas Rushkoff’s latest book “Present Shock” (Amazon Associates Link), about the fragmentation of everything, including work and value, and the addiction that arises when you are not able anymore to step out of the digital time, back into analog time, where you still have some sense of time fluidity, rhythm, and relative perspective.

Penelope Trunk, co-founder of Brazen Careerist, recently wrote a great article in Quartz. I like the section on refusing to present your-self in a linear way:

Agents represent workers who pick and choose projects that match them rather than signing on for indefinite amounts of time. The Harvard Business Review calls this supertemping. Business Week calls it going Hollywood.

It’s about a deep desire for story and narrative, context, being part of something, being for the long haul.

But unfortunately, we are getting fragmented disassembled

UPDATE: @MayaDroeschler retweeted my post and linked it with metaphysics of pure presence, referring to the the work of the philosopher Jacques Derrida who introduced the concept of deconstructivism, and who also influenced architecture (in the form of deconstructivism). This is the space of famous architects like Peter EisenmanFrank GehryZaha HadidCoop HimmelblauRem KoolhaasDaniel Libeskind, and Bernard Tschumi. Readers who know me, understand that Maya touched my sensitive chord of love for architecture. Picture below from Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.

gmb_bilbao_690x235

But I got distracted ;-) The Quartz article also mentions new “modern” practices of young people selling stocks in themselves. This is about investing in – or probably better called “betting” on humans.

A “good” example is Upstart, a start-up opening their site with the slogan “The Start-Up is You.’’

Upstart

Upstart was founded by a group of ex-Googlers, including Dave Girouard, who spent 8 years at Google where he was President of Google Enterprise and VP of Apps.

I can’t help it, but this starts smelling like slavery to me. You already knew that you were the “product” of Siren Servers like Facebook, Google, your bank, your insurance company, your health company; they are getting your data for free and can monetize it without compensation of the data originator. It’s getting worse now: we are now entering an era where one owns the life of another human being, worse even, takes options in somebody’s future and betting on it.

Jaron Lanier has recently published a great book about this “Who owns the Future?” (Amazon Associated Link)

Who owns the future

I feel really sorry for otherwise very smart people Eric Schmidt, Peter Thiel, Khosla Ventures, Marc Benioff and other moguls for putting 5.9M USD in the last capital round of Upstart. I believe they are forgetting something very important here. This is in essence a form of digitizing of what it means to be a human being, digitizing the being into binary data blips, forgetting the rich set of emotions, senses and creativity we all can bring to the table. We are more than data present in the moment. We are part of a narrative, a story, an analog context.

Our “presentism”, just having that safety option to do that quick email check in the week-end, to check that Twitter status, the Klout and other scores are probably symptoms of something deeper going on: just having that capability is for some people already reducing the anxiety of loosing out on something.

Somebody shouted from the audience “But we are loosing the obvious!” – meaning loosing of being humans – and then a couple of “minutes” later, the quote of the day:

“The Future is Analogue”

I really believe it’s about loosing or sustaining our analogue human identity. Identity is contextual and one context is the time framework we want to function in. I’d prefer to live in the analogue time context; the way Doug Rushkoff described it: “What do we want: the long now or the short forever?”

This lead to my first “Aha” experience at the event: an experience about identity. As somebody quite active online, I try to be – and believe I am – the same person on-line or off-line. I don’t believe I have a different persona online of off-line. But online, I feel more the need to amplify myself  and my outgoing data streams, and at the same time trying the amplify and maximize the incoming streams of new data. But there is too much info out there, I feel indeed this anxiety to miss out on something. I also sense higher degrees of narcissism on-line, narcissism in the sense of self-amplification and promotion. What does that do with my identity? I think I am pretty the same online as in the real world… But “shaping” my online identity raises deep questions on who I am: as an individual, in a group, in the world at large.

Ron Shevlin @rshevlin, author of Snarketing 2.0 sent out this tweet on 28 Apr 2013:

“If identity is the new money,

schizophrenics have it made.”

It was in this mood of identity reflections when I entered a conversation with another Purplebeach participant: Jefferson Cann from Extraordinary Leadership, a soft-spoken gentleman bringing the topic of intimacy into the debate.

The word “intimacy” worked like a red flag on me. I explained Jeff how I was trying to stabilize/discover/re-discover my identity. His feedback was that he was not sure that one needs to fix/stabilize your identity.

“By fixing, you close yourself for being open to the moment, for the intimacy with the moment. The intimacy of the moment INCLUDES identity, so that the identity can flow, can evolve. In that sense, I hope that your MBTI of 10 years ago is not the same as your MBTI of this year, which would mean you have not evolved.”

This coming together of intimacy and purpose gave lead to my second big insight of the week, the second “Aha” moment.

My readers know that I am sick of the 10 min, 15 min, 18 min pitches and talks. I am hungry for depth, for richness of conversations, for going beyond scratching the surface. One of the reasons why I keep writing these long posts ;-)

The insight was that my hunger for depth is really a hunger for intimacy, the hunger for human connection, also on professional environments.

What does it really mean when a manager tells you: “You know, I am a pragmatic man, two feet on the ground, so can you please pitch me your story in one minute, and at the same time tell me what the ROI for the next 2 years will be?”

I suddenly realized that this famous pragmatism and two-feet-on-the-ground is probably a shield to hide from depth, from intimacy. It is a shield against the present that can even be used in Machiavellic ways to include/exclude people from connection. It’s a deep sign of uncertainty and insecurity, the fear of losing control, fear of human contact, the fear of opening up, the fear people will discover there is no substance, and fearing/knowing you cannot compete on content. It’s the fear of having to acknowledge that your leadership power only comes from your position in the hierarchy and not from who you really are.

As Glenn Llopis recently wrote in Forbes about “The 5 Things Leaders are thinking with not talking about”:

Leaders must find a new sense of maturity within themselves to address and navigate these new workplace issues with greater clarity, focus and intention. Leaders must be more proactive in coming to grips with today’s new normal.   In doing so, they must face their greatest fears head-on and get on with the business at hand.  The marketplace, the workplace and those whom they serve demand it.   Until they do, here are five things leaders are thinking, but not talking enough about: 

  • I don’t have all the answers
  • I have difficulty relating to the younger generation
  • Diversity makes me uncomfortable
  • I am uncertain about the future
  • My leadership skills are not relevant

 

It looks like we are witnessing murder by modernity: murder of the human connectedness through the avoidance of intimacy. It looks like most of us – including our leaders – and not ready from the new normal. We need to send our leaders to “Purplebeaches”, so they find again time to reflect, to enjoy depth, to open up and embrace connections between fellow human beings.

UPDATE: as a real example of synchronicity, Jennifer Sertl just posted this awesome video about being human.

 

Some interesting insights:

  • There is no off/on button for feeling an emotion
  • How are we teaching people what is human vs. what is technical
  • We have to re-enforce the usefulness of being human
  • You can’t take care of yourself if your are at the same time taking care of a tribe
  • Everything you do becomes part of a data piece
  • Playing a higher personal – private – game
  • Our ability to have empathy is impacted by technology

“We are loosing the obvious: what we are loosing is our ability to scenario plan, our ability to gain perspective, our ability to know ourselves, and our ability to empathise. Those four things is what separates us from the gadgets”

Life is not digital. The future is one of analogue connection.

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Last week, I was attending my third Techonomy conference.

Techonomy explores “the role of technology in business and social progress.”

I love the word “progress.”

It has that gentle flavor of positivism; in the direction of better. I am more and more convinced that we don’t need innovation; we need progress.

How is progress reflected in a modern company? What does a 21st century company look like? Or maybe we should start thinking about what a 22nd century company would look like. (22nd century indeed: somebody born in 2012 will only be 88 years old in 2100. If Ray Kurzweil’s predictions are realized, it will be a piece of cake by then.)

People might grow older, but companies will die younger.

John Hagel proves with the Shift Index that the firm performance (based on Return on Assets) has declined systemically over the last 50 years.

Most companies don’t last longer than 40 years. Most of today’s companies will not exist in 2100.

The question is: What are the characteristics of sustainable companies?

Here is a list of some memes I’ve come across in recent months: the Adaptable Company, the Decentralized Company, the Sharing Company, the Participating Company, the Collaborative Company, the Connected Company, the Connecting Company, the Coherent Enterprise, the Elastic Company, the Human Company, the Learning Company, the Living Company. I could go on.

I propose that there are at least seven characteristics that will be typical in the 22ndcentury company:

1. Peer-to-Peer Networks

Decentralized organizations with peer-to-peer networks of highly skilled knowledge workers will best create and sustain knowledge flows and enable employees to self-organize. The jury is still out on whether knowledge workers will most often be hyper-specialists or hyper-generalists, but the successful company of the future will behave as a living organism where peers organize themselves in “cells.”

In The Connected Company (Amazon Associates Link) Dave Gray calls such organizations “pods”: Hyper-connected cells building relations with other cells based on a common principles, a common set of values, a common pattern language.

2. Architects of Serendipity

Being an architect of serendipity is about creating connections and providing opportunities for collisions between nodes in a network that learn from the collisions and continually adapt. The collisions are not random. Instead, this is designed serendipity, which might sound like an oxymoron.

Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, the shoe company acquired by Amazon last year, is setting the scene for architected serendipity with his Downtownproject.

Instead of venturing in yet another luxury corporate campus with everything on-site from shops, restaurants, doctors, and central idea-incubation, Hsieh sees the value in integrating the Las Vegas fabric to catalyze collisions. He is investing about $350 million in local startups, small businesses, education, arts, culture, and residential and commercial real estate.

 

This campus of the future

starts to look more and more

like a complex living organism

 

Forget the old alliteration, the 4 P’s and 5 C’s of Kottler and Drucker. The C’s of this new era are those of hyper-connected learning organizations: Curated content, Community, Culture of openness, Collaboration, Creativity and optimism, Co-Learning, Co-Working, Co-Creation, Collisions, Connections. 

3. Empowered Radicals Instigating a Corporate Spring

Some call them Corporate Catalysts, Catalyst Peers, or Corporate Rebels. Steve Johnson described these instigators in his excellent new book Future Perfect: The Case For Progress in the Networked Age (Amazon Associates Link):

 

 

the most striking thing about these new activists and entrepreneurs was the personal chord that reverberated in me when I listened to them talk about their projects and collaborations—and their vision of the progress that would come from all that work.”

In September, I wrote a blog post called Companies Are Movements of Greatness. Catalyst peers in our organizations instigate these movements, whether these organizations are hierarchies or peer-to-peer networks.

The point is we have to unleash the energy of these “positive deviants.” I joined with a group of enthusiasts around the globe to put together a Corporate Rebels Manifesto. It’s all about a common set of principles, a pattern language for helping our companies succeed in the Hyper-Connected economy. It’s about creating a new global practice for value creation. It’s about progress.

4. Empowered Platforms

Amazon, Google, Apple, and Facebook are celebrated for their platform approach, exposing their core functionality through application program interfaces (APIs) so that other players in their networks–customers, partners, developers–can create new value on top of their platform.

We are only at the beginning of this trend, which will encompass all trade and commerce supply chains. In the end, I believe a wide variety of entities, including people, businesses, devices, and programs will have their own clouds and APIs.

What should come next in this evolution is an interoperability among clouds, a layer of services, protocols, and standards that let a Cambrian Explosion of Everything share data in real time, securely and with the appropriate governance and trust.

 

 

Every company may have to carve out

a role as a platform player

 

5. Empowered and participative customers

Doc Searls has written extensively about The Intention Economy (Amazon Associated Link) and customers taking back control of their data. Many organizations have implemented Open Innovation techniques, calling upon the intelligence in their networks to discover and develop new ideas.

The motto “We know more than me” applies the principles of Crowdsourcing. Barclays Bank recently launched BarclayCardRing, a crowdsourced credit card that empowers customers with highly transparent services and shares the program’s profits and losses and monthly financial statistics. In simple language, the data explain how the program is performing. Customers become producers, in partnership with the companies that serve them. 

6. Deeply Digital and Human

It’s been almost 20 years since Techonomist Nicholas Negroponte wrote Being Digital.

We now swim in a sea of data and the sea level, so to speak, is rising rapidly. Billions of connected people, far more billions of sensors, and trillions of transactions now add up to create unimaginable amounts of information. This new environment will require extraordinary adaptability: It is as if we are a species from dry land that has to learn to live in the ocean.

The digital age environment requires a new design for companies, which presents both threats and opportunities. Companies will be disintermediated, will see the erosion of their market share as new entrants muscle in, and technology companies will threaten the position of incumbents in more and more industries, threatening profitability.

But there are also opportunities: sources of rich information are multiplying, and more information is being digitized all the time. Every business is becoming a digital business.

However, the potential benefits of the explosion in number of nodes and the volume of data is being squandered due to low levels of trust, concerns about security, and barriers to monetization. That’s why my employer, SWIFT, has launched a project called the “Digital Asset Grid.” The Grid is a research initiated by Innotribe, SWIFT’s Innovation initiative for collaborative innovation.

With the Grid, Innotribe proposesa new infrastructure for banks to provide a platform for secure peer-to-peer data sharing between trusted people, business, and devices.

7. Diverse Contribution and Leadingship in the Social Era

My initial post on Techonomy only included six ways organizations can survive. Nilofer Merchant kindly drew my attention to the diversity aspect. What follows is an edited version of an e-mail she sent me:

We are all talking about thriving, being more deeply connected in community and thus allowing our organizations to be more adaptive. And my question is… is this system of change more about the same or about something fundamentally shifted in who is allowed to contribute.

I hope our future economy is also about including the people who are unseen today. Those who are right in front of us, creating value but then ignored when it comes to be included as leaders, or thinkers to shape the future. No one does this out of bad intent, but out of blindness. Few people will realize that while Hagel and Kelly and Gray etc are mentioned, many well-respected best-selling women management thinkers were not. Our thriving systems HAVE to be open enough to include those that are currently blocked out.

And we will be surprised by what we create. I remember the story of Fold It. The original inventors of that “game” imagined Phd students more like them than not would be the ones creating value. But in the end, it was a woman who was an admin during the day and the best protein folder at night. If the system had first vetted, she would have been screened out, but when all the rules are evened out… she contributed valuable stuff because she could. (http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2012/04/just_how_powerful_are_you.html).

Blindness shifts when we start to be more conscious. In stead of perpetuating talking about the change, we have to embodying the change. 

Nilofer stroke a cord.

Her new book “11 Rules for Creating Value in the #SocialEra” (Amazon Associates link) indeed offers new rules for creating value, leading, and innovating in our rapidly changing world. These social era rules are both provocative and grounded in reality—they cover thorny challenges like forsaking hierarchy and control for collaboration; getting the most out of all talent; allowing your customers to become co-creators in your organization; inspiring employees through purpose in a world where money alone no longer wields power; and soliciting community investment in an idea so that it can take hold and grow.

 

 

The Industrial Era and the Information Age are over

and their governing rule are passé

 

Leading in the Social Era requires a rethink and re-imagination of what can be.

During the same period, I discovered Rune Kvist Olsen in the following YouTube video (1 hour video, you need to be present to fully appreciate the message from Rune)

There is also the excellent article “Leading-Ship: reshaping relationships at work” His thinking blew me away in rethinking leadership into “leadingship”. It cuts deep in what motivates people. There is also an associated slide deck here http://goo.gl/Ds1Qd . Rune   challenges big time all our preconceptions about leaders and followers. I feel deeply inspired by it.

I really enjoyed the 2012 edition of Techonomy. The conference convenes discussions among leaders focusing on the implications of technology change. Kevin Kelly put technology “in charge” in his seminal work What Technology Wants (Amazon Associates Link) challenging the notion that humans control the direction of technology. I look at it more and more as a form of symbiosis.

It happens that I met Kevin Kelly face-to-face later that week at Defrag 2012, where he delivered an awesome talk on “The Emerging Technological Superorganism” but that is the subject for a future blog.

The Internet – with it’s built-in peer-to-peer network architecture – made new forms of peer-to-peer collaboration possible. The creative energy unleashed by the edges of our network represent a transformative change and challenge in how we organize our intelligences in a mix of peer-to-peer intensities, supplemented with some structured “companies” that orchestrate some of the overarching memes in our society.

The rules have changed. To quote Robert Safian (Editor-in-Chief, Fast Company) in his Oct 15 blog post “The Secrets of Generation Flux”:

“Business today is nothing if not as paradoxical. We require efficiency and openness, thrift and mind-blowing ambition, nimbleness and a workplace that fosters creativity. Organizational systems based on the Newtonian model are not equipped for these dualities.”

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“The Cambrian explosion was the relatively rapid appearance of most major animal life forms, accompanied by major diversification of organisms. Before, most organisms were simple, composed of individual cells occasionally organised into colonies. Over the following 70 or 80 million years the rate of evolution accelerated by an order of magnitude and the diversity of life began to resemble that of today.” (Adapted from Wikipedia )

I believe we are witnessing a similar “Cambrian Explosion of everything” in the information technology evolution of the recent years, and we see a relatively rapid appearance of new “life” forms, new building blocks for the way we do business in this hyper-connected economy.

This thought came into my mind when attending recently the Cloud Identity Summit in Vail, Colorado 16-19 July 2012.

Explosion of API’s

During the pre-conference workshops, I had already seen the explosion of a whole set of new authentication methods and digital identity concepts like SAML, OAuth 2.0, OpenID Connect, OIX, Facebook Connect, Google’s Accountholder.com initiative, etc, etc

And then came Craig Burton with a presentation announced as “The future of Authentication” but in essence a variation of his epic talk on “Identity and the API economy”. His full prezi presentation is here. (Disclosure: Craig has been advising us on our Digital Asset Grid research project)

  • If this evolution goes on, we’ll have 30K “open” APIs by 2016
  • But most enterprise API’s are not open, they are kept private, and their growth rate is 5 times that of open API’s. They are also referred to as “Dark API’s”, because you don’t see these species in the open.

Craig then showed some staggering stats of open API’s, the so-called “API Billionaires”

If you do the calculation, this means 150,000 API calls per second for Twitter!

Update: apparently most of these stats come from John Musser @johnmusser from The Programmable Web. Credits are made in Craig’s prezi, but not apparent in my post here. Sorry, John !

Craig believes – and I subscribe – that we will see a very fast evolution where

“everyone and everything will have its API”

And every API needs its identity. Leading to the staggering conclusion that we will need to provision more than 1,000 new identities per second.

In enterprise, one of the more accepted federated identity authentication and authorization standards is SAML (Security Assertion Markup Language). Craig created some consternation by stating, “SAML is dead”, because it is not made for the provisioning of this Cambrian explosion of identities. In essence the SAML model does not scale. For this type of scale, manual provisioning does not work anymore, we need high levels of automation, also at the provisioning level.

Explosion of Nodes

In his Cloud Identity Summit presentation, Craig was focusing on the explosion of number of API’s and the identities they will require.

Let me give another dimension, triggered by the research work we are doing on the Digital Asset Grid: when Craig talks about “everyone and everything will get an API”, I’d like to offer the dimension of “entities” aka “nodes in a grid” that need share data with each other. Those entities can be:

  • Humans
  • Group of humans – a good example is a Google “circle”, it’s a group of people without legal entity and therefore no liabilities associated
  • Companies – another type of groups of people – with legal entity and liability. Note that the liability of a non-profit is different from a commercial organization, from a educational institution, etc
  • But now we also add devices to the mix
  • And programs – pieces of software code – that act on our behalf or independently
  • Services and 3rd parties representing the seller, and 4th parties representing the buyer.
  • And personal and corporate clouds, where persons and corporations will keep the data they want to share in context with all the other entities in this grid of nodes.

And all these entities will get an API and will need to get an identity. It is leading to a “Catastrophic Complexity” unless we find a way to govern our communities differently, less manual, and highly automated.

It was very interesting to see that in the closing plenary of the Summit, Bob Blakley – now Global Head of Information Security at Citigroup – introduced the concept of the “Limited Liability Persona” that you could select as your identity to participate in certain data sharing use-cases. I’d like to emphasise he talks “personas” (plural of persona) and not “persons”. For example using your Limited Liability Persona “1” for getting a bank-account, and Persona “2” for your health transactions, etc.

This multiplication in personas will just add to the number of identities to deal with.

Explosion of Data

Big Data, Small Data, Real-Time Data, Fast Data, etc… I guess you are familiar with the buzzwords. I would like to share some insights that go beyond the generalities heard at most conferences.

Have a look at Avinash Kaushik – Digital Marketing Evangelist at Google – in his fascinating talk at Strata 2012 earlier this year. And especially pay attention as from minute 4:00 where he introduces Donald Rumsfeld as one of the “greatest philosophers when it comes to analytics”:

“Reports say that something hasn’t happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are the known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don’t know we don’t know”

And then there is this recent Future of Internet PEW report that opens with:

Big Data: Experts say new forms of information analysis are helping us be more nimble and adaptive, but they worry over humans’ capacity to understand and use new tools well

And in the opening para:

We swim in a sea of data … and the sea level is rising rapidly. Tens of millions of connected people, billions of sensors, trillions of transactions now work to create unimaginable amounts of information. An equivalent amount of data is generated by people simply going about their lives, creating what the McKinsey Global Institute calls “digital exhaust”—data given off as a byproduct of other activities such as their Internet browsing and searching or moving around with their smartphone in their pocket.

“The realisation of dynamic and emergent systems as a natural order will cause people to realize the foolishness of trying to game systems to the Nth degree. We will see the rise of more algorithmic thinking among average people, and the application of increasingly sophisticated algorithms to make sense of large-scale financial, environmental, epidemiological, and other forms of data. Innovations will be lauded as long as they register a blip in the range of large-scale emergent phenomena.”

Explosion of Time

This leads me into one of the coolest presentations I have seen on big data, high frequency trading and the new algorithmic ecosystem by Sean Gourley from Quid.com at TEDxNewWallStreet

Especially watch the section as from minute 9:00 or so, where he lets us discover how machines are doing business in matter of nanoseconds: a world of machines where black-swans almost become the norm!

It is not so much that more time is created, but more some form or time “implosion”, where things happen in milli- and nano-seconds timeframes, an outer-space alien to human beings.

Btw: Sean Gourley will be with us at Innotribe@Sibos Osaka 2012 in the session about The Future of Big and Small Data

Explosion of Mobile

Also repeated over and over again at Cloud Identity Summit by different speakers. Whereas many of the suggested solutions consisted of some form of “identity bridges” or translators if you want, I start to believe we come at a point where also here the existing metaphors and techniques are not adapted to the new paradigm of super-scale.

I have seen so many statistics and data that mobile is big, I prefer to refer to the mother of all internet trends, Mary Meeker who moved last year from Morgan Stanley to Kleiner Perkins Caufield Beyers with her May 2012 update on Internet trends.

As from slide #29, she introduces  the “Re-Imagination of nearly everything”

And closes her presentation with

“This cycle of tech disruption

is materially faster & broader

then prior cycles…”

Explosion of Decentralization

With some delay, I found some time this week to watch Don Tapscott’s talk at  TEDGlobal 2012 where he gets into “the interest of the collective”

Tapscott points out that this is “Not an Information Age, but an Age of Networked Intelligence

And Don Tapscott nails it when he summarised the 4 principles for the open world:

  • Collaboration
  • Transparency
  • Sharing
  • Empowerment

The meta-story underpinning all this, is probably well reflected in the recent essay “The Democratization of Globalization” by Parag Khanna: We are not only moving into the age of Networked Intelligence, but we are also moving into Globalization 5.0 that is characterized by a high level of fragmentation and decentralization.

“Call it Globalization 5.0, the most decentralized form of the phenomenon in history. If succeeding in Globalization 5.0 comes down to exhibiting a single trait, it would be resilience—a decentralized, node-to-node way of doing business, where hundreds or thousands of points of interconnection form a giant web of commerce, information and social good. Those who can demonstrate resilience will adapt and thrive. Those who cling to the old, centralised paradigm do so at their own risk”

I am deeply convinced that the “Cambrian Explosion of Everything” is leading us very fast in a highly fragmented world of heterogeneous entities that are sharing and analysing data at warp speed.

It’s a new world

that will soon require new levels of

governance, security, identity

and community or commons management

Who could be the neutral trusted organisation for the financial industry to deliver us that resilience and trust for the next superfast and hyper-connected data-age?

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This was my second Defrag.

I attended Defrag for the first time last year in 2010, and it helped me spot 6 excellent speakers for Innotribe at Sibos: Jeff Jonas, Mark Dowds, Laura Merling, Dion Hinchcliffe, Doc Searls, and Stowe Boyd.  I contacted more Defrag speakers, but or they couldn’t make it, or I just couldn’t fit them in the already packed Innotribe agenda.

It’s a dream for me in my role as content curator for Innotribe events. But it is also one of the conferences that really helps me identifying trends in tech industry.

I tweeted the one-liner “once Defrag always Defrag”. Life permitting, I want to go every year.

Defrag is not a conference like any other. It’s a 2-day encounter of tech enthusiasts in Broomfield, close to Boulder, Colorado. It’s capped in number of participants: 325 max. The quality of the speakers, content and participants is excellent. Always a place to have great conversations.

It’s perfectly organized by Eric Norlin and his spouse Kim, and tuned for a modern tech audience: super quality video projection, awesome sound system (the organizers love playing lots of hard rock and metal music), power plugs on all tables, and a Wi-Fi system that is tuned to deal with 3 devices per participant. How good how good was Defrag’s Wi-Fi? Well, they had people downloading the new iPhone/iPAD iOS *in* the keynote room, and we did not notice any drop in quality! And everybody got a goodies bag so big that you have to buy a separate suitcase to get it all home. Eric’s super curation skills, his no-frills introductions of the speakers and his humble no-hero attitude completed the pack.

As usual, I will not make a chronological report of my impressions, but zoom into some of the highlights of this year’s conference.

  • For a very detailed twitter stream, check-out the tweet tsunami with hashtag #defragcon:  https://twitter.com/#!/search/%23defragcon
  • or even better, Matt Groeninger (@mgroeninger) compiled tweets for hashtag #defragcon during Defrag 2011 (11-3 to 11-11), cleaned it up for double entries, time-zone adjusted them and posted the whole lot as an *.CSV file here: http://bit.ly/u8Xppi . Thx, Matt! It helped me writing this blog!

Like last year, the conference opened with an awesome energizing video trailer. This year – the 5th edition – was no different.

Defrag Video: http://vimeo.com/31903004

That was great as a kick-start. Eric and team had decided not to have a specific overall theme for the conference, and I believe that’s a good change. However, after the 2 days, I saw some themes lurking behind all the great content: big data, APIs, the race against the machine, and inspiring new ways of work were recurring.

Opening by nobody less than Tim Bray from Google with a talk on “Mysteries of the Internet”

He was one of the speakers who did live coding as part of his talk, and it was the second time in 3 weeks that I heard the message that nobody really understands the Internet (first time was at Compass11 from Danny Hills from Applied Minds). “Don’t try to predict the future from the past” and “I want to be an explorer (of unknown territories)” were typical one-liners of this talk.

I have organized this blog under following themes:

  • Check your assumptions
  • Machines in charge
  • When presentations become art
  • How to run your company like a start-up
  • Philanthropy
  • Great conversations
  • Big Data
  • Pitch Alert

Check your assumptions

Sam Arbesman from The Kauffman Foundation pointed out that most facts change over time. There are few absolute truths. He introduced the notion of “mesofacts”, warning that “your reality is out of date” and that “whatever period we are born in we view as the state of affairs”. Facts (averages of facts) obey (mathematical) rules: half of scientific data changes in about two generations. Many of our decisions are based on outdated facts. “Are your facts up-to-date?” was the appropriate call for action for this talk.

Duncan Watts, author of “Everything is obvious, once you know the answer” explained that common sense is hat we rely on to navigate concrete, everyday situations. Unfortunately, we try to apply common sense or gut feeling for complex longer-term situations. In complex systems history never really repeats, history doesn’t repeat deterministically, so generalizations based on the past have limited utility. “Is the Internet to sociology what the telescope was to physics?” is a good summary.

Aneesh Chopra, CTO to the White House gave a passionate talk. The assumption that he challenged was that government officials are boring and non-inspirational. Oh boy, I was impressed by his in-depth knowledge on a broad set of technology matters, and the contagious energy he was spreading. Governments need more people like @aneeshchopra in public service. Do, don’t talk, innovate, don’t legislate, open government using big data, API’s, and crowd sourcing to stimulate innovation and entrepreneurship. Cool stuff.

Machines in charge

Robert Stephens was founder and CEO of Geek Squad until Best Buy bought it. Robert is now CTO Best Buy. “Every company should have a Robert Scoble” and “where is the AppStore for home automation?” were some good openers. He made clear that there is a whole market out there for repairing/supporting robotics, home automation, fitness, the Internet of things. On social media, his dream is to have NO social media response team, that every employee is connected and empowered. He also showed some “wireless hygiene stats”: how much noise devices cause in a Best -Buy shop. Towards the end, he made a shutout for #singly > VRM and locker project, and defended that bringing your own device to work (BYOD) works better than giving an employee their own corporate device.

Brad Felds (managing director at Foundry Group) opened his talk with an awesome scary app on Facebook http://www.takethislollipop.com/ > try it and make sure your Facebook locations are “on”.

For Brad, the machines have already taken over: they are very patient, come in many disguises. Machines don’t have to kill us; they are patient and can wait till we die. Still, he is an optimist and thinks that machines will like us and will help us. He urged us to change our mindset about who is controlling whom. Regarding the singularity, he does not care anymore when it happens, it’s happening already, and very fast. To my question “what values to we have to give our children to prepare for the age of the machines?” he answered to my surprise “nothing”. Kids younger than 15 years have grown up symbiotically with being connected, and will solve it themselves. Therefore, Brad remains optimistic.

When presentations become art

Lili Cheng from Microsoft Research surprised everybody with a beautiful presentation inspired by architecture, going back to her education roots: why did I like this talk so much? ;-). She was using the architecture metaphors to refer to the ideal structure of a city, and how that is inspirational to build social software that is flexible and creative enough to optimize big data. “Dance like no 1’s watching. Sing like no 1’s listening. Tweet like no algorithm is coldly deciding your social worth” or a modern implementation of “Why do we loose our child’s innocence along the journey of life ?” was a fantastic quote to make the transition to a great demo of Montage, a document editing package based on search and mixing all kinds of content: pretty cool. It is the first demo in many years that I see from Microsoft where they prove they are finally getting the web.

Already last year, Paul Kedrosky seduced me with his talk on “Ladders”, a great presentation on big data correlations. With Kedrosky, you never know where he is leading you till 10 min in the talk. This year was no different. He started by live coding in game ZORK, trying to get into the White House through the backdoor. At a certain moment in the game, he hits a location that is labeled “this page is intentionally left blank”, btw also the title of his presentation. You must be brave to drop the word “vacansopapurosophobia” (fear of a blank page) into an early-afternoon keynote ;-) In essence, his talk was about transparency and about vulnerability in being open: “I want to play a game but I don’t want to be gamed”. The blank page is a way to reassure us we are missing out something.

How to run your company like a start-up

There were some really cool presentations on new methods of work.

Jay Simmons, President of Atlassian had a talk on “Hack your company”. Some salient approaches included scoring based on performance and stretch, come up with an idea and ship it in 24 hours (yes, 24 hours!) and iPads at the entrance of work to survey employee satisfaction, instead of boring long surveys.

T.A. McCann, Founder and CEO of GIST charmed everybody with “A startup Start to Finish”. In his opinion great people, aligned passions, and complementary skills are the secret sauce for startups. The HOW is as important as what: he suggested to operate your start-up like clockwork: 18 month horizon, 6 month goals, 3 month plan, 1 month themes, 2 week sprints.

Adrian Cockcroft, Cloud Architect from Netflix blew everybody away. In essence this was a great talk on innovation and on Netflix’s corporate culture. He made clear that the one R&D or Innovation center does not work, is not taken serious by the rest of the company and how incredible hard it is to change corporate culture in a big organization: he implied it’s impossible. I loved his quote “For innovation to happen, you have to get out of its way”. His list of corporate culture attributes was mind-blowing: they only hire senior people, have no coding standards (peer pressure works fine). They don’t have a CIO and their IT staff only supports employees. They push out code, as needed, several times a day, and not “the old way”, the 2-week train like at eBay. One and the same persons now do project manager, line manager, and architect. Prima donna’s are expelled by group pressure. There are no bonuses, just flat and very competitive salaries. And they have monthly stock options at the current price with instant vesting. Fascinating. With his grand-finale “we only hire rockstars: do you want to be in the audience on part of the band on stage?”, any professional should be attracted to check out the open positions at Netflix ;-) Post event @matthixson posted a link to a slideshare about the Netflix culture. It’s great and I recommend it to all, especially if your company is reviewing motivation, appraisals, etc.

I was trying to invite Adrian to Innotribe at Sibos 2012, but could not yet convince him. A couple of days after Defrag, I had a call with Kaliya Hamlin @identitywomen on an unrelated subject, and she asked me how Defrag went. She said that the people who know Innotribe should make a invitation blurb to help us convincing folks who do not immediately see what’s in for them to talk to senior banking executives: Innotribe is different, cool, engaging, and no better ambassadors then those who experienced. Great idea, Kaliya! Thx!

Laura Merling from Alcatel-Lucent was brilliantly comparing the aspects of a business to 5″” stilettos and making a plea for women in business and tech: “it’s not about whether you’re male or female, it’s about whether you’re the right person for the job” almost got a standing ovation. “Build a culture, create a business tribe” sounded as music in my Innotribe-ears. Her presentation used a strong metaphor of boots/shoes, and it was not just a gimmick: the boots have a sole/soul, and mentioned innotribe as a role model. Slides here. http://www.slideshare.net/llm007/five-inches-of-fabulous-defrag2011

Sam Ramji was great during one of the API break-outs: “I am a mercenary, not a missionary” on question whether API intermediaries should refuse non-standard OAuth.

And Dion Hinchcliffe joined JP Rangaswami @jobsworth when he stated “design for change, design for loss of control”

Philantrophy

Matt Galligan showed how even start-ups can contribute to a better world via philanthropy.

His initiative “1% of nothing” lets start-ups engage with 1% of their equity. It is called “1% of nothing” where nothing is equity of a startup that us not (yet) worth anything

Great conversations

I had some great conversations with Sam Ramji and Anant Jhingran from Apigee. I have invited them to do a brown-bag session for all staff, next time Sam is over in Europe. This setting is btw possible for any company that has something innovative to offer that falls within our strategic objectives.

I also had some in-depth chats with digital identity folks Ian Glazer (Gartner Research), John Fontana (Ping Identity), and Drummond Reed (Connect.me). The day after, I was already invited to the Cloud Identity Summit in July 2012 to talk about our Digital Asset Grid (DAG).

And it is always fun to brainstorm with Laura Merling and Mike Maney from Alcatel Lucent. We believe there is some fertile ground to join forces, and to do something around a crazy idea of “Rebels United”. More about that for sure in one of my subsequent posts

Big Data

Last but not least, almost all talks had “big data” in them somewhere. It became almost annoying at some moment in time, especially when there was a presentation specifically trying to prove that this was the latest buzzword, and becoming as generic and meaningless as “social media”.

Pitch Alert

On a very few occasions, there was “pitch alert”. And one of the sessions on policy really could not inspire me. The last talk was – at least in my appreciation – a bit “thin” in content (speaker was ok), and I would have preferred to end on a real high, like the conference started.

Post conference, I had some great chats with Eric Norlin. Maybe I’ll get a chance myself as a Defrag speaker next year: I am working on a brand new prez on “the soul of innovation” based on the attributes of DJ’s, Painters, Pirates and Corporate Rebels”. It’s work in progress, and I am experimenting with sound, video and image landscapes as part of that presentation. Would be nice having a European flavor into the Defrag conference ;-)

Two days after the conference, I saw a tweet from Eric Norlin: “had a break-thru moment last night about how to improve the defrag agenda/structure in a discussion w/ kim. can’t wait for 2012.”

Same here. Can’t wait for 2012. Already note down the dates for next year’s edition: 14-15 November 2012. If you go, you will not be disappointed. See you there!

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At Innotribe in Toronto, we had a fantastic group of speakers. We call them “igniters”.

It was energizing and inspiring to see how some of them were each other’s fans on-line, some just met for the first time face-to-face at Sibos. Many of the discussions between speakers were definitely as interesting as the public appearances they made during the Tribe. We have to do something with these deep conversations…

During one of the few break moments, i got myself in a quite engaging discussion with Dan Robles from The Ingenesist Project and Social Flights. We shared our passions and our scarves, and i told Dan about my dream. I like to connect with people at their scarves- and passion-level… Finding the real soul, the real person and what is driving his/her dreams.

The dream of evolving this whole Innotribe event thing in something almost architectural.

Something artistic. Something that combines in a deep way high quality content, super facilitation, and performance. Emotional engagement. Deep conversations. Making an impact. Way beyond our little Inno-“tribe”. Societal impact. Awesomeness. With a richness of values of what it means to be human.

It all boils down to this old idea of mine of setting up a think tank on long term future, to prepare the next Values kit for our children.

I am worried and concerned. For our children. For my girl of six years old.

And apparently, i am not alone. Had a wonderful chat this week with Sam. Went all directions… until we talked about my princess.

In my Prezi “How to Make Babies” (based on my blog post with the same title), i show what happens when she grabs an iPAD and starts drawing.

And the most intriguing is what she said:

“My fingers don’t get dirty”

It was immediately clear to me she was born in digital. And I was thinking that in a couple of years from now, our children will say “my fingers do get dirty” when they make a real painting, on a canvas with wet paint…

It did not take years. Here we are, one year later, and here is a viral video of a two year old baby, who expects a paper magazine to behave like an iPAD.

I am worried and concerned. For our children. For my girl of six years old.

I am reading the posts “hypereconomics” by Mark Pesce. Already seven years ago, he asked that question:

“What happens after we’re all connected?”

Just one quote, as i know Mark hates to be overquoted and expects people to add their own content:

As we move further into a hypereconomy, we need to assemble value chains from the resources available to us.  We need to be able to bring this material together with that design expertise, married to a fabrication capability, delivered via the appropriate transportation logistics.  When we can do that, every individual will have the same capabilities to fashion an assembly line that Henry Ford once commanded

Read the post. It’s scary and challenging at the same time.

We need to prepare our children and our pre GEN-Y’s for taking up leadership during the next 10-20 years. When the blurring between man-machine will have materialized. Maybe not the singularity, at least Paul Allen does not think so. But for sure when the frictionless economy will be there. And when it will be important to know what makes us more human humans.

A good book in this context is “The Most Human Human” by Brian Christian. (Amazon Affiliate link)

Brian says:

The story of the Turing test, of the speculation and enthusiasm and unease over artificial intelligence in general, is, then, the story of our speculation and enthusiasm and unease over ourselves. What are our abilities? What are we good at? What makes us special?

“Think Tank” is probably the wrong word. Too much talk-club. I was more thinking along the lines of a “movement”. A New Value Movement?

This desire to be part of such movement, that realization was indeed the main trigger to start this blog in the first place. Check out for example some older posts about “Singing my own song” and here about the Think Tank idea and here about “Great to Good: a new value kit”

The concept for a New Value Movement must have sticked on Dan’s ribs, and i was pleasantly surprised to receive a quite extensive thank-you letter from Dan referring to our conversation. I reproduce the letter below in its entirety (my highlights):

Hello Peter;

I don’t believe that I properly thanked you for your confidence in me to present to your truly important attendees at Innotribe. 

I tried to go a bit further over the edge of provocation and I hope that I did not go too far.  No sooner had we finished those amazing Innotribe sessions did the Occupy Wall Street movement largely validate much of your theme about a New Value movement.  It is almost scary to see our prediction that people will re-organize around new value and directly challenge financial currency with social current (currency). 

In addition, I learned tremendously at innotribe and my eyes were opened to many new ways of interpreting our goals. I have since updated much of my ongoing positions to reflect what I learned at Innotribe.  The Big Data sessions, DAG, and Craig Burton’s API work were especially moving for me. 

I believe that the time and technology are right for shifting factors of production away from Land, Labor, and Capital and toward Social, Creative, and Intellectual Assets.  We are developing a simple web app which I believe can catalyze this shift at a remarkable rate.  Please let me know if you would be willing to offer some comments or suggestions to this project. 

Thanks again and please extend my gratitude to Kostas for his wonderful hospitality.

Dan Robles

I am humbled and energized by encouragements like this and it goes without saying that i enthusiastically accept Dan’s invitation to comment on his project.

I also got several calls and reach-outs post-Sibos. From people who i spoke to some months ago about this Think Tank idea. And suddenly, all at the same time they want to talk about it again. It must have to so something with synchronicity. With emergence.

Somehow i feel like i have to take a big jump. Beyond the “classic” Innotribe events. Something bigger, with more impact on society. More depth and meaning.

Is it fear to jump ? Is it not being able to articulate it? And then – recently – somebody close to my heart wrote me:

i caught on to that from you, but you haven’t shared too much with me. it’s paradoxical that you talk about wanting depth and meaning, because you have come across as very closed to me when i see you in person… but maybe you are just distracted and focused? or maybe you are afraid to act as your true self in the swift/innotribe setting?

Am i just distracted and focused? I feel i am both.

  • Very focused – like i wrote about my intensity in “Silence, I am painting”.
  • Very distracted, as trying to keep-up with this information stream in my RSS feeds, the twitter stream, etc.
  • Very distracted, as i have probably 20 drafts of blog posts sitting ready to publish.
  • Very distracted, as i feel my creative energy becoming un-stoppable and ready to burst out something new, big, exciting, energizing, inspiring.

A colleague recently told me:

Peter, i think you need to re-connect with yourself.

Same thing. Fear to act as my true self in the swift/innotribe setting? Or in any setting ?

From time to time i use this blog to re-connect with myself. And to share some of these musings with you all out there.

In the hope that somebody reaches out. Shows me an open door.

Or like last week, reminds me that i am the “heavy artillery” when i think i have become persona-non-grata, because too deep, because too demanding and probably even more so because i don’t always live the values that i preach. Even rarely live them. And it is probably that what undermines trust. I expect trust and am surprised i don’t get it when i don’t live the values that i preach.

What suddenly stopped me in staying alive? Where have you see me changing?

My starting point for this blog in April 2009 was the realization that my mission was to “inspire others to dream”. Now i want to add emotion. In Dutch there is a word for this: “ontroering”. I tried to translate, and the closest i got was “thrill”.

Who wants to help me seeing clearly? Who wants to engage with me in this adventure? Who wants to help articulating what this New Values Movement is?

I am hungry for your feedback. Send me something in the comments of this blog post. Send me an email or DM me. And i need time to think.

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This post is a fifth in a series on personal digital identity. Part-1 “The unpolished diamond was published here in August 2010 and Part-2 ‘The Digital Identity Tuner” was published here in September 2010. Part-3 “Personal Data Something” was published here in December 2010. And part-4 “Austin-Munich-Toronto” was published in February 2011 here.

Drawing by Hugh MacLeod (@gapingvoid) during the Innotribe Deep Dive on Digital Identity, Sibos Toronto, September 2011.

That was February 2011. Since then a lot happened. I had so many rich discussions, met so many new fascinating people, and have been aroused by a deluge of new ideas on digital identity.  And my employer SWIFT gave the go-ahead for an incubation project on Digital Identity that is now called the “Digital Asset Grid”.

As I mentioned in my Innotribe Sibos report, the Digital Asset Grid (DAG) is important because:

  • We are moving from money bank to digital (asset) bank
  • The DAG is an infrastructure play for SWIFT to offer a certified pointer system pointing at the location of digital assets and the associated usage rights
  • It’s and economic imperative for SWIFT to expose its core competence via API’s
  • The DAG is a huge opportunity for SWIFT to be a key infrastructure player in offering an end to end hardened infrastructure and end-point to enable the seamless exchange of any sort of digital asset between any number of entities
  • This is also a huge opportunity for financial institutions to plug-in to this infrastructure for offering a new set of services in the data leverage space in un-regulated data market places

For me Digital Identity is so much more than your log-in, or our account-number that is backed by a Know-Your-Customer (KYC) process, or another userid/password or a security token.

I look at it a spectrum. Like you have a spectrum analysis for a star that uniquely identifies it, you can imagine a spectrum for the digital identity of persons:

Digital Identity Spectrum is everything from PKI, account#, Log-In to address, attributes, history, preferences, biometrics, reputation, risk profile, intentions, signals, etc and all this in transaction and time context.

It’s no co-incidence that Facebook recently announced “TimeLine”. Identity in time-context leads to your identity spectrum that is unique at one given time. And yes, you will be able to play it backwards like a movie, but also forward to do trend analysis and forecasting.

VRM (Vendor Relationship Management) is about sharing specific parts of my spectrum with specific vendor(s) in specific transaction context(s). In the Digital Asset Grid project we asked ourselves:

“What if we could apply the VRM principles not only to personal data but to any content, to any piece of information, to ANY digital asset?”

You could then start thinking about sharing specific parts of any digital assets with specific vendor(s) in specific transaction context(s).

In essence, what we are doing, is “weaving” digital contents with associated digital rights and who has the rights to that content.

It’s a map of digital weavings

of digital fabrics

This is how the Digital Asset Grid was born.

Is this not too consumer oriented for an organization like SWIFT? I believe this is the wrong question. The discussion “consumer vs. enterprise” has kept us blind. Same by all sorts of other customer segmentations like “small-medium-large”. In the identity ubiquity game, all this is segmentation is irrelevant.

We have to start thinking in terms of different sorts of entities that participate to the identity-dance. Those entities can be:

  • Person (humans)
  • Loose group of persons (for ex Google Circles), that have no legal construct
  • Commercial companies
  • Non-Profit companies
  • Governments
  • Educational institutions
  • Programs (code)

The last one – programs – is quite fundamental. We are witnessing the blurring between humans and computers. It smells like early singularity. And in this debate we should not only be concerned on how programs augment humans, but also how humans augment programs. But that is another more philosophical discussion, and some good reading on this can be found in the book “The Most Human Human” by Brian Christian. (Amazon Affiliate link)

Back to our Digital Asset Grid…

The vision of the Digital Asset Grid

is to move the SWIFT network and SWIFT services

from a closed, single-purpose, and messaging-based system

to an open, general-purpose, API-based system

It’s a natural evolution. That’s it. No disruption. No—“the next big thing.”

Just apply out-of-band our core competency to the modern age of connectivity. Instead of destabilizing the market by disruptive innovations, provide the basic infrastructure missing for a global transaction-based platform on the Internet.

Of course, its vision is grand, with plenty of innovative elements and thinking. Here are some examples how we move from the traditional identity “space” to the new “Digital Identity Grid”

I would like to zoom-in on one of the bullet points above: from one way request-response to full duplex dance.

The web – a collection of pages – is based on some simple request-response mechanisms. I request a page and the server responds and gives me the page. End of that transaction.

With the dataweb – a collection of Digital Assets with associated usage rights – we will need something where exchanging entities can perform a dance around and with the Digital Assets. And we want to be sure that they are who they say they are, and that they have the right usage rights to the digital assets. So we move from a two dimensional view of the world (in computer terms a “table”) to a multi-dimensional view (in computer terms a “graph”)

The Digital Asset Data Web is the next phase in the evolution of important internet stuff. It’s probably what comes next in the following series:

To continue the dance metaphor, the SWIFT infrastructure is the Dance Hall where entities meet to perform certain specific dances.

One of the many use cases for the Digital Asset Grid would be to solve compliance, In stead of moving messages from A to B, we keep the data where they are and “point” to them with SWIFT certified pointers to where the data are located and the associated usage rights.

The dance protocol (full duplex) for this use case, from opening of the dance with (a “webhook” in technical terms), to the actual picking-up of the content, and closing the dance and everything in-between, could look like something like this:

  • PartyA: “hey, I am sending a signal that I wanna dance the tango (slang for payment instructions) with any party in the Swift dance hall at 9pm”
  • PartyB: “yep, I wanna dance with you, let’s meet in the SWIFT dance hall at the bar”
  • PartyA: “ok, here we are, cool place ;-)”
  • PartyA: “Let’s get to business”
  • PartyA: “I just gave you following rights my payment instructions at this XRI: you have XDI pick-up rights”
  • PartyB: “ok, gotja. Will pick it up right away”
  • PartyB: “knock knock, I am coming to fetch those payment instructions”
  • PartyA: “let’s check if you have the usage rights….”
  • PartyA: “everything looks fine, go ahead”
  • PartyB: “loading, loading, loading…”
  • PartyB: “Ok I am done”
  • PartyA: “So am I”
  • PartyB: “tomorrow, same place same time to dance ?”
  • PartyA: “would love to ;-) 9pm again ?”
  • PartyB: “sure, bye bye”
  • PartyA: “bye bye”

And, what’s really cool about it, it’s fully auditable, end-to-end.

When telling this story to one of my colleagues, I got the following reaction: “Hey, but you are changing the basic messaging paradigm of SWIFT… I am not sure that I want to support an innovation like this… one that is cutting off the branch from the tree I am sitting on…”

Here is something essential for innovation. Any innovation team in any company should not only look at some nitty-gritty small incremental innovations, but

daring to be great and to re-think

the cash cows of our companies

Like Guy Kawasaki used to say: “the best way to innovate is to set-up a company that is trying to kill your cash-cow”

All the above is about the infrastructure story that SWIFT could play in and in that sense is a bit navel staring. But the biggest opportunity however in all this is probably for banks, financial institutions, and new upcoming innovative financial service providers.

This is a HUGE opportunity to offer new digital services in non-regulated markets

Many examples and use-cases here :

  • Personal Data Lockers, Digital Asset Lockers, Digital Asset Services aka Digital Bank, « Who-touched-my-data » services, Personal Data Trading Platforms, Digital Asset Trading Platforms, Corporate and Bank Klout Services, Audit services, Tracking services, Big Data and Analytics services, EBAM, Corporate Actions, etc.
  • Also e-Wallets of all kinds. Not only « wallets » for money but wallets for all sorts of Digital Assets. An e-Wallet is nothing else than a browser on a personal money store. What if we start thinking a browser for a personal data (asset) store?
  • And I spoke recently to one of our managers in Securities Business : also there plenty of examples, even in looking at trading assets.

So far, the Digital Asset Grid was just the result of a research project at SWIFT. Today, I am very pleased to announce that the SWIFT Incubation Team just gave the green light to move this project in prototype stage.

It means that during Q1 2012, we’ll have a working prototype targeted at a specific use case, but we will expose the API’s of the infrastructure and give them in the hands of developers and challenge them to come up with some cools apps that can be built on top of this infrastructure.

A lot of the thinking in this blog is the condensation of a lot of teamwork of many many people who participated to this Digital Asset Grid project. With the risk of missing out somebody, I’d like to send out a digital invitation signal to those people for a thank-you dance in the SWIFT Dance Hall: Mary Hodder, Kaliya Hamlin, Doc Searls, Drummond Reed, Craig Burton, Andreas Weigend, Gary Thompson, Tony Fish, and also lurking-in Don Thibeau, Scott David, and Peter Hinssen.

I would like to say Thank you! Maybe with David Bowie’s 1983 hit “Let’s Dance”? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4d7Wp9kKjA

Let’s dance put on your red shoes and dance the blues
Let’s dance to the song they’re playin’ on the radio

Let’s sway while colour lights up your face
Let’s sway sway through the crowd to an empty space

If you say run, I’ll run with you
If you say hide, we’ll hide
Because my love for you
Would break my heart in two
If you should fall
Into my arms
And tremble like a flower

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Have a look at a couple of the excellent videos on this wrap-up site about Farsight2011.

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I could spent days and days in this space. All my favorites, including Hedge Fund Manager and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, Recorded Future co-founder and CEO Chris Ahlberg, journalist entrepreneur Esther Dyson, and many more in one big long session about long term future. Yammy – Yammy !

Search is no longer the simple act of typing words into a text box. New user interfaces and mobile devices are expanding the web into all aspects of daily life, and even changing the way we think. An explosion of innovation has allowed us to dream big about the role of robotics and Artificial Intelligence. And yet the future of search is fraught with challenges. The stakes can’t be higher. Is the search industry locked in a race to the bottom or are conditions ripe for a breakthrough? This question took center stage at a gathering in San Francisco on February 1, 2011 which was streamed live on BigThink.com.

 

image

(Peter Thiel at Farsight 2011 in “How to end the Google monopoly”)

Some quotes from Thiel:

  • You need a 35% market share in search to make break-even
  • The core problem is how to cut down the massive fixed costs
  • Until you solve the fixed cost problem, you have a natural monopoly
  • Underestimating fixed costs is a mistake that I intend not to make twice
  • I am not so much focused on the revenue side, as I am on the cost side
  • Everybody can do the front-end and the revenue with it
  • 5-10B$ yearly cost is the barrier to entry
  • Microsoft is probably the only company with the capital resources that can compete with Google at this moment in time.

Or have a look at Salim Ismail, Executive Director, Global Partnerships, Singularity University, talking about The Future of Privacy.

image

  • Computing is getting exponentially faster, smaller, cheaper, better
  • Our assumption is that these new technologies can scale at global level
  • Turning our lives more and more into an information property
  • From Discover to Aggregate to Process
  • Retrospective vs. Prospective search
  • Quantified self, Health Data, Sensor Networks, Internet of Things
  • Total explosion of information

About total explosion of information: I also invite you to watch the video of Hasan Elahi’s talk at the Lift11 Conference this Feb 2011 in Geneva, at about the same time as this BigThink Farsight 2011 Summit. The title of his talk is “Giving away your privacy to escape the US Terrorist watch list”;

he is in essence explaining that

by releasing

an explosion of information

about his where-abouts

he makes it impossible

for these authorities

to make sense

out of this massive set of data

 

image

The intro is a bit long (but worthwhile to set the scene) but if you are short in time, jump in as from minute 8’30…

  • To be formally cleared, you need to be formally charged
  • A very unbalanced relationship: I give and I give and I give, and I don’t get anything in return
  • They have the ultimate authority, I knew who was in power, and you turn to very animal primal instincts of survival
  • And in my case, survival meant co-operate
  • And I decided to put everything public

Here is where the video gets mind-blowing: as from minute 12’30

  • I wrote a little code that would track me all the time
  • It’s kinda bizar seeying yourself as a pixel
  • Every flight I have been on since birth
  • I am ok with giving you every bit of my data, but you have to do some work to digest it
  • My financial records are public
  • All my calls
  • There is an independent party (bank, phone company, etc) that is verifying that yes indeed I was there…
  • I have taken this to a level of absurdity, of detail, that I leave such level of detail about my life, that I live a rather private life.
  • After you do the analysis of all this detail, you actually get very little in return.
  • Having a little information about somebody is very dangerous as it can be mis-contextualized
  • You can’t delete, but you can bury it in an explosion of information
  • Or to conclude:

This is another way

of getting back into control

of your identity

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Last week, I had the privilege to attend the first edition of Techonomy, a fantastic new conference blurring technology and economy with an optimistic balance that technology in its broadest sense (not only IT, but also gnome sequencing, bio-fuels, big history, etc) can be the driving force for a better world.

First enjoy the announcing video below.

The conference was bringing together 3/4 of Silicon Valley’s leadership, including Eric Schmidt, Jeff Bezos, Bill Joy, Bill Gates, Steward Brand, Kevin Kelly, John Hagel, Deborah Hopkins (Chairman of Venture Capital Initiatives and Chief Innovation Officer Citi), Nicolas Negroponte, Sean Parker, Padmassree Warrior CTO Cisco), Jeff Weiner (CEO LinkedIn), and the list goes on, and only a couple of non-US leaders such as Nobuyuki Idea (Founder of CEO of Quantum Leaps Corporation, working on innovation, and previous CEO of Sony Corporation), Nellie Kroes (European Commissioner for Digital Agenda), Vineet Nayar (CEO HCL Technologies, India), and Ory Okolloh (Founder/Executive Director Ushahidi, South Africa).

How to describe Techonomy conference ? I would say “a super-TED with a technology focus and with an agenda”.

The agenda is “a new philosophy for progress”.

It’s a movement

Somebody asked “a movement against which enemy, against which barriers ?”.

I believe it is a movement FOR something.

For a better world. Finding techonomic solutions to tackle the global climate challenges, feeding the world, a better health for everybody, a new value kit for the current and next generation, not based on greed but on the concepts of creative capitalism as formulated some years ago by Bill Gates in the Bill and Melinda Gates Foudation.

In that sense, it should not surprise the regular reader of this blog how much this resonated with myself. Not only the personal inspiration, but especially how we with on organization like SWIFT can adopt and promote the techonomist values and objectives.

I also came across some leaders that could be subject of SWIFT’s CSR initiatives. Take Bill Drayton, Leadership Group Member Chair and CEO of Ashoka, the global association of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs, men and women with system changing solutions for the world’s most urgent social problems, encouraging everybody to be a changemaker.

It’s impossible to describe the intensity of the content and contacts of these 3 Techonomy days.

Some highlights:

  • Evolution is incremental. Revolution is disruptive movement
  • Collective learning is what makes us human
  • The physical economy is sensoring a second economy of conversational plumbing
  • As long as we draw boundaries (for ex US vs. China, we against them, etc) we will not be able to solve the world’s problems.
  • The economy is NOT recovering, consumer is running out of money
  • Governments do not understand globalisation, businesses do.
  • Employees first, customers second.
  • Promote younger people must faster
  • Building and tapping from tacit knowledge will become core skill
  • Markets are like gardens: they need tending
  • Innovation happens outside the regulated markets
  • Banks make money on spread and opacity. They are by definition against transparency
  • Currency is “the instrument of trust in a transaction”. Unfortunately the debate focused solely on the payment transaction and money as the trust element.
  • Health agenda: from illness fixing to personal health prediction and coaching
  • Some technomists are skeptical optimists that do not take progress for granted. One has to make progress. It does not happen.
  • Recalibrating our assumption that form our perceptions. For ex we learned that world population will NOT grow indefinitely and probably max around 9 billion, and then go down.
  • Innovation at Cisco: Looking at 30 ! adjacencies as a “portfolio” like a Venture Capitalist does.
  • Computer Associates CTO: “a lot of leading edge innovation comes from financial services”
  • Innovation requires a culture of taking risk and celebrating failure
  • Change happens when the DESIRE not to change is greater than the desire to change. The power struggle to make this balance change is based on societal needs.
  • Innovation requires 1) Money, 2) Desire, 3) Need
  • There is no value in the idea, there is value in its commercialization
  • We have a moral obligation of bringing less developed regions up.
  • Cities are “intensities” that have a critical mass of people
  • In a city-“OS”, no one single company can dominate. It has to be open source by definition.
  • Generation-Y or whatever: you need the backing of 18 year olds. That’s “youth”. 25 years+ does not quite get it.
  • Companies scale like biology, and in the end they die. Cities scale like networks, and do not die. The city is the framework model for the future.
  • In the developed world, a disruptive innovation is something that can create the biggest disruption. In the developing world, innovation is a technology that is simple, reliable, and that can function as an integrated unit.
  • Success in mobile in Afghanistan is because there was no legacy. They are willing to take the risk to jump to the next curve.
  • The future is for (techonomist) entrepreneurs that are willing to work together.

The conference is so good. It cries for a European and an Asian chapter. Any European Leader should not hesitate a second to be associated with and sponsor it.

I was dreaming of hosting a European chapter of Techonomy at the fantastic SWIFT Headquarters south of Brussels.

El Jefe, do you hear me ?

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