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Archive for the ‘Worldviews’ Category

“Pop is not the same as populistic”, says Winy Maas from MVRDV Architects at minute 14:19 in this wonderful talk about innovating in the future of architecture. This sentence got me thinking about roles, styles, and staging. This post is a follow-up on “Is being normal boring?”

Winy

The talk is about design and architecture, but you will notice it’s really about a different way of living, of reflecting about our world. Also check out The Why Factory: a global think-tank and research institute led by the same professor Winy Maas. You can also find some awesome research publications there.

Winy talks about things such as:

  • Porosity and air
  • Transparency, mirrors and infinity
  • Individualism: Is it about staging, making a statement?
  • The stair and activating our roofs
  • Activating new circuits
  • Block attacks (around min 32 – 33)
  • Infrastructure follows your composition
  • From Small to Big
  • From Individualism to Collectivism
  • From Egoism to Wegoism (W)EGO
  • And about pop and populism

Pop is about the (style of) the performer. Pop is about belonging to a tribe. The tribe of the style of the performer. Pop is about selfies. Pop at its worst or most extreme is probably like Netherland’s rap “artist” Boef performances who films himself on stage, and his fans filming himself filming film.

Boef

Rap "artist" Boef performing live

A strange loop of pop. A strange kind of loop. Like an endless mirror.

Instead of that endless empty mirror of pop, I prefer the mirror of Claudio Monteverdi, not only for the magic polyphonic music by the Huelgas Ensemble on this record, but for the way Monteverdi was staging as an artist.

monteverdi

The Guardian described his work as “the extra chronological disjunct here is enjoyably disorienting”

“Enjoyable Disorienting” ! Wow !

It has to do with self-image or self-picture. Picture as in Alva Noë’s Strange Tools. Picture of a role. It has to do with role. Being somebody or nobody. With or without role. Anonymity.

The anonymity I am thinking about is one of role-lessness. The anonymity of being normal. The anonymity of Buzz Aldrin, who was the second man walking on the moon. Being in the front, or blending in the background, like the fashion designer who just says hello at the end of the show and then disappears. Who is the composer and who is being staged? Without the composer, all the rest does not happen.

strange tools

Art and philosophy are strange tools (of staging), says Alva Noë in his excellent book (Amazon link): he explains the difference between choreography and dance:

  • “Choreography, as we have seen, is not dancing, it is an engagement with dancing as a phenomenon”
  • “Choreography, and all the arts, are organizational, or rather, as we shall see, reorganizational practices”
  • “Choreography makes manifest something about ourselves that is hidden from view because it is the spontaneous structure of our engaged activity”

Roles and titles. Role-ness or title-less. Is the focus of our energy the work itself or the attention for our confabulated stories – crafted after the facts – to make/fake sense of why we do what we do? Titles are usually confabulations. That’s why it is probably better to drop them altogether from our bios, business cards and alike. They are an explanation after-the-fact. To make/fake sense for and about ourself. The attention is on self, not the other, not the audience, not those who come to listen.

Too many labels. No Brand. “No Logo (Naomi Klein): taking aim at the brand bullies”

Painting the role. Painting the knight, the farmer, the father, etc and not the man. Filming the filming rapper or not. Rembrandt and Cranach are not in the same kind of business. They made different kind of pictures.

Lempertz-939-1011-Old-Masters-Lucas-Cranach-the-Elder-studio-of-PORTRAIT-OF-MARTIN-LUTHERRembrandt

Cranach on the left - Rembrandt on the right

Painting the man (as a mask – or the physical container) and painting the person is a different kind of business. Staging the speaker and staging the person is a different kind of business. Staging content is not about letting see what others already see. It is about letting see what you see and others do not see yet.

Like Monteverdi, who was already looking back from some distance at the previous century – already inventing a kind of neo-Renaissance gloss that simultaneous confirmed him as a master of the old polyphony and blazed into new baroque sounds and styles

Whether it is in painting, or making poetry, or architecting an experience, I believe we have to approach all of them like artists. By practicing and getting better at the art of staging, staging like in choreography. This goes beyond pop, roles, and style. A different kind of business: the business of stagecrafting. Or is this yet another strange loop of labeling when I just want to get rid of labels, roles, and titles?

 

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Pol Kurucz hr1

Normal-hr-1 From the Normals-series by Pol Kurucz

A couple of days ago, I was standing in line in the supermarket. In just five minutes time, the mother in front of me was instructing her two lively kids: “be normal”, “be silent”, “behave”. She probably said it 2-3 times in that short period.

I smiled, but also felt some push-back at the same time: why limiting these kids in their normal expression so early in their life?

My wife also invites me from time to time to “be normal”. That invitation provokes protest in me. I think that is because I associate normal with boring, not exciting, not special.

Do we want to be special because we want attention? Normal does not get attention. Being normal – not special – seems to be an insult/attack for my identity. Maybe it is my shadow. My shadow as in “what I do not want to be”, or “what I do not want to be labeled as”. Like not wanting to be labeled as “stupid”, or “manipulator”, or “dishonest”, etc.

The older I get, the more I become aware how distracted I get by putting energy in ignoring my shadow, in proving that I am not stupid etc. A similar energy loss btw when trying to prove the validity of my non-shadow label, role or title. But that is another post.

How can I integrate normality in my identity? Should I? Should I integrate that normality? Should I even try to focus on my identity? In an interesting podcast with Raf Stevens (in Dutch), André Pelgrims says that:

“Ego is the urge to build up identity”.

Have we spent the majority of our lives in building identity? Have we never matured? Have we not integrated what needs to be integrated? What/why is there to be proven?

Mind you, in all this, the focus is still on ourselves trying to “build identity” (with our without shadow) rather than the motivation to accomplish on the outcomes we wish to create.

The identity builder is a noise generator.

Do we humans create, design, make, blog, tweet, facebook, etc because we are hungry for attention, we want to prove something, or because we have something new to say, a new insight to share, a novel hypothesis to be tested? Or do we just inject noise into the stream to get our part of the attention?

I recently met somebody who planned to hire a cheap student to create and post her regular noise. Her “Professional Noise Creator”. Addicted to attention. Addicted to taking space from others. It’s a power game. As articulated so clearly by André Platteel of Your Lab in this great blog post (in Dutch):

“Often when we try to find space we look for it outside ourselves. Then we are busy creating space outside of ourselves. To check out whether we can create freedom of movement. Whether we can get more space/freedom from others. Whether we can dominate another in a strategic game and lock them in them so we can get more freedom of movement. That whole game is based on the idea that we are independent of others and the world. Where we are fearful all the time that our space is being suffocated or taken. That’s why we tend to take as much space from the other. And have a feeling of freedom and power.

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Stairway space in Gaasbeek Castle - June 2017

“I know that game very well” continues Platteel.  “Played it so long when I was a marketing advisor. Using smart marketing tricks to make your own commercial space as big as possible at the cost of your competitor’s space, using smart marketing tricks. When all the time you try to be smarter than the others. I started to notice that in the consulting, it is not only about taking as much space as possible, but also to assert power. When it is not about listening to one another, but about being (perceived) smarter, more concise, faster, fitter, stronger. In fact taking more and more space at the cost of others.”

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Petervan Productions 2017 – Blue Sky, Parasol, and Flight – June 2017

I believe the desire to be special (and thus not-normal) has to do with the desire to be visible. A lack of visibility seems to give me less power.

Banksy

If invisibility is a superpower, than maybe also anonymity. I have these moments where I want to disappear in complete anonymity, like a monk in a monastery, detached from any social contact. The antonym of anonymous is “named”, “known”, “identified”. A desire to be un-named, un-known, un-identified. Without identity. And do-my-thing. Without the need for attention and visibility. But even that is a make-up, a mask.

Just the act of saying “I want to disappear in complete anonymity” is the superego acting in the background. Because it assumes I am special, famous, non-anonymous. And I have to escape it. It’s an “evolved” form of narcissism: feeling superior rather than feeling special.

Narcissicm was well described in a post by Umair Hague about why America can’t learn from the world (be aware I take the sentence out of its original context, which is a bit of manipulating or content-mixing of course):

“Narcissism. The belief not just that one is special — for we all are unique, different, remarkable. The belief that one is superior, above, beyond. Better in fundamental ways. That is never true. Not a single one of us is better in any fundamental way. The genius is poor at loving. The lover is poor at creating. The creator is poor at managing. And so on. We all have flaws. But the greatest flaw of all is to be blind to the grace and beauty of the idea that we all have flaws — and so to believe there is nothing to be learned from anyone else. Trump is a narcissist, sure — but he is only a reflection of American narcissism in this way.”

The first job of a leader is to learn. Only then can a leader do their second and third jobs — care and love. Leadership is nothing more — and nothing less — than realizing human potential. You can do it as a parent, boss, friend, partner. You probably do. That is what care and love are in concrete human terms. The difference between them is that care brings a person towards their potential, and love expands that potential.”

art academy

Art Academy 12 year old kids playing with tissues – June 2017

Feeling special, feeling superior. Being part of the ego-tribe. Even worse is the word contempt: the feeling that a person or a thing is beneath consideration, worthless, or deserving scorn.

In that sense I am also a reflection, a feedback loop of society. It’s the only thing that is great about Trump: he makes you more aware of your own shadows of narcissism, contempt and bullying. The ways you definitely do not want to stay in life. Being aware of these shadows, and finding a way to accept them, to integrate them I your whole being, and focusing on that other – different, better – palette of songs to sing. Breaking out of that rigidity of defence and taking others’ spaces.

To quote André Platteel again:

“Then there is no rigidity anymore of values that we can hang on to. Then there is nothing to be defended anymore causing us to exploit our power in a false way. To make another smaller and feel more free ourselves. Then it is not needed anymore to hide and feel our more expanded selves. Or to blow yourself up to make yourself bigger than you are. But just be, who you are in this moment.”

Maybe that’s when being normal becomes exciting and a source for internal happiness and stillness? When identity is not a burden anymore?

Also surprised what thoughts a simple invite to be normal can provoke? Share your surprises and insights. Please.

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I am in the business of cultivating high quality connections and flows to create immersive learning experiences and structural change. Check out: https://petervanproductions.com/

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We use models and metaphors to make sense of our organisational structures, understand them, make predictions, apply change.

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Bee hive - via Bridging the Gap

Some well known models are:

  • Ants in colonies
  • Bees in hives
  • Apes in jungles
  • Humans in neural networks
  • Organisations as machines
  • Hierarchies, wierarchies, holocracies

Models are not reality. Models are an abstraction of reality. Same for metaphors. They help us tell and understand a narrative.

We are not apes, ants, or bees. We are humans. As Jonathan Haidt explains at length in his book “The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom”, I am struck by all the noise humans put on the system: “We are all hypocrites” and “We are the rider (the conscious/the ratio) ànd the elephant (the unconscious, feelings, instincts, genes). Most models assume the rider is in charge. The rider is not in charge.”

Structural change leads to structural behaviour change. Structural change needs high quality connections and flows.

“A high quality connection is one where information transfer is rapid, reliable, and noise free” says Tom LaForge.

But in real life, this information transfer is NOT noise free. Maybe in some nirvana love relation, but usually not at/for/within work.

Noise comes from the motivations of the elephant (the unconscious), some examples:

  • Reciprocity
  • Prestige
  • Self serving biases
  • Power
  • Hypocrisy
  • Arrogance and entitlement

In most re-orgs, people look at the motivations and incentives for the ratio, the rider. They ignore the elephant. They forget the rider is not in charge.

High quality connections need something else than speed, reliability of noise-freedom.

There should be some dimension/ambition/alignment of “Spiritual, moral and aesthetical advancement”.

In this category, we find standards and appreciation for:

  • Care
  • Tradition
  • Craftsmanship
  • Beauty
  • Proportion
  • Sacredness
  • Infinite games

See also my own post about Kevin Kelly’s qualities created at the transaction, which is more about qualities of resulting products and services than qualities of structure: https://petervan.wordpress.com/2017/04/19/sine-parole-19-apr-2017/

And then there is governance

hierarchies

Simple Google search on organisational hierarchy

The simplicity of the hierarchy works well on a slide or a hand-out. You can document it in a spreadsheet, or box-diagram and so on. But all these representations do is framing the conversation in an illusion of simplistic 2-dimensional structures. It’s the specialty of management consultants to think and present in two dimensions. It’s making it easy for executives to understand.

But if you are used to a 3-dimensional view of reality, you can’t understand why the flatlanders don’t see what you see. As long as you are primed in 2D you won’t see what the other dimension sees.

A better picture/metaphor for an organisational structure would be something like this.

escher

Relativity – 1953 Lithograph by M.C. Escher – 294mm x 282mm

Ricardo_Bofill_Taller_de_Arquitectura_Barcelona_Spain_The_Gardens_24-1440x968

Ricardo Bofill – La Fabrica – Old cement factory – Barcelona, Spain

It’s messy. At many moments you don’t know anymore where you stand. The perspective changes all the time. You get disoriented.

There is somewhere a general definition for Robots:

Robot = sensors + mind/computer/algorithm + body (hardware).

But humans are not just: senses + brains + body.

Computers are not like brains. Brains are not like computers. Our human models are different from machine models. Machine understanding is different from human understanding.

Humans are not just nodes on a network/grid that can be governed by coded social contracts, blockchains and AI. If you do that, humans are just cogs in another machine. Humans become cogs in a network.

The obvious case is of course Uber, which is an economy of extracting value vs. the so-called sharing economy. For Uber, all the drivers are already cogs in a network for the sole benefit of the monopoly.

Being cogs in networks is an insult for humans. But we are just getting started:

But does it still matter at all these days? We already are in a new world of “Alien knowledge, when machines justify knowledge”. Check out this fantastic long read by David Weinberger

Alien Knowledge

Via David Weinberger - Illustrations by Todd Proctor / YouWorkForThem

“The paradigmatic failures seem to be ones in which the machine justification has not escaped its human origins enough.”

Organisations are not models/buildings/boxes. They are like rivers with information flows. Building skeletons, where the structure of the building guides traffic and connections.

David Weinberger talks about models created by machines. Models that machines can understand and we don’t. It is very much as he concludes:

“It has taken a network of machines that we ourselves created to let us see that we are the aliens.”

If we don’t want to end up as cogs in networks, we need to aim for structural advancement at a spiritual, moral, and aesthetical dimension.

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I am in the business of cultivating high quality connections and flows to create immersive learning experiences and structural change. Check out: https://petervanproductions.com/

 

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The way we think about change, disruption, and transformation (or whatever you want to call it) is going to be completely different in 5 years time. The speed of change is so big that our thinking itself is getting disrupted. The underestimated and ignored exponential power in all of this is the “power of networks”. This post is a follow of the post “Fintech 2017 – Quo Vadis?”

I think we are in the middle of a network blitzkrieg, a big shift driven by network powers.

blitzkrieg

WW-II Blitzkrieg Stuka airplanes

But instead of the medium being the air and the devices the Stuka airplanes piloted by humans, the medium today is made of networks and the Stukas are replaced by hyper-connected computers driven my algorithms.

A lot of the reflection in this post are based on the following books and thinkers:

Kevin Kelly’s latest opus grande The Inevitable describes the 12 Inevitable Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future:

  • Becoming
  • Cognifyung
  • Flowing
  • Screening
  • Accessing
  • Sharing
  • Filtering
  • Remixing
  • Interacting
  • Tracking
  • Questioning
  • Beginning

In The Seventh Sense, Joshua Cooper Ramo talks about a “connected-age sensibility” to be able to read and understand networks:

The Seventh Sense, in short, is the ability to look at any object and see the way in which it is changed by connection

Even as this new age advances, most of our leaders still think in terms of disconnected dangers

We have to cultivate a new instinct, one intended to make us more human, in a sense, not only more technical

Think of how often, at moments of anguish or revolution, it is the fragile-looking bubbles of philosophy or art or science that endure.

And in Whiplash, Joi Ito explains how “Change doesn’t care if you’re ready”.

This is the power of pull over push—it leverages modern communications technologies and the decreased cost of innovation to move power from the core to the edges, enabling serendipitous discoveries and providing opportunities for innovators to mine their own passions.

All these insights are of course based on big theme of “we are interconnected”. In other words, new network rules of power apply in the “we are connected” era and our leaders are not prepared for it. That became even more apparent during the main WEF Davos session on the Global Economic Outlook. I watched it live after just having read the Seventh Sense.

wef

These leaders offer a lot of lip service to the “we are interconnected” meme, but keep on playing the old zero-sum finite games and wars. Witness Fink from Blackrock at min 11:46 when he almost joyful says:

“regulation inhibits new entrants and that is not a bad thing”

But networks come with their own dynamics. In his yearly situational awareness post, Jordan Greenhall goes deep on “Deep Code”, and “Deep State”, and describes very well what I have labeled here as “Network Blitzkrieg”:

“The Deep State developed in and for the 20th Century. You might say that they are experts at fighting Trench Warfare.

But this is the 21st Century and the Insurgency has innovated Blitzkrieg.”

Jordan is describing a blitzkrieg for Collective Intelligence, being fought on four fronts:

  • Front one: communications infrastructure
  • Front two: the deep state
  • Front three: globalism
  • Front four: the new culture war

The main point Jordan is making is that the Deep State is fragmented, and so far not efficient in responding adequately to the network blitzkrieg of the Trump cohort. A lot of the challenges of the Deep State seem to be related to the problem of not being able to shift to a network blitzkrieg mode, from tight synchronisation to loose synchronization.

Last year, Venkatesh Rao (aka Ribbonfarm) did a great tweet-storm-like-post on this topic of synchronisation. He calls our age the age of atemporality.

synch

Illustration by Venkatesh Rao

“In tight synchronization, you’re on the same clock as everybody else, fit yourself into the same templates, report up the same chain, and communicate via standard protocols.

Welcome to atemporality. So long as you thrive on loose coordination rather than tight synchronization, it’s a beautiful thing.”

In previous posts and essays, Ribbonfarm even had a series on “Blitzkrieg”, where he described four categories of Blitzkrieg attributes:

  • Einheit (trust)
  • Auftragstaktik (clear mutual agreements), missionary tactical contracts
  • Schwerpunkt (strategic intent)
  • Fingerspitzengefühl (finger-tip skill) is the foundation

In The Future of Tipping, http://www.ribbonfarm.com/2014/12/02/the-future-of-tipping/,(a post about authoritarian command-and-control models to control the customer’s relationship to the brand, and hence tipping), he the four describes blitzkrieg attributes in John Boyd’s philosophy of warfare applied to business:

CEO sets clear intent (Schwerpunkt); HR develops strong trust culture (Einheit); operations focuses on developing strong, instinctive skills culture through tacit learning (Fingerspitzengehful); everybody manages/is managed through a cascade of mutually negotiated “contracts” that devolve as much autonomy as possible to lower layers (Auftragstaktik); the business relies on loose and agile coordination rather than tight synchronization/command-and-control.

Ribbonfarm, Jordan Greenhall, and Simon Wardley all focus on situational awareness, strategy, tactics, operations and doctrine. It would be great to have them together one day in one of Petervan Productions’ events 😉

Add to all this the lack of trust and Bruce Scheier’s insight that we are moving from the Internet of things (with a build-in computer) to Internet of Computers (with things attached to it), and you get a pretty dystopian but probably very realistic picture of the future something that James Bridle coined “A new dark age”.

drone-james-bridle

Drone shadow by James Bridle

James Bridle is a British writer and artist living in Greece. His work explores the impact of technology on society, law, geography, politics, and culture. His Drone Shadow installations have appeared on city streets worldwide, he has mapped deportation centres with CGI, designed new kinds of citizenship based on online behaviour. and used neural networks and satellite images to predict election results. A New Dark Age is an exploration of what we can no longer know about the world, and what we can do about it.

It is a “great” talk about Turbulence, Big Data, AI, Fake News, and Peak Knowledge, and like many if the authors mentioned above, he is alluding to a new digital literacy and legibility. A literacy that acknowledges that in our digital state, everything can be copied, except…. Trust.

Kevin Kelly asks, What can not be copied?” and his answer is “Trust. Trust must be earned. It cannot be faked”. Our hope is in what Kelly beautifully described as “generative qualities”.

These are qualities that are “better than free”. Qualities generated at the time of the transaction aka it is all about the experience what people pay for. In Kelly’s view, there are 8 generative qualities:

  • Immediacy
    • Access to beta version for ex, or when released
  • Personalisation
    • A film without explicit language
  • Interpretation
    • A manual, explanation of free DNA
  • Authenticity
    • A signature on goodies
  • Accessibility
    • Ownership sucks
  • Embodiment
    • White cottony paper bound book, it feels so good
    • The value of a paid ephemeral embodiment of something you could download for free
  • Patronage
    • It must be easy to do
    • The amount must be reasonable
    • There is a clear benefit
    • Money will directly benefit the creator
  • Discoverability
    • A work has no value unless it is seen

palantir

Saruman uses a palantir in Lord of the Rings

So what would be the defences against such network blitzkrieg?

One strategy would be to try to defeat the enemy with the same weapons. But that assumes we are playing finite games, and I feel we only can win this battle by playing infinite games.

We should not be naïve, and drop all our common-sense defences against data-, privacy-, surveillance- and cybersecurity attacks with state of the art defense mechanisms and tools, but another strategy in defending our humanity in the long term may come from those infinite games.

Or maybe our defense in this move from enlightenment to entanglement is in dropping the separation of body and mind, feeling and ratio, form and content.

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“Fame and success” by Hilde Overbergh – 2016
Part of expo “REFRAME” in The White House Gallery

Art may be inspiring here. In a recent conversation between art curator Hans Theys and artist Hilde Overbergh in the context of the expo “REFRAMED”, Hans arguments that form and content are inseparable, and that his sole criteria for assessing art are:

  • Is it well made?
  • Does it touch me?

Very much like Kevin Kelly, this is about what cannot be measured, what cannot be represented in numbers, big data, and algorithms.

In a very recent post Kyle Eschenroeder (also on Ribbonfarm) said:

The confidence created by our palantír-ish technologies is a confidence in our measurements, not in ourselves. The more minutiae we measure, the less respect we have for taste or experience

Caring puts us in the posture of playing an infinite game rather than a finite one. This means favoring “improvisation over fixed rules, internal sensibilities over imposed morals, and playfulness over seriousness.”

So our defense against a Network Bliztkrieg may be in the subconscious, where we don’t care about the fakeness our realness of the news and our reality, but more about what makes us unique as human beings: the ability to play infinite games and truly care.

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Petervan Photoshop collage as part of study on Peter Doig
Theme: Culture and Nature – Dec 2016

 

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Pre-Study Peter Doig - Sketch Dec 2016

 

Happy New Year to you, your friends and your family! Hope you are doing well.

As you know, I left Innotribe/SWIFT in Nov 2016 for a long term sabbatical to create my own thing under the Petervan Productions umbrella. My ambition is to architect and create high quality feedback loops to enable immersive learning experiences and deep change.

A quick update:

  • Artschool continued till the holiday break, starting again next week. We try to get under the skin of artists, and then paint an image in their style. Currently looking into Peter Doig.
  • Nov/Dec 2016 was a period of getting to grips with some tools for my performance: music, image, video composition tools
  • The performance “Tin Drum Is Back” is targeted for end March
  • The retreat event for Sep
  • The content festival for Nov
  • A lot of reading and a lot of posts in the queue

 

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“Concrete Cabin” by Peter Doig - 1992

During Jan-March 2017, the plan is to work on:

  • Detailed scripting of the performance
  • Build and expand the collective of leaders, visionaries, artists, craftsmen, designers and producers

project-plan

Extract project plan performance per week.

I am very focused (yes, working on a 8+ hour daily schedule and a project plan). I am about one week late compared to initial plans. Being focused also means saying “no”. As you may have noticed, I have drastically dimmed my social media activities, and kindly reject any requests for consultancy, speaking engagements, etc.

I have 1-2 leads that want to work with me as their architect for immersive learning experience events. But I am not in active prospection mode.

Every request for collaboration is assessed against the objectives and priorities for 2017: the art, the performance, the retreat, the festival, and to see how far I can get with all that in one year’s time.

If there is something worth reporting, next update is for Feb 2017. Looking forward to hearing from your latest adventures as well.

Rebelliously yours,

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As many of you know, since begin November I am trying to create my own thing called “Petervan Productions”.

The scaffolding is already in the works for many years, and I am still hesitating whether I will once publish the 100+ page reflections on the intentions of all this, what I think this enables, and then working down the tactics such as outcomes and deliverables.

Besides the artwork and the research bit of my activities, I spent quite some time in re-thinking what “events” could be like. And thinking of my customers as “guest”, not consumers. What I am trying to offer is a one-stop-shop for unique immersive learning expeditions in emotionally and physically right spaces for humans.

So anything that gets me back to my architectural roots of “right” spaces for human beings makes me a bit poetic. In this case this very nice article in Aeon about the French architect Jean Nouvel, all about light, geometry and symbolism to re-imagine culture.

The core of the article is a very nice video. As usual, I made the transcript of the video, and added some poetic highlights and typographic reflections by myself. I have stopped adding comments and trying to explain. My guests are smart enough to make up their own minds. Explaining would be an insult.

jean-nouvel1

 

Each project is an adventure, a passion

The biggest temptation

Is to jump into it

There are solutions that come to you

There are images that spontaneously appear

My method is rather to hold back as long as possible

To really imagine it spatially

So, to be sure that I have something to say

These moments where you understand somebody cared about something

That’s when you feel

 like “oh yes,

this is a human thing,

not some robot that

put something together”

Simply living there is a cultural act

Combine big bold shapes with intricacy and delicacy

The ability to be bold and delicate at the same time

jean-nouvel2

The relation between time and light

The sphere above,

the cupola

As spiritual space

“Perhaps we have to keep dust”

jean-nouvel3

Create a space, no inside, no outside…

jean-nouvel4

“We have principles, and these principles we have to nurture.

We nurture them.

We deepen them.

And with them,

we invent…

something else”

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platform

Four weeks ago, I shared with you a high level preview of the Innotribe Sibos 2016 programme.

As promised, I have revealed more details for each day in some subsequent blog posts leading up to Sibos week 26-29 Sep 2016 . Today – 15 days before D-day – this post is the last in that series, and I will be looking into day-4.

We are now in the phase where all the artwork, design, session facilitation props, staging, lightning and special effects are coming together. We are now in nonstop back-to-back joint speaker calls to make sure our session cast, our speakers, our instigators, our producers, designers, and facilitators are full aligned. Some of the material we are producing for the big LED screen is of a beauty we have rarely seen in other event environments.

Yes, we try very hard to beat last year’s edition 😉

The structure of the week program is fairly straightforward:

  • We start every day with an opening of the day
  • We close every day with a closing of the day
  • Over lunch time, we have spotlight sessions by several FinTech hubs: one day for Switzerland, one for EMEA, one for the AMERICA, one of APAC.

For the opening session of day-4, the Innotribe team will welcome you, and will zoom in into our Innotribe Industry Challenge on Compliance/KYC.

Our day anchor will then walk you through the plan of the day. Given that our day-4 is about the platform cooperation, our day anchor is Leda Glyptis, Director, Sapient Global Markets. She will stir the pot where needed during the day and she will come back at the end to wrap up the learnings of the day.

In between opening and closing, we have several Innotribe sessions. We don’t do anything during the plenary big issue debate so you have the time to enjoy that session as well.

The main theme of Innotribe day-4 is “Platform Cooperation”. In addition of the Opening and Closing sessions, we have four sessions:

  • Forward compatibility
  • FinTech Hubs session – APAC
  • DLT and cybersecurity: Sibos week wrap-up
  • Innotribe closing keynote: Platform Cooperation

This is a consolidation day – where it all comes together – and we will use a lot of metaphors and medieval painting examples to contextualise these rich topics, and to guide you through the disruptive complexity of our times

breughel

Pieter Breughel the Elder - The Blind Lead The Blind

Forward compatibility

I wrote a blog post about “forward compatibility” in March 2016, about how to avoid simplistic conversations on disruption.

That post was inspired by two conversations.

  • One conversation was in January 2016, with Angus Scott from Euroclear, and his key insight was that no disruption will happen without fundamental re-invention of the end-to-end business processes, and that requires what I now call “forward compatibility”, looking into big large scale experiments with real customers, real regulators, and real ecosystem stakeholders, aka not just in a Lab. Angus also injected the concept of broad macro-forces that drive change.
  • The other conversation was in March 2016 with Valerio Roncone and Tomas Kindler from SIX. They explained me how they were looking far ahead. Asking questions such a “what happens after T2S?”, or “what happens if DLT would fulfil its promise, and disinter-mediate existing players in the industry?”. How does the new landscape look like? Can we create “situational awareness” that can inform our strategy? They called this “impact oriented thinking” and “innovation through evolution”

The seeds were planted, and that was the embryo for this session.

red-line

 

I started playing around with this, and came up with the concept of “above and below the red-line”:

  • Below the red-line is what needs be be solved as a collective, as a community, as a platform. It’s stuff that no single company can really solve on it’s own. It’s things like DLT, Cybersecurity, Digital identity, etc
  • Above the red-line is where you partner with others, FinTech startups, established vendors, etc through JV’s, Partnerships, API’s, etc. It’s where you “complement” the platform under the red line

Throughout the week, we will have done some exercises, where we internalise the content from the speakers by mapping them above and below the red line, and see how they are relevant for banking, securities, and compliance.

This session is NOT a technical session for geeks. This session is a session for business strategists that are interested having a conversation on how we can move the collective forward from here to “there”, wherever and however the “there”emerges.

 

We have a BIG cast for this session, complemented by instigators, DLT/Cyber anchors and rapporteurs. This is the only session where I will be on stage as your moderator. The speakers and instigators for this session:

  • Angus Scott, Euroclear
  • Valerio Roncone, SIX
  • Tomas Kindler, SIX
  • Patrick Havander, Nordea
  • Paul McKeown, Nasdaq Financial Framework
  • Saket Sharma, BNY Mellon
  • Brian Behlendorf, Hyperledger Linux Foundation

 

FinTech Hubs session – APAC – over lunch time

Building upon the success of last year’s session “Why banks need FinTech hubs?”, we wanted to go create more air-time for FinTech Hubs from different regions of the world.

We’ll have 6 speakers in one hour. That’s 10 minutes each to share their ambitions and plans. With our designers we are looking how we can make this an engaging experience and avoid having a series of 6 commercials. Like for all FinTech Hub sessions this session is full house.

The “6 from APAC” are (in order of appearance):

  • James Lloyd, Asia-Pacific FinTech Leader, E&Y
  • Markus Gnirck, Tryb
  • Sopnendu Mohanty, MAS
  • Zennon Kapron, FinTech China
  • Janos Barberis, FinTech HK
  • Asad Naqvi, Apis Partners

Almost all of the hubs presenting at Innotribe Sibos during these hub sessions are now part of the Global FinTech Hub Federation (GFHF) announced three weeks ago. See press-release here.

TheGFHF-Branding-Logo-Non-HD

The GFHF will premier their latest FinTech Hub Index (A benchmark of 20+ FinTech Hubs) at Innotribe Sibos 2016. I have seen the design and infographics for this Index, and they just look awesome. We will use some of them as backdrop for this session.

Sandwiches and soft drinks will be served in the Innotribe space.

DLT and cybersecurity: Sibos week wrap-up

johan_zoffany_-_tribuna_of_the_uffizi_-_google_art_project

The Tribuna of the Uffizi, by Johan Zoffany, 1772-8
A collection of paintings
Royal Collection, Windsor

As you for sure have noticed, we don’t have any DLT/Blockchain sessions in this year’s Innotribe Sibos programme. We did this on purpose for two reasons:

  • There are already a lot of DLT/Blockchain sessions in the main conference sessions of Sibos
  • We sense a certain fatigue on the topic

We set ourselves the challenge to create ONE session where you get an overview, a collection of insights from ALL the sessions related to DLT during the whole of Sibos.

So if you don’t have time to go to all of them, or you prefer to stay in the Innotribe space for the week, we’ll make sure you get the key learnings in this single wrap-up session.

And as we were at it, why not do the same with Cybersecurity? OK, let’s do that too.

agenda-4-days

General overview of the Innotribe Sibos 2016 programme

In the general overview of Innotribe sessions above, you will see some sessions marked with the “B” sign (Blockchain) and some others marked with the “lock” sign (Cybersecurity). It means these sessions have some DLT/Cyber flavour to them.

To create a coherent summary during this Thursday wrap-up, we have appointed “Transversal DLT/Cyber anchors”. They stay in the Innotribe space for the whole week, and will report back their findings:

  • Our DLT transversal anchor is Andrew Davis, advisor from Sydney
  • Our Cyber transversal anchor is Bart Preneel, University of Leuven

To cover DLT and Cyber from the other non-Innotribe sessions (aka the main Sibos sessions, Swift Lab, workshops etc, we are sending out our “rapporteurs”. Our Rapporteurs are:

  • Our DLT rapporteur is Oliver Bussmann, ex-CIO UBS
  • Our Cyber rapporteur is Assaf Egozi, CEO Kidronim, Israel

Our DLT/Cyber anchors and rapporteurs will have a special lanyards so you can recognise them easily.

 

Innotribe closing keynote: Platform Cooperation

After a short wrap up of the Innotribe week presenting the key findings of our programme, our closing keynote speaker Dr. Douglas Rushkoff will provoke and challenge all your assumptions.

Douglas

Rushkoff is a renown lecturer on media, technology, culture and economics around the world. His new book “Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus: How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity” (Amazon Affiliates link) argues that we have failed to build the distributed economy that digital networks are capable of fostering, and instead doubled down on the industrial age mandate of growth above all.

rushkoff-book-cover

“Every great advance begins when someone sees that what everyone else takes for granted may not actually be true. Douglas Rushkoff questions the deepest assumptions of the modern economy, and blazes a path towards a more human centred world.”–Tim O’Reilly, founder of O’Reilly Media about Rushkoff’s latest book.

Marketplaces in medieval times were far more human centred, fairer environments that the so called P2P sharing economy of Uber and AirBnB, which all have little to with sharing but much more with an extraction value economy where only a few (monopolies) take it all.

breugel-mideval-markets

A Medieval marketplace scene from Pieter Breughel the Elder.

 

After his talk, Doug will stay on our stand and take some time to do some book signings. He’ll have a couple of free books with him.

Rushkoff is one of those rare thinkers and speakers that challenge all your assumptions. We did something similar last year with Andrew Keen with his talk “The Internet is NOT the answer”. Many of you loved his energy as the Anti-Christ of Silicon Valley.

Think of Rushkoff as Andrew Keen on steroids. Not to be missed if you like to be inspired, if you like to be provoked.

 

teamhuman_redlogoname

Since publishing Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus, Rushkoff has answered more than 20,000 emails from his readers, one by one, individually. People, companies, mayors, cooperatives, towns and big corporations, all looking for ways to distribute prosperity more widely, start local currencies, build platform cooperatives, convert to employee ownership, offer dividends instead of capital gains, or crowdfund a bookstore.

Rushkoff realised it was not about him but about you and last week he launched Team Human, a weekly postcast on radio. “An intervention by people, on behalf of people”. All in delightful audio – perhaps the most intimate, enveloping medium yet developed.

Douglas Rushkoff looks deep into the question of reprogramming society to better serve humans. Rushkoff grapples with complex issues of agency, social justice, and all those quirky non-binary corners of life.

We are also  bit quirky, non-binary. That’s why we designed the Innotribe stand with a very industrial look on the outside but as a very human and welcoming space on the inside. We believe on the synergising effect of emotional and physical space.

  • That’s why the overarching theme of this year’s Innotribe Sibos is about the tension between technology and humanism in this fast changing and disruptive environment.
  • That’s why we use a lot of art, as art can help making sense beyond the tactics and the cognitive.
  • That’s why we have throughout our four days the concept of “above and below the red line”, as below the red line is what we need to solve as a collective, as a community, as an ecosystem.

It’s going back to the original intention of the not-for-profit cooperative structure, but mixed with some healthy activism. Ruskhoff calls this “Platform Cooperativism”

Hope the architecture of our Innotribe Sibos 2016 programme all starts making sense now?

img_5481-1-1

I will leave you with this painting/collage by Yasumasa Morimura “Blinded by the Light” from 1991. It’s a picture from a reproduction, discovered in the lobby of Le Meridien Hotel in Minneapolis, Minnesota, US, during my presence at the SparkCamp conference in 2015.

It is a modern interpretation of Breughel’s “The Blind lead the Blind” from 1568. See start of this post.

The landscape of both paintings is from a really nice area west of Brussels – an area named “Pajottenland” – and the chapel in the back of the paintings exists in a little village called “Sint-Anna-Pede“.

sint-anna-pede

It happens to be the place where I grew up the first 20 years of my life. I was living literately 200 metres from this chapel. So the Innotribe journey sort of brought be back to my roots. More about that after Sibos.

General

All sessions are designed to maximise the immersive learning experiences of our guests. We use professional facilitators and designers to enable great group interactions. And we have an amazing audio/visual kit and production team to make the content come alive.

The pepper and salt comes from our “instigators” who have a designed role to provoke the critical discussion.

Resources:

Follow us on Twitter: for the latest announcements: @Innotribe, #Innotribe,@Sibos, #Sibos

We are looking forward to meeting you all again at this year’s Innotribe Sibos 2016 from 26-29 Sep 2016 in PalExpo, Geneva.

Deeply grateful,

Your architect and content curator for Innotribe@Sibos, @petervan

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