Friday, October 14, 2011

the work progresses...






I have now been at the Bellagio Center for 11 days. It has gone very quickly. I continue to be thrilled and intimidated by the fact that each morning presents a theoretical blank canvas that I can fill at my own rate and pace.

The other residents here are amazing - some of the smartest and most interesting people I have ever met. About half are professors from various universities in the US, Australia and Mexico. Their expertise includes public health, international law, world arts & culture, political science and musicology. A poet from Oregon, a political writer from New York City, a novelist from Athens, an artist from Vietnam. The director of Healthabitat an organization providing housing to aboriginal peoples in many places around the world and a member of the board of Transparency International.

It is with regret that you miss a meal - the conversations range widely and are always extremely interesting. We are treated like royalty - breakfast from 8-9, lunch at 1, tea and a sweet at 4, cocktails at 7, dinner at 7:30 then retiring to the Music Room for after dinner drinks and discussion.

I am developing workshop materials for my *metacognition and reinvention* concepts - hoping to make them portable and more broadly accessible. Hard work but very exciting to have the opportunity to focus solely on this work. More updates later...from beside the lake.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Working in the villa






Our room in the Villa Serbelloni overlooks the small village of Bellagio where a miniature economy rolls along. The waterfront is a busy place. Various ferries criss-cross Lago di Como - from here - to Lenno, Varenna, Mennagio, carrying passengers and cars and freight. The street level spaces call out to the meandering tourists, buy a silk scarf here, taste local wine there. And of course, many restaurants offering everything from wild boar to rabbit to fish caught steps from where you are sitting. All typical of any resort town.

I feel a kinship with the day to day activities that rumble along in the streets below. I am here to do work as well, albeit in a different mode but still - work. My focus is on a somewhat more distant objective while these folks make sure the cars are all safely on board or that the guest has selected the appropriate bottle of Valpolichella.

The challenge: how to influence and inform the children of Bellagio and their children's children to the way they will live and work in a new global paradigm. Describing how what lies ahead will appear as magic to the ferrymen and waitresses and shopkeepers living and working blissfully unaware on these ancient streets here in the early 20th century.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Bellagio: month on the lake - Saturday



I am enjoying the delicious irony of reading on my Kindle the letters of a former local - Pliny the Younger - written around 100 A.D. It is said that he had a villa near here - one of many. How surprised he would be to see his work live on almost 2,000 years later delivered through the air to a device that would seem like some magical tablet to his eyes. And yet today’s teenagers might deride it for only being gray-scale and not color.


Would that I could create something that would have such an impact or provide value or even passing interest so long after I have passed and left this mortal coil.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Day One in Bellagio - Wed. Oct 5 2011



First of all I have to say that I can not believe that I am actually at the Bellagio Center. It is an extraordinary place and I am so honored to be here.


To have a chance to contemplate my life and capture the various paths I have taken is a once in a lifetime opportunity - and the fact that the Rockefeller Foundation thinks this is valuable is just fantastic - what an endorsement.

I feel deeply indebted to them and am eager to create actionable materials designed specifically to help today’s learners be successful in the global borderless workplace.

I have already have fascinating conversations with many of the residents. A gentlemen who is the global CIO of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent,
mapping approaches for cooperation among NGOs around the use of technology. A woman writer from Greece. A university professor of Public Health from Sun Yat-sen University assessing health issues facing migrant Chinese workers. Another woman author from New York reflecting on her life and family. And a musicologist/bass player from Houston working on the modes in Italian Baroque music.

What a delight to be around all this brain power and creativity. Very Bennington-esque in a way. Diverse population, all smart people, passionate about whatever topic they are pursuing.

I have started to map out guidelines and content for a workshop to support my metacognition and reinvention concepts. What lies ahead for my month on the lake? Creating and exploring and learning with a group of very special people.

ve to say that I can not believe that I am actually at the Bellagio Center. It is an extraordinary place and I am so honored to be here.

To have a chance to contemplate my life and capture the various paths I have taken is a once n a lifetime opportunity - and that fact that the Rockefeller Foundation thinks this is valuable is just fantastic - what an endorsement. I feel deeply indebted to them and am eager to create very actionable deliverables as a result on this month long residency. taht will help today’s learners be successful in the global borderless workplace.

I have already have fascinating conversations with many of the residents. A gentlemen who is the CEO of the International Red Crescent mapping approaches for cooperation among NGOs around the use of technology. A woman writer from Greece. A university professor from Changdou University assessing and evaluating health issues facing migrant Chinese workers. Another woman author from New York reflecting on her life and family. And a musicologist/bass player from Houston working on the modes in Italian Baroque music.

What a treat to me around all this brain power and creativity. Very Bennington-esque in a way. Diverse population, all smart people, passionate about whatever topic they are pursuing.

I lam really excited about creating and exploring and learning from these people over the next month here on the lake.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

digital citizens and cell phone democracy


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Mr. President, we are ready for your web cast.
The digital die has been cast and the trending is clear. The sea change rocking the Middle East provides a glimpse into the dramatically different mode for global government that awaits in the decades ahead. There is no turning back. The marriage of social media and mobile tools to modern democracy has been consummated. Now we must encourage and nurture it. The binary genie is completely out of the bottle and it won’t be going back in.
Back in 2008, Obama began coding the template and shifting forward the paradigm for 21st century citizen/government interaction. He and his audacious young team of fearless tech whizzes birthed this new model. Using blogs, Twitter, email, Facebook, Google apps, the Web - they hacked apart the aging archetype of how politicians interact with constituents and left the competition looking dull and dated. I still love getting emails with embedded videos from President Obama.
In June of 2009, Mr. Obama greeted Muslim students at an ancient university in Cairo in Arabic. This speech was delivered to a first-world educated population, 50% of whom are under the age of thirty. It resonated across the Middle East. Young people who embrace the tools and technologies the President used to get elected are now using them to voice their own vision of hope.
Social media is certainly playing a key role in toppling these long-standing regimes, but the tool set is far broader. In the past several weeks, we have seen cell phones used to capture and share video with a level of immediacy never before achievable. Tweets breaking the latest news. Google Earth used to develop location-based strategies. Tap a few keys, create a Facebook page and within hours a crowd has assembled to dissent - an activity which is then exposed to the world. The finger has indeed become mightier than the sword.
We find ourselves witnessing an accelerating paradigm shift: socio-cultural changes being implemented in a whole new way. We can watch and weigh in - support or condemn - activities occurring on the other side of the world. We are all now digital participants.
These newly-minted and emergent governments will have to find ways to incorporate the power of these new technologies into their day-to-day operations once the proverbial dust settles. Just as today’s digital natives are using these new tools and capabilities to interact with each other, they will more and more expect to use them in their interaction with elected officials.
What are the implications for modern government? Innovation. Accelerated interaction. Improved efficiency. Imagine if a bill was posted to the Web, people were given 48 hours to review and then share feedback with their elected officials. These politicians in turn conduct on-line fora using 3D TV or Webcasts for discussion, interaction and collaboration. Then voting was conducted via Web tools or smartphone.
These are historic times. Everyday people empowered by social media and emergent technologies are driving real change in the world. I look forward to participating in the disruptive innovations these approaches will create as they are assimilated into global citizen/government interaction.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

perfect storm



It feels very much like a *perfect storm* is brewing - social media driving social change.

Gen X/Y and millennials are leading the widening use of the social Web and it’s technology toolkit. In the early days, much like views of the Web, and the telephone before that, people were not sure if there was any real, tangible value to this new technology. The initial goal of Facebook (if you believe the screenplay for *The Social Network*) was to help nerdy boys meet cute girls. Early blog postings and tweets were pretty non-sensical and low impact. “Bobby and I ate nachos on the couch last night while we watched TV.”

But people quickly learned that these tools could be used in other ways: to find old acquaintances, make new friends based on shared interests or create communities using this relationship-building digital connective tissue.

LinkedIn evolved to include groups allowing strangers with expertise to initiate a digital dialogue and encourage others to join in. Topics are wide ranging with social or job related issues being discussed. Some very pragmatic groups exist, and others are quite philosophical. Discussions began to emerge about the challenges facing our planet: climate change, ecological issues, need for sustainable energy, lack of clean water, implications of affordable housing,

So the foundation was well established by the time the well-educated and extremely frustrated Egyptian middle-class and young professionals realized that Facebook and Twitter could help them foment revolution, even - in this case - topple a dictator who had lorded over their country for more than four decades.

Finally, citizens being suppressed by tyrannical regimes are able to access free, global technology-based communication tools, allowing them to virtually connect and collaborate to drive the values of an open society.

With the press of a finger, messages and images can now be shared around the world. Instant conversations can be conducted. Expertise can easily be distributed across borders. People with similar passions weighing in, sharing perspectives, exciting and motivating each other. .

A dictatorial regime overthrown in Egypt - supported by Facebook. Students posting cell phone videos of protesters in Iran. Kiva providing Web-based crowdsourced microloans to help budding entrepreneurs in emerging markets. Konbit using text messages to connect local resources with local needs in Haiti.

Hats off to all the energetic, passionate social media aficionados out there and to the next generation coming of age. I am so very excited to see the innovative and creative ways people will use these newly unleashed capabilities to drive the further flattening of the planet.

The perfect storm has arrived: Social media is now firmly accelerating awareness and participation across the evolving, borderless global community.