Posts Tagged ‘megatrends’

I’ll wrap up 2011 by handing over the word to one of the visionaries of our time, Umair Haque. Here’s a series of tweets from @umairh for us all to reflect on going into 2012. I for one am optimistic (crikey, I might even be upbeat) about creating a better and meaningful world without the meaningless industrial age growth of the past 30-40 years. If you haven’t already picked it up, grab Umair’s recent book Betterness. It’ll make you angry – but the good way.

I wish you all a happy and meaningful New Year :)

Some would call my interest in the open data movement an obsession – and I guess they’re probably right. I’m convinced that once we open up all proprietary and closed data we’ll be unleashing one of the biggest, unresolved potentials in the world today.

My inspirations are Tim Berners-Lee (inventor of the world wide web and linked data protagonist), Tim O’Reilly (open data and open source visionary), Hans Rosling (professor of global health and data visualization guru) and I admire the efforts of the likes of Streetfilms, who brilliantly document open data success stories in urban environments.

Here’s my current favourite video selection. Let me know if I need to add other shots to my Delicious.

Tim Berners-Lee on the next web

Tim O’Reilly’s speech at Gov 2.0 Expo 2010 – Government as a platform

Tim Berners-Lee: The year open data went worldwide

My favourite Hans Rosling TED talk

Streetfilms’ Open data in transit

In this past week I was fortunate enough to play a key role in the launch of DSB Labs – an open data community by the Danish Railways. For a while I have been following and been mesmerized by the open data movement, right across initiatives such as Tim Berners-Lee’s (TBL) Linked Data, Tim O’Reilly’s (TOR) Gov 2.0 and Barack Obama’s data.gov. I like TBL’s analogy of data being the unhidden goldmine no one can see on the surface, but whose potential is profound – and I totally agreed with TOR’s mantra to redefine government’s role to that of “government as a platform” as opposed to a vending machine of ready-made citizen services.

When you look at data in that light, all of a sudden the release of locked and proprietary data becomes one of the biggest untapped potentials in the world today. A cause worth fighting for. With DSB Labs we’re obviously focusing on the daily needs of commuters and travellers, but if we move beyond travel, open data has already proven to be an excellent crowdsourcing aggregator. During last year’s Haiti earthquake open data helped the relief efforts in a very real way, when GeoEye allowed the open source community to use its satellite data to allow people all over the world to edit the Open Street Map and thereby greatly facilitate efforts on the ground. Impressive – and that’s just the beginning.

My vision is to see all non-confidential data – commercial and public alike – released worldwide to allow all creatives, developers, nerds, visionaries, well, frankly, all citizens to offer their angle on data, because – in the words of Jacob Bøtter (see video below) – the data owners don’t have all the answers.

I had the pleasure of interviewing and filming some of Denmark’s open data protagonists last week and ended up producing this video for DSB Labs. A subtitled version will follow.

Thanks to the following visionaries for making DSB Labs possible and/or for making themselves available for the video: Henrik Jessen, Ronni Egeriis Persson, Kim Jonasen, Kristian Stangerup, Nursel Yildirim, Anne Mette Koch, Rasmus Viemose, Simon Bønløkke, Jacob Bøtter, Søren Rindal Nielsen, Tore Vesterby, Klaus Silberbauer

I came across this fantastically inspiring speech, How Great Leaders Inspire Action, delivered by Simon Sinek at TED last year. It blows my mind that something so obvious (Sinek’s golden circles) is so hard to accomplish. Major credits to Simon for decoding the principles by which all great leaders communicate, whether they’re business people, politicians, activists or companies.

Sinek uses Apple, the Wright brothers and Martin Luther King as examples, but he could just as well have used Jamie Oliver, who is a true inspiration to follow, watch and listen to. He gave his TED speech (below) in February after receiving the TED prize. Jamie’s *why* is that he is “transforming the way we feed ourselves, and our children”. He uses words like “I want to revolutionize”, he is authentic and he is passionate. I suppose (no, I know, because my better half, Kerry, is a passionate food blogger on foodytwoshoes.com) there are thousands of other famous chefs out there, many probably more skilled than Jamie, but no one has defined their mission as clearly, inspiringly and with such integrity as The Naked Chef.

His is a cause worth fighting for. It evokes strong emotions in people. In fact how often do speakers at TED receive standing ovations?

Who else has a *why* worth fighting for?

Now that everything is electronic and all apps and services are internet-based (Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox, Flickr, YouTube, Google Docs and what not) I feel more certain than ever that I won’t lose my “stuff”. I guess most of my e-stuff from the 90s is gone by now. I probably had some of it on some 3.5″ back-up disks or old computers, but now – it’s gone. Disappeared. Disparu.

It got me thinking the other day when I was looking for an old Facebook wall chat- it wasn’t old old, just a couple of months – and I realized it was almost impossible to find. Whose wall was it on? Was it mine? Who was in it? Anyway, it took me well over half an hour to locate it scrolling through 40-50 pages (the one shown here is another one I decided to keep). It was really good, it made me laugh all over again and I decided I wanted to keep it. But then I found that the only way to really keep it, was to screen-shoot it and save it in my Dropbox. Now, how old-fashioned is that? And what if, in 5 years time, I want to find something from today… I would take me weeks to find it.

It begs the question: How far back do Facebook, MySpace, Twitter et al keep their records?

It also begs the plea: Can someone please launch the service “My Social Stuff”! What I want is something like this: When I read a wall chat I want a little icon next to it that I can hit and it’ll save that chat to my social stuff. The same thing with pictures, tweets, links – basically everything from social cyberspace that I want to keep.

In My Social Stuff I want a powerful Google type search engine, so I can find everything. Folksonomy so I (and my friends) can tag a chat “wedding speech” or “joke” for later reference.

Above all I want a virtual time capsule where I can keep and safeguard all my social stuff for many many years.

Time to celebrate. Tonight’s not only the eve of the first millennium decade, it’s also the night where the last of Generation Z will be born.

Generation Z covers babies born between 1995 and 2009 and so tomorrow will belong to another, yet to be defined, generation. Generations are like decades. They’re extremely hard to define while you’re in the middle of them. Sometimes it even takes an additional decade to recognize unique trends and characteristics – usually when people make the first moves towards distancing themselves from the fashions of a decade. The eighties, for instance, were highly scorned throughout the nineties; people had bad taste parties and referred to the ghastly eighties.

Australia is a country having put a lot of effort into researching and trying to define Generation Z and the general consensus from down under is that they’re demanding and opinionated – they’re like Generation Y on steroids. As a father of 3 Generation Z girls I would tend to agree :-)

What I want to know from you is this: What do you think defines Generation Z? What are their strengths? Where will they be challenged? How do they consume? How do they communicate? How will they work? What do they expect from life?

I plan series of blog posts on Generation Z in the coming year. I invite you to join in!