Purpose [...]

Simon Sinek discusses the difference between rationalising a decision and finding real purpose: > Providing jobs, driving the economy, serving the shareholder are not purposes. They are rationalizations used when a greater cause or purpose is not clear or not there.  Real purpose has a clear and definitive direction. It is a path that points towards a very specific ...

 

Innovation and Dynamic Systems [...]

As part of the investigation of systems, Julian Stodd provides a definition for innovation: > Innovation is an emergent feature of a dynamic system, not a process within a system, or a target set upon it. Innovation may be nurtured, but is equally often provoked, and here’s the funny thing: innovation itself is rarely enough, unless accompanied by the ability to ex...

 

Diversity and Resistence [...]

Providing two separate case studies, Kisha Tracy and Katharine Covino explain why diversity is so important now and offers us an opportunity to resist: > Embracing diversity, in all its forms, promotes critical thinking and empathy ... In such a place and time, forefronting diversity takes on an overtly political mien, becomes an overtly political act. Promoting dive...

 

Algorithms and Human Systems [...]

Writing about Facebook, Franklin Foer explores the concept of algorithms to highlight a more human element: > An algorithm is a system, like plumbing or a military chain of command. It takes knowhow, calculation and creativity to make a system work properly. But some systems, like some armies, are much more reliable than others. A system is a human artefact, not a m...

 

Intimate Spaces [...]

Sometimes the strength of ideas and collaboration comes via the creation of appropriate spaces. Isaac Kohane discusses the importance of *intimate spaces* where people are about to come together. > Isacc Kohane says. “Even in the era of big science, when researchers spend so much time on the Internet, it’s still so important to create intimate spaces.”A new gen...

 

Authentic Dissent [...]

In a discussion of collaboration and group work, Jonah Lehrer highlights the power of disruption in pushing our thinking further. An example of this is the notion of *authentic dissent* where ideas are generated to purposely disrupt the thinking. > In a way, the power of dissent is the power of surprise. After hearing someone shout out an errant answer, we work to un...

 

Diversity and Perspective [...]

Reflecting on a life within the technology industry, Ellen Ullman shares why diversity is so important: > We need to involve women and minorities and people who come from all social classes because they bring in new sets of values. The newcomers deepen the conversation. They carry in fresh sources of creativity. They enrich our understanding of the relationships betw...

 

Power of Stories [...]

Discussing the *social age*, Julian Stodd uppacks the power of stories. For him, the question often relates to whom owns the story and how it flows. > Stories are the mechanism of transmission of cultural and tacit knowledge: they are units of information, heavily contextualised, highly magnetic, almost frictionless, and can be very, very, long lived. If i tell a sto...

 

Silicon Valley Seasteads [...]

American libertarian activist Patri Friedman thinks that the future of the city-state are 'seasteads': > Patri is taking the Silicon Valley mindset and applying it to the nation-state. There are all these things you could now do that didn’t exist when our current system of government was invented, he told me. Constant online direct-democracy voting, building smart-c...

 

The Myth of the Nation-State [...]

In his reflections on the city-state, Jamie Barlett explains that: > nation-states are nothing but agreed-upon myths: we give up certain freedoms in order to secure others. But if that transaction no longer works, and we stop agreeing on the myth, it ceases to have power over us. This is similar to the ideas of Benedict Anderson and the notion of . It is also intere...