I’m long overdue updating the bio that sits in my right sidebar. Here is the update. If there’s anything else about me you want to know, just ask.
I believe human civilization is in its last century. While we have a responsibility to do the best we can to make the world a better place while we’re here, and to help our descendants cope with the mess we are leaving them, it is really too late for the world to be ‘saved’.
I continue to hope that governments and corporations can be persuaded to behave in a more altruistic and enlightened manner — e.g. working towards Sustainability in a Generation. But whether they can or not, I think the more important political, social and economic activities of the next half-century will be grassroots, bottom-up actions: The creation of sustainable intentional communities, sustainable natural enterprises, and peer-to-peer collaborative information and education networks about how to live sustainably. We will in effect be creating new, self-managed political, social and economic systems to replace the completely dysfunctional hierarchical systems that we currently live under. This is consistent with Bucky Fuller’s advice: “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
I believe in creating these new bottom-up political, social and economic systems despite the fact that I think it is too late to save the world from the old ones. At best, what we will accomplish is to have created some ‘working models’ that will be useful by post-civilization society. That’s not much, but it’s better than doing what we’re doing now, or doing nothing at all.
This weblog is a journal of my search to find better ways to live, and make a living, and a better understanding of how the world really works. It has six converging, overlapping categories of essays, articles, synopses and stories:
My genius — what I do uniquely well, and love doing — is imagining possibilities. If you have a set of intractable business and/or social problems, I can draw on 30+ years of business experience, an extraordinary breadth of knowledge, an extremely creative yet pragmatic mind, exceptional research and collaborative skill, and a knack for taking an idea or solution from one discipline and seeing how it could apply in an entirely different one, and come up with ideas, solutions and approaches that will address these problems, better than anyone else can do this. And then I can provide you with processes and tools and coaching that will show you and your co-workers how to make this continuous innovation process “part of the way we do things around here”.
My experience and understanding of complexity science and systems thinking have also taught me what (including most ‘conventional wisdom’) doesn’t work, and why, so I can help you avoid the mistakes all your competitors have made and are still making. I’m up on the latest business techniques and knowledge, from customer anthropology to tapping the ‘Wisdom of Crowds’.
I’m an expert on: Knowledge management (e.g. personal productivity improvement, just-in-time knowledge canvassing, knowledge harvesting, personal content management, the cost of not knowing, adding meaning to information), business innovation, all aspects of entrepreneurship (e.g. researching unmet needs, the innovation process, finding partners and allies, organic financing, viral marketing, building networks, strategic improvisation), social networking, information architecture, the virtual workplace, complexity management, cultural anthropology, business valuation, business sustainability, collaboration strategies, the future of business, the new economy, capturing employee and customer intelligence, differentiation strategies, and personal effectiveness coaching. I’ve written, lectured and presented at conferences on most of these subjects. You can find many of my writings on these subjects in the business category of this blog.
E-mail me for more information on my competencies, experience and credentials.
ABOUT ME: MY OBITUARY
[In the movie Serendipity , Jeremy Piven plays an obituary writer for the New York Times, who is charged with having to say something about friend John Cusack on the occasion of his wedding. Inevitably, Piven’s character frames the bio as an obit, making the point that there is probably no better format to tell about one’s life in a few words. So herewith, my obituary, self-constructed. No morbidness intended.]
Dave was born in 1951 in Leicester, England and grew up in Winnipeg, Canada, a shy, slow learner who suddenly developed some social graces and language skills at the age of 17, and in the process evolved from an incoherent and withdrawn C student to a scholar with an overblown ego. He was then, and remained throughout his life, defined by words that start with the letter “I”: immature, insensitive, inarticulate, and idealistic.
His immaturity caused him to be socially awkward, impatient, unfocused, inattentive and sometimes too intense, but also made him irreverent, open to new ideas, and imaginative. His insensitivity made him a poor listener, left him with an unreliable memory, and caused him to misunderstand most of what others said to him, thought about him, and wanted from him, to his lifelong impoverishment. His inarticulateness prevented him, usually, from gaining the recognition and achieving the results he would otherwise have attained. His idealism made him impractical and ultimately unhappy, but also gave him vision, ambition and courage. He believed that civilization culture damaged, alienated and psychologically imprisoned everyone.
He was interested in and modestly knowledgeable about a vast array of subjects, and that breadth combined with an unusual self-taught creativity enabled him to see how ideas, information and innovations in one discipline could be applied in interesting and sometimes exciting ways in a completely different discipline, a skill that was intermittently valued in both social and business circles. He did a reasonably competent if somewhat disengaged job at providing for his family and surfacing some useful and innovative ideas in his career as Director of Entrepreneurial Services and Chief Knowledge Officer for a big professional services company. His collected stories, poetry, essays and other written works can be found in his on-line journal How to Save the World and in his eight published books:
When he was 55 he listed the following as his regrets in life to date: Spending thirty years as a wage slave instead of living simpler; not making more friends and lovers; not loving himself more and looking after himself better; not spending more time in wilderness, in nature, with animals, and in play; spending too much time in information and entertainment activities that didn’t matter; getting angry and upset with others, and about events over which he had no control; eating meat; not creating a natural enterprise with others; wearing clothes; and not learning to be more self-sufficient. He made up for all these regrets in the final 20 years of his life, establishing the Sustainable Living Collaborative in 2010 and helping to create many of the models of community, enterprise and economy that our post-civilization society was built on and has flourished because of.
In his latter years he lived in a lovely community on protected wetlands in Caledon, just NW of Toronto. He was survived by his wife, her two extraordinary children (who he always said he was “privileged to have grown up with”), and two equally extraordinary grand-daughters.
He credits his wife with making him everything he was.