Sunday Open Thread – December 3, 2006

Back home from the UK, tired but inspired. Believe it or not, my returning flight was delayed by a group of foxes sitting on the runway. Hopefully I’ll finally have some time this week to start getting caught up on the last few weeks’ e-mails, blog comments and Sunday open threads.

What I’m thinking about this week:

  • Social Networking Applications: How to map from what software is available to what is really needed, and identify the gaps, and how to get blogs and wikis in particular introduced into organizations as essential enablers of knowledge transfer (I suspect it will entail finding and telling powerful stories of successes, failures and future possibilities).
  • Reintermediation: Helping information professionals get out of the margins of modern organizations and into essential knowledge roles adding meaning and value to information.
  • Scaling Up Bottom-Up Working Models: After spending Saturday with Gary Alexander and hearing about his work with a UK ‘buy local food’ market and program, I’m interested in any ideas on how such programs can be connected, scaled and leveraged. Anyone know of other local food coop/market initiatives that have succeeded to the point they can be described as ‘working models’ that others can emulate? Dave Smith’s work in California comes to mind.
  • How Much We Can Accomplish Virtually and How Much Has To Be Done Face-to-Face: And a bunch of other questions, ideas and possibilities arising from my discussion with Andrew Campbell and others this past week in the UK. More about these in coming weeks.

It has become clear to me that, while many of us appreciate concepts like intentional communities, natural enterprises, and the gift economy, those who ‘get it’ are coming at it from such completely different contexts and perspectives that going from the conceptual to the practical will be extremely difficult. I’ve been reading lately (and will write tomorrow) about Jeff Vail’s proposal to create new social, economic and political constructs using rhizome (network) models. This makes enormous sense, and is consistent with what we’ve all been talking about in recent years, but how do we ‘operationalize’ it when we’re all coming at it from such totally different points anddirections?

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5 Responses to Sunday Open Thread – December 3, 2006

  1. David Parkinson says:

    I can’t answer the question you’re asking; I do much better with “So what’s on your mind?” But this is related to something going on here in Powell River, where a gang of developers (including the mayor & a couple city councilors) are pushing for the exclusion of some 900 acres of land from the Agricultural Land Reserve, to be developed as some kind of hyper-wealthy enclave, with private airport, golf course, etc. I dug into this today & spent some time reading the letters of support & protest lodged with city hall. The issue is: how can the well-meaning but less organized members of the community fight off this well-financed well-oiled political attack? Is a competing vision for the use of those lands required? Is it going to be enough to reject this vision of the town as a resort (possibly also involving medical tourism) and gated community? It’ll be interesting, and maybe ultimately depressing, to see this one unfold.

  2. Mariella says:

    My take feeling is that the kind of “political attacks” David mentions above are innevitable… the system is much too big for single communities -(with a low consciousness of the strenght of a well developed local “social capital”, and a strong sense of belonging to the place )- to be able to face…. I find it difficult for intentional communities to develope because we are too much influenced by illusions of different kinds, so trying to meet the real needs with that wide range of illusions is a very difficult task…..I prefer to try to seed “intention” into already formed communities. People already sharing a place where they feel they belong to, already share a common interest : to achieve wellbeing in their locality…… and this depends on developing a more holistic culture …little by little, bit by bit… door to door…My illusion is that people from a conscious community, where everybody works for the place where they belong, with an active local commerce, …. would hardly work for a project like the one metioned above…. maybe it is an illusion… or only my wish…. We humans need to know we belong to place to be able to take care of it….

  3. Marty Avery says:

    Our town of 11,000 regulars and 4,000 weekenders is in the Rocky Mountains. We buy fresh “local” food from B.C. by getting weekly delivery of organic produce, quarterly delivery or organic beef, annual delivery of dried fruit and nuts. In summer there’s an 18 wheeler that sits in the legion parking lot on THursdays. Fridays, Glen and his truck move down the highway–selling his way into a different small community for 5 days, then driving back to B.C. reload. Not ideal maybe, but totally market-driven and THE place to meet your neighbours and chat. The produce is fresh and tasty.

  4. ahwhwj says:

    “Our slogan is: you can talk when you need!Thare is no problem what we can not

  5. Jon Husband says:

    I’ve sent you links to inspector Lohmann’s latest essay .. lots of philosophy and analytic theory therein, but some very interesting nuts and bolts about operationalizing in an interlinked networked world … central to his thinking is the dire need for intentional communities

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