Friday, May 20, 2011

Higher Education being the Cross-Fertilizer of Innovation

We are definitely moving into the future and education becomes a blend of innovation, fun and learning.
LockSchuppen here in Dresden emerged on the ideas of Ray Kurzweil, Singularity University, and collaborative learning using the tools we have been given. The initial spark had been a five-year work and learning experience at BMW Leipzig, led by its visionary founder and creator Peter Claussen.

It was working and getting quite a bit of learning about group dynamics, collaborative innovation, and emerging technologies - I was fun.

Now it is time to transform this learning of the past into the education and work forms of the 21st century. The most recent edu-event was the 3rd Mobile Camp here in Dresden (the microchip capital of Europe - with all the adjacent technology and research right at hand, DRESDENconcept is the ongoing project of the TU Dresden and various research institutes to blend that into something greater than yet seen). Running two sessions on Ray Kurzweil's work with 50 participants was quite an experience - the word is spreading!

Are you coming with us here in Dresden?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Sensor-based Knowledge Networks - Mobile Camp Dresden 2011

Dresden not only attracts tourists that sprawl into the city center (or downdown as we say in the North American plains) - it is also an attractor to mobile computing developers, web designers, and researchers in the field.

Last weekend Dresden was for the third time hosting Mobile Camp (currently only in German, but at the closing ceremony the crowd pretty much favored the extension of the event into the international sphere (!)), where questions, new developments around mobile computing were the driving forces. All Friday already the venue of the Faculty of Computer Science of the Technical University of Dresden was flooded by hordes of IT folks, students, and lots of cool projects (cyber-physical systems, 3D visualizations of large-scale ionic accelerators, and the IT crowd of the region - named Silicon Saxony).

Faculty of Computer Science TU DD Copyright: Frank Hamm
So it became a "three-day event" covering from state of the art research via business development to barcamp-like venturing into the future. We soon realized that mobile devices play already a vital role in our daily life - which way is it to become in the near future?

For session (no. 4) I had invited David Orban, Advisor of Singularity University, just currently CEO of dotSUB, and actively researching and lobbying for the Internet of Things. He is very active in the sensor-based knowledge networks especially on the open source format #SPIME.

Anyway due to schedule and timezone shift we decided to do session in Dresden, where Dirk Spannaus was grateful to help with his knowledge from his work at IBM and in Africa around mobile computing. As a side-effect I pretty intuitively decided during the session planning early on Saturday to ask the crowd whether there would be any interest to learn more about TranscendentMan and Ray Kurzweil's work. To my surprise a couple of dozen hands rose up - so a session was fixed for late afternoon.

While flowing around the vast area of the Faculty of Computer Science, meeting new and old friends and fiercely feeding the Twitterwall (#mcdd11) I could feel the "field" that enabled all protagonists of the days to co-create something not easily to catch in words - a "sense of future emergence".

After doing two sessions, the one on sensor-based networks and a second one on #Museum20, where together with Robert Badar of Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden we discussed in which easy to take steps new technology can be embedded in arts institutions, I had trained away my nervousness quite a bit (thanks you all of you, for making me grow on this :-)).

At 5pm I entered the large room where proper video coverage was possible and to my surprise around 30 people were awaiting the unexpected (the movie is yet not open to public in Germany). While doing the final installations I asked, who of the crowd would know about Ray Kurzweil. Roughly ten hands went up. I asked for someone who wanted to explain in his/her own words what Ray's work stands for - which was thankfully taken with no hesitation (there already was a sense of community, which I was missing during the first session in the morning on the sensors, where it half-way through the session was more a frontal lecture with no dialogue emerging).

Learnings from the two sessions on Sat & Sun:

  • Good: even short clips of a few minutes induce vivid conversation, immediate feedback from audience on implications and thought side-effects, emotionally touching story (enabling much more open conversation - only what touches us is worth to be talked about)
  • Tricky: not knowing how the audience reacts (as I had to cancel a semi-public event screening the complete movie just the week earlier, due to lack of interest)
  • Learned: it doesn't need the complete movie to get the conversation going, focus of conversations shifts due to the experience and background of the people (Sat: more on implications on education, Sun: more the fear of "allowing" bots to capture our body (in a sense mobile phones already are an extension of our body ;-))
  • Action: will provide more show times in Dresden (first of the movie clips & conversation on implications) >> restarting OpenCoffeeClubDresden (a loose meeting of students, entrepreneurs, citizens on relevant questions of today)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Information Filter Bubble

Are you sometimes feeling that the information flow around you is killing you? What filters to put in place to stay focused and get things done?
What is your strategy? What are the implications of it?

Ever thought about it? I had not that closely, but learned it today via Facebook.

Eli Pariser at his latest TED talk inspired Tom Fiddaman, a system dynamicist, to the following.

Life is really a constant flow of information and sometimes tapping your foot right into it and feel the unexpected leads to surprises that hit you positively :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Seeds on which ground flourish best?

About two years ago Qimonda, a memory chip producer closed its doors due to economic turmoil and about 3.000 skilled workers lost their jobs. The plant once a pillar of the Saxon micro-electronic hot spot had been sponsored by huge amounts of state funding. The hope was back then that this would spur economic drive in the region with a long history of electronics - being the heart of the GDR microelectronics activities back in the day.

Two years into selling almost all mobile stuff left in the plant, the buildings are to be sold to former mother company Infineon, a daughter of Siemens, Munich. Again a double digit government funding is said to help to spin off a new plant taking up production on new chip production line in the near future.

The question that still stands up: What has really happened in the past ten years that led to the closing in the end? Will the second try be better in the long run?

Will grass grow when put on concrete ground?

What are the changes to be undertaken to find the suitable ground to grow something really sustainably?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Blind Spot - Walking into the Future Fog

.... some distant thoughts, I stumbled over just a few minutes ago from 2009 - old but good. Some is history, most not.

Please read through to the end (if you have the passion and patience) - what is it you can contribute in your life and work context to the points 1. - 6. ?


Reply by Ralf Lippold on September 26, 2009 at 12:41pm
Hi Otto,
hi all,

After a day of Atoms & Bits festival and a convened CoWorkingDay session together with other initiatives around Germany I would like to check in again after some four weeks. I would like to take the initial questions Otto posted earlier this year.

1. Co-creating Living Examples: everyone participates in co-creating living examples. some of them are captured on this social networking site and on the PI site. others will be added later.

A living example has been the CoWorkingDay today. Lots of smaller initiatives have done CoWorking and the intention (at least from my point of view) was, to try out working across the physical distance using Web-2.0 technology. The collaboration ended where deeper questions aroused on how CoWorking could be helpful to work sustainably in the world today.

2. Evolving and refining Theory: no theory no learning. the further evolution of Theory U and other related frameworks will remain a core activity and focus area of this awareness based action research community.

What is the theory behind the current work concepts that mainly are based on fixed employment or when freelanced working in rather small circles in physically close environments. Use of internet for collaborative learning and working is still not be used by its potential (merely at all).

3. Developing social technology: Applying, refining, and further developing the social technology of presencing (based on TheoryU, chapter 21, and the open source PI toolbook)

In a way the experiment of CoWorking around different places using a shared open container, the internet has shown that there are still some shortcomings even despite the need on lowering workload (through participating meeting in person)

4. Capacity building: develop capacity building mechanisms that prototype innovations in learning infrastructures which address all three: the open mind, open heart, and open will, both individually and collectively.

From a quick idea on the last OpenCoffeeClub Dresden (#occdd) the activity emerged into the official program of Atoms & Bits - action learning:-)

5. Co-create Social Presencing Theater in order to shift the awareness of communities from downloading and reacting to collective creativity and presencing. I think there has not been any form of theatre today.

6. Develop a set of Power Places as planetary accupuncture points that support this global movement

One of the Power Places seems to be definitely Berlin, whereas I sense rising power in Dresden. The problem here is the threat of closing plants of the microelectronics area here in Dresden. Nobody really wants to talk about that issue, even though everybody in the city already knows the joke about the difference of Qimonda and Infineon:

6 months :-( (not really funny!)

There seems to be a huge "blind spot" that disables people to see the possibilies that are right in front of them when turning from the mere production of chips to more integrated solutions and value-adding processes.

... (a large conference on microelectronics in about 10 days in Dresden) - nothing about the products or future possibilities of chips and the skills people in that area have.

7. Co-create a core group and a global community of presencing practice that co-inspires a global movement of deep civilizational renewal based on integrating science, spirituality (consciousness) and social change. This online community is a first step into that direction.

We are working on LockSchuppen in order to build a sustainable entrepreneur and startup hub in Dresden where different fields are meeting (especially around new Web-2.0 technology solutions) and co-create added-value.

- Ralf