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A digital public space is Britain’s missing national institution | Technology | The Guardian
"An alternative to the internet as shopping mall is emerging – a place where creative assets can be redistributed for non-commercial use"

"A cynic might say that we have the internet we deserve. We were promised a democratic platform for change, for equality, for collaboration, yet are faced with a reality of weary cynicism, as author Charles Leadbeater wrote last summer, and an assumption that we cannot trust any organisation with our personal data.

We were told of flourishing startups and opportunities for all, yet the internet has amplified global inequalities, says Andrew Keen, a writer on the internet revolution, using the parlance of openness and opportunity to create an industry of disproportionately wealthy entrepreneurs.

And as the meaningful engagement of governments in the lives of citizens diminishes, we stare into a dystopian future described by Evgeny Morozov: Silicon Valley is heading towards a “digital socialism”, where benevolent corporations provide all the health, education, travel and housing employees could ever desire, negating the need for state provision. Ice that cake with the unpalatable truth about the reach of our government’s surveillance services and we might think our internet is already beyond help.

Commercial interests have shaped the internet, and have created such powerful organisations that governments now struggle to keep up – out-funded, out-lobbied and outwitted. Rather than reflecting the real world, the internet absorbs and amplifies it, re-presenting a version of our lives, our work and our culture, from the gross disproportion of privilege and access afforded to those even able to access the internet to the misogyny that cripples meaningful debate. Even acknowledging its infancy, the internet does not represent a version of ourselves of which we can be proud. From privacy and surveillance to our collective cultural record, where is the internet we are truly capable of? Quietly, excitedly, and in a modestly British way, there is an alternative emerging. Rather than the internet as shopping mall – defined and dominated by commercial interests – how could we build the public park of the internet?

Many of the concerns I have raised in this column – that we are primarily now consumers before citizens, that the ferocious disruption of technology is not being tempered with ethical oversight, about the failure of the BBC to embrace a digital future – all point in the same direction. We have a missing national institution.

The idea of a Digital Public Space was discreetly mooted by some of the BBC’s most overlooked and visionary staff as far back at 2010. February’s Warwick Commission report, a barometer for the UK’s cultural and creative health, picked out the project as one of six key goals, a digital cultural library of artistic and cultural assets.

What will be the digital legacy of the V&A, the British Library, the British Film Institute? These organisations at best are under represented in the digital world, at worst absent, outdated and woefully underfunded. The relentless, superficial, commercially motivated hyperspeed internet is built for the new, the now, the sellable – which is of course why these organisations need a digital manifestation more than ever. And that doesn’t mean being digitised by Google Books.

The internet is dominated by the US, and noisy voices of extreme libertarianism; witness Jimmy Wales on the Right to be Forgotten, who believes any accommodation of humanity by a search engine is censorship. Tell that to the wife of a murder victim, who asked that prominent mentions of her in outdated and disturbing articles about her husband’s death be de-indexed.

The Digital Public Space would be, in principle, equally accessible to anyone regardless of status or income, safe and private, and operating in the interests of users and not of the ecosystem itself. Creative assets – artworks, archives, films, books, photographs – could be reused and redistributed within the space, an antechamber to the main internet, but only for non-commercial use.

This is not a vision of the technological future imagined and engineered by the dominant young, white, male west coast developer who asks “can I build it”, rather than “should I build it”. There, the rule is build it first – ask questions about the social, cultural and ethical impact later. But this is public space by design, public by default, the internet at the service of the public.

With an intense and probably bruising runup to BBC charter renewal, the amorphous digital public space project still requires a leap of imagination. Given the mundanity of BBC priorities, it is unlikely to feature prominently in any negotiations and would not be BBC funded. But the BBC is only the shepherd of this project; this is a coalition of the willing, a call to action for the UK’s most powerful public institutions who can and will have a say in the future of the public internet. A more dynamic BBC might have already rebuilt itself as this kind of organisation, but it has fallen behind. Its digital executives wearily mourn the opportunity. “It hasn’t developed or kept pace with technology,” one says. “The UK deserves a world class digital technology brand without dominance of the US and with a crucial ethical underpinning. It’s our missing public institution.”

Leave aside our collective hangover about the power and impact of Britain’s voice, politically and economically, from a Victorian mindset about our rightful place in the world. Culturally, the UK is a powerhouse, and the best place in the world to start a meaningful discussion about the truly public, truly digital space that we deserve. It is the right time for that battle. Who is on board?"

[See also:
“The BBC, the licence fee and the digital public space” (Tony Ageh)
https://opendemocracy.net/ourbeeb/tony-ageh/bbc-licence-fee-and-digital-public-space
jemimakissa  digitalcommons  2015  uk  digitalpublicspace  bbc  2010  charlesleadbeater  digitalsocialism  publicspace  internet  online  commons  web 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Hooked on labs
[via: http://interconnected.org/home/2014/12/05/filtered ]

"From startups to venture capital, arts to social policy, everyone wants to experiment and to do so they want labs…

To understand labs we need to go back to 1660 where Robert Hooke's experimenting went hand-in-hand with discussion

Labs are places where people conduct experiments to test out theories. The new labs proliferating outside the hard sciences are a symptom of the spread of experimentalism as an ideology for how we should shape the future.

Curiosity is at the core of experimentalist culture: it holds that knowledge should develop by being testable and therefore provisional; and that the best theories should be designed to be examined by both data and open debate. That commitment to experimentalism is at the leading edge of a wide range of fields. …

Having a lab is a way to signal an attachment to experimentalist culture, testing our way into an uncertain future…

The most prolific, Nobel Prize winning labs of the 20th century were places where people debated…

New social labs around the world are trying to kindle the hope of finding clear and authoritative ways to solve problems…

"Some of our biggest challenges transcend the laboratory, demanding new kinds of experiments"



"Over the next few years inner-city labs will sprout all over the world, from the ambitious plans of Novartis, the pharmaceuticals giant based at a research campus in Basel to lean biotech startups in San Francisco. In downtown Stockholm a giant life sciences cluster is taking shape in Hagastaden, an area with four universities; the Karolinska University Hospital; 5,300 life scientists; and more than 100,000 students to recruit from both for work and for clinical trials. This is a science district which markets its credentials by noting that Stockholm is held in high regard by Monocle magazine. A major highway will be covered over to create the area known as Stockholm Life, with its slogan “greater science, greater business, greater life.”

The resurgence of inner-city science does not just mean that labs will return to the heart of cities, rather than being located in lifeless suburban science parks. It marks a further shift in urban culture, lifestyles and patterns of work towards an explicit and deliberate experimentalism. But this is anything but a new idea. When the scientists at the Crick Institute and the Google campus start migrating into Kings Cross they will feel modern, in their gleaming new buildings replete with computers, WiFi, gene sequencers, servers, teleconferencing, smartphones, 3D printers and much more. Yet the fundamentals of the way they work, the way they assemble knowledge, the culture they create, even the lifestyles they aspire to will be following a path first taken by that remarkable, irascible bohemian eccentric who frequented the taverns and coffee houses of Bishopsgate in the 1660s, Robert Hooke: the original pioneer of the experimental life."
charlesleadbeater  labs  laboratories  studios  lcproject  openstudioproject  2014  1660  roberthooke  experimentation  uncertainty  debate  social  howwelearn  problemsolving  science  experiments  curiosity  knowledge 
december 2014 by robertogreco
Filtered for top-notch long reads ( 5 Dec., 2014, at Interconnected)
"1.

This well-illustrated piece on Chinese Mobile UI trends [http://dangrover.com/blog/2014/12/01/chinese-mobile-app-ui-trends.html ] is full of great nuggets.

My favourite is that companies have adopted automated "chat" as their official public face. Each brand is a bot that runs inside one of the several apps that users in China have instead of Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, etc. How it works:
You can send any kind of message (text, image, voice, etc), and [the bot will] reply, either in an automated fashion or by routing it to a human somewhere. The interface is exactly the same as for chatting with your friends, save for one difference: it has menus at the bottom with shortcuts to the main features of the account.

A couple more features:
Other than that, every feature you can use in a normal chat is available here. WeChat even auto-transcribes the voice messages (mentioned before) into text before passing them to the third-party server running the account. Official accounts can also push news updates to their subscribers. Every media outlet operates one ...

I'm into this, I'm into this. Our western way for interacting with companies (assuming the shitty voice menu things are wildly out-dated) is websites, which we browse. But instead of browsing, a conversation?

So... cultural difference between China and the west, or just one of those forks in the road? Or a glimpse of the future?

2.

Hooked on Labs [http://thelongandshort.org/issues/season-two/hooked-on-labs.html ] (thanks Iain) draws a line between the practice of Robert Hooke in the 1660s and the modern trend for companies to have "labs."
Labs are places where people conduct experiments to test out theories. The new labs proliferating outside the hard sciences are a symptom of the spread of experimentalism as an ideology for how we should shape the future. Curiosity is at the core of experimentalist culture: it holds that knowledge should develop by being testable and therefore provisional ...

I like that the answer to "how should we invent?" can be not a process but a location. Other answers might be "a studio," and "the field," both of which suggest a variety of processes and practices without being pinned down.

I guess my recent preoccupation with coffee mornings is about the same thing. Can the "coffee morning" as a place, with all its informality (which I am desperate to preserve), be a way to dowse the scenius, to allow invention to occur without process?

Also coffee.

And this bit:
One vital source of this conversational approach to science was Copenhagen and the culture that Niels Bohr created around his institute for theoretical physics and his nearby home.

...which reminds me of this terrific story about the development of the theory of electron spin and how it came together as Bohr travelled across Europe by train.

At the beginning of the trip:
Bohr's train to Leiden made a stop in Hamburg, where he was met by Pauli and Stern who had come to the station to ask him what he thought about spin. Bohr must have said that it was very very interesting (his favorite way of expressing that something was wrong), but he could not see how an electron moving in the electric field of the nucleus could experience the magnetic field necessary for producing fine structure.

And as Bohr travels from town to town, he meets scientists, hears arguments, develops his view, and carries information. Great story.

I think of the interactions between scientists as the hidden particles that don't show up in the traces of a cloud chamber. They're there, busy - multiple - far denser and richer and messier than the clean interactions of the citations in scientific papers or at conferences - the invisible trillions of forks that are left out of Feynman diagrams. Those interactions are what really matter, and their stories are the most interesting of all."
mattwebb  2014  china  chinese  interface  input  chat  communication  internet  web  online  browsing  conversation  wechat  labs  openstudioproject  charlesleadbeater  nielsbohr  experiments  experimentation  experimentalism  curiosity  classideas  invention  place  studios  lcproject  informal  informallearning  informality  scenius  process  howwelearn  messiness  interaction  culture  difference  frontiers  us 
december 2014 by robertogreco
Victorian Occultism and the Art of Synesthesia | The Public Domain Review
"Grounded in the theory that ideas, emotions, and even events, can manifest as visible auras, Annie Besant and Charles Leadbeater’s Thought-Forms (1901) is an odd and intriguing work. Benjamin Breen explores these “synesthetic” abstractions and asks to what extent they, and the Victorian mysticism of which they were born, influenced the Modernist movement that flourished in the following decades."



"These sorts of underlying associations between words, colors and sounds were precisely what motivated Thought-Forms. In other words, the book was about synesthesia. The illustration of the music of Mendelssohn reproduced above, for instance, depicts yellow, red, blue and green lines rising out of a church. This, Leadbeater and Besant explain, “signifies the movement of one of the parts of the melody, the four moving approximately together denoting the treble, alto, tenor and bass respectively.” Moreover, “the scalloped edging surrounding the whole is the result of various flourishes and arpeggios, and the floating crescents in the centre represent isolated or staccato chords.” Color and sound had become commingled.

Yet Leadbeater and Besant intended not only to visualize sound, but to demonstrate their distinctive psychic gifts: the ability to detect spiritual “vibrations” of ideas, emotions and sounds as visual forms. This, in other words, was a sort of spiritual synesthesia, as much a religious act as a neurological one."
synesthesia  art  history  occult  religion  anniebesant  charlesleadbeater  benjaminbreen  mysticism  modernism  belief  color  sound  perception  via:alexismadrigal 
march 2014 by robertogreco
The Bartleby Project
""The Bartleby Project begins by inviting 60,000,000 American students, one by one, to peacefully refuse to take standardized tests or to participate in any preparation for these tests; it asks them to act because adults chained to institutions and corporations are unable to; because these tests pervert education, are disgracefully inaccurate, impose brutal stresses without reason, and actively encourage a class system which is poisoning the future of the nation." Read John Taylor Gatto's full statement on the Bartleby Project (it's long)."
bartlebyproject  standardizedtesting  education  activism  schools  protest  johntaylorgatto  unschooling  deschooling  learning  policy  politics  2011  charlesleadbeater  gevertulley  asneill  naturalchildproject 
march 2011 by robertogreco
OK Do | Oivallus – A Project on Future Education
"Oivallus (‘a sudden insight’ in Finnish) project explores the future of education in a networked economy. It is conducted by the Confederation of Finnish Industries EK. The 3-year undertaking builds on critical dialogue within multidisciplinary groups of thinkers, including OK Do. We are also responsible for the visual communication of Oivallus in collaboration with the creative agency…

"New ideas originate in the boundaries of different fields. In the future, challenges will be solved in learning networks."

The goal of Oivallus is to make governmental decision-making in education policies meet the future needs of Finnish industries. What will working life be like in the 2020s? What kinds of knowledge and skills will the labor market and entrepreneurship require? The project seeks to explore and outline progressive operating and learning environments."

[Final report: http://ek.multiedition.fi/oivallus/fi/liitetiedostot/arkisto/Oivallus-Final-Report.pdf ]
[See also: http://ek.multiedition.fi/oivallus/en/index_copy.php ]
oivallus  finland  future  education  collaboration  learning  okdo  multidisciplinary  interdisciplinary  crossdisciplinary  design  designthinking  tcsnmy  schooldesign  futurism  kevinkelly  charlesleadbeater  lcproject 
january 2011 by robertogreco
Pedagogical Promiscuity and "Assessment for Learning" - Artichoke
"What kind of “assessment for learning” is appropriate in the age of Google and Wikipedia? Facebook and You Tube? Smart phones and text messaging? Twitter and blogging? (after Manovich on Soft Cinema).…

It seems that exposure to the multiliteracies most advantage those who are already advantaged.

There is a lot more thinking needed here – but it seems plausible that thinking critically about what kind of “assessment for learning” is appropriate in the age of [insert your preferred descriptor] is useful thinking. It may protect us (and our students) from futurist induced pedagogical promiscuity next year – by preventing the indiscriminate adoption of too many different pedagogical approaches."
assessment  learning  education  openeducation  openphd  artichoke  affluence  wealth  disparity  schools  literacy  literacies  technology  knowledge  curriculum  future  policy  digital  digitallearning  blogs  blogging  commenting  peerreview  peer-assessment  newmedia  charlesleadbeater  twitter  usergenerated  content  artichokeblog  pamhook 
december 2010 by robertogreco
Learning from the Extremes - Charlie Leadbeater & Annika Wong [.pdf]
"Leadbeater makes further point about increasing relative ignorance that is highly significant for teaching & learning. It is that we can & must put ignorance to work–to make it useful–to provide opportunities for ourselves & others to live innovative & creative lives. “What holds people back from taking risks, is often as not…their knowledge, not their ignorancel.” Useful ignorance becomes a space of pedagogical possibility rather than base that needs to be covered. ‘Not knowing’ needs to be put to work w/out shame or bluster…Our highest educational achievers may well be aligned w/ teachers in knowing what to do if & when they have script. But…this sort of certain & tidy knowing is out of alignment w/ script-less & fluid social world. Out best learners will be those who can make ‘not knowing’ useful, do not need blueprint, template, map, to make new kind of sense. This is one new disposition that academics as teachers need to acquire fast–disposition to be usefully ignorant."

[also referenced: http://www.core77.com/blog/education/_learning_from_the_extremes_-_charlie_leadbeater_annika_wong_15823.asp ]
charlesleadbeater  teaching  ignorance  usefulignorance  learning  lcproject  tcsnmy  schools  risk  risktaking  pedagogy  annikawong  knowledge  education  academics  unschooling  deschooling  gamechanging  disruption  informallearning  informal  olpc  sugatamitra  holeinthewall  outdoctrination  kenya  brasil  india  developingworld  development  technology  filetype:pdf  media:document  brazil 
august 2010 by robertogreco
YouTube - Charles Leadbeater - 2020 Shaping Ideas
"New times demand new types of organizations. According to Charles Leadbeater, author of We-think, the web has created enterprises that lack traditional hierarchy and let consumers take an active part in innovation. These organizations resemble bird's nests rather than top to bottom pyramids."
charlesleadbeater  innovation  hierarchy  organizations  tcsnmy  collaboration  interaction 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Charles Leadbeater: Education innovation in the slums | Video on TED.com
"Charles Leadbeater went looking for radical new forms of education -- and found them in the slums of Rio and Kibera, where some of the world's poorest kids are finding transformative new ways to learn. And this informal, disruptive new kind of school, he says, is what all schools need to become."
charlesleadbeater  demos  education  future  innovation  pedagogy  poverty  learning  ted  technology  slums  unschooling  deschooling  tcsnmy  riodejaneiro  brasil  kibera  kenya  informal  informallearning  disruptive  lcproject  futureoflearning  finland  leapfrogging  compulsory  india  development  transformation  newdelhi  sugatamitra  holeinthewall  socialentrepreneurship  literacy  pull  push  engagement  belohorizonte  sãopaulo  mobile  phones  cities  urban  hightechhigh  outdoctrination  brazil 
july 2010 by robertogreco
On Overestimation - Artichoke's Wunderkammern
"I am interested in what is claimed - in how I can know. This statistic surprised me - I had bought into the hype around the role of Twitter in the Iranian protests. My distrust of the motives of media and commerce moves me towards an increasing normlessness. Is there anything I can aspire to or hold as true? Leadbeater's analysis of "the cloud" is powerful and expressed with a simple elegance and logic. It has many other insights that provoke new thinking about stuff I thought I knew. Leadbeater is someone who has oftentimes provided a balance to what I hear claimed at educational conferences and read in blogs and other media. This article in The Edge reminds me that I must always seek the measured commentary."
twitter  iran  charlesleadbeater  artichoke  media  estimation  overestimation  truth  statistics  cloud  hypertext  artichokeblog  pamhook 
february 2010 by robertogreco
Learning from the Extremes - Charlie Leadbeater & Annika Wong - Core77
"That kind of disruptive innovation may not come from the best schools. It is much more likely to come from social entrepreneurs who often seek to meet huge need without the resources for traditional solutions: teachers, text books and schools. Disruptive innovation frequently starts in the margins rather than the mainstream.
education  learning  disruption  charlesleadbeater  change  gamechanging  margins  participatory  future  innovation  schools  deschooling  unschooling  tcsnmy 
february 2010 by robertogreco
The Art of With - Charles Leadbeater [.pdf]
“The 20 century avant garde was built on the principle: separate and shock. The avant garde of the century to come will have as its principle: combine and connect. The web will encourage a culture in which art creates relationships and promotes interaction, encourages people to be a part of the work, if only in a small way. This “participatory” avant-garde will not emerged from thin air. It will be fed by the way the web gives new energy to participatory approaches to art, a digital version of a folk culture in which authorship is shared and cumulative rather than individualistic. [...] For the participatory avant-garde a work of art becomes more valuable the more it encourages people to join a conversation around it and to do something creative themselves. Participatory art is based on constant feedback and interaction, people talking, arguing, debating around the art and their views having some impact."

[via: http://www.experientia.com/blog/charles-leadbeater-essay-the-art-of-with/ ]
art  collaboration  charlesleadbeater  tcsnmy  innovation  sharing  organizations  hierarchy  leadership  conversation  culture  society  change  relationships  interaction  glvo  participatory  filetype:pdf  media:document  ncm  participatoryart 
june 2009 by robertogreco
Us Now on Vimeo
"In his student flat in Colchester, Jack Howe is staring intently into his computer screen. He is picking the team for Ebbsfleet United's FA Trophy Semi-Final match against Aldershot . Around the world 35,000 other fans are doing the same thing, because together, they own and manage the football club. If distributed networks of people can run

[more: http://usnowfilm.com/ via: http://www.core77.com/blog/technology/us_now_13473.asp ]
internet  video  collaboration  socialnetworking  documentary  communities  networks  systems  behavior  online  clayshirky  dontapscott  charlesleadbeater  sharing  couchsurfing 
may 2009 by robertogreco
The Innovation Unit - What's Next? 21 Ideas for 21st Century Learning [.pdf is here: http://www.innovation-unit.co.uk/images/stories/whats_next_-_21_ideas_final.pdf]
"What's Next? makes 21 recommendations to create an approach centred on children learning with, as well as from, teachers at schools that would feel smaller and offer more personalised learning. But just as important, Leadbeater sees relationships for learning embracing the family, workplace and community as well as the school as centres for learning" "Learning is best done with people rather than to or from them."
charlesleadbeater  teaching  learning  gamechanging  future  schools  education  lcproject  learning2.0  opencourseware  policy 
september 2008 by robertogreco
Remixing Cities [.pdf]
"Cities innovate when people mix and mingle, sharing and combining ideas from different vantage points and traditions. That mixing takes place on and in shared infrastructures and spaces that bring people together." "Schools are factories for learning in an economy in which services, software and innovation will be the future...The entire city could be a classroom for real-world learning. An integrated city learning strategy would link schools and families more closely, supported by a “platform” for learning, both digital and physical, distributed across the city."
charlesleadbeater  schools  future  education  cities  learning  change  reform  gamechanging  lcproject  innovation  filetype:pdf  media:document 
august 2008 by robertogreco
Management reading | The many faces of innovation | Economist.com
"“We-Think” approach is not always the best, requiring as it does a good many preconditions, including a group of pioneers at its core, a wider circle of informed contributors, transparency and clear rules"
innovation  management  leadership  administration  books  cocreation  charlesleadbeater  via:cityofsound 
july 2008 by robertogreco
CEOs for Cities
"With our national network of mayors, corporate CEOs, university presidents, foundation officials and business and civic leaders, we act as an idea lab for cities. It’s our job to take a fresh look at cities and make the most of their assets by buildin
cities  urbanism  innovation  urbanplanning  leadership  planning  government  environment  creativeclass  charlesleadbeater  sustainability  thinktanks 
june 2008 by robertogreco
TED | Talks | Charles Leadbeater: The rise of the amateur professional (video)
"In this deceptively casual talk, Charles Leadbeater weaves a tight argument that innovation isn't just for professionals anymore. Passionate amateurs, using new tools, are creating products and paradigms that companies can't."

[related: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/05/12/080512fa_fact_gladwell?currentPage=all ]
charlesleadbeater  innovation  collaboration  video  community  creativity  design  opensource  consumerism  business  collectiveintelligence  crowdsourcing  collaborative  collective  ted  cocreation  citizenship  participatory  lcproject  education  invention  amateur  trends  participation  future 
may 2008 by robertogreco
We-think: The power of mass creativity - Charles Leadbeater [see also: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qiP79vYsfbo]
"We-Think: the power of mass creativity is about what the rise of the likes of Wikipedia and Youtube, Linux and Craigslist means for the way we organise ourselves, not just in digital businesses but in schools and hospitals, cities and mainstream corporat
charlesleadbeater  future  innovation  socialnetworks  social  opensource  collaboration  community  culture  media  wisdom  books  change  Creativity  crowdsourcing  consumption  collaborative  collective  education  participatory  participation  opencontent 
october 2006 by robertogreco
The Observer | Focus | Design your own revolution
"Innovation was once the work of an individual. Now - from weblogs to mountain bikes - we are inventing the things we want to use, writes Charles Leadbeater"
society  blogs  culture  design  economics  howto  innovation  opensource  marketing  longtail  business  diy  revolution  charlesleadbeater 
april 2006 by robertogreco

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