Archive | General

L21CHarvard

Leadership for the 21st Century

When everyone agrees on where the future is headed – especially when that destination is so far from our current reality – that’s not a sign of inevitability; it’s a sign that people have stopped thinking.  A good time, perhaps, to hike out to some awkward, sideways headland where we can look things over from […]

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Ingenuity

The other “i” word … ingenuity

Not long ago I was walking over the entrance to Narrabeen Lakes and I saw this fellow swimming against the tide.  I had been talking to my friend about getting an endless pool and all of a sudden here was nature’s version. Over the past few posts I have been thinking about the words we […]

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316209main_smallsteps-v2_full

Sleepers! Awake!

This is the first photo taken of the Earth from space in 1947. It gave humans a new view of their world which Carl Sagan described as a pale blue dot in the Universe. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human […]

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TweetLink2016

Being Human in the Digital Age

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to participate in the 2016 Sydney Link Festival as part of a panel facilitated by Narelle Clarke, and with Jamie Engel and Angie Abdilla. The topic we focused on was  “Our Digital Futures”, as in the future of humanity – nothing like a small challenge to cover […]

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DataSoton

Launch of Australia’s Web Observatory

Last week in Adelaide and Sydney we launched our Australian Web Observatory which is now a “node” within the global network of Web Observatories.  My presentation can be found here, and Ramine Tinati’s overview of SOCIAM and the Web Observatory can be found here. The Australian Web Observatory is hosted at the University of South […]

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OldManBusStop

Becoming “digitally savvy” …

Yesterday I sat and observed an old man as he waited at a bus stop in London.  He stood with his trolley for almost twenty minutes, and watched expectantly, totally focused on his quarry.  The right bus just wouldn’t come.  Eventually some taxis drove around the corner and he tried to hail one, but none […]

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ShardSmall

The “anthro-pocene” era … redefining “humanity”

I took this photo of “The Shard” amidst a storm a couple of months ago from the rooftop of the Tate Modern in London.  It struck me that for anyone who discounts the impact of humans on the environment this was a startling demonstration … even the clouds parted for a man-made tower. But as […]

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politics_blog

A silver lining in the dark cloud of Australian politics?

I recall having a conversation with a newly elected Senator from Western Australia who told me that “you cease to learn once you are elected to Parliament”.  She felt that so much time and energy was spent just dealing with the day to day of being a “politician” that there was precious little left to […]

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mother_and_son

Generations of Hope

When I was in Berlin last year the one memorial that completely overwhelmed me was “Mother with her Dead Son”, by Käthe Kollwitz in the Neue Wache. I always feel that Berlin is a sort of  living “twilight zone” which exists on the border between sanity and madness: the place where it is acknowledged that some […]

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Rufus Pollock

The “open” rhetoric … are we hearing more of the same?

On Monday evening I went to a talk given by Rufus Pollock of the Open Knowledge Foundation (OKF) at the University of Sydney. Pollock had, quite literally, just got off the plane for a whistle-stop “down-under tour” of Australia, and he did well to respond to questions and give an overview of the OKF to what […]

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