Thursday, October 20, 2005

We've opened a new blog

Excuses for the absence and distance.

We're slowly moving over to the IFCCC blog connected to our wiki and forum. We've taken the event of getting hacked and destroyed and turned it into an opportunity to develop and integrate our PatchworkPortal™ a bit more.

We just have not figured out what we're going to do with this blog yet. Perhaps we'll migrate it -- or perhaps, we'll discover a new path for this blog. Please just give us a chance to work it out. If you have any suggestions, we're certainly open to hearing about them.

In the meantime, you are welcome to join in the conversation at the IFCCC blog.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

US & 2020

Worth reading - in connection with the 2020 project, but also US findings on how students want to learn using technology.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Rebuilding is going well

Many of the sites asscociated with the Institute for Collaboration, Creativity & Culture on one particular server were breached by hackers a few weeks back and we are busy rebuilding databases behind the scenes.

This problems affected: (now being migrated to our new domain -

Ton Zylstra will work on rebuilding the wiki, forum and blog for us over the next couple of weeks. Please bear with us. Once the work on the new website forum is completed, we will freeze this blog (and probably migrate the forum out of Open-BC). We need more visuals in the Forum software than provided by Open-BC.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Dutch Connection Blogcast

Although the forum has been quiet, the core members of the Dutch Connection have been busy behind the scenes. We transfered the forum from Ecademy in the UK to Open-BC because there was no way Basic members (the majority) could take part in the forum discussions.

Our experience with the forums in OpenBC is that they are perhaps too "business" like, and it is not easy to change the layout or add photos. This, we are told will change. In the meantime, the plan is to organise 4-5 meetings in the period September 2005 - June 2006. Traditionally these have been in Amsterdam and run from 1900-2130. They are combination of networking plus a topic - last time it was looking at effective use of social software like wikis and blogs. I get the impression that Tuesday evenings are better than our experiments with Thursdays in 2004/5. Agree?

One of the topics we'd like to raise (and do something about) was highlighted in the magazine section of this past Saturday's NRC Newspaper. The article talked about the poor educational standards of many Dutch school leavers, especially the 112,000 who have not achieved any formal qualification. This is 13% of the workforce between 15-25 years. In contrast to Germany, there seems to be little contact between businesses and academic insitutes/ "polytechnics". It reminds me of the atmosphere surrounding the Dutch Consumer Association - any contact with the companies who'se products they were testing was seen as talking to the "enemy". It is possible to have contact with business without being sucked into its clutches. Dutch Connection has amibitons to help in this bridging role.

In the case of journalism schools, many of the ones I have seen in the Netherlands are VERY traditional, assuming there is no such thing as cross-media production, and so producing journalists who are mono-media and have little chance of employment 5 years from now. Again, there is a lot to be learned from over the border - UK, Germany and Scandinavia. This isn't complaining - it is a wake-up call.

Please take a few moments to visit the forum at Open-BC (if you're a not a member, just sign-up) and share your thoughts about what you'd like to see covered in our "pow-wow" sessions this coming season. We'd also like to find out more about the people who have joined since we switched from Ecademy.

Hope you're enjoying the summer.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Global warming screwed the earth 55 million years ago too. They think...

"Cores drilled from the ocean floor reveal an ancient emission of 4500 gigatons of carbon into the atmosphere led to catastrophic global warming

FIFTY-five million years ago the Earth warmed rapidly, the oceans turned acidic and deep-sea creatures died en masse. A massive release of carbon gases has been the prime suspect, but no one was sure how massive. And it wasn't clear just how long the oceans remained acidic.

Now, sediment cores drilled from the ocean floor have revealed that the emission of nearly 4500 gigatons of carbon into the atmosphere led to the catastrophic global warming, and that the resulting acidification of the oceans lasted more than 100,000 years. It serves as a warning and backs up computer models that have predicted similar long-lasting effects if, as seems likely, humans release comparable amounts of carbon dioxide over the next few hundred years. "

New Scientist 15 june 2005

Many companies are discovering the real gold in knowledge management

Here's a link to an article on The Limits of Knowledge Management.

"In the last few years many companies have used the internet and other new information technology to link professionals across the globe to share documents or compare data. But many are discovering that the real value in knowledge management is in sharing ideas and insights that are not documented and hard to articulate. This undocumented, hard-to-articulate knowledge is what has been called tacit knowledge (Polanyi, 1958). A group of systems designers for a computer company tried to share their knowledge by storing their documentation for client systems in a common database. They soon discovered that they did not need each other’s documentation. They needed to understand the logic other system designers used — why that software, with that hardware and that type of service plan. They needed to understand the thinking of the other system designers. A petrophysicist trying to interpret unusual data from a deep sea oil well needed help from a colleague who had seen similar anomalies and could help him think through how to interpret it. Only in the course of the discussion were they able to understand the anomaly. A geologist faced with an array of new seismic tools needed to know which would be most useful in his particular application. A product development team at an auto company found through their internet that another development team had developed and rejected a design ideas similar to one they were considering. They needed to understand the reasons for the rejection and get feedback from the other team on the approach they were considering. A sales manager working with a particularly difficult client needed to know how sales managers for other product lines had dealt with that client. In all these cases people needed tacit knowledge; knowledge that was not documented, that their peers had never previously articulated, and that needed to be thought about to be shared (McDermott, 1999a)."

thanks to Commmunity Intelligence Labs and you can read the article here.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Reboot 7.0 in Copenhagen this weekend

Ton Zijlstra and Elmine Wijnia are headed to Reboot 7.0 in Copenhagen this weekend.

They'll join the bloggeratti in exploring the impact of social media and its tools on our many worlds. We're looking forward to hearing about their adventure next week.

Among the cast - Jonnie Moore, Doc Searls, Robert Scoble, Jimbo Wales Cory Doctorow, David Weinberger, Loic Le Meur, Dina Mehta

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Crossing Signals Discussion Group June 1st

Colby and I just took part in a fascinating discussion on the challenges facing distance education and training. This was held at the new restored castle owned by one of the Baan brothers. Interesting to see that many business courses have become totally ineffective as people find it difficult to apply the theory in their job. Likewise, there are problems maintaining interests once the seminar is over. Social software and more advanced collaboration tools may help to address the problem. Dutch Connection is building expertise to capture the conversations- now in high-definition TV (1080i). That way, these conversations will still look fresh a decade from now...

Congress Culture and Economy: The Hague 28 June 2005

Colby posted the note about this conference. You may recall that the Creative Capital conference earlier this year was intended as input for this government conference in a few weeks time. That was the reason for coming up with their "Amsterdam Agenda", although one got the impression this agenda was made before the conference started and was not sufficiently adapted to include input from participants. The creative capital conference website is still showing the same version of the agenda from a month ago -they need to do something fast to regain the momentum lost since March 21st. In the meantime, another website has gone up about a conference in The Hague on June 28th.

 Posted by Hello

Personally (Jonathan Marks saying this bit) think it is REALLY stupid that the research backing up the conference will only be released on the day itself. So no-one will have a chance to read through the reports before the official presentations....that is mind boggling in its old fashioned approach. So I fear the congress will not be a conversation, but a series of Powerpoint presentations.....

Friday, June 03, 2005

Can China build its own Silicon Valley?

 Posted by Hello
Well ok, I am spreading quite a bit of U.S. news today and interesting reading it is for the curious of mind. Michael Rogers report on changes taking place in China.

Courtesy of MSNBC.

"It’s hard to spend much time among the enthusiastic entrepreneurs at Zhongguancun and Tsinghua without worrying about how the U.S. will measure up in years to come. While the number of U.S. science and engineering graduates declines, year after year, China’s numbers are surging. China already graduates more English-speaking electrical engineers than does the U.S. Last month the U.S. came in 17th in an annual international collegiate programming contest; a team from a Shanghai university came in first. And U.S. middle school math and science scores continue to lag behind those of other developed nations — even as school boards debate how to teach evolution."

Read the gripping 2 page story here!
And the as important user comments to the article.

Policy implications of the U.S. brain drain's changing face

Within the initial paradigm of a brain drain, there was a clear answer to the question of who wins and who loses. Namely, it was generally accepted that the countries of origin suffered from the brain drain, while host countries benefited by experiencing a “brain gain”.

During the 1960s and 1970s, much discussion and analysis took place about the mobility of highly skilled professionals. Interest in this topic subsequently dropped as a combined result of economic recession and limitations in the analysis of the problem.

But in recent years the issue has returned to the spotlight, largely due to growing interest in the so-called global knowledge-based economy. As a result, it is now widely debated, as reflected in various recent international official publications and meetings. [1,2,3,4] The debate has focused on the nature and impact of the mobility of such professionals, and in particular its negative or positive effects on both their countries of origin and their host countries.

Until the early 1990s, the “brain drain” was the predominant (if controversial) concept used to frame such discussions. This implied a one-way, definitive and permanent migration of skilled people from developing to industrial countries. It had a basically negative connotation, namely that it involved a loss of vital resources. However it was also argued that – at least in the developing world – it avoided a “brain waste”.

More recently, however, the idea has been gaining momentum among scholars, decision makers and journalists that policy makers should characterise the issue in terms of a “circulation” of skills and manpower. Certainly the conditions that govern mobility have changed dramatically, in terms of new forms of communication, transportation, geopolitics, intercultural relationships and commerce.

To read the rest of this article here's the link.

Snow in Somalia!

"The first snowfall on this part of the world has claimed one life and caused extensive damage to properties. Puntland, northeastern part of Somalia has never recorded snowfall before last night when snow storms with high winds destroyed homes in Rako town.

The storm left a blanket of snow on the ground, something residents had never seen in their lives before. Aside from this unexplained snowfall on this tropical land, Somalia has experienced very strange weather in the past few months.

Floods killed people and forced rivers to overflow banks in almost all parts of the country. Many cities from Hargeisa in the north to Baladweyn in central were affected badly by heavy rains and floods. Many people were killed and thousands of livestock washed away by this strange weather. The country is still struggling to recover from last month’s killer weather.

With no effective central government, Somalia doesn’t have weather prediction or climate monitoring systems in place. Somalis think this unusual weather and last night’s previously unheard of snowfall are part of the global warming phenomena. "

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Community Think-Tank Amsterdam East

I liked hearing about this intiative.(Dutch). It's in my local area of the city. People can email or call in with their ideas to a think tank that leads support and development programs for the commmunity. This follows the death of Theo van Gogh, the Dutch filmmaker, assissinated in Amsterdam East, earlier this year.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Barry Flaherty, Leon Goldwater and Jonathan Marks are attending an innovation conference at the EU in Brussels. It is clear that many businesses are going through radical change and that people are the innovation driver, with support from relevant technology. Companies where IT is in the driving seat are often solving problems that people didn't even know they had! Posted by Hello

Barry Poses Question...

Barry is starring in a European conference on Innovation. He asked the question of the morning! That is him there on the screen. Don't believe anyone else in this room has ever heard of blogging! Posted by Hello

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Eating our own workshop

Today The Dutch Connection held a workshop on using social software tools. Ton who has been building up experience over the past 2 years was our the leader today, and did a great job. The venue the ABC Treehouse in Amsterdam worked well. Within the first 30 mins we were all up & running using Wifi. Hopefully you can see that a good time was had by all.

Friday, May 20, 2005

DC & Ecademy Part Company

Both Colby and I have decided it is not worth renewing our subscriptions to Ecademy. The forum discussion died with the change of policy by the owners of Ecademy, which means that non-members cannot post on the forum any more. Predictably, the conversation died. Ecademy seems to be taking a different road with its focus on building giant networks and wealth management. We prefer a different path.

The alternative forum at Open-BC is not (yet) as good - (can't post pictures), but we're told a lot of work is in progress behind the scenes. We're also doing a lot of collaborative work using the WIKI technology.

In the meantime, the core members of Ecademy are busy registering the business in the Netherlands as a foundation. The conversation lives on.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Coffee, pastries and open ears to help fix democracy

Grant proposal for the World We Want

"Democracy was a good idea at one time, still is. But it requires an informed electorate who can think as well as receive and emit branded soundbites. To think, to feel, to come together even with those who oppose us to learn from them, to open one another's minds, to satirize one another, to laugh together, to form new friendships, to share heated argument plus coffee and danish, and to grow as human beings, and as responsible citizens - that can be done nationwide, in 100 towns and cities, for what? $150,000 net? Hope that Peter Karoff takes his project in some such direction, or that others step in."

Thursday, May 12, 2005

What is YOUR site about?

A very neat way to find out whether Google "understands" your site, is by adding AdSense to it.

AdSense is disguised, wrong, "not done". Yet I know a guy that makes about $15k a month with AdSense. I have some sites on which I try to monetize my traffic as well, but I'm happy when I make $100 a month!

But then again - I'm not optimizing my sites for AdSense.

On the contrary.

I am making a considerable amount of money using Adwords. Google Adwords allows me to drive traffic to where I need it. Very cool! Except that it's paid traffic. While there are vast amounts of free traffic out there as well.

Free website traffic originates from people that start their browser, go to Google, and type what they're looking for. If Google thinks your site is all about whatever that person is looking for, you'll be on Google's page one. For that search term.

That's great, because that is *free* traffic. You want as much from that as you possibly can get!


But how do you know if Google recognizes your theme? How can you tell whether Google will indeed send specific "searchers" your way?


Add some AdSense code to your pages, and watch which ads Google is displaying on your site. If they're appropiate to your site's content... congratulations! You were able to build a theme that Google can recognize.

But if your site is about widgets and all Google ads are about tennis rackets... then something went wrong somewhere.

But again - solving your problem is easy. Just alter your text, add your AdSense code again, and watch which ads are shown!

This is the fastest, easiest, cheapest and most accurate way you'll ever find to identify the theme of your site according to Google.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Innovation Revisited - Podcast

Maybe I have heard this too many times. I probably have, but that does not discount the importance of pushing different colors of the same song across to yo'all. Listen to this interesting ITConversation by Irving Wladawsky-Berger who is VP Technology and Strategy of IBM Server Group. You can hear the podcast here . He discusses the convergance of media, society and business .

The ability to innovate is at the core of every successful and enduring business. Dr. Irving Wladawsky-Berger, head of IBM's e-business on demand initiative, delivers an engaging keynote address at OSBC 2005, on Innovation in an On Demand World. Irving sees innovation happening on many fronts but of particular interest is the innovation that is occurring at the technological, business and societal levels, which is causing a major shift in the way that businesses compete. No longer is everything proprietary or core to the business. To remain competitive the business must embrace innovation at the technological, business and societal levels.

At the technology level innovation in Web Services, Grid Computing and Autonomic Computing is having a significant impact on models for developing and delivering software and hardware solutions. Similarly, at the business level, innovations in Business Process Management, Business Process Outsourcing and Service Oriented Architectures are addressing the Business-IT disconnect and helping deliver complex business systems. In addition, at the societal level, business are innovating by adopting a collaboration model, pioneered by the open source community, to work with peers and solve complex, non-core problems. "

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Open Source for everyone

Many Dutch Connection members made it to the Creative Capital Conference in Amsterdam in March, 2005. We also had the fortune of meeting and talking with a fascinating Brit, Geoff Mulgan. He worked for Tony Blair in 10 Downing Street and has just released a new document together with a partner writer who is the head of mySociety which you can find here at Demos to read or download. Here is an interview with him in Prospect which covers his lessons on power having served within the government, and this review of his new document at government forum 365

What is cool is that members of the Dutch Connection are also working on a open source toolkit to help innovation locally here in the Netherlands, and further afield.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

placing culture in context

Here are a few news items that popped up on the rader. There has been such a buzz in the business and bloggosphere regarding social media and its unlocking potential. Below are two news items on environmental change and human extinction, that really bring home some painful truths. We can argue about mankind evolving and changing for the better, but we have a very short window in which to apply our ingenuity to cool down this dust bowl and prevent a mass extinction event. Sounding alarm bells is the intention of this post. Sure the links here are not towing the official party line. The truth is that the evidence keeps mounting on an ecological and oil depletion front. The bottom post is an extreme perspective from an american outsider group.

1. Cities may be abandoned as salt water invades

Dozens of major cities around the world are at risk from a previously ignored aspect of global warming - the salt-pollution of underground water

"THE water supplies of dozens of major cities around the world are at risk from a previously ignored aspect of global warming. Within the next few decades rising sea levels will pollute underground water reserves with salt.

Long before the rising tides flood coastal cities, salt water will invade the porous rocks that hold fresh water. "Even if we can fix the coastline, this saline incursion will increase," says Vincent Post, a hydrogeologist at the Free University, Amsterdam. The problem will be compounded by sinking water tables due to low rainfall, also caused by climate change, and rising water usage by the world's growing and increasingly urbanised population.

Underground water is the largest reserve of fresh water on the planet. Most cities use groundwater where possible because it is less prone to pollution than river water. Many people have no alternative: more than 2 billion depend on it, including most. " scientist...2005

1. Back to the Ancient Future

"One of the hologram’s great illusions is that Industrial Civilization is evolutionary -- that it advances forever. Industrial civilization does not evolve. In the overall history of man it is extremely short and completely unsustainable. It is a one-time biological drama that rapidly consumes the necessary physical prerequisites for its own existence, the ecology and resources of the planetary gravity well in which it is trapped."
the dissident voice and their post

Monday, March 28, 2005

The Dutch Connection First Anniversary

Wow...We celebrated our 1st anniversary together. Hard to believe that only one year ago, we were all just getting to know one another.

Cheers to all 226 members around the world. Special thanks to the founders group here in Nederland for believing that each of us really could enhance our individual self by combining our talents.

The New Milenium business model - mobilizing communities. Science, creativity & media - real stories in context.

Crazy crew! Photo of Gil & Manja at Brix Restaurant in Amsterdam.

Interviewing Joi Ito for 2020

Joi Ito In Colby's Studio, originally uploaded by Jonathan Marks.

On Saturday March 19th, Jonathan Marks, Colby Stuart & Seird Loman interviewed and filmed Joi Ito regarding his thoughts about his preferred future at the end of the Creative Capital Conference.

This interview will become part of the library of interviews we're assembling for the launch of a new program. Curious?

What is the future you prefer in 2020?

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Recycling knowledge is innovative too

One of my main online activities is selling other peoples products. In order to find clients, I (a.o.) use Google Adwords. I consider Google Adwords to be a great and very affordable way to find very targeted and interested traffic. Lots of people are making a little money this way.

I started doing this in september 2003 and in time I've grown to be a substantial Google advertiser (I can *call* them in stead of having to mail them for support).

I was doing fine, until I recently found a way to literally DOUBLE my profits in two months time... and my profits haven't dropped since.

All it took was applying some "recycled knowledge", by using some "old" engineering techniques to scientifically test and optimize my Adwords campaigns!

These testing techniques are really old... but the idea to use them within Adwords campaigns, THAT's cool!

That's recycling knowledge... and it can be *very* innovative!

The Debate is in Full Swing

Michael and James discuss and debate Posted by Hello

Have you ever noticed that when you're inspired by someone or something that the world comes alive? All your senses spring to life. Suddenly, you see things differently. The rapport builds as the conversation flies back and forth. Ideas grow and change, blooming into delightful gardens for everyone to see.

Sign of the Times

Great things are happening this space Posted by Hello

The Meaning of Innovation

The hot concept today is innovation. What does that really mean? What is innovation? A process? A product? A channel? A mindset? A behavior? When does that light bulb actually blink with an idea that will create real change, improve life, make something better?

What we are seeing in many countries is that innovation has different networks of meaning, depending on the culture of the company, the people, and the space that gets created for experimentation.

Innovation requires experimentation. Experimentation means that some things will work, and some things won't. We will learn from our our mistakes. Experientation is a path to innovation. Airplanes fly because we learned why they crash.

If we must innovate in a culture that shackles our experiments because of fear of failing, what happens to innovation?

Friday, August 06, 2004

Create a Map of Your Opportunities

A nice way to learn what is possible for your team, your market, your line of business, your brand or whatever, is to create a world map. A Map of Opportunties.

Colby and I often leave our clients with a World Map of Opportunities, when we meet up for the first time. It appears to be a very playful, inspiring and effective way to share ambitions and dreams and explore the possible routes to make things happen and define how things are happening in the current situation.
We will share more about it here.

What does a Map of Opportunities mean to you? How would Your World Map look like?

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Creative Alchemy

Have you ever noticed that when you're inspired by someone or something that the world comes alive? All your senses spring to life. Suddenly, you see things differently. The rapport builds as the conversation flies back and forth. Ideas grow and change, blooming into delightful gardens for everyone to see.

Adriaan Wagenaar and I - Colby Stuart - have decided to join forces and work as a creative team together. We'll be helping people and organizations transform themselves and create new ways of doing business together as we work our magic.

Adriaan and I want to share our thoughts and experiences in this blog documenting what we learn as we work together as a creative team. We hope that you will come play with us and make your own contributions to these idea gardens.