"The shift toward a more optimistic, human, and humane view (of human society) —that we as individuals can be motivated to productive ends by engaging one another socially and creating collaborative relationships—extends far beyond the business world or the networked environment"
"Through the work of hundreds of scientists, we have begun to see mounting evidence in psychology, organizational sociology, political science, experimental economics, and elsewhere that people are in fact more cooperative and selfless, or at least behave far less selfishly, than most economists and others previously assumed..."
"In practically no human society examined under controlled conditions have the majority of people consistently behaved selfishly.. The promise of cooperation is not some silly utopian dream. It is grounded in some of the best work and most rigorous research in behavioral science"
"When any relatively stable and coherent system—an economy, a country, or a community—suffers a shock, it leads to a new flexibility, a new openness to different ways of explaining our world and organizing our lives. This is the way we come to reexamine old practices, try new ones, and adapt to the changes happening around us..."
Read this book here: The Penguin and the Leviathan: How Cooperation Triumphs over Self-Interest
Absolutely agreed. This is a huge powershift. Get ready to be disrupted. Read more here.
"London, 16 February 2012 - New figures from a study sponsored by Ricoh show that by 2020 the impact of new technology in the workplace will force businesses into a new era of decentralisation. The research , conducted by the Economist Intelligence unit, shows that 63 per cent of business leaders predict a shift towards a more decentralised business model and that responsibility for business decision making will move from centralised management boards towards individual employees. “We believe that businesses will be more process orientated, ensuring that critical information is more centralised and data can be received, stored and retrieved by employees. This will mean decision making can be less hierarchical and allow employees, who are collaborating directly with customers, to make important business decisions, without delay,” says David Mills, Executive Vice President, Operations, Ricoh Europe.
Supporting closer customer collaboration is essential as by 2020, business leaders believe that customers will be the main source of new product or service ideas. Furthermore, 86 per cent of business leaders agree that customers will become an integral part of internal decision-making and that project teams will typically include people from outside the organisation such as customers and business partners... In the future, there will also be a need to consider how experts outside the organisation can input and retrieve information to act on behalf of the business. 85.7 per cent of business leaders agree that project teams will typically include members from outside the organisation (for example, customers, partners, communities)... Mills says, “In the new era of decentralisation it will be essential for businesses to do more to adapt to the digital world, especially as critical information will need to be accessed by employees, many of whom will be working virtually or outside the business..."
His current, and maybe most important topic is the coming convergence of Internet technology and digital communications with energy and environmental issues - the idea of an Internet of Energy. Because of my recent expansion into what I call GreenFutures this concept has really struck a chord with me.
Jeremy Rifkin is president of the Foundation on Economic Trends and the author of seventeen bestselling books on the impact of scientific and technological changes on the economy, the workforce, society, and the environment. One of the most popular social thinkers of our time, Rifkin is the bestselling author of The European Dream, The Hydrogen Economy, The Age of Access, The Biotech Century, and The End of Work.
Here is a video of his recent appearance on the Charlie Rose show:
Jeremy Rifkin, 'The Third Industrial Revolution' "How lateral power is transforming energy, the economy, and the world." Charlie Rose 06.01.12 [1080p] http://www.charlierose.com/guest/view/7302
Join Jeremy Rifkin as he describes how the five-pillars of the Third Industrial Revolution will create thousands of businesses and millions of jobs, and usher in a fundamental reordering of human relationships, from hierarchical to lateral power, that will impact the way we conduct business, govern society, educate our children, and engage in civic life.
A few days ago, I did a fairly lengthy and deep skype interview with Toronto-based Marie Germain from Branding 2.0 (see her Twitter channel here), touching on many issues including the future of commerce, selling, marketing and branding, so-called social media (I much prefer the term Social OS), current issues in technology and the Internet (such as SOPA - the deeply disturbing but nevertheless impending U.S. Stop Online Piracy Act), and media / content trends.
There are some quite juicy snippets in this interview, such as:
"In an truly digital society we probably don't need marketing as we know it"
"We are moving from a society, and an economy, based on EGOsystems to a society that is based on ECOsystems (i.e. INTERDEPENDENCE)"
"The old days of commerce were based on handcuffing consumers, now it's all about attraction, engagement and conversations (being a magnet rather than using handcuffs)"
This video uses an interesting format in that it is based on an audio track that was recorded on the phone, and superimposes some related images over it. Interesting. If you just want the audio track, here it is:
From the TribeRadio Youtube post: "World-renown futurist, Gerd Leonhard, in this interview speaks of the very serious challenges businesses and brands face; he offers solutions. On a more sombre note he exposes the ploys of controllers on internet freedom, SOPA to be clear. The Wall Street Journal acknowledges Gerd as one of the leading media futurists in the world. Powerful! Incisive! Gerd is simply delicious to the ears. Keynote Speaker, Founder of The Futures Agency, Advisor to top corporations and governments, author of five books, "The Future of Music", "Music 2.0", "The End of Control", "Friction is Fiction" and "The Future of Content". Gerd's background is in music; however, today he is a top game-changer, inspiring entrepreneurship and guiding us into a prodigious digital world. To reach the Host of Tribe Radio, Marie Germain: at her blog, http://Branding20.wordpress.com or her biz site, http://MarieGermain.com..."
Be sure to check out the other audio / video interviews on here channel as well, including Jeffrey Hayzlett ('Running the Gauntlet' book, former CMO of Kodak).
This year I am embarking on a new, additional mission. You may have already noticed in my Twitter feed and via my Facebook updates that I am expanding my work into various 'green' topics such as sustainability (in particular what has been termed 'sustainable capitalism), climate change and global warming, and renewable energy. While investigating these new topics I am also hard at work on my new book "From Ego to Eco" which will cover some of these issues (in addition to media, culture, politics and what I call 'the networked society) as well.
My new site / blog at GreenFuturist.com was launched a few months ago and is shaping up pretty well, already; I am using it primarily to share updates and interesting snippets culled from my research and 100s of RSS feeds that I scan for the latest developments. Please take a look, read the announcement (also below), comment, follow me on Tumblr, or subscribe to the GreenFuturist RSS feed. You may also want to visit (and like?) my new Facebook 'Green Futurist' page, or check out my new @AGreenFuturist Twitter channel.
I also recommend you follow my new public Kindle notes on Amazon - this is starting to be a good resource and I am sharing notes on 30+ books there.
I have just confirmed my first public appearance as 'Green Futurist' at the EcoSummit 2012 in Berlin, on March 22nd (first thing in the morning), and look forward to maybe seeing you there (on-location or virtually) if at all possible.
Here is the official announcement of my new Mission 2012.
ANNOUNCING GREEN FUTURIST
I have worked in digital music, media and in the Internet business since 1995. Since 2001 I have worked as an independent Futurist with a focus on media, content, entertainment and publishing, technology, telecom as well as in marketing, branding and communications.
In 2012, I will expand my activities into a new direction which I like to call ”Green Futures”, encompassing issues such as sustainability, climate changeand carbon reduction, alternative and renewable energies, the future of transportation, a new type of capitalism that is not (just) based on profit and growth (as I call it, shifting from EGO to ECO), environmental action, eco-tourism and the future of the tourism, the ‘greening’ of business; and in general, the radical changes that a post-growth society will certainly demand of us, very soon.
Venture capitalist John Doerr said in his seminal and deeply moving 2007 Ted talk on green technologies, quoting KPCP Founder Eugene Kleiner: “there are times when the appropriate response is panic”. Without wanting to push the panic button even more frequently, or harder, than other futurists before me, I must admit that I also feel that we urgently must consider sweeping changes in how we live, work and do business.
I therefore want to use my somewhat tried-and-tested speaking and presentation skills to address perhaps the most important issue there is: how we can we change the way we live, how we operate our businesses, define our policies and direct our governments; and how we will use and replenish our planet’s resources, going forward.
I believe that if we don’t stop borrowi ng from our own future, and if we don’t start paying the real price for what our ever-increasing consumption actually costs (or maybe even curtail our consumption??), we have a very good chance at losing everything we value, today, in the next 20-50 years. We may lose our oceans, our forests, our glaciers, our rivers, our wildlife, our breathable air and our clean water - and this is not a world that I want my children, or grand-children, to live in.
Maybe we can no longer be content with ‘tinkering around the edges’, making only minor dents into this rapidly widening path to destruction. Maybe we need large, sweeping actions that will require significant sacrifices from us. It is these conversations and actions I want to further with my work as Green Futurist.
Interesting point - $ 75k is medium to top range income in the US and most western countries but way beyond what people in so-called developing countries are making (usually less than $3000 per year). But for us, here, in rich countries... We should take note.How Much Money Makes You Happy? Scientists Pinpoint Amount
After analyzing 450,000 responses from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index (GHWBI), a daily well-being survey that queries 1,000 respondents, two scientists from Princeton University say happiness is based on life evaluation and well-being, reports GALLUP Management Journal.
According to Mogulite, the findings show that those with a total household income of less than $75,000 overall had lower levels of emotional well-being and satisfaction with their state of life. However, those who made more than that amount didn’t see a significant increase in their happiness.
Of course, there remain a couple of exceptions to this finding. If you give your money away or you find that wealth upgrades your social status, it can make you happy beyond the $75,000 mark.
Watch the whole thing and you'll understand what the world - and in particular, America - is up against in 2012. And check out his book "The price of Civilization" - I just got it for my Kindle and will share my public bookmarks soon, here.
If you own a Kindle you can follow my Kindle note-sharing here.
From Youtube: "As he has done in dozens of countries around the world in the midst of economic crises, Sachs turns his unique diagnostic skills to what ails the American economy. He finds that both political parties—and many leading economists—have missed the big picture, offering shortsighted solutions such as stimulus spending or tax cuts to address complex economic problems that require deeper solutions. Sachs argues that we have profoundly underestimated globalization's long-term effects on our country, which create deep and largely unmet challenges with regard to jobs, incomes, poverty, and the environment. America's single biggest economic failure, Sachs argues, is its inability to come to grips with the new global economic realities.
Yet Sachs goes deeper than an economic diagnosis. By taking a broad, holistic approach—looking at domestic politics, geopolitics, social psychology, and the natural environment as well—Sachs reveals the larger fissures underlying our country's current crisis. He shows how Washington has consistently failed to address America's economic needs. He describes a political system that has lost its ethical moorings, in which ever-rising campaign contributions and lobbying outlays overpower the voice of the citizenry. He also looks at the crisis in our culture, in which an overstimulated and consumption-driven populace in a ferocious quest for wealth now suffers shortfalls of social trust, honesty, and compassion. Finally, Sachs offers a plan to turn the crisis around. He argues persuasively that the problem is not America's abiding values, which remain generous and pragmatic, but the ease with which political spin and consumerism run circles around those values. He bids the reader to reclaim the virtues of good citizenship and mindfulness toward the economy and one another. Most important, he bids each of us to accept the price of civilization, so that together we can restore America to its great promise...."
This Quickfire Storytelling session brings together some of the world's leading futurists (see below) to share bold ideas and conflicting predictions of how the world might look in 10 years' time. This video (which we shot ourselves using a Kodak HDCam and Sony bluetooth mic) shows the first 10 minutes i.e. Gerd's introduction, the 5 minute talk and brief discussion with the other speakers and the audience. Twitter buzz is here
You can download the 10MB PDF of my presentation (unfortunately, the slides are not visible in the video), here.
The panel discussion afterwards can be viewed here, as well (all in Spanish). Note: even though I am actually presenting in English the overdup is Spanish and very much in the foreground. I will try and get an English version, as well - stay tuned.
El suizo GerlLeonhard, líder futurólogo experto en modelos de comercio electrónico, medios de comunicación e innovación fue el encargado del cierre de la Primera Cumbre Nacional de Contenidos Digitales, Colombia 3.0, realizada por el Ministerio TIC entre el 5 y el 8 de octubre. Después de cuatro días de análisis en los que se reunieron emprendedores, inversionistas, animadores, desarrolladores de aplicación y representantes de la industria de los contenidos digitales del mundo terminó Colombia 3.0. En la cumbre participaron 30 conferencistas nacionales y 50 internacionales, quienes se reunieron en 14 eventos simultáneos.Las distintas actividades y conferencias fueron seguidas en línea en 23 ciudades del país y 15 países. De igual manera se tuvo la participación de Siggraph, una asociación mundial de animación gráfica y técnicas interactivas, espacio en que 19 expertos en animación compartieron sus experiencias exitosas en las firmas más importantes del mundo de esta industria. Bogotá 7 de octubre de 2011.En su intervención GerlLeonhard, realizó un detallado análisis de los cambios que han sufrido los medios tradicionales al migrar a los medios sociales como Facebook, Twitter y otras redes sociales. Además,Leonhard anotó que en la actualidad se vive una cultura de la banda ancha y son los “prosumidores”, consumidores activos, los que producen contenidos digitales.
Mencionó el experto suizo que el mundo digital está regido por la relevancia y no solamente por la distribución, según Leonhard, los contenidos digitales deben ser depurados antes de ser distribuidos a los distintos públicos y subrayó que la nueva economía digital que se está viviendo en la actualidad debe iniciarse desde Internet y especialmente desde los dispositivos móviles. Anotó también Leonhard, que el usuario es quien genera los contenidos digitales en la actualidad através de distintos dispositivos móviles. En su intervención, señaló además que la tendencia actual se desarrolla a través de lo móvil, lo social y lo local. Ademásindicó, en este sentido,que para el 2015se esperaque 7.1 trillones de dispositivos móviles sean usados en el mundo.
Here is another episode from a series of videos I made with my friend and fellow futurist Ross Dawson, in Sydney, last month. Read his entire post here, and check out Ross's video channel here. And be sure to visit GerdTube:)
Via Ross's post: "Here are a few of the points we make in the video: * Many executives want to know whether and why they need to open up their business models and customer interactions * Open systems are faster, more viral, have more innovation, and are more fun to work in * Apple is the only prominent example of a closed system that is working well * There is a long and gradual trend to open systems, but progress is rarely linear and it hasn’t shifted as fast as we may have expected * Platforms and open source have been significant wins for open systems * There is a battle between ecosystems – you want to be open within the space but compete with other ecosystems * Android within the platform is open – arguably too open – yet it competes with other mobile platforms it in fact so has boundaries * Being too open can make things slower to progress, for example with quality assurance issues * The development of a highly interconnected world creates more need for open systems * APIs have provided a huge boost to the Internet economy * Google’s early move to expose APIs to many of its products provided the impetus for this to become standard practice across the net * A key issue is the pace at which commercial organizations should open out their models * Facebook has become more open over time due to customer pressure, however now that Google+ has provided a ready way to export personal profiles that changes the competitive landscape in social networks
It seems like every single day I read about how Internet and mobile companies are struggling to obtain the rights for what they want to do, whether it's about music, videos, TV shows, films, articles, text and images.
Netflix seems to have been more successful at tackling this wicked problem of content licensing, at least to some degree, by - as cnet aptly puts it - 'building relationships in traditional means' (I guess this means playing nice with Hollywood? Read the article - those are good, old-fashioned golf-club paradigms I'd say)
Spotify is a fantastic music service, no doubt; very much along the lines of what Dave Kusek and me envisioned as 'music like water' in our 2005 book 'The Future of Music', and subsequently expanded on in my follow -up book, Music 2.0 (free PDF here). Spotify is not officially available in Switzerland but I have been successfully using it via a UK paypal account (after trying simfy.de and not getting anywhere with their really awkward and crash-prone iPhone app). Unfortunately, Spotify just can't seem to get the music labels and national rights organizations to bless their launch in many other territories, including the U.S. (read this Slashgear piece for more details ). All of this - you guessed it - because the record companies and the music publishers have not agreed on the licensing and deal terms for those countries, yet, and despite the fact that Spotify is already spending most of its VC money on paying for the music licenses. The fact is that there are no compulsory licenses available for on-demand streaming and flat-rate access services so unless these deals are negotiated nobody can touch it. Read about it here, or here (my Spotify-related blog posts), or via my July 2009 blog post on specifically why I think Spotify is unlikely to survive, or peruse the Zemanta-enabled links below for more enlightenment by some smart people
So here is the point I am trying to make: I don't think a purely free-market-driven and unregulated approach will work, in the future. Many large, incumbent media companies, publishers, record labels and other traditional intermediaries (i.e. the 'industry' as opposed to the actual creators) have every reason NOT to be flexible or even slightly forthcoming with their licensing terms and thereby support the deployment of new cloud-based, access-on-demand and flat-rated services. This is simply because their very existence may quickly and irreversibly change the entire playing-field, and may make it very hard for the incumbent rights-conglomerates to continue to effectively control distribution (and by extension, advertising prices) in the same way as before. These changes aren't for the better when you currently run the entire show, so why should you agree?
This is why Warner Music Group's Edgar Bronfman has said many times that he will not license any unlimited streaming-on-demand service, why Netflix - despite of (or because?) its vast growth - has been back and forth with the Hollywood studios on getting more content deals done, and why Hulu is losing steam because of the studios' concerns over future cable-TV revenue streams. Clearly, this is all about controlling and milking the market (i.e. the 'people formerly known as consumers') as long as possible. Yes, sure, just like the big telcos used to do before they had to let competition in. This is not about 'getting the artists / creators paid' or about fighting digital piracy - it's about maintaining a comfortable and lucrative monopoly position for the longest possible time. Which is OK, too - if it wasn't for the criminalizing effect it has on every single Internet user.
Most large, international media companies (disclosure: many of which are or have been my clients in some way or the other) and almost all major TV, film and music rightsholders are used to absolute control over the distribution of the works (and artists / producers) that they own or represent, and this simple fact used to result in getting much higher license fees - the other party had no choice but to take it or leave it; no license simply meant no (legal) business. This may sound somewhat reasonable in a mostly offline world (i.e. until just recently, when the mobile Internet started to take of), but on the Net, in a truly networked society, this kind of thinking plays out quite differently: refusal to license at a price that is affordable(and / or financially viable for a new, potentially huge but legally unprecedented player) simply encourages and produces piracy, because the desired content will become available anyway, legal or not, one way or the other. The reality is that there is no real control of distribution of digital content, any longer, and all models based on re-achieving that control will fail miserably. Witness the 100s of illegal movie sites that now stream pretty much any movie on-demand, or the many new IP-cloaking and re-routing services (commonly used to access locally restricted content services) that are currently flooding the market. Not licensing content to new players on actually survivable terms simply lets other, parasitic entities prosper by offering it without permission. Everyone loses.
My thesis is that - just like telecom deregulation - we urgently need new, open and public mechanisms that first significantly encourage and then possibly even enforce the licensing of copyrighted works for new services that require a new and more experimental approach, and that may end up serving the consumers much better than the traditional services. A 'use it or lose it' rule may be useful to that end; and as far as music is concerned I have been proposing a new, public digital music license for a long time.
In any case, I think that a system that continues to be based on deriving future benefits ONLY for the largest and most powerful rightsholders (again, by that I do not mean the actual creators, but the industries that represent them) is, in my view, simply unsustainable and socially indefensible in this dawning broadband-culture and in a connected, networked and interdependent society. We need better and more transparent EcoSystems and less EgoSystems; less empires and more Open Networks.
Let me have your feedback please!
Note: if there is some kind of problem with my comment box on this blog, please use Facebook or Twitter for comments, for now, or email me and I will post them.
It was a great pleasure to speak at TedX New Street in London yesterday (tweet flow is here, btw) I was allotted the usual 18 Ted-minutes to speak about the future of intellectual property and copyright - a piece of cake! Here is my presentation, below - let me know how you like it. Hopefully we will have a video on Ted.com pretty soon, as well. If you want a quicky download (rather than the high-res slideshare version, below), you can try this low-res PDF: Future of IP and Copyright Gerd Leonhard Tedx London LOW RES
Blogging this aboard a train from Wales to London; on my way back from one of the most amazing events I have attended in a long time: DoLectures in Cardigan, Wales (UK); see more details at their blog, here. I was invited to speak on one of my key topics: the switch from EGOsystems to ECOsystems - here is the PDF, below. Video to follow shortly.
This is a rather lengthy (but worth it, I hope:) 90 minute+ video of my June 23, 2010 presentation on "New Insights: The
Future of Business - trends, future scenarios and key insights" at the
Fundacao Dom Cabral (FDC) in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. The PDF with the slides can be downloaded via this link (30MB PDF); as usual all material is
creative-commons-licensed (attribution required / non-commercial). Topics include: broadband culture and mobility, social media, the link
economy, the culture of participation, open economy paradigms, cloud
computing futures, the network vs the networked, selling 2.0, privacy
and much more. You can download the FDC's STC program description here.
Here is the official event description: "The pace of change is
constantly accelerating, everywhere and across most industries, whether
it's in technology, communications, marketing, media, manufacturing,
services or consumer goods. Disruption is becoming the norm rather than
the exception. B2B relationships are deeply effected, as well, with new
and often challenging standards of openness, transparency, collaboration
and inter-connectivity quickly emerging. The future is likely to
require hyper-collaboration rather than (just) competition, non-linear
thinking, crowd-sourced innovation, and circular business model