Toward the Integral Internet

The Cluetrain ManifestoTwelve years ago, I was sparked by The Cluetrain Manifesto, a prescient book by Rick Levine, Christopher Locke, Doc Searls, and David Weinberger. This is from the introduction:

What if the real attraction of the Internet is not its cutting-edge bells and whistles, its jazzy interface or any of the advanced technology that underlies its pipes and wires? What if, instead, the attraction is an atavistic throwback to the prehistoric human fascination with telling tales? Five thousand years ago, the marketplace was the hub of civilization, a place to which traders returned from remote lands with exotic spices, silks, monkeys, parrots, jewels — and fabulous stories.

In many ways, the Internet more resembles an ancient bazaar than it fits the business models companies try to impose upon it. Millions have flocked to the Net in an incredibly short time, not because it was user-friendly — it wasn’t — but because it seemed to offer some intangible quality long missing in action from modern life. In sharp contrast to the alienation wrought by homogenized broadcast media, sterilized mass “culture,” and the enforced anonymity of bureaucratic organizations, the Internet connected people to each other and provided a space in which the human voice would be rapidly rediscovered.

So, if Web 1.0 was the “published Web” and The Cluetrain Manifesto predicted what was to become the “social Web” (Web 2.0), I believe the next iteration, Web 3.0, will be the “Integral Internet,” where the noosphere of virtual knowledge gets better and better at interacting with fundamental human needs, values, and experiences.

Web 1.0 was “It.” We consumed what was delivered to us and our value to the marketplace was measured with demographics and psychographics.

Web 2.0 was “Us.” Now, we could easily create and share our own media with friends and strangers alike, and marketers measured our worth via the social graph of our connections.

Web 3.0 simply “is.” The deepest Integral Internet interacts with the realm of spirit, of breath. We breathe ideas and experiences, and the Internet carries them and amplifies them to others, no matter where they are. See how fast collective experience flows around the world through Twitter and Facebook. As devices become more powerful, more ubiquitous, and more miniaturized, the boundary between virtual and physical will become even more permeable. The Internet itself begins to breathe.

We’re moving toward an era of the hyper-global and the hyper-local. Joyce wrote, “In the particular is contained the universal.” Through our nearest neighbors and neighborhoods — indeed by becoming more present within ourselves — we can experience the universe more deeply.

“Here” and “away” are being inverted for our children. “Exploring” no longer means going to a new part of the world physically first, for we can learn as much through Wikipedia, Google Earth, and local blogs, than we ever used to through travelling as tourists. The greatest unknown to be explored is now within us, the mysteries of who we are: the “who” that sees the world through our particular eyes.

In the past, gatekeepers were required to intermediate our experience of the world — mostly due to less powerful technologies like papyrus and illustrated manuscripts and printing presses. They are no longer needed. We can now experience the universe more directly through the noosphere (Web 3.0, the Integral Internet) and within ourselves.

So, good bye to recorded media production conglomerates, corporate news paper delivery systems, educational institutions that glorify the life of the mind at the expense of the heart and spirit, arbitrary national governments created for stage-coach era communication.

We set our life priorities based on how we see the world. We now have new priorities for new worldviews. Perhaps we can protect that world so our children may steward it with deeper awareness and respect.

This is one of my presentations from 2009. Still relevant.

Designing an Agile Learning Culture for Teams and Organizations

CultureCon 2012I was fortunate to attend CultureCon in Boston, which focused on designing workgroup practices that embrace agile, nimble learning. This is the world into which our students will be growing.

(I’ll be processing all the conference insights for a long time. In the meantime, here are my raw tweets.)

One of the most exciting sessions led to the adoption of a set of definitions, drafted by Jim McCarthy, for Culture Design and Culture Hacking, intended as a first step toward the Agile Manifesto principles which have been applied in software development and beyond.

Until Jim posts the “official” version, here’s a sneak preview:

Culturecon 2012 Lexicon

This is a V0.1 lexicon to enable us to speak coherently with each other and others interested in this work during the dawning era of culture design. It is difficult to foresee what language we will need in its entirety, but here are a few terms we know we need right now.

We are some of the riders of the Happy Bus from Philly Culturecon to Boston Culturecon from September 12-September 14, 2012 or other culture tech leaders who were involved in or leading up to those seminal community creating events.

A Culture is the collection of behaviors, values, commitments and practices that both defines and gives expression to a group. Those components are Culture Elements.

Culture Design is the act of specifying culture elements — along with whatever collateral materials are needed — in order to enable third parties to produce intended cultural effects reliably in their own cultures of interest.

Culture Hacking is culture design that does more than one of the following in notable, admirable ways:

a) Respects/promotes/extends personal freedoms.
b) Increases personal/group democratic powers.
c) Protects personal, psychological, and/or creative safety.
d) Improves the world and/or sets it on a course of continuous improvement.
e) Subverts illegitimate authority.
f) Is especially admirable for one or more of its elegance, cleverness, beauty, efficacy, humor, and other design values of its implementation.

Culture Tech is the whole spectrum and marketplace of designed cultural innovations.

This document was written by Jim McCarthy, and had about 20 signatories. (He has the original and will, I am sure, be posting the entire list.)

Robert Krulwich on the future of journalism

Robert Krulwich

It is, I know, hard to find a job.

I’m guessing you look at the world of newspapers and magazines and broadcasters and webcasters and Huffposts and Daily Beasts and sometimes the whole bunch of ‘em feel like the City of Troy – you know, this high walled, Fortress of Journalism, occupied by people who somehow got in before you did and now they’re looking down at you … little you, a newbie standing alone on the beach and you’re looking up, thinking: “Hey! How’d you get in there?… and they’re not telling …

If you want to make a life in this business, if you want to begin, and survive and flourish, how do you do it? How do you start? Well I think there’s a way…. Continue reading

The Koh Panyee Football Club: a true story

From TMB Bank, Thailand:

In 1986, in a floating village in the middle of the sea that has not an inch of soil, the kids loved to watch football but had nowhere to play or practice. But they didn’t let that stop them.

This film is based on a true story about a little island in the south of Thailand called “Koh Panyee.”

This video launched a campaign for Thailand’s TMB Bank, hoping to inspire people to start small, think differently, and create positive change. The video is based on a true story. Full credits are here.

Thank you for sharing this, Charlotte Agell!

Sustaining democracy in the digital age

From the Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities:

America needs “informed communities,” places where the information ecology meets people’s personal and civic information needs.

This means people have the news and information they need to take advantage of life’s opportunities for themselves and their families. They need information to participate fully in our system of self-government, to stand up and be heard.

Continue reading

TED: How Eric Whitacre conducted his virtual choir of 2,000 voices

With an emergent technology, something happens that you’d never imagined. Here, YouTube and Hulu, via WordPress, Facebook, and Twitter — and built upon the Internet — bring something new and wonderful to life.

With all of the horrible things we’ve learned through the Internet about suffering in our world lately, this is a video about the simple, powerful joy of people around the world singing together. Continue reading

Real value creation happens at the edge

From Harold Jarche:

I think the edge will be where almost all high value work gets done in organizations. Core activities will be increasingly automated or outsourced. Most of the people in an organization will be on the edge. The core will be managed by very few internal staff.

This is a sea change, in my opinion. It means that change and complexity will be the norm in our work. We already see this with increasing numbers of freelancers and contractors. Any work where complexity is not the norm will be of diminishing value.

We need to embrace complexity and chaos, it’s where the future of work lies.

School reform: the issue isn’t the test

If we want to see true school reform, we have to recognize that it will look different in various contexts.  It might be unschooling for some, home schooling for others, community schools for others and progressive public schools for others.  It might mean building a new structure or it might mean transforming the factory into something beautiful.

When we move from “this is what works, you need to try this” to “this worked for me,” what emerges is a true sense of unity in ideas like authenticity and humanity.

The film ‘Schooling the World’ is profound, disturbing

From Kima via Cooperative Catalyst:

“Today, I watched a profoundly disturbing film. It completely shattered my view of education as a progressive force in the world. Even if the system in place is seriously outdated, I never really questioned the intrinsic value of education as a way out of poverty, as a way to move humanity into their future….

“I believe Schooling the World is a film that is just as, if not more, important as Waiting for Superman — at least Sir Ken Robinson seemed to agree with me when replying back on Twitter, after I brought it to his attention, that it is ‘An important and fascinating movie.’

“The current education system was devised during the start of the industrialization, more than 200 years ago. Its purpose was to create skilled workers that could take specialized jobs and work in the factories. …

“In the developed countries, most of the factories are gone, more people than ever work in services, and a great level of innovation and creativity is required by most modern companies. However, the education system still produces people that can do specialized jobs — or worse, tries to generalize their knowledge to such a level that it is useless at that point.”

Fan video from Korean drama Coffee Prince

It seems that I am very late to this party. I’ve been watching the 2007 South Korean drama, Coffee Prince, on Hulu. It’s the story of about a dozen people — from three generations — in a Seoul neighborhood who come together to renew a failing cafe and who actually renew each other.

As with the several other Korean dramas I’ve watched, the pilot is somewhat silly by sophisticated Hollywood standards, but the series grows with depth and insight over the first few hours. (Incidentally, the MBS-sponsored subtitles can be pretty interesting, too, like “tomboy,” for a female who isn’t obsessed with marriage, and “shaken,” meaning the moment of being attracted to someone new.)

Over a quarter million people have watched this fan-produced video, which combines the song “Across the Ocean” by American duo Azure Ray — used twice in the series — with scenes of cafe owner Han Kyul and “tomboy” Eun Chan from the middle episodes.

I am, again, fascinated by the way this series integrates universal emotions — captured with quite a bit of subtlety — with the resistance to South Korean cultural expectations about men and women, parental respect, and class distinctions.