Can government stop losing its mind?

Can government remember? Is it condemned to repeat mistakes? Or does it remember too much and so see too many reasons why anything new is bound to fail? Commissioned by Geoff Mulgan, CEO, Nesta, and led by Gavin Starks with Constellation members, ‘Can government stop losing its mind?’ looks at the many ways the government has…

A quantum city?

Light pipes for photons, in triangles and loops (in the photo opposite, the oblongs are loops of fibre to create delays and the lines all fibre optics) About 18 months ago (thanks to Libby) I attended a discussion about some of the most advanced quantum computing research in the world. At the time I thought this…

A Digital Commonwealth?

At the 2015 CHOGM in Malta I suggested it would be prescient to consider the future of the Commonwealth through a digital lens. At the time, it felt as if the Commonwealth was at a tipping point and that the consideration of a ‘Digital Commonwealth’ might be a useful springboard. Today, I am moderating a…

Can government stop losing its mind?

On Wednesday 18 April, Nesta is hosting the launch of a new report prepared by Gavin Starks. The report entitled ‘Can government stop losing its mind?’ looks at the many ways the government has organised its data and knowledge, and examines examples ranging from the Ministries of Defence and Justice to the BBC and ODI….

Are we about to do something useful?

“Society is demanding that companies, both public and private, serve a social purpose.” Larry Fink, CEO, Blackrock “Not all of the attention has been favourable, which makes this moment all the more significant.Mr. Fink’s words mark a profound shift in the way business relates to society – a shift long in the making,”,  Chris Houston, Where…

DECODE – personal data & the public good

I’ve joined the Advisory Board of DECODE, which is exploring tools that put individuals in control of whether they keep their personal data private or share it for the public good. https://www.decodeproject.eu/ DECODE is a response to people’s concerns about a loss of control over their personal information on the internet. The ability to access,…

SDG Hackathon in Davos

I joined the judging panel at FutureHack, the first ever Hackathon to take place around Davos during the week of the World Economic Forum, as a call to action to hack for solutions for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). https://futurehack.io/ Supported by the Slovenian Government, the hackathon focused on Social Impact and Partnerships to…

Data is not the new oil. Data > Oil

“The world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data” says The Economist “Data is the new oil”, said Clive Humby and many others Some people have described why it is and that it’ll be a new currency. 2014 Wired said it was and that “data infrastructure should become a profit centre” In 2012 Forbes asked “Is…

Data as culture – summary

In October 2012, as CEO of the newly-created Open Data Institute, the first work I commissioned was … art. Why art? For me, artists help to shape questions before we’ve worked out that questions are needed. They might not be able to articulate a precise question, but often indicate a shape of something emergent. Over…

Arctic continues to lose oldest and thickest ice

[via NSIDC] After a quick initial freeze-up during the second half of September, ice growth slowed substantially during early October. On October 20, 2016, Arctic sea ice extent began to set new daily record lows for this time of year. After mid-October, ice growth returned to near-average rates, but extent remained at record low levels…

Ecocide

It’s almost as if “Destroying the Earth should be viewed as a crime.” The UN and Interpol report that environmental crime is a growing threat to security and natural resources,  is now the world’s fourth largest illicit enterprise after drug smuggling, counterfeiting and human trafficking and has outstripped the illegal trade in small arms. More:…

The tweetable scientific method

Reposting from my tweet: ■ Observe→Question→Hypothesise→Create tests →Test→Adapt→More tests→Generalise→Repeat↺ [The Tweetable Scientific Method]  

The porous city

This is not a thought piece, it’s a call to action. We have failed to create smart cities. We have failed to create truly scalable and sustainable mechanisms to enable our cities and countries to benefit from the internet age. We are not addressing the challenges we face, from housing to healthcare, from taxation to…

some themes emerging

Thinking about the sea http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/02/sunday-review/protecting-the-untamed-seas.html and webcasting http://www.dgen.net/blog/ms-hans and music http://rinse.fm http://store.darkclover.ro/album/sabo http://tidal.lurk.org http://lysuc888.blogspot.co.uk http://www.aec.at/aeblog/en/2015/08/03/rhythmus-als-dna-der-musik and long playing things http://longplayer.org/about/ and cosmology/topology http://www.binarydust.org/2012/09/21/evolving-language http://www.nersc.gov/news-publications/nersc-news/science-news/2014/simulations-reveal-unusual-death-for-ancient-stars and data http://theodi.org/who-owns-our-data-infrastructure Some interesting Venn diagrams emerging.

Maxipok Zero – a quadrillion lives are in your hands

A quadrillion lives are in your hands. We often hear people talk of “protecting future generations”,and there is certainly a lot of value in thinking of your children and grandchildren when thinking about the future – it makes it personal. But there is an additional way of thinking about this, which carries equal moral authority…

AMEE at Strata – talk slides

My slides from O’Reilly’s Strata conference “Making Data Work” today. I described some of AMEE’s journey: through open data aggregation and distribution, accessibility, provenance,  and structure. But better data isn’t enough – no one (well, a few) really cares about the science or the technology. We need to engage with stakeholders to provide meaningful insight…

New role at the Open Data Institute

During the Olympics Opening Ceremony, the creator of the web tweeted “This is for everyone” to millions of people around the world. Decades since their invention, we are still discovering and unlocking value from the innovations catalysed by the open web, open internet, and open source. The Open Data Institute‘s mission is to demonstrate and…

New record low for Arctic sea ice melt

I’ve been tracking Arctic sea ice melt for over 5 years – we now seem to have broken the 2007 record. There are a few week left in the melt season, so this isn’t the minimum yet…. More from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Earth Observation Research Center More from the USA National Snow and Ice Data…

Occupy & Climate Change: Hansen, Buffet, Chomsky

Two pieces really struck me today. I think we can expect to see this form of direct action increasing. The issues (control of resource, environmental sustainability, and social sustainability) are intrinsically linked, but the shift that appears to be happening is of awareness, urgency, and engagement in direct action. Chomsky’s piece in the Guardian is…

Those are my stars…

Calling Virgin Galactic: “if we could get our political leaders to have a summit meeting in space, life on Earth would be markedly different” Alex Evans reflects “during a break in an all-day meeting of senior policymakers at the United Nations, on the subject of ‘global sustainability’. Know what? The room had no windows”   On…

Educational biomes?

I’ve got some thoughts about a different way to create a distributed education. One I think could break through silo’s in our Psychogeography and Biogeography. Please bear with me and, of course, if someone has already done this, please let me know! Background [or skip the background] A familiar problem but always a new one…

RIP Dr David Fleming

A tragic and untimely loss. David is still a huge inspiration, his thinking, consideration and actions have touched so many people. I am glad we had the opportunity to share ideas, conversation, and a beer. Cheers to you David, and thank you. For those who didn’t know him, I strongly recommend reading and distributing his…

Periodicity

Building on this two things: 1) add the cyclic patterns for every form of centralisation->decentralisation technology | politics | finance | energy | cosmology | art | religion | etc… 2) look to see if there’s a damping factor Are we dealing with periodicity that has diminishing amplitude? ie. thinking in a political/government sense: do…

Data is not binary

Science, data, internet, ontology, work and non-work themes converging – my post on O’Reilly Radar, reposted below Why open data requires credibility and transparency. by Gavin Starks | June 30, 2010 Guest blogger Gavin Starks is founder and CEO of AMEE, a neutral aggregation platform designed to measure and track all the energy data in…

Obsfuscation as a method of closed data

Things wrong with Companies House Crown Copyright data disclosure (which allows free copying) Get the DVD rom of the data – SIGH £30 for a copy of the data – PARTIAL WIN (it’s accessible) £1200 if you want to actually save the data – FAIL Crown Copyright Data is in a closed format –  FAIL…

Δten / Δ10 / delta10

Many late night discussions over the last year from FOWA, IT@Cork, eTech, Green:net to Geekyoto, and with the AMEE team have led me to think on topics like “digital inheritance” (e.g. what if you could inherit your grandfather’s iPod?) dematerialisation (digital products and products transforming into services) desiring what we need (as opposed to the…

Age of Stupid

Official website: http://www.spannerfilms.net/films/ageofstupid Watch it here: http://www.ageofstupid.net/screening/pp/london_vue_acton

A Climate of Polarisation

(copy of my post on the O’Reilly Radar) We’re all aware of the emotive language used to polarize the climate change debate. There are, however, deeper patterns which are repeated across science as it interfaces with politics and media. These patterns have always bothered me, but they’ve never been as “important” as now. We are…

Cloudcast :: a next step in the evolution of broadcast

At last, I think the nature of [AV] transmission is beginning to reveal itself. Do we need a new term? Probably – many other terms (p2p, broadcast, webcast, bitcast, torrent, web2.0, hive, etc) all describe an evolutionary step, so it does make sense to have a phrase to describe this one (note that edgecasting has…

Remarkable insights

The Long Now essay by Daniel Hillis on “Richard Feynman and The Connection Machine” contains some fantastic, inspiring nuggets, which I couldn’t resist quoting from … they really remind me of conversations at Jodrell Bank. “… we planned to connect the processors in a 20-dimensional hypercube …” “In retrospect, if we had had any understanding…

“activist capitalism”

I’ll explain more soon, but just wanted to capture the phrase I’m now using to describe what I think we are building.

Global Cool launches

wow. we did it. we built and launched it on time. to the minute, as they walked off stage… It finally (soft/beta) launched with a couple of “people of fame” (Orlando Bloom and Kate Bosworth). After years of planning, we ended up getting the funding “weeks” ago and built everything online in 4 weeks from…

In response to…. BBC Charter

In response to [published in the proceedings from] Westminster Media Forum “BBC 2016 Charter Renewal” meeting 2004-02-25 at Millbank Tower. Inverting the Model Working at the junction between the macrocosms of broadcasting (TV and Radio) and the internet (everything) is always stimulating. You always have to assume that you know nothing about either. Both have…