• 0 c
    No Straight Lines: participatory reading

    We now have an open access participatory reading platform for No Straight Lines So here is an open invitation to swing by and have a look at No Straight Lines:  It looks at how we can build better more sustainable societies, organisations and vibrant economies through innovative practice. It argues we ... read on »

  • 0 c
    The challenge of living in a non-linear world [2]

    This is the second part of a general introduction to the book and project No Straight Lines: making sense of our non-linear world The opportunity and the design challenge Which brings me on to the title and the challenge of this project. Be realistic, imagine the impossible is taken from a poster ... read on »

A Website and Weblog about Topics and Issues discussed in the book
Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution by Howard Rheingold

Curated SXSW News 2012
March 11th, 2012

Check out on Paper.li the SXSW daily news curated of 640 news spotters on Twitter. On Scoop.it you find more curated SXSW News 2012 including the updates of the South By South West, NL Report. This is a Groupblog on Posterous initiated by @erwblo with the contribution of the entire delegation of 35 prominent dutch bloggers.

Text messaging timeline
February 16th, 2012

Timeline How 160 characters changed the way we communicate 19 years ago … by Mark O’Neill

It’s hard to believe but it has been just over 19 years since the first text message was sent from a computer to a mobile phone, and 18 years since the first phones were produced that allowed people to send text messages to one another. These days, text messaging is so common and widespread (especially among the younger generation) that it is hard to think of a time when it did not exist.

How to design, fabricate and manufacture in a non-linear world
February 11th, 2012

A story about how we design and manufacture in a non-linear world, using agile software development, modular design, and rapid prototyping, the WikiSpeed car development team, developing a 100 MGP car for the Automotive X-Prize, has achieved an extraordinary compression of development time.

My argument is that better much better does not necessarily cost the earth.

Its is about a new literacy and logic in how we make stuff. This is a key part of the No Straight Lines Story.

Some interesting key points highlighted over at the p2p Foundation

  1. Designed and manufactured a 4-passenger street-legal car that gets 100 mpg
  2. The car was constructed using off-the-shelf parts
  3. The car is entirely modular in design
  4. They innovated a new process for carbon-fiber body construction that costs 1/360th the traditional process
  5. You can pre-order cars now for less than $29,000
  6. This is not just a one-off prototype. Currently they are manufacturing one car per week (yes, that’s the low volume manufacturing retail price). They are targeting a future price of under $20,000.
  7. With no capital investment
  8. Though accept donations
  9. Everything is done through volunteers

Also read:

Enhanced by Zemanta
Three Ways to Bring Crowdsourcing into Mainstream Manufacturing
February 10th, 2012

Marc Halpern, Vice President of Gartner Manufacturing Industry Advisory Service, recently suggested that crowdsourcing could fix manufacturing by leaning on crowds for some aspects of product design and development.

Beyond improving the exchange of ideas, crowdsourcing can also be useful for keeping companies “in touch with the tenor of the market,” says Halpern.

Software Advice Analyst Derek Singleton caught up with Halpern to learn how crowdsourcing might work in the manufacturing industry, and what needs to happen before it can gain widespread acceptance.

[Read Derek Singletons full article here]

Halpern explained, there are three obstacles that need to be overcome before crowdsourcing can become mainstream: fear of change, intellectual property issues, and a lack of design sharing technologies. Halpern shared three strategies for overcoming these obstacles.

1.Ease into crowdsourcing for idea creation. Historically, many manufacturers have taken the attitude that if it wasn’t invented within the “four walls,” an idea didn’t merit consideration. This can be a tough change management issue to tackle. One piece of advice Halpern offered is to start using crowdsourcing with a fringe product that isn’t core to the business. “These products can be used as a training ground for managers to get used to the approach,” explains Halpern. After a few successes, they might get bolder about introducing more products through crowdsourcing.
2.Divide projects to protect intellectual property (IP). IP theft is a big concern in the manufacturing industry. What’s to stop an outside party that collaborates with Proctor & Gamble from taking those ideas and collaborating with Clorox? Compartmentalizing roles in the project can help limit the problem of information sharing. For instance, a manufacturer may want to crowdsource just the fuel cell for a car but keep the rest of the car design proprietary. To protect the IP of the car design, manufacturers can limit information by narrowly defining crowdsourced project roles and information access.
3.Create a single file sharing system for design files. There is a broad ecosystem of computer-aided design (CAD) software out there, with each system running its own flavor of XML code. This makes it difficult to share design files with collaborators. While creating a universal standard for CAD programs is beyond the reach of any one manufacturer, the industry as a group could push for format standardization. In Halpern’s view, creating a standard format and standard environment that everyone could use would go a long way toward enabling more crowdsourcing projects in manufacturing.

Olive – First cinema quality film shot on smartphone
January 29th, 2012

Interview with Co-Director Hooman Khalili, Executive Producer, Chris Kelly and Randi Zuckerberg who has a cameo performance in the film Olive taken with a Nokia N8 smartphone.

@FANDORific talked to Hooman about the Oscars & Gena Rowlands.

Olive is the very first full length feature film shot 100% on a cell phone. A 35 mm lens adapter was fabricated to fit the smart phone in order to achieve a shallow depth of field.

The film simply put is about a little girl that transforms the lives of three people without speaking one word.

The movie stars two time Academy Award nominated actress Gena Rowlands (The Notebook, A Woman Under the Influence). The sound design was done by Skywalker Sound.

The financing of Olive was done independently of any corporation. The goal now is to be the first film to not only be shot on a cell phone, but to also be the first independently financed feature film on 2,000+ theaters across the United States without the backing of a major studio.

Research: South Africans most active tweeters
January 26th, 2012

Young people tweeting from Blackberries and iPhones are driving the growth of Twitter in Africa, with South Africans by far the most vociferous, according to new research published Thursday.

Full article By MICHELLE FAUL | Associated Press

African tweeters are young, averaging 20 to 29 years, compared to 39 worldwide, the report said. And some 57 percent of analyzed tweets were sent from mobile phones, mainly Blackberries and iPhones.

The research analyzed more than 11.5 million geographically pinpointed tweets originating on the continent during the last three months of 2011. That was complemented by a survey of 500 of Africa’s most active tweeters.

The researchers noted how few African business and political leaders were joining Africa’s burgeoning Twittersphere.

With some notable exceptions, we found that business and political leaders were largely absent from the debates playing out on Twitter across the continent,” they said. “As Twitter lifts off in Africa, governments, businesses and development agencies can really no longer afford to stay out of a new space where dialogue will increasingly be taking place.”

The challenge of living in a non-linear world [3]
January 25th, 2012

This is the third and final part of a general introduction to the book and project NO Straight Lines: making sense of our non-linear world

nsl-cvr-final_3The coming age of the Craftsman
Why is the idea of craftsmanship significant at this epochal moment in time? Because it is about shaping our future and the ‘engaged’ craftsman brings the full power of humanity to bear upon his work. His hand is guided by his eye, informed by his creative mind; his productivity the act of unique creation. Indeed, the master craftsman is adept in using a philosophical framework, as well as tools and materials, to deliver useful things to the world. But more than that, the craftsman must be open constantly to new ideas; he is essentially always in beta. Therefore, we cannot engage with our uncertain non-linear world with the linear and inflexible orthodoxy of logic alone. The craftsman’s critical eye and creative mind is vital to evaluating new possibilities; he must be open to new ideas, information, tools and materials to make things that enable humanity to flourish. This approach is inherently more creative in that it synthesises all aspects of what make us truly human. But the 21st century craftsman does not only exist in the dusty workshop of a forgotten age; a games designer is a craftsman, a Linux programmer is a craftsman, innovative organisations like Local Motors and Ushahidi, which are discussed in more detail in Chapters 3 and 8, embed craftsmanship into everything they do. These are well designed responses to what real life previously perceived as intractable as the plot line in Catch 22.
And so I come to this project with a strongly held belief, that there is an opportunity to bring a way of thinking to many of the seemingly intractable problems that confront us today. But this requires us to think and act as craftsmen and women and apply our critical thinking to understanding our non-linear world, which is in part shaped by participatory cultures, open, complex and seemingly ambiguous systems that are highly interdependent of each other. We need to be inspired to be epic, to seek epic wins – to design for transformation, to make informed choices and co-author innovative new possibilities that can enable humanity to lead a life not constrained by the crushing reality of industrial-age thinking but one designed around the primary needs of humanity. We need to explore our non-linear world, not exploit it.

Connecting to our best possible future

I believe there is much evidence demonstrating the possibility of this society. It exists in philosophical frameworks, language and literacy, legal frameworks, tools and technologies, and real stories of how others have been motivated by a real desire to create new and better answers to what others would call unsolvable, wicked problems. And it has been my mission to bring together these separate component parts to offer to you a vision of the world which is both realistic and eminently possible. But to create this regenerative society requires us to take a voyage of discovery and to look upon the world as Proust would say with fresh eyes. This is the world of no straight lines and this project is how we make sense of this non-linear world, and then act in it.

You can buy the book at (Amazon US) or (Amazon UK) and there will be an epub version available very soon

Enhanced by Zemanta
The Challenge of living in a non-linear world [1]
January 25th, 2012

This is an excerpt from the book No Straight Lines: making sense of our non-linear world

nsl-cvr-final_3What do these have in common?

A car company built around a global community as an organisation, enabled by combining flex manufacturing techniques, open source platforms, open legal frameworks and social communication technologies premised upon cooperation, fuelled by the desire to be a great company and green; that can build cars 5 times faster at 100 times less the capital costs. A crisis management platform and organisation born out of the Kenyan post-election crisis of 2008 that can record critical information of events unfolding on the ground via a blend of location-based data, eyewitness accounts and mobile telephony, from often hard to reach places which visualises those unfolding events so that others can act and direct action at internet speeds. And now utilised for free in many parts of the world. Or, the largest organic diary farm in Britain, that has evolved a methodology that allows it to remain autonomous, profitable and sustainable in a market that is acutely volatile, because large-scale agricultural farming is mostly run on an oil-based economy, plus diary farmers are at the calculating mercy of the marketing needs and whimsies of large chain supermarkets.

A new social / organisational / economic model
They are collectively representative of a new reality of living, working and organising. These organisations or companies have quested to find a means to serve humanity better, to search for meaning in the work that they and others do, and offer up new viable alternatives for the ways that, in the past, these things were done. They seek an outcome that is more distributive of wealth, ideas and resources. In fact, one might argue an outcome that is more humane and community centric. Rather than premised upon the extraction of wealth, and resources, whether they be physical, mineral or otherwise, these very different initiatives represent both moral courage and a collective purpose, if you will. And why is that important? Because it does not matter if you are an employer, a worker, VC fund, an NGO, an organisation, a local council or a government, you will miss out on the energies and capabilities of your people who will increasingly seek those new realities to discover a better way of living, working and being, when better and viable alternatives are on offer. And the fact is we now have the possibility to truly transform our world, to be more lightweight, sustainable and humane, through the tools, capabilities, language and processes at our fingertips. As Tony Judt argued: ‘Why do we experience such difficulty even imaging a different sort of society? Why is it beyond us to conceive a different set of arrangements to our common advantage?’


Enhanced by Zemanta

Previous features

  • 0 c
    Song Mob

    This video is making the rounds on blogs and email forwards. Can you think of anything smarter for a mob to be doing? read on »

  • 0 c
    Feature: From me to WE, An Interview with Judy Breck

    Resident SmartMobs blogger Judy Breck recently shared the following in an interview with we_magazine: “everything begins with the smallest unit, the individual. Like microlearning: ideas, meaning, and appropriate political action networks emerge as the patterning of micro nodes. Individual sovereignty is totally unaffected by your color, the slant of your eyes, ... read on »