“This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man”
Hamlet (Act I, Sc. III 78-82)
November 1989 I was living in London, the heady final days of the 80s preceding the recessionary storm. Together Reagan and Gorbachev were generating the warmth that helped end the cold war. I remember flicking on the TV (no on-demand service) breaking news …….the Berlin Wall was coming down!
Stark contrast to the times we find ourselves in now. Walls were coming down, not going up. The world was attempting to unite, and that’s exactly how I remember feeling as I watched each graffiti covered brick hurled to the ground.
At the time I’d never been to Germany, nor did I know anyone living in Berlin. Regardless I felt deeply connected to the experience. I remember the rush of adrenalin as I witnessed exuberant strangers dangling from the wall.
What is this aspect of the human condition that makes us feel connected and touched by the joy of strangers?
What makes us celebrate the freedom of people we will never meet, whose lives we will never know?
“Knowledge is Power”
– Francis Bacon
The privacy debate is the shadow cast over the start to our 21st Century. We are surrounded by extreme views. Privacy is political; just ask Snowden. Privacy is over, declares Mark Zuckerberg. Privacy is space, says the teenager behind a closed door.
Amidst these differing views it’s evident is that the privacy norms of the past are fast eroding in the digital, wi-fi enabled, security-camera tracked world we inhabit.
I am not sure it is going to get better in the short term; in fact I think it is going to get a lot worse. In part, because we focussed on debating privacy, when the real issue is power.
“We should take the pains to remember something.
There are some of us,
Who do not accept the dreams of dragons as their own,
No matter how grand those dragons might say they are”
-Llorca, The Novel Sound
When I was about six years old we had a car accident. The family car was a green E.H. Holden, four doors with bench seats. At the time of the accident my mother was driving and my sister and I were in the back. The car was stopped at a railway crossing and then clipped from behind, sending us into a 360-degree spin. Time slowed down so much it felt like we were spinning forever. Then amidst the screeching and broken glass the car came to a thumping halt in front of a pub.
“Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run, there’s still time to change the road you’re on” – Led Zeppelin
Everything is broken! But wait…don’t change the dial; this is a tale of hope, not complaint.
This is about exploring the doorway to our shifting context, this is about opportunity, the here and now, this is about being a witness to the end of the industrial revolution and the dawn of the next epoch…..What ever that emerges to be?
This week I have the privilege to join Rawn Shah, Cheryl K Burgess and Michael Weeding at the Amplify Festival. We have been united by the incredible Annalie Killian, the founder and curator of Amplify. Annalie outlined her vision for our Panel discussion circling around the context of ‘change’.
We are not just living in an era of change; we are also living through the change of an era. The convergence of technological disruption, transition of industries from deeply integrated verticals to global horizontal platforms and the widespread aging of populations is upending long-held assumptions that underpin strategy setting, decision-making, and management. Reading these signals is essential to anticipating the future. Now is the time to relinquish outdated mind-sets, be ‘disruption-ready’ and rethink everything.
It got me to thinking…..what is it that makes us change and adapt?
I’m here in Queenstown, New Zealand over the holidays to reflect, hike, cycle and enjoy a little of the southern hemisphere summer. It’s a great chance to review 2014 while working on the Meeco plan for 2015.
Over the past few days while thinking about this end of year message the theme of ‘gratitude’ kept emerging. I feel that our team and I have so much to be thankful for over this past year; mostly the support, encouragement and feedback of the growing Meeco community, who we affectionately refer to as our ‘Meeps’.
I am most grateful that Meeco affords me one of my great passions, which is to travel. Over the past year I have circled the globe four times to be connected in person with Meeps, partners, collaborators and so many inspiring people.
I am constantly inspired, worried and empowered by the change I see happening around us. It seems we are at a place of amazing opportunity, yet many of the technology decisions we face right now will ultimately lead us down two very different paths.
On this first day of June, with only weeks away to the global launch of Respect Network and Meeco, it seemed apt to pause and hit the reset button.
My dear friend and great support Stephen Turner recently shared this great Shakespeare quote with me, as one of his supporters had shared it with him on the eve of an important venture.
Life has taught me that there are times when you feel you don’t know anything. Everything you used to know gets turned upside down and you find yourself questioning every thing. Everything takes you back to basics.
Meeco recently secured additional funding through the Present Group. A private Australian company founded by Brian Grimmer. This month, I also had the privilege of hosting Brian here in the USA where together we meet with our Foundation Partners and the data sovereignty community.