Ideas
GBN's network of "remarkable people" is a diverse collection of original, systemic thinkers whose boundless curiosity, passion for ideas, and generosity of spirit leads them to explore a wide range of issues and contribute unique insights to the GBN community.

Congratulations to Amory Lovins whose Rocky Mountain Institute celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary in August with Bill Clinton and Thomas Friedman among the speakers. Throughout the past 20 years, Amory  has transformed much of the world’s tthinking about energy with his visionary writing, speaking and consulting on efficiency, green technologies, and alternative resources. From his groundbreaking 1976 Foreign Affairs article on “Energy Strategy: The Road Not Taken” to his latest book (2004), Winning the Oil EndGame, Amory has shown how, when it comes to energy, less can be more—efficient, sustainable, responsible, and profitable.


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People

GBN's network encompasses both our staff and practice of experienced scenario and strategy consultants and a diverse group of "remarkable people" —provocative thinkers across disciplines—who help us anticipate and interpret emerging issues and trends. News about the network is featured below.

GBN Network News

Denise Caruso, director of the Hybrid Vigor Institute, New York Times innovation columnist, and author of  Intervention, Confronting the Risks of Genetic Engineering and Life on a Biotech Planet (Hybrid Vigor, 2006) will be interviewed by fellow GBN Network member Joel Garreau, author of Radical Evolution, on March 6 at a public event at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington D.C. Among the many positive reviews of Intervention are those by Michael Rogers, the Practical Futurist columnist for MSNBC and the futurist-in-residence for the New York Times and Steven Johnson, author of The Ghost Map and Emergence.
Ian Mitroff, an expert in risk and crisis management, is now Professor Emeritus at the Marshall School of Business and the Annenberg School for Communications at the University of Southern California. He recently relocated to Northern California, where is is president of Comprehensive Crisis Management,  a consulting firm specializing in crisis preparedness. Recent articles available on his website include: "Redesigning People: Deciding Who and What Will Be Human in the Age of Cyborgs" and "Failing to Learn the Lessons: The Sago Mine Disaster."

On January 13, the Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland, CA hosted a benefit for the work that Russell Schweickart and his fellow astronauts and cosmonauts are doing for the United Nations. Rusty is the chairman of the Association of Space Explorers' Committee on Near-Earth Objects, the group that is leading international efforts to draft a UN treaty on deflecting NEOs--a critical step in preparing for the probability of an asteroid collision with the Earth. The Chabot fundraiser supported four international workshops that will bring together preeminent experts in diplomacy, law, and risk and disaster management to grapple with the complex issues involved.

Economist AnnaLee Saxenian, author of  Regional Advantage and The New Argonauts, was a  featured speakers at "Atlas of Ideas, Mapping the New Geography of Science," a conference organized by Demos, the London-based think tank, in January. The conference examined the results of an 18-month study on science and innovation in China, India, and South Korea with a focus on collaboration opportunities with Europe.

Chip Conley, founder of Joe de Vivre Hospitality, is the co-author (with Eric Friedenwald-Fishman) of Marketing That Matters, published by Berrett-Koehler as part of the Social Ventures Network series.  The book sets forth "ten practices to profit your business nad change the world" and includes case studies of companies in a variety of industries that do well by doing good.

The 2006 Don Michael Prize, given in memory of the late Don Michael (shown in photo), a founding GBN Network member, was awarded to pioneering pollster, educator, social scientist, and author Daniel Yankelovich in San Francisco on December 1. The prize acknowledges outstanding contributions to social learning and action. At the afternoon symposium, Daniel discussed his groundbreaking work in dialogue to create the platform and momentum for public social change.
The latest book from physicist Freeman Dyson is The Scientist as Rebel (New York Review Books Collection), a compilation of 33 previously published book reviews, essays and speeches that exemplify the clarity, depth, and breadth of his provocative thinking.
George Lakoff, a linguistics professor at U.C. Berkeley and a senior fellow at the Rockridge Institute, has published a new book, Thinking Points: Communicating Our American Values and Vision (Farrar Strauss). The book sets out a progressive policy message along with a plan for building a broad offensive around it.

 

Social software pioneer Clay Shirky recenlty spoke at the Long Now Foundation's Seminars on Long-term Thinking in San Francisco. Host Stewart Brand writes, "The title of Shirky's talk was 'Making Digital Durable: What Time Does to Categories.' While he had good news, and deep news, on the category front, he was less encouraging about digital preservation in general. 'We don't know yet how bad the problem is,' he said. He pointed out that there are an alarming number of levels between preserving bits (which is easy) and preserving essence (which is at best expensive and at worst impossible). To make the Bits express the Essence over time, you have to preserve (or accurately translate forward) the Medium; and the Format; and the Interpreter; and various Dependencies; and the Operating System; and the Architecture; and the Power system (is 110 A.C. power forever?) Any of that missing or corrupted or misblended, and all is lost...'Preservation is an outcome,' said Shirky. You don't know if it is working until afterward. All you can do is reduce the risk of loss. Making digital durable, he said, is a 'wicked' problem, meaning it can't actually be solved. It will be an endless process of negotiation. View images and text from an earlier version of this talk.

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