Hope via Openness

Don Tapscott presents what might just be humanity’s salvation.

Millions of us, of all ages, are linked together in this new ‘wired’ world.  For old crusties such as myself, it’s all too easy to recall the days when the mention of the word ‘chip’ immediately brought to mind fried fish!  But we struggled into this new world and now can’t imagine how it was in those earlier days – anyone want to buy my old quill pen? 😉

There are huge benefits to this wonderful networked world and most days I read something on a website here or a blog there that opens my mind in unfathomable ways.  Not only that, but the number of friends, new and old, who co-operate with my attempts to show how integrity is the only way forward is humbling.

Thus it was that an old friend of many years, Lee C., sent me a link to a recent TED talk that revealed in just 17 minutes a message of hope for all of us.  It reminded me that our younger generation have their own knowledge, their own aspirations, their own fears and dreams.

Without more ado, watch it now!

The recent generations have been bathed in connecting technology from birth, says futurist Don Tapscott, and as a result the world is transforming into one that is far more open and transparent. In this inspiring talk, he lists the four core principles that show how this open world can be a far better place.

And weren’t those flocks of starlings just breathtaking?

Lee also sent me this:

Don Tapscott’s recent TED talk ends with footage of starlings in vast numbers which is referred to as a ‘murmuration’. I watched it just two nights or so ago. Tonight I went outside for a breath of fresh air (ok a call of nature) and this is part of what I saw. So pleased to have had my mobile phone in my shirt pocket.

Finally, I hadn’t come across Don Tapscott before but thanks again to this amazing world of shared information, a quick Google search finds Don’s own website here.

8 thoughts on “Hope via Openness

  1. Am I the only one that is struggling to reconcile Don Tapscott’s technological optimism with his excellent opening analogy – that we are indeed like the workforce stuck on a burning oil platform?

    I think Don Tapscott is one of the 80% of the population that Dr Tari Sharot discovered has shown to be susceptible to Optimism Bias. I know it is comforting to think that technology can save us from ourselves but, can we please leave it to those that wish to dispute the basic laws of physics to indulge in such a fantasy.

    Lester Brown has given the World a reality check: The numbers have been crunched and the results are in; no amount of collaboration, transparency, openness and knowledge-sharing can change the physical reality that humanity’s environmental bank account is overdrawn. I’m sorry but, denying facts does not change them, we need to deal with reality as it is; not how we might want it to be.


    1. Martin,

      Your response is understandable looking at how things are now! And, like you, I greatly fear for the future.

      But as Patrice wrote so powerfully over at http://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2012/07/01/microbes-also-make-history/ and I quote,

      “We are in a similar situation with financial piracy today: if the states cracked down, it would be over in a matter of weeks.”

      OK, that was in connection with the plutocracy but Patrice also strongly links that theme to the impending damage to the biosphere.

      As Victor Hugo was quoted as saying, “One cannot resist an idea whose time has come!” So what came out of the Tapscott talk for me was this – don’t underestimate the power of the information revolution and the ability of a generation to fundamentally change the world.

      The growth in awareness of what we are doing to the planet is astounding. There is hope, we have to promote hope and we have to acknowledge that hope is a powerful agent of change. It could all be over, figuratively speaking, in weeks.


      1. If that is the case, I must be looking through the wrong end of my telescope, Paul. You seem in danger of forgetting that, in the main, we are all preaching to the converted. We may embolden each other; but we are having little effect in the real world. For example, is your friend Dan Gomez any closer to engaging with reality yet?

        There is another world out there where the majority of the population do not accept the reality that the scale and nature of human activity is the problem. Until the majority stop accusing us of being misanthropic and/or anti progress just because we speak the truth, we stand little chance of affecting the change we all need if catastrophe is to be avoided. Therefore, I can understand why people like James Hansen resort to civil disobedience: He has spent decades trying to convince politicians of the reality of the problem; but he has been shadowed and undermined every step of the way by ideologically-blinded people like Richard Lindzen.

        I am trying to convince people that they are mistaken; but nobody likes to be confronted with such a reality. Just look at what happened when I tried to do this to Geoff Brown and Anthony Cox of the Australian No Carbon Tax Climate Sceptics Party (it is classic Dunning-Kruger effect in action – people being unconsciously incompetent – and evidence that some are so far down the conspiracy theory rabbit-hole they cannot be reached by logic alone)…


      2. Martin, need to catch up with other stuff now. But, as always, I do value your thoughts and this level of debate is so important for all.

        Just on the point of the majority of the population, I’m under the impression that the last poll showed that 52% of the American people now are concerned that man may be the cause of climate change. Don’t have time to find the link just now.


      3. I know I was wrong, Paul. No need to quote opinion polls to me. Save your EROEI (hahaha). Yes, the (albeit slim) majority accept the reality of the problem. Unfortunately, (1) our politicians continue to focus on the wrong soIutions (or non-solutions) because (2) a very recalcitrant cabal of special interests have mobilised a highly-vocal minority of ideologically-blinded individuals and organisations that continue to operate as a very effective roadblock to progress.


      4. Paul. Re: Opinion Polls. The latest in the UK suggests that, despite having successive governments that accept the reality of climate change, in 3 whole years absolutely nothing has changed – as in 2009 still today – only 43% of the UK population believe global warming is real and primarily human caused.

        Is it not then bizarre in the extreme that in the USA you have one of the two main parties actively campaigning on an anti-intellectual and obscurantist ticket – that might still win – despite the fact, as you say, polls in the USA indicate a majority accept the nature of reality…?

        To me this suggests that the cabal of scientifically illiterate fools that do the fossil fuell lobby’s bidding in this country – knowingly or otherwise – seem to have an extra-ordinary effect on an equally scientifically-illiterate electorate; it does not say much for our education system…


      5. Sadly, one has to agree with your feelings. Thanks goodness you and so many others are speaking out – it is the only way that the message can be broadcast to the world.


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