Why don’t we ask more questions?

Very much in line with the quote by Martin von Hildebrand I posted a couple of days ago:

Too often in most businesses asking questions seems intrusive, as if you are trying to catch someone off guard or perhaps suspect they haven’t done their homework. That’s too bad, because far too many questions go unasked, and because of that far too many assumptions go unchallenged and far too many half-baked ideas are implemented.

via Thinking Faster: Asking the right questions.

Thanks to Martin (aka frogpond) for pointing me to this post.

Music gets people aligned to form community

Very interesting panel on Music and brain activity from the World Science Festival with Bobby McFerrin:

I have a feeling that most everyone here at some place inside, they have sincere desire to participate, to become part of something, which is a very strong need in all of us, I think, to be part of some kind of a community and have some kind of a relationship whether it is with another person or music. So, I find very very easily, regardless of what country or culture that I am in, to give an invitation for people to sing and they readily jump on it.

See him in action:

Found through Ribeezie.com

Low price = good?

There is more and more writing about the need for a change in lifestyle and business strategy, e.g. here or here. Yet, we still seem to be addicted to accumulating material wealth:

It’s not just cheap oil we’re addicted to: it’s cheap everything. And the world we’re entering isn’t really of Peak Oil as it is one of Peak Consumption.

via America’s Addiction and the
New Economics of Strategy – Umair Haque
.

A new book by Anthony Giddens, applies a well known paradox to the climate change debate and the slow progress we make in solving the mess: that people do not act on an incrementally growing threat until it becomes visible, by which stage action may be too late.

So if most people still think that the lower the price, the better, how do we get them to see the damage that does and the opportunity that lies in doing thing differently?

What is our place in the food system?

Louise Fresco shares her vision for our future food system – probably closer to reality than either the fossil fuel dependent industrial or the local organic model. Just does not feel as good as the local, organic vision!

It makes sense to assume that our future food needs are met by a system that lies between those models, that we will use technology (including biotech) as much as we can within the bounds of what is healthy for us humans and the environment. And she certainly has a point, when arguing that we cannot expect poor people to continue spent all their time to meet their food needs often using nothing but their hands, when we only have to go to the supermarket after work to buy what we need thanks to mechanized agriculture.

A great quote that is also shared on the TED site: “There is no technical reason why we could not feed a world of nine billion people. Hunger is a matter of buying power, not of shortages.” -Louise Fresco, NRC Handelsblad

Get connected and build a new operating system for Earth

I am back from my trip to Washington, DC and New York with lots of follow-up work – more on that in the coming days!

For now I just want to share a quote from a Commencement Address Paul Hawken gave earlier this year. The quote speaks for itself:

At present we are stealing the future, selling it in the present, and calling it gross domestic product. We can just as easily have an economy that is based on healing the future instead of stealing it. We can either create assets for the future or take the assets of the future. One is called restoration and the other exploitation. And whenever we exploit the earth we exploit people and cause untold suffering. Working for the earth is not a way to get rich, it is a way to be rich.

Found on Triple Pundit.

Listen, embrace feedback and go viral

Viral effects are a form of feedback. Viral effects aren’t about “viral marketing”. They’re about the transmission of stuff from one actor to another — in a classic increasing returns pattern: 2 people, 4 people, 16 people, 256 people you can pick your own exponent. That stuff can be flu bugs — or better stuff, like information, reputation, money…anything. The sky’s the limit in a hyperconnected world.

via The Age of Viral Feedback – Umair Haque – HarvardBusiness.org.

An end to change?

Awesome reflection about change by Wendy Farmer-O’Neil entitled Change is dead:

I am proposing that the ever-emergent flow is all there is. Take that into your body for a moment and see if there is a different response.

And how do we respond to that? With self-organization, like we always have. Like there was ever anything else. Only now, we can choose to do it consciously. We can choose to learn and create processes that leverage the power of emergence, of context, of relationship, of questions. So let go of change. It is a concept that no longer serves us or our organizations. It locks us in a jail of false hope and is creating increasingly disastrous consequences. We are simply in the flow of the ever-emergent. We shape our present and future through our collective intention. Might as well step up and start taking responsibility for what you care about and see who else shows up.

Emphasis mine, HT @hnauheimer for sharing.