Listen, learn and think outside the box to find opportunities

Just found this short presentation via @RTGit:

Paul Pollack‘s advice to find solutions for social problems:

  1. Go, where the action is.
  2. Talk to the people who have the problem and really listen to what they have to say
  3. Learn everything about the specific context of the problem.
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Sign the Charter for Compassion

Great initiative to combat violence in whatever form (verbal, physical, emotional) it may appear, and a reminder that change starts with ourselves:

The principle of compassion lies at the heart of all religious, ethical and spiritual traditions, calling us always to treat all others as we wish to be treated ourselves.

via Charter for Compassion.

Here is the whole charter as a video:

And a link to the speech, in which Karen Armstrong explains the idea for this charter.

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

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

Citizenship, communication and politics

Interesting talk in the face of the ongoing events in Iran:

Clay Shirky shows how Facebook, Twitter and TXTs help citizens in repressive regimes to report on real news, bypassing censors however briefly. The end of top-down control of news is changing the nature of politics.

via Clay Shirky: How cellphones, Twitter, Facebook can make history | Video on TED.com.

To Common: a Lifestyle we have to relearn?

Check out this post on OntheCommons and the video of a speech by Professor Louis Wolcher from the University of Washington it links to.

For me, the most important meaning of the commons is not a pasture, it’s not an ocean, it is the shared imagination of people in solidarity with one another, confronting a world that is falling apart before our eyes.

Watching the full speech entitled “The Meaning of the Commons”, is well worth the 25 minutes. In the end Wolcher cites an Economist article that was published after the IASC conference in Cheltenham in 2008.

On creating value

There were a lot of people who were completely complicit in this grand rip-off of the financial system, because they were thinking about capturing value for themselves, they weren’t thinking about creating value.  —Tim O’Reilly in his Keynote at ETech 2009.

The principle he advocates here is Create more value than you capture. Why? because if everyone only thinks about their own return independently of the overall impact, we get system breakdown, as in the financial system, climate system, food system, … Instead we can choose to create community and lasting value!