Lift11 Opening Session. Don Tapscott, Jean-Claude Biver, Ben Hammersley

Laurent Haug. LIFT Founder Opens the event by explaining that there are two types of talk at the event and he has tried to split them roughly equally between immediately actionable content and future thinking.

    Urges us all to network hard and ends by letting us know that networking at LIFT over the years has already led to LIFT babies!
Opening session is about Innovation and Change.
Speakers – with MASSIVE apologies to David Galbraith. As I was taking notes on his talk my browser crashed and I lost all my notes. I will post a video when it is available. So sorry!

Don Tapscott, Wikinomics

Tunisia points to a new kind of revolution. He stops short of calling a social media revolution, it more like a wiki-revolution. This can be seen as enormously positive but also creates a big issue. AS reegime change has come through mass uprising, the end result is there is nothing ther to replace the old structures and organisationsthat governements need.

Don Tapscott, Rebuilding Institutions

Don Tapscott, Rebuilding Institutions

To understand where we are today we need to look back to feudal society. The printing press was key tool to reshape society that laid foundation for industrial age. Martin Luther described the printing press of ‘God’s act of grace’.

The Internet enabled everyone to be publishers, it created a new kind of connected society:

  • The age of connected intelligence.

It is not until the first generation of DIGITAL NATIVES grew up that the real power of this connected intelligence became clear. (Most of us older people are digital immigrants, not digital natives. [I was always told that technology is everything that was invented after you were born].

5 Principles for Innovation, wealth and sustainability

  • Collaboration
  • Openness
  • Sharing
  • Interdependence
  • Integrity

Obama election campaign was model for collaborative election campaigning. (Not necessarily a model for collaborative government).

New models are emerging for communication and interaction. Old newspaper model e.g. New York Times has evolved to new model which is very different. Huffington Post is 20 times the size of New York Times but doesn’t pay journalists.

Don talks about murmurations and shows great video of flocking birds. Birds murmurate to warm up before they sleep, they protect each other from predators like hawks. Birds almost never bump into each other. Vivaldi plays on the soundtrack.

Don talks and we are all hypnotised by the birds…

Key take away for me:

‘In the past, institutions have defaulted to opacity. In the future, institutions will have to default to transparency.’

Note that there is a difference between transparency for institutions and privacy for individuals.

#ML this would have been a better talk if he had more time. That was an hour of content and discussion as a minimum.

Jean-Claude Biver, No Innovation, No Life!

This is one cool Swiss entrepreneur dude.

The more children are educated, the more people are stifled. Innovation and creativity are more powerful than knowledge. Where is innovation and creativity in today’s society?

Innovation and creativity has to be put in front of, on top of, knowledge.

In a country that seems obsessed by watches – every advert in Geneva airport I saw this morning was for an expensive watch or UBS (an expensive bank), Jean-Claude, says you should never spend more than $50 on a watch.

Jean-Claude points out that people are afraid to innovate. They are afraid to make mistakes.

To be active, you need to take risks. He suggests people to give people a bonus of between 100 and 1,000 Swiss Francs for every mistake they make! A fabulously innovative way to bring mistakes out of everybody. [I would be interested to see what happens when NASA adopt this policy].

This guy is as mad as cheese but talks a lot of sense! I looked him up on Wikipedia and discovered that he makes and gives cheese away. (And he has spent his life working for luxury Swiss Watchmakers).

‘Every year, Biver produces approximately five tonnes of cheese at his farm in the Swiss Alps. Biver produces cheese for only a few weeks every summer during which the alpine meadows flower, rendering “a flowery taste to the milk and subsequently, to the cheese.”Because of the cheese’s exclusivity, Biver refuses payment, offering cheese only to his friends and family, and to particular restaurants of his choosing. Biver stated that by refusing payment, he can remain in absolute control of the cheese’s distribution: “I will be the master of my cheese until the last piece.”‘ Wikipedia.

Be different, be creative, be unique. This is far more powerful than knowledge.

Jean-Claude Biver really made me think in a different way.

(Also look at Young Me Moon’s Business of Software presentation last year:

Ben Hammersley, Post-Digital Geopolitics

Ben Hammersley at LIFT11

Ben Hammersley at LIFT11

Over the past few days and years you will have seen the same bewildered look on old people’s faces. Hosni Mubarak, A Swiss industrialist that has just seen the internet, a media mogul whose empire has imploded. Those same bewildered looks are shared by world leaders who are supposed to be leading the way to the future but don’t have a freaking clue about the present.

What defines a country?

  • In the old times, distance defined countries.
  • We are us and are here. They are them and are there.
  • The Swiss are Swiss because they are here (I am in Geneva), the French are French as they are in France.

Then it became about hierarchies

  • He is upper class, I am middle class, he is lower class…
  • I am the boss, you work for me.

Freud introduced the ability to see and understand these hierarchies better and this became the dominant intellectual framework for modern society. We started to judge ourselves by numbers that represent ourselves through fictions – salaries, Twitter followers, number of Facebook friends.

The old boundaries became less important.

We are using the wrong cognitive toolkits! Distance is dead!

You have far more in common with people you know in Australia, Peru, Timbuktoo than your neighbours. New disapora’s are forming.

  • Old people, used to distance and hierachical organisation don’t have a clue.
  • Young people have networks, and sheets of interest.
  • Most people in this room are sort of in the middle.

Old men have no idea about how this works.

“They can’t understand that they can’t understand what they can’t understand.”

Old people lack the intellectual framework on which to base this new form of thinking. These people are in the majority in Europe. They are not going away. We can’t kill them.

What can we do?

Start to think about your life and how you can explain it to the old guys. Our primary problem is not to innovate – it will happen anyway as it is fun.

Our primary issue is to translate it.

This is our job and our mission to clear a path for the next generation to come through.

  • How can you explain that to your mother?
  • How can you explain it to your MP?
  • How can you explain to your boss?

LIFT11 started off strong with some great talks but for me Ben’s was the most immediately agenda setting. How the hell will I tell my Mum about what we talk about this week?