Candidate Walmart

To the officials in the California town of Inglewood, it was an unprecedented and blithe display of corporate power. When councillors rejected an application by Walmart to build a new 200,000 sq ft. supercentre, the irate mega-retailer decided to take its plan to the voters. Spending $1 million to convince the residents of Inglewood that their plan matched their interests, city and union officials were left scrambling to mount a defense, explaining to voters that the proposition would exempt ...

Posted by on 08 Apr 2004
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Moving Targets?

As an earlier post by Eddie mentioned, last week Demos and MMO2 hosted a seminar to explore the opportunites and risks that mobile phones pose to children.John Naughton gives a good account of the main issues to emerge from the conversation in his most recent Observer column

Posted by on 08 Apr 2004
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The Self-creating Society

As Tom's a bit jet-lagged I thought I'd alert the world to the essay he's got in Renewal at the moment called The Self-creating Society. Here's a taster:"The next generation of domestic politics is likely to revolve partly around a politics of public behaviour. Behind the traditional issues of macroeconomic management, public service improvement and law and order, we can now see clearly emerging a new set of political issues which have a huge and direct influence on quali...

Posted by Paul Miller on 06 Apr 2004
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Open Source Learning?

Where does plagiarism stop and open source learning begin? A report from the Joint Council for Qualifications suggests today that 'They [students] would not be able to make extensive alterations without an understanding of the subject,' arguing that re-working (albeit small) exerts of existing text can be a valuable tool in self-teaching. The process as important as the final product?

Posted by Duncan O'Leary on 05 Apr 2004
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Landscape Security

Recent visits to Washington or a visit to the US embassy here in London offer an eery, but so far ad hoc view into the science of securing public streets and sensitive buildings. Oversized bollards, car-sized concrete tree planters, reinforced trash receptacles, and blast-proof benches are only a few of the options supplied by the "kit of parts", a menu of the government's post-9/11 street furniture. But rather than bunkering our cities, landscape architect Laurie Olin would lik...

Posted by on 02 Apr 2004
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The rise of network campaigning

Here's a sneak preview chapter of the Network Logic collection we'll be putting out in a couple of weeks. The full book will include pieces from Fritjof Capra, Diane Coyle and Geoff Mulgan among others on how networks affect our lives.The Rise of Network Campaigning looks at some of the characteristics of 'network campaigns' such as the Jubilee 2000 campaign for debt cancellation and asks what politics might be able to learn from the way they operate.Comments, as always, very ...

Posted by Paul Miller on 02 Apr 2004
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klogging on

Thanks to Simon at Ideas Bazaar for putting me onto 'klogs' (blogs as knowledge management tools) and this paper on corporate applications of blogs called blogging the market. George N. Dafermos argues that blogs, "take the power out of the IT department and hand it over to where knowledge really resides - to the individual workers who are knowledgeable enough and know how to speak with a human voice." A big claim, and Demos isn't a corporate with an IT department. But w...

Posted by on 02 Apr 2004
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mobiles anonymous

In the first of a series of hot button mobile phone seminars run with O2, an expert audience considered children and their phones. A wide-ranging discussion, taking in playground phone envy to bullying-by-text, eventually zeroed in on anonymity is the key issue. Would requiring the registration of pay-as-you-go phones (monthly accounts are already registered, obviously) provide real bite for industry self-regulation? And could it work in practice? News that ID cards could be closer than we as...

Posted by on 02 Apr 2004
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Pop Disney

From Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom to Epcot to Celebration, the Disney Corporation has, since the 1950's, been something of the dark prince of american urbanism and architecture. While Washington was building the interstate, Annaheim was toying with monorails. While developers earned concessions to let sprawl sprawl, Michael Eisner was pioneering a meticulous small town 'new urban' pantomine. So love it or loathe it, Disney has become a kind of advance radar for archi...

Posted by on 01 Apr 2004
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DEMASEAN

In a joint declaration dated April 1 2004, Demos Director Tom Bentley today signed an historic and unprecedented cooperation agreement with twelve of the Asia Pacific region's leading policy institutes and intellectuals. The agreement will trigger a multilateral, multidirectional, network based exchange of conference anecdotes and restaurant recommendations, facilitated by a series of global 'hubs' based in Qantas lounges across South East Asia. The unique new partnership will b...

Posted by Tom Bentley on 01 Apr 2004
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