From Middle Earth to Model Earth

I'm in New Zealand, where I've been speaking at a forum to mark the launch of the Pure Business Project, a new initiative focused on creating an environment in which small and medium sized enterprises (which account for around 40 per cent of New Zealand's GDP and employment) can thrive.What is remarkable about the project is how closely it echoes some of the themes in Jake's work and the wider Demos canon about how policy formation and implementation should be done:Establishin...

Posted by Paul Joseph on 24 Jun 2004
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The See-through Society

The See-through Society:Openness and the future of the internet Governments like to think they�re in control. Especially in times of crisis, they try hard to portray an image of being one step ahead of their enemies, wanting us to think they are able to take decisive action that will solve problems once and for all. Since 9/11 in particular, western governments have reasserted their commitment to monitoring the movements, conversations and keystrokes of anyone they suspect of posing a ...

Posted by Paul Miller on 22 Jun 2004
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PPPs down under

The Evatt Foundation in Australia have just published an article that I wrote for their website. The article deals with Public-Private Partnerships and their attempts to wrestle with the complexity of school improvement.

Posted by Duncan O'Leary on 21 Jun 2004
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Kerry storms ahead…

Its not something which seems likely to precipitate an immediate revision of the American constitution, but it does spark some thoughts about some fairly recent events. Tuition fees were squeezed through parliament in on the back on the votes of MPs for Scottish constituencies – where fees were not going to be introduced as a result. One of the arguments used to defend this was that the new laws would effect the not insignificant number of Scottish students who opt each year to study in...

Posted by Duncan O'Leary on 21 Jun 2004
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Is nano the next GM?

Nanotechnology - the ability to manipulate matter at the atomic scale - is the next big thing according to many in the worlds of science and technology. But it isn't without its sceptics, and some are predicting a similar kind of brouhaha to that which accompanied GM foods in the late 1990s in the UK.Demos and IEPPP at Lancaster University are working together on an ESRC funded project to examine the potential for developing 'upstream' public engagement in nanotech R&D. We'...

Posted by Paul Miller on 21 Jun 2004
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People Flow just keeps on flowing...

Demos's 2003 offering, People Flow, has recently been covered on Italian website Caffe Europa.You can read the article here.

Posted by Rachel Briggs on 17 Jun 2004
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Europe goes to the Polls

Now the dust is starting to settle, and Peter Snow's swingometer has been put back into the BBC storeroom for another year, one can begin to try and make sense of the recent European Parliamentary election results.It seems that the UK electorate were not alone in their choosing to vote for Eurosceptic and anti-Brussels candidates. Not only in the UK, but in new Member-States like Poland and Slovakia, voters gave a big thumbs-down to a federal vision of Europe. For those of us concerned ab...

Posted by on 15 Jun 2004
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Always ask the audience

His new book The Wisdom of Crowds: why the many are smarter than the few is well worth a read. The basic line of argument is that if you want to make a correct decision or solve a problem, large groups of people are smarter than a few experts. He argues his case persuasively. The stats (I guess from the US) show that the friends on Millionaire get it right 65 percent of the time - which isn�t bad - but as Surowiecki puts it,�Those random crowds of people with nothing better to d...

Posted by Paul Miller on 15 Jun 2004
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Truce Calling

I'm sick of the football already, for obvious reasons, so bring on the next major sporting event I say. And as the Olympics return to Greece, Demos has been looking at the idea of the Olympic Truce - the 16 days of peace that accompanied the ancient games. Anyway, you're all invited to the launch party which will be held in London on the evening of the 23rd June. For more details click here.

Posted by Paul Miller on 14 Jun 2004
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How powerful is open source?

A few drawbacks make it unlikely - open source is very difficult to apply to goods which are not information rich; at present it tends to imitate existing goods rather than support innovation; and, ironically, some of the motivation necessary for the free labour is reliant on the desire to overthrow capitalism's monoliths - it might therefore be parasitic upon rather than threatening to capitalism.The second article examines the burgeoning role of open source within a specific discipline ...

Posted by James Page on 14 Jun 2004
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