"It takes a nation of museums..."

Last night I went to City Hall to witness the launch of 'Holding up the Mirror', a report by the London Museums Agency into cultural diversity in the capital's museums. The report makes for a scathing indictment on equitable representation amongst the employees of some of our flagship cultural institutions. There was a definite consensus that, if we want a substantial portion of London to view the term 'cultural institution' as anything other than a rather oxymoronic,...

Posted by Charlie Tims on 28 Oct 2003
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Library in your (their?) pocket

From today, Peter M shows me, amazon.com greets users with a letter from its CEO, informing them that they can now search by the contents of books, as well as by the title, publisher, etc. Registered users can then view the pages of books on which their search term has been found. A pretty powerful research tool, and finally a solution to that irksome 'I've read it somewhere' feeling. I wonder what this will do to the demand for e-books, and more broadly what the implications o...

Posted by John Craig on 27 Oct 2003
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Empire Strikes Back

Having just worked on this week's BBC 2 Money Programme The Great British Jobs Takeaway; (sorry no link - blame the BBC!) before coming to Demos, I;m very interested in finding out what people think off the offshoring of British service jobs to Asia and the developing world. The offshoring of service sector jobs to India and Asia is about globalisation, but this time it is the developing world that stands to benefit rather than the wealthy west. It is all about cost - british service jobs...

Posted by on 24 Oct 2003
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Demos-speak

Obviously, there's a balance to be found between direct forms of address and firm conclusions, particularly when communicating with the media, but it's possible that we're rhetorically contradicting ourselves. At the simplest level it's worth considering how we present Demos ideas: 'Demos argues'; 'Demos asserts'; 'Demos concludes'; 'Demos believes'; 'Demos thinks'; etc. Rushkoff's version was along the lines of: 'Demos proposes ...

Posted by on 22 Oct 2003
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Wither the Creative Classes?

From the pieceIn Rajhastan, travelling storytellers go from village to village, unannounced, and simply start a performance when they arrive. Although each story has a familiar plot - the story telling tradition dates back thousands of years - each event is unique. Prompted by the storytellers, who hold up pictorial symbols on sticks, the villagers interact with the story. They joke, interject, and sometimes argue with the storyteller. They are part of the performance. Hearing about these sto...

Posted by on 21 Oct 2003
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London Calling

Yes, it's another Demos report about mobile phones! Building on the stormin' success of James Harkin's Mobilisation, this new pamphlet sets out the agenda for m-government in London and urges local authorities to welcome mobile as a major platform for delivering services and communicating with citizens. The m-future is in our hands (indeed at our thumbs) and we can shape it to serve the public interest if we take the time to develop the right strucutres of governance. To adapt a p...

Posted by on 20 Oct 2003
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Jane Perrone, The Guardian 16.10.03

Demos opens up Demos has gone open source. To celebrate its 10th anniversary, the political think tank is putting more than 150 books and essays online in a bid to allow the viral spread of its ideas. The fully searchable archive is arranged around five themes: democracy, learning, enterprise, global change and quality of life. Among the works available without the usual copyright restrictions are the writings of Zygmunt Bauman, Roger Scruton and David Blunkett, plus a recent paper by Douglas...

Posted by James Page on 16 Oct 2003
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Upwardly Mobile

Next week we'll mainly be doing mobile phones. We'll be launching London Calling: How mobile technologies will transform our capital city in erm.. London on Monday 20th October - a few places still available so email if you'd like to come. Then I'll be the support act to Will Davies of the Work Foundation at a talk at the RSA on Wednesday 22 October about how and why we communicate. My bit will focus on what mobile brings to the mix.

Posted by Paul Miller on 13 Oct 2003
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The eagle has landed

So Douglas Rushkoff has arrived to, 'try and tickle us into thinking a bit'. We've just had a great session here in the office on what open source might mean for us as an organisation. Douglas reckons, 'Demos should be a demo for a process of collaborative idea creation and decision making' and a 'play space for policymaking '. We're not ordering in one of those coloured ball pit things quite yet, but I know what he means.

Posted by Paul Miller on 09 Oct 2003
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ENTER THE CYBER-CANDIDATES

In advance of discussions tomorrow with Douglas Rushkoff, this article by Henry Jenkins is worth a read. It explores how Howard Dean and others are using the internet to rewrite the rules of US politics. And of course, it's worth remembering that we're still just at the beginning of this process. I was at a talk last night by Peter Schwartz to mark the launch of his new book 'Inevitable Surprises', during which he mentioned that only 14% of people in the US have got broadband...

Posted by on 08 Oct 2003
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