Community Magic

The US continues to lead the field when it comes to innovative initiatives by high profile celebrity philanthropists. I've just been reading about the business corporation that belongs to Magic Johnson, the well-known and HIV stricken basketball player, and in particular his efforts in under-served communities. It all started when he had the brainwave of starting a chain of cinemas in deprived African American neighbourhoods, believing that there was strong potential for developing a new ...

Posted by on 05 Sep 2003
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Voting by proxy (server)

Some bright spark has been working on a piece of software that tracks all your online preferences, decides what your political preference should be and then votes for you automatically. More here.

Posted by Paul Miller on 05 Sep 2003
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Tug of love and money

The government seems to be moving towards favouring funding early years, though of course lots of funding goes into programmes for older children, such as Connexions. The positions that seemed to be emerging from various participants in response to this either/or choice can be crudely summarised as below:More money all round (but saying this for years, and not completely realistic)In the short term focus on teenagers, but move to early years in the longer termFocus on teenage mothers which c...

Posted by Gillian Thomas on 02 Sep 2003
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Taking the bait

It�s true that we do talk a lot about complexity, systems and networks and I can�t remember the last time we recommended that the government invested in a nice rigid hierarchy, but we don�t really see the issue in a kind of networks good, hierarchies bad, black and white kind of way. I don�t really have any arguments with Jo Freeman�s article. In almost every way she�s right. But I think a few things have moved on since 1970. Just to illustrate, mayb...

Posted by Paul Miller on 02 Sep 2003
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The original think tank?

I'm currently reading a book called Armageddon 2419 - no, don't laugh, it came up as part of my work on future fiction for the Black Sky Thinking project... It's the original Buck Rogers novel, written in 1927, featuring an American who accidentally falls into suspended animation that year only to awaken in the year 2419. In the 25th century, he finds that following a terrible war where the nations of old Europe attacked America - basically out of jealousy - the world has been ove...

Posted by on 01 Sep 2003
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Power Corrupts. Powerpoint Corrupts Absolutely

Dilbert linkhere

Posted by Paul Miller on 29 Aug 2003
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Blainely offensive

David Blaine's forthcoming stunt of starving himself whilst suspended over the Thames at Tower Bridge is morally repugnant. Voluntary starvation for entertainment looks pretty sick when there are so many people really starving in the world. But is there something more sinister at work? Are the broadcasters who will televise this stunt unaware that Blaine's act debases the currency of one of the most extreme forms of political protest? When the next political prisoner decides to go on ...

Posted by John Holden on 29 Aug 2003
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Canada Calling

The Demos delegation to Canada reached Ottwa on Friday for a day trip to the administrative centre of this vast country. Most of our meetings were cancelled as a fair proportion of government employees had been sent home for the week to avoid a repeat of the blackouts. But we did have a great discussion with a couple of officials from the Justice Ministry who were very interested in what they could learn from the model of Networked Learning Communities.We also ran into an anti-same sex marria...

Posted by Paul Miller on 24 Aug 2003
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Catching a cold

Trying to track down a copy of Seth Godin's Unleashing the Ideavirus at short notice, I spent an unhappy half hour talking to Waterstone's braches all over London looking for a copy I could pick up on the way home (result: they have five copies in Brussels) , before realising that an author preaching the virtues of uncontrolled lateral communication might well practice what he preaches. Amazon.com trails the paperback version of the book as 'the most downloaded e-book in history&...

Posted by Tom Bentley on 18 Aug 2003
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Calling young Euro-philes

The EU Policy Network has been set up to provide young academics and practitioners with a platform for sharing their research and ideas about Europe and the EU. It will publish a quarterly journal online called the Journal for European Affairs. The first issue has just come out.Check out the website and their blog.

Posted by Paul Joseph on 15 Aug 2003
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