Leadership, Consciousness and Stillness

How do we understand the consciousness of the true leader? :Leaders do not covet leadership. They build something. That said, leaders understand that they have a certain responsibility to their people. Leaders understand, at least in some cases, that they are leaders. They also understand the vagaries of the pursuit of leadership and power… the ways that this behavioural imperative serves to fracture, divide and destabilize. True leaders, therefore, operate with the largest perspective in the given context… and are, therefore, deferential to the requirements of the highest level perspective. This deference means that they are not subject to the whims of the moment… they realize that it is not necessary to assert their voice in every moment… that silence speaks volumes… that inner silence is what ones seeks so as to be able to offer outer silence as a gift… and that inner silence requires engagement with the highest levels of consciousness…. spiritual consciousness… fractal consciousness… unity consciousness…


Reviving the Blog!

Hi Everyone – I don’t have a good explanation for why I haven’t been active with my blogging, but the hope is to change this moving forward.

As is described in the About the Website section, I’m in the process of writing three books concurrently which I hope to self publish in the next six months or so. Yes, I know that I said this a few months ago, but my work in the world always seems to get in the way!

Anyway, hopefully by having the blog, focusing more on content creation, and possibly also exploring some themes and questions I am exploring, I will get focused on the completion of the books!


Living the New Economy… updates

The following are a few updates that I compiled over the six days of the confluence…

Oct. 21, 2013

Living the New Economy, 2013 came to a close with a series of information driven workshops. We started the day with a workshop on Financing the New Economy where Michelle Collusi and Suresh Fernando from the Canadian Centre for Community Renewal, Ross Gentleman from the CCEC Credit Union – The Official Facebook Group and Kevin Harding harding from the BC Cooperative Association provided a brief intro to various tools and models that people and local communities can use to finance their projects. Suresh higlighted the Ecosystem approach to resource allocation that he is working on that aims to shift the paradigm from allocating resources one project at a time to financing groups of projects collectively!

This was followed by an engaging discussion between a group of social entrepreneurs all working on collaboration platforms. This included Ben Scott Joy Case Van Hove from An Idea Nation – Global Think Tank, Vida Mas from Cyrka, Scott Israel from CoCreatrix and Caroline Smalley of Citizens Media. All of these platforms aim to do similar things and the question we were exploring was: why are those building collaboration platforms collaborating? Many things were revealed including the importance of the specific roles and skill sets of the entrepreneurs, the challenges of financing larger projects (if they decide to collaborate, for example) and the importance of reducing complex visions to easily digestible stories that people can actually engage in.

The late afternoon session focused on Shared Spaces. A recurring theme at LNE was the need for Shared Physical spaces in order to maintain our conversations; to bridge the gap between the projects; to get to know each other better; to build culture. The New Economy will bridge the gap between ‘economic’ issues and ‘life’ issues, revealing the dichotomy to be false. Life happens in physical space… To that end we had John Bromley from Benevoland Tara Mahony and Daniel J Pierce of the Junction and @Kim Cooper from Co-Lab and Jim Carrico from Redgate.


Oct 20, 2013

Another magical day at LNE… This whole experience is leaving many of us both exhilarated an exhausted as we now move into the final day of our program! Each day has been different and, as was pointed out to me yesterday, for those that have been there every day, a sense of family is starting to develop…

For this is what it is all about is it not? … the creation of a culture that values us as for who we are; not as functional entities in an economic paradigm that dehumanizes, commodifies and devalues our existence. This sort of culture, in some sense, is a large family; one where we really see and embrace each other for who we really are!

In terms of the day, it began with Tam Lundy doing a workshop in Generative Change; or, what might, more popularly be called, Systemic Change; the sort that requires that we broaden our perspective and see that whole; that we look beyond our own personal interests; that we realize that our personal interests are served by serving the collective interest.

This was followed by a session on Recliaming the Commons where Tiberius Brastaviceanu presented the Sensorica project which is working on developing the tools and methodologies for those working in distributed environments, to develop their own value exchange methodologies while they collaborate on projects together. Dallas Luther provided some local context by describing the MakerLABS project, the object of which is to create a space and associated community to empower those that want to creative make things! Michel Bauwens, of the P2P Foundation concluded by giving us a very brief description of a very exciting and seminal project that he is working on with the government of Ecuador; a project the focus of which is to develop an Open, Commons Based, Knowledge Society,

Joy Case Van Hove of An Idea Nation – Global Think Tank followed this by presenting a Live Crowdfunding workshop where provided us with an overview of what crowdfunding is, highlighted several projects, engaged the projects with those in the room and initiated crowdfunding campaigns on their behalf on the AnIdeaNation platform.

We closed with a shared feast!

Looking forward to today which promises to be equally spectacular!


Oct. 18/13

Yesterday was a mix of theory and magic! In the morning Randy Galowan facilitated a really powerful storytelling workshop where he introduced us to the work of Marshall Ganz, who has done a lot of work on the importance of storytelling in the context of movement building. The basic idea is that there are three stories that we need to be able to tell… The Story of Me, the Story of We and the Story of Now… and if you can make these stories fit together into coherent picture, then you have a persuasive and powerful story that can serve as the basis of a call to action!

The stories need to be as personal as possible, calling on specific life instances that resulted in major transitions… shifts in consciousness etc. Those moments need to be described in rich detail… This is what will connect you with others… build trust and form the basis for the communities that you want to build.

Randy emphsized, specifically, that People connect with People… not ideas and that there seems to be something fundamental about Stories and Human nature…



Inside Space and Outside Space: the changing nature of Space

In one of my initial posts I introduced the notion distinction between Inside and Outside Space.

I suggested that what the internet is doing impacting space in a manner that results in changes in Inside and Outside Space.

The essence of the distinction is that Inside Space is the space that you inhabit where you are not the object of the consciousness of others; your home, for example.

In contrast, Outside Space is where you are the object of the consciousness of others. Paradigm examples of this are giving a speech, or performing music on stage.

The distinction should be pretty obvious… If so, then it is also pretty obvious that intimate relationships occur on the Inside. This is what makes them intimate. Typically, the problems that we have with our lovers are sorted out with our lover or possibly with the help of a few others. We do not, however, resort to making our personal affairs the property of others in a manner that they can actually contribute to what happens between ourselves and our lovers.

That, however, is changing as is evidenced by the following article from Techcrunch.

Note also that what makes this different from watching Jerry Springer on TV is that those on the Outside that are party to the problems between lovers are not merely observers, but are also able to contribute to the solution!

SideTaker: Crowdsourcing Your Private Disputes, With Hilarious Results

Posted: 05 Sep 2008 04:45 PM PDT

Every couple has its ups and downs, but most people try to keep their dirty laundry to themselves. But what about those times when you just can’t come to an agreement with your significant other?

Today sees the launch of SideTaker a site that asks couples to upload both sides of their arguments and let the crowd settle their debates. SideTaker members can vote on which side they agree with, or leave comments to ask for further details or voice their opinions.

The site is hilarious. Disputes range from cheating spouses to toilet flushing, oftentimes filled with more detail than anyone would want to know.

A part of me can’t believe that it’s real – how many couples would actually turn to the web to resolve a private matter? But shows like Jerry Springer and Judge Judy have thrived on this sort of thing for years, so there’s definitely a large audience. And while it may sound ridiculous, there may be a significant demand for text-based dispute resolution. Even if people ignore the comments of others, it’s possible that they’ll be more honest on paper than if they were speaking face to face.

Crunch Network: CrunchGear drool over the sexiest new gadgets and hardware.

Next Generation Process: video online dating!

In my travels around cyberspace I ran into a company called Speeddate.com that caught my attention. Now there’ s nothing particularly novel about online dating, with a plethora of sites like LavaLife, Match.com etc. out there.

I don’t claim to have made an exhaustive assessment of the various online dating options, but this is certainly the first site that I am aware of that features video interaction. I think that this will make all the difference and should propel this model to the forefront sooner than later.

What is so great about video interaction? There is one problem that I have noticed that is common to most, if not all, online dating sites; the absence of the ability to really trust the information that you receive. In short, when I review a profile, how can I know whether the information that I am viewing is an actual representation of the person that placed the profile?

The issue of trust is not a new problem and companies like Amazon have made famous third party methods of trust development. Amazon has introduced the third party review, where others in the community review the book, CD, etc. Ebay does something similar allowing customers to review the various vendors. If 99.9% of the reviews are positive, you can feel pretty good about your choice.

The problem is that third party reviews do not work to provide us with the sort of information that is sufficient to know whether you want to date someone or not. In short, Sally may have been a great date for Joe, but this doesn’t mean she will be a great date for me.

Furthermore, if Joe really likes Sally, he hardly has any incentive to promote this on a dating site!!

Now its important to note that third party endorsements do help to build the sort of trust that can serve to assist in developing ones social networks. This has a lot to do with how the social networking model works – why Facebook is as powerful a model as it is. There is a some likelihood that if you are friends with Joe and Joe is friends with Sally, that you can be friends with Sally (if not date Sally!).

So, how can the next level of trust be developed? The sort of trust that can be the source of a more intimate relationship can be developed via face-to-face interaction. This is why when we use online dating services, the next step is to meet for coffee! Meeting for coffee allows us to observe each other in a manner that results in us gathering further information about each other, the purpose of which is to increase our level of trust of the other person.

It’s important to note that what enables us, when we are interacting face-to-face, to gather the sorts of information that can increase our trust of the other persons is our ability to view Implicit forms of Communication (forms of communication that are not necessarily intended by the other person). You can view what the other person looks like, how they dress, their body language etc.

So what does all of this have to do with Speeddating.com? Well, by making video interaction the basis for their model, they are jumping to a form of contact that immediately enables us to gather the sorts of evidence about the other person that can provide us with the basis for determining whether the other person is someone that we might be able to trust. It will eliminate a lot of the time that is wasted on other online dating services.

I predict that this model will be the future of online dating!!

(This is not an endorsement to invest in the company. It only represents the first impression of the authour of this piece and was written without any contact with the company.)

Suresh Fernando

Also check out the Technology And Social Change Wiki


The General Relationship between Space, Mobilization, Group Consciousness and Massive Social Change

In my previous entry I introduced the notions Stability of the Locus of Consciousness and Spatial Stability of Locus of Consciousness so as to give us additional tools with which we can understand our relationship to the spatial environments in which we participate.

Today I want to take a step back by attempting to provide a bird’s eye view of why I am taking the time to develop some of these very specific and seemingly technical definitions. If you have taken the time to read the About or the Content page, you will see that I emphasize that the reason that I am developing these ideas is to draw a connection between Modernity (the world that we live in today) and the possibility for Massive Social Change. To begin to develop this argument I have introduced a the notion of Space and provided a few ideas on how we may be able to think about Space.

One might reasonably ask: what does Space have to do with the possibility for Massive Social Change in the modern world? Well, the answer to that is that the nature of Space in the modern world is different from what it used to be and this difference will bring to bear on why Massive Social Change is now a possibility.

Rather than tackle the question as to how the Nature of Space in the modern world is different from the way that it used to be, I want to briefly discuss connections that I am trying to make so that you can get a sense of the Big Picture. In summary, I will establish relationships between the following:

  • Social Change and Mobilization
  • Mobilization and Group Consciousness
  • Group Consciousness and Space

These relationships don’t seem to be controversial. Clearly all social change that is brought about Intentionally requires the Mobilization of people – whether this be full scale revolution or ones local union, the ability to mobilize people around a set of ideas is necessary.

In turn, Mobilization by its very nature is a Group Process. It is something that is done collectively with a consciousness amongst those in the collective that they are doing something of which they are a part. Group Processes, again by definition, require Group Consciousness. One cannot participate in a group activity without knowing that one is part of a group. Getting clear on exactly what it means to be conscious of ones membership in a group will be essential to understanding what Group Consciousness is.

Group Consciousness is the consciousness of a number of things; our relation to others, specific ideas that are common to oneself as well as to the others of whom we are conscious etc. Group Consciousness, therefore, is a consciousness of a specific aspect of the things that we are conscious of that are distinct from ourselves. It is not the consciousness of the chair that I am sitting on, nor is it the consciousness of the colour of the leaves on the trees outside my window. It is consciousness that involves Others, our relation to Others, and the way that a number of Others are related to each other in Space and Time. Group consciousness, therefore, requires that we be consciousness of each other in Space, understood generally.

We therefore, see that in order to understand how Mobilization and Massive Social Change can be brought about in the Modern world, it will be necessary to understand how we stand in relation to others in group contexts, and this in turn requires that we examine closely the notion of Space.

I hope that this serves to make clear why it is that I have introduced the notion of Space, and the role that it plays in the larger story that I am developing.

The Beginning

Hello! That seems like a good place to start. I have commenced this blog in order to communicate ideas on a range of topics. I am currently a doing a Masters in philosophy with a concentration in philosophy of mind. This is a very broad topic area, but encompasses study of consciousness, mental states, language and many other things.

I decided to return to school after many years in the private sector because I felt that my greatest contribution to humanity would not be realized in blindly pursuing material wealth. During my latter years in the private sector I acted as an investment banker, providing financing and strategic advisory services to early stage technology companies. It is during this period that it started to become apparent to me that the world that we live in today is much different from the world that our ancestors lived in, and that the way that the world is different makes possible global change in a manner that was not even conceivable in the past.

This is so because due to advancements in the technology infrastructure, it is now possible to create a GLOBAL COMMUNITY. With the creation of global community it becomes possible to resolve LARGE SCALE GLOBAL PROBLEMS such as climate change, poverty, famine and so on.

I am attempting to synthesize all of my ideas in a book entitled FIXING THE WORLD.

Admittedly all of this sounds grand and utopian and I certainly expect you to challenge this assertion…

However, as you mount this challenge, I hope that you will attempt to understand what I am saying.

I should also like to point out that, from a more practical perspective, I am interested in specific organizations (private or not-for-profit) that are contributing to the solution. Hence, I am developing a database of such companies. You will note that the blogroll consists of links to many of these companies. If you see any that you think would be of interest, please let me know as I would love to add them to the list.