In this episode we are delighted to welcome designer and uber-connector, Cassie Robinson, who is connected to so many interesting people, programmes and organisations, that it’s almost impossible to list them all.
Starting out her career as a fashion designer, Cassie is now the Head of Digital Grant Making at the National Lottery Community Fund in the UK, as well as the founder of the Point People network, and a fellow at the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose, to name but a few of her many affiliations. And until recently she was Strategic Design Director at the responsible technology think tank Dot Everyone, which she also mentions in this episode.
I’m struck by how many people I’ve met who know, or know of, Cassie and I’m fascinated by what drives her to do what she does, often working in emerging or exploratory fields to try to apply new ways to design transitions.
So when I met with her a few weeks ago I asked her about being a prolific connector of people and ideas, and what motivates her to do it and also practically how she manages it?
In this episode we welcome back James Burke for the second half of the conversation we had back in May in a busy cafe in West London. The first half of the conversation was first shared in episode 1 of the On The Edge podcast, and so if you haven’t already heard that episode, then we would really recommend that you listen to that first before listening to this next instalment.
The previous episode was largely about looking back into the history of science and technology and exploring how everything really is incredibly connected and what we do about that. In this episode we jump far into the future, into what James called the Age of Abundance which he argues is no more than a generation or two away. However before we get there he predicts what he calls “severe turbulence and chaos”, which some might argue we are already in.
The key technology that he talks about, to unlock this new age of abundance, he calls nano fabricators or motes - these are a tiny specks that can make anything. This may sounds like science fiction but he shares examples of where this technology already exists in labs around the world.
He goes on to share his thoughts on the implications of this new for education, democracy and beyond. Once again, like the first episode, it is a wide ranging and mind bending conversation but I think there is lots of food for thought and I hope it sparks some ideas and reactions as you listen to it.
James covers similar ground to what we discussed in this episode in a recent BBC programme called the end of scarcity:
In this episode we are delighted to welcome the entrepreneur and designer Tessy Britton. Two years ago she founded and is now CEO of the Participatory Cities Foundation, which is a 5 year research and development programme that has raised very significant funding to boost cohesion, health, equality, happiness, safety, sustainability and innovation, in cities through peer-to-peer citizen co-creation.
Their first big project is called Everyone Everyday, and is based in Barking and Dagenham in east London and is already having an amazing impact on the lives of the people in that part of the city.
Underneath her softly spoken and thoughtful words, lie really some bold and transformative ideas which I’m excited to share in this episode.
He has studied many different types of networks, from the 9/11 terrorist cells, to the innovation networks of Silicon Valley, both of which we discuss in this episode. He has shown that you are only as smart as the networks you are embedded in, and in a nutshell he describes the art of networks to be to connect on your similarities, and benefit from your differences!
In other words he has analysed and demonstrated the value of cognitive diversity and multiple perspectives, which we call the difference dividend.
This episode begins with the story behind his classic paper, Uncloaking Terrorist Networks, which was produced using only public information and newspaper clippings, and has been called "the most cited public analysis of the 9/11 terrorist networks”.
In this second episode we are very pleased to welcome Nora Bateson, a filmmaker, lecturer, writer, and interloper. She made an award winning film ‘An Ecology of Mind’ about her father Gregory Bateson - the groundbreaking anthropologist, philosopher and cyberneticist. She also wrote a great book called ‘Small Arcs of Larger Circles’, and she now runs what she calls Warm Data Labs all around the world which she mentions in this episode. Her work draws upon her own personal history including her grandfather William Bateson, who was a Professor of Biology at Cambridge University, who first proposed the term “genetics”, back in 1906.
To find out more about An Ecology of Mind see here: http://www.anecologyofmind.com/
To find out more about Small Arcs of Larger Circles see here: https://www.triarchypress.net/small-arcs.html
To find out more about Warm Data Labs see here: https://hackernoon.com/warm-data-9f0fcd2a828c
And to find out more about The International Bateson Institute please see here: https://batesoninstitute.org/
Lastly, to follow Nora on twitter, please do so here: https://twitter.com/NoraBateson
In this first episode we are very excited to welcome James Burke, who has been called “one of the most intriguing minds in the world". In the late 1970’s he created a 10 part documentary series called Connections, which tells many stories from the history of science and technology and shows how everything really is incredibly connected, which was the starting point for the first half of this really interesting and wide ranging conversation recorded in a cafe in London a few weeks ago. Part 2 of the same conversation will be shared as a follow up called The Age of Abundance in the next episode.
To see episode one (The Trigger Effect) of the Connections series discussed in this podcast please see here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XetplHcM7aQ
And to find out more about James Burke's latest project the Knowledge Web please see here: https://k-web.org/