Boyd 2008 - Assessing the threat and the opportunity
Critical for the success of the Mission in LOTR is that Gandalf make it clear to all the nature and extent of the threat and also what has to be done to "Win".
Most of the time Gandalf advises. Rarely - at crisis points - he acts. Above all he treats all as adults. You take his advice or you don't. He does not preach - he offers.
He is hard to read. There are deep internal forces that are not clear to outsiders or even to himself as he also morphs from Grey to White.
I think many of us might agree that if there is a Gandalf among us - it may be John Robb.
At the Boyd 2008 Conference, John did what Chet said was the key to orientate a group's mindset into harmony. He offered us an overarching context and he offered us a series of pathways that could take us to remedies.
Key is to understand that our world is too big and too connected and too fast to be understood or controlled by the way we think and act today.
The financial crisis has caught all the leadership offside - they are all behind and there is not enough money in the "real economy" to cope with the damage done by all the derivatives etc that far exceed the real.
All our problems are like this.
(John's daughter meets a Black Swan!) Worse, all our norms about 100 year storms, spreads in the bond market, world events - no longer have any value because when a system changes, all the old relationships die. So we live at a time when Black Swans not only occur but could be common!
So how management and government leadership is organized cannot cope.
Our world is now so tightly coupled - that a few men in a boat can shut the Straits of Hormuz and take down the world's energy supplies. That such a failure can make a just in time delivery system of food mean that big cities will then have no food in a week or no heat in winter.
Our reliance on tight centralized systems of energy and food supply make us all especially vulnerable. For those that lived through the collapse of the Grid in 2003 - imagine the blackout lasting 3 weeks? How would you live?
Is it a surprise to you that Walmart's hottest item right now are home safes?
So if our traditional centralized top down tightly couples system can no longer cope - where is the new value?
John looks to networks - especially those that use the idea of a "Platform" - the web is a large example itself. A set of DNS enabling coupling and focus - where all parties can use the mutual Network effect. Visa International was the early example of such an organizational platform.
Here is Drupal with the masses of parts that make up the ecosystem that is Drupal - where providers and users can exchange positions. Where a central DNA gives the network power.
This is what we will see emerging later in the Boyd Conference when we look to the PEI Bio Alliance and KETC's work on the Mortgage Crisis.
What were the areas that John felt were best to tackle:
The Mission - putting the Ring into the Fire - is to create local resilence and to connect your local resilient system to others.
This process is already starting with the Towns In Transition meta project
Of course the web allows us to speed up new ideas.
Ideas about local resilience are spreading like wildfire
* Here is the Oil Drum talking about Suburbs
* Here is the Totnes project - Totnes is the starting place for much of this work
* Here Transition California
* Here is the Transition Towns Wiki
Here is Charlie Edwards blogging John's talk
Here are John's slides - Download Resilient Communities
The bottom line: We cannot fix the world so that we one we knew can come back! We have to go to a new place - we have to help make where we live viable on its own and we have to connect our place to others
Posted by Robert Paterson on December 10, 2008 at 01:51 PM in Boyd Conference | Permalink
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