Reading

27th October
2011
written by Bstefan

Revealed – the capitalist network that runs the world – physics-math – 19 October 2011 – New Scientist

Image: PLoS OneAn analysis of the relationships between 43,000 transnational corporations has identified a relatively small group of companies, mainly banks, with disproportionate power over the global economy.

The study’s assumptions have attracted some criticism, but complex systems analysts contacted by New Scientist say it is a unique effort to untangle control in the global economy. Pushing the analysis further, they say, could help to identify ways of making global capitalism more stable.

The study, by a trio of complex systems theorists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, is the first to go beyond ideology to empirically identify such a network of power. It combines the mathematics long used to model natural systems with comprehensive corporate data to map ownership among the world’s transnational corporations (TNCs).

“Reality is so complex, we must move away from dogma, whether it’s conspiracy theories or free-market,” says James Glattfelder. “Our analysis is reality-based.”

Read the full article at the NewScientist, enlightening. Having studied complexity theory and network theory myself I am not surprised. Without any dogma I agree with the authors “such structures are common in nature”. I would assume a classic Pareto or power law distribution in practice. Nevertheless as economy is a social construct and not a natural pattern, we might be able to design it, if we understand it.

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30th May
2011
written by Bstefan

Do More With Less Or Things Will Get Ugly: Study | Fast Company

Ethonomic Indicator of the Day: 140 billion tons–the amount of resources the global economy will consume in 2050.
Mad Max 

As it stands, economic growth is largely dependent on resource consumption […] decoupling needs to begin on a large scale, and fast.

Will we really be innovative enough?

 

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19th April
2011
written by Bstefan

YOU are at a party and the person in front of you is not really listening to you. Yes, she is murmuring occasional assent to your remarks, or nodding at appropriate junctures, but for the most part she is looking beyond you, scanning in search of something or someone more compelling.

Here’s the funny part: If she is looking over your shoulder at a room full of potentially more interesting people, she is ill-mannered. If, however, she is not looking over your shoulder, but into a smartphone in her hand, she is not only well within modern social norms, but is also a wired, well-put-together person.

Add one more achievement to the digital revolution: It has made it fashionable to be rude.

Funny to read, Ahem! Are You Talking to Me? (Or Texting?) – NYTimes.com sadley I know some of those people and I still call them my friends 😉

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16th April
2011
written by Bstefan

Watch Chip Conley on TED.com: “When the dotcom bubble burst, hotelier Chip Conley went in search of a business model based on happiness. In an old friendship with an employee and in the wisdom of a Buddhist king, he learned that success comes from what you count. He creates joyful hotels, where he hopes his employees, customers and investors alike can realize their full potential.”
I finished reading his book “Peak: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow“. I was truely inspired by his ideas and I introduce the essential meaning and methods to my students in entrepreneurship, and leadership, and in corporate communication.

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26th February
2011
written by Bstefan

Repost from Mind at Focus Learning Lab

I recommend the book Gamestorming by Dave Gray, Sunni Brown and James Macanufo. Actually I bought it (and read it), because of the title only. Being one of the co-founders of the Change the Game Initiative everything that has Game in its brand or title catches my eye, especially if the under title is “A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers.” Isn´t it a nice touch to find something in common with yourself and the products you purchase to impress others? :)

It is a comprehensive collection of the status quo of methods for creative processes, which should eventually lead to innovation (in most cases), for expert teams as well as some examples for large groups. I am not sure why the authors have taken on the metaphor of games and game design (so seriously) to explain the catalog of known and new methods, but it is a nice framing and a playful touch to the whole plot.

Nevertheless taking on another metaphor from music business: it is a great compilation and therefore a book you should read or at least arrange it on your shelf ;-) . Giving the idea of having something in common a second thought, I agree with the authors: The future of work will be more human …

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