Looking Back at Looking Forward

sharing knowledge about organisational foresight

Digital Business Ecosystem

Came across this European Commission initiative today. The DBS is an open, web-based collaborative research and software development forum to development applications for small-to-medium enterprises. Participants are from research institutions and business.

Interestingly the DBS applies systems-thinking to its task. The intention is that, like all ecosystems, users can learn, interact with others, adapt applications to suit and continue to have these applications change and evolve over time. Of course this involves complexity – through the constant interaction between users and applications.

To quote the site, the most exiting development is “the use of software applications and services that are able to ‘evolve’ and to organise themselves in a way that is optimised for the end user.”

This initiative is commendable but it is not clear how successful it has been. I have come across online research/collaborative communities that appear to have been launched with a great deal of enthusiasm and vision…only to trail off to disappointment.

Still, this is one to look further into.


December 16, 2007 Posted by | collaboration | , , | Leave a comment

Blended realities, blended lives

The Institute for the Future’s Technology Horizons 2008 Research Agenda article ‘Blended Realities, Blended Lives’ looks more like the present than the future. The article notes that the “wireless Web, virtual worlds, augmented realities overlaid on top of physical ones, advanced simulations and networked knowledge promise to transform our everyday experiences…”.

In today’s The Age there is a report on research into the web and social networking. The article claims one in five Australian’s “feel their online identities were closer to their ‘true self’ than their real-world identity [and that] many are defining themselves through their virtual identities”.

That is certainly consistent with IFTF’s view that “our personalities are becoming multiple and portable”. Even the forward-looking statement that we will soon be “able to carry our avatars from one context to another…from Second Life to…Google Earth” seems to be very near future given the trend towards integration (of social networks, other web sites, communication tools).

I’ve posted on the emergence of multiple identities:


and on Protagoras, “man is the measure of all things; of things that are that they are, and of things that are not that they are not”.

People have always had there own distinct view of ‘reality’, there own way of making sense of and interpreting things. I see the growth of multiple virtual identities as being complementary to ordinary life…through dreaming, art, conversation. The Web enhances creative expression.

December 3, 2007 Posted by | foresight, philosophy | , , , | Leave a comment