John Thackara is the founder and director of the event series „Doors of Perception“ in which grassroots innovators work with designers to imagine sustainable futures and take practical steps to realize them. John is also the author of 12 books – his most recent one "In the bubble" has been published by MIT press. In his provocative talk at Lift France, John invites us to avoid overused terms like ‚future’ or ‚sustainable’ as they maintain a certain distance to the problem we face. He points out the problems of being digital: A radical increase in the resource flows, emissions and impacts for the economy and another step backwards from our awareness of the state of our body and the state of the planet (which are all part of the same he says). John’s basic proposition is that we don’t need to invent a large amount of new stuff, that the resources to be put in place already exist and that they might not necessitate complex technological developments. His basic principle is that if we cannot prove that an action will not diminish the capacity of the biosphere to support life than we should not do it! Click here for an overview of presentations and interviews from Lift France 2009.
Posts Tagged ‘Lift France’
Although Dennis Pamlin’s talk is part of Lift’s „Changing the Planet“ series, the Global Policy Advisor for the WWF believes we need to change ourselves, not the planet: „We’re so much putting ourselves in the center that we’re not understanding that we are part of this giant web that doesn’t need us but we’re killing that web and by that we are also killing ourselves...We have all these brilliant ideas but how much time do we spend on the challenge that one billion people are starving today? How much time do we spend dealing with the challenges of our planet? The fact is today we’re moving in the wrong direction by using more natural resources than ever before and creating a lifestyle that is totally unsustainable“ Dennis says. In his presentation, Dennis lays out three ways to get from idea to action and delineates a set of filters to understand how to judge innovation considering the long-term consequences they might have on our planet. Click here for more presentations and interviews from Lift France 2009.
Artist and Columbia University teacher Douglas Repetto believes it’s very important, especially in our current culture, to encourage the idea of a basic kind of everyday creativity. That’s why he mainly talks about nerds in his presentation at Lift France: „There’s a tremendous variety of nerds out there - Knitting Nerds, Biology Knitting Nerds, Metal Nerds, Super Nerds, Food Nerds and others. For me, a nerd is really anyone who is deeply invested in something“. Douglas is involved in a number of art/community groups, shows and exhibitions around the world including ArtBots, organism and dorkbot - a worldwide network of "people doing strange things with electricity" like collecting sweat from people working on the street and using it to make batteries... Click here for an overview of presentations from Lift France 2009.
In his talk at Lift France, Marcos Garcia shares his experience from Interactivos?, a platform for collective production and learning that brings together scientists, artists, designers and tech people. Interactivos? is an initiative of Medialab-Prado, a counter-program of the Madrid City Council Art Department focussed on the intersection between art, science and technology as well as the social connections of these intersections: „Interactivos? may serve as a good example of how we can build more open and participatory institutions – institutions and platforms where everyone can become a collaborator“ believes Marcos. One of the leaders of the Interactivos? workshops is SUNY Buffalo art professor Steve Kurtz: „The collaborative model of Interactivos? shows the power of collectivism. Still there is a tremendous amount of individuality expressed - people bring the skills that they can bring and through that they make these projects happen and make wholes that are greater than the sum of the parts.“ For more presentations and interviews from Lift France 2009 please click here.
Martin Duval started his own consulting firm, bluenove, about a year ago. Headquartered in Paris, the consulting company is trying to help major corporations and brands develop an Open Innovation vision and culture. In Martin’s view, today’s organizations can tackle the innovation challenge with the so-called Innovation Community Management - a mix of Social Media, Crowdsourcing, Community Management and Open Innovation. As the former Business Development Director of Orange/France Telecom, Martin still supports the Orange Start Up Programme which he has created in 2006 to develop partnerships with startups and venture capital funds focussed on Web 2.0 and web/mobile convergence. Click here for more presentations as well as interviews from Lift France 2009.
Catherine Fieschi is the Director of Counterpoint - the cultural relations think tank of the British Council - and a regular commentator on identity politics in the UK and Europe. In ‚her previous incarnation’ Catherine was the Director of London-based Demos, a think tank involved in user driven social innovation and participatory devolved budgeting. In Catherine’s view, technology and innovation is supposed to help us change command and control over the way we live thus improving our daily lives. By working with countries that are not ‚the usual suspects’ Catherine tested how these precepts could be applied on a large canvas. In her talk at Lift France she focussed on large institutions and technology, the small things that matter and most importantly on what kind of values the technologies and the innovations that we embark upon allow us to live and to help others live... Click here for an overview of presentations and videos from Lift France 2009.
Scotsman Euan Semple, former Director of Knowledge Management at the BBC, is one of the foremost independent advisors on the application of Social computing within the business world. In his talk at Lift France, Euan argues that pomposity represents a real, and nontrivial cost to organizations and names the price that it takes: Stifling creativity and innovation, squashing social media projects, overly long meetings because of a need to feed the ego of the chairperson, projects that get extended too long because someone was too pumped up and full of themselves to admit that perhaps the major project they are sponsoring should be aborted... Ten years after Peter Drucker said that „in a knowledge economy there is no such thing as conscripts“ in Euan’s view we’re at the point where that previously comfortable conscript managing mentality is becoming apparently ineffective to more and more people. Click here for other presentations and interviews from Lift France 2009.
One of France's leading voices on innovation is Marc Giget, Professor and Chair of Technology and Innovation at Paris' National Center for Arts and Crafts (Cnam). There he has created the "Innovation Tuesdays" which have become a gathering place for big and small innovators, students and researchers looking for new ideas, case studies and inspiration. In his presentation at Lift France, the innovation expert talks about the many different aspects of innovation in today’s quickly changing world. In Marc’s view, we're living in the era of „Do it yourself innovation“ which is ideal for small teams like the one of electric vehicle producer Venturi. Today, everybody can be innovative and in the center of the system! Click here for an overview of interviews and presentations from Lift France 2009.
Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino – featured in the Wired UK edition as „The woman who channels your inner electro-engineer“ - is an industrial and interaction designer and the CEO and co-founder of physical computing company Tinker.it! Working with clients who want to break new ground in the application of technology in creative contexts, the London-based company is blurring the lines between art, technology, creativity, industrial design. One of the things that makes Tinker.it! quite unique: Alexandra’s business partner Massimo Banzi is the CTO of Tinker.it! but also the co-founder of the open-source electronics prototyping platform Arduino. In her talk, Alexandra starts where Michael Shiloh and Mike Kuniavsky end in their presentations - talking about the future of their ideas on ubiquitous computing and the growth of open source. She concludes that we need to rethink about how we think about innovation and what the consequences of all the beautiful technologies and platforms are. In her view at the moment we are not equipped to support them and the people who will be engaged in them. She raises questions like „What will happen if in five years there are not only 60.000 but a hundred million Arduinos on the market?“ „Will we develop models of shared innovation, will people group up around interest?“ „Will we still refer to traditional ways of dealing with markets, supply, demand and companies as the way to go or will we stay in this mud of innovation?“ giving us something to think and discuss about... Please click here for an overview of all presentations from Lift France 2009.
Engineer, researcher, educator and artist Michael Shiloh uses tinkering as a hands-on method for teaching art and technology to children and adults. He co-founded Teach me to make together with his partner Judy Castro: „We teach people how to make things because we believe that the esthetic of tinkering is really what drives people to think differently about objects. My favorite quote is ‚I didn’t know you could make that, I thought you had to buy it.’ Things are something you can make, not just something you buy. Our relationship to devices that we have designed and built is very different than our relationship to devices that we just buy off the shelf.“ Tinkering is the esthetic that Michael is using of taking things apart, of discovering what’s inside and of repurposing items. In his projects and workshops, Michael uses foam core, concrete, computers, hot glue, steel, Linux, electronics, pneumatics, hydraulics, remote controls, and broken glass. Click here for pictures of Michael’s gadget construction workshop at Lift France. Michael was the open source community liaison for mobile computing platform Openmoko. All the design information of Openmoko’s FreeRunner phone has been handed over to the community two months ago. According to Michael, the key breakthrough Openmoko achieved is to kickstart a collaborative way to develop consumer electronics: „Part of the effort of Openmoko is to migrate all of this from the commercial software to the open source software so it is available and useful to anyone. It’s not only about opening up the source but also the design process to allow for collaborative open source hardware development.“ In Michael's view we're heading towards decentralized design that can be done by anyone anywhere in the world: „We’re now seeing a shift in the way consumer electronics are being developed. We can choose what to make and we can all start creating devices the way we would like them using our own vision and artistic viewpoint. And we can design things to be hacked and repairable. The line between art and industrial design gets blurred.“ More presentations from Lift France 2009 will be posted in the days to come. Click here for an overview of interviews and presentations from Lift conference.