Cites and mega-cities
Cities are growing rapidly, and there is much to be said/discussed on how urban planning at the city and mega-city regional developments will benefit the countries which they are part of, and those economic entities that locate there.
The visualization of the Shenzhen - Guangzhou - Zhaoquing (and 6 other large cities) merging together to create a metropolis that is two times the size of Wales and will have 42 million citizens brings this into sharp relief.
if cities are really and truly immune to the 3/2 effect as exhibited by corporations where when you triple the number of employees, the profit per employee drops by half (CYBAEA Journal), then such mega cities such as the Shenzhen - Guangzhou area will certainly be engines of economic productivity the likes which has not been seen. Ever.
Dave's post referenced a recent talk given by John Hagel, who (per Dave's post) "pointed out that the average life expectancy of a company in the S&P 500 has dropped precipitously, from 75 years (in 1937) to 15 years in a more recent study. " Among those lived companies, it is great to see the IBM centennial celebration, and the story behind this hundred years of history is nothing short of amazing for a company that started with clocks and cheese slicers to be competing against the best Jeopardy! champions for $1m in prize money on Tuesday. It's also worth noting that any prize money that Watson wins in the match to be aired will go to 50-50 to the World Community Grid and World Vision.
Couple extra Centennial links here...
Making the World Work Better, IBM history book to be published later this summer
IBM’s Centennial 100 x 100 video
IBM's Centennial main site
the value is in the connections, and it is the untapped value that is recognized by identifying gaps and opportunities between groups/divisions/products/offerings/partners/clients... and having a network that is aware enough to do something about it.
a very recent example of this was my becoming aware of a business opportunity surfacing in my network that I thought might be interesting to another portion of my network, and making them aware. in the past, this might have involved clipping an article out of a newspaper and mailing it (doesn’t that seem quaint now?) -- now, it’s an electronic notification, and in the (near) future it could be the self-aware machine learning network that surfaces these opportunities, prioritizes them, and shares them during an appropriate context sensitive time.
from one of my posts in the Social Business Jam:
“the great value that is created in a social business is by discontiguous / disparate nodes (people or processes where there is a gap that is understood by those affected. in a world where c naturally follows b, which of course follows a, there's limited value to exploit between a and b. in contrast, there could be huge value in linking a with 6.02x10^23 because the network understands there's a connection, and the social business-enabled system can adapt to provide that connection.
where standardization and automation have done much to accelerate the creation of mass produced things, mass personalization can be reached as individuals, teams and companies dynamically identify value and work to realize it. incremental improvement of structured processes, while still having its place, will not yield the step-change benefits that those that employ social businesses practices will reap.“
Architecture of Social
Like many others, the following concepts from Dave's post deeply resonated with me --
“design for emergence”, for managing growth, etc.
“design for connection” -- this is precisely what microblogging and social bookmarking can allow... the serendipitous connection between people who by happenstance sense and see what’s happening in each other’s activity stream. I can foresee a time when systems, especially when you see how the machine learning exhibited by the Watson computer that will compete on Jeopardy! this week, will be smart enough to alert individuals in a context sensitive way to information that is relevant to what they are doing, while they are doing it. The links, for example, that I’ve peppered through this response would be made available to me via a Tweetdeck or similar such approach, just as I needed them.
Nova’s Will Watson Win Jeopardy
I liked what Mike Lachapelle, one of the many respondents to Dave's post had to say about Paolo Soleri’s The Omega Seed, and Arcology. When thinking about designing human spaces, Tom Peters concept of “the little BIG things” -- the quality of a spectacularly clean bathroom, springs to mind, precisely because it helps to create a place where people want to be, and feel valued to be there.
The Project for Public Spaces, after analyzing what makes a public space successful, concluded that there are four key qualities, the place is accessible, comfortable, sociable and people engage in activities there. The Place Diagram developed by the Project for Public Spaces helps one judge a place.
Dave’s post has got me thinking about refactoring/designing a “place diagram” that is representative of how to identify a great company -- one that has a fighting chance of enduring well beyond the average.
Like Alexander Baumgart and Roger Whitehead, I also saw the connections to Peter Senge’s Systems Thinking and the Fifth Discipline.
There is more, much more, to be shared and discussed... Concepts such as Service Oriented Architecture for component construction of systems/cities/corporations. Machine - organic interfaces that will take the internet from being in your pocket or hand, to something that can link people in ways that are still the purview of science fiction writers and the MIT Media Lab.
I’m also very interested in the linking of the concepts to Richard Florida’s ideas about place, sustainability and innovative growth. Where the three Ts are deeply rooted, is where the creative class flourishes. In our increasingly mobile world, can we have the best of the local culture, physically tied to the environment that it is so intricately part of, while being virtually connected on a grander size, to help a corporation that is geographically boundaryless.
It is in fact this loose - tight relationship that allow for the discovery of value, and provides the opportunity to realize it, back to an earlier point on social business. In many ways, we’re only at the very beginning of an exciting journey.