May 2008, Issue 105
to our bi-weekly
of Amsterdam Journal.
'In a good computer game you will discover new rules when you reach
a higher level. If you're stuck in a game, most of the time it is because
you thought you knew the rules. And then you discover a new rule that
can bring you further' - Jim, 11 years old
Join our next Season
future of Children on Thursday,
the Challenges of Participatory Culture:
Education for the 21st Century
By Henry Jenkins,
Director of the
Media Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
with Katie Clinton, Ravi Purushotma, Alice J. Robinson and Margaret
According to a recent study from the Pew Internet & American
Life project (Lenhardt & Madden, 2005), more than one-half
of all teens have created media content, and roughly one third
of teens who use the Internet have shared content they produced.
In many cases, these teens are actively involved in what we
are calling participatory cultures. A participatory culture
is a culture with relatively low barriers to artistic expression
and civic engagement, strong support for creating and sharing
ones creations, and some type of informal mentorship whereby
what is known by the most experienced is passed along to novices.A
participatory culture is also one in which members believe their
contributions matter, and feel some degree of social connection
with one another (at the least they care what other people think
about what they have created).
Forms of participatory culture include:
memberships, formal and informal, in online communities
centered around various forms of media, such as Friendster,
Facebook, message boards, metagaming, game clans, or MySpace).
Expressions producing new creative forms, such
as digital sampling, skinning and modding, fan videomaking,
fan fiction writing, zines, mash-ups).
Collaborative Problem-solving working together
in teams, formal and informal, to complete tasks and develop
new knowledge (such as through Wikipedia, alternative reality
Circulations Shaping the flow of media (such as
growing body of scholarship suggests potential benefits of these
forms of participatory culture, including opportunities for peer-to-peer
learning, a changed attitude toward intellectual property, the
diversification of cultural expression, the development of skills
valued in the modern workplace, and a more empowered conception
of citizenship. Access to this participatory culture functions
as a new form of the hidden curriculum, shaping which youth will
succeed and which will be left behind as they enter school and
Some have argued that children and youth acquire these key skills
and competencies on their own by interacting with popular culture.Three
concerns, however, suggest the need for policy and pedagogical
Participation Gap the unequal access to the opportunities,
experiences, skills, and knowledge that will prepare youth for
full participation in the world of tomorrow.
The Transparency Problem The challenges young
people face in learning to see clearly the ways that media shape
perceptions of the world.
The Ethics Challenge The breakdown of traditional
forms of professional training and socialization that might
prepare young people for their increasingly public roles as
media makers and community participants.
must work together to ensure that every American young person
has access to the skills and experiences needed to become a full
participant, can articulate their understanding of how media shapes
perceptions, and has been socialized into the emerging ethical
standards that should shape their practices as media makers and
participants in online communities.
A central goal of this report is to shift the focus of the conversation
about the digital divide
from questions of technological access to those of opportunities
to participate and to develop the cultural competencies and social
skills needed for full involvement. Schools as institutions have
been slow to react to the emergence of this new participatory
culture; the greatest opportunity for change is currently found
in afterschool programs and informal learning communities. Schools
and afterschool programs must devote more attention to fostering
what we call the new media literacies: a set of cultural competencies
and social skills that young people need in the new media landscape.
Participatory culture shifts the focus of literacy from one of
individual expression to community involvement.The new literacies
almost all involve social skills developed through collaboration
and networking.These skills build on the foundation of traditional
literacy, research skills, technical skills, and critical analysis
skills taught in the classroom.
The new skills include:
the capacity to experiment with ones surroundings
as a form of problem-solving Performance the ability
to adopt alternative identities for the purpose of improvisation
Simulation the ability to interpret and construct
dynamic models of real-world
Appropriation the ability to meaningfully sample
and remix media content
Multitasking the ability to scan ones environment
and shift focus as needed to salient details.
Distributed Cognition the ability to interact
meaningfully with tools that expand mental capacities
Collective Intelligence the ability to pool knowledge
and compare notes with others toward a common goal
Judgment the ability to evaluate the reliability
and credibility of different information sources
Transmedia Navigation the ability to follow the
flow of stories and information across multiple modalities
Networking the ability to search for, synthesize,
and disseminate information
Negotiation the ability to travel across diverse
communities, discerning and respecting multiple perspectives,
and grasping and following alternative norms.
such social skills and cultural competencies requires a more systemic
approach to media education in the United States. Everyone involved
in preparing young people to go
out into the world has contributions to make in helping students
acquire the skills they need
to become full participants in our society. Schools, afterschool
programs, and parents have
distinctive roles to play as they do what they can in their own
spaces to encourage and nurture these skills.
The full White Paper is available as a *.pdf
future of Children
to Play - How kids today are shaping the future of a participatory
A Co-Production with the Waag Society - Creative Learning
18:30-19:00, Conference: 19:00-21:15
Heinkade 179, second floor, 1019 HC Amsterdam
The speakers and topics
tools for intercultural communication program
Development through interactions with children
founding member, The Maze Corporation
Face Your World, Slotervaart?
Wagenaar, consultant, coach, writer & concept developer,
WEBCAST at www.webcastingstudio.eu
would like to thank our supporter Innergy
of Amsterdam blog
of Amsterdam blog
Fall of the US Empire
Architecture - some thoughts
about the Future
Air Energy Storage
The use of compressed
air for storing energy is a method that is not only efficient and
clean, but also economical. In 1973 CAES (Compressed Air Energy
Storage) installed their first compressed air energy storage plant
in Germany, making use of natural underground caves for compressed
air storage and taking advantage of the surplus energy produced
by the generating plants.
Motors of India planned to launch
an MDI air car in [?]
is a small, family-controlled company located at Carros, near Nice
(Southern France) where Mr. Guy Nègre
and Mr. Cyril Nègre, together with their technical team,
have developed a new engine technology with the purpose of economising
energy and respect severe ecological requirements at competitive
- communication is all
The number of mobile phone users in Russia has grown by 757% between
2002 and 2007. This equates to a nationwide penetration rate of
106.2% in 2007. The level in Russia's two largest markets
Moscow and St. Petersburg stood at 156% and 139% respectively
in 2006 according to AC&M Consulting. There is also a wide discrepancy
in ownership based on income, with over 87% of high-income earners
using mobile phones compared with just 41% of low-income earners.
Over summer, many people move to their summer homes in the country,
boosting mobile phone subscriptions. As the majority of the time
is spent outside the house in the garden, it becomes difficult to
reach a person through landlines.
often overlooked in carbon reduction initiatives
A new Economist
Intelligence Unit study explores how information and communications
technology (ICT) can be used to reduce organisations carbon-dioxide
Information and communications
technology (ICT) can do much to help companies achieve their carbon
reduction targets, particularly by enabling them to connect international
operations while reducing the need for executives to travel. Yet
a survey* by the Economist Intelligence Unit, sponsored by AT&T
and Cisco, found that most corporate carbon reduction strategies
ignore the role of ICT in achieving these targets.
Of the 345 C-level
executives polled for this survey, 18% say their companies have
a carbon reduction strategy, and a further 39% are in the process
of developing one. Of those that have a carbon reduction strategy,
or are in the process of developing one, nearly half say that
no mention is made of ICT. This is surprising given that the majority
of those polled believe that senior management is aware of the
potential of ICT to help achieve carbon-reduction goals.
It is clear from
this survey that IT chiefs are well positioned inside their companies
to promote the green benefits of ICT. While most survey panellists
agree that the CIO should not lead carbon reduction initiatives,
they should at least play an important consultative role in advising
on the best use of technology to cut emissions. However, at present,
only half the organisations polled by the Economist Intelligence
Unit said the CIO is consulted when it comes to developing the
companys carbon reduction strategy.
According to Robin
Bew, Editorial Director at the Economist Intelligence Unit, There
is a lot of talk about reducing carbon footprints in todays
organisations, but not much action. Putting technology to work
in this endeavour offers a simple, effective way to move from
rhetoric to action, he says.
It is interesting
to discover that many organisations do not fully take advantage
of the CIOs strategic role in tackling carbon emissions,
says Phil Smith, European vice president of marketing at Cisco.
Through this report, we can learn more about the attitudes
in these organisations and how businesses can reduce carbon emissions
by adopting ICT solutions."
"While the topic
of 'Green ICT' has been high on the agenda in the ICT industry
for some time, this report shows that the CIO has an important
role to play in the development of a company's carbon reduction
initiatives," says Lloyd Salvage, Vice President, Global
Segment Marketing at AT&T. "The report also shows that
ICT can make a real difference."
Other key findings
of the report include the following:
- Pressure to change.
Most companies say that the pressure to be more green is coming
from government and customers. Contrary to what many people believe,
very little pressure is coming from shareholders and employees.
- Web and video
conferencing are the most popular technology tools for reducing
the organisations carbon footprint. Part of the attraction
of audio, video and web-conferencing is that it is easy to measure
the resulting reduction in air or car miles following its adoption.
In terms of an internal environmental audit, this makes conferencing
an attractive technology compared with other initiatives which
may not deliver such direct benefits.
is not widely adopted, despite the tools being available to make
it possible. However, Braden Allenby, professor of civil and
environmental engineering at Arizona State University, has found
that a lot of home working goes on under the radar. Indeed, home
working is often ad-hoc and given as a perk to select individuals,
but most survey respondents believe that many more people will
work from home in two years time.
Download the full report:
Managing the companys carbon footprint: The emerging role
Challenges: 170+ Group Activities to Build Cooperation, Communication,
by Kris Bordessa (Author)
Grades 3-8. This helpful resource provides educators and counselors
a wide variety of activities designed to cultivate teamwork. Students
are required to think outside the box, communicate clearly, and cooperate
with each other in order to complete team assignments. Examples of
activities include: moving a pile of ping-pong balls from one location
to another, building a bridge out of marshmallows and toothpicks,
and creating a miniature amusement park. Students learn from each
other and from observing students on other teams.
to ninety percent of the world's languages are predicted to disappear
in the next century, many with little or no significant documentation.
is a global collaboration of language specialists and native speakers
working to build a publicly accessible digital library of human
languages. Since becoming a National Science Digital Library collection
in 2004, the Rosetta Archive has more than doubled its collection
size, now serving nearly 100,000 pages of material documenting
over 2,500 languages the largest resource of its kind on
A major concern of
our project is the drastic and accelerated loss of the worlds
languages. Just as globalization threatens human cultural diversity,
the languages of small, unique, localized human societies are
at serious risk. In fact, linguists predict that we may lose as
much as 90% of the worlds linguistic diversity within the
next century. Language is both an embodiment of human culture,
as well as the primary means of its maintenance and transmission.
When languages are lost, the transmission of traditional culture
is often abruptly severed meaning the loss of cultural diversity
is tightly connected to loss of linguistic diversity. To stem
the tide and help reverse this trend, we are working to promote
human cultural and linguistic diversity, as well as to make sure
that no language vanishes without a trace.
The Rosetta Disk
The Rosetta Disk
is the physical companion of the Rosetta Digital Language Archive,
and a prototype of one facet of The Long Now Foundation's 10,000-Year
Library. The Rosetta Disk is intended to be a durable archive
of human languages, as well as an aesthetic object that suggests
a journey of the imagination across culture and history. We have
attempted to create a unique physical artifact which evokes the
great diversity of human experience as well as the incredible
variety of symbolic systems we have constructed to understand
and communicate that experience.
The Disk surface
shown here, meant to be a guide to the contents, is etched with
a central image of the earth and a message written in eight major
world languages: Languages of the World: This is an archive
of over 1,000 human languages assembled in the year 02002 C.E.
Magnify 1,000 times to find over 15,000 pages of language documentation.
The text begins at eye-readable scale and spirals down to nano-scale.
This tapered ring of languages is intended to maximize the number
of people that will be able to read something immediately upon
picking up the Disk, as well as implying the directions for using
itget a magnifier and there is more.
On the reverse side
of the disk from the globe graphic are 15,000 microetched pages
of language documentation. Since each page is a physical rather
than digital image, there is no platform or format dependency.
Reading the Disk requires only optical magnification. Each page
is .019 inches, or half a millimeter, across. This is about equal
in width to 5 human hairs, and can be read with a 500X microscope
(individual pages are clearly visible with 100X magnification).
The 15,000 pages
in the collection contain documentation on over 2500 languages
gathered from archives around the world. For each language we
have several categories of data descriptions of the speech
community, maps of their location(s), and information on writing
systems and literacy. We also collect grammatical information
including descriptions of the sounds of the language, how words
and larger linguistic structures like sentences are formed, a
basic vocabulary list (known as a Swadesh List), and
whenever possible, texts. Many of our texts are transcribed oral
narratives. Others are translations such as the beginning chapters
of the Book of Genesis or the UN Declaration of Human Rights.
The Rosetta Disk
is held in a four inch spherical container that both protects
the disk as well as provides additional functionality. The container
is split into two hemispheres with the three inch Rosetta Disk
sitting in an indent on the flat meeting surface of the two hemispheres.
The upper hemisphere is made of optical glass and doubles as a
6X viewer, giving visual access deeper into the tapered text rings.
The bottom hemisphere is high-grade stainless steel. We have machined
a hollow cylinder into the bottom hemisphere that holds a stainless
steel ribbon for disk caretakers to etch their names, locations,
and dates - hopefully creating a unique pedigree for each Rosetta
object as it travels through time and human hands. A small punch
tool is included for future caretakers to add additional information.
At the very least,
the Rosetta Disk provides an informative overview of human linguistic
diversity in 02000. However, it may do much more. The translations
on the disk, for example, are a close analog to the Rosetta Stone,
whose parallel texts (in this case unintentionally) enabled the
decipherment of Egyptian Hieroglyphics. It isnt a great
stretch to imagine that the language information on this Disk
could provide the key to the (re)discovery of valuable society
sustaining knowledge far into the future.
The Rosetta Disk
is being designed and developed through the collaboration of artists,
designers, linguists and archivists including Kurt Bollacker,
Stewart Brand, Paul Donald, Jim Mason, Kevin Kelly, and Alexander
Rose. Primary funding for the first Rosetta Disk and the project
that grew out of it came from the generous support of Charles
Butcher and the Lazy Eight Foundation.
Society - Creative Learning Lab
At the Creative Learning
Lab we see learning as a combination of factors. Play, creation,
experience, performance, and showing what is meaningful to the
modern youth. Learning in such a way that it matches their lifestyle,
with the use of computers, mobiles or other gadgets that they
already use on a daily basis together with their friends and classmates.
In reality, learning takes place everywhere. In the classroom
of course, but especially outside of the classroom, via the internet,
exploring a museum or roaming the city with a mobile.
The Creative Learining
Lab stimulates educational institutes to integrate digital technology
in their classes. The Creative Learning Lab develops prototypes
of digital educational methods and gives teacher training and
workshops to support them in using it. The Creative Learning Lab
brings together all the stakeholders in the education sector.
The Creative Learning Lab is part of Waag Society.
Portrait: Paul Saffo
Paul Saffo is a forecaster and essayist with over two
decades experience exploring long-term technological change and
its practical impact on business and society. He currently teaches
at Stanford University and is a fellow of the Royal Swedish Academy
of Engineering Sciences. He was the founding chairman of the Samsung
Science Board and serves on a variety of other boards including
the Long Now Foundation and the Singapore National Research Foundation
Science Advisory Board. He is also an advisor to 3i Venture Capital
and has served as an advisor and Forum Fellow to the World Economic
Forum. He is on a research sabbatical from Institute
for the Future where he has worked since 1985. Pauls
essays have appeared in numerous publications, including The Harvard
Business Review, Fortune, Wired, The Los Angeles Times, Newsweek,
The New York Times,and the Washington Post. Paul is also a columnist
for ABCNews.com, writing on technology and innovation issues.
Paul holds degrees from Harvard College, Cambridge University,
and Stanford University.
A chat with Silicon Valley futurist, Paul Saffo, that took place
at the AlwaysOn Stanford Innovation Summit in 2006.
Season Events are on Thursdays
Registration: 18:30-19:00, Conference: 19:00-21:15
18:30 - 21:15
future of Children
to Play - How kids today are shaping the future of a paricipatory
Heinkade 179, second floor, 1019 HC Amsterdam
the future of India
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