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Did you know, shift happens?

This afternoon I’ve been preparing for next week’s Emarketeers Social Media & Marketing training course, updating my presentation from July (a lot happens in two months in these parts). I’ve been pondering how to kick things off and been looking at a few videos, including reviewing the Socialnomics vid I mentioned a few weeks ago. I was reminded of the Shift Happens, also know as the Did You Know? videos, the original of which came out in 2007 and were made by XPlane. They aimed to explain some of the changes that were occurring through globalisation. Here’s the original:

The video quickly went viral and has now had a number of iterations.

In a happy accident I discovered that today Xplane launched their latest video that they describe as an update to Shift Happens, in partnership with the Economist. It focuses on what they describe as the ‘changing media landscape’ and they’ve entitled it “Did You Know 4.0″ and it will been shown at the Media Convergence Forum in October. But you get to see it way before then here:

However, both videos, like the Socialnomics one, are US centric, which I think in a UK/European context (or any other really) diminishes some of their power.

I would like to know if anyone is aware of any videos or material that do a similar job but are more globally or UK/European minded? There is after all a lot of data out there that in all likelihood someone may have used.

Failing that, offers for how we might put something like this together would be fabulous!

Reboot Britain notes: Policy making in the future

What follows is a slightly edited version of the notes I made during the Policy Making in the Future session. Robin Grant of WeAreSocial requested that I send them over to him, so thought I may as well pop them here. The emphasis here is getting up what took place in a raw data form. Hence they’re a bit rough and ready, but I hope useful.

Session: Policy making in the Future
Chair: Mick Fealty, Slugger O’
Panelists: Steph Grey (Department of Business, Innovation & Skills), David Price (Debate Graph), Deborah Szebeko (ThinkPublic).

Steph Gray
I’m from the communications team at BIS, I’m not a policy official, not represting BIS today, these are just some thoughts really:

How policy is made:

  • Identification: minister wants problem solved
  • Analysis
  • Consultation

But, the internet changes things. With the internet we’re in a poistion to get lots of people involved. Henace three big questions:

  • where do the clever ideas come from?
  • who chooses the solutions?
  • how do we make change happen?

We’re (the government) beginning to see and do enlightened policy discussion online

  • Commentable documents
  • Video (see Building Britain’s Future) – a multimedia policy document
  • Blogs (eg. Defra)


  • The numbers involved are still tiny
  • People are still cynical abot online gimmicks
  • Not all contributions equally helpful
  • Gov isn’t geared up for mass dialogue
  • The incentives on bothe sides are both wrong

Three Goals for future

  • A wider range of contributors
  • Better ideas
  • Conversation which goes somewhere

Policy deliberation in the future?

Different folks for different strokes
Take key facts and make into quizes
Create widgets for bloggers like Tom Watson

Try and make the debate more accessible:
Examples: debate graph, Open Gov initiative (US), Simply Understand

David Price
Debate Graph – collaborative thinking

“There are always more smart people outside gov than inside”
But how do you make sense of it?
Problems of repeatition

We’re (debate graph) focussing on the underlying ideas
Represent the idea just once (one submission), which people can then refine, rate, vote for

We break down the ideas into small chunks eg. building blocks of: Question, suggesiont, reason
This can include as much depth as you need and diff media – eg. video
Enables externalisation of communities thoughts

Challenge: make it simple and easy and means for distribution (see Independent climate change pages)

The people/organisations using Debate Graph:

  • Downing Street
  • RSA
  • Independent (newspaper)
  • European Commission

Deborah Szebeko
Think Public (social innovation and design)

A lot of information out there is hard to understand, how do you de-jargon? Design is one way forward


  • Using language
  • Choice – drawing, using video
  • Format eg. Dragon’s Den (Pitch your project)

“What does success look like?” (Ross Fergusson)

Steph – For me success is:

  • Have you got a wider range of people involved
  • Are we getting better ideas through
  • Does the conversation continue

Deborah – It’s about how do you build sustainability

David – drawing in ideas that you wouldn’t have gathered before, process continues through the policy implementation – iterative, experiemental development

Wither the Silver Surfer? Part II

Suw Charman-Anderson and I have been continuing our conversation over email on age related matters and the internet. The consequence being that I’ve typed enough words to consider putting them together into a blog post. Hope the following makes sense. It’s an adendum on this set of slides and reseach I did last year.

Suw is currently thinking about how things might be way in the future (circa 2025), and my part of the conversation has been about thinking around the current situation. The thoughts below are very much work in progress.


It goes without saying, that the general gist of the aging population and looking forward is that there will be an increase in both actual numbers of the 50+ age group will be a higher percentage of the population than currently. Indeed by 2020 it is expected that 50 percent of the population will be aged 50 and over. To extrapolate from the current circumstances and time it is important to clearly identify which age group we are discussing, how they are currently defined, and may be defined in the future.

Continue reading → Wither the Silver Surfer? Part II

The crisis in human resources

“There’s a crisis in human resouces”: that was the central message of Sir Ken Robinson at the London Business Forum today.

Talking to business leaders about his latest book The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything, Sir Ken described how most adults are unaware of what they are capable of and that most believe that work is something that has to be got through, rather than enjoyed. He believes that many people are detached from their talents and sense of purpose. Those who love what they do and have a personal sense of fulfilment are “in their element”.

Continue reading → The crisis in human resources