Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Celebrate Your Amateurness

Sounds stupid, as we are driven by perfection and 0-defects, or? 

And yet learning comes from making mistakes, just remember 
when YOU as a kid flew on your knees or off the bike. Have you 
given up?

"I am best at what I can't do.
It has become my ability to feel strong and confident in these sit-
uations. I feel free to move, to listen to my heart, to learn, to act even
if that means I will make mistakes.
If you want a creative life, do what you can't and experience the 
beauty of the mistakes you make."

Quoted in A Whole New Mind, Daniel H. Pink and originally by Marcel Wanders (www.marcelwanders.com)

We definitely have to allow doing mistakes in order to learn for that world that will ever
be increasing complex in the future.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

CESAR leading the customer needs

Background: A great -actually awesome and lean orientated- container tracking-tracing program, funded by the EU, ready to go and ??? No customers who use it presently, because used to the phone it is so much easier, don't you think
Problem: Program will "die" and EU funds will be lost (sunk costs) if it can't be run on a profitable business case

Idea: We would like to make the program profitable as an additional service to customers. How to get them hooked? They just won't get it!

Solution (first part): There is a guy in the company who is spanning and connecting people from different departments, he has managed the set up of an IT system at a rail-road-terminal earlier, why not ask him whether he would like be the boundary-spanner between the IT-guys, the customers, the programming company? Yeah, he is on:-)) He says, he loves the idea:-)

Solution (second part): He communicates with the programmers (inside his own company and the partner companies), gets an idea what is working and what is not (actually the program rejects any non-correct process step that has not been told to it earlier - so the quick fix is firing back right away!), figuring out the biggest systemic issues, time to involve first lead-customers that have lots of traffic. Working step by step, getting direct feedback by customers

Improving the program (together with the computer specialist consultant, finding the easiest and timeless/priceless solutions), so it is showing correct data and people on the customer side (not just the specialists, such as CEOs) can use it right away

Vision: after 6 years of operation almost all customers involved (around 500 with several accounts) the project has been a full success inside the European rail-road traffic and combined transport, even revenues are flowing in and make it sustainable (improvements can be paid by that)

Future vision: The installed and working solution could be also used in other areas, such as car transportation and any other field of logistics (even on small parts!) and with use of RFID this could reach higher levels of value

What was good? free hand to get the thing running, playing to connecting-people strenghts
What was bad? goals of different departments interfered with the general goal of quality
What have I learned? Listen, reframe customer's voice, trust the process, try small
What was next action? Looking actively for opportunities where idea suits and fits, innovate

Actually there is a project going on where Siemens, SAP and some universities are involved and get government funds, they were not yet interested in the already working solution to be combined with new ones. We could really wonder why and why this is a case of waste.

Ralf Lippold has been the guy and he is still a legacy in the CESAR age 

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Team Action Lea(r)ning - A Journey into the Future


sparked by Google Project 10^100 & Monkey Business
by the end of the year 2015, it has emerged into System Dynamics in Dresden
#GreenTechAccelerator (2014) via #StartupAccelerator (2012) via InnoBay (2011)

[Text below is the originally handed in concept to the Google Project 10^100 announcement]

What one sentence best describes your idea? (maximum of 150 characters)

Leading the region around Dresden and Saxony back to former economic strength: the people are the most precious asset in an economy.

Describe your idea in more depth. (maximum 300 words)

Giving Saxony back the former power of creativity and innovation (Odol, Melitta, Audi, BMW, all have started from that precious soil) the system has to change - most preferably at the grass-root level and this means in education. The current business world in the region has to be changed from inside. How to do that? We have to connect actively education to the local businesses, organizations, and communities in Saxony despite the (present) lower income level as in other areas of Germany.

Starting a process consulting entrepreneurship and through personal networks at the local universities of Dresden and companies establish the groundwork for setting up an education institute. This will involve education institutions and the work world through the steady establishment of team entrepreneurship companies (very much like Team Academy in Finland. The members of the team companies will undertake real-world projects in areas (establish new ways of working together to create a higher and sustainable life level in the local communities) where at present no consultants are present (due to money constraints of clients).

Through active cooperation with universities, private and public businesses this will generate growth, profit (the team companies will be paid by hourly consulting and %-part of the future expected additional profits) and value for the region, driven with a vision towards a sustainable society and economy (also in the business context, as closing and reopening of companies is not sustainable in the sense of using resources, people, machinery, financials, etc.).

As Saxony is not the only region in the world with creative and innovative people the concept will be spread through various already established social network communities (SoL network, Lean Thinking Network, System Dynamics Network, Presencing Community) crossing present boundaries.

The ultimate vision is to grow people inside their area of living towards their strengths so they can build up an economy that is sustainable and much more resistant to the crisis that we face right now.

What problem or issue does your idea address? (maximum 150 words)

The recent and seen problem in Saxony is that jobs have been cut in the past (GDR cooperations closed and very little manpower has been needed to run newly established ones funded in great parts of the state). After the time bound for subsidies has run out and economic turmoil is all around companies close their plants in Eastern Germany moving back “home” to West. This leads to the further drain of highly educated people (either in the working world or the universities, as jobs are much easier to be found in Western Germany).

Intervening into the system in order to change the dynamics that -always- ends in a vicious cycle (money infusions into the region will be necessary to keep up normal life - even with closing companies) will be the mission.

If your idea were to become a reality, who would benefit the most and how? (maximum 150 words)

Benefit will the students and people actively working in the team company(ies) as they will learn team entrepreneurship, which will enable them to actively take business opportunities (which actually lie all around - we just have to grab them) in the future not being dependant on large employers. The local business will grow into stable business networks that weave a solid ground for the future growth of the region making people proud of what they have achieved on their own. Establishing to extend networks outside the region and connect with other regions in the world will generate wealth in knowledge, problem-solving capabilities and the ability to generate a future one really wants to become true in exchanging stories. In the end, striving businesses will pull future prosperity in the region.

What are the initial steps required to get this idea off the ground? (maximum 150 words)

Starting as a single entrepreneur by the end of 2008 getting first projects going, that will give real sustainable benefit to the partners and clients involved. In the meanwhile grounding the already in place networks to act as a fertile ground for founding the “Saxony Team Entrepreneurship”. Scanning the area of Dresden for an appropriate building that would suit the needs of a team learning organization that will be evolving through the future team entrepreneur company(ies).

Describe the optimal outcome should your idea be selected and successfully implemented. How would you measure it? (maximum 150 words)

The optimal outcome will be that “Team Academy“-projects like the one described will spread slowly around the world and will be the seeds for future sustainable economic wealth and growth especially in regions that are in economic struggle - there are many around the world.

In times where oil and logistics will become more expensive as it is at present stated through prices the idea of web-based knowledge communities will become more important especially as we face more complex issues in our communities and societies as ever before.

The described education-work model will enable communities (of every size and remoteness) to grow on their people’s personal strengths – and what you don’t know somebody around the globe knows already, you just have to find and connect with him/her.

A timeline since 10/2008 (newest on top)

[UPDATE 2018-11-12] all updates since 2016 can now be found on MEDIUM


[STEP TWENTYFOUR] [2016-08-15] Participating in "U.Lab - Awareness Based Systems Change with u.lab - How to Sense and Actualize the Future" (introductory course, 1 week, 90 min) & "U.Lab - Leading from the Emerging Future" (8 weeks, full program)

Anybody based in Dresden or Saxoy please feel free to join our public Twitter account @DresdenULabHub or our private Facebook-group DresdenULabHub

For more general background check on Presencing Institute, Otto Scharmer's blog, Otto's profile at Huffington Post, oder für deutsche Leser dieser Artikel "Entdecke die Möglichkeiten" in brandeins wissen (2007), der das Konzept von U.Lab bzw. Theorie U anschaulich und knapp verdeutlicht.

The prototype we are working on (since the last U.Lab last September) will be CitizenScienceLab

[STEP TWENTYTHREE] [2016-06-06] taking part with HTxA - HighTech x Agency in the Idea Showcase (p.33) at the futureSAX Innovation Conference 2016

[STEP TWENTYTWO] 3rd participation in one of the MIT ClimateCoLab competitions (look for Ralf Lippold, and you'll find the proposals)

[STEP TWENTYONE] After 2014 now the 2nd time taking part in the MOOC #ScalingUp by Stanford professors Huggy Rao and Bob Sutton where I was able to form an awesome international team around the scaling of CitizenScienceLab to produce the final team project CSL Team Project (please excuse the sometimes rough sound)

[STEP TWENTY] Twice attended the MOOC #ULab in February (2016) and September (2015), from which the prototype CitizenScienceLab has evolved, for the time being, pulling together civil society, research community through system dynamics and presencing.

[STEP NINETEEN] Being official Vanguard for the recent XPRIZE Global Learning Prize #LearningPrize, helping to grow awareness about the competition in Germany, and global networks, as well as supporting the Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to raise $500k (2014-09-28 $156k raised so far)

[STEP NINETEEN] Getting invited to become Ambassador of the Networked Society Project for Germany - I can't say how honoured, and humbled I am!

[STEP EIGHTEEN] Social media partner of Dresdner Lichtjahr #LichtjahrDD in order to grow the awareness about the technology advancements, and activities in the light-based technologies as an active part of the International Year of Light 2015, #IYL2015

[STEP SEVENTEEN] A Mission to Bring World Changing Ideas from Singularity University to the World by & via Eventifier

[STEP SIXTEEN] Entering MIT Climate CoLab Global Competition with a proposal on a Green Tech Accelerator in Dresden, From Railway Hub to Tech Hub - your ideas are welcomed here

[STEP FIFTEEN] Crowdfunding of [STEP FOURTEEN] has been successfully achieved, Tweets from Singularity University GSP14 now captured (with blogs, pictures) at http://bit.ly/SingularityUniversityGSP14

[STEP FOURTEEN] #GSP14Eventifier - an ad-hoc nano-scale crowdfunding campaign to capture the Twitter conversations from Singularity University (June 14 - August 24, 2014). If you are INTERESTED feel free to check and support the project. We have been kindly supported by Eventifier who allowed us to combine the crowdfunding with their social media content aggregator

[STEP THIRTEEN] #AppliedResearchAccelerator - after Prof. Gianaurelio Cuniberti's panel discussion at #TechForum14 organized by The European House Ambrosetti together with Singularity University's VP of Innovation, Vivek Wadhwa, and his short interview "Linking fundamental and applied research"

[STEP TWELVE] #FoundersAccelerating as part of the Global Entrepreneurship Week 2013 & Gründerwoche 2013 with Boston-based entrepreneur & author Halley Suitt Tucker & Athens-based, entrepreneur and founder of soundmap.co Stathis Kassios (see his crowdfunding campaign to make the trip to Dresden one of the most underrated entrepreneurial hotspots (currently) in Germany, possible)

[STEP ELEVEN] Supporting Prof. Manfred Buchroithner and the Institute for Cartography of the Technical University Dresden, bringing the 26th International Cartographic Conference (Angela Incampo & myself created the official hashtag #iccDD2013, also on the conference website) into the global community via digital real-time communication. See here the tweets that came in only during the conference between August 25-30, 2013 on Eventifier. On the sideline a crowdfunded scholarship could be put to action as part of a Stanford Design Thinking MOOC - @mapmakerin has been of the most active participants on Twitter during the conference.

[STEP TEN] .... creating a digital communication agency, HTxA [High Tech x Agency], to enable companies, institutions, and conference organizers to spread the word about their work, services, and research facilitating digital information technology. The origin of it goes back to 2011 while sitting in an interview with the head of Semperoper, Dr. Ulrike Hessler (she died July 30, 2012), http://www.ideaswatch.com/startup-idea/htxa--hightech-x-agency

[STEP NINE] Running workshops on Lean Startup and Opernnachmittagkaffee with Soprano Jessica Muirhead within the Global Entrepreneurship Week 2012 (Gründerwoche 2012)

[STEP EIGHT] [2012-10-28] Bringing Lean Startup Machine to Dresden (500 people needed leaving  their email address by 1st of December, HALF OF IT we already have)

[STEP SEVEN] Applying for the Graduate Studies Program 2012 at Singularity University; more about it on BlueFuture2012 and on TED.

[STEP SIX] Connecting [STEP TWO] with local stakeholders, and putting it to operate in a LeanStartup approach (small steps a time, using resources at hand, getting quick feedback on what works, and what doesn't, improving the MVP (minimal viable product) or MVA (minimal viable action).

[STEP FIVE] Further action research prototypes (done and in the making): #InnoBay (2011), Dresden Innovation Nights (in cooperation with Bobbie CarltonMassInno) (2010), HTxA at ideaswatch (since 2011), blogging about Semperoper performances (connecting with my personal past work, and group dynamics experience; since 2010), keynote speaker at forthcoming Symposium Change To Kaizen (2012), tech blogger at various technology conferences in Dresden, Brussels, Sydney, and Melbourne

[STEP FOURDresdenOpenCoffeeClub, (a formerly weekly, now monthly meetup on creating the future of Dresden, also on Twitter #occDD)

[STEP THREE] Prototyping of CoOrpheum, Dresden's first official coworking space (revitalization of a for 10 years practically unused ballroom in Dresden's creative hot spot Neustadt, and building ground to its use by move:elevator with 5-year contract) together with Marco Dziallas who provided the business plan

[STEP TWOLockSchuppen - FutureLab2056 - SingularAcademy - CollabSpace (also mentioned in BRANDEINS 12/2011 - "Der Mann ohne Geheimnisse" ("The Man without Secrets", page 108-112)

[STEP ONETeam Lea(r)ning Experience Dresden (as sent into Google-Projects in October 2008 and for FutureSAX Business Plan Competition in January 2009) all sparked by two visits to my friends at Team Academy 2008/2009 .... already evolved into the project and two visits to Dresden in September 2008 and June 2012

[IGNITION] Surprise visit to Team Academy in August 2008 after an Ultimate Frisbee tournament in Amsterdam, straight from Amsterdam-Schiphol to Helsinki. The greatest experience was the start of the new semester and learning that the students of Team Academy are teamed into so-called team companies at the first day, and on the second day, they have registered their company. 

20 Year-old Thoughts more valid than ever

Wandering around in different and quite heterogeneous fields (e.g. system dynamics, SoL Network, lean thinking, team learning, knowledge workers 2.0) thoughts are racing through my mind (pretty much like the underwood in a forest).

Nothing seems to happen for quite some time - and then: BANG!

Jay W. Forrester's Banquet Talk (actually the picture of Jay W. Forrester was taken at the 2007 ISDC in Boston, where he, aged 89 by this time, held a speech) at the international meeting of the System Dynamics Society, in Stuttgart, Germany, July 13, 1989, has caught my eye (while laying on top of a pile of books about lean thinking).

Finishing his talk he says,
"...It means that learning in one field becomes applicable to other fields. There is now a promise of reversing the trend of the last century that has been moving away from the "Renaissance man" toward fragmented specialization. We can work towards an integrated, systemic, educational process that is more efficient, more appropriate to a world of increasing complexity, and more compatible with a unity in life." (Talk transcript: D-Memo 4165-1
Even after almost 20 years, this is true today. What is your feeling about it? How do we know that we have reached the next level of well-being?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Col, a dear friend from Melbourne just has posted a sounding post about leadership on his blog which resonates pretty much with what I am feeling about leadership.

Leadership, often connected in our minds with the named leader in an organization (as comes quickly to our minds) and yet that's not the whole story.

Leadership can be truely seen when people lead by their own choice as they see another future that is significantly different from current reality.

Like the future US president, Barak Obama, is walking on grey canvas into the future -some is unknown to the rest of us- and yet he has a clear vision of what is going to be different in the future.

Where are the leaders of future? How do we recognize them when they stand in front of us?

Monday, November 3, 2008

CO2 Reduction through Virtual Teams

Virtual Teams, a speciality of todays global economy;-)

Have you been part of such already? What was your feeling?
What should be different, so you feel really relaxed and can
work in a flow manner?

Even though everybody is talking about the global economy,
this is mostly done in terms of producing something at the far
opposite side of the globe for a cheaper price, then redistribute
this back with logistics costs (currenty going towards zero, despite
the price and scarceness of fossil fuel supplies).

Wouldn't it be a choice idea (actually we can make the choice happen;-)) to work in a different
style? How about switching the unions' demand for higher wages into something like providing
means to earn some money besides your standards 9-5-job? Could be even worth while for the production worker - they are pretty smart, just ask them and you will realize that pretty fast;-))

Just a few new ideas around the Knowledge Worker 2.0.

Cheers, Ralf

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Dream of a Better World - We have the Choice:-)

Donella (Dana) Meadows, co-author of "The Limits to Growth", has been a visionary thinker:



This is ever true today and all of us can take the choice to follow in.

What could hold us back?