TED Conversations

Closing Statement from Daniel Raven-Ellison

Thank you everyone who has taken the time to contribute to this important question. Reading all of the comments, it's impossible not to think deeply about how relationships between global businesses and local communities are developed.

It's easy to think of global business and local community as two different things. This question is perhaps guilty of leading the conversation into such an easy binary. Of course, "global businesses" are made by multiple and interconnected local communities and many local communities are created by large businesses. Neither local or global are innately better than each other, they are so inextricably linked through uncountable or quantifiable relationships that one cannot exist without the other.

Aju made this point well by saying "global business creates a community of beneficiaries such as employees, contractors, vendors and even customers in the local geography. Except for a thin “live wire” of control that runs to the global headquarters, global business in each region have a very local existence."

Issues of supply and demand are woven through the whole of this conversation. What do people want, what is available and what is on offer are all vital questions, but interlaced through all the comments are issues of power. Who controls what is available to people and what decisions do those people make when consuming an idea, product or place? Mitchell started to address this by asking us to turn the conversation's question on its head by asking "How does a community create a fulfilling relationship with a global business?"

Candy shared a way forward by suggesting "Every community requires collaborative partnerships among business owners/operators engaged in facilitated discussion for the good of the community. This requires a common goal. Whether it is education, social culture...". A practical note that is all about a relationship of working together.

The conversation continues at www.thefutureoflocal.com. Please join us.

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  • May 18 2013: I'm in favor of a new kind of journalism that can not be underpinned by commercialism. That means no advertising at all bearing influence on content and content having new priorities which the intrusion of commercialism had previously excluded. But--BUT--that does not mean that commercialism should cease to exist. It means that there must be a successor concept in which businesses become a "living history" in and of themselves where integration can exist to relate business to geographic and economic regionalism. Why should corporate annual reports be esoteric, exist only on glossy paper and sit in the in-boxes or file cabinets of share-holders. Are they not part of the same history on the same planet we share? It's just a matter of blazing trails to new models which bridge old gaps and replace wasteful dysfunction with powerful new function. There's not enough room for me to be more illustrative here, but I welcome messages if anyone would like to shave a decade off the future and stop going sideways or moving in tiny increments. What has been missing from the digital revolution is idealism. There is out-dated "conventional wisdom that idealism is unrealistic utopianism. That used to be true quite often. But the technology now exists, it is the culture that lags. And thus, idealism reverses in fortune to be the most precious commodity if one sticks to engineering, ergonomics, practicalities and doesn't jump any rails into belief systems. Human development ideals--not towers of Babble. What you want is a sustainable progress engine that has a place for people and a place or companies that have fair and healthy relationships that benefit all. That's not impossible. At least not any more.
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      May 20 2013: Thanks James. Can you share a little more about what you mean by a "sustainable progress engine"? What is this and how would it work?
      • May 20 2013: Yes. We are well into the information age but most effort has been spent strictly on one technology beating another for it's investors and progenitors to reap some relatively short term gain--some financial success that validates that they have done the right thing. But few if any have departed that short term profit motive, to instead of designing the next "ap" or way to manipulate photos or w/e, designing a culture in which technology is used to facilitate achievable ideals--many of which could provide circumvention routes around existing politics, permissions and corruption. The digital revolution is no revolution--it has just been an evolution--until it is led with new design to set precedents that illuminate new directions people see the value in.

        Even though we're almost 30 years into the PC revolution, individuals, companies, even governments have poor or non-existent information policies. They have technology policies to get the next thing that seems to give them an edge, but the information they produce still fragments into a morass that creates an impediment to momentum if they were to want or need to make rapid progress. A sustainable progress engine would start with the realization that any "movement" can facilitate it own advancement quicker if it ceases creating its own informational impediments to momentum by using today's informational output as fuel for tomorrow's new achievement. Nothing would ever bog down because one person in the chain has moved on or died or w/e. No one has yet interpreted how empowering a thing liberation from linearity and alpha numeric constraints is. If companies used SPE modality I invented, they would actually "own their information and knowledge" which remains dynamically useful regardless of the departure of anyone from the group.. Journalism can be used to actually create "economy" with a change in model, focus and vision. I'm out of characters. Send me a message and I'll give you my e-mail addy. Think info ergnmcs

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