Thursday, February 19, 2009

Slides/Notes from Energy Scenarios presentation at Dreamstake Meetup

The presentation

And the Scenarios Summary Sheet

Any questions, do email me at

London Open Coffee and the future of social networks

Had lots of stimulating conversations at London Open Coffee today (yes I know you are supposed to gather essential info and move on but I relish meeting so many interesting people and am not going to waste the opportunity, so there).

First, checkout the amazing light sculptures at from Ivan Markovic, who is an Adobe expert and an Acrobat guru.

Touched on the future of employment and work with Livia and Azita from Eat Your Cake who do job-sharing for professionals. Given the current outlook, are few jobs going to be shared by more people or will the unemployment figures rise?

I look forward to meeting Wendy Deaner to talk more about network marketing and where that might be going.

BobbyHathiramani is developing some pools (betting) software and is looking for the best business model.

Michael O'Shea has a website that does cool presents for small people, and we agreed it would be great to be paid just for being interesting!

Andrew Gerrard has a great new business card, minimalist - how to contact him and how he likes his coffee... We also had a far ranging conversation about the future of social networking. We agreed that similar to your local community network (that not everyone has these days) it requires investment of time and energy to get the rewards and having experience of both an online network and a strong local community network (thank you all those neighbours who turned out, many more than once, in the middle of the night to get injured horse back on it's feet last year), I wonder if we generally have only a finite amount of time/energy to invest in our networks and tend to make a choice between on or the other? Myself, I would say if I'm at home in Ireland, I focus on my "real" network, but if I'm in London, where I don't know my neighbours even, I focus on my online network. Is this a generational thing, or a character thing?

We also considered whether the last 50 years of an increasingly peripatetic lifestyle for many in the developed world, is a natural evolution or an exception. Traditionally the younge leave the nest and many return when it is time to marry and settle down. But these days people are expected to move with their work, or their next step up the property ladder. Are we living in perpetual youth? Is there a natural need to belong to a community and because we don't expect to stay anywhere long, is this what is driving the desire to invest in online communities? If we had the opportunity to become more rooted in our local communities, because we could work locally or from home, would online social networks become less important as we invested in our local community or would they continue in parallel? Lots of questions to ponder!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Posters with Messages

Came across this site with The Posters of Scorsone/Drueding

More like this:

and this:

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Beyond the Recession - Dragon's Den 2020

Dreamstake is a network for supporting entrepreneurs who want to take their ideas to market by providing networking with similar people plus access to funding, marketing, legal advice etc. It is still in it's infancy but the team are rushed off their feet as people decide to take their future into their own hands and go into business for themselves.

I'll be speaking at Dreamstake's inaugural meeting on Thursday talking about using scenario planning to identify risks and opportunities in uncertain times. The fun bit will be asking everyone to come up with ideas for Dragon's Den that would be appropriate for different scenarios in 2020. What will be hot?

All are welcome, just sign up to Dreamstake here

February 19, 2009 from 6pm to 10pm – Downstairs at Shish (Old Street) This will be an informal meet up for members of the DreamStake network. Phoebe Bright will facilitate some brainstorming about 'Beyond the Recession - steps to our new economy'. It will be a chance...

Monday, February 16, 2009

Cork Airport at Sunset

Saturday, February 14, 2009

An alternative to pouring money into banks

I think it is a top priority to help people stay in their homes and like many people, I feel most uncomfortable with our taxes being poured into a seeming black hole.

Here is my idea for helping the banks indirectly and helping people directly - please shoot it down!

A family can't meet their mortgage payments. The Government redeems half the mortgage and gives the family 2 years payment holiday and then expects them to pay 3% interest per year. BUT, the loan belongs to the site not to the people. If the house is sold, the loan goes with it with the obligation to pay, what becomes in effect a property tax. However, the loan can be repaid in part or whole at any time without penalty. Why won't everyone do this? Because there is a public register of properties with loan amounts and payments made, no names attached, but it would not be hard to work out who. This could also be done where the landlord cannot meet the payment.

This has the benefit that the money is not going direct to the banks.
People are given every support to stay in their homes
The country has a SECURE revenue stream for the future

What do you think?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Avoid the peak to reduce carbon emissions

Jerry Sweeney's website, Synergy Module, shows the current pricing for electricity on the Irish Grid. The graph above shows the graph for the 3rd Feb 2009. Remarkably consistant apart from the huge spike around 6pm. This is when peaking plant is turned on to provide the extra capacity required, and this peaking plant is not as efficient as generators for base load and so is both more expensive and emits more carbon per kilowatt. So if you want to reduce your carbon emissions, try to avoid using electricity at peak times. Run that washing machine at 4 in the morning, eat later! Once we get smart meters, we will have the option for smart machines to decide when it is cheapest for them to run. Until then we have to make the decisions for them.

Earning your place in the world

It's tough being a small younge horse in a group of big older ones. You are at the bottom of the pecking order, at the end of the queue for a place at the haylage bale, and there is not much you can do about it. You will be kept in your place by baring of teeth, bites and threats. Ivor is reminding little Poppy above, who is the boss round here.

So what do you do if you want a place at the haylage bale? You can try puffing yourself up and going for the next in the hierarchy with teeth and hooves. If you are fierce enough you may succeed. You can wait in the corner until the rest have tired of eating and go a snatch a bit while they snooze.

I have watched my younge horses as they grow, deal with this situation in different ways. Little Piper tried the teetch approach and did quite well at it, until one morning I found him with a swollen head. A good kick in the face had put him back in his place. Supercub, the biggest horses on the farm, decided he was a victim early on, and despite putting on his best "I'm only small, don't hurt me" face to every horse in the place, he was unmercifully bullied.

Little Poppy has another approach. When scolded for trying to push in for a bite of the bale, she doesn't run back to the corner, but moves back just enough to avoid the teeth, waits for a bit, then tries quietly and respectfully to have another go. She is careful not to antagonise the other horses, does not take offence when they snap at her, but at the same time wants to make it clear she is not going away. This strategy of quiet persistance seems to be successful. After two weeks away I see she has earned the respect of her elders, and while she still is last in line for the bale, they do not try to bully her anymore.

Mad Dog, Ivor, Katy and Poppy.