Brick Walls Crumble as Digital Realisations Dawn

23 Feb

Brick WallMost Groupe Intellex writing appears first on our old home site which is long overdue for redesign.  The shorter postings here are often brief summaries that link back to the full story – but flagging them here has two advantages – firstly the auto-tweet mechanism works more reliably and secondly this site enables comments and feedback from readers.

Today’s post is about two recent writings that really need to be read together.

As ever at this time of year, the FTTH Council Europe Annual Conference (this year in Warsaw) brings an intense focus on the reality of fibre technologies, new understandings of user experiences, the surprising impacts on network revenues and cost-reductions  in network deployments – particularly in construction costs.  More than that, the longer-term implications beyond 2022 get the attention of analysts and provide a useful context for current policy debate – especially in the UK and Germany where long-standing addictions to short-term goals (under cover of investment caution) seem increasingly out of kilter with demand and long-term economic health.

Then, coming back to the UK, one cannot help but notice that, remarkably, there is a sea change in the awareness of private and public policy influencers evident in multiple reports – the painstaking work of committees, commissions and consultations that has moved beyond acceptance of legacy constraints.  Even in the House of Lords they have noticed that ‘We are facing a tsunami of technological change, driven by the digital revolution, affecting virtually all areas of our lives.’  Pushing against the wall, the muscle of  ‘something must‘ now has the strength and determination to become ‘something can and will‘.

Cynics may say that this is but advanced wishful thinking – too early to call.  But the wall is beyond patching.  The weather has set in.  The mortar mix (equal parts,  fear, ego and greed) is crumbling.  Time to take it apart and build something sustainable.

 

 

Three (UK) substitutes for five minutes thought

12 Feb

220px-levin-bbcWhen the late, great, Bernard Levin was writing in the 1970’s for The Times, he dismissed repeated calls for the return of capital punishment as just ‘one of the popular substitutes for five minutes thought’.  That phrase suggests he had in mind plenty of other substitutes worthy of his ire.

Now, more than two decades on from his passing, the death penalty that he might have raged against is the likely death of an economy where governance has lost its bearings.

There’s no knowing, of course, what ‘popular substitutes’ he would nowadays have selected for his brilliant brand of incisive criticism, but current fascinations with all things digital suggest at least three – these being prompted by the growing evidence of the economic impacts of infrastructure investment and the impending tsunami of data being unleashed by video technologies.

Read the full story

Written from #FTTH2015 Warsaw and informed by presentations from VentureTeam and Diffraction Analysis.

Presentation Press Conference FTTH Conference 11 February 2015

Graphic credit: BBC

By The Way: the unexpected bonuses of business travel

9 Feb

So you’re off again – hoping to sell, buy, learn or teach – flights and hotel booked, appointments scheduled, presentations prepped, agendas agreed.

So far, so rational. But does it ever turn out like that?

If it did you might just as well have done the business by email and Skype.  No, the real value of business trips lies in the unexpected, the chance encounters, the rare perspectives that only come along the way.  You can never know exactly how things will turn out for you or for the folks you’ll chance to meet.

Marit HendriksFor fine examples of unexpected bonuses read my colleague Marit’s accounts from our 2014 trip to New York or her visit to India.

As we head off today to Warsaw for the FTTH conference we may think that the script is predictable, but the memories that survive will surely be unscripted.

 

 

OPEN CALL – NextGen Digital Challenge 2015

1 Feb

NextGenAwards2015600

 

The NextGen Digital Challenge Awards programme is back for a 5th year.

Launched today, the Open Call for nominations from across the UK and the Republic of Ireland seeks great examples of digital endeavour.

Whilst mainstream media focus on big names and even bigger numbers, the real impacts of  increasingly digitalised economies are often found at a more local level.  In 2015 the Awards categories will now include the ‘Sharing Economy’ and ‘Municipal Enterprise’ – arenas where direct impacts for people and enterprises are massively transformative.

Join us on this journey of digital discovery by nominating projects and achievements that deserve recognition. Nomination is free of charge.

Full details at http://www.nextgenevents.co.uk/awards

See also ‘And your point is?

NextGenAwards2015600

Network Technologies & City Management: innovations in parallel

25 Jan

Following a week where Judith Rodin’s book The Resilience Dividend coincided with reports from ETSI on great progress in NFV standards development, it was perhaps inevitable that we’d find ourselves musing on their similarities.

Megan Wu - silicon cityscape

For Networks: getting our acts together we found that Megan Wu’s graphic captured a blend of cityscape and silicon.  Network technologists and Community builders –  different disciplines tackling much the same processes.

 

Unleashing Municipal Enterprise: stimulating economic growth in the digital era

4 Nov

helix websizeA new Groupe Intellex paper urges greater empowerment of UK municipalities to take a stronger role in developing their local digital infrastructures as a foundation for future economic growth and community development.

The graphic selected for the front of this paper shows the double helix representation of DNA – the stuff of life.

The shot was taken from the chapel of the research institute of the hospital of San Raffaele in Milan.

The message is that digitalisation is now deeply embedded in the DNA of modern economies.  The Digital Economy is a term that is now almost redundant; what part of economic activity is not in some way facilitated or enabled by digital networks and technologies?

The paper draws together several threads – calls for devolution, new insights into the efficacy of public investment and demands for smarter attention to local needs – and contrasts the centralised state supervision of the UK with progressive communities across the world.

The topic will be discussed at NextGen 14 Fast Track to the Future conference in Derby (November 11th & 12th).

Unleashing Municipal Enterprise  (3MB PDF download).

Video interview from NextGenTV

Lazarettos needed in Ebola-stricken lands

18 Oct

250px-Ithaki-VathySkippers sailing into Vathi – the deep natural harbour of Ithaca in the Ionian – nowadays steer well clear of the tiny square islet marked on the chart as Lazaretto, and those of us with larger yachts also know that a storage space at the stern is called the lazarrette.

In these times of Ebola, both references remind us that quarantined isolation has traditionally been the last defence against contagious diseases. The name derives from biblical references to Lazarus and the scourge of leprosy.   Another reminder will occur next week in Exeter.

The National Investiture of the Grand Priory of England and Wales – part of the Order of Saint Lazarus – takes place on Saturday 25th October in Exeter cathedral.

The Order of Saint Lazarus is one of the most ancient of the European orders of chivalry from the days of crusader knights but, with the exception of a brief period in the 17th century, it played no military role after 1291. From its foundation in the 12th century, the members of the Order were dedicated to two ideals: providing aid to those suffering from the dreadful disease of Leprosy, and defending the Christian faith.

The event in Exeter reminds us that Leprosy has still not been eliminated – a salutary thought as the world gears up to the challenges of Ebola – and the work goes on, not least in West Bengal amongst the elderly and children of affected families.

Even in Europe, in our lifetime, the Order of St Lazarus was the primary provider of medical and other aid to Eastern Europe and former Soviet Bloc CIS countries – delivering, for example, twice as much as then provided by the German Red Cross which ranked second in EU estimates.

Devotion to this cause is, of course, entirely voluntary and we’re delighted to report that one of our regular contributors will next week receive the Order’s Meritorious Service Medal.

This particular award is quite rare but Dr. Colin Coulson Thomas is well qualified having held one unpaid office or another continuously for 26 years. For 17 years his roles included being a Trustee of the St Lazarus Charitable Trust and he has also chaired the executive committee of the Grand Priory of England and Wales. More recently he has been leading the Order’s International Governance Initiative that is concerned with raising standards of corporate and public sector governance around the world, and particularly where corruption is endemic.

Groupe Intellex congratulates Colin on this recognition of his years of service and commends the Order for its continuing crusades in the 21st century.

________

Notes:

Colin’s ongoing work on business governance is featured in our management editorials and will be discussed at the IOD (India) London Global Convention – 28th to 31st October, 2014.

Picture of Vathi courtesy of Wikimedia

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 285 other followers