Saturday, April 5, 2008

QOTD: Tom Watson on the Power of Information Report

I found this via Jeff Jarvis, and it's good stuff: Power of Information: New taskforce and speech:

The 19th century co-operative movements had their roots in people pooling resources to make, buy or distribute physical goods. Modern online communities are the new co-operatives.

The report is about the role of the UK government (and by extension all governments) in the new information economy. The report, although long, is chock-full of insight-- you might even call it a road-map.

The full report: The Power of Information.


Peg Boyles said...

Good stuff indeed. Thanks for it, Kevin. The report's understanding of the rise of a new era of self-managed health care warmed my cockles most of all. Watson merely hints at it here:

But my point is, imagine if quarter of a million mums decided to meet at Wembley Stadium to discuss the best way to bring up their kids. Midwives would be there dispensing advice. Health visitors, nursery teachers, welfare rights advisers would be there. Even politicians would try and get in on the act. But when twice this number chooses to meet together in the same place online, we just ignore them. That’s going to have to change.

I also noted with glee that MP Watson lists growing vegetables first among his interests outside politics. First-life roots. Oh yeah.

Kevin Gamble said...


I too liked that quote, and I'm glad you pulled it out for sharing. I think I'm going to do some more postings from this report.

I'm afraid we've forgotten our roots, and what the world was like when the Land-Grant system was conceived. The roots of progressive education were very much a product of people organizing to help themselves through collective action and education.

We're at a very similar time now, and I'm afraid we're missing a golden opportunity at continued relevance. The train has left the station...

Peg Boyles said...

Do you remember the late, great Doc Tom Ferguson, of the first Whole Earth Catalogue, Co-Ev Quarterly, etc.?

He published a journal entitled Medical Self Care and a book Health Online in 1996, still a great read if you can find it.

From 1999-2002, he published the online Ferguson Report, which had terrific stuff.

Look at this one from 1999, fer instance

Peg Boyles said...

Whoops! Hit "publish" before I'd finished that last post.

I meant to continue by saying that CEs across the US could recover that "educational organizing" tradition Scott Peterson had identified, particularly with regard to self-, family-, and community-based nonmarket caregiving of various sorts.

I don't think it'd take much--certainly not a lot of $$--but of course Christensen's notion of disruptive innovation pertains. (You find DIs all over the map in health care, mostly in the nonmarket sector, but not always.)

One model I've envisioned: a courageous, visionary CE leader or two first incubating, then spinning off a quasi-public body (organized somewhat like a public utility) that would mobilize resources for self-managed care. It would have both a global and a hyper-local focus. Dreamer that I am, I even have a business model for it.