Tag Archives: Bay Area Future Salon

Nov. 8, 2010 Future Salon Catherine Austin Fitts Solari.com

QUESTION: How much toilet paper should you keep in your house? Answer below.

On November 8, 2010 in Palo Alto at SAP, The Bay Area Future Salon hosted Catherine Austin Fitts from Solari.com‘s presentation “Our Financial System: Facing Hard Facts, Creating Positive Futures.” Austin Fitts has gone from Washington insider to community organizer at the local level. She was the Assistant Secretary of Housing – Federal Housing Commissioner during the savings and loan crisis of the first Bush Administration and went on to become an investment banker for the Wall Street firm of Dillon, Read & Co. Inc. She is now founder and managing member of Solari Investment Advisory Services, LLC.

Here is her abstract:

“The global financial system is being used to engineer a revolutionary centralization of governance on planet Earth. In the process, trillions of capital has been shifted out of Europe and North America, much of it by illegal means. Many of us do not share a vision of non-accountable, centralized currencies and debt systems. Let’s reject the financial coup d’etat underway by taking steps to protect our families, businesses and communities and do so in a way that shifts our assets to a more productive, transparent, decentralized vision supportive of free people and healthy ecology.”

My impression is that she advises rebuilding trust person by person. Act locally. It means investing in your community’s small banks and businesses to create an economy based on equity and not debt. She thinks it more important who your county sheriff is than president. Create an alternative economic model that people can choose over the current one.

ANSWER: According to Catherine Austin Fitts, two years worth. A safe investment in a commodity you will actually use. Watch the video. Okay the economy is bad, but look on the bright side. At least the planet hasn’t been destroyed by a galactic radiation storm..yet. As I said, watch the video.

Copyright 2010 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Aug. 11, 2010 Future Salon Cesar Castro DiscoveryCast

On August 11, 2010 in Palo Alto at SAP, the Bay Area Future Salon hosted Cesar Castro, Founder and CEO of DiscoveryCast. The topic was “Open Innovation and the Future of Organizations.” Castro believes that opening up the innovation process outside of companies can solve properly framed problems. Mark Finnern demonstrated SAP’s newly developed ideation platform: Idea Place and Open PCAST as an interactive way to contribute ideas on ways to stimulate U.S. innovation, economic productivity or jobs in nanotech, biotech, or infotech to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST).

“President Barack Obama said, “PCAST represents leaders from many scientific disciplines who will bring a diversity of experience and views. I will charge them with advising me about national strategies to nurture and sustain a culture of scientific innovation.” PCAST is co-chaired by John Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; Eric Lander, Director of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and one of the principal leaders of the Human Genome Project; and Harold Varmus, President and CEO of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, former head of the National Institutes of Health and a Nobel laureate.”

Copyright 2010 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Jun. 30, 2010 Future Salon Peter Marks Blind Spots

On Jun. 30, 2010 in Palo Alto at SAP, the Bay Area Future Salon hosted a Peter Marks of Design Insight presentation on Blind Spots. Marks is best known for his landmark books “Aligning Technology for Best Business Results” and “Winning Products”. He understands the implications of technology in business and customer psychology. He demonstrated his expertise in visual perception.

You never see the car that hits you. If you did, you would be able to avoid it. In business the same sort of issues have to be dealt with everyday. What disruptive trend did you overlook? What crucial detail drove a customer to buy your product? Marks gave a lively presentation on how to look for what you can’t see. Change the way you think and it will change what you see.

Copyright 2010 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Mar. 25, 2010 Future Salon Sandy Pentland

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On Mar. 25, 2010 in Palo Alto at SAP, the Bay Area Future Salon hosted MIT Professor Sandy Pentland’s to talk about his latest book “Honest Signals: How they shape our world.” Most people are aware of body language but not aware of how nonverbal communication influences our behavior in groups. Pentland thinks some people are better at reading and responding to social signaling than others. People with these social skills tend to network better than others and become leaders in their communities. He intends to understand this phenomenon and how it could improve group dynamics.

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Copyright 2010 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Feb. 25, 2010 Future Salon Corporate Conscience

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On Thursday, February 25, 2010 in Palo Alto at SAP the Bay Area Future Salon hosted John Montgomery’s presentation “Activating Consciousness in Corporations” In June 2009, US Supreme Court has basically decided that corporations have the same right to free speech as people. Do they have the same responsibilities? Text from DJCline.com

As a lawyer representing over a thousand startups, Montgomery sees a definite pattern among the successful ones: They activated their conscience. He wants to share that pattern of success. Montgomery thinks new corporations can build positive behavior into their DNA. He thinks they should be raised with the same values as you would raise a child. With human status comes freedom and responsibility. Text from DJCline.com

People ask me why I study startups. I tell them because corporations are cute when they are little. “Look! it just got its first round of funding.” When they get too big to fail they can lose sight of things. Montgomery is familiar with economist Joel Bakan’s book and film  “The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit And Power.” Bakan said if you evaluated a corporation’s  behavior it might be diagnosed as psychotic because of its disregard of others. As long as profit is the priority all other considerations are unimportant. Bakan recommends revoking charters or articles of incorporation for companies that fail to comply with the needs of the societies they live in. Text from DJCline.com

I do not know if Montgomery’s plans will help much with existing corporations. How do you change a corporate culture that thinks polluting, destroying the economy, or killing people is the cost of doing business? Montgomery talked about how many people leave the ethical parts of themselves of at home when they go to work. That must change. Google has a motto of “Don’t be evil.” I thought that was kind of obvious and sad.  I know one marketing writer who bragged in their spin blog that their company’s executives were not convicted of anything…yet. It implies that not being caught is their virtue and that is nothing to brag about. Text from DJCline.com

Montgomery wants the ethical person to find or start a company that reflects their values and he aims to show the way.

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Copyright 2010 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Aug. 20, 2009 Future Salon FreeRisk

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Aug.  20, 2009 in Palo Alto at SAP, the Bay Area Future Salon hosted FreeRisk’s Jesper Andersen and Toby Segaran. Andersen is a statistician, computer scientist and entrepreneur. Segaran is the author of the “Programming Collective Intelligence” and frequently speaks on the subjects of machine learning, collective intelligence and freedom of data.

Why didn’t more people see the current economic downturn coming? There was lots of data flying around but no useful strategy to make sense of it. Andersen and Segaran gave their assessment of current polling and statistical research. Bias is unavoidable. The questions you ask inevitably reflect your perspective. Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s AAA ratings are not enough. If you combine enough information from enough perspectives you can start to get a less biased picture of a complex problem.

How can we avoid this from happening again? They believe the solution will be public-private partnership internet firms with more transparency and market competition. They want to supply corporate financial information that can be openly analyzed to avoid conflicts of interest. FreeRisk aggregates accurate, accredited risk data so users can generate crowd-sourced algorithms to analyze credit risk that will be visible to everyone. They use standardized Extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) data, public-domain financial data and user-generated content. They also use unstructured data released in financial reports right down to those pesky and suspicious footnotes. Credit evaluators can focus exclusively on creating and applying risk analytics and not worry about IT or database management. No more black-box credit ratings.

They want to create a community of developers so this economic mess never happens again.

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Copyright 2009 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

May 22, 2008 Future Salon Maasai

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On Thursday May 22, 2008 at SAP in Palo Alto the Bay Area Future Salon hosted Erna Grasz of the Asante Foundation and two members of Kenya’s Maasai tribe. Salaton Ole’ Ntutu is a shaman and his companion Sabore is a warrior. Text from DJCline.com Continue reading May 22, 2008 Future Salon Maasai