We’ve been reflecting on this incredible opportunity for the last few weeks.
TED Global’s theme for this year is Radical Openness, which is something we’re really interested in.
At Art is Open Source we focus on the transformations which have been brought on to human beings by the wide and ubiquitous availability of digital technologies and networks.
Everything has changed in the last few years: the ways in which we learn, work, relate, consume, communicate, experience.
We have redefined our idea of identity, place, time, privacy and public space.
And the transformation is so fast that it is really difficult to provide “answers” when questions are asked.
This, possibly is more of a time when it is more important to understand how to ask the right questions than to provide answers.
Yes, because the scenarios for further change of our lives on this planet are so many and so visionary that we’re really in need to be able to maintain focus on the basics.
How can we use all the technologies and practices which have emerged in these last few years to promote a better life for us, the people we love and the planet itself?
It still seems as if human beings are still right in the middle of this discussion.
Take the smartest of the cities, filled with sensors and cloud infrastructure and real-time systems for environment and social life, and it immediately becomes useless if citizens are not aware and conscious of their possible new roles in society.
At AOS, we’re really for human beings. For their ability to be aware, active, insightful, ethical, tolerant, caring, collaborative and constructive, if only they have the right tools, motivations, relations, contexts and social environments.
And we’re definitely for the opportunity to facilitate, amplify and enhance these powerful human characteristics, provided by ubiquitous technologies and networks.
We feel that among the most pressing issues which we will need to face in the near future to activate these opportunities will be to expand our ability to become active and aware citizens, and to redefine our possibility to interconnect and express ourselves.
And to design the ways in which these technologies and networks can be used to connect people everywhere, in the middle of New York City as well as in the middle of a desert or on top of a high mountain.
As we all know by now, fundamental problems afflicting the population the remote parts of our planet – such as water, health and food – are problems which are centered on knowledge: access knowledge and know-how and you will have your water.
And, on top of that, people are constantly producing new knowledge: from the small innovation of their daily lives, to the enormous discoveries coming from scientific research.
The problem is that most of the time these innovations remain limited in scope, and end with the person or group who created them.
This, we feel, is the great opportunity of our times: transform the sensibilities, creativities, inventions, insights, knowledge, traditions of individuals into usable, perceivable, situated, ubiquitously available knowledge for the rest of the planet, promoting new forms of sustainable, inclusive business, new forms of governance, new opportunities for sociality, culture, arts and expression.
This is what we will talk about at TED Global 2012 in Edinburgh.