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RKF Training Institute – Activists teach us to love our democracy

At the Training Institute set up by the Robert Kennedy Foundation in Florence, activists for human rights from all over the world come and learn how to smartly use the internet as a tool to get their job done. It takes courage to work for spreading the ideas that are needed to help people in some countries in growing a society that respects human rights. But it also takes an intelligent ability in using the network: how to campanign, how to communicate in a secure way, how to be conscious about the tactics that authoritarian governments can use against those that fight for human rights:...

Attenzione media english (sort of) media

Publishing is a sort of dating platform

The old ways of book publishing are fading away, maybe. But the new ones are still to be found, unless you are Amazon. And one of the problems is finding out an identity for publishers. The idea that publishing is a sort of dating platform may seem banal. Of course, publishers have always been there so that authors and readers would find each other to establish a successful relationship. At least for the time that is needed for reading a book. But it used to be that in those relationships, publishers had a lot of power. Controlling the analog technologies, they also controlled the copyright...

english (sort of) innovazione

The fascinating history of Olivetti

Many have seen the short movie about the history of the Programma 101, the first personal computer in history. It was released in 1965 and became a huge success, especially in the U.S: 44,000 units were sold. The group of engineers led by Pier Giorgio Perotto at Olivetti entered the history of computing. The beauty of the documentary is in its cheerful and light-hearted tone. Devoid of that tragic affliction typical of Italians who look to the past regretting old glories and successes. Rather it is an educational documentary that shows how the invention came out of a precise mix of...

english (sort of) visioni

Imagination and innovation. Edge and Economist

The Economist has published an important feature about the possible slowing down of innovation: Has the ideas machine broken down? The article puts up a set of questions about productivity growth and technology innovation. But the title is very meaningful: there is such a thing as a machine for the production of ideas? Well, in a sense, yes. There is a system – science, technology remixing practices, venture capital, media relations, market – that is meant to create ideas and innovations. But it makes ideas that are sort of expected. Which is why, in a way, that kind of innovation...

english (sort of) media

Twitter and the Italian political élite

Twitter is booming in the Italian élite milieu. Politicians, journalists, men of the church, writers, are joining the conversation. And newspapers are busy covering what the all lot says online, in a way that starts to seem quite awsome. In the meantime, Facebook stays very much more popular. Facebook has been the evolution of the Internet ability to actively involve everybody in the mediasphere, in a time in which the passive relationship with television had stopped to be sustainable for those “formerly known as the audience”. But Facebook is not much about “pages”...

english (sort of) partecipazione

Cosmopolitan professionals looking for opportunities

There is a kind of workers who live in a cosmopolitan international dimension. There used to be a cosmopolitan élite, mostly European or American, maybe linked to a colonial past or to a multinational company present. But it seems to me that there is something new in this space. This is not about people that need to go away from home to look for a job. The great migrations have not stopped, of course. And they are more and more important: that’s an epic set of stories, with the painful lives of those who leave the place where they are born to try to rebuild something somewhere else. They stay...

english (sort of)

Regret and move on. Italian strategy to cope

There is a lot to say about Italy, these days. It is not a country that seems to count very much in terms of what’s happening to the world. But we have found out that even a place like Italy can be far more problematic at a global scale than we thought: everything is linked, even an Italian crisis can be a global crisis. Well, it is not exactly flattering to be a country that matters only because it can be a source of trouble. And Italians seem to be having some new thinking about this. Usually we are good at complaining about our faults, but we are quite scarce at working united on a long...

english (sort of)

Who knows Twheel?

The presentation is interesting and it makes you feel like to give Twheel a try. Twheel is a new interface to manage more efficiently the tweets produced by Fluid Interaction. When you follow many accounts on Twitter you can lose some important messages: but Twheel reorganizes the tweets in a circle (which vaguely resembles the old iPod interface) that allows you to better handle the complexity of the information on the phone. Thus, you download the app and start it… at least that’s what you do if you don’t pay attention to the legal details. To use a free app you must give some...

english (sort of)

Roadmap needed, please

Urging European leaders to take action against the euro crisis feels like to be in front of a set of poker players who, at the end of the game, refuse to say what they have in their hands: “you show first”, “no, you show first…”. They need to agree about what to do first, second and third… It should be their job. They should get their job done. Soon. Why are they so slow? Politicians are elected inside their national boundaries. But they work for a supranational reality. And their job is split in two: they need to decide for international cooperation to...

english (sort of) partecipazione

Robert Kennedy Foundation: social media and human rights. Smart dissidents

A two days workshop, in Florence, is organized by the Robert Kennedy Foundation Europe, to discuss about social media, human rights and the notion of smart dissidents. Before the event, a chat with Daudi Kahmadi Were, from Ushahidi, has been a joy. He was talking about what it means to improve the notion of “civic society” and he was very interested in the MediaLab‘s (and Ahref‘s) notion of “civic media”. It can be a conceptual framework for improving the cultural environment for smart dissidents that fight for human rights and live in danger because of the...

Luca De Biase

Knowledge and happiness economy Media and information ecology