Archive for November, 2007

Online couch potatoes

Xfactor Logo

Becky Rowe writes:

Watching TV on your own or looking to indulge in the irreverent wit of a bunch of Guardian Unlimited readers? Then log on to the ‘Real time telly – talk about it now’ thread. The premise is that you can chat about what you are watching, whilst you are watching. Particularly good to spice up the solo viewing experience, or if your ‘witty’ comments have been banned by your sofa buddy, but you are still desperate to share…

This phenomenon came to my attention last Saturday when I noticed that the X-factor thread had become one of the most active on the GU discussion boards. Not only is a place to share observations about the contestants, or canvass votes for your favourite, but there is now a real sense of online community around the live Saturday night transmission. A perfect example of what happens when real (if you count X-factor as real!?) collides with virtual

26 November 2007 at 1:53 pm Leave a comment

The Upside of Down

Upside of Down cover
Andrew Curry writes:

I was asked to write a paragraph on a book which had influenced my thinking in 2007 for a forthcoming issue of the WPP newspaper The Wire. My choice: Thomas Homer-Dixon’s book The Upside of Down:

The Upside of Down changed the way I look at the world. It is about what holds together the complex systems which make our societies work. The answer, in short, is energy – and in particular, energy which doesn’t take very much energy to produce. Sun works well in warm countries; oil is perfect. As societies get more complex, they have to create and shift ever more energy, which makes them even more complex. When the easy energy starts to run out, collapse follows. Homer-Dixon brings his argument to life with stories about the Roman Empire and Californian fires. So where’s the upside? Only this: it may not be too late to make our shift to a world of scarcer energy less disastrous than it was for the Romans.

I’ll blog some more when The Wire is published on the other entries.

24 November 2007 at 12:39 am Leave a comment

The future of civil society in Britain and Ireland

Croke Park

Andrew Curry writes:

I mentioned this large scale scenarios project in a post a few weeks ago – carried out for Carnegie UK’s Commission of Inquiry Into The Future of Civil Society.

The project reports are now on the Carnegie website: a drivers’ report, The Shape of Civil Society To Come; a scenarios report, Scenarios For Civil Society, a project summary, and finally a toolkit to help people use the material without needing professional support.

Running workshops across Britain and Ireland gave a broader cultural perspective than many of our projects and most of them were held either side of the May elections, with their nationalist tilt. My favourite workshop, I think, was exploring the implications of the scenarios high up in Croke Park in Dublin. It is the home of the Gaelic Athletic Association, one of the oldest of Irish civil society organisations, with its own history in the Irish struggle for independence from the UK – but also a civil association which has ridden cultural trends around national languages and culture to reinvigorate itself in the pst 20 years.

Picture of Croke Park from TouristR, Dublin.

14 November 2007 at 10:00 am Leave a comment


The Futures Company blog

The Futures Company was created through the merger of Henley Centre HeadlightVision and Yankelovich in 2008. This is the blog of the new company - but the former posts from the former Henley Centre Headlightvision blog still can be found here.


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