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- page 21

Unlocking the power of mobile phones in Africa

Unlocking the power of mobile phones in Africa

So I’m on the move again – writing this on the flight to Accra on the first leg of a really exciting project that will take me to Ghana, Kenya and India in little over a month. What my client’s asked me to do (ably…

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Van Gogh and the importance of real stuff in a virtual world

Van Gogh and the importance of real stuff in a virtual world

When I worked at the British Council at the turn of the millennium, I coined a theory that I call “Van Gogh’s Sunflowers” to explain how living in a time almost infinite virtual replication of film, image, print and music online might actually increase the…

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The difficult trick of switching off your mental soundtrack

The difficult trick of switching off your mental soundtrack

This post is about what’s going on in your head when you listen to music. I used to think one way, but after listening to “MajorVsMinor’s Beat it in a Major Scale”, uploaded to Vimeo and YouTube last week by Ukrainian musician Oleg Berg, I’ve…

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Why you should join the House of St Barnabas

Why you should join the House of St Barnabas

Until now, I’ve only flirted with members clubs. But now I think I’ve found one for life. Opening in May, The House of St Barnabas is a new kind of members club for a new age. In Steven Johnson’s excellent book, Where Good Ideas Come…

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Horse meat and thieving dogs who lick where you can’t

Horse meat and thieving dogs who lick where you can’t

Will Hutton’s excellent article in the Guardian goes some way to showing the link between the market-craven political ideology of our Conservative led government (which, to be fair, the UK’s last Labour government also suffered from) and the likelihood that in the race-to-the-bottom economics of…

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What I learned when I learned to make an omelette

What I learned when I learned to make an omelette

How do you know when you’ve learned something? I mean, not just attended the class and diligently taken notes, but truly absorbed what you’ve been taught? Remembering back to something that happened to me many years ago, reminded me that I believe there are three…

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The audience oath

The audience oath

In “Herd”, a book by the esteemed writer of B+A’s Bumper Book of Fun and Games, Mark Earls, one of our  favourite passages explores how to enlist people to interact directly to influence one another (for instance in an audience – where this peer-to-peer influence…

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Playing games, finding answers

Playing games, finding answers

When you’re researching, how do you find truth and reality, instead of finding what people want to project or think you want to hear? [Note: This blog has been amended on 18th December 2012, adding input from Mark Earls, a.k.a. The Herdmeister. I’m really grateful for…

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What pepper mills teach us about new technology

What pepper mills teach us about new technology

Contrary to what you might think, I hate new technology. What I love is innovation. Innovation where the technology is invisible. In modern use, “technology” is shorthand for anything new where: a) the mode of transport that conveys you towards your intended destination needs learned,…

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Waffles, Gorillas and someone else’s problems

Waffles, Gorillas and someone else’s problems

This might be my favourite piece of advertising ever. My admiration certainly isn’t for its subtlety or production values. What I love about it is what it tells us about human behaviour. We notice things that apply to us, and largely ignore stuff that doesn’t….

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