Book Recommendations: Connected The Amazing Power of Social Networks

I highly recommend reading Connected: The amazing power of social networks and how they shape our lives by Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler. The book poses the killer questions:

Is happiness catching? Is wealth contagious? Can your friends make you fat? Why do you bother to vote? Does free will exist? Your friend’s friend starts smoking, suddenly you find yourself reaching for a cigarette. But how can someone you’ll never know make you fatter and happier?

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Social Enterprise – Thought Leadership on Giving

I HAVE DISCUSSED the content of the Green Paper on Giving, recently made available through Cabinet Office. The bundle was also comprised of seven supplementary thought leadership papers on Social Enterprise. What did they contain?

“No‐one is born a good citizen; no nation is born a democracy. Rather both are processes that continue to evolve over a lifetime.” Kofi Annan [from Hatton-Yeo’s paper “Giving and the baby boomer generation”]

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Transforming Social Action into the Social Norm

IN THE LATEST of a series of publications, Cabinet Office release the “Giving” Green Paper outlining plans to “transform Social Action into the Social Norm.” Can technology and behavioural science be leveraged to increase the UK’s “time giving” generosity? A Harris Interactive poll commissioned by the Financial Times recently discovered that Britons are more likely to support charitable causes with financial donations than with scarce and more valued time. What initiatives are government considering to redress this, and ensure scalability of the ‘voluntary workforce’? Continue reading “Transforming Social Action into the Social Norm”

Understanding the Potential of Neuromarketing

NEUROMARKETING EXTENDS TRADITIONAL marketing techniques through the application of neuroscience, leveraging advances in greater understanding of brain function and developments in brain scanning techniques such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalography (EEG). The ability to “measure the brain while it is operating” and interpret emotional response and “engagement” provides new opportunity in measuring the effectiveness of many aspects of product design and advertising. Continue reading “Understanding the Potential of Neuromarketing”

Philanthrocapitalism and the Enterprise Encore Career

Philanthrocapitalism or venture philanthropy is a system that bases its approach to fulfilling philanthropic goals on tried and tested business concepts and venture capital investment. It typically focuses on mid to long-term partnerships, investments comprising financial, intellectual and human capital. The philosophy is the application of financial investment techniques motivated by the maximisation of return on “social investment”. This is not (necessarily) monetary return (the motivation for the investment being of a principally philanthropic nature). Venture philanthropy is characterised by partnership engagements, varying financing techniques (grants, loans, structured financial instruments), and a desire for donors and recipients to maximise quantifiable “social return on investment”. Continue reading “Philanthrocapitalism and the Enterprise Encore Career”

G-Cloud, Government Strategy for Digital Britain

SMARTER, CHEAPER, GREENER is the underpinning strategy of ICT provision in the modern public sector. A significant strand of Lord Carter’s ‘Digital Britain‘ report relates to the provision of G-Cloud (government’s virtual public services network) and G-AS (an application store to facilitate business application re-use), pillars of ‘future state’ Cloud Computing enabled public sector services. Continue reading “G-Cloud, Government Strategy for Digital Britain”

40 years in the making – Will the Memristor change computing?

The MEMRISTOR – THE DISCOVERY OF ELECTRONICS MISSING LINK was reported in the journal Nature in April 2008 by researchers from Hewlett Packard. The memristor is the fourth type of electronic component (resistors, capacitors and inductors being the other three). The existence of such a component had been predicted by Professor Leon Chua (Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences Department at University of California, Berkeley) in his paper “Memristor – the missing circuit element”, published in the IEEE Transactions on Circuit Theory, September 1971. Chua, regarded as the “father of nonlinear circuit theory” mathematically hypothesised the existence of a “resistor with memory.Continue reading “40 years in the making – Will the Memristor change computing?”

Social Search and the Integrity of the Social Graph

The “Elemental Web” was a connection of machines, then a connection of sites, now it is a complex amalgam awash with traditional links and millions of ‘inter-personal’ connections defined by the Social Graph. But what exactly is the Social Graph, is it open to manipulation and how might this affect experimentation in Social Search? How shall we seek to vanquish the Social Chimera? Continue reading “Social Search and the Integrity of the Social Graph”