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THE RESILIENT STATE:

SMARTER, CONNECTED
 Social Business Summit, Dachis Group, Sydney,
March 2011

Martin Stewart-Weeks
Internet Business Solutions Group, Cisco Systems
Chair, Australian Social Innovation Exchange
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The argument

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1. Volatile and unpredictable change is
creating massive new risks and
opportunities
2. Dealing with those risks and
opportunities successfully means
navigating some big transitions
(assets, institutions,
infrastructure…)
3. At the heart of those transitions are new
digital capabilities both as enablers
and as critical new assets in their
own right
4.
5.

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4 And at the heart of those capabilities is
the art and practice of connection
through distributed networks of people
and technology
5 Those distributed networks make possible
new connections to people, ideas and
resources which create richer and more
useful shared knowledge to inform human
judgment
6 The result is new, more resilient patterns
of knowledge, action and power

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Some examples

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NATO’s
Policy
Jam

4,000 participants
10,000 logins
124 countries
5 days
10 streams
26 online hosts
75 facilitators

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The Tanta Effect
“Blogging ‘turbocharged’ the ecology of intellectual

discussion – enabling us to tap into the insights of people


who would never have received the attention they were due
back in the old days where reputations took a decade or more
to build and were corralled into specialisms with little
cross fertilisation and ‘contestability’ between them.”

Thanks to Nicholas Gruen

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Some theory

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The Big Shift in
Three Waves
1 Infrastructure

2 Knowledge flows

3 Institutions

“…a world in which citizens gain political power relative to political


institutions. A world in which talented employees capture economic value
relative to the firm. A world in which consumers have increased market power
relative to vendors.”
“…innovations in institutional architectures such as the ability to foster and
participate in creation spaces where performance accelerates as more
participants join” p58
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“The challenge is designing and managing creation spaces
is to provide scalable environments that can accommodate a
large and growing number of participants and create the
conditions for them to learn faster from each other as the
number of participants grows “
p130

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Push-based institutions are the antithesis of serendipity.
In a world of carefully scripted push programs, unexpected
encounters are generally treated as signs of inefficiency
and worrisome unpredictability.
p107

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A new theory of the
business

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We have to be willing to risk looking like we don’t know the
answer or maybe even the question, We’ve got to wean
ourselves from overdependence on the expertise we’ve laboured
to hard to accumulate.
p118

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Some more examples

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ExpertNet

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.
Cure Violence takes a 21st-century approach to “meeting people where they’re at” and invites
the messengers to ‘communicate with the tools they’re already using like social networking
utilities and SMS technology to distribute firsthand text and multimedia responses to
violence in their own cities. Users can comment and connect with one another and affect
change through actionable content submitted by Cure Violence partners and local and
national organizations who adopt it to organize and mobilize. Cure Violence content will be
accessible via web, mobile device, broadcast, public projection and exhibitions.

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Dialogue Cafe
Lisbon Rio de Ramallah Tel Aviv
Janeiro

Toronto Amsterdam London Berlin

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Speculations

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Control? Resilience?

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Much of this economy is formed around distributed
systems, rather than centralised structures. It handles
complexity not by standardisation and simplification
imposed from the centre, but by distributing complexity
to the margins
Open Book of Social Innovation, The Young Foundation, NESTA, 2010

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Social innovation doesn’t have fixed boundaries: it happens
in all sectors, public, non-profit and private. Indeed, much
of the most creative action is happening at the boundaries
between sectors, in fields as diverse as fair trade,
distance learning, hospices, urban farming, waste reduction
and restorative justice.
Open Book of Social Innovation, The Young Foundation, NESTA, 2010

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We define social innovations as new ideas (products, services
and models) that simultaneously meet social needs and create
new social relationships or collaborations. In other words,
they are innovations that are both good for society and
enhance society ’ s capacity to act .
Open Book of Social Innovation, The Young Foundation, NESTA, 2010

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Centre and edge 1
Line = a relationship between two
people more embedded =
central

less embedded = periphery

Node = a person
“ embedded ”: the degree to which a person is connected within
a network
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Centre and edge 2

“We have grown used to the centre taking more


and more of the decisions, despite the fact that


in almost all cases the knowledge, expertise and
experience required to inform those decisions are
at the edge.”

Beth Noveck, author of Wiki Government and former Deputy CTO, Open

and Transparent Government, The White House

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 Dispersing power,
authority and
control

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Communities and 

networks, as well as
organisations and
institutions

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 Systematic serendipity

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 Coherence, Scale,
Accountability

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The
Public Purpose
Sector

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Resilience has become the central task of governing well. The

ability to connect highly distributed networks of people,


expertise and assets for common action is turning out to be
critical to the chances of success.

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Four dimensions of the resilient state
Improving the art and practice of connection
Managing transitions

Renewing the instincts and


institutions of self-
government
The Resilient State

Redefining the relationship between the


centre and the edge

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