A Beautiful Example of Transformation

Friends, check out this video:

It’s a great example of what Edward Tufte has been writing about for decades, and a marvelous demonstration of the power of simplicity to tell an important story.

Check out the site that posted this, Information is beautiful, to see more of the same kind of transformation thinking.

I have written elsewhere about the need for a transformation society (not an information society), where the accumulation of information becomes less important, information gets de-commodified, and is transformed into knowledge, know-how and understanding.

This seems a daunting task, and yet these people have done a part of it so simply, clearly, and (seemingly) effortlessly.

The video embedded above (and you can find a version for the U.K. in pounds sterling, too) shows clearly how we have developed an economy of debt, where we prefer to overspend and play financial games, than to put a relatively small amount of money into really solving some of the world’s problems.

Our information accumulation society has had something to do with this phenomenon, so it is wonderful to see the same technology applied to demonstrate clearly that this is a road we do not want to continue following.

Next step:  Let’s find ways to demonstrate how we can use the technology to implement these solutions.

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About Ray

Ray Gallon is co-founder of The Transformation Society, a research and consulting company, and owner of Culturecom, a company that provides business process improvement through communication. He has over 40 years as a communicator, first as an award-winning radio producer and journalist, then in the technical content industries. His management experience includes a stint as program manager of WNYC-FM, New York City’s public radio station. Ray has always been interested in the meeting point between technology and culture, and has used his broad experience to advantage with companies such as IBM, General Electric Health Care, Alcatel, 3M, and the OECD, as well as in smaller companies and startup enterprises. He has been quoted as saying, “Since the beginning, I have been, paradoxically, communicating and shooting myself in the foot. I find that this combination leads to fascinating outcomes that have made me one of the most fortunate people I know.” Ray is a university lecturer and a speaker at events throughout the world. He has contributed articles and chapters to many books and periodicals and is the editor of the recently published “Language of Technical Communication” (XML Press).
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3 Responses to A Beautiful Example of Transformation

  1. Wendy Joint says:

    Hi Ray!

    Love the graphics.

    David McCandless did a talk, I believe last year , about his book ‘Information is Beautiful’ on the TED site – you must know about this. Has some amazing stuff. But as to solving the problem, had any thoughts yet? All one can say about our attempts so far seems to be that Communism didn’t work, neither does Religion. So having opened Pandora’s box, what do we do now? Perhaps we can only solve things like this in a small way not necessarily just using technology, as Krishnamurti suggested, rather than being overwhelmed trying to solve the whole problem. Keep digging the garden and growing veggies!

    • Ray says:

      Wendy, I agree – it’s important to be aware of the global problem without becoming overwhelmed by it. It’s important to use technology to spread the good word, but individual actions need to be local, and the beauty of the new technology, if we do it right, is we can change “think globally, act locally” into “think globally, act glocally.” It’s a subtle, but important evolution.

      As for continuing to dig the garden and grow veggies, you know I’ll be doing that, just next door 😉

  2. Pingback: Transformation and Then Some! | Rant of a Humanist Nerd

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