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.

Author: Ray

Ray Gallon is president and co-founder of The Transformation Society (www.transformationsociety.net), a research, training and consulting company focusing on building learning organisations that can manage complexity and the digital transformation. 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 is a self-described "humanist nerd," and 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. Ray recently helped co-found the Information 4.0 Consortium (www.information4zero.org) and serves as its current president. Ray is a university lecturer and a keynote 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).

3 thoughts on “A Beautiful Example of Transformation”

  1. 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!

    1. 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 😉

Leave a Reply to Wendy Joint Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: