Enjoying the mind stretching presentations at State Of The Net 14 but swinging wildly between excitement and concern. The theme is "smart life" and there are so many opportunities opening up through greater thoughtfulness, increased openness, and smarter use of technology to help us lead better lives both individually and collectively. But there are also incredible challenges about regulation, privacy, and personal responsibility that could make people frightened enough to disengage from it all.
Part of the challenge is that most people lead busy lives and haven't been exposed to either the possibilities or the threats. Or if they have it has been through the filters of media and other interested parties. As we are learning to adapt to huge changes in our own capabilities our institutions are, for the most part, failing to keep up and adapt fast enough, clinging to their familiar paradigms and priorities.
What is ultimately so exciting is that we have, in our online networks and tools, the means of addressing our major challenges, upping our game and learning faster and better how to work this stuff out. But this will only happen if we all become actively involved, shrug off our training as passive consumers, and roll up our collective online sleeves.