|By Shelly Palmer||
|October 7, 2012 11:28 PM EDT||
In my last column, I wrote about attending Burning Man for the first time. I included lots of links that I highly recommend you click on if you have not yet done so, as they will provide a basic understanding of the beauty of Burning Man. At the end of that last column I wrote:
“Next I will look at Burning Man 2012 through the eyes of a futurist as for me that was unavoidable. There is much that Burning Man has to help humanity face the transformational changes we face here as we enter the Shift Age.”
As a futurist approaching Burning Man for the first time, my thoughts were that this annual event might well provide some metaphorical directions for the future of humanity. Having now become a “burner” and experienced it for nine days, those thoughts were accurate.
The ten principles of Burning Man are not for all humanity but many represent aspects of what humanity must embrace as we fully enter the Shift Age and are at the beginning of the Earth Century. Here are just some of the ones that have clear suggestions for how all of us must live.
Leaving No Trace
Think about the fact that some 62,000 people attended Burning Man this year and that the trash or garbage was minimal. The goal is to have no more than one cubic meter of matter left. I was not there at the very end, but it was clear that this consciousness of leaving no trace was being actively lived all the time. Our Future Wow! team of seven people left absolutely no trace, nor did the Sacred Spaces Village camp of 240 people that we stayed in. None.
Think about the last time you went to an outdoor musical event or concert and how full all the garbage cans were by the end of the evening, mostly filled up with packaging for food and drink. Dozens, if not hundreds, of overflowing garbage cans for a few hundred to a couple of thousand people. Burners tend to bring little or no packaging with them, using Ziploc bags for food, as they can be reused, and do not generate much space when taking them back to home. For nine days of being at Burning Man, our team took back two full garbage bags of trash to deposit back in the default world [what burners call the world outside of Burning Man]. Most burners carry MOOP [Matter Out of Place] bags with them to pick up litter and all have a MOOP patrol when breaking camp.
It is clear that in the next few decades, the definitions of growth and sustainable growth on the planet must become ever more congruent. We simply cannot sustain the species if we spend the planet’s resources and next few decades not moving toward a model of highly sustainable growth. As many of you know, one of my favorite quotes is from Marshall McLuhan: “There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth; we are all crew.” I have never experienced that more fully that at Burning Man. Everyone was crew at Black Rock City.
Radical Self Reliance
The great American transcendentalist, Ralph Waldo Emerson, wrote the great essay “Self Reliance” almost 180 years ago, and it has been a constant theme in American culture ever since. The ability to be self-reliant and not dependent, to be able to sustain oneself simply, was the theme of Thoreau’s in “Walden” some 160 years ago. These are two of America’s greatest writer philosophers. In America we have become detached to a great degree from their writings.
We have become dependent and reliant on systems and institutions for much of our lives. Burning Man, more than anything else I have experienced, resurrects – and yes – radicalizes to some degree the thinking of these two greats. After using one plate, one cup and one set of utensils for a week, riding one bicycle (often through white out dust storms) as my sole means of transportation other than walking, wearing a single pair of boots and carrying all my own water definitely increased my sense of self-reliance. It also made me realize how little I need to be happy. This, of course, goes along with leave no trace. Less is more. (If you haven’t read Walden in a while, burners, you should.)
As I wrote here at www.futurewow.com, Burning Man will take you down to who you are, let you realize who you are not and will then give you the opportunity to live the rest of your life from that point forward. Almost every burner I have spoken to has had the experience of getting rid of “stuff” and living with less after they have left Burning Man. “Stuff” encompasses physical stuff, mental stuff, emotional stuff and psychological stuff. At Burning Man, people were letting go and releasing stuff to an intense level. This, of course, is something essential for humanity going forward. We have to release our collective past to some degree to move forward.
Years ago I wrote about the great reorganizational recession of 2007-2012 when I called it the “too much stuff recession.” This is a common thread among burners and a rapidly growing number of people in the world. We are realizing we can be much happier with less stuff; who we are is not defined by what we have.
I could easily go down the list of the ten principles as many are truly head-on for humanity as we enter the Shift Age, the 21st century and the new millennium. Communal effort, gifting, civic responsibility and participation, all at the highest level, are ideals that humanity has always referenced but now must live them to a greater degree than in the last century.
The simple reality that everything at Black Rock City was brought in and taken away is totally overwhelming when one is there. All the electricity for the incredible lights and monster sound systems, all the water, food, beautiful structures, art and mutant vehicles existed and created magic in the middle of a desert, and then were all taken away.
As a futurist, it seems quite appropriate that the largest number of people to ever attend Burning Man occurred in 2012. Humanity is experiencing change at an ever-accelerating rate; the default world seems somewhat out of control, so the counter-balance of record attendance this year seems as it should be.
In this Women in Technology Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo, moderated by Anne Plese, Senior Consultant, Cloud Product Marketing at Verizon Enterprise, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO at MetraTech; Evelyn de Souza, Data Privacy and Compliance Strategy Leader at Cisco Systems; Seema Jethani, Director of Product Management at Basho Technologies; Victoria Livschitz, CEO of Qubell Inc.; Anne Hungate, Senior Director of Software Quality at DIRECTV, discussed what path they took to find their spot within the tec...
Feb. 1, 2015 01:45 PM EST Reads: 2,429
We’re no longer looking to the future for the IoT wave. It’s no longer a distant dream but a reality that has arrived. It’s now time to make sure the industry is in alignment to meet the IoT growing pains – cooperate and collaborate as well as innovate. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, will examine the key ingredients to IoT success and identify solutions to challenges the industry is facing. The deep industry expertise be...
Feb. 1, 2015 01:45 PM EST Reads: 2,013
The cloud is becoming the de-facto way for enterprises to leverage common infrastructure while innovating and one of the biggest obstacles facing public cloud computing is security. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Jeff Aliber, a global marketing executive at Verizon, discussed how the best place for web security is in the cloud. Benefits include: Functions as the first layer of defense Easy operation –CNAME change Implement an integrated solution Best architecture for addressing network-l...
Feb. 1, 2015 01:30 PM EST Reads: 2,371
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete...
Feb. 1, 2015 01:15 PM EST Reads: 2,784
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Feb. 1, 2015 01:15 PM EST Reads: 3,271
Appcore deploys cloud for service providers based on the Apache Cloud set. In this demo at 15th Cloud Expo, Nate Gordon, Director of Technology at Appcore, shows their new product that's coming out in January - Appcore Atlas, which is focused on deploying private clouds based on CloudStack in 15 minutes or less. Our upcoming June 9-11, 2015, event in New York City will present a total of 10 simultaneous tracks (the largest conference content in the world) by an all-star faculty, over three days...
Feb. 1, 2015 01:00 PM EST Reads: 1,639
Amazon, Google and Facebook are household names in part because of their mastery of Big Data. But what about organizations without billions of dollars to spend on Big Data tools - how can they extract value from their data? In his session at 6th Big Data Expo®, Ali Ghodsi, Co-Founder and Head of Engineering at Databricks, discussed how the zero management cost and scalability of the cloud is addressing the challenges and pain points that data engineers face when working with Big Data. He also s...
Feb. 1, 2015 01:00 PM EST Reads: 2,564
The Industrial Internet revolution is now underway, enabled by connected machines and billions of devices that communicate and collaborate. The massive amounts of Big Data requiring real-time analysis is flooding legacy IT systems and giving way to cloud environments that can handle the unpredictable workloads. Yet many barriers remain until we can fully realize the opportunities and benefits from the convergence of machines and devices with Big Data and the cloud, including interoperability, ...
Feb. 1, 2015 01:00 PM EST Reads: 3,024
Wearable devices have come of age. The primary applications of wearables so far have been "the Quantified Self" or the tracking of one's fitness and health status. We propose the evolution of wearables into social and emotional communication devices. Our BE(tm) sensor uses light to visualize the skin conductance response. Our sensors are very inexpensive and can be massively distributed to audiences or groups of any size, in order to gauge reactions to performances, video, or any kind of present...
Feb. 1, 2015 01:00 PM EST Reads: 2,104
IBM has announced a new strategic technology services agreement with Anthem, Inc., a health benefits company in the U.S. IBM has been selected to provide operational services for Anthem's mainframe and data center server and storage infrastructure for the next five years. Among the benefits of the relationship, Anthem has the ability to leverage IBM Cloud solutions that will help increase the ease, availability and speed of adding infrastructure to support new business requirements.
Feb. 1, 2015 01:00 PM EST Reads: 1,613
“DevOps is really about the business. The business is under pressure today, competitively in the marketplace to respond to the expectations of the customer. The business is driving IT and the problem is that IT isn't responding fast enough," explained Mark Levy, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Serena Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Feb. 1, 2015 01:00 PM EST Reads: 2,721
Today, IT is not just a cost center. IT is an enabler and driver of business. With the emergence of the hybrid cloud paradigm, IT now has increasingly more capabilities to create new strategic opportunities for a business. Hybrid cloud allows an organization to utilize multi-tenant public clouds, dedicated private clouds, bare metal hosting, and the associated support and services for the right use cases through an on-demand, XaaS model. This model of IT creates tremendous opportunities for busi...
Feb. 1, 2015 01:00 PM EST Reads: 1,700
DevOps means different things to different people. Qubell defines DevOps as the ability for the developer teams to do what they need to do to have this level of self-service. At DevOps Summit, Stan Klimoff, CTO of Qubell, demos the enterprise DevOps platform.
Feb. 1, 2015 01:00 PM EST Reads: 1,399
Cloud computing started a technology revolution; now DevOps is driving that revolution forward. By enabling new approaches to service delivery, cloud and DevOps together are delivering even greater speed, agility, and efficiency. No wonder leading innovators are adopting DevOps and cloud together! In his session at DevOps Summit, Andi Mann, Vice President of Strategic Solutions at CA Technologies, explored the synergies in these two approaches, with practical tips, techniques, research data, wa...
Feb. 1, 2015 01:00 PM EST Reads: 3,283
Software AG and Wipro Ltd. have announced a joint solution platform for streaming analytics that provides real-time actionable intelligence for the Internet of Things (IoT) market. “The key to successfully addressing the IoT market is the ability to rapidly build and evolve apps that tap into, analyze and make smart decisions on fast, big data”, said John Bates, Global Head of Industry Solutions and CMO, Software AG. To address the huge market potential created by streaming analytics in conj...
Feb. 1, 2015 01:00 PM EST Reads: 1,202