I3 UPDATE / Entovation International News

a free monthly briefing on the knowledge agenda

No. 53 September 2001





David J. Skyrme


David Skyrme Associates


Contents - Previous Feature - Knowledge Digest


Global Knowledge:
A Resource for Change

David J. Skyrme

After the events of last week have sunk in and the process of grieving has passed, we must collectively address the challenges of the 'new world'. Already Ed Swanstrom of the Global Knowledge Economics Council is urging KM professionals to use their knowledge in the battle against terrorism (see Knowledge Digest below).

Some of my thoughts following the events of last week:

  • Was there really a massive failure of intelligence, or was it a failure to act on what was known?

  • Do we know the root causes of terrorism and what make individuals fanatical in wanting to carry out dastardly acts?

  • The Internet has enabled a much wider diffusion of knowledge and it also enables dispersion of work. In other words, does it make sense to rebuild the World Trade Centre as a centralised physical manifestation of financial capital? Would not a memorial garden be more suitable?

  • Modern technologies, whether aeroplanes or the Internet, can be used for both good and evil. How much are we each prepared to give up individual freedoms (such as not carrying identity cards, submitting to body searches, or being anonymous when we browse websites) for the sake of the wider good? And who will determine what is in the best interests of society as a whole?

  • There are many questions. But there are many answer, many ideas, and many minds that can help us address the challenges of modern terrorism. In the end it will be a difficult balancing act between several opposing pulls - of individual freedom vs. submitting to controls; of openness and trust vs. secrecy; of sharing knowledge freely vs. holding some back to stop it getting into the 'wrong heads'; of 'national' sovereignty vs. global governance.

  • Each of us has a part to play, but can only do so if the knowledge of the questions and challenges is effectively managed. That needs focus and global knowledge leadership. If we each pool our knowledge, we can be a powerful force for change (the Global Knowledge Partnership - see Digest below - is an example). Please use your knowledge to help and participate in the relevant forums, and change the world for the better.

Email: David J. Skyrme

© Copyright, 2001. David Skyrme Associates Limited and Authors - All rights reserved.

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