SPECIAL FEATURE No. 2
A Resource for Change
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
- 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
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