Legendary heroes of the future.

Several visionary characters, with the background and experience to count as effective influential actors, are among my “long view” choices for future heroes of this transitional time in human history.

In this posting I will introduce us to these humble giants, and describe why it is they will be remembered as some of the most powerfully influential movers and shakers of the early 21st century.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee

This NeXT Computer was used by Sir Tim Berners...

This NeXT Computer was used by Sir Tim Berners-Lee at CERN and became the world’s first Web server. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web, he is the Director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), a Web standards organization founded in 1994 which develops interoperable technologies (specifications, guidelines, software, and tools) to lead the Web to its full potential. He was a Director of the Web Science Trust (WST) launched in 2009 to promote research and education in Web Science, the multidisciplinary study of humanity connected by technology.

Tim is a Director of the World Wide Web Foundation, launched in 2009 to coordinate efforts to further the potential of the Web to benefit humanity.

He has promoted open government data globally and is a member of the UK’s Transparency Board.”

His full bio can be found here http://www.w3.org/People/Berners-Lee/Longer.html

Long Live the Web: A Call for Continued Open Standards and Neutrality

The Web is critical not merely to the digital revolution but to our continued prosperity—and even our liberty. Like democracy itself, it needs defending” By Tim Berners-Lee


Tim’s legacy is foundational to all the developments that are built upon the web architecture he invented and bequeathed to humanity. He continues to promote open architecture, and to work toward the generative human/machine symbiosis we have the potential to manifest.

Pierre Lévy


Pierre Lévy is a philosopher who devoted his professional life to the understanding of the cultural and cognitive implications of the digital technologies, to promote their best social uses and to study the phenomenon of human collective intelligence. He has written a dozen of books on this subject that have been translated in more than 12 languages and are studied in many universities all over the world. He currently teaches at the communication department of the University of Ottawa (Canada), where he holds a Canada Research Chair in Collective Intelligence.”

His bio can be found here

The IEML Research Program

The IEML research program promotes a radical innovation in the notation and processing of semantics. IEML (Information Economy MetaLanguage) is a regular language that provides new methods for semantic interoperability, semantic navigation, collective categorization and self-referential collective intelligence. This research program is compatible with the major standards of the Web of data and is in tune with the current trends in social computing.

The vision paper explains the philosophical relevance of this new language, expounds its syntactic and semantic structures and ponders its possible implications for the growth of collective intelligence in cyberspace.”

In my view, Pierre and the Collective Intelligence Lab at the University of Ottowa are implicitly working to provide foundational structures for a potential symbiotic human/machine super-organism, a concept more clearly elucidated by our next hero,

Tim O’Reilly

Since 1978, O’Reilly has been a chronicler and catalyst of leading-edge development, honing in on the technology trends that really matter and galvanizing their adoption by amplifying “faint signals” from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.”

Tim’s bio can be found here http://oreilly.com/oreilly/tim_bio.html

Birth of the Global Mind

Tim O’Reilly discusses how evolving technology has disrupted society, and has given birth to the global mind. “The history of civilization is a story of evolution in our ability to build complex ‘multicellular minds,'” says Tim O’Reilly, founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media (books, conferences, foo camps, Maker Faires, Make magazine.)

Speech allowed us to communicate and coordinate. Writing allowed that coordination to span time and space. Twentieth century mass communications allowed shared information and culture to blanket the world. In the 21st century, memes spread mind to mind in nearly real time.

But that’s not all. In one breakthrough computer application after another, we see a new kind of man-machine symbiosis. The Google autonomous vehicle turns out not to be just a triumph of artificial intelligence algorithms. The car is guided by the cloud memory of roads driven before by human Google Streetview drivers augmented by powerful and precise new sensors. In the same way, crowd-sourced data from sensor-enabled humans is leading to smarter cities, breakthroughs in healthcare, and new economies.

The future belongs not to artificial intelligence, but to collective intelligence.”

Howard Rheingold

Educator and thought leader for internet user participation, Howard teaches ‘net literacy and learning techniques that he calls “mind amplifiers” which are vital for optimising collaboration and innovation among online communities. His bio can be found here.

Not only does he teach through many American Universities, he has also launched his own online university   which engages learners in a guided participatory multi-media learning journey in effective online engagement.


Howard is also providing a portal “Peeragogy Handbook, a Resource for Self-organizing Self-learners” through which dedicated learning communities can access the latest action research and guiding example in peer learning techniques.

Enhanced by Zemanta

One Comment

your thoughts?

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 )

Google+ photo

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s