A National Strategic Narrative

I attended a conference last year called PopTech in Camden Maine. Couldn’t go this year, but did have a chance to watch some of the live feed. One of the presentations featured Naval Captain Wayne Porter and Marine Col. Mark Mykleby — military strategists working at the highest level of government. Together, they present highlights from their paper, “A National Strategic Narrative.” Their ideas ” less military force, more social capital and more sustainable energy practices ” have caused a stir in policy communities. Their proposal is one of transition away from some old policy ideas that no longer apply in the Google age.They want to move the nation towards an open system that seeks equilibrium in an interdependent global ecology; to move the idea of national security from containment to sustainability: from theories of control to theories of credible influence; from power to narrative: a national strategic story that doesn’t “hold the jello” quite so tight; towards a citizenry that demands purposeful participation. They rightly point out that government can only reflect the values that its citizens embody and that competition cannot be a zero-sum game in a deeply interdependent world. They focus on three issues they believe to be the highest social priorities to maintain a healthy nation moving forward. 1.) Education 2.) Security 3.) Energy I would personally put energy at the top, for without cheap, concentrated energy, access to education will erode as our economy weakens. Their brilliant talk concludes that we, as a nation, are moving towards polarizing ideologies that offer little more than divisive ultimata. Porter and Mykleby insist that we need a collective narrative that takes us beyond today’s ideologies; that will inform our skill, knowledge, and ultimately our technologies. Please invest 21 minutes in this important  

Hide and Seek

The PopTech folks have put Imogen Heap’s impromptu performance of Hide and Seek on line. She was not scheduled to attend the conference, so it was a real surprise. And it answers that nagging question:  can IH really hit a high B, or is it auto-tune? (yes, she hits the B). She mentioned that it was her first public performance of this song without a vocoder. I had a chance to chat with Imogen earlier in the day in one of the upstairs rooms of the Camden Maine opera house. She is a very lovely lady. Here’s her original (vocoder + autotune)  

Photos from Maine

Beautiful Camden Maine. Trees are still turning. Was a nice surprise to see Alex and Erwin McManus here at PopTech today. The three of us took some time off for exploring and photographing the area. Also had a surprise visit and performance from Imogen Heap just a moment ago. She sang Hide and Seek – gorgeous. Hope to spend some time with mastering engineer Bob Ludwig tonight in Portland. Enjoy the  

PopTech 2010

At the PopTech conference this week in Camden Maine. A small gathering of people conspiring to generate positive world change. The format is TED-like, but the demographic seems about 15 years younger, which is a welcome difference. You might enjoy a couple of videos filmed this week at Poptech. The first is a very funny guy named Reggie Watts. The second is from our sail around Camden Harbor with adventurer David de Rothschild, leader of the Plastiki Expedition. David talks briefly about Plastiki and the essential power of storytelling. Enjoy. Reggie Watts: Part 1 from PopTech on