Collaboration Quote of the Month

August 31, 2010

“The mind is no match with the heart in persuasion; constitutionality is no match with compassion.”

Everett Dirksen


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Stop Corporate Takeover of the Internet

August 24, 2010

Last week, Google and Verizon made it official —  they’re planning a massive corporate takeover of the Internet that creates traffic prioritization.

A corporate attempt to take over access and speed to websites that are not a part of their lobbyist umbrellas is in the making. The United States Court of Appeal ruled in favor of major corporations, saying that the Federal Communications Commission does not have the right to uphold “Net Neutrality”. This is a dangerous path we are heading down. If corporate bullies such as Google and Verizon are able to block certain sites, slow down the speed of access, and charge for bypass of slowdowns and limited access, it will not only change the face of the Internet as we know it today, but it will also break down the bonds of equality that makes the sharing of knowledge via the internet so important.

According to Saturn Smith of Salon.com:

“The ruling opens the door for companies to be able to slow or even block traffic to competing sites. For instance, Comcast currently runs a site called Fancast. Fancast is like Hulu, only well, less awesome. It offers TV episodes and movies, some news and entertainment stuff, and a lot of advertising for Comcast. Who’s to say now that Comcast wouldn’t make sure that anyone trying to access Hulu found it very slow going?”

NthWORD has a great article explaining the situation in more detail.

Despite the U.S. court’s decision, there was a deafening public outcry — with hundreds of thousands of angry letters rolling in, and everyone from Silicon Valley innovators to leading members of Congress weighing in against the dangerous pact.

But one man was strangely silent: FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski.

Help stop the takeover of freedom of speech and net neutrality…please add your name to a letter to Chairman Genachowski, and urge him to denounce this deal and save the Internet: http://free.convio.net/site/Advocacy?pagename=homepage&id=471


5 Ways to Activate and Inspire Collaboration

August 17, 2010

Working towards creating a collaborative movement can be a bit daunting at times. Having many voices involved sometimes can be overwhelming…or at least a feeling of too many cooks in the kitchen, per say.

It is this daunting feeling of many involved that can kill a great idea. So, how do we make sure that we are able to translate the power of many into a positive movement of cooperation?

In my experience there are a few aspects that must be included when invoking a collaborative movement. Here are my top five picks for making sure a collaboration effort goes from a great idea to an inspirational cooperation of like-minded people:

1. Be picky on who your founding members are…This may sound obvious, but in reality does take some forethought and consideration. Often times when a movement is in the beginning stages, there are those that are quick to join, only to realize that they don’t have the time to dedicate to the cause. Or, you may come across a nay-sayer that is, at first, loud in his opinion, but then realizes with time and education that he agrees with you more than he originally thought. For successful collaboration it is vital to have all founding members be on the same page, with the understanding of what will be needed for the idea to progress.

2. Listen to others through your heart…Sometimes it is hard to hear others’ opinions, especially when words are slashing like a knife. Take the time to step back. Realize that most negativity is spoken due to lack of understanding. It is a positive step forward when the harsh words are not taken personally and are heard first through the heart and then through the mind. Understanding where the opinions and beliefs are coming from opens us up to learn. Those with the opposite opinion than ours can help us see, and work through, what can go wrong in the future.

3. Be open to the idea shifting with input from others…an original idea can be great, but with the voice of others involved it will become magnificent. Giving up our ego, or belief that our idea is the way it should be, assists in expanding the collaborative vision. In truth, all ideas work towards their highest potential when others’ thoughts and opinions are involved, or at least heard. And incorporating those beliefs may just bring the collaborative movement to a higher level beyond anything the original conception could have achieved.

4. Be clear on your mission statement…before involving others, it is a good idea to write down exactly what you believe the mission statement of the idea is. This not only helps define it more in your head, but also clarifies the idea for those that will be involved in the future. In addition to a mission statement, including the core values of the project is an additional way to help define exactly the purpose and the path for the collaborative movement. With such clarity, it is more difficult to led astray from the original intent.

5. Concentrate on collaborating with groups and organizations with a common outlook…extending the collaborative idea to other groups, businesses, non-profits, and organizations helps not only in comradery, but also in assisting in not giving up. Working with established groupings proves to our inner psyche that our beliefs do have foundation, and that there are others that care about the idea. It is, in truth, just another extension of collaboration. And a way to feel supported.


Volunteer with “Let’s Get Global” to Help U.S. Students Discover the World

August 11, 2010

Imagine a world where we worked together. Where we understood that our cultural differences are beautiful and to be shared, not feared.

Well, there is a project being created that is hoping to spread that message…Let’s Get Global is a movement to encourage and assist American youth to experience other cultures…to cross borders and share lives! A project of US Servas, Inc., a 501c3 with more than 15,000 hosts around the world, they’ve been helping people connect cross-culturally for more than sixty years.

LGG is about spreading the word that doing an international gap year after high school and before the next phase of life is great for everyone

  • American youth will be prepared for the academic and professional challenges of college and the job world. Colleges will get more mature, focused, and flexible students.
  • The corporate world will have employees who are better prepared to work in the global economy.
  • And the U.S. population will be more understanding and respectful of other cultures.

Education is so much more than what happens in the classroom.

As a graduated exchange student that lived in Germany for a year my senior year in high school, I can honestly say that if all youth experienced and learned first-hand what other cultures are truly about, it would help decrease war, and increase cooperation throughout the world.

Still in the beginning stages, Let’s Get Global is looking for some help from those that feel global friendship is important for the future of the world. If you believe in the idea, I invite you to join in the movement.

Or as the founding member, Rita Golden Gelman, esteemed author, most eloquently said, “I’m excited when I think about the fact that if we work together, we can actually change the cultural norm in the country. I’m hoping that you’ll get your friends, relatives, and neighbors to join too.”

Here’s the link to the Volunteer Questionnaire. There’s a lot of work to be done and LGG needs everyone. Please take a few minutes to let them know how you’d like to help. There’s something for everyone to do.

Even if you happen to be in China or New Zealand or Suriname, LGG can put you to work doing research, posting stuff, or using Facebook and Twitter.  And if you’re in the US, you can help them spread the word in your community and in the local media. They’ll be sending out more ideas and suggestions as LGG grows.

As was shown by the Shirtless Dancer Guy, a movement needs numbers and Let’s Get Global needs us to help spread the message that living abroad helps spread peace.

Let’s make this movement a dramatic example of how a team of people working together can bring an ideal into reality.


Help Create National Entrepreneur Day and Celebrate Small Business Creators

August 4, 2010

Could you imagine a world without entrepreneurs?

Without those that believe that there is another way than the status quo in the business world, life would be much different. In fact, if it wasn’t for those that trust their intuition and act upon their ideas, there would be a lot of lack in the world. For it is those that are not afraid to pursue their dreams and their passions in the hopes of creating a better world — i.e. entrepreneurs — that keep discovery alive and make room for achievement.

Although the following video may be a bit on the corny side, it does have a catchy beat and vital message…business creators are an important part to our society.

And an even more important request…please sign the petition for National Entrepreneur’s Day.

I would like to say thanks to the creators of this snazzy Youtube for celebrating those that help keep the world of business going around.


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