Its Wednesday and a lot seems to have happened this week…it started with a fascinating evening meeting with two modern day adventurers, tribe member Ben Fogle and the intrepid Ben Saunders . On the home front Tribewanted: Live in Cornwall places are filling up whilst on Vorovoro we are having to turn people away . Online members are voting to see who should attend the Broadcast Digital Awards for best social networker .

‘That’s why I made the web”
It’s 1991 and Tim Berners Lee wants to know whether it might be possible to connect two computers. He shares his possible solution and is told that it sounds ‘vague, but interesting.’ Ignoring the scepticism he cracks on. The result? The world wide web.

At an innovation conference run by NESTA on Tuesday in London I was fortunate to hear Sir Tim talk about his invention and what his hopes and fears are for the evolution of the internet.

Sir Tim’s hopes…
“As the internet grows I’d like to see it become a responsible member of society; where interactions are more and more between people and not computers.”
He also would like to see more forms of science (what is true) and deomcracy (what we should do) so that “maybe we’ll find a better way of governing ourselves through the web,” and eventually arrive at a place where “humanity is connected!”
As Tim reminds us, “there are many more web pages out there than there are neurons in our brain…”

Sir Tim’s fears…
“But can we show that the web is stable? We don’t have ascience for the web yet, and we have a duty to take care of it. Will the web ultimately be a force for good or for bad – at the moment we don’t know?”

but perhaps the more resounding words for me…”How can the web be the medium for two ideas to come together from different parts of the planet to form a solution or opportunity….that’s why I made the web.”

Bob Geldof followed the web-maker with an avalanche of analysis about the state of the world today. He believes we have ceated a ‘perfect storm’ and the question we have to answer is ‘how do we innovate when their appears to be an asymmetric world?’

He has to be one of the most eloquent and impassioned speakers I’ve heard, and if you can keep up (I think just about did) he has some awesome insights on innovation and social enterprse culminating with “never has innovation been more required than now!” Sir Bob’s big focus was on co-operation over competition – if we can collaborate we can progress.

So there you go.

Gordon Brown had to follow that. Tough. He told us we were all brilliant (thanks Gordon), and that we must keep innovating. Er, ok.

Ice-men: next stop Antarctic
Exploration is supposed to be something that is Brits are good at. And on Monday I met up with a couple who have taken their Duke of Edinburgh expeditions to the next level.

You may recall Ben Fogle, fellow tribe member and island man (and I’m assured by Ben that one day he will visit Vorovoro), recently rowed across the Atlantic with Olympian James Cracknell. Well Ben’s had his rest (presenting ‘Crufts’ etc…) and now he’s training for his next adventure, the Amundsen race to the South Pole.

Ben Fogle enjoying ice drills with the special forces at Dombas in Norway’ in prepartion for his South Pole RaceA chilly night in London, polar explorer Ben Saunders braves the outdoor seating

But even by Mr.Fogle’s adventurous escapades, the other Ben at the table that night, makes it look like a walk in the park. Ben Saunders , described by the Sunday Times as “the next Sir Ranulf Fiennes” has been a polar explorer for over a decade now. He’s recently returned from an attempted North Pole speed record, the bindings on his skiis broke. But he’s got another extreme adventure coming up soon…this October SOUTH will be the first return journey to the South Pole on foot, and the longest unsupported (human-powered) polar journey in history. So if you like classic exploration keep an eye out for this guy.

Good luck with the expeditions later this year Ben’s, the tribe will be wishing you well from the beach!


Survival International at House of Commons

A representative of the Bawm people, one of the eleven ‘Jumma’ tribes of the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh, spoke to British MPs and peers at a House of Commons reception in London yesterday about the violent repression faced by his people.

I had been invited by Survival as part of I hope our support for the charity. it was shocking to hear first hand the story of the Bawm people.

Survival International’s cause and campaigns fit well with our commitment to protecting and celebrating the Fijian way of life on Vorovoro . I hope that more of our members will get involved with supporting these much more desperate situations through Survival too.

Advertisements