Thursday 25 June 2009

Online Think Tank Empowers Citizens to Solve Real Problems via Web, Cellphones

BONITA, Calif., June 24 /PRNewswire/ -- The last week's events in Iran have underlined a new global reality: like it or not, common web and mobile technologies are changing all aspects of the world.

Over the last five years or so, new Web 2.0 tools have hit society like one wave after another: MySpace, Skype, Facebook, YouTube, all the various iPhone and Blackberry applications, and now Twitter.

But to a large degree, these enormously capable technologies have been used for rather trivial purposes: entertainment, gossip, playing video games, publicizing bad garage bands, and re-sending the same cat-falling-off-the-couch video hundreds of times.

Now comes an organization which wants to help people use these tools for grander purposes. Why not, says the World Mind Network, use our vastly expanded powers of electronic networking to improve education, do research, brainstorm solutions to long-standing social problems, build community across political divides, and utilize collaborative online mind-mapping to address common issues.

Starting June 24, membership is free and available to all.

Joining the World Mind Network is like having a Facebook or Twitter account, but it assumes that one is interested in improving the world somehow. Participants can join a forum devoted to improving science education co-moderated by a Nobel Laureate (Peter Doherty), build a community around a disappearing art form, start a psychological research project, or contribute to an interactive blog on the world economic crisis co-hosted by another Nobelist (Edmund Phelps).

The idea is that web and mobile communications have turned the globe into something like a huge brain, with vast processing power and ability to address major challenges. Yet as a species, mankind has for the most part failed to take advantage of this, since Web 2.0 tools are not traditionally marketed that way. But the notion that an average person can have an enormous effect on the world through free tools that are used every day for business and pleasure is becoming more and more evident.

According to the World Mind Network, in the last 15 years or so Humanity has traversed the anthropological scale from Homo Sapiens (Thinking Man) to Homo Connnectivus (Connected Man) to the current Homo Endunamonus (Empowered Man).

The possibilities are endless. See

SOURCE The World Mind Network

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