May be it's because the Planetwork one is happening in the beautiful Presidio that brings out the best in people. There were for sure a lot of smiling faces and hugs galore. Of course I may just have noticed it, because I didn't get enough hugs lately, but who has?
So on the Hug-O-Meter scale this conference is a ten. Here some more random notes:
There is a longing for a sustainable just world that works for all of us. Planetwork is exploring different ways to make that come a reality and how to use technology to expedite the process.
The picture to the right was from the Digital Identity: ID Commons session. With this ever increasing interconnectivity two words get more and more important: Privacy and security. In this session e-names were proposed as a way to get the power of owning your own data back to yourself. Most will choose to use a broker/mediator, but they will fight for your loyalty and therefore for your rights, security and privacy.
As often heard before: Most invention happens on the edge, where groups from different disciplines come together. I had such a moment in one of the interactive assembly sessions. We talked about that every product should be labeled according to his true value. How much did it really cost to produce and transport this item until you put it in your shopping card.
A label similar to the nutritional facts one on food items in the super market was proposed. It should list all raw material, labor, pollutants, air, miles of transport, ... that went into that product. I think it would be shocking for people to find out how many miles are driven for just a simple strawberry yogurt.
The question was, how can we pressure the manufactures to put such a label on their food product. Of course the producers don't have a real interest to make this information public. For them it would only distract from your buying decision.
But then I remembered a demonstration by Marc Smith from Microsoft described in the Smart Mobs book by Howard Rheingold. He put a barcode reader on a PDA and scanned products in the super market and searched for these products on Google.
There is a service where you can send your smart phone camera picture of a barcode and it sends you back the product number.
We don't need the label on the product, with these technologies we can bring the information into the hands of the interested consumer?
What is needed would be a page per product preferably a wiki, so everyone can improve it and the effort of a couple of hundred people to collect and post the data should be enough.