Pamela Mclean – The Futures Interview


Pamela Maclean

Pamela McLean  is based in the UK. She introduces people and helps them do useful stuff, much of it online. On Wednesdays she collaborates with other members of the Dadamac team in UK and Nigeria. Once a month she hosts an open meeting online where her contacts (mainly from Africa, Europe and North America) can “drop by”, share news, and get to know each other. Her work of teaching, writing, and helping new things to happen began back in the 1970s when computers were “micro-computers” (and her name was Pam Fiddy).  Since the Internet her work has developed in new ways, especially with regard to collaborations in Africa. Her latest project  “Collage – Age of Collaboration” (with Nikki Fishman) is nearer to home. It is a response to living in  times of rapid change, especially in the world of work.


?!X: What’s the Future You Choose?

PM: “The future that I choose – and am working on through Dadamac and Collage:

It knows that resources are finite.
It has rejected ideas of infinite growth and adapted accordingly.
It values people for who they are and how they treat each other, not for what they own.
It celebrates creativity and participation.
It is bewildered and disgusted by competitive consumption and conspicuous waste.
It has local Collaboration Groups where people contribute their time in order to share skills, knowledge, creativity and resources – benefitting themselves and the wider community.
There is easy collaboration across age groups, and other cultural differences, so people at different stages of life and different backgrounds can all benefit from various perspectives and contributions.
Decision making processes are transparent.
People carrying great responsibility are valued and supported in ways that help them carry those extra burdens, but they are not overly rewarded in material ways.
Things are local enough for people to feel known, supported and valued in their community, but not suffocated by it.
Things are global enough for people to connect with others far away to share ideas, knowledge, wisdom, friendship and practical problem solving. ”

?!X: What’s a ‘think’ to create this future?

PM: This is a book that I came across at an event several years back. The author, who was reticent about actually taking money, gave me a copy on condition that I read it and didn’t just use it as a door stop. I read it, wrote to him about it, lent it to others, and was greatly influenced and encouraged by it. It is “eGaia, Growing a peaceful, sustainable Earth through communications, today” by Gary Alexander.  Details at earthconnected.net/earthconnected/eGaial

?!X: What’s an ‘act’ to create the future you choose?

PM: Look out for people you know who have time to put energy and skills into their local Collaboration Group – and encourage them to get involved (especially if they are repositioning themselves in the world of work, or preparing to enter it for the first time, and can get seriously involved with others on new long term projects). See dadamac.posterous.com/think-act-vote-the-future-i-choose  for more details

?!X: What’s a ‘vote’ to create the future you choose?

PM: Please find out more by sending your email address to me, pamela.mclean@dadamac.net  Please put “Collaboration Groups” as the subject so your details will end up in the right place. I won’t use your email address for other purposes, only to let you know about the Collaboration Groups.

?!X: Future Soundtrack – What song would you take with you into the future? 

PM: I’d like (Let’s Have a) Party by Elvis Presley – If things get tough in the future we’ll need something to cheer us up – and if things go well then of course Let’s Have a Party. Ideally I’d have the alternative version rather than the film soundtrack – you can hear it here –

?!X: What are your five all time favourite weblinks?

PM:

  • P2P – great pointers to the future
  • MinciusSodas and the pyramid of peace – an amazing example of spontaneous collaboration, which linked friends of friends across continents when some of them were in deep trouble and danger
  • Dadamac  – okay, I confess – that one is mine – but I hope it’s interesting to others too
  • Despatches from the Invisible Revolution  –  I’ve got mixed feelings about including this as it’s the order page for a book – but it also gives the opportunity to browse a lot of the content which is very relevant to futures (and yes, I did write one of the despatches, and yes I have bought copies of the book)
  • GlobalNet21 Meetups –  Ideal way to connect actively with a wide range of present and future issues

Follow Pamela on Twitter @Pamela_McLean

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