Friday, June 29, 2007

A different view of change

"Although Mr. Keen's objections to the publishing and distribution tools the Web provides to aspiring artists and writers sound churlish and elitist he calls publish-on-demand services a just cheaper, more accessible versions of vanity presses where the untalented go to purchase the veneer of publications he is eloquent on the fallout that free, user-generated materials is having on traditional media."

Very thought provoking article. I'll most likely read his book before commenting in depth, although I think he is stuck on Web 2.0 and has not looked at the possibilities of a Web 3.0 approach, unless that is in his book somewhere.

Anyway, the genie is out of the bottle and although his observations have a lot of merit, the process which has started will not be reversed.

Perhaps he should look into how how to "professionalize" the "amateurs," since this era of organizational and, perhaps, media Darwinism will not always reward and respect tradition, but will reward instead those who adapt best to their environment.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

A Paradigm Shift in Communications

As we further develop our "pan-Long Island-ist" approach to creating a Unified Theory of Regional Cooperation as contained within the Long Island 3.0 and Long Island Congress concepts, it becomes readily apparent that the manner in which we communicate with one another will undergo a paradigm shift of significant proportions.

It is only a matter of time before the established methods of receiving and analyzing data, whether through traditional media or otherwise, is turned on its head.

Imagine for example, organizations and individuals having access to a coordinated Long Island data reservoir from which they will be able to determine through established and "ad hoc" formulae information pertinent to their individual needs. Imagine further, that organizations can filter and reconstruct information and events to determine accuracy and to, in effect, create their own individualized "daily newspaper," advocacy position paper or any of the thousands of other uses for news and information. Furthermore, this individualized information will be available on a multitude of devices already in use and those not yet imagined.

All of the players in the news and information matrix will be held to a higher standard. Facts and information will be more readily available and constantly vetted for accuracy. How this information is interpreted, opined upon and ultimately put into practice is what will test the resolve and challenge Long Islanders.

Old forms will vanish and new ones will form as this "Organizational Darwinism" works its way through this new century and beyond.

Keep constantly in mind in how many things you yourself have witnessed changes already. The universe is change, life is understanding. Marcus Aurelius

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Long Island Congress: A Virtual Think Tank

Another way, at least in part, to view the Long Island Congress/Long Island 3.0 concept is as a Long Island "virtual think tank." A think tank that creates a dynamic environment for the accumulation, analysis and implementation of new ideas on  a reasonable timetable and in an inclusive manner.

Where is the "clearing house of ideas" housed on Long Island at present? Nowhere that I've found so far other than the usual "static based-identify the issues type." Not a bad thing and certainly part of the puzzle,  just not enough. There are many locations, with many good ideas, using many different methodologies and technologies, but there is no way to create bridges, both technological and conceptual between them all.

How do we interact with one another today? Intermittently, by happenstance in a static manner for the most part. I believe most organizations and individuals want to work cooperatively, but do not have the tools and opportunity to do so.

Substantive change rarely comes by revolution or in one fell swoop. It generally comes in an organic, incremental manner. More so when there are many established moving parts as we have here on Long Island.

Although it may be to organizational or individual advantage to be seen as the agent of great change in a flash of brilliance, the reality is that great shock or rapid change to an "organism" usually harms the organism more than it helps it. 

So in establishing our dynamic "virtual think tank" for Long Island with the Long Island Congress/ Long Island 3.0 concepts we give ourselves the opportunity to create a strong and coordinated region that is incremental, pragmatic and most important of all, sustainable.

As recent events have illustrated, Long Island can not afford to do otherwise.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

New Site for Long Island Citizen Journalists

The Long Island Press has entered the world of "Citizen Journalism" with the launch of its new website.

I suggested a few modifications, like the addition of RSS/XML feeds, but overall I think it will be a very useful addition to the "Long Island conversation."

I encourage everyone with something positive or productive to say to sign up and start blogging. Citizen participation is an essential ingredient in the promotion of the Long Island Congress and Long Island 3.0 projects.

"As you think, so you act. As you act, so you become."

As we have previously stated, the Long Island Congress and Long Island 3.0 concepts are as much about a new way of thinking as they are about hard and fast solutions.

It is important to think about solutions for Long Island in a "global" and inclusive manner rather than in the fragmented approach that exists on much of Long Island at present. A house divided against itself cannot stand.

We do ourselves a disservice as a region and subject ourselves to the fickle machinations of Albany and Washington when we keep ourselves in a fragmented and weakened state.

Think inclusively and we will act inclusively and we will become inclusive. The more of our citizens who prosper from a united Long Island, the stronger we will become.

Think in a coordinated manner, and we will act in a coordinated manner and will will become a coordinated and powerful region.

We must fully utilize and develop all aspects of our educational and library systems, business development and accelerator projects, advanced technology centers, community and advocacy organizations, local governments among many others, and weave it into a strong, flexible and unbreakable fabric.

If we depend too greatly upon others for support, we run the risk of allowing others to play one Long Island group off of another, keeping us is a constant state of disarray.

We must think as a Long Island region and be proud of and relentlessly promote and defend Long Island. Too often, I think, some think of Long Island in the abstract; as a place to come from on our way to somewhere else.

We must infuse a sense of urgency and devotion to the Long Island cause, and build upon what we have; and what we have is pretty good already.

We can achieve greatness.

Think regionally, act regionally, become a region.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Viral Organization Building?

"One of the driving forces behind any successful discipline, institution, business, and any organizational structure for that matter, is the constant application of innovative ideas. Without innovation, things stagnate and can never realize their full potential. Advertising, as a creative social science, continually searches for innovative ways to capture audiences'€™ attention in order to communicate a particular message."

Good article on viral marketing. 

What we are attempting to do with  Long Island Congress and Long Island 3.0 is, in part, to create a form of sophisticated "viral" information sharing containing the "constant application of innovative ideas" for public policy development.

The Long Island Congress/Long Island 3.0 is then, in part, an "organic structure" constantly changing and adapting to meet any challenges that may occur and allowing Long Island to prosper as a region in this era of "Organizational Darwinism."

Two more good signs for Long Island

"In the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, metro-area suburbs welcomed dozens of companies looking to relocate, reduce risk and spread out their operations. Called the 9/11 effects€ by real estate brokers, city firms took hundreds of thousands of square feet of office space outside Manhattan, filling buildings in New Jersey, Connecticut, Westchester County and on Long Island."

If this trend continues it will be a great opportunity for Long Island to attract more high skill, high paying jobs. Apparently, Long Island is a bargain for the right type of companies. Perhaps there is a way to work with companies relocating to Long Island to address the issues of housing, energy and transportation in a coordinated, comprehensive manner.  The dynamic method we describe in Long Island 3.0 could create the right structure for even greater positive change.

Stony Brook continues to keep Long Island in the forefront of technology and business growth. We must find ways to replicate their model all across Long Island and to tie it all into a dynamic engine for job growth and institutional change.

 Who knows what we can accomplish if we work together? 

Two on the right track

"In a first-time regionwide initiative, five major Long Island philanthropic groups have pledged a half-million dollars to help 12 grassroots organizations improve the quality of life in distressed communities."

Another good idea and a good start towards a "unified theory of regional coordination" we've been promoting with Long Island 3.0 and the Long Island Congress (and even since 1993 with Oyster Bay 2000). We've emailed most if not all of these groups the Long Island Idea Factory blog for a number of months now.  They don't respond, but maybe they read it occasionally.

It is important that "like minded" organizations begin to engage in this type of behavior so that when there is a "multi-disciplinary" approach to addressing Long Island issues, they have already coordinated and analyzed how they wish to approach particular issues. That is not to say that when they are "thrown into the mix" with other "disciplines" their opinions may change and have to be modified, but it is a good start nevertheless.

Mr. White seems like a bright fellow looking to "coordinate"  land use issues on Long Island for a productive end. He would be well served by "broadening" the pool of talent available to him, whether land use related or not. Different disciplines have different ways of looking at things.  A "fresh eye" on different issues is almost always useful.

Again, the Long Island Congress, Long Island 3.0 concepts allow for the kind of dynamic multi-disciplinary approach required for the "sustainable" long term health of Long Island. 

Just keep connecting "connecting the dots."

Friday, June 22, 2007

Taming the Feral Beast?

"British newspapers will and should be subject to some form of new external regulation, the outgoing prime minister, Tony Blair, said yesterday in a broadside that attacked the media for behaving like feral beasts and eschewing balance or proportion ... He admitted that his own attempts to bypass traditional media through websites and press conferences had been "to no avail". He also conceded that he was partly to blame for the predicament, saying his determination to convey the Labour message in the period of opposition and early years in government had made him complicit in the decline in news standards."

Mr. Blair is probably stepping down just in time.  True the press can be as unfair, incompetent and brutal as anyone else in society. But this didn't start with Tony Blair and this press. Yes, there is more of it and yes, it is a business where being first is often worth more than being accurate, but different times present different dilemmas requiring different solutions.

Ours is a time of rapid change in media technology and the empowerment of the masses. The press feels the pressure not only to compete with one another but with, literally, the man on the street. This circumstance will escalate until the the next media "plateau" is reached and there is a sorting out and stabilization of how we receive news and information and how we process opinion.

If  Mr. Blair was incapable of getting his message out with all the apparatus available to him both politically and governmentally and with the ease with which  technology can make one person into a virtual media empire, then perhaps it was not how he got his message out, but what his message contained. All politicians have a shelf life. Mr. Blair has reached his.

Long Island is no different than the rest of the world. Our challenge in to find a way to convey accurate information both to the organization and to the individual and to process that information for the common good.  

There will always be differences of opinion, personal ego, business concerns and a thousand other reasons not to cooperate. 

The Long Island Congress and Long Island 3.0 concepts are an attempt to allow for "more light than heat" on our important public policy issues.

More good work ...

"...Sarah Lansdale is the executive director of Sustainable Long Island, which helps communities plan for the future. Lansdale said a key to our region’s success is getting people involved in the development process...."

Good article with Ms. Lansdale. She seems to be on the right track in her particular area of expertise.

I'm sure that if her good ideas were pooled with others in different disciplines, the result would be a more comprehensive, coordinated, and ultimately more successful, approach to resolving public policy issues.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Artifice as Reality? Part One.

"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one."

"What is emptiness? Emptiness (shunyata) is the reality of the existence of ourselves, and all the phenomena around us. According to the Buddhist point of view, seeking reality and seeking liberation amount to the same thing. The person who doesn't want to seek reality doesn't really want to seek liberation, and is just confused."

The most dangerous thing is illusion.

It was more in our spirit to let things come to rights by the plain dictates of common sense than by the practice of any artifices.

So much of what is done on Long Island seems to be done for "theatre" rather than for substantive change.

I don't think, however, this is done as some evil plot against the citizens of Long Island, although that would sell a lot of papers!

I think much of it is done out of a sense of frustration with the lack of communication and the "layers of complexity" surrounding almost every issue of public policy. Having many moving parts (organizations/individuals) doesn't necessarily make things complicated if there are permanent, common "bridges" of communication and a willingness to cooperate. This is the driving force behind the Long Island Congress and Long Island 3.0 concepts. Give people the means and the opportunity to cooperate and they will cooperate. Sort of like a "unified theory of regional cooperation." In future posts we'll explore what it takes to cooperate and to break down the "silos" and "fiefdoms" while still encouraging organizational autonomy and personal choice.

Some good lessons in leadership.

Leadership demands the expression of an authentic self. Try to lead like someone else - say, Jack Welch, Richard Branson or Michael Dell - and you will fail. Employees will not follow a CEO who invests little of himself in his leadership behaviours. People want to be led by someone real. Leaders and followers both associate authenticity with sincerity, honesty, and integrity. It is the real thing - the attribute that uniquely defines great leaders.

But while the expression of an authentic self is necessary for great leadership, the concept of authenticity is often misunderstood, not least by leaders themselves. They often assume that authenticity is an innate quality - that a person is either authentic or not. In fact, authenticity is a quality that others must attribute to you. No leader can look into a mirror and say, "I am authentic." A person cannot be authentic on his or her own. Authenticity is largely defined by what other people see in you and, as such, can to a great extent be controlled by you. If authenticity were purely an innate quality, there would be little you could do to manage it and, therefore, little you could do to make yourself more effective as a leader.

The ability to strike a balance, and to preserve one's authenticity in the process, is precisely what distinguishes great leaders from other executives. The challenge of great leadership is exactly that of managing one's authenticity, paradoxical though it sounds. (click for entire article)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Breaking Down Silos

We've posted multiple times about the need to "speak a common language" and to create an a "dynamic interaction of organizations and information" as part of our Long Island 3.0/Long Island Congress leitmotif.

The following (click for entire article) does a good job of explaining the process in a corporate setting which, of course, closely parallels what we hope to achieve on a larger scale here on Long Island. We may have more "moving parts" but the concepts are still valid.

"Using mapped folksonomy to break corporate silos
A problem in getting people in corporate silos to communicate is that they do not speak the same language even when they are talking about the same thing. Mapped folksonomy can bridge the language gap. The trick is to have people participating in the folksonomy label a good number of the same underlying things so you can see how the labels correlate across participants."

Meta-Editorialism: Part Four

''A smart mob is a form of self-structuring social organization through technology-mediated, intelligent "emergent behavior". The concept was introduced by Howard Rheingold in his book Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution. According to Rheingold, smart mobs are an indication of the evolving communication technologies that will empower the people.''
Wikipedia, Smart Mob

What does this mean for the ability of mainstream media to influence public opinion and drive public policy? What does it mean for political parties? What does it mean for Long Island?

It is absolutely a brave new world folks. Will it help Long Island come together or drive us further apart?

I prefer to think the former rather than the latter.

What do you think?

What do we want?

What do Long Islanders want?

Like most folks, I would imagine it is "maximum liberty with minimal governmental intrusion." This is not a plug for the libertarians out there or any other ideology, it is just a simple observation of how most folks live their lives.

The issue then remains what "liberty" and "governmental intrusion" mean to the individual. Is it an intrusion on my liberty not to have health care provided to me for the taxes I pay? Is it an intrusion on my liberty to pay taxes for health care I do not want? The liberty-intrusion formula is a complicated and ever shifting dynamic.

I would say that most Long Islanders want and expect safe neighborhoods, a clean environment, opportunity for good paying jobs, reasonable services at a fair tax rate, you know, all the perennial favorites.

I would also say that most people on Long Island are fair-minded, clear thinking individuals who care a great deal about their communities. The same can be said for the multitude of organizations that abound on Long Island.

Diversity and individuality must be part of the Long Island psyche. Does this mean Long Islanders won't cooperate? Not at all.

What has been missing from the "Long Island equation" is the ability of organizations and individuals to communicate clearly and rationally with one another. Thankfully we live in age where the communication revolution is in full swing. What is needed now is to take a step back, take a deep breath, assess where we are and devise a flexible plan to move us forward as a region while maintaining the individuality and diversity that still make Long Island a place many folks want to call home.

Hopefully our Long Island Congress and Long Island 3.0 concepts will play a small part in the "new" Long Island model.

I think we all know what we want.

Now it is time to get it done.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

More required reading ...

"Second is the forging of new partnerships and strategies of governance beyond just the role of government. This is really important to me because it defines the essence of what public policy's all about. Thirty years ago, public policy was largely about training students and doing research that related to the role of government and in making public policies at the state and national level. The needs then were to make the work of government more rational and more analytical. Today, public policy involves a lot more than government. It involves the non-profit sector. It involves the roles of NGOs (non-governmental organizations), international government organizations, foundations. It involves the private sector playing different kinds of roles and engaging in new ways in the public policy arena."

Some good news ...

Apparently, all my writing and ideas have not been for naught.

We should have some good news about the creation of a Long Island Congress and a plan to implement some Long Island 3.0 concepts pretty soon.

Thanks to all who have agreed to participate.

Connect the Dots Redux

Another good proposal by Senator LaValle.

How does it connect to this or any of the dozens of other good ideas out there?

Long Island 3.0/Long Island Congress will give us the means and opportunity to cooperate.

What it won't give us is the will.

Maybe Blue Gene can help?

Long Island Must Help Itself.

"When Gov. Eliot Spitzer announced plans to expand the "I Love New York" tourism campaign, his office issued a release saying it would "foster economic development throughout the state." But as Moke McGowan, president of the Long Island Convention & Visitors Bureau and Sports Commission, points out, the release also said the initiative would "encourage greater upstate tourism.""Right now, [the initiative] is not going to do a whole lot for Long Island," McGowan said. But he later tempered his comments by saying a stronger New York brand would help Long Island. He added that the bureau has operations of its own - particularly those focused on Internet-based and international marketing - that are paying dividends in local tourism. McGowan talked with Newsday's Daniel Wagner ... Then what will be the impact of the governor's spending? It's going to take them five years to develop the state agency, both structurally and organizationally. I think the low-hanging fruit is, Saatchi & Saatchi is going to take the money to develop a media plan for fall and winter. "

Granted this is tourism, an important part of the Long Island economy, but only part of the economy nevertheless.

Long Island can no longer wait on the "good graces of others" to develop itself into a regional powerhouse. Yes, New York State must help all regions, especially the economically depressed upstate region, but we should be able to do more than one thing at a time and do it well, shouldn't we?

Long Island must make itself a priority which contributes to the state economy, but is not dependent on NYS government to move forward on its initiatives. Yes, Long Island should get its "fair share" of state resources, but we must deal from a position of strength.

This is why I believe the time has come for a Long Island Congress and related Long Island 3.0 ideas. Maybe the State of Long Island is a bit extreme (today anyway!), but a coordinated and powerful Long Island is not.

February 1950

Congressman James Delaney of Astoria raised eyebrows in February 1950 when he announced, somewhat tongue in cheek, that he wanted to make the State of Long Island. A member of the House Rules Committee investigating admitting Hawaii and Alaska as states, he claimed that Long Island would make a much better case for statehood, and “if you throw in New York City, there is no comparison.” He continued, “Alaska, with 90,000, has 1/4 the members of my district.” The proposed state, with 26 members in Congress, would have about the same sized congressional delegation as California or Illinois. Jamaica would be the proposed capital of the state of 9 million.

It is time to become self sufficient.

Monday, June 18, 2007

If there's an e-Trikala, why not a Long Island 3.0?

Interesting approach to a new way of providing government services here.

While the Long Island 3.0, New York 3.0 and Long Island Congress concepts take in to account more than government, the above article does provide guidance as to some of what is possible.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Use a Scalpel, Not a Sledgehammer

"Warning: Consolidation can save some money (administrative costs), but will not make big change in tax situation. In past few months, studies in Michigan, Ohio, New Jersey, other states have disappointed many by finding that school districts consolidations won't save big bucks. It's about service, decision-making, rationale planning. Special districts are service districts. Start there. "

Interesting history of special districts above (click for entire article) and well worth reading. Good information here as well.

I had the pleasure of watching the Glenwood Fire Company's 100th Anniversary Parade this past Saturday in my hometown of Glen Head. Many of the local fire departments were present.

Although I know many of the volunteers from my days as a Town Councilman (I had the pleasure of creating the first or one of the first Fire Advisory Boards to foster cooperation between the town and the fire service) and from growing up in the area, it still gives me a sense of pride in community to see the level of professionalism and sacrifice these folks make on our behalf. There was a large crowd present and they too gave the volunteers a great response.

There is just something special about Long Island and the way it works that we need to be cognisant of before making wholesale changes. It is almost like a great intricate clock filled with moving parts that work in unison to create the heartbeat of our island. Whether it is the fire service or the environment or any of the dozens of other community causes and organizations on our Island, we all share a sense of pride in our communities.

Why do people still want to live on Long Island and continue to move here? I believe most folks know the good far outweighs the bad and they enjoy the sense of a "smaller community" that they have more control over while still having the opportunities that exist within a larger metropolitan area.

Long Island is a unique mix. We can look to other areas of the country and the world for ideas on how we can make Long Island better, but trying to "force" Long Island to become some other region, I think, is ultimately a fool's errand. We have to take what we have, understand what we are and make it work better. That requires a deeper level of analysis and commitment than garden variety comparisons and lists of complaints.

The Community Congress (and now Virtual Community Congress and Long Island Congress) concepts are ideas about how to harness this positive energy for the common good. I also had the pleasure of starting one of the first Marine Education Day educational programs here on Long Island which has now exposed tens of thousands of school children to our environment and how to protect it. This too was part of the Community Congress concept.

I admit to at least a little bias when it comes to our fire companies and volunteers and the the pride residents of Long Island take in their individual communities on all levels. When I was a young man I used to march in bands all over Long Island playing my trumpet and countless Sousa marches in hundreds of community celebrations. You really get a sense of how Long Island ticks at the grass roots level in these unguarded celebratory moments when a community comes together to celebrate itself and its accomplishments.

Do we need to change on Long Island to prepare for a better future? Yes.

Do we also need to preserve the elements that make Long Island a unique and good place to live? Yes.

Can we do both? Absolutely.

All the Long Island 3.0/ Long Island Congress ideas are geared towards a cooperative, productive Long Island. We will always have many "moving parts" on our island, even if the parts change from time to time. If we do not have a methodology to address change in a dynamic way, we will always be "behind the curve" in our decision making capabilities.

Let's be smart about change. Think before we act.

Use a scalpel, not a sledgehammer

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Long Island Congress ... Lux Perpetua.

The creation of a Long Island Congress will create a vehicle for the unbiased, clear thinking analysis all Long Islanders require to make rational decisions.

This "public policy lux perpetua (ceaseless light)" will allow decisions to be made openly and without distortion.

It has been my experience as both a public official and private citizen that, while various advocacy organizations and individuals will have strong opinions and use "tough" tactics to push their cause, most, with some exceptions know how to cooperate and compromise.

The one thing we can not do is allow the public or organizations to think that information is being withheld or otherwise skewed to allow for a predetermined outcome. Let unreasonable people be unreasonable. Eventually, they only harm themselves and become irrelevant.

Obviously we live on an island. We have limited resources as would any islander. We must work smarter and in a more coordinated manner for all the reasons we've discussed in previous posts.

No one is naive enough to think a major change like this will be without a few bumps in the road. It has been my experience that most public officials want to cooperate with one another to make their communities better. Given the opportunity they, along with the rest of us, can achieve great things for Long Island.

For example this is the type of big idea we need to look at with a serious and unbiased eye. There are many good ideas like this out there from many different sources just waiting to be examined, analyzed and implemented.

We must think of Long Island not as a destination to somewhere else or a temporary state of affairs. Instead we must commit fully to a coordinated, strong Long Island able to hold its own with any other region; nationally or internationally.

A Long Island Congress (containing Long Island 3.0 concepts) with its "public policy lux perpetua "of objectivity and reason can be a major assistance in shaping a brighter Long Island future.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

More thoughts on a Long Island Congress.

Is the creation of a "Long Island Congress" even possible?

It is, but it will take a change in how we approach public policy problem solving.

Instead of viewing ourselves as part of one organization or another, concerned with only one issue or another; we must instead think as a "pan-Long Island-ist" practicing "pan-Long Island-ism" (general term for the various movements or approaches on Long Island that have as their common goal the unity of Long Island and the fostering of non-confrontational, cooperative interaction between all Long Island organizations).

That is to say, how do all Long Island issues connect in the broadest sense and how do we create an environment conducive to the long term health of all Long Islanders?

First issue. Please leave your ego and ambition at the door. The Long Island Congress can not be viewed as a "launching pad" for political office or as a forum to "dominate" some sector of the debate.

Second issue. Have some humility. No one has all the answers and those who are not naturally assertive may in fact have the missing piece to the puzzle. The Long Island Congress must be inclusive.

Third issue. Learn to compromise and think of ways to build bridges between your position and others. Many times we think we have the whole solution when in fact we only have a part of it.

Fourth issue. Long Island must be unified in most issues to survive any adverse economic downturn, loss of political power or other "global" crises. If we don' t have a coordinated approach to solving Long Island's issues, we may be easily "divided and conquered" by interests outside of Long Island. For Long Island to remain "relevant" not only in New York State affairs, but as a region that has relevance in the wider world at large, we must be united.

Fifth issue. We must allow for our unique differences while cooperating as a region. Let's start simple and work up to the bigger issues. Success breeds success. Here is an example of some folks starting to think in the right direction, although it is not clear if there must be a major consolidation of these groups. Consolidation follows cooperation; it is not a means to an end in and of itself.

These are just some initial thoughts. More to follow.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

How about a Long Island Congress?

We've talked previously about a "Community Congress" or a "Virtual Community Congress" and while there have been attempts to bring organizations and individuals together on Long Island for specific issues, I'm unaware of any attempt to have an ongoing dialogue amongst government leaders and relevant organizations and individuals on, let's say, a quarterly basis to discuss all of the major issues of the day.

Furthermore, this "Long Island Congress" can also be virtual (to maintain the dynamic interaction we've previously spoken about) and should not cost much to maintain. This is NOT a new bureaucracy. This is a method and a forum to bring the best and brightest together on Long Island in a non-confrontational, cooperative manner to find solutions to the issues that affect Long Islanders. Most of the Long Island 3.0 ideas lend themselves perfectly to this type of interaction.

Over the next few posts we'll attempt to create a specific framework that would encourage the Long Island Congress to be created and to be successful.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

What do you think?

Newsday and the Long Island Business News are actively soliciting public input as to what the public believes are the most important issues facing Long Island. This is both an interesting and positive development.

I suspect that what they will find at the end of the day is what they already suspect or know the issues to be; taxes, housing, transportation, energy, real estate development and perhaps open space, job development and a number of other quality of life issues.

Long Island is, right now, a pretty nice place to live for most folks and Newsday and others properly point out that we must start planning now so that it remains in good shape.

Of course Newsday and LI Business are also reacting to the new way people get their information and are, as they should, attempting to stay current. That aside, what they are doing does help create part of the open dynamic we've are striving for in our Long Island 3.0 and New York 3.0 concepts.

Identifying the issues is probably the easy part. Solving them is not.

To solve the issues we need a new approach to public policy. Organizations, of all stripes, must think outside their "silos" and find real approaches to cooperate with one another. We've suggested a number here on LIIF, but as we've also said, Long Island is home to some of the smartest folks on the planet. There are many good, workable ideas out there just waiting for leadership.

If you were an engineer and had a "design flaw" in your project, would you keep trying to get the design to work or would you change your design? Using the same methods for approaching Long Island issues is analogous to a "design flaw." No matter how hard you try the results will never come out the way you want them to be.

Leadership may be political, the media or from a host of other sources. Leadership requires sacrifice not only on those the "leaders" are attempting to motivate, but on the "leaders" as well.

The idea of sacrifice for the common good is essential for long term positive change. It is what got our parents and grandparents through World War II. Big changes require big sacrifice.

People must "buy in " to the change and trust that the information they get is accurate and fairly presented. We've attempted in some past posts to begin to construct a "decision model" for Long Island which is essential in entering a new phase of Long Island's future.

Can we put aside partisan and pre-established opinions and methods of thinking to forge a new Long Island? Time will tell.

I prefer to think we're up to the challenge. How about you?

What do you think?

Friday, June 8, 2007

Another Piece of the Long Island Puzzle

Good article below and well worth reading. Long Island Colleges and Universities must, as we've stated previously, must play an integral role in the creation of any long term public policy solutions and are a major part of the Long Island 3.0 (and New York 3.0) concepts.

"Economic growth, university-style, on Long Island
By Robert A. Scott
Friday, June 8, 2007 (LI Business News)

Imagine a community chamber of commerce that decided to start a strategic planning process for economic development, including the following principles and priorities.
First, they want to recruit an enterprise that would produce a product or service of which everyone could be proud. Second, they want an enterprise whose employees are highly educated and willing to be active in community organizations. Third, they want an enterprise that is respectful of the environment. Fourth, they want an enterprise willing to partner with schools, the civic community and businesses. Fifth, they want an enterprise that would have a significant and positive impact on the local economy through taxes paid and both operating and capital expendures.
On Long Island, that enterprise is higher education. There are 19 colleges and universities here with combined annual budgets totaling over $3.2 billion – that easily translates into a $4 billion economic impact, and this does not count the effects of more than $1 billion in capital investments committed for the next five years.
Nor does it count FICA, federal and state income taxes and other taxes collected. And when one adds in the restaurant, hotel and other expenditures of those who visit campuses during the year (for homecoming, reunions, cultural events, graduations and sports events), the economic impact grows even larger – and we haven’t even mentioned the expenditures of nearly 175,000 students and 38,000 employees.
Universities are teachers, models and partners in economic and community development. We use our intellectual, cultural and capital assets to prepare professionals, managers and artists; to contribute to the quality of life that attracts and sustains businesses; and to create jobs and wealth. This is economic development, university-style: the community developer’s dream partner."

Robert A. Scott is president of Adelphi University in Garden City.

Some additional interesting thoughts:

Newsday 6/8/07 Letters to the Editor

Use Avis site for affordable homesIt is common knowledge through the work of the Long Island Association and the Rauch Foundation's Long Island Index that Nassau and Suffolk counties lack adequate supplies of affordable housing for young professionals and service workers. As a consequence, businesses, schools and colleges find it difficult to recruit those with critical skills. The challenge for the business sector is so severe that we now refer to the "Top 75" public companies, not the "Top 100."Too much of new housing is for those 55 and older with no school-age children. Rental apartments at affordable rates are hard to find.County, state and federal properties no longer used for their public purpose should be zoned, in whole or in part, for multiple-dwelling workforce, or "starter," housing.Now on Old Country Road at the site of the old Avis property in Westbury, we have an opportunity to build housing for young professionals and others who could fill critical job needs and become the consumers and taxpayers Nassau County needs.With some imagination, special zoning and Hempstead support, a new housing development could help revitalize an area that could easily become blighted if attention is not given to our highest priorities.Surely, this must be of interest to the county executive, the Town of Hempstead and Simon Properties, owners of nearby Roosevelt Field Mall.

Robert A. Scott Editor's note: The writer is president of Adelphi University.Garden City

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Static Thinking versus Dynamic Thinking

A few more examples of "static" thinking here, here and here. Not bad ideas, just limited.

As we explored in 1993 and more recently here and here among many other posts, the key to change is cooperation and "dynamic interaction."

Change is a continuous process and public officials as well as others need the tools and the correct approach to problem solving to create good, comprehensive public policy.

Reports and commissions are helpful. But if the information is not dynamic, it still may have some result, but it will never be a long term building block for sustainable growth and change.

The LI Regional Planning Board has an interesting proposal here on affordable housing.

Unfortunately we do not yet have a comprehensive method for analyzing all these potentially good ideas as a unified concept. Long Island 3.0 is one possible solution.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

New York State XML Update? New York 3.0?

I was looking at the New York State OFT website, queried XML and came up with this. Here's what NYSTAR has been up to with XML.

It looks a little restrictive as to what's allowable if, in fact, the RFP process was ever completed.

It would probably be in the state's best interests to take a broader view toward xml standards and open data standards in general for all New York State agencies and authorities and all New York State political subdivisions.

Just as we're proposing a Long Island 3.0 approach to public policy solutions, perhaps New York should take a similar approach as well.

Open architecture, multiple platforms, multiple API. The more businesses we can interest in developing products for New York, the better it is for the New York economy.

The state (and/or Long Island) should lead the way in promoting creative thinking and innovative products and should, in essence, be a laboratory for their implementation.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Connect the dots ...

"The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them." Albert Einstein

Excellent project by Congressman Israel.

Will his project work in a coordinated way with this excellent project from Senator Skelos?

And with these as well?

The Long Island 3.0 project we are proposing could be the "glue" that coordinates these and other projects.


Another blast from the past.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

More good ideas ...

Congressman Bishop has a good idea for issuing public alerts in the event of an unhealthy sewer treatment plant discharge.

All we need to do is add this to the selectable XML Public Alert Feed lists we talked about earlier and this project will have a simple resolution.

When we get the details regarding Deputy Secretary for Homeland Security Mike Balboni's NYS alert project we will attempt to integrate our ideas with his if necessary.

Congressman Bishop's idea and Senator Skelos' Campus Alert idea really all should be interconnected with Mr. Balboni's idea (or vice versa) and other ideas that may be feasible.

As we've said previously, all alert projects (and general public information as well) must, at a minimum, be based on an open architecture with multiple API and available on multiple platforms.

Friday, June 1, 2007

XML for the New York State Unified Court System?

Here are some examples of court systems and related sites utilizing XML/RSS technology to make information concerning the court system more accessible to attorneys and the public. The NYS Justice Courts seem to be off to a good start and heading in the right direction.

Utah State Courts

West Virginia Supreme Court

The Philadelphia Courts

Maryland Judiciary

St. Louis Circuit Court

New Mexico District Court



XML and related technology should speed up the transmission of information in the NYS Courts just as it has in other disciplines.

It would also position the courts for greater participation in Web 2.0 and emerging Web 3.0 technologies and allow for greater interaction between all parties in all aspects of court administration.

These are the only New York State RSS/XML feeds I've been able to locate so far for all agencies including what it says is the Unified Court System but actually appears to be the Justice Court feed. Please let me know if you locate any other feeds. Also NYSTAR has a feed.

All of this, of course, needs to be standardized in a simple, flexible manner and spread to all state agencies, authorities etc. and to all political subdivisions of New York State.