Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Teaming For Audacious Innovation: The Future of Urban Auto Transportation.

Glia Ecosystems

Designing, Developing, Delivering The Future of Urban Auto Transportation

"3Ding" The Future

As you are reading this, I know you are already nearly as excited as I am, about the journey we are embarking on together. Together as a team, we’ll become even more excited about the challenges and prospects this journey represents.
As a team--a team of teams!--we are collectively “designing, developing and delivering” one of the most advanced organizations of the 21st century, an organization whose purpose is to bring to society the future of urban auto transportation.
The value we will co-create for citizens, cities, and the auto ecosystem will be the greatest transformation the world has ever seen.
That is really something to get excited about!

Building a platform that can attract and orchestrate an ecosystem of vendors and brands, from very big, to very small, that can continuously “Design, Develop, and Deliver” the future of urban auto transportation, while creating win-win-win value for the platform participants, our host cities, and our consumers, will be nearly impossibly hard.
That degree of difficulty--which is really only an artificial obstacle--and our ability to blow past that, is our competitive advantage.
It is important for us to understand, that while technologies and its advancements are crucial pieces of the puzzle to our business, a puzzle that will continually morph, these technologies only form the substrate to our business.
Our business is people, and the society we are embedded in.

To overcome the challenges inherent in our journey, to create the satisfying wins along the way, it will be a matter greatly as to how well we can come together, function and perform as a team, the Core Team, that will make the difference.

Here are two things we know for sure:
1)--The auto industry is going to go through radical transformation.
2)--We know how to design, develop and grow the organization that will facilitate that transformation.

Those are two knowns we can be assured of that we can hang our hats on.
How much of the value of this transformation that will be created overall, that we can create, that we can capture, that is entirely up to us.

With this broad understanding, let’s look at some of the most important skills and things we need to continually excel at.

Learning to learn, communicating and dialogue,  leadership and personal development, team building, network orchestration, and continuously developing these skills in others.
In concert, these skills, and we as people, will continually create the environment where other can excel at developing our collective purpose.  
Abilities are the talents we individually bring, be that coding, marketing, product development, engineering, etcetera.
The skills that we value are what will elevate us to the top of our game, and to the top of our field.

Particular to our organization, is a system I developed called Smart Swarms Systems (3S). It exists now only as an abstraction, as due to its nature, we have to learn, develop and grow that system together.
3S will be a highly refined form of collective intelligence.  It is vital to value creation and network orchestration in ecosystems, and as practitioners and nodes (think neurons in the brain) in this system (this hive mind we could say), excelling at using it, and contributing to it, will form a core competency across the Glia Ecosystem, that others will find difficult to match.
The 3S is critical for creating bonds and information & knowledge value flows throughout the ecosystem, for making smart decisions at all points, for swiftly moving ideas to creation and production (in conjunction with the best known principles and practices of productive innovation), for organization and orchestration of value, for organizational balance of individual and group identity, for understanding the business and competitive environment.  
Most importantly, when coupled with data technology, the data flows will allow us to develop real time mapping of the Glia Ecosystem, that will be a vital tool for transparency and  visualizing value creation flows, and trouble spots within the ecosystem.

The other half to our core values and collective wisdom, is truly, deeply understanding the very nature of social business ecosystems, why they represent the future of business organization, and that of value creation and harvesting.
Our dedication to the skills, values, and systems is what will make Glia Ecosystems the standard by which all others are measured.

Nothing energizes me more in the morning than that of the thought of working with you, with us, and our open ended opportunity to create the future.
If I can instil that in you, and we in everyone that joins our organization, our purpose, our lives will define what it means to be wealthy in the 21st century.
If this is the challenge and opportunity you have been looking for, contact me now, and lets find out if you have what it takes to be part of this team. Yours truly,
Gregory D. Esau

Monday, February 1, 2016

Glia as a Platform--The Basics

Artificial Neural Networks

What is Glia?

Glia is a distributed platform concept designed to bring public and private enterprise along with citizens and public/private business leaders, along with knowledge networks together to “design, develop and deliver the future of urban auto transportation”.
These vested parties and stakeholders are the 'social business ecosystem', with Glia as its 'Organizational Operating System'.
The Glia architecture places the power hubs of urban auto transportation system within the cities themselves, to the benefit of their local business people, and citizens.
The platform allows cities worldwide to 'plug into' the system, allowing networks of scale.

Glia is a business and organizational model that enables a distributed approach to Transportation as a Service (TaaS), and for orchestrating the complexity of third party vendors, the public sector, along with empowered individuals for the design, development and delivery of such a service.

The name Glia comes from a neurological cell dubbed the “social glue”, an ideal name for social networks with a purpose. What started as a terrific, smart and engaged group of people on the interest based social network, Google Plus, who were looking for ways to develop a social platform to create socially beneficial businesses, products and services, Glia has evolved to focus on the future of our urban auto transportation.

More than just a platform, it is an economic philosophy to harmonize society and business, and the development of people for what some are calling the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Why Do We Need Such A Platform?

A well designed and populated platform allows anyone with a vested interest to contribute to the process of value creation. Platforms have the ability to attract the wide and diverse knowledge and expertise necessary to solve complex problems, and co-develop the kinds of innovation needed for new value creation.

When it comes to something as complex as auto transportation as a service, where a large variety of public and private stakeholders are involved, we can bring all of them together in an online space, to share knowledge and insights, collaborate, co-design, and imagineer the future of urban transportation.

Platforms, and the social-business ecosystems they develop, also distribute risk and reward, making for robust and resilient businesses, that are highly adaptive to the ever shifting and evolving economic landscape. Because of their community driven nature, these platforms are much more sensitive to local economies over that of the corporate models.

The key to platform performance is its ability to attract and aggregate networks of knowledge and skills. Geography or singular business units are no barriers to these networks, and as platforms expand from city to city, the sharing and creative capacity grows exponentially.
Deep pools of the necessary knowledge, know how and expertise can form into clusters, furthering the ability of the platform to high performance.

A strong sense of community, ownership, and vested interest often becomes a defining aspect of the well designed platform.

As such, this gives cities and their citizens a way to be part of the leadership and development over our transportation future that we might not have otherwise. Furthermore, this allows the evolution of co-ownership business models, where cities and their citizens can have an ownership stake in what the famed consulting firm McKinsey and Company describes as: Driven by shared mobility, connectivity services, and feature upgrades, new business models could expand automotive revenue pools by about 30 percent, adding up to $1.5 trillion.

We all know how important continual innovation and applied innovation is to the future prosperity of society and business. Well designed platforms with a cultivation of an open source problem solving culture can provide the optimal environment for continually applied innovation for a wide and deep pool of value creation.

Our cities and their citizens should be able to contribute and share in this massive pool of value creation.

Why is This Important?

The most significant issue here is the generation of personal and collective data that is becoming the most valuable resource in this “fourth industrial revolution” and who owns and controls that data.
Of equal importance, is who is going to own and manage the future of urban transportation.

We believe in creating and developing the models that allow all vested stakeholders to extract the most value from the data, while at the same time guarding the privacy concerns of people and businesses is paramount.

Conflict of Interest
Many of the current big players that are already shaping our transportation future are public companies listed on the stock exchanges, and are therefore obliged to their shareholders. The tech companies of Silicon Valley, while creating an enormous amount of innovation and value over the last decades, also adhere to a more libertarian philosophy that may also conflict with the best interests of cities and citizens.

It doesn't have to be this way. The window is open for developing our future in a way that benefits the public and private enterprises, our cities, and their citizens.
As Jenny Lindqvist, Global Head of Intelligent Transport Systems, Ericsson, said at a recent New Cities Foundation conference on our Urban Mobility Future, “We need to work towards building an ecosystem rather than an ego-system,”

By this she means we need to put the health of the overall (transportation) system over that of the individual need for control and profit maximization.

The Future of Urban Auto Transportation?

Imagine a future where upwards of 80% of the cars are gone from the road, where private ownership of a car is now rare, and most of us subscribe to a “transportation service” (Transportation as a Service--TaaS).

What would that be like?

Owning and operating a vehicle is most people’s second biggest expense, and not a particularly good investment.

The promise of TaaS, is to bring us more convenience, while lowering our transportation costs. Our liability exposure also decreases.

For cities, the shift is absolutely profound. This will change how transportation infrastructure is needed, how it’s developed, and how highways, roads and streets are designed and maintained, and dramatically changes our city environments to becoming much more people centric.

Imagine the health and well being of our cities and citizens with such a dramatic reduction in vehicles clogging our streets, and the resources spent to accommodate them. Owning and operating a vehicle is often a stressful, and costly endeavour. The future of auto transportation can bring people the choice to free themselves from this burden.

Other issues at stake are things like public and private parking (and the revenues they generate), traffic fines and enforcement, insurance and liability, who owns and operates the vehicles of the TaaS, who supplies the rider experiences and value added services, and so forth.

The Sharing Economy

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is more than just breath-taking technological change and advancement. It’s also about new economic models and opportunities.

The opportunity here is to development new ownership-stakeholder models that can both generate wealth creation, and distribute wealth generation.

Much has been said and written on how technology and capitalism are “destroying jobs” and “concentrating wealth”.

However, these same technologies can also create new business models and ownership stakes. A new kind of “networked capitalism”, that blurs the line between the worker and the owner, facilitating the mechanisms of wealth creation and distribution.

For futurists, these social and technological trends can lead to either a utopia or a distopia. While hopefully the extreme scenarios are limited in odds, today we can also make choices and conscientious efforts to work towards shared prosperity rather than wealth concentration.

For the Glia platform, our culture and philosophy is geared towards shared prosperity. Join us in helping us all get there!

About Me

Gregory D Esau
CEO & Founder Glia Social Business Ecosystems
Developer of SmartSwarms Organizational Intelligence

Since the early 1990’s, I have been passionately engaged in learning about the evolution of distributed economic and business models, and acquiring the knowledge and knowledge networks, so as to apply these models to business and social challenges and opportunities.

I have used my thirty years of business experience in the highly competitive, challenging, and rewarding world of custom home construction, and general construction, to further hone my applicable skills and knowledge, so I can provide the leadership, guidance and business experience to value creation in the 21st century.

This passionate pursuit, combined with my work history, has led me to developing a broad knowledge base, a broad knowledge network, and the skills that enables me to “orchestrate” the building and development of distributed business organizational systems, the leadership and coaching required for such systems, and to oversee and guide the necessary technical, business and social development.

Based on my continual research, along with strong evidence, I believe it will be the kinds of systems and models I advocate that will give society and business the best odds of a strong, sustainable distributed economic prosperity, and broad social well being.

In the May 15, 2013 Provincial Election, I ran for the Green Party in the Vancouver Kingsway riding, under the slogan of “A Vote For Me, Is A Vote For We”.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Building for Our Business, Building for Our Society

"If you are interested in building a business to make money, forget it, you won't. If you are interested in building a business to make a contribution to society, then let's talk." VC legend Arthur Rock.

More Than A Business

What we see in the picture above is business and society at odds. The auto industry, whose business model is predicated on selling units, needs to sell more units. Cities and regions, however, need less cars, as billions upon billions of dollars are already being spent on infrastructure to handle the increases that benefit the auto industry, but costs citizens and society in many ways. 
For the co-creating the future of regional auto transportation, the auto industry and cities are at odds. 

We are going to need much more than business as usual if we are going to design, develop and delivers the right buffet for choices for the consumer, that leaves them better of than they are now, cities better off than they are now, and the various players from the auto industry better off than they are now.

An Investment in We

According to a July 20 2015 paper from Barclays, Disruptive Mobility, it's possible we could see a 40% reduction in new vehicle sales.
There are two basic forces driving that forecast: the driverless auto, and platform ride-share companies like Uber and Lyft.
The problem with those models, from our point of view, is the profits (and job losses) go to Silicon Valley and Wall St.

While some believe it is a foregone conclusion that these tech giants have already won territory for the future of our auto-transportation, we believe differently.
Uber, Lyft, and Google may be making all the headlines right now, but boiling up from the surface are the technology enabled social movements that make it possible for our cities and their people to by the majority stakeholders in the future of our auto transportation future.

In Owning is the New Sharing Antonin Léonard, co-founder of the Paris-based network OuiShare, thinks there has t be a better way:
“Society needs a new narrative about the world,” Léonard thinks, “and that narrative has to be different from the one Uber is offering.”
I agree wholeheartedly. Community ownership of transportation (and other services) is more than just a new business model, it is about what kind of economics models with which we want to shape our future societies.

Furthermore, these are no longer abstract theories, as the New Zealand based social enterprise network Enspiral can attest to.

However, this is only the beginning. the blockchain, with people like those behind +Ethereum leading the way, community ownership will be empowered in much more robust ways. The blockchain technology is now where the internet was circa 1992 (approx) before Tim Berners-Lee gave us the WWW. This opens the door for an even further evolution of social-business models that can replace Uber, Spotify and AirBnB.

Fellow collaborators in this future, the good people at the Enlivening Edge, are seeing it the same way, as explored by Stefan Groendenal in Decentalized Autonomous Transportation Networks, and Reinventing Road Transportation Systems.

And this is just a snapshot of the social-ownership models and movements that are brewing.

+John Hagel , of Deloitte's Center For The Edge, in his most recent paper Capturing value in the evolving mobility ecosystem, explores the potential even more deeply, rising the concept of the trusted advisor.
Trust is the key term here, as in order to fully realize the benefits of future of transportation, the question of who owns the data, and how private and portable is your data is going to be central to all models and businesses.
More so:
The developer of such a horizontal OS platform would benefit from powerful network effects. The more participants that adopt this operating system, and the more products available on the platform, the more valuable that platform becomes. In the PC industry, this has become a key source of both value creation and value capture: While the rest of the industry fragments around more diverse product offerings, the providers of the OS platform tend to consolidate, giving them an advantaged position in an increasingly diverse ecosystem.
I believe strongly that it is crucial as citizens, communities and cities, that we maintain a majority stakeholder role, and not Wall St or Silicon Valley.

Insurance is a form of distributed resilience, and even here we see the field is moving rapidly to fulfil the needs of our new models, as Collin Thompson  (LinkedIn profile) digs into in his well crafted piece Insurance, The Blockchain, and The Sharing Economy: Re-Imagining InsuranceTech with P2P Social Insurance Networks on the Blockchain.

Again, this is a mere snapshot of the brainpower and investments being made in the fundamentals necessary for a peer-to-peer community ownership structure.

Where Do We Start?

In the Glia Model, I am proposing to find twelve (give or take) cities, in both North America and Europe, to join into a pilot program to develop the models, platforms and talent networks and vendor ecosystems. It's possible each city might develop a slightly different model, depending on their own needs and culture. What's important is we share what we learn, and co-develop the necessary resilient networks.
In the last five years, I've developed an impressive network of people and knowledge necessary to "designing, developing, and delivering" these advanced models and platforms, but it will be the "Gravity" we create by binding together that will attract the next phase of necessary resources, like financial, intellectual, and social capital.

My vision is to get each of the city-nodes of the greater network to each develop their own "Smart Capital" crowd-funded backers (we'll be using FrontFundr here in Vancouver), and in tandem to bring in the social capital that can get the public bodies of each city to be on board.

Collectively, we can become a powerful force that can shape the economic and transportation future of our cities, and ensure that it is the cities and its citizen that reap the rewards.