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”.

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