Thursday, May 24, 2007

Mass Collaboration at the RSA

Don Tapscott & Antony D. Williams
Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything
Portfolio, 2006, 658.046 TAP

A wiki is a website that allows visitors to add, remove, and edit content, opening up new opportunities for mass collaboration. The full implications of this new method of exchanging ideas and information are still emerging. Some leaders are sceptical of the ability of large and interchangeable online communities to create value, and are also weary of the challenge they may present to traditional forms of business and government in terms of ownership and control of information and services. However many groups, the RSA included, are excited by the possibilities wiki's create. Wikinomics is a book that makes a major contribution to our general understanding of the potential of Wiki's, and is based on a $9 million research project lead by co-author Don Tapscott. The RSA itself will be hoping to publicise the potential value of mass online collaboration and discuss some of the issues surrounding it through a lecture taking place on Friday 25 May entitled The Social Impact of the Web: Society, Government and the Internet.

With 26,000 Fellows dedicated to supporting our work, and each able to contribute their own individual ideas and perspective, the RSA is currently making every effort to get fellows talking and working together both in person and via the Internet...

Programme Department is currently running its very own Ideas Wiki, through which any Fellow can contribute to the development of ideas for future RSA projects.

Fellows Forum is another more general means by which any fellow can start or contribute to a debate. The current question being posed in our Fellow2Fellow feature is 'Is yours a responsible workplace?’. Why not log in and get involved?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Documentary Films at the RSA

Molly Dineen: The Lie of the Land

From Al Gore's high profile call for action against climate change in An Inconvenient Truth to the BBC’s ground breaking nature series Planet Earth, the RSA Library aims to make some of the most interesting and thought provoking documentary and factual based films available to all RSA Fellows. Expanding on this resource, the RSA is also about to embark on the 'RSA Screens', a new initiative that combines screenings of new and topical documentaries with discussion and debate about the issues addressed in the films.

The RSA Screens series will kick off on Monday 21st May when, in partnership with Channel 4, the RSA will screen Molly Dineen's documentary The Lie of the Land, an award-winning film in which Dineen chronicles the decline of Britain’s small-holding, independent farming industry as the might of the ‘super’market reigns all-powerful. Sensitively depicted, the film charts the daily life of farmers and agricultural workers, exploring the destructive impact of disease, unsustainable development and how this has been exacerbated by legislation.

Since first being aired on Channel 4 at the beginning of May 2007 the documentary has generated a great deal of interest, including a review in The Observer Newspaper. This RSA screening will be of particular interest as after the screening Molly Dineen will be in conversation with journalist and former editor of The Independent and Independent on Sunday Rosie Boycott, when they will discuss the film and more generally the current threat to Britain’s rural economy and traditional way of life.

For a full list of DVD's available to borrow from the RSA Library, please visit the online library catalogue and search for "DVD".

Thursday, May 10, 2007

RSA Library Update - May 2007

What follows is a complete list of RSA library acquisitions for the month of May 2007. Fellows are welcome to email if they wish to borrow any of these items, or search the library catalogue for thousands of other titles....

000s – Generalities

100s – Philosophy & Psychology

Charles Reed
The Price of Peace: Just War in the Twenty-First Century
Cambridge University Press, 2007, 172.42 REE
The Price of Peace argues that the lively political and public debates on war and morality since the Cold War call for a re-examination of the ‘just war’ tradition. Charles Reed suggests that despite fluctuations and transformations in international politics, the just war tradition continues to be relevant, but needs to be reworked to respond to the new challenges to international security represented by the end of the Cold War and the impact of terrorism.

Marc D. Hauser
Moral Minds: How Nature Designed Our Universal Sense of Right and Wrong
Little, Brown, 2007, 153.8 HAU
Temptation and control are like two players in an arms race. In this book, Harvard academic Marc Hauser evaluates recent developments in evolutionary biology, cognitive science, developmental psychology, economics and anthropology to provide a new way of understanding the tension between temptation and control.

Philip G. Zimbardo
The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil
Random House, 2007, 155.962 ZIM
What makes good people do bad things? How can moral people be seduced to act immorally? Renowned social psychologist Philip Zimbardo has the answers, and in The Lucifer Effect he explains the myriad of reasons why we are all susceptible to the lure of "the dark side."

200s – Religion

300s – Social Sciences

Dennis Bailey
The Open Society Paradox: Why the 21st Century Calls for More Openness-Not Less
Potomac Books Inc, 2006, 323.097 BAI
How do we protect an open society from those who would use its freedoms against us? How does our society ensure security and, at the same time, safeguard civil liberties? This new book challenges the conventional wisdom of those on both sides of this debate - those leaders who want unlimited authority versus those who would sacrifice security to protect individual privacy.

Moazzam Begg
Enemy Combatant: the Terrifying True Story of a Briton in Guantanamo
Pocket Books, 2006, 323.49 BEG
Moazzam Begg is an ordinary man who has endured an extraordinary fate. Imprisoned for a crime he didn't commit and whose precise nature has never been determined; as far as the US government was concerned, it was enough to label him an 'enemy combatant'

Elinor Osrtom
Governing the Commons: the Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action
Cambridge University Press, 1990, 333.2 OST
The governance of natural resources used by many individuals in common is an issue of increasing concern to policy analysts. After critiquing the foundations of policy analysis as applied to natural resources, Elinor Ostrom here provides a unique body of empirical data to explore conditions under which common pool resource problems have been satisfactorily or unsatisfactorily solved.

Charles Leadbeater & James Wilsdon
The Atlas of Ideas: How Asian Innovation Can Benefit Us All
Demos, 2007, 338.95 LEA
The rise of China and India will remake the innovation landscape. US and European pre-eminence in science-based innovation can no longer be taken for granted, and nor can the knowledge jobs that have depended upon it. This collection of reports from Demos is the first comprehensive account of the rising tide of Asian innovation.

James Wilsdon & James Keeley
China: The Next Science Superpower?
Demos, 2007, 338.95 WIL
One of a collection of four reports looking a the growth of innovation in Asia, China: the Next Science Superpower? analyses the potential for China to lead the world in scientific endeavour and illustrates the valuable research being undertaken by Demos in this area.

Molly Webb
South Korea: Mass Innovation Comes of Age
Demos, 2007, 338.95 WEB
South Korea’s transformation from ‘hermit kingdom’ to a global technology power has been the most dramatic development story of the last half century. This report looks at how they must challenge the structures which paved the way for their own emergence to have continued success in the knowledge age.

Kirsten Bound
India: The Uneven Innovator
Demos, 2007.338. 95 BOU
Understanding the future of science and innovation in India is not simply a matter of benchmarking its success against that of Europe or the US. Instead, it depends on recognising how India can pioneer an interdependent model of knowledge creation.

Kevin Donovan
Innovate or Else?: The Dynamics of Innovation in Teaching and Learning in the Learning and Skills Sector
LSDA, 2006, 379 DON
This fascinating report, commissioned by the Learning and Skills Development Agency, explores the vital role of innovation in developing ideas and creating knowledge within the Learning and Skills Sector.

400s – Language

500s – Natural Sciences & Mathematics

600s – Technology (Applied Sciences)

Guy Claxton & Bill Lucas
Be Creative: Essential Steps to Revitalize Your Work and Life
BBC Books, 2004, 650.1 CLA
With practical exercises and inspiring examples, Guy Claxton and Bill Lucas demonstrate how to break away from old habits and free up your mind in order to achieve harmony, balance and personal success through creativity.

Marilyn Pincus
Managing Difficult People: a Survival Guide for Handling Any Employee
Managing Difficult People
provides managers with personality profiles of the ten most common types of difficult people. The author offers positive, proactive approaches for targeting telltale behaviour and putting an end to office strife so that, regardless of the situation, managers have the tools they need to respond properly and take control.
Adams Media, 2004, 658.304 PIN

700s – The Arts

William Lidwell
Universal Principles of Design: 100 Ways to Enhance Usability, Influence Perception, Increase Appeal, Make Better Design Decisions, and Teach Through Design
Rockport, 2003, 745.403 LID
This comprehensive, cross-disciplinary encyclopedia of design pairs clear explanations of every design concept with visual examples of the concepts applied in practice. From the "80/20" rule to chunking, from baby-face bias to Occam's razor and from self-similarity to storytelling, every major design concept is defined and illustrated for readers to expand their knowledge.

800s – Literature

900s – Geography & History

Philip Humphrey
A Century of Colt Hill
Ellingham, 2006, 942.273
A Century of Colt Hill considers the fortunes of a small Odiham community throughout the twentieth Century. Skilfully blending the personal accounts of residents with detailed archival research, Philip Humphrey explores the many social and physical changes that have occurred in Colt Hill throughout the century and analyses the factors that have contributed to the longevity of the community.
RSA Fellow’s donation.

Victoria Schofield
Afghan Frontier: Feuding and Fighting in Central Asia
Tauris Parke, 2003, 954.912 SCH
Drawing on written records, Victoria Schofield unravels the history of the North-West Frontier from Alexander the Great to the kidnapping of Molly Ellis; from the languages and religions to the women; from skirmishes, wars and the mujahedin struggle with the Soviet Union, to the more recent tragic history which continues to unfold there.


European Commission
Europe in Figures: Eurostat Yearbook 2006-07
European Commission, 2007, REF 330.94 EUR
A complete statistical guide to Europe for the year 2006-07.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

RSA Library Wireless Upgrade

We are pleased to announce that the RSA Library has recently completed an upgrade to the Wireless Connection it provides for the use of RSA Fellows.

This upgrade has been designed to enable Fellows to far more quickly and efficiently gain access to the internet through their own laptops when visiting the library. The need for Fellows to change the settings on their own computers has been greatly reduced, web based services that may have previously blocked will now be available, and Fellows with a VPN (Virtual Private Network) set up will now have uninterrupted access to their non web-based email (Outlook, etc.).

In order to continually protect the security of the Library's wireless connection, we have decided to retain the username and password operated system that we have run up to now. When you initially open up the web browser of your choice, you will immediately be presented with the screen opposite:

If you have any questions or concerns regarding these changes to the library's wireless connection, please do get in contact with us.

Like the entire RSA House, the Library will be closed for the Bank Holiday on Monday 7 May.