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Time for new public thinking – the social web comes of age?

February 4th, 2011 by Graham Attwell
Now this is interesting. hot on the heels of purpos/ed – launching a public campaign and conversation around education comes another UK public space seeking to promote a better conversation. Yet another sign of how thinking and ideas are escaping the dead hand of the university and of how social networking is being used for collaborative knowledge development.
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Given the speed at which history seems to be happening right now, there is an urgent need for a better public conversation. We need critique and analysis of Wikileaks, the Big Society or the student protests from people who have an intuitive understanding of how networks change things, but who are also able to bring longer historical and theoretical perspectives to the conversation. We need thinkers ready to puzzle through the world as we find it, rather than forcing it to fit the shape of familiar arguments.

The hope is to host a growing community of such thinking, a public space whose participants are neither united by a party line nor divided by battle lines, a common ground on which to explore ideas together – and in doing so, to reflect the emerging culture of ideas and conversations, informal spaces of learning and connection, which we see as one of the most exciting things going on in Britain today.

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