For those of you (there must be one or two) unaware of the perfect storm brewing, there’s a list of things happening all at once;
- Unprecedented oil price rises
- The possible approach of peak oil
- Biofuel production increasing in relation to #2 causing wide spread food shortages
- Climate change
- Decreased food production caused by #4
- A contemporaneous economic downturn
Along with all of this technology is rapidly changing finally starting to enable telecommuting, remote meetings and the like. ZDNet and ACCMan blogger Dennis Howlett does what he does ensconced in Andalucia. As I write this I’m involved in a couple of online meetings, a few collaborative projects and doing some extended research. All the while I’m sitting in the middle of 12 acres in the country.
Technology commentators are starting to get the picture. Phil Wainewright recently posted detailing an number of examples of businesses using web technologies to minimise the travel involved in physical meetings. His post was couched in terms of saving money on fuel – but there are downstream effects from that around carbon, oil prices and feeding the world – in this day and age it’s all connected.
Skype Journal has a great post that discusses some ways that Skype can create efficiencies for it’s users by combining some location awareness along with their current offerings. They say;
Skype could become a change agent in one other response to the higher cost of moving atoms: Location-aware software. I can cut 10 kilometers/month by better sequencing my errands, avoiding traffic congestion, and bundling activities/visits into each trip (“as long as I’m here…”). I fully expect more solutions to “the travelling salesman’s problem (TSP)” to show up in mobile phones, car navigation, and desktop software. Since Skype, especially Skypephones and Mobile Skype, knows so much about who I talk to and what I do, it could improve TSP recommendations with my data and those of people in my social network.
Final word needs to go to the Lifeboat farm crew, they’re acting upon a lot of the things the rest of us only dream of. The Lifeboat treatise is a bit of a diatribe, but it’s a good one and well worth reading. See it here.