It seems that my recommendation is not quite understood. Never mind. Once upon a time, we had one person with a vision, and that vision was to build the largest building of all knowledge ever. He certainly did a good job, and the building was started everywhere and got a long way. Have a look at where it went to.
This picture is so famous that everyone knows it.
It's Brueghel the Elder, and it depicts the very largest building ever conceived. Somewhere at the middle you will see a white-bearded figure; he's replicated near the top, right. Down at the bottom you see a bunch of important people gathered in congress. The top of the building is unfinished.
You might guess that's the Copenhagen Climate congress in action. But the metaphor shows more, it shows the inability of man to conceive anything reaching the skies, and it show God's concern to try.
We might dispute which of the buildings we're trying to build today are the most daring: the Tower of Dubai, the Climate Compromise or the Ultimate Knowledge Building.
All of them are unfinished, the Wise on Earth are conferring about them and God above is shaking his head. We need something more than just our simple minds to finish that building, yet we want to finish it.
My plea is that the Knowledge Building has the best chances of the three. If that one goes ahead, the others may follow. But we lack the ideas and the skills to reach the sky, as yet. We also lack the power from below, that is: the community, to get it done.
My plea is to make the community so powerful, that they are able to get on with their building and reach the sky. What do they lack?
Understanding, trust, and endeavour.
What is their worst danger?
Mistrust, arrogance, territorial fear.
What will they need most?
An open mind.
What can we learn from this all?
If we want to build the Tower of Knowledge, we won't beat Mount Everest. We might beat the Tower of Babel only, if we try to understand everyone who wants to take part in it.
Is there a recommendation to be forged from this?
A practical one? One that we helps us forward halfway 2010? So that we can applaud ourselves for being so productive? Maybe no. A more conceptual one? Maybe yes. Maybe we should all be a little less ambitious in the short run and a little bit more open-minded in the long run.
Will this bring us to one clear, sustainable recommendation to the Board by mid-January? Yes, but only if we believe in it and put our shoulders under it. The recommendation should be, that we rethink our goals day by day and try to word them to the community day by day. Whenever it doesn't work, we should find ways to figure it out and explain again, day by day by day.