00:01I'd like to say that I think this issue of GeoDesign, what we've seen today...
00:05...is an important and profound step forward.
00:10But I think the challenge for us is to become relevant.
00:15And relevant to what?
00:17Well, this morning's speaker, the dean from Minnesota, outlined a global problem...
00:23...with the collapse of the environment threat and its implications to humans.
00:29But I felt that his explanation was, in fact, very mild.
00:33Because our firm has been involved with a number of government agencies including NOAA...
00:37...the Forest Service, and others, within which it is clear that the problem...
00:42...is greater than any of us in this room really imagined.
00:45And it's moving at a pace faster than any of us imagined.
00:49The issue is, are we keeping pace with the rate of change in the world...
00:55...or do we think the world is changing at our rate of speed?
01:01And what are the tools we need?
01:05You know, a decade ago, it was explained to me there is a great deal of difference...
01:14...between service providers and deal makers.
01:19And in a search to become more relevant to the process, I embarked on becoming a developer.
01:27And I had to put together my first deal.
01:31And in doing that, I had to discuss with a friend...
01:33...who I knew from real estate to put that deal together...
01:36...and I remember telling him I wanted to be a partner in a deal...
01:39...and I felt if I was a partner in the deal, instead of just being hired as a designer...
01:44...for the deal that I would have more influence on its outcome.
01:49And I remember him looking at me and saying well, you know...
01:50...you could be a partner in a deal...
01:51...you get your 3 percent or 4 percent or whatever you architects get.
01:56And I remember looking at him saying, no, I don't want 3, 4 percent, I want 50 percent.
02:01And he looked at me and his eyes got bigger...he says, oh, you mean you want to be a partner.
02:07And I said yeah.
02:09And I had to go through the process of becoming a partner and learn how that was done.
02:16And I remember after becoming that, we were putting together one part of it...
02:19...and we had to do some work with another development corporation...
02:22...we were trying to work out the deal, the joint venture.
02:25And I was trying to emphasize the importance of design.
02:29And I remember the fellow turned to me and looked at me and said, he says...
02:34...you sound like an architect.
02:36He says, you keep talking like that, no one's going to take you seriously.
02:41He said, this is about money.
02:43He said, come on, Mike, get real.
02:47Now, later in the process I was at the Real Estate Institute in New York...
02:52...we were doing projects in the State of New Jersey...
02:53...looking at a tristate organization and its infrastructure needs...
02:59...and trying to link in the real estate community to that.
03:01And I remember sitting in a room about a month after 9/11.
03:06And the dean I was working there...assistant dean, got a call from Larry Silverstein.
03:11You know, he's the guy that owned the towers.
03:12And they were having the conversation about the rebuilding of the tower...
03:15...and the problems involved.
03:16And probably you don't realize, the biggest problem was the HR problem.
03:19Nobody wanted to work in the towers, because how would you like to work in a new building...
03:24...sitting on the graves with 3,000 people beneath you?
03:27It's a huge problem.
03:30And after that, somehow they must have got...I could only hear the dean...
03:34...I couldn't hear what Larry was saying.
03:36And the...and the dean at...at one point, they must have been talking about...
03:41...the design of the towers, whatever.
03:42Because he said, don't worry about that, we'll get a name and dress it up.
03:49Well, that's what we are.
03:51We're a name, and we dress things up.
03:55And that's an error very profoundly important to the process.
04:00We are only marginally relevant to the major issue of our time...
04:05...the transformation of the globe, the transformation of the environment...
04:09...the threats to our own society.
04:14Now, two years ago I had an opportunity to be an advisor...
04:18...to the presidential panel on infrastructure.
04:20There was 12 CEOs appointed by the president, Senate, and the House, chaired by the secretary.
04:27And a huge issue on the table, the evolution of the system, because the federal government...
04:31...the Bush administration wanted to get out of it, versus a national plan and strategy.
04:37Huge, two polar opposites.
04:41Four appointed by the president plus the secretary, two by the Senate...four by the Senate...
04:45...four by the House. Which eight...nine were Republicans, four were Democrats.
04:51It seemed like a slam-dunk.
04:54The evolution on its way.
04:58The...in doing that, they had organized eight study groups.
05:04Roads, freight rail, transit, intermodal, technology, safety...all chaired by experts in their field.
05:13And they asked me to come in and do a background for them.
05:18And I talked about the U.S. in the global economy and what kind of infrastructure do we need?
05:25Because it wasn't about solving a problem in roads or transit, that.
05:29It's what does the nation need?
05:33So they...they created a ninth area.
05:35They called it the big picture.
05:38What does the U.S. need?
05:39What a novel question to ask.
05:42Because they were in there solving problems, not asking where we're going.
05:49And at the end of the day, we had a remarkable event take place.
05:56Five Democrats voted with four Republicans for a national plan and national strategy.
06:04And actually said it was for the good of the nation.
06:08Now if you can imagine Washington, anybody doing anything for the good of the Washington...
06:13...for the good of the country, you must believe in the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus.
06:18They worry about doing things good for the Republican Party and the Democratic Party.
06:22Nobody gives a crap about the good of the nation.
06:25So when they did that it was kind of an awesome...went around Washington, reverbera...what happened?
06:31It was done with pictures. With pictures!
06:37Because we're not treating this correctly.
06:41We're making pictures.
06:42Now we're making 3D pictures.
06:45But...and we call it visualization.
06:48I kind of hate that word.
06:51We think of language as words made of alphabets.
06:55We think of mathematics, a language made of numbers.
06:59This is a language.
07:01A visual language.
07:04We must transform it from pictures into a language of communication.
07:08What convinced those guys to vote that way was not oceans of statistics and words...
07:15...it was pictures of a global network.
07:17It was a sequence of images.
07:20And we now have in front of us a tool that can increase the levels of dimensionality...
07:24...think of that.
07:27Increased dimensionality, increased connectivity.
07:33Rather than fragments, we can now see continuously.
07:36And the connections and the dynamics of the interaction.
07:40But to be in...a language, it must have structure and syntax, and it must convey meanings...
07:48...it must not just be sounds and babble.
07:51We have to think about constructing a language...
07:55...using GeoDesign as a tool to construct a language.
08:00Because I have found throughout this entire process, it wasn't sitting as a partner in a deal.
08:09It wasn't being an advisor.
08:11It was about the way you convey information.
08:16And business leaders and political leaders don't have time.
08:23And the power of image is that it can convey relationships immediately and instantaneously.
08:34And I would like to see us think about the work we do...
08:38...which has such great meaning but is not taken so seriously.
08:43About the tools we need, in fact, to produce change.
08:49I think this offers a great step.
08:53Let's help it evolve and turn it into something that will be truly meaningful.
On day one of the 2010 GeoDesign Summit, Michael Gallis discusses GeoWeb 2.0 and its relation to GeoDesign principles and practice.
- Recorded: Jan 6th, 2010
- Runtime: 08:59
- Views: 22491
- Published: Oct 25th, 2010
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