Sunday, October 10, 2010

Putting The Burgess Method (TBM) on stage

Dear Colleagues

What to do? TEDxEast has sent a e-mail with the subject line "Do you dream of giving your own TED talk?" to interested TED followers and I am thinking about what to do!

I have drafted a response, immediately below, but not yet sent ... I have a little time to think about it. The text of the original TEDxEast message is below at the end.

What do you think I should do? How should my work with The Burgess Method be positioned in this context?

Peter Burgess

Dear Colleagues

Do you dream of giving your own TED talk? Actually no! For me this is more a nightmare!

And the subject ... interconnectivity ... is more than likely to make me hyper-mad, rather than my normal state of just plain mad!

My issue is simple ... during my career lifetime there has been something like a million-fold increase in the power of the technology used for "interconnectivity". That is a lot.

Better ... technological power is accelerating. In the past five years ... or is it perhaps five months ... there have been increases in this power by another order of magnitude ... or two!

There are some very impressive things going on ... every single page of print is likely to be "a click away" very soon courtesy of Google, and I can get millions of items about almost anything in less than a second, again courtesy of Google. I can access all of this on an I-something courtesy of Apple anytime and anywhere.

All of this is exciting ... but from my perspective completely begs the question. Why, given all this technological power, are some 4.5 billion people on this planet poor and hungry? Why? Why are so many other things wrong with our local and global society?

What are the elements of a solution?

I am an accountant. The big firms in my profession gave up the ghost some time in the 1980s and have made themselves rich by making profit a priority. The idea that "numbers don't lie" is dead ... and nobody remembers the old idea of "true and fair". I am pretty disgusted with the way these things have evolved ... and the good news is that I am not the only one!

As a foundation, the double entry accounting construct is very powerful ... and I want to get this back on track as the core system of some meaningful metrics for society.

The Burgess Method (TBM) is simply this ... business accounting but with both money and value measures, and done with community (that is the place we live and work) as the reporting entity and not just the organization.

There are three main ideas: (1) State of the community ... which is like a business balance sheet with money and value elements; (2) Progress ... which is the change in state from the beginning of a period to the end of a period; and (3) Performance which is (a) efficiency, or the cost of an activity relative to what it should have cost; and (b) effectiveness, or the amount of progress for the cost (or resources consumed).

When you change the way the game is scored you change the way the game is played. TBM is scorekeeping ... and to the extent possible there will also be "stats" so that granular performance of the elements of society may also be available.

And there will also be value chain analysis ... because in so many business activities there are profits for some and losses for others. In optimized socio-economic performance there is more win-win than zero-sum.

If these metrics are on everyones i-phone ... and in the cloud ... I argue that there will be a new era of socio-economic progress ... and a paradigm change for inclusion.

Peter Burgess
And this is the TEDxEast email message!
October 10, 2010

This may be your chance to take the stage...

We are inviting our community to pitch their ideas for 3-minute talks and we are going to pick the most intriguing, unusual, spell-binding and quirky ideas (and their speakers) to become part of our program on November 11, 2010.

So, if you have been inspired by others and even rehearsed your own TED talk in your head... now is the time to think about sharing it.

How this will work:

1. Remember, the theme is "Interconnectivity". This should be used to frame your talks so they fit with the overall program.
2. The max time slot will be 3 minutes- but we want you to send us a 1-minute video with your pitch- why your idea, why you? We will watch all of them and then reach out to those who make us want more.
3. We are a team of volunteers- so once you make your submission you will have to be patient. We will contact the folks we choose but will not likely have time to communicate with everyone who sends in an idea. So, take a leap of faith, give it a try...but please do not send us a bunch of emails asking about the status because we will not be able to respond.
4. The absolute drop-dead cut off for submissions is midnight of Sunday, October 24, 2010.

If you think this sounds good, come up with something unique, inspiring and delightful and send us a link to your video pitch. Please embed the link of your pitch within the body of your email. Send all pitches to

We are excited to put our community on the stage!


Julianne, Marisa, Connie, Vico, Lucy, Rona, Tommy, Susanna, Ofelia, Jennifer.

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