You Build Bridges From Both Sides

I am often asked what People First is about and how it differs to everything else that goes on in the identity/data/self-sovereign/blockchain … blah blah blah space? I was asked again this morning. I replied, but as so often happens, the essence of the message was not specifically ‘private’ – and so this post emerged.

If you check out The DigLife Collective, The Me2B Alliance, The People Centered Internet, The Internet Identity Workshop, The Indie Web Movement, Human First Tech … even the IEEE to name just a few organizations 1 that tangentially relate to People First … they all seem to be feeling their way around the elephant and interpreting the trunk, tail, tusk, foot accordingly. Nothing wrong with what they are doing … all focussed on their individual missions.

In my email exchange, I was taken by one phrase;

“It really has to do with bridging that chasm between technology makers and people.”

That idea is often referenced, with variations of actual words used. The meaning is constant. The visual is instant. Or is it?

It dawned on me …

When engineers build bridges, they always build from both sides.

When Building Bridges – You Start From Both Sides

My ah-ha moment … was understanding that the technology makers recognize the need to cross the chasm – but all seem to be building from the ‘Tech Side’. People First is building the bridge from the ‘People Side’.

Does anyone know of any other organization that is building the bridge from the ‘People Side’? I sure would like to talk with them.


The American Dream

All that is needed … just three minutes of your time. A little more ‘political’ than the usual People First posts … George Carlin – Life Is Worth Losing.

Released January 10, 2006
Recorded November 5, 2005, Beacon Theater, New York City, New York

Thirteen Years Ago … needless to say – nothing has changed, other than more people are aware … hoping that this will make even more people aware … and then we do something about it.

People First – An Introduction

In Brief

People make their money through ‘business’.

People save or spend their money with a ‘business’.

People are thus central to any business.

So why does it seem that People are an afterthought?

People First is focussed on a new way for People and Business to engage.

We put people at the center of ‘The Business Equation’ because ‘The Future Of Work’ is only part of the problem, the bigger problem is ‘The Future of Business’.

Read The Rest.

People First Now Available On Apple News

I just wanted to let readers of this blog know that if you are an Apple News user, I have set up a channel on Apple News specifically focussed on People First.

You can find it here.

Right now there are some historical posts from a while back that I am flushing out, whilst making sure I retain anything relevant and pertaining to People First.

Going forward any and all posts to this blog will be routed to here – Aswell as other relevant writings that appear on other platforms such as BizCatalyst.

It Just Got Personal – The Meaning


Is this the story that never ends? What more is there to say after ‘The Eulogy‘? Well, let’s just say that I want to close the loop … all the way back to that dream.

This is part seven of my story. It’s the penultimate ‘chapter’.

You can read the story to date through these links;
Part One : ‘The Dream’
Part Two : ‘The Calls’
Part Three : ‘The Journey’
Part Four : ‘The Organization’
Part Five : ‘The Music’
Part Six : ‘The Eulogy’

Of course it was a great day, a sad day. A day we celebrated the life of my dad. At Ninety Four Years of age, no one could argue that he had a great run.

He lost his 38 year old daughter when he was he was just 72 and lost his wife of 52 years just 6 years later. But he kept rolling for another 15 years.

The dream that I wrote of at the beginning of this series – it is still in my head. It always will be because I have come to realize that the seemingly random sequence (54, 52, 51, 63, 58, 65, 64, 50, 54) actually represents our family’s milestones. Even the repeat of 54 at the beginning and end …. my call sign?

nineteeen ….

50 … when my father met my mother
51 … when my father and mother got engaged
52 … when my father and mother married
54 … when my mother gave birth to me
58 … when my mother gave birth to my sister
63 … when my father left the Armed Services
64 … when my father graduated as an educator
65 … when my father started his first job and when our family moved into our first real home

That is what those numbers meant in my dream.

Even then he knew.

It Just Got Personal – The Eulogy


In the first five parts of my story, I have deliberately avoided who I was writing about. Those close to me will likely have guessed and/or assumed …but now you know. I am the son of my father, John Richard Philpin, who passed away on December 18th, 2018 at the ripe old age of 94. This is the eulogy I gave as friends and family said their final goodbyes.

You can read the story to date through these links;
Part One : ‘The Dream’
Part Two : ‘The Calls’
Part Three : ‘The Journey’
Part Four : ‘The Organization’
Part Five : ‘The Music’

“Howard – all you have to do is walk from here to there – just through the curtains. And when you get there … start talking. You’ll be fine.”

That was my dad in Singapore nearly 60 years ago. He was advising his friend Howard how to stand up and talk to an audience. The guidance reminded me a little of the 2 step guide to drawing an owl ….

  1. Draw two overlapping oval shapes.
  2. Fill in the rest.

But that was dad. Never short of advice and never let lack of personal experience get in the way of giving it.

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