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Divergence is as important as convergence.

New ways of working and health are related and interesting. Topics such as remote work, sitting and standing desk, walkability, wearable technologies and connected lifespaces caught my attention. Deep-tech are also emerging across many industries.

What Quantified Self is all about

This photo was shot by @rotanarotana at the garden of the Albert Kahn Museum in Paris, France.This photo was moi at the garden of the Albert Kahn Museum in Paris, France.

As a Fitbit newbie I also recently learned more about quantified self.

“Even Tim Ferriss tracks data in his life to hack his way to better health (…) This is the Quantified Self. In short, it is self-knowledge through self-tracking.”

“Track something that matters to you (…) It doesn’t need to be structured or complex. In fact, keep it simple. Track one thing for one week in the easiest way. Pick something that is important to you.”

“As a self-quantifier, I see the potential to control my own health and to modify my behaviors to optimize the length and quality of my life. As an entrepreneur, I see a revolution of the healthcare industry. Soon, technology will be spotting trends and diagnosing problems far quicker and more accurately than doctors.” — Mark Moschel

Since I started using Fitbit, I also self-track my physical activity via my personal dashboard.

With personal data and new habits, for instance, drinking more water, sleeping better with the help of a bedtime calculator, working remotely via a standing desk and in public lifespaces, walking at least 10 minutes per day, swimming at least one time per week, people could notice and become more mindful, healthier and more productive. I am trying these habits myself and starting to see some improvements.

Education & Healthcare: Same Challenges


This photo was shot by moi at the garden of the Albert Kahn Museum in Paris, France.

These interests for well-being and health lead me to resurface the connection between education, healthcare, emergent attitudes and behaviors, social tools and device usages.

Indeed education and healthcare have a lot in common. People in these fields have to care, help and convince other people. They have to “move others” and help people move themselves as Daniel Pink clearly explained in his latest book. He talked about “EdMed” for education and healthcare. As he noted in his book “EdMed” is impacted by new usages, behaviors and emerging technologies in our hyper-connected society.

It is already happening in education and workplace learning.

For education this shift goes beyond online courses.

“Scaling online courses for the masses creates a crowd; it does not constitute a classroom.

Customised learning will fundamentally alter higher education, as we know it. By bridging distances and creating access for individuals who have been abandoned by traditional educational institutions, customised learning promises what Moocs have not been able to deliver, a learning tool that comes closest to approximating the best of the classroom experience. No easy task, of course, but we are getting closer.”

“The collection, aggregation and application of learning data is a time-consuming process that requires academia to invest in and rethink the entire learning practice, but the time and expense will be borne out by the results.” — Doug Guthrie

Will data analysis and sensors also impact the evolution of education?

“The networked connections among people, processes, data and things will change not just how and where education is delivered, but will also redefine what students need to learn, and why. But if all the world’s knowledge is instantaneously available online via smartphone or Google Glass, how does that affect what we need to teach in school? Perhaps education will become less about acquiring knowledge, and more about how to analyze, evaluate, and use the unlimited information that is available to us. Perhaps we will teach more critical thinking, collaboration, and social skills. Perhaps we will not teach answers, but how to ask the right questions.” — Dave Evans

Learning to be a Networked Learner

This photo was taken by @rotanarotana at @104Paris, France.
This photo was taken by moi at @104Paris, France.

Networked learning is important. It does affect not just education and workplace learning but it is also important in healthcare. Actually networked learning matters for everyone:

“We have an innate need to talk to others, to share and compare, reify our own ideas, learn from each other, and gain a sense of belonging to a group of like minded others. This is a deep seated human trait that many psychologists down through the years have researched.” — Steve Wheeler

The Internet Of Everything & its Impacts

This photo was taken by @rotanarotana in the Follia Continua expo at @104Paris, France.
This photo was taken by moi in the Follia Continua expo at @104Paris, France.

Emerging technologies are impacting education, healthcare, every business and society. Connected people, knowledge and things are also impacted.

“I’m fascinated by all the new sensors, the Connected Data [you heard it here first] that will swamp Big Data, the advances in data management and analytics that will be needed, the impact upon policy and regulation, and the vision of the people and companies bringing about the Internet of Things. But more, as I’ve been reading and thinking about the SmartPlanet, SmartCities, SmartGrid and SmartPhones, and that ConnectedData, I realized that I can never look at the world around me in the same way again.” — R “Ray” Wang

Analysts brought clarity for why and how sensors will have impacts.

“Technologists have struggled to name this emerging phenomenon. Some have called it the Internet of Things or the Internet of Everything or the Industrial Internet—despite the fact that most of these devices aren’t actually on the Internet directly but instead communicate through simple wireless protocols. Other observers, paying homage to the stripped-down tech embedded in so many smart devices, are calling it the Sensor Revolution.

But here’s a better way to think about what we’re building: It’s the Programmable World. After all, what’s remarkable about this future isn’t the sensors, nor is it that all our sensors and objects and devices are linked together. It’s the fact that once we get enough of these objects onto our networks, they’re no longer one-off novelties or data sources but instead become a coherent system, a vast ensemble that can be choreographed, a body that can dance. Really, it’s the opposite of an “Internet,” a term that even today—in the era of the cloud and the app and the walled garden—connotes a peer-to-peer system in which each node is equally empowered. By contrast, these connected objects will act more like a swarm of drones, a distributed legion of bots, far-flung and sometimes even hidden from view but nevertheless coordinated as if they were a single giant machine.” — Paul Higging

Do these technologies and evolutions also impact education and workplace learning? Will we have empowered workers who are connected with their ecosystem and personal data for better personal growth and well-being? I also think that quantified self movement matters because it is linked to big data, pattern recognition and learning as Esko Kilpi wrote:

“I believe that the productivity suites of tomorrow are going to be a combination of sensors, big data and quantified-self technologies. When used together, these create totally new opportunities for live feedback, daily reflection and iterative change. And, most importantly these, opportunities are based on our own unique context and our own unique storyline.”

Managing yourself is first and foremost about pattern recognition.”

Connecting People, Ideas & Spaces

This photo was shot by @rotanarotana during a trip in London, UK.
This photo was shot during a trip I did in London, UK.

Steve Wheeler reminded us that we are all together in this societal and learning shift:

“Our conceptions of knowledge could be said to be in a state of flux and uncertainty.”

“Are we witnessing the demise of the knowledge gate-keepers? Will we now see a decline in the Ivory Tower mentality that for centuries has held sway on learning for higher education? And how responsible is technology as a disruptor of this old paradigm of knowledge representation? Who is now in control of knowledge? We all are. What we do with that knowledge will determine the future of education.” [and healthcare if we attune ourselves in the patients and doctors perspective?]

So, are we seeing more and more people thinking about education and health in novel and modern ways and who are connected with stories and things [social tools, sensors, mobile devices, connected lifespaces] for improving well-being and performance of all? As William Gibson said:

“The future is already here — it’s just not evenly distributed”.

Anne Marie Rattray also shared with me in a conversation her thoughts on convergence and divergence:

“I think divergence is as important as convergence. I remember hearing the British scientist [Baroness Susan Greenfield] talking about how new insight is created. She says new insight begins with challenge and then ‘seeing something in terms of something else’ for example applying parallel insight from another source outside a specific knowledge discipline. The next step is to have an aha-moment. 

So convergence of knowledge disciplines, or across past and present, leads to divergent insight that challenges the status quo and moves a body of knowledge forwards.”

Gratitude to Anne Marie RattraySahana Chattopadhyay, and Paul Simbeck-Hampson for their kind words and inspiring us for joining the dots.

“Thanks to Rotana for sharing these insights, they’ve certainly got me thinking more about patterns and connected data.

And yes, the future is indeed already here; the next job is to join the dots.” — @simbeckhampson

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Trackbacks & Pingbacks

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