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A few years ago, I wrote this blog post ‘Are we in the age of collective learning and co-creation?’ as @sahana2802 writes, we live in an era of emergence and ambiguity, and mega shifts, as @gleonhard highlights:
“Megashifts are much more than mere paradigm shifts, which usually affect only one sphere of human activity. They arrive suddenly to transform the basis and framework of entire industries and societies. Megashifts do not replace the status quo with a new normal – they unleash dynamic forces which reshape life as we know it. Megashifts radically reconfigure the age-old relationship between our past, present and future.” — Gerd Leonhard in his book ‘Technology vs Humanity‘
Do you see mega shifts and your tiny shifts as the world is changing in 2021 and beyond? I also have those questions in mind and notice the possibilities:
As scientists warn us, what would you do now as the Earth’s sixth mass extinction event is underway? Which points do you see in a map of emerging technologies? What are the impacts of emerging technologies respectively on an individual and organisational level and a societal level? Which shifts can be done to embrace emergence and ambiguity?
“If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything, it is open to everything. In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s mind there are few. ” ― Shunryu Suzuki
Would a new way of being, becoming, and doing help navigate an ever-changing world?
“So how does this neo-generalist fit in with the future world? Well, the world is changing so fast, a la Thomas Friedman’s acceleration, that the field that you specialize in today may be non-existent in, say, five years. You will need to constantly learn new things and to carry over what you learn in one field to the next. You will need agility, flexibility and broadmindedness to learn new things and to work with different kinds of people. It’s really hard to imagine another way of succeeding with the constant change.
(…) So being a neo-generalist isn’t going to be easy but this new world will require some form of self-discipline, courage, curiosity and continuous learning. We’re going to have to figure out a way to do this. Maybe the robots can help us with that.”
How can we start and with small steps?
“My view of the democratising potential of social technologies is unwavering. Anyone who wants to now has the opportunity to use these tools to develop future-focused skills and capabilities. Who needs a business school?
Only if accreditation, the rubber stamp, is important to you. If not, and taking advantage of amazing possibilities of being connected to people and information, the world is your oyster. You can do it!” — Anne Marie Rattray
So do you…
- Take part in conferences remotely via the backchannel?
- Read publications and blogs?
- Write blogs posts and think visually?
- Read books in paperback or digitally?
- Research and synthesise?
- Participate in Twitter chats for professional development?
- Participate in online courses / MOOCs?
- Participate in global remote communities?
- Listen to podcasts?
- Go to art-tech-science exhibitions/life spaces in your country or region?
- Do projects?
- Practise sports?
I have been on a path of continuous learning in many ways, and I have discovered the value of exploring projects as suggested in this article. I became aware of the interactions between my different skills that I developed through three ideas:
“Keep moving forward. One step at a time.” — Unknown
“As you engage in developing various skills, you also see how they interrelate over time, even if it is not at all clear in the moments that you initiate the efforts to develop those skills.” — @goonth
“Researcher and digital explorer Rotana Ty, for example, in reflecting on his own experiences living on the specialist–generalist continuum and adapting to contextual shifts, makes reference to the disc-jockey concept favoured by Sanders and Sloly. A DJ, particularly in the era that followed the emergence of hip hop in the late 1970s, constantly borrows from, samples and remixes existing music to create something new. They do in music what the modernist authors of the 1920s were doing in literature; stealing like artists, as Austin Kleon phrases it.(…)
In another variation, business adviser, analyst and occasional jazz pianist Jane McConnell favours the metaphor of the drinks mixologist, who like a DJ crafts something unique from creative integration. The neo-generalist is ever curious, painting pictures, telling stories, mixing, sampling, experimenting, trying to redraw the edges of the map.”
Indeed, it is all about becoming a master of your curated and created digital gems to remix them:
“When a D.J. brings a laptop full of music samples to a club he doesn’t play an instrument, but we don’t argue that he isn’t doing something creative in mixing those sounds to create his own effect. In the online world the only thing you’re the master of is your collection, your archive, and how you use it, how you remix it. We become digital archivists, collecting and cataloging things. I find it exciting.
(…) an educated person in the future will be a curious person who collects better artifacts. The ability to call up and use facts is the new education. How to tap them, how to use them.” — Wasting Time on the Internet? Not Really
This blog makes me revisit old posts, combine curated insights from people I learn from and with, and write down thoughts about trendspotting and future skills development. As I have contributed to various projects at the intersection of learning innovation, community management and foresight, I am also open to exploring new possibilities.
What if we identify and leverage the emerging trends, technologies and practices to transform the learn-work space?