What Lies Ahead?

New Ideas Come through Conversations

We’re living in exciting times! It’s still the (late) dawn of a new century. Innovation and scientific discovery abound. Digital technologies are changing the way we work, play and stay connected. The business world is evolving and there’s the potential for positive transformation in education. This is not a new conversation. It has previously been brought to light by Karl Fish, Clay Shirky, Clayton Christensen, and others. The following video is based on Charles Leadbeater‘s book, We-Think: Mass Innovation, Not Mass Production, in which he explores the potential impact of the Internet. Watch this 4 minute video and then let’s discuss it a bit.

Here are a few phrases from the video that I like.

  • “The audience is taking the stage.” What a picturesque (Ooh, good word!) way to describe the whole 2.0 thing.
  • “Mass innovation comes from communities…it’s like building a bird’s nest where everyone leaves their piece.”
  • “Equality because knowledge can be set free to help people who need it but cannot pay.” Isn’t this a paradigm shift?! (I know, I don’t like using that phrase, either…but it is!)
  • “Freedom because more people will know what it’s like to be creative.” This one hits me right between the eyes. I started this blog to share resources and interact with K-12 teachers. I had no idea just how right-brain this would be. It has become a creative outlet in some ways.
  • “In the past you were what you owned. Now you are what you share…How do we earn a living when everyone is freely sharing their ideas?” Are the freeconomists right?

Here are a few side thoughts.

  • Video is emerging as a dominate form of communication and whole new language and literacy are evolving right before our eyes. The graphic design and music selections used in this presentation wouldn’t have been my first (or second or third) choice but they work well. Of course, the pacing was key.
  • The technological, scientific, economic, political and medical predictions for 2009 are intriguing, but none of us know what really lies ahead in the years to come. It all just reminds me that the future is truly full of potential.

So, what do YOU think? Please share your thoughts and reactions in the comments. Remember that you can also leave audio and video comments, too.

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Clif Mims is a Christian, husband, father, teacher, cancer warrior, and fan of the Mississippi State Bulldogs and Memphis Grizzlies.

6 thoughts on “What Lies Ahead?”

  1. Hi, what blog platform is this? Can I download it for free or..? I would really love it if you could answer this question! Thanks!

  2. As the Minnesota Futurists Chapter Membership Director (2002-2004), I facilitated “Ends-Means Synthesis” to help guide selection of Education Futures as our 2007 WorldFutures Conference theme … My social network analysis indicates this is a Tsunami WAVE generated by our tipping point event!

  3. What a wonderful video!

    The phrase that jumped out to me was, “we are what we share.”

    This idea is stuck in my thoughts, and feels like it is there to stay. While sharing is not a new idea, in the modern context, we see sharing over the internet on a massive scale. Before the internet I saw very little sharing in American society. It was there, but only after people had secured their place in the material world.

    Something new is happening and it feels like a major transformation. I feel this on a personal level — it is changing me.

  4. I love the video. It’s a thought-provoking way to demonstrate the reality of a wiki world. Yet, there is always a part of me that questions the absolutes of technophilia. Before we jump full force into an embrace of the digital reality, we should ask hard questions about how technology changes humanity, commmunication and community. In developing an educational philosophy, we need to consider the wisdom of thousands of years of teaching. Otherwise we end up with shallow and trendy concepts.

  5. The quote that jumped out at me- “people participate in order to socialize and get recognition for the work they do.” I completely agree with the socialization aspects. Many in the edublogging, web 2.0 communities take their PLN and that becomes their network for establishing professional relationships as well as social identities with people that they share common interests with.

    The recognition piece I take issue with. For many I believe participation occurs in order to hear new ideas, synthesize information and contribute to the community. As educators, it is common knowledge to know that synthesis only occurs when you take knowledge and ideas from various sources, compile them together and make your own personal sense of them. I think that is what drives this web 2.0 craze– the fact that obtaining, synthesizing and creating artifacts of knowledge is so much more easier than it has ever been.

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