Month: December 2008

Convergence culture and wealth production in Web 2.0

Convergence culture is the result of cultural behaviour shift enabled over time through the connectedness of many media and many technological integrations, not just one technological innovation.  A Collective intelligence community is held together by the search and desire for knowledge. Someone asks a question, someone else provides an answer, another builds on that, and so on. 

Zulu nicknames, Cats and Black Swans

My Zulu nickname since I was a little girl was “Madikatz”. It means “Mother of Cats”. So, its no surprise that I grew up as Director of Innovation then….I had great practice herding cats….69 of them in my lifetime- mostly foundlings and strays….just like disruptive ideas! Enjoy this video on the “Delights of herding cats” by my  my favourite convergence culture thinker, Prof Henry Jenkins of MIT. http://henryjenkins.org/2008/12/the_delights_of_herding_cats.html

Catalysing global magic via Imogen Heap and Nkosi sikelele America at Poptech

Imogen_heap_poptech

Imagine my surprise when @garyphayes sent me a twitter message about spotting me at 3:13 in a vblog on Youtube by the sensationally amazingly creative expansive musician, Imogen Heap, who performed at Pop!Tech in Camden Maine last month. Turns out Imogen was a student of Gary’s in a previous life of his in the UK.     

The context for this is as follows: I was attending PopTech in Maine in October 2008- only a week after drastic measures were announced to dramatically stem the GFC. The mood was sombre and uncertainty about the future was palpable in America. We had just finished listening to some of the heartbreaking stories of AIDS told by Community educator Zinhle Thabethe,  herself HIV Positive, and the work of Project Masiluleke which is about using mobile phone technology to help reverse South Africa’s crippling HIV/AIDSand TB crises by connecting millions to testing and care. This session was immediately followed by a very sombre outlook on the potential consequences of the economic meltdown by futurist Juan Enriquez. The energy in the room had changed into shock, horror and a sense of helplessness.

Sitting there in stunned reflective silence, the very wise Andrew Zolli, curator of Poptech, then asked Imogen Heap, who had performed this the previous day, if she’d like to return to the stage and do an improv musical piece, which was of course very much needed because as curator, it would have been bad karma to send 500 people away with a feeling of depression and despair!

Imogen came on stage and asked the audience for a tune to kick off the improvisation …..and, silence. No-one offered anything. Felt like 5 minutes went by (I’m sure it wasn’t that long) and my heart just went out to her. I thought…why not give her the song that carried many South Africans through the despair of the apartheid years, Nkosi Sikelele Africa ( meaning “God bless Africa”), and substitute America for Africa?  That was appropriate at that moment, and American folks through Poptech were the very people helping and funding the AIDS cause through Project Masiluleke- and the world will be a whole heap worse off if America collapses! 

So…I put my hand up and Imogen was visibly relieved and then of course I had to stand up and sing it for her so she could pick up the tune! In the Camden Opera House! In front of 500 people! And, I am no Susan Boyle!

But you have to be bold and courageous! So, from that point on, magic was catalysed and the energy in the room shifted in an instant when Imogen began creating the most amazing improvisation. Soon, the whole audience was singing “Nkosi sikele America!”  

Watch the video here where Imogen talks about this story, and how that unique event has inspired her to create an ongoing innovation movement. 

 

AMPLIFY 09 Convergence and emergence: NODULAR LEADERSHIP

Stream videos at UstreamWatching live stream from LeWeb08 in Paris. Really enjoyed the David Weinberger talk about the decline of old style top-of-the-pyramid lone hero figure of organisational leadership (think conductor of orchestra, think Jack Welch) that co-incides with the end of the information age, and the emergence of abundant leadership through the nodes of multiple connected networks, giving rise to reputational democracy in the sphere of government, and in the corporation? I have coined a new phrase….I call this NODULAR LEADERSHIP. If anyone else uses this henceforth…..you read it here first. Loll! attributions please! ;-))) But how will the reward and hierarchical systems cope with highly networked, highly influential thought leaders distributed at the edges of the organisation- a subject my work team and I ponder frequently?I have a personal curiosity in this subject and for some time now, have been seeking out thinkers to address this topic of convergence between technology and leadership, and the emergence of new leadership models and insights, at AMPLIFY 09. I have been searching for examples from guild organisers in World of Warcraft, like http://sophtopia.blogspot.com/2008/07/warcraft-reputation-and-democracy.html to seriously heavy-duty uber-connected dudes like Joi Ito. In many ways, networked collaboration has been my natural style of operating since I was in kindergarten, but I always attributed it to being more ambitious than my resources/ time/ budget could ever cope with- and to date, I have built a career on the back of creating successes that way. Its the very structure of how AMPLIFY is organised, through a network of distributed leaders throughout our business and extended networks- and the consequence is a much richer event, delivered at a fraction of the cost of a traditional execution through a professional event manager. Wonder though which nodes will emerge to voluntarily clean the toilets in a self-organising environment? maybe those will become the really expensive highly paid tasks in the future or maybe people should simply clean for themselves as they go….On that note….have a kitchen full of groceries to pack away, where my distributed leadership of relying on teenagers missed the deadline!

AMPLIFY 09 Convergence and emergence: NODULAR LEADERSHIP

Stream videos at Ustream

Watching live stream from LeWeb08 in Paris.

Really enjoyed the David Weinberger talk about the decline of old style top-of-the-pyramid lone hero figure of organisational leadership (think conductor of orchestra, think Jack Welch) that co-incides with the end of the information age, and the emergence of abundant leadership through the nodes of multiple connected networks, giving rise to reputational democracy in the sphere of government, and in the corporation? I have coined a new phrase….I call this NODULAR LEADERSHIP. If anyone else uses this henceforth…..you read it here first. Loll! attributions please! ;-)))

But how will the reward and hierarchical systems cope with highly networked, highly influential thought leaders distributed at the edges of the organisation- a subject my work team and I ponder frequently?

I have a personal curiosity in this subject and for some time now, have been seeking out thinkers to address this topic of convergence between technology and leadership, and the emergence of new leadership models and insights, at AMPLIFY 09. I have been searching for examples from guild organisers in World of Warcraft, like http://sophtopia.blogspot.com/2008/07/warcraft-reputation-and-democracy.html to seriously heavy-duty uber-connected dudes like Joi Ito.

In many ways, networked collaboration has been my natural style of operating since I was in kindergarten, but I always attributed it to being more ambitious than my resources/ time/ budget could ever cope with- and to date, I have built a career on the back of creating successes that way.

Its the very structure of how AMPLIFY is organised, through a network of distributed leaders throughout our business and extended networks- and the consequence is a much richer event, delivered at a fraction of the cost of a traditional execution through a professional event manager.

Wonder though which nodes will emerge to voluntarily clean the toilets in a self-organising environment? maybe those will become the really expensive highly paid tasks in the future or maybe people should simply clean for themselves as they go….

On that note….have a kitchen full of groceries to pack away, where my distributed leadership of relying on teenagers missed the deadline!