Ethos 3

Chaos theory practiced – a Twitter case study



My grand schema to chronicle the planning of the 2009 AMP Innovation & Thought Leadership Festival in this blog has been sitting in this draft box for months as I beaver away in the wee hours of the night working on the Festival – my dysfunctional “perfectionism ideal” the obstacle between this blog living an imperfect life “out there” and slumbering in the collective unconscious.


Because my whole weekend was consumed with delicious immersion in an exciting new world I never knew existed, thanks to a tiny tweet by one Chris Brogan, blogger extra-ordinaire,  

I am herewith catapulting over that self-hindrance and boldly publishing – its too good to keep till I’m organised! 

Unstructured play

The twitterings of the Brogan birdie in Boston, like the flapping of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil, instantly relayed to one maverickwoman on a sunny Saturday in Sydney, led me to Annarchy, who introduced me to

the genius of poet Taylor Mali ( imagine a 30 something cross between Patrick Swayze, Mr Chips and William Shakespeare)

which meant hours of exhiliarating inspiration on YouTube, which brought me to the Bowery Theatre in New York,  and the discovery of an artistic genre  Slam Poetry  that I had never heard of, which led to Mayhem Poets and their brilliant new venture pitch for a business called “Slam Chops”, which won the Microsoft IdeasWin Competition.

You still with me? This created various other connections with my corporate “open innovation” work, but also “must-have” purchases on Amazon, which led to Facebook and 

an invitation to Taylor Mali to co-create magic with an unlikely partner, a Financial Services corporation, at the AMP Innovation & Thought Leadership Festival in Australia in June 2009.

Who knows where all this may end? I don’t, but what I DO know is that it WILL be powerful, and people will be inspired, our company could be transformed, and in turn, generations of customers and their children may be changed as a result of it!  Maybe the whole future of Australia!

It was Taylor’s poem, “What teachers make”, that kept my inner matchmaker awash with ideas all weekend.
I hauled Scott Schwertly, Zen guru of pictorial storytelling, out of bed on a Saturday night in Nashville Tennesee.  Through Twitter, I knew that Scott’s company, Ethos3 Communication, is working on entries for the Slideshare 2008 presentation contest (They came second in the 2007 Slideshare contest with “Meet Henry“).  Knowing the history and impact of “Did you know/Shift happens 2.0”  –  winner of the 2007 Slideshare presentation contest, I thought a creative partnership between these two creative geniuses could help realise Taylor’s vision. I am happy to report that magic happened, and a union is being forged as we speak!

But, I couldnt help myself- had to go one step further.  

Through Facebook, I connected Taylor with Dan Pink, visionary wordsmith who speaks fluent “Corporatese” and compellingly explains in plain talk to business leaders why creativity and the arts is fundamental to future of their businesses.  I first met Dan at the Creativity World Forum in Flanders in 2006, where he shared the stage with Sir Ken Robinson (voted one of TED’s best presenters for his passionate plea for nurturing creativity in schools- that education connection!). 

Dan was chief speechwriter for Al Gore while he was in the White House, and we all know how Al Gore’s artful storytelling has convinced the world, one presentation at a time, that the time for action on climate change is NOW!  And Dan and Scott are vectors for spreading stories!


Power of one idea
All the people I mention in this post, Mr Gore included, have had a catalytic influence on me and my work as a practical radical and corporate change agent, and I see it as nothing but a pleasure to help along the dreams and aspirations of others.  I am a child of Africa who worked in the crucible of peaceful transformation to democracy in South Africa. I know the power of one butterfly’s wings!