Eclectic Reflections: Culture, Agility, Technology, Authority and Equality

Today, some eclectic reflections on the realities of the Social Age

Eclectic Reflections

CULTURE: Culture is co-created through actions of individuals in the moment: it’s not aspirational or deterministic. It’s not something written on the wall in the lift. To engage in change therefore, inherently, is about engagement and co-creation of a new state: it’s about finding who is invested in the status quo and painting a picture of how they build meaning in the evolved reality. It’s about creating communities of change so that the decision becomes ‘am I in or out‘, not, ‘can i ignore or hide‘?

EQUALITY: my thinking continues to evolve. Less about abhorrent behaviours, more about infrastructural bias. What if the thing we are striving for is inherently shaped by cultural notions that are based in gender or racial bias? Whichever way you look at it, ‘empathy‘ is seen as feminine: we are a long way from removing the gender associations of behavioural traits. We worry about the number of women in technology, but what if technology is inherently biased in function and form factor? Or maybe i just think about it too much. I am clear though: equality is the fight of our time.

AUTHORITY: can no longer be assumed. Hierarchy and position will not insulate you or the organisation from the question ‘why?‘. As our relationship with organisations evolves, away from ‘career‘ towards ‘contract‘, our dedication or engagement can no longer so easily be bought, at least not without balance somewhere down the line. Contracts need to be fair: an employment contract and a social contract. Organisations need to do what’s right, recognising the needs of individuals in a turbulent space.

AGILITY: is what will keep us alive and let us thrive. For organisations, the ability to create both spaces and permission to innovate, explore, rehearse and engage. Connection in a meaningful way with internal staff and external partners: collaboration and competition often closely aligned. Unconstrained curiosity: the ability to question everything, to connect widely, to access information and technology in ways that are meaningful to the community. The ability to challenge process and systems that are simply mechanisms of control, instead of tools to let us be effective.

TECHNOLOGY: away from dinosaur systems, towards interoperability, seamless integration with our ways of working, not having to adapt to their ways of functioning. Technology facilitates communities to do the things communities want to do: but don’t underestimate the mobility of communities to move if we try to own the technology or control the conversation. The future: wearable technology, the quantified self, will change every aspect of our lives. Sooner than you think.

About julianstodd

Author, Artist, Researcher, and Founder of Sea Salt Learning. My work explores the context of the Social Age and the intersection of formal and social systems.
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5 Responses to Eclectic Reflections: Culture, Agility, Technology, Authority and Equality

  1. Lindsay says:

    Why are you worried about the number of women in technology?

    • julianstodd says:

      It’s part of a wider question i’ve been thinking about Lindsay, around infrastructural imbalances. We often celebrate female role models for ‘breaking into’ technology, whilst men are celebrated more for technical achievements. Whilst there are many women working as developers, there is still a significant pay gap there too, which speaks to me of normalised inequality. You may find this piece interesting, which captures some other reflections around this.

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