Tomorrow i fly: Amsterdam, London, Denver, then onwards, into the mountains. New views, new people, new spaces to think. Space to explore. Space to learn. The journey is the quest: adventure, companionship, solitude, occasional unexpected turns. It’s about curiosity, about uninhibited questioning, about a permission to explore.
I spent much of today linked to people around the world through collaborative media: video, audio, shared workspaces. Conversations uninhibited by geography, which probably makes it all the more ironic that i’ll be 36 hours on the road tomorrow.
On the one hand, social collaborative technology erodes barriers of distance, even of language and culture. On the other, we still quest: the geographical boundaries are not the only boundaries to knowledge.
We talked about stories today: stories around the campfire, stories co-created online, organisational stories, individual stories, hidden stories and stories shared widely. Stories connect us, which is why i put them at the heart of Social Learning and, indeed, at the heart of Social Leadership. The stories that are hard earned, hard travelled: sometimes we call them wisdom, the wisdom we find on the quest.
Some journeys involve miles, others just time. Some leave us richer for the people we meet along the way, the emergent encounters, the unexpected synergy, the whirlwind conversations on the train or bus. Paths briefly crossed.
Steve Jobs famously believed in fortuitous emergent reason, ensuring that staircases and doors delivered people into common spaces, ensuring the mix. A form of social engineering based on common location. Today, so much of that sense making takes place online, but there is still a place for travel. Sure, we don’t have to travel to meet up, but the journey itself is part of the reward. A quest: a quest to learn, to connect, to share.
Technology changes how we come together, but still we come together over roads and rail, air and foot. Driven to connect, to forge common stories where our paths briefly cross.