Trying to be sense makers in a complex and rapidly changing world of leadership requires that we keep our eyes on the communication-mashup of Tom Friedman, and be open to knowledge sharing with every community. In that spirit, I attended a session by the Social Science Research Council and was introduced to thinking from a former Navy Seal, a successful, award winning game developer, and a futuristic digital agency owner. The title of the session captured my attention : EDGE TOOLS in the DIGITAL AGE.
Through the short presentations of @colemanruiz @elanlee, @terryyoung I was introduced to the notion of "Edge-dwelling" and there are several definitions out there to collect an understanding from, mine being the social fabric of innovation. I like change and have always been interested in new possibilities. Not as as experience junkie, but as a learner seeking a way to help myself and others grow. In the sessions, the term edge dweller, someone who observes, sees big patterns and even small shifts in the horizon, captured my thinking. In the session, the speakers described the digital tools they employ to study trends, mega-treds, macro-trends, micro-trends.
The trends help us to map culture both digital and realtime. One speaker talked about the "digital truth" that can be gleaned from this edge dwelling perspective when digital tools are engaged. As I don't operate at the digital sophistication of the speakers, my edge-dwellling is more of the real time sort enhanced by social media. Being face to face with people who are engaged in study and practice across many industries is enriching to me and helps me to live as an edge-dweller in my thinking and find other edge-dwellers and connected learners. I recently heard a webcast by @tomwhitby that featured a discussion about trends and change....how to define the difference? When does a trend create real change?
I suspect that when a trend becomes disruptive and that which is disrupted is gone, then change results. Ask Kodak about that-- Oh, they really aren't here anymore...they didn't see trends and they were disrupted. As an edge dweller and a co-author with a digital edge-dweller @EricSheninger, I am eager to observe trends that can possibly disrupt and innovate practice across education and business.
I'm looking for other edge dwellers cross industry as I engage in the community of education, higher ed, global learning and marketing. It's a real mash-up and innovation is being driven by that sharing by edge-dwellers and their tools.
In the spirit of one of my favorite albums from the 70's @Yes's "Close to the Edge" see you out there in the world of trends that become real change.