Tag Archive: web of change
The recent Shirley Sherrod debacle unfolds with a thousand lessons, among these are the very fact that whether we have a black President or not, the issue of race is alive and well in the United States. The incident also points to the potentially explosive concoction of new media technology and a 24hr “news” cycle, of the politics of spectacle and a culture of fear among our “leaders.” Even as technology is changing everything – our deepest wounds are yet to heal, and our suppressed demons continue to show their many heads.
This being said – I am an optimist! I trust the directionality of our current paradigm shift. Read MoreLeave a comment
This morning on the way to work, I was reflecting on the incredibly successful National Equality March that happened a couple of weeks ago – and which I observed from friends’ posts online and on TV.? This was a march organized quickly with very little money. It apparently took much less money and much less time than previous marches have required thanks to the use of social media.? It was organized through social media organizing by groups like Stonewall 2.0 – using all the latest approaches to organizing – and counts were that about 200,000 people showed up, most of them young and energized and calling for equality at a Federal level, calling for Obama to make good on his promises to the LGBTQ community.
There are some great videos (friends reported that there were a HUGE number of flipcams at the march – and a look at youtube proves that to be true – as well as large numbers of slideshows put to music). So not only was the organizing done online, but the march itself went viral right away.Leave a comment
Recently at the Web of Change Conference at Hollyhock in British Columbia, there was a session on “Organizational Transformation,” facilitated in large part by Sam Dorman and Jason Mogus (with some thoughts thrown in by Gibran Rivera and myself). In large part, the session was discussing the ways in which organizations are wanting to incorporate technology and social media into their operations and need to shift structures and cultures to do so. Sam and Jason described that many organizations have traditionally been organized so that these functions were siloed into either a technology/IT function or a communications function – and often brought in after direction was set and strategy was developed as the way to spread the word. What has become clear is that this approach not only doesn’t work, but REALLY REALLY doesn’t work. It’s critical for the folks creating the technology strategy to be integrally involved in development of direction and strategy – not just the add-ons that come later.
One of the big questions at Web of Change was how do you do this? It’s a question about how you actually change the culture of an organization, once you’ve identified the direction you want the culture to head. We talked about the model of a collaborative organization – changing from traditional hierarchical organizations to a collaborative model (one of the things IISC works with organizations regularly to do). Gibran then started talking about how, in actuality, much of what’s being done technologically needs to be replicated in person – dispersed leadership, emergent thinking and self-organized, network approaches rather than centralized, hierarchical decision-making. So the question is: what would it take to really unleash the potential of individuals to create and implement projects that bring about real change – and what organizational structure would support this? Read MoreLeave a comment
I have so much more to say than I can possibly write in one post, plus I’m just getting back so there is still so much to integrate, so much that is yet to unfold – Web of Change was AMAZING! It certainly was that retreat experience that so many of us are familiar with, the lovely high that comes up when we drop our guard together – yes, it was that, but it was also more than that. Web of Change was also a brief experiment in taking some of the best principles of life online and applying them to the offline world.
Change is of course the gathering call, the convening is meant to foster the intersection of social media and social change. We were surrounded by people who care, and who are also smart, and bold in their thinking. The fact that the convening is oriented to people using social media to make change means that they are inherently familiar with what the emergent paradigm feels like – it is decentralized, self-organized, open source, generous. I’m not saying that every single one of us can now live within this emergent paradigm, but there is an awareness of this transitional moment and an intuitive understanding of it. Read More11 Comments