Filed under: Business, Change, Goals, Innovation, Leadership, Personal Discovery, Society, Sustainability, Travel, Uncategorized | Tags: AIESEC, alumni, exchange, internship
It’s been a long time since it was called a time to move on for me. Since then, I have grown up a lot and I must accept that it was hard to learn to get by without you but I have done so while keeping you in my heart. I didn’t want to be like those creepy ex-boyfriends that show up uninvited.
Every time someone talks to me about becoming an alumnus, a dinosaur, head for the future, going into the life long connection or however you want to call it nowadays I tell them exactly the same thing, and AIESEC, the problem is that you get so deep into our hearts and go so much into the core of who we become, that letting go is initially a pretty hard thing to do; Accepting that it is someone else’s turn to learn and experience the amazing lessons and friends you gave me was a hard task initially and it required me to make a clean cut, a hard cut. So I wasn’t in touch for a while. I needed to catch up with myself without you.
And as your acronyms changed; Careers progress, people move countries, continents and new lessons are learnt; Life continues and one moves on, unavoidably. It seems that all that time I spent with you passed in a heartbeat and it seems that life is going by even faster than that, if my head could comprehend.
It is only after a couple of glasses of wine and in the company of those who shared you with me that I dare to say things like “Years later and I haven’t found anyone that understands me as well as my AIESEC friends”, because it is once or twice a year that every alumnus, dinosaur, headed for the future or life long connected accepts they are nostalgic. It doesn’t matter really how many years we spent with you we all get it here and there. If there is no wine confession, there will be a cryptic Facebook post.
And you were so good to us AIESEC… Many of us are getting ahead in many ways. The business skills that completed my academic education… You made it happen. May we be successful artists, technologists, scientists or business people, entrepreneurs, activists or politicians, we are conscious citizens in this world thankful to that, which made us who we are today: YOU.
There are few magical moments like having a conversation with a truly inspiring person, a real change agent in the middle of a conference on any imaginable topic only to discover they are too an AIESECer.
And then, the question that I really want to ask you pops in our heads… What is the job of an alumnus? Here is the advice I gave to some soon to be alumni:
- Join an alumni association.
- Give advice when you are asked for it.
- Act as a mentor of current members that want to learn something from you
- Chair a conference, a workshop or a local planning weekend when you are asked to.
- Get a trainee.
- Pass on your piece of history to those that can use it.
- Let AIESEC know you are there when it needs you.
- Remember ONE roll call and keep an AIESEC T-shirt; you will need it once.
- If honoured with the invitation, become a member of a BoA or an auditor.
- Show in small and meaningful ways that you will always be an AIESECer.
AIESEC, you have changed so much too. It is hard to keep up with what happens with you in only a few years time but any alumnus can feel nothing but pride when as I went back to you this weekend I discovered
- You do twice as many exchanges in my country as you did (2000!).
- You are present in twice as many universities as when I left you (1700!).
- You change the lives of three times as many students (86000!).
- You expanded to 30 new countries, making a total of 110
Who wouldn’t be proud to be part of a legacy like that?
We had an identity and now a way; We have done projects, leadership, issue based learning, programs and many more; There was 1996, 2005, 2010 and now 2015; there were green forms, pink forms, Match, Insight, Insight 2, myaiesec.net, the orange one and the blue one and many more will come, but there is one thing we all believed for the last 65 years and we will believe in forever: Exchange.
AIESEC, don’t let this letter be only the nostalgia of one that remembers the incredible rush of selling, matching and realising a management internship or the feeling of that full bucket of cold water spilling over my head…
For you are not only an organization for us, you are our life long cause. We are out here, millions of us. Find us.
I am back from an AIESEC National Conference in Germany. Truly inspired by AIESEC’s evolution and success, believing in the impact that AIESEC and its alumni can have together. In this post I think of every AIESEC member in the world, and the two alumni that with their role during my active time in AIESEC , starting in Mexico and until the culmination of my AIESEC International term, changed my life. I am forever thankful to Juan Manuel Ferron and Victor Loewenstein.
Over the last months I had the chance to have great conversations or overhear conversations of/with professional experience designers. Hearing and participating in them makes a path of learning that I started two years ago ever more visible and relevant. Analytics, SEM, SEO, diverse web and mobile applications and services and finally interaction design and user interphase design were just the tip of the ice berg of a larger and deeper topic that encompasses all of them and goes beyond.
Customer-centricity as a strategy for success is hot idea, but the idea itself is not new. Over 100 years ago, James Cash Penny built his retail empire with a well known commitment to the customer, and many have sought insight from his wisdom since then.
Attending a couple of industry conventions over the last year a buzzing term came to my ears for the first time inviting me to have look at how the way we do business, and deliver services and products to a global pubic. “Customer Journey” is the term that is revolutionizing the web and the business models that survive for it; It has renewed interest in the development of customer-focused service excellence as a differentiation and growth strategy. “Customer journey” is now, the subject matter that is studied by the new science/art of Experience Design.
Although the concept is not new, the tasks of “that guy” who is artsy/tech savvy start taking a new shape because innovative approaches are required for today’s digital world to ensure accuracy and efficiency in service delivery across online and offline channels supported by top notch tech. Adopting the technology and practices to achieve this might seem difficult, or hard to grasp for the traditional business but on the positive side, there is a wealth of information and advice available online to help anyone get started.
First, one must understand the big picture, and then tailor a plan based on the most critical needs and the best opportunities.
Taking in the Big Picture
A few phrases come to my mind to enable and adopt a complete customer experience strategy. Together these efforts create the foundation and framework to consistently deliver exceptional experience while leveraging the investment made in a software development project.
- Refine and gather experience objectives
- Align staff to project purpose and goals
- Establish a multi-disciplinary Customer Insight/Experience Team
- Scope the customer journey and wireframe the touch points and details
- Design a comprehensive plan to manage experience
- Create and implement policies, procedures and tools to track customer interactions and deliver exceptional customer experience
- Deliver customers exceptional experience
- Measure and analyze actual customer experience
- Create and implement optimizations based on team, employee and customer feedback
Get oriented by understanding the steps, but start the project by getting your leadership team on board. While the long-term ability to create and deliver exceptional customer experience relies on the alignment and efforts of all your employees, it’s critical that leadership clarify and internalize the reasons and the expectations for these efforts first. Overview why you’re undertaking the project, how you expect to achieve success and emphasize the need for full participation in both planning and execution.
When the senior team shares the vision and understands the transformative nature of this project, there will be less friction, more active participation and better outcomes as staff recognize and develop new freedoms and responsibilities. This first effort in gaining leadership buy-in and soliciting their feedback can have major impact by exposing existing service gaps and identifying quick wins to improve customer satisfaction and smoother operations.
Think Design, Think Digital
Early in your analysis of improving customer experience, consider how the rise of new digital channels and rapidly changing customer behaviour is changing the way that prospects find you, leads convert, and customers expect to manage your business relationship. Today’s customer journey is full of digital touch points; well-connected prospects and customers are using online reviews and social feedback to meet at both ends of the lifecycle – to identify your business as the right solution, and more often than ever, to communicate your value to your next customer.
No matter where you start, improving customer experience should be a priority. What has been a historic staple of business success isreborn in the digital Age of the Customer. It doesn’t matter if you provide financial services; you are a large retailer or an individual entrepreneur… Experience Design should be the new pillar of your business and your users and customers should be in the middle, like King Bunny.
Filed under: Business, Change, Human Resources, Innovation, Society, Sustainability
An organization that is truly diverse understands both the differences and similarities in people. Inside the organization you’ll see people from all different backgrounds working together and how a blend of employees adds intrinsic value to the business.
An increasingly global network, due largely to the expansion of technology, people from all different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives are all coming together to work in various capacities. Virtual connections have significantly increased the capabilities of doing business.
A more diverse business environment is rapidly developing through e-commerce, customer service practices, supplier relationships, outsourcing, partnerships and merges to name a few. As a result people are exposed to differences.
Businesses who embrace diversity go above meeting the confines defined by the law because they recognize the advantages from a both a business perspective and from a social one. They understand diversity shouldn’t divide employees, but instead unite.
There is a strong business case for diversity because companies who are genuinely diverse and invest resourcesin diversity initiatives have found lower turnover rates, and less discrimination lawsuits brought against them for sexual, race and age discrimination.
Additionally, what we all have heard before is: People who are diverse in culture, background, social class, gender, age or religion all bring something different of value to a company because of different life experiences and perspectives. Each employee helps shape a unique perception on work projects, processes and issues because of the differing backgrounds. These distinct viewpoints help businesses grow because of the innovative ideas inspired by diverse viewpoints.
From the social perspective, investing in diversity initiatives means equal practices for all people within their organization without exercising positive discrimination either is the right thing to do. Organizations that have become intensely aware of the value of diversity and from a humanistic point treat everyone equally and with the same respect.
A great case for this is made for example in the commented book, Womenomics while being careful once again of maintaining objectivity; As I mentioned before, exacerbating differences in a superficial way is too one sided. Only genuine appreciation for the unique value different people bring to business will drive growth and could in some cases become a key driver for organizations to operate in a true synergic and organic way, and this kind of adaptability is of utmost importance for those that want to be successful in the future.
What has been observed though is that companies which invest resources in diversity measures experience strong levels of growth. It has been proven customers like to see themselves represented within the companies they do business with, so in addition to the other business and social reasons for diversity, the market base is a high consideration and strong argument for diversity as well.
Also traditionally known… Diversity naturally drives innovation because the differences in ideas, incentives, knowledge base and experiences all promote new inspirations and initiatives. When people who work together think alike, this good to an extent, but it is the challenges which make a company grow.
Businesses which hold strong conviction and dedication to diversity illustrate they recognize the value and advantages that naturally follow diversity. The committed company celebrates the differences which exist amongst different backgrounds and realizes the worthy contributes people all bring to their organization beyond the obvious differences.
In your standard career site employer brand offers applicants little more than bland platitudes and empty promises. Open jobs are focused on the minutia of what the job requires, while the employment marketing speak surrounding the jobs emphasizes long-term careers, goals, and identity.
It’s no small wonder that applicants are often confused by the experience and expect very little from employers (that not considering that more of then not the user experience and accessibility of most career microsites is considerably poor). Applicants see differentiation in employer brand, certainly: the marketing speak and graphical style for employers differ wildly. From the complete non existant employer brand in hedge funds, to the visceral sexuality that retail employers often employ, to the vaguely cultist exclusivity of the top tech firms, at least on the surface, employers appear to offer a very different set of opportunities and challenges to their job applicant
Employer branding is, after all, marketing. Marketing puts not only a positivity over everything, but rather seeks to address fundamental human desires. You don’t want a job as a software engineer. You want to make an impact, find a home, fit in with your peers, discover the world, etc… Employers then just have to ask themselves about their HR policies, structures and benefits and consider if they can truly leverage on those urges and the promise they make. A recruitment slogan is developed to frame the question and then drive that messaging throughout the site and job descriptions. It is meant to communicate a common dream, the ambition of a team.
If you develop your career site or participate in employer branding, it’s not only your duty to develop impactful recruitment campaigns and branding that convert traffic to applicants, but to develop programs that accurately reflect your company. The whole “truth in advertising” debate is a separate topic, but most can agree that some more truth in emploeyert brand would be appreciated by most applicants. As a matter of fact a false employer brand may attract candidates under the wrong premises and waste a lot of work and resources when causing a large attrition rate.
However, before you develop your branding, copy, and slogans, you have to ask yourself a fundamental question of purpose. Are you talking about yourself or the applicant? If your vision is to address a fundamental human concern of your target talent pool and map it to your company’s career opportunities, should you be describing what makes you different or asking the candidate what makes them different? Should you portray a strong message of corporate unity or play up employee differences?
Two career sites to consider: IBM and Microsoft. Both companies are what you might consider large, rather conservative brands. Both are major employers and in roughly the same industry. But they have, at least at first glance, radically different employment brands. You can notice this instantly in the way recruiters from both of them approach you. Yes, it is like Googl, Facebook, Amazon and LinkedIn. They are all internet and yet they are definitely not the same.
IBM: The employer brand of IBM has somehow transcended description over the years. It’s almost pervaded our popular culture. If someone is carrying a Thinkpad there is a certain message sent across, and working at IBM despite the recent turbulent times the company faces carries with it a large set of inferences and IBM knows it. It is not surprising then, that on their career site their main marketing slogan is “Are you ready for IBM?”
IBM may in fact be taking a somewhat self-referential and tongue in cheek approach to the perception that their company culture promotes conformity. However, their primary question does make a strong assertion. It asks: Are you one of us?
Microsoft: When we think of Microsoft employee’s we also carry a number of preconceptions and stereotypes. We immediately think of their iconic leader, Bill Gates, that has framed their employment culture in much the same way as Steve Jobs has influenced Apple. We think Windows. Actually meeting former Microsoft employees will give you a big surprise… their loyalty is amazing, to the company and the products.
Microsoft, however, asks a very different question of applicants. They ask “How do you see the future?” and then follow this with a Nirvana lyric: “Come as you are” and “Do what you love.” It’s a different message at first. Microsoft isn’t asking if applicants are “one of us,” but rather implies: “We think you’re ok as you are.”
Notice, however, that although Microsoft wants you to come as you are, they do imply that they know who you probably are. You can “Do what you love” at Microsoft because Microsoft assumes that you like coding in C# and are an evangelist of Outlook. Their employment brand assumes knowledge of the audience, whereas IBM comes across more like a challenge to your identity. Where IBM checks your ID and sees if you belong, Microsoft lifts the rope and says come on in.
To develop your corporate employer brand and drive the right kind and volume of applicants, some corporate soul searching is required. Very few companies have the type of unified corporate brand and identity that IBM has. If you work at ABC Corp, what does it mean to be an ABCer? If you are like most regular sized employers, it probably means very little. To develop this type of brand unification requires you to come up with a definitive statement of company culture.
To develop the Microsoft employer brand actually requires the same introspection with the addition of some more subtlety. When it comes down to it, you don’t want applicants to come as they are, you want the right kind of applicants to come with the qualifications that you need for your job requirements. But what demographic are they appealing to with a Nirvana lyric? It’s actually pretty specific and pretty smart.
When looking at the two companies, we at first see radically different value propositions and employer brands: conformity versus individuality, exclusivity versus inclusiveness. However, upon closer examination, both ask the same question to applicants: Do you know the secret hand shake?
You can see how complex and thought-out these career sites really are. Unless you’re in the Fortune 50, chances are you haven’t paid as much attention or used the same level of marketing as these companies. However, if you are looking to develop your career site or position careers at your company, it’s good to understand the fundamental question that you want to ask of applicants. You have to ask “Do you know the secret hand shake?” only after answering the prerequisite question “Who are we?”
Disruptive with purpose… this is the one I am working to go very deep into. Exploring all the different ways in which the secret hand shake is presented, and if you know it, please write me a note.
Filed under: Business, Change, Innovation, Leadership, Society, Technology | Tags: Censorship, Freedom, Internet, Legislation, Technology
I wished I was talking about soup or pipes, but not, this is not the case…
Once a week in the mobile market that gets set up close to my parents home in Mexico City (one of hundreds in the city every weekend) and in there, a DVD, CD, and pirate software booth — the proprietor sets up early in the morning and leaves when the market closes in the afternoon. Instead of just offering up ripped DVDs with handwritten titles in paper sleeves, he sells meticulous copies of the entire package from sleeve to disc label, and there are a few legitimate used DVDs thrown in for flavor. If not for the suspiciously low prices and the occasional printing error, you might not ever know the entire operation was operating in brazen defiance of the law.
Stands like these are an important touchpoint when you read or hear about the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, and its sister bill in the U.S. Senate, the Protect IP Act, or PIPA. Both bills attempt to deal with online sites that traffic in illegally copied content, but at extreme cost of remaking the architecture of the internet itself. That’s a high price to pay, especially since neither bill will actually curb real piracy: SOPA and PIPA are the effective equivalent of blowing up every road, bridge, and tunnel in New York to keep people from getting to one bootleg stand in Union Square — but leaving the stand itself alone.
What SOPA and PIPA do
- Order internet service providers to alter their DNS servers from resolving the domain names of websites in foreign countries that host illegal copies of videos, songs, and photos.
- Order search engines like Google to modify search results to exclude foreign websites that host illegally copied material.
- Order payment providers like PayPal to shut down the payment accounts of foreign websites that host illegally copied material.
- Order ad services like Google’s AdSense to refuse any ads or payment from foreign sites that host illegally copied content.
That’s just the first part. SOPA section 103 and PIPA section 4 require payment processors and ad networks to shut down accounts if they receive the right kind of letter from a copyright owner — a system modeled on the heavily criticized notice-and-takedown provisions of the current Digital Millenium Copyright Act that requires a service like YouTube to pull down infringing content after the copyright owner complains. That system has been abused on occasion, but it ultimately works because it allows YouTube to avoid direct responsibility for the actions of its users — it would have been otherwise sued out of existence.
There’s no such balance of interests for the payment processors or ad networks under SOPA or PIPA: they simply have to block their accounts within five days of getting a letter, unless their accused customer writes back with a letter promising to visit a U.S. court. A site like YouTube would remain protected under copyright law, but become extremely vulnerable to having its finances choked off by overzealous copyright owners under SOPA — imposing a huge additional cost on new startups that host user content and effectively undoing the flawed but effective protections for those services currently in copyright law. Remember the death of Napster or Kazaa? Well, that sort of thing would happen easily, fast and with little research.
Oh, but it gets worse. Much worse. SOPA section 104 offers legal immunity to ISPs that independently block websites that host illegally copied material without any prompting from the government. That’s a major conflict of interest for a huge ISP like Comcast, which also owns NBC — there would be nothing stopping Comcast from blocking a foreign video service that competes with NBC if it could claim it had a “reasonable belief” it was “dedicated to the theft of US property.” And indeed, Comcast is among the companies that support SOPA.
Now, you may have noticed that while all these rules are totally insane, they’re all at least theoretically restricted to foreign sites — defined by SOPA as sites with servers located outside the US. That’s important to know: at its simplest level, SOPA is a kneejerk reaction to the fundamental nature of the internet, which was explicitly designed to ignore outmoded and inconvenient concepts like the continuing existence of the United States. Because US copyright holders generally can’t drag a foreign web site into US courts to get them to stop stealing and distributing their work, SOPA allows them to go after the ISPs, ad networks, and payment processors that are in the United States. It is a law borne of the blind logic of revenge: the movie studios can’t punish the real pirates, so they are attacking the network instead.
So… What now?
Everyone that knows me can tell you I am not a fan of protests. why? Protests in my life have not made any change, if they have produced a lot of traffic and pollution, still they are a key element for the survival of democracy… limiting the content of the internet in the way these bills purpose to do so is equivalent give a selected group the right to prohibit citizens their right to protest or gather, or telling a newspaper back in the day what they could or could not write.
Remember those moving videos that triggered movement and change during the Egyptian spring last year? Well… someone could say you are not allowed to see them because of the song they play on the background. Maybe you couldn’t even have the kicks watching the laughing baby on Youtube…
A free internet is a key element to ensure the survival of democracy worldwide and to warranty the collective evolution of humankind.
So even if you will not catch me inside any protest, this site was on strike on January 18th 2012, together with thousands of websites that united to protest against the Protect IP Pact making the largest online protest world wide.
And what is there to do? What can you do?
If you are a U.S. Resident… Write Congress! Call Senate!!!
If you are not in the U.S…. Write the State Department.
You can sign the petition of an NGO such as Fight for the Future. It will only take you a few seconds to put your voice behind a critical issue.
Yes my friends, for the love you have to your iPads, iPhones, Androids… for every single person that records themselves playing music of their favourite artists etc etc…. you should do this.
Filed under: Change, Innovation, Personal Discovery, Society | Tags: Acceptance, Authenticity, Connetion, Courage, Fear, Gratitude, Joy, Shame, Vulnerability
Dream for a minute of a world without masks, without mind and power games…
Filed under: Business, Change, Innovation, Leadership, Personal Discovery, Society, Sustainability, Technology | Tags: Evolution, History, Leadership, Motivation, Psychology, Society, Spiral Dynamics, Technology, Theory U, Values
In the last half a year, I started working with Spiral Dynamics. A concept/model I knew but never applied has become an key part of my current professional development as of my personal life, and so I thought of sharing a little about it, for those who are thirsty for something estimulating that I could recomend to get your hands on and munch a good bite of.
I personally think this theory can be powerful if mixed with other tools such as MeshWORKS and Theory U.
So here a glympse.
Conception of a Model describing the Evolution of Individual, Organizational and Societal Conscience
When you look back on your actions, decisions, and ways of coping with problems, were your responses consistent? Or have your reactions changed over the years? (Most people’s do.) This is because our values and motivations change over time.
Psychologists have long been interested in these changing reactions. In fact, some of the best-known psychological theories on motivation have been derived from looking at this very phenomenon. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and McGregor’s Theory X versus Theory Y are just two of the theories that have emerged to explain what motivates people and why. Although each theory is different, the question of what people value is central to the theories of motivation and human development.
Spiral Dynamics, a fascinating but less known theory of motivation, looks at the value systems that drive individuals’ beliefs and actions. The concept originated in the 1930s with the work of Dr Clare Graves, but he died before publishing his theory. With the popularity of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, Graves’ theory slipped into obscurity until one of his students, Dr Don Beck, wrote “Spiral Dynamics Integral”.
Essentially Spiral Dynamics was developed in order to help us understand:
- How people think about things (as opposed to “what” they think).
- Why people make decisions in different ways.
- Why people respond to different motivators.
- Why and how values arise and spread.
- The nature of change.
And interestingly enough, it applies not only to individuals, but also to organizations and societies. Taking a little time, you can apply it for the personal development of any individual from childhood on, analyze the structures and business models present in organizations through time and place where they are or to see patterns in the historical development of human kind.
I don’t think I need to tell you it is enough material to go on for years.
Misconceptions of Spiral Dynamics: You are less evolved than me, so bugger off!
In my path to discover this interesting theory, I came across consultants and practicioners that dislike it. Going a little deeper into what they dislike, I came to the following point of misunderstanding:
Spiral Dynamics talk about more and less evolved people, this creates a hierarchy and a feeling of superiority from some towards the others aka. I am yellow and you are only orange so bugger off unconcious being.
This is a misconception that easily happens when you go through the theory quickly without suspending and taking the time and space for it to really sink in.
Spiral Dynamics differs from other theories of human development and motivation in one key way: It doesn’t argue that we travel towards an ultimate destination and stay there, it says that we continue to spiral through a helix of developmental stages depending on the biological, social, environmental, and psychological forces at work. As such, Spiral Dynamics attempts to explain “everything” that influences human experience.
Spiral Dynamics argues that with enough personal mastery, we can live in one meme and communicate to others, collaborate with others and foster their development from the place they are at enhancing then common understanding and the efficiency to achieve a goal.
The theory also suggest that an individual does not “belong” in a color clasification, but they can have different colors in theferent spheres of their being. Eg. I can be orange in my external individual sphere, while being yellow in my inner individual etc etc.
At this point, a picture says more than a thousand words, enjoy.
Full size picture here.
Filed under: Business, Change, Innovation, Leadership, Society, Sustainability | Tags: Action, Collective Intell, Ethic, Moral
Now, that should be an interesting combination. Knowing what is the right ghing to do, how and when to bend the rules… truly innovate and do it in service of the whole. It adds up. It’s time for internal collective change… Systemic change. We all know it in a way or another.
Filed under: Change, Goals, Innovation, Leadership, Society, Sustainability, Technology | Tags: Civil Society, Collective Intelligence, Conciousness, Mexico, Transformation
Mexico has it all, but we are drawning in the sea of poverty, of inequality, impunity, corruption anddeath. The emptiness created by the social fractures has been filled with hate, resentment and fear. The lack of hope and chances have been taken over by mistrust and violence. Problems are explained structurally, but they are also go across a social and cultural dimensions and that makes us question ourselves as a society.
We need answers and actions that will transform the current conditions and with which we will reach the ideal of a democratic, participating and equal society. Now, more than ever, it is time for the revolution of conciousness, culture, education, institutions and finally the evolution of citizens.
It is key to create a community, networks, built by people with feelings, ideals and common purpose, with a sense of identity and belonging. In the information society, what will guide us to a superior level of human nourishment is the architecture of the human link. The construction of decentralized human networks with multiple nods, can be triggered by technology and the collaborative nature of the internet.
The net gives place to the emergence of collective intelligence: People can easier, quickly build networks to generate and communicate knowledge that can be later translated to action and common wellbeing. Creativity and imagination convert into empowerment: Intelligent masses with the capacity to impact their surroundings. The basic principle of collective intelligence: Everyone as a whole knows everything; with the practical application: We can do anything.
The Digital Era creates networks and communities, it articulates its sense of identity and belonging, it promotes its capacity of organization and action. Internet opens a small window of opportunity for citizens. Citizens can for the first time make choices directly and in real-time between opinions, information or actions coming from the governing agents of content. Civil groups organized in networks with common interests and worries have accomplished public visibility. New leaders have come from contexts that previously had no presence in public debate. These new networks organize themselves many times along the order of party organizations, use technological tools and social network platforms for communication, organization and action; the create a space for public debate on social topics and create and distribute alternative content to that of the traditional media, they develop consciousness about the social surroundings, provide critical but constructive views about reality; they get media visibility, enable the emergence of civil leaders, drive political and civil agendas, propose innovative initiatives, integrate differentcommunities and and themselves to different social causes; they have a social impact.
If it is truth that in Mexico the access to the internet is limited to one third of the population, it is also truth that this small group of users the valuable initiatives that have achieved social impact put in new light the old judgement and myths of social and youth apathy. Even if many young people have felt captive to organized crime there are many that despite their poverty, the uncertain future and the social rejection have demonstrated they are capable of positively influence their surroundings. They are only a few, but they are there.
The transition from representative to participating democracy should come from the incorporation of all voices conforming society. The technological tools are only one option to achieve this. In this sad historical moment for Mexico is when more voices are needed to make proposals, and more hands are needed to take action. We have to bet on the imagination, the creativity, human dignity, sensibility, civil networks, youth…
Juan Villoro says: “Mexico is not going to be saved by bullets, it will be saved by its people”. We need to understand we are a community, a collective intelligence and that together we could do anything.
Filed under: Business, Change, Goals, Innovation, Leadership, Personal Discovery, Society, Sustainability | Tags: Collective Intelligence, Entrepreneurship, Evolution, Fear, Practice, Spiral Dynamics
It can happen to anyone sitting on the life they planned; an idle moment, a feeling that changes everything.
What many experience as the “entrepreneurial bug” can be more or less scary depending on the clarity they initially have about their personal endeavour. For me, the initial feeling of this bug has brought me into a 2 years journey to really uncover what the call was behind the bug that decided to bit me. Why? Well, the more out of the traditional path your idea is, not only makes it harder to crystalize it’s “what”, but it can exacerbate the fear anyone starting on their own gets making the process even slower.
Deciding to become an “independent practitioner” of the different paths of social innovation and collective intelligence can get out of balance even those that know the theory of “how to make it work”. There is no news on milestones like “building a network”, “identifying a field of specialization” or “looking for financing sources”.
The vastness and novelty of the field, the amazingly global scope it has, makes the most attractive features of this path, the points of fear of those who decide to follow it.
Personally I have never met someone that chose for this path of conscious evolution and planetary alignment straight out of high school, the struggle to break old paradigms is key to future success, to personal enlightment and collective impact.
In the last months I submerged myself in which I sometimes like to call the “evolution of the corporate shark” the change beyond orange… better known in the field as the conversion from strategist to alchemist. The road seems to be long and filled with beautiful sights to be seen, bewildering experiences to be had… As for the learning I try to capture along this journey to find my unique role to truly contribute to the sustainable success of our planet and species I can so far come up with one advice I can give to other rookies on this high speed motorway:
- Die to learn. Be eager, hungry to learn more, to experience more even from the least obvious.
- Strive for the feeling of absolute creation and good.
- Be open to discover the unexpected in yourself and others and be ready to embrace it.
- Find an individual practice, go deep into it, and change it as much as much as it feels right.
- Hold tight and just take the unexpected turns synchronicity will bring you and connect authentically to those you find.
- And boldly said… Get the balls to follow your call fearlessly, daringly even if your finances will be harder to plan.