Honestly, its near impossible to find time at this conference to get away and blog about it. It goes from 7:30AM to 10:30 PM… and the entire time you’re in classes or meeting interesting new people. Extremely interesting— and catalytic.
The opening keynotes yesterday were fabulous (I thought), though other people had their own ideas about Lance Secretan as an inspirational speaker rather than a future-oriented thinker.
Maybe they weren’t paying attention to the other guys that said there is a deficiency of solid LEADERSHIP in our government and business leaders… somehow minimizing the entire point of Lance’s talk.
Anyway I could talk more about all this, but I have to go to the New member meeting and decide on what classes I’m taking today. They all sound so good, so its hard to decide!
This is the first time I’ve ever stayed in a hostel. Ever. I know, its crazy. Most people are living in the Sheraton Centre in downtown Toronto, because that is where the actual conference is taking place. But this hostel (The Clarence Castle) is really nice, I’m glad I’m staying here for $130 less a day. My entire stay here costs less than a day at the Sheraton Centre. Oh.. I guess it helps that the hostel that I am staying in was rated the best one overall in North America. I can understand why. Its cleaner than many hotels that I have stayed in, has new decor and has been freshly painted, the guy who runs it (Dan) is exceptionally nice, and it has free breakfast included. What’s cooler is the fact that you get to spend time with so many interesting people from all over. If I weren’t going to grad school right now, I’d just sell it all and go backpack around the world for a couple years staying in hostels. Sometimes I feel I could learn way more doing that and have more fun than anything else. Or, maybe I’ll reserve my summers for that (since I have two of them).
For now, I’m off to the WFS conference. Today’s workshop is on Industry Foresight and Value Innovation. More on that later today.
I wish I could say I had the free time to be a prolific enough blogger… to apologize to my wide reading audience and tell them that I am going out of town to a conference in Toronto and that’s why I won’t be able to blog for the next few days.
But, since the place I’m staying at in Toronto has wireless access, I’m going to try to blog about the events of the day while I’m up there. Its sort of been a geek dream of mine to conference-blog for a long time.. And sure, it would be awesome to blog at CES or COMDEX or MacWorld, but heck, I may just be one of the few bloggers from this year’s World Future Society conference (I dont know, honestly), so you’re just going to have to live with it.
By this time tomorrow night, I will be in Canada. Better not forget my passport.
Ciao for now, friends.
This entry is a follow up to Kar’s comment on my last post about Americans having no friends. Kar alleged that the reason for the lack of friends and bonding opportunities is that work consumes our lives as Americans. I thought this was interesting so I wanted to explore it more and find out if this was reasonable. Many signs point to yes in business and social literature.
While I was researching, I found this Fast Company article, Balance is Bunk, that says that work-life balance is overrated, if you actually love your work, it is OK to be addicted to it. This is a half-truth. If you truly love your work* and are passionate about it, you become a more fulfilled person and this helps you make friends and improves relationships with your immediate family. I like to think of one of Guy Kawasaki’s rules about entrepreneurship- strive to focus on making meaning (not making money). At the same time, its important for people to create rules for self-governance (e.g. "For every X hours I spend on my business or work, I will spend Y hours developing my relationship with my friends/family.").
* caveat: You may not always love your work and find it completely fulfilling, but as long as you’re learning (churning?) and making mistakes (and learning from them), you’re still making serious progress.
If we’re spending so much time at work and we don’t have many friends, then are we not considering our colleagues to be friends? I consider myself pretty lucky to call my teammates friends, but I realize this might not be the case in many other cases where the age disparity between coworkers is a barrier to camraderie.
While I was thinking about this, an idea popped into my head. Companies like eHarmony are making an absolute killing by employing psychologists to find compatibilities between people for the purpose of relationships. What if companies made prospective employeees answer a questionnaire that attempted to find out how they’d interact within a team? This might be overkill for a position in the mailroom, but other high profile teams might benefit.
If the largest reason for corporate attrition is the relationship between employees and their direct manager (or lack thereof), couldn’t you design a team that has a high propensity to be friends with each other? The problem is, I dont know if the team would be more productive or less productive (go out to baseball games in the afternoon instead of "working"). Also, this proposed questionnaire and method of hiring might be a serious HR violation. Anyway, something to think about more.
According to a recent study, Americans don’t have as many friends as they did 20 years ago. Most of the people on this survey said they either had 0, 1 or 2 friends! No wonder docs prescribe so much Zoloft in this country.
Anyway, this article made me wonder what the implications of SNS (social networking software) will be– Will people claim to have more “friends” or will the vast majority of these “connections” be just a line and a dot on a browser screen? I think people will need sustained interaction with their acquaintances in order to consider them friends for the sake of this sort of questionnaire.
Also, I wonder what the same survey would produce if taken in Europe. And, rapidly expanding areas like Asia, where the workforce seems even more nomadic.. I imagine it would be hard to maintain friendships with former colleagues with a dizzying pace of work-life.
Via FutureWire – futurism and emerging technology: The Friend-less American
I know that most people who happen to stumble upon this blog probably don’t speak German, but Google Translation works well enough for you to know that this company, Karlsberg, is marketing beer (bier) to women under the pretense that it is actually healthy for them. There’s more. They’ve actually had the audacity to distribute this via an alternate means: Karla bier is sold through pharmacists!
At first when I read it, I thought… Germans are crazy to actually believe this. Then after I thought about it more I realized that it is completely analagous to oil and gas companies who greenwash their consumers into thinking they have significant investments in an alternative energy future. Bogus. It is akin to driving along the interstate and seeing signs for clean burning coal (huh?!!). BTW this phrase was popularized by none other than President Bush.
From the WSJ, regarding coal:
“But it still is far from clean. Coal contains dozens of noxious chemicals, including lead, arsenic and other heavy metals; sulfur dioxide, which creates acid rain; nitrogen oxides, which create smog; tiny soot particles, which can invade and collect in human lungs; mercury, a toxic metal that accumulates in animals, fish and the humans who eat them; and carbon dioxide, which many scientists believe is artificially warming Earth’s atmosphere by trapping more heat from the sun.”
How does this work? Is the average consumer, the average constituent, REALLY this clueless as to think that beer can be healthy and that coal can be clean burning? Aren’t there ethical marketers (maybe this is an oxymoron) out there who think we need to do a better job in educating consumers into buying products and investing in technology that will ultimately benefit them?
Climate expert Dr. Mark Trexler gives us the straight scoop on climate change.
He says we have to look into the “sciensocioeconomic” issues before forming policy that is potentially disastrous to some industries.
But of course! In my book, “disaster” to some industries, while problematic in the near term, is necessary for sustainable development. New industries for environmental protection, design, and climate change prevention will spring up in their place. The cost to change current behavior is far, far less than having to drastically change behavior AND developed systems in 20 to 50 years!