#Change11 Are we really alone in virtual space?

This video on Alone together by Sherry Turkle sounds interesting.

This message is clear, that real life conversation is relatively more important than the mere texting using mobile phones. Also beware that there are many young people who are addicted to the use of mobile phones, or immersion in the social networks.

My immediate response is simple: I am not a mobile phone user, so Blackberry is out of my mind.  I am concerned about the radiation in the use of mobile phone, as so in the past, even when I used mobile phone for work, I didn’t spend more than a minute on the conversation.  I am also a poor mobile texter, so I won’t respond to text messages in return.

But how about my colleagues and relatives?  Nearly everyone got a mobile phone, and it seems that most love to chat or text with mobiles.   It has become a habit for many people in using mobiles for all sorts of purposes – virtual games, applications, social networking, facebooking, twittering, etc.

So, a review of some researches would easily reveal what is happening –

Teens and social media: An overview

Social media & mobile internet use among teens and young adults

I haven’t finished in this review yet, so more to come.

#Change11 Change, happiness and social artistry

Positive thinking, isn’t that the solution towards reducing depression, changing ourselves, and changing the world, for the better?  May be.

Here are some quotes from Take Control of your life by Dr Gail Ratcliffe

Why does your life get out of control: “One is not disturbed by things but by the views one takes of them.” EPICTETUS

Change your attitude if you can’t change the situation: “Our lives are what our thoughts make of them.” MARCUS AURELIUS

In Change your thinking by Dr Sarah Edelman

Life is difficult.  This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths.  It is in the process of meeting and solving problems that life has its meaning. SCOTT PECK, The Road Well Travelled

So, what does one need to do in respond to changes?  Should one change his/her thinking, or attitudes?

Here is a story adapted from The Magic of Thinking Big by Dr David J. Schwartz

Our six-year-old son David felt mighty big when he was graduated from Kindergarten.  I asked him what he plans to be when he finishes growing up. David answered, “Dad, I want to be a Professor.”

A Professor? A Professor of what?” I asked.

Well, Dad,” he replied, “I think I want to be a Professor of Happiness.”

Isn’t it pretty ambitious?  But is there such a Professor of Happiness in the world? Here Daniel Gilbert, Professor Happiness says:

We know that the best predictor of human happiness is human relationships and the amount of time that people spend with family and friends.

We know that it’s significantly more important than money and somewhat more important than health. That’s what the data shows. The interesting thing is that people will sacrifice social relationships to get other things that won’t make them as happy — money. That’s what I mean when I say people should do “wise shopping” for happiness.

Human relationships could be best predictor of human happiness.  Based on that belief, I followed Nancy’s lead on social artistry where Jean Houston explains Social Artistry:

Social Artistry is the art of enhancing human capacities in the light of social complexity. It seeks to bring new ways of thinking, being and doing to social challenges in the world.

That’s where I would like to start to explore on.  Here is the social artistry study group

“Social Artistry is an emerging discipline in leadership development. It taps inherent human capacities for greater imagination, compassion, and resolve. The discipline integrates science and intellectual development, using multiple styles of thinking, expanding skills for contemporary leadership challenges, and applying these skills to complex social issues and organizational development.”

Sounds new and interesting to me!

#Change11 Social artist and collective intelligence

I have enjoyed learning through Nancy’s slide here

In response to Nancy White’s call for exploration about Social Artist in the Community Week of MOOC, here I think an excellent way to engage with others would be through:

(a) polling of interests

(b) provision of multiple choice sort of “evaluation & assessment” if it is about prior skills and experience

(c) engaging the audience or your peers in the conversation by listening to their views, and asking questions

(d) encouraging individuals to reflect on what it means for them, for instance on the impact of technology on education, learning, or at work, or on their interests, hobbies etc.

(e) cultivating a sense of community and cooperation/collaboration through further activities or tasks of their choice, again through (a) to (d)

(f) creating or helping each other to create a community or learning environment based on conversation, interaction and multiple channels/networking, that is also based on meeting the needs of individual’s autonomy, and the community or institution.

This conference facilitated by Professor Michael Wade well illustrated how polling and engaging with the audience would create those conversation, and traction towards community building in the conference.  Perhaps, similar concepts could be applied in many synchronous Elluminate Session, by engaging and polling of ideas from the participants.  Stephen, George, Dave, Nancy and many facilitators have well demonstrated the power of such facilitation.  So this requires

(a) tools available from the synchronous tools – such as Elluminate/Blackboard

(b) a lot of planning and skills in the use of those tools and technology

(c) a topic of interests that would allow participants to contribute and share

(d) facilitation skills and mastery of the topic of interests by the facilitators

(e) a platform, such as a course (MOOC), or a conference (virtual or real face to face) or a workshop to demonstrate, and model, and to practise and reflect upon.

Also, such concepts on engaging and conversing with others could be applicable to Forum postings, Blog postings, Twitter connections, and many other means, like Youtube, Slideshare or Google Documents, Wiki cooperative writing etc.

I reckon that is the artistic part of social artist in a CoP or a community, where the artist becomes a leader or a steward, helping and supporting the community to grow and develop.

Here Stuart explains:

Healthy, thriving communities have social artists within them. Social artists are exceptional people. They may lead communities, they influence the tone of the communities they interact with, they invite and push people to learn and rethink. They are collaborative and wilful, idealistic and pragmatic.

What are some other “capabilities” and capacity required as a social artist?

Yes, the emotional intelligence, a passion towards working and learning with people as Nancy has shared here, and a passion for changes or towards leading changes, and leadership.

How about your favourite list of attributes of social artist?

Postscript: Matthias posted the picture in Google +.  Thanks to Matthias for posting.

Still need some time to think about the significance of networking here.

Knowledge in the connections? Or knowledge distributed throughout the connections.

I think there are 3 kinds of knowledge here: (1) knowledge as revealed by the blogger, as a critical and reflective learner, in form of “personal knowledge” as “integrated and curated” from his/her blog post and other posts/artifacts, as a broadcast/reflection/stimulus to conversation, (2) knowledge as the conversation (of the concepts behind, in critical thinking & analysis), and learning as distributed knowledge, or conversation), and (3) the emergent learning and knowledge, as a set of connections between nodes (revealing a pattern that consists of crystallization of thoughts and perceptions out of the minds, conversation of different nodes), and in these connections that knowledge could reside (as Stephen has elaborated).  I would also add that this would become a valuable “learning object” and artifact for the community or network to base upon,  in further knowledge exploration and building in networks.

What would be the role of the social artist among the nodes and networks?