Contemplating TEDxAustin 2011

I attended TEDxAustin 2011 last weekend and Dachis Group was the lead event sponsor. You’ll be able to see videos soon on the site and can browse reactions right now on the Facebook page.

We all process information differently depending on our lenses + filters and one of mine is social business design – through which I contemplated most of the day’s content.

Nancy Giordano started the day citing Ray Kurzweil, that humans are prepared for linear change but unprepared for exponential change. I think this is why the concept of social business is so difficult to grasp for many people. Social business design isn’t about linear change and making what’s being done a little bit better – it’s about rethinking the future and potential of businesses to uncover leveraged and emergent outcomes.

The idea of conscious capitalism opened the day – illustrating how companies have increased financial returns by broadening perspective on ecosystems and connectedness, both internally (employees) and externally (customers, stakeholders). In government specifically, this approach aligns with the idea of a post-bureaucratic age, where information is the tool at a tactical level.

Plenty of examples floated by where institutional and industrial controls have created sub-optimal results. For example, the concept of substantial equivalence and how that impacts our food supply. How our exploration of the future may be limited by parameters from our ancient past (maybe with a bit of embellishment). That our perception of how things are mapped out can be influenced by long standing agendas.

BUT before rushing out to change the world…

…(a message that fellow social business designer Kat Mandelstein of IBM picked up on too)…

…take a moment to pause, reflect, and connect.

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