New technologies and web-based tools that enable faster and broader participation and collaborations globally, are bursting into our market place daily. Social Media is burgeoning. We are able to connect, share ideas and knowledge, co-create, design, laugh, cry, rant and celebrate with more people over more issues than ever before. Digital tools are enabling us to truly experience power by the people for the people. We participate in shaping conversations. We express our opinions and make choices about who we follow on Twitter, whose blog we subscribe to, whose music we download, which videos and photography we look at, where we get our news from, who we trust and who we refer to others.
Is Democracy emerging naturally?
Mainstream anything is old paradigm. Mainstream media is struggling, similarly mainstream politics, mainstream economics, entertainment, education and corporations – innovation is happening at the edges and the new connections are strengthening and making a difference – both positive and negative.
Tools help Us Evolve to Another Level
Through our increased use of digital tools, as with any other tool, we are evolving to another level. We've come from rubbing stones together to settling in communities and tilling the soil, to building machines that both enhance and damage our existence, to designing computers that automate most manual processes leaving us now ready to move to the next stage of evolution and apply all our prior knowledge – in the words of Ken Wilber, we “transcend and include” as we evolve to new stages of development. We are waking up to what can and cannot sustain life as we know it on this planet. We can pass on this knowledge and at the same time co-create new hypotheses about what it is we can become. We are entering an era of massive innovation that has the potential for us to actively participate and collaborate in ways of unknowable scale – and if we are truly wise – it could be at the scale of the whole.
How Can We Apply these Tools Wisely?
Digital, social media tools will facilitate such a reality, that's what tools do, but will we apply them wisely? What are the mindsets and cultures that will turn these tools into “wisdom” tools? It takes participatory, collaborative mindsets and cultures to apply our tools wisely so we make meaning and sense of complex and rapidly changing situations. It's the software between our ears, the pulsating life force under our rib cage and our evolving consciousness that determine our destinies. Technologies are mere enablers.
Wise application is knowing how to use digital media in a way that serves humanity. As human beings, it is in our DNA to communicate, to participate, to contribute, to inquire, to learn, to grow. Digital tools are enabling such experiences at unprecedented rates, unconstrained by politics, ideologies, geography, ethnicity, income, gender, age or any of the traditional barriers to entry.
The values of openness, trust, transparency, integrity and authenticity that we experience as active participants using technology enabled social media in our personal and private interactions during our play time is infiltrating our work time. These same values are prerequistes for the successful and wise application of digtial tools in our workplaces. We have the tools, let's focus on strengthening and valuing participatory, collaborative mindsets and cultures.
What participatory values and behaviors are you seeing in the application of these tools, socially or at work?