Why Learning Should Be Open Source

If knowledge is not open source, we are running a dangerous experiment with the collective intellect of humanity.

 

At times the sound of the rain seemed to be louder than the crescendo of voices inside the coffee shop during the lunch rush; an enlightened irony of my conversation with a colleague about noise. Not the noise we hear with our ears, the one we encounter daily with our eyes and minds when we devour (or attempt to), massive loads of information. Words, ideas, images and infographics are pouring down upon us and we aren’t even protecting ourselves from ignorance with an umbrella of purpose.

 

 

Open-Source Learning

With social media and collaboration technology, ideas can now be analyzed, debated, deconstructed and reconstructed in ways entirely inconceivable in the prior era of elite-only learning. Social technology enables intellectual crowd-sourcing at its best. The validity of an idea in a single classroom is being tested in workplaces and communities in parts of the world where access to the Internet is the only source of formal education. Where disruption is the difference between surviving and thriving. Where being born in a slum means living in an ecosystem of micro-entrepreneurs. If it truly is about who you know, then it’s time to talk about how to get to know those people where they live, work and play. Open-source learning is the meeting of the collective mind.

 

Open-Source Ideas

What good is knowledge if it is only shared in the name of monetization? Are we that greedy to hoard possibilities to ourselves because we cannot in our own simple minds conceive of ways to create additional value? Unfortunately, yes. What’s frightening is that some of the most poorly designed content, curriculum, blog posts command top dollar. Sure, anyone can put pen to paper or connect their words to a keyboard. Writing is easy. Writing for influence is not. This requires you to facilitate expertise through social engagement rather than being the expert as author. The skilful content creator is expert as curator, engager and author. The master communicator is the invisible orchestrator of human engagement with knowledge. This is the single element that separates a ruckus from a symphony.

 

Noise Cancellation

Did you ever think that the spa days, mental health days, vacation in the mountains, digital detox/diets/sabbaticals could be avoided by simply choosing to produce and consume knowledge as it is meant to — in small bite-sized chunks with all the flavour minus the artificial fillers that are hazardous to our mind? I call this Lean Learning.

Death by Conference: When Smart People Use Comic Sans

Dear Speaker,

Here’s the deal. If you get a stage to share your knowledge, it is your duty to humankind to influence the way people think, live, believe and behave — not just talk about yourself/product/service. Knowledge is only power when it enables others to invite simplicity, ease and greatness into their life. Knowledge is not a stockpile of information you think is so important that every gold nugget you’ve acquired over the years needs to be squeezed into an hour on a podium with a lapel mic. Information dissemination when not consciously designed is just complexity. Complexity is ego. Complexity is a form of intellectual trickery and deceit. Complexity is the enemy of learning.

Every encounter be it in a physical or virtual classroom, social media or a passing conversation, is a platform whose best use is to make someone’s life and therefore universal existence, better. It’s what we all want at the end of the day — better sleep,wealth, health, influence, life insurance, gas prices, thighs. We don’t want to climb the hero soapbox and and take the caped crusader’s stance, no. No we do not. We want to knock that box right out from under you so we can sit around the proverbial fire and share stories of coffee stained dress shirts and torn pantyhose, then take time to figure out what it all means. We don’t want to be like Mike, we want to be Mike or Michaela 4.0.

Dear Attendee,

What if you forked out thousands of dollars to attend an industry event —flight, hotel, Town Car, expensive sushi, fancy socks, designer suit. Dollars you deducted from your fake-it-till-you-make-it fund thrown at the chance to gain know-how, network and finally say NO the next time your boss says, “Yes, but…”

What if this, a key part of your own hustle for happiness—is to be attained by sitting in the front row in a middle seat, listening to a person who enjoyed the sound of their own voice and took pride in the chaos of mismatched colours and the unskilfully animated collision of Comic Sans, Calibri and Times New Roman Bold fonts in the name of learning?

What makes you different, lining up with your branded boxed lunch and vendor swag, than the assembly line workers with their faded jumpsuits, hair nets and lunch pails?

Dear Speaker,

Don’t be a foreman when you can be a foreseer. Value is derived from setting a big vision, not from deathy by clicking. If you’re creating your own presentation materials are you really utilizing your time most effectively, gaining momentum on the maximum value generation track?

What makes you different, queueing with your designer labels, Blackberries, VIP badges and small PC laptops than the assembly liners with their faded jumpsuits, hair nets, candy striper gettups and lunch pails?

Dear Participant,

Yes, you are participants, not attendees. You are an active part of the problem and solution. Learning or lack thereof does not happen to you unless you let it. Want to truly be a hero, rise above the rest, save your family and the world? Complete the evaluation form like a boss, like it’s the template for designing the leader of your dreams, the job of your dreams—like your life depends on it…because it does.

DEAR ALL CONFERENCE GOERS: Speakers & Participants,

What really makes you different…from each other? Nothing, until you CONSCIOUSLY CLICK.

Sincerely,

Fellow Conference Participant and Learner

salimaname

Digital Glory: My Very Own Blog

Here I am…in all my digital glory standing at the precipice of the uncharted journey two years in the making — my very own blog. I’ve been guest blogging for a bit now and as I’ve shared with audiences in my talks, if you’re not social and digital, you don’t exist. So it was about time I walked the talk by making a deeper footprint with a website to complement my social engagement. Welcome to a perpetual open house where people can visit and make themselves at home with knowledge, ideas and perspectives. A place to kick it up a notch with purpose.

“You cannot teach a man anything. You can only help him discover what’s within himself.” – Galileo

I like to think of myself as a dot connector and knowledge facilitator, helping others find the shortest distance from A to “Be”, so you can be more of who you already are, with ease and become who you are meant to be at work and at play (if you’re lucky, these are one in the same).  My fierce curiosity means I’ll be writing about a variety of topics: Leadership, Learning and Social HR with a side of Social Good and Entrepreneurship and a fresh twist on life I like to call ‘The Art of Being Human’.

“Think beyond the boundaries of someone else’s imagination.” – Me, naturally

Here you are. You showed up. Awesome. Now it’s about being and staying curious. So have a look around, learn a bit more about me, get in on the Fresh Ink action by subscribing to get me in your inbox, and of course, say hello. Lot’s more to come…