Future University – Edge Zones
February 5, 2013 – 6:47 pm | Comments Off on Future University – Edge Zones

I’ve been thinking a bit about the future of the university, and it seems to me that a new model may be emerging, one that has something of the traditional sanctuary of a place of learning, but that innovatively engages communities, both local and international. There will, of course, have to be those preserves where students and teachers can contemplate their experience and learn together, but there must also be what, for the moment, one might think of as an edge zone where interactions of many kinds might take place.

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NetWork The Future Workplace: The Roots of Change

Submitted by on July 12, 2012 – 12:21 pmNo Comment

images change

 

Work isn’t what it used to be

The nature of work and its social structures is shifting. The landscape of work is increasingly

complex and has far fewer geographic boundaries, while social and political norms are rapidly

and continuously evolving.

  • Power is shifting from more centralized organizational control to individuals, communities of practice and social networks.
  • Work and intellectual capabilities are now distributed and collective, rather than vested  in individuals.
  • Making sense of large volumes of information and interactions requires analytical thinking and adaptive and social skills.
  • The new “literacy” is based on the ability to build and use social networks.
  • The more we live in a digital world, the more important it becomes to reconnect with the physical environment.
  • Sustainability is becoming a given.

We think and behave differently

Humans still socialize according to instincts that evolved to solve the problems of group living,

such as whom to trust and how to coordinate tasks. But we now belong to tribes and villages in

which people are joined not by proximity or family but by common purpose, often through

electronic media.

The new social media enable new kinds of behavior and relationships. These new social

behaviors can make organizations more or less effective, depending on how they are managed

and integrated into work practices and culture. This presents several new challenges:

  • How to integrate new behavioral patterns with the old ones associated with the standard   office model. Our designs must simultaneously support both electronic interaction and the need to interact with real people in real settings.
  • The loss of facetoface interaction and the important social skills that arise from it.
  • Generating the kind of energy, excitement and motivation that can arise in a realworld group setting can be hard to duplicate in a virtual community.

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