I came to the conclusion about a year ago that I had to pause on becoming Glocal a bit. I needed to regroup and think again. I have done so by doing.

Analysis and synthesis has led me to focus on the current education system – the current global education system. And wow, this system is the most conservative messes of all. And young people are forced into it and they suffer, every day. Learning is replaced by administrating a system that doesn’t work. I’m having great concerns of humanity even.

And we thinkers, so called grown-ups, edgelings are trying to recover most likely from the “education” experience. I have no revolutionary thoughts around this to present here and now. I have no answers on how we can change mindset. But I do know one thing or two about learning and how I think about learning and how I think what learning really is. It’s about expanding minds and about abstracting people’s minds. It’s about building concepts – putting it together. It’s about exploring and producing first-hand knowledge, not consuming second hand-knowledge. That’s what learning is about – it’s life and being on a constant journey!

Taking on the challenge


I will go on a journey during a challenge in Sweden called #blogg100 – you are supposed to write one hundred blogs in 100 days. No requirements on number of letters etc – a picture is ok. Just do 100 blogs straight.

Last year was amazing, writing a lot and getting the habit every day was very important. Of course everything was in Swedish but the number of posts etc was a book or two with thousands of readers – so the statistics say.

I intend to do as I please as always, but I wish that in June somewhere I have evolved a little further. I will write more English blogs. The challenge started 1 March, but anyone can join whenever one can. You will change your life if you do join and you will change others to the better! Global change starts within you! People have always online sort of “accused” me of being “huggy” – I don’t know if I’m guilty but anyway: this is a call for arms, hugging arms, let’s join forces. Write what you want to. If you don’t know why, ask why not? Otherwise ask “What do I want?” and write about that, and why.. and why. Half into the challenge I’ve only done Swedish blogs… I will try to be more international from now on.

Hoping to really put myself into the novice stage on this – excited that is!

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http://12most.com/2012/06/21/ways-to-destroy-credibility/

I thought the opposite is a better list. In that one at least I find several good points that I need to work with. What will you need it for? I’m hoping to answer that in this post.

12 ways to build credibility:

  1. Value people’s time
  2. Be an authentic listener
  3. Do the job
  4. Be a good example and trust others to follow
  5. Keep promises and stick to agreements
  6. Be honest and open about mistakes
  7. Support your people
  8. Let the proper people take credit in success
  9. Be responsible and address only your own faults and mistakes
  10. Don’t take advantage of relations in only bad times.
  11. Commit to good idea projects and see them through – be patient.
  12. Accept criticism – listen, confirm & understand.

Seems like good advice if you need to build credibility. You can use it in your regular job and in what you do in your spare-time. But if we introduce Collaboration vs Competition which represents the new times vs the old times. In the new times we need to co-operate more not just within corporations, agencies or organisations like municipalities but between them – we need to collaborate across borders.

It is the opposite of working separately in competition.

In a region or a city why should there be competition? In a nation? Well, free markets and so on creates better products and services. Yes. That’s fine. That’s not what I’m talking about. This thing works incredibly well, everyone’s doing their portion. Just think of how many people that have been working “together” to make the device you are reading this from. So stuff and things we can produce efficiently – money replaces the human form of credibility.

Dealing with credibility and complex matters

But how about other things that might be more complex and require human interaction? Like Sustainability, Peace & providing food and medicine for all the people of the earth? There are always losers in a game and in a competition, and I’m afraid we can’t have that much longer. And that will bring consequences to many areas of interest in the future. It’s not that there’s a bunch of idiots stopping everything – everyone one the planet I believe deep in their hearts do not want others to suffer, to starve, to see their own kids die of dehydration or infections. It’s just the system. We don’t have the “game” to fix it. We don’t have the rules or the framework or the leadership to create significant change. But on the competition arena we can work “together” towards better computers, cheaper furnitures, better dish-washers, better cars etc – without leaders. Where’s the difference?

There’s no market for “soft” values

The easy stuff can be traded, toys, machines, construction material – on simple money transaction and this can be traded for other things like food or another job.

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And this list. How does it apply to banks, governments & enterprises? Can you trust a bank to be a part of fixing world famine? Or a large corporation to increase communication in society? Can we trust Google? Facebook? There’s that gray zone. The moment they require money trust is gone and credibility lost. Is credibility going to be an important asset in the future? Yes. How should organisations work to earn credibility? Is there any company you know of that you would trust and that you feel have credibility?
The local food-store? But where do they get their goods from? Farmer’s market? TV? News-papers? Letterman? Any? You only trust those you know dependent of you? We only trust those that are “close”. And this viable for everyone on the planet. We all have our tribes. And share basically the same values.

Back to the credibility and asking for money part. Thing is, if you earn the credibility first in what you do and believe in (following the list) you can get away with asking for money as long as you’re into to cooperation area and making it clear that you are in the same team – if you do something for mutual benefit and have the trust and credibility you can actually become that bridge over old and new times.

Future credibility agencies?


Check out GoFundMe.
But be careful with that list, and make sure you are authentic. It will be like in the football/soccer player market. You will be able to sell your services like a consultant but working for the common good where there’s a lack of natural competition for production. In this way we can perhaps build the social capital/network across borders and information domains.

Back at square one?

So the numbers of social entrepreneurs are increasing – “give me money and I’ll fix peace of mind”. Now, if Gandhi had said that and was alive today the global support would be massive. Or if Einstein or today perhaps Dalai Lama..? The list is also about leadership. Show leadership qualities and you get credibility. But some “leaders” or social entrepreneurs are still driven by the paradigms of the industrial age – competition and not cooperation. How do we separate those honest, hard working, social entrepreneurs from those who’d sell your mother if they could? Is the list above some criteria? Yes I think so. Let’s begin with doing the job.

And thanks Venessa Miemis for posting the link.. and those that made the original post of course.

Featuring Keynote speakers:

Brian Cox
Albert A. Bartlett
Iain McGilchrist
Derek Sivers
Peter Senge
Carl Sagan
and more…

Leadership

For what? And what is it? It’s often about an ability to put things in perspective… And where to are the leaders taking us? Is there any global leadership at all? Sadly no. I wish there were tho. How else are we going to solve global problems? Right now everyone’s focused on their own interests, “protecting” the little piece of land they “own” – but global warming, pandemic flus, global financial crisis do NOT stopped by borders. Who are we kidding?
If we change the perspective to science and reality it might be easier to let go of borders and our own limitations. I love this presentation – it’s awesome.

So now if we have forgetten the daily fire-drill and all project work-packages that are the most important in the whole world for a short moment…

Take a look at this – the most important lecture in the world:

That was part 1. Let’s see the next one…

Ok, this lecture is about 40 minutes. But I promise it’s important in order to be able to understand. And if you think it goes too slow, think of the poor students in school that are forced to sit and listen everyday – and then to less important than the most important lecture in the world! About that equation – it’s so simple but our leaders aren’t really qualified to be as smart as Bartlett or as perhaps responsibility requires. And of course Bartlett would probably be “murdered” on TV by the mob if he would aim for presidential leadership.

Leadership… it feels modern leadership consist of some kind of machinery where the leaders in position are marionettes… They are a piece of haircut and a marketing campaign. The machinery is competition and governments support steady growth at any costs – but to what?

What do we do with all debt that we have accumulated? Do we need to be worried? Why do we have this situation? Or is it just people that creates unnecessary alarms? How do you feel about this? I think those borrowing criminals should be put to justice, my little house-loan is a completely other thing of course. I will pay it back we I sell or.. in about 432 years with this mortgage rate.

How big is the U.S debt? There is even a debt watch – a the printing press is still printing new money. This is insane.

And it’s steadily increasing…
The Outstanding Public Debt as of 21 Feb 2012 at 07:46:40 AM GMT is:
$15 430 653 399 784
The estimated population of the United States is $12,263,939 so each citizen’s share of this debt is $49,415.42.
The National Debt has continued to increase an average of $4.00 billion per day since September 28, 2007!

Remember Bartlets exponential curve on growth? This one is really great, there are natural laws for steady growth. Simple as that – and we have reached peak in most growth areas. This means we cannot sustain further increasing growth. If the doubling time I 7 years we have to for example the next 7 year-period produce double the amount of energy as we did the last 7 years that is ALL energy that we have EVER produced on this planet. And this with increased requirements on reducing CO2-levels etc. The equation does not hold – we will enter a new era. It’s time to panic. Or do something to help us all, perhaps.

We fail to mimic ecology and to obtain sustainable growth we need increased networks between people – we need to discuss what’s wrong… We lose connection between population groups and we do not use opportunities that could turn up because we don’t meet eachother physically like in the old days. Increased population in the cities and growth becomes a problem instead of assets. There’s a built-in lack of Social Capital. That in combination of the machinery…

Sustainability and growth

There was talk about icehockey sticks before…

“You miss a 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
Wayne Gretzky

Somewhere in the reasoning there must be something about learning… which is growth in a different way… how do you grow sustainable… learn sustainable..? How did we end up in this situation? What can we learn from it? How do we get out of it? Will this epic fail acually lead us to a better humane path and if we do have some time left to save the whole planet what other mindset do we need to apply? Same of the shit we have been shoveling the last 40 years..? More control? I don’t think so.

So failure is required for learninga and for growing, how do we apply this to cities and regions? What’s the difference between a opportunity-based or creative approach and a problem-focused approach? Science vs engineering?

The balance in society seems lost – it consist of financial experts, lawyers and engineers – the big picture is lost to each and everyone. We focus on the problems, not the possibilities. Now, this is hindering us. Since we fail to see the larger whole, we lose the meaning and purpose of getting the job done. We stop caring for each other, we have enough of our own problems.

Learning continuously.

We all as citizens need a why, a story, a narrative and a history about our community and society and culture on the way ahead. Now that we maybe should not continue on the path of consuming our way out of depression and crisis, but the lack of current leadership is critical! Sometimes it feels very liberating when someone basically loses it and gets pissed off. Why don’t we more often?Who will be single person firing off a series of global events much like the arab spring? What is the Occupy movement doing?

Ah, that’s right, feelings are a sign of weakness – it’s not machine-like behaviour. An engineer or a finance expert does not have feelings. Being part of a machine does not allow for feelings getting the upper hand.

It’s like we have shut down every single ability to feel. Why? When having a good feeling about something (whatever it is) it will make you do anything just to get you where you want. If you have kids, you’d do anything to keep them happy..! Why not use feelings to produce stuff also? Why not use feelings when growing and learning? And rebuilding society?

So, with that in mind. It’s a daily struggle. What if we had some technology helping us see things from another perspective..?

Let’s go back to leadership again, what should that be about? Management and control? No… What should learning be about? Management and control? No… A learning organisation needs to foster individuals that are happy and that are allowed to make mistakes. Same goes for the whole society. And we need to be opportunity-focused instead of problem- focused.

Just ask yourself the questions! You have the permission to be real… we all have to get real fast and be responsible leaders – no-one else will be it for us.

Please don’t let anyone stand in your way, living your life and creating a more human life on earth. Avoid brick-walls, inspire and get mad as hell when required – don’t be a part of the machinery. I wish you all peace and prosperity, no matter what nation you belong to or religion or age or job.

Thank you for taking the time.

Here’s the Prezi: Prezi version

Sustainable development is the hype thing on the agenda – nobody buys the concept of unsustainable development. It seems there is an increased awareness and understanding even for certain common environment issues. We must become more sustainable and think a little differently – but what does this mean I hope you wonder. Let me try to give you an example but first something really fundamental – that old native-american proverb:

“Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children.”

Sustainability. For real.

How did we end up in a situation where some parts of the growth ends up in extreme excess in some places and nothing in others? How can some people continue to acquire more and more wealth (houses, castles, boats, helicopter fleets) – it just keep coming to them and no-one reflects about it? How can some necessary business impoverish the soil and poison the planet deliberately in order to maintain growth – because they can? How can people with strong charisma deliberately mislead people to believe that they should stop medicatefor HIV – are we trained idiots? How can anyone accept a whole life where the sole purpose of life is to serve anyone/anything else whose ideals and principles that he/she do not share – they do not dare to speak up? How can we let young people leave school as “failed” and not as future creating individuals?

Brickwalls are as stable as they should be

A few years ago, I concluded that it was downright useless to try to change the current structures and mindset. We are all trained to act like brick walls and when we encounter other brick walls there will be no “action” at all. And when you managed to get out of the box and find the dream and the idea the brick walls are there – always. But it is good – it is made to stop everyone else as Randy Pauch said in Achieve you childhood dreams – . Sure you can work within the system, adjust, become a millionaire and then in a weak moment of reflection complain about the poor children in Africa. But is it sustainable? No. 20121004-235441.jpgYou need to disguise yourself, cheat, hide, sneak and be smooth if you want to succeed with the change in learning or in society in general.

Why school is in focus

Retold from Adam Jones through Björn Sanderberg (many thanks):

“An anthropologist proposed a game to children in an African tribe. He put a basket full of fruit near a tree and told the children that whoever got there first won the sweet fruits. When he told them to run, they all took each others hands and ran together, then sat together enjoying their treats. When he asked them why they had run like that when one could have had all the fruits for himself, they said, ‘UBUNTU, how can one of us be happy if all the other ones are sad?’ (‘UBUNTU’ in the Xhosa culture means: ‘I am because we are.)”

20121004-235758.jpgTherefore, the school and education systems need to be built up by new principles of sustainability, since school will be a catalyst for learning and global prosperity. Well, globally .. And never hesitate about that, if you do then you should think about what idiocy training you’ve been subjected to. Students should not be trained to outcompete others and find it natural that some get a lot and some get nothing. To help each other and work together is natural in the “tribe” – and aren’t be all building our tribes still..?

The Sensemaking principle – rules are not always rules

Creating a sort of framework for education is no single solution either, but if we stay within the principles maybe we can at least start thinking about the idea of change in human interaction globally:

  1. Every student, faculty and staff have the right to feel joy every day in school.
  2. Every student and teacher has the right to a computer and the Internet all the time whenever they want.
  3. Any task that is done in school shall be based on the student’s own documented dreams for the future.
  4. Each student should at least 2 days a week to take responsibility for personal development time (together with others).
  5. Each principle must be continuously re-evaluated, improved and adapted to the present and contemporary assessment of future trends.

A so-called good failure. No stone tablets exactly. Next version I have thought of a little more. Based on the above and some things that I and probably others do not want to see in the school of the future or the future of business are the below four, and only four, below principles, written with digital pencil ink:

  1. The Voluntary Principle: All goals for learning should be based on voluntary participation and self-interest – the desire to learn is always based on the individual will but supported best by open (and hence global) network.
  2. The Networking Principle: Learning will work to promote interaction and networking for mutual benefit – openness and interaction creates transparency between borders.
  3. The Concern Principle: Learning should be based upon care and support – social capital creates the conditions for a human society without borders. What you want others to do for you, do to others.
  4. Soundness or Sensemaking Principle: Each above principle, shall continuously be reviewed and adapted to the current situation and its projection towards the future.

And so no bricks falls on sore toes …

1. The voluntary principle – without own will no knowledge

It is both a prerequisite to learn anything at all, and a pure joy and something that creates joy in life – to be yourself and to be driven by what you are interested in. Self-Operation and internal engine is the key, I think even happiness – to be free of powerlessness and able to have an internal motivation creates even more desire. Ok, if the only interest is Minecraft, Facebook or playing soccer that might not be good to do 8 hours a day every day, but maybe 2-3 hours? Then it might be easier to do mandatory things and take responsibility for other people to find interest in the voluntary interest subject – then it’s probably also important to sneak in “elements” as math, language, physics, music, or whatever it may be but with the voluntary subject as theme. Assume hypothetically a soccer school, where the school’s only purpose would be to produce world-class soccerplayers – what would that school look like? Ok, that’s another blog to write..

2. The Networking principle – society must be built up organically not organisationally

There is so much in this principle, but many miss. Everything from the old days when the square or the Church stood for social capital for later TV and leisure associations. And now, the networking ability that can both add to the anonymity and it can also help us in all the things we are doing at any time of the day. If we only could network more and communicate more – many-to-many communication and machine-to-human communication.

It is in the relationships values are generated.

This to ask for help is difficult for many – it is cheating, you should manage everything yourself. Does this make sense in a community? In a family? If we are still headed in the same direction (we are – the planet does not move forward in different directions), shouldn’t we all acquire millions of friends who can help us? And when we do something sensible should we not create benefits to more than two-three people..Or thirty, or millions?

Ok, it IS hard to publish pictures of pizzas on Facebook while you know that hungry people in Africa see the status update.

But this is the reality. I’m tired of turning a blind eye half of the days. I can’t help anyone, but I can support organisations and initiatives. Being online means chances for learning and “cheating” all the time. Should we necessarily measure and test status on students we need do so from the students perspectives, NOT from centrally set goals and templates. When to answer questions and to do assignments ALL students and ALL teachers in the whole world should be available! Not to mention all the books, films, lectures .. And a teacher can actually be filmed and then the film can be spread to more than one classroom … Staggering thought.
Students should also be filming and be filmed and disseminate insights. As society should – massive storytelling to increase cooperation areas. There are also gamefication aspects – to create missions/tasks and solve them. Take Fredsuppdraget (Peace Mission, thanks Mike Gunnarsson) as an example… and its extension (I have written about that in another blogpost – “The right vehicle for world peace”). You can do a lot of this, learning while getting physical activity and interaction with society. From your own selfish perspective, you can actually use others and even help others if we only could let go…

3. The concern principle – are there any aliens here?

The pale blue dot

No there are no aliens here, but we treat others as if they were until you’ve had a meal with them or so – after that the green light shines. And oh, now we have a problem..?

“-Should we be friends with everyone?” “-Tell that to the local drug dealer or the drug lords ..” “-Tell that to all rape victims ..” etc..

No, there is no problem really, these principles we’re talking about are not about specific cases. And no, an IT system will not create world peace.. nor will this blog. I’m just a butterfly who takes some extra turns now and then.

This blog is about a mental shift that we can pass on to our children.

What children see – children do.

These damn kids

We adults are already screwed up and you can’t teach old dogs or get passed a brick wall and all that… that ok if you think like that but do not stop others to do good, please. Do not administrate creativity and entrepreneurship to death – set it free. The real consideration is to care more (Principle 3) – if we wouldn’t have compulsory schooling (Principle 1) then we need to be better interacted (Principle 2) so that no one falls “between the chairs”. Science and facts about the world is still what needs to be the foundation – but you all have the right to believe in the snowman, trolls or various pretend-Jesus but through networking and openness, knowledge, reason and consideration most unscientific parts can be accepted but more debated perhaps.. Consideration and compassion between all learners can maybe make many problems magically disappear ..?

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4. The Soundness or Sensemaking principle – a framework for learning

Every principle and evaluation of values should be reassessed every Monday (thanks Troed Troedson for that insight), but for that matter, “short-termism” should not stop us from setting long-term visions and goals. What does the school of the future look like, ideally? How do we get there? Can we identify a set of principles that will automatically lead us towards the goals and at the same time give so much freedom for every school hero to develop and find new approaches, methods and techniques, it is a more efficient plan than the centralized state economic plan – that frankly in Sweden is a mixture of beautiful thoughts and threats of police come knocking on your door.

These principles must be alive. In one country Principle 3 might be about that you shall not kill each other, in another country about visiting a home of a classmate.

The more I think about it the more things get clearer to me. I should write a book. How can we explain complex matters as the joy of team learning, community & cooperation benefits. How can we reduce the fragmentation of society and turn this love-less machine into a beautiful “living” global organism?
Please come with suggestions for improvements on the principles – this is just a start!

A common image of the education system is sometimes that teachers, school developers and students are so steered by all requirements and lack of resources and mold on the walls etc that they have stopped caring. The teachers have given up and the students are just checking in physically and barely that.

“A teacher’s day is half bureaucracy, half crisis, half monotony and one-eighth epiphany. Never mind the arithmetic.”
Susan Ohanian

I write because I am passioned and so many with me are that too, especially in school. One thing is sure – every human being is born with passion.

The hunt for the solution to the education “problem”

Based on this picture of the problematic school your politicians will focus on specifics and fix the school. Students should be fixed and then teachers should be fixed, and then maybe even the premises and education pedagogy..? Or is it the weak math results in the latest national tests? Or pethaps to threaten with extra summer school will fix it. Or put the parents in the school bench? Or the most reductionistic solution, everyone that does not fit into the template will try to send abroad. That will fix it! Or not.
No matter how much we focus on details and perform measures we will probably never create any form of measurable change.

We need a total mental change and a way of working based on certain principles of joy, technology/cooperation, the future, freedom and capability for adaptation. That is finding what young people today find joyful.
You can certainly from time to time force “medication” and teach that if you work hard you will get rewards. That is the case (preferably) in regular business life – but it tends more and more be on the employees terms, at least in the northern countries in Europe. Today, reality offers options, not that there are greener fields on the other side if the fence, but there’s no problem going over the fence if a good deal shows up. If only our trained minds could understand the opportunity arena.
Out in society the market rules, your own capability of initiating and some serendipity decides if you are successful or not. Does our “modern” education system mirror that? Does it encourage courage, own initiatives and how is it with the Randomness/Serendipity arena?

Problems are also opportunities

An administrator sees every problem (change usually) as a pain, an entrepreneur sees it as an opportunity. A new way of thinking means A NEW WAY OF THINKING! Not just a change of the drapes in the classroom.

Thinking outside the preconceptions and beyond what you are doing currently is difficult – but we must. We have to dare, we have to believe that there are other realities than the current common opinion and perception created by media etc.

When we’re dealing with systemic errors it’s sooo difficult to think outside the “local” system – situation awareness and sensemaking is difficult. It’s like the fish and the problem with the water:

“-Water..?”

It’s the system

I see the same caricature of “immigrant populations” painted up as problem areas. Does it happen 100 things in such an immigrant-intense area, it is the burning container mentioned in the newspaper. This applies again probably most to the northern countries in Europe. It says nothing about the new multi-national radio-station, the awesome rockband, the multi-national soccer-team or the four Iraqian elders that has started a cooking course or friend-organisations over boundaries in general.
It says nothing about the heroes, it says nothing about those that manages to break out from powerlessness och hopelessness, it says nothing about the 13-year old that despite of half his family died in the war now is going to be a doctor, it says nothing about re-united families or the love everyone cherishes and the passion they feel every day, for the family and the community and for the future!
The PR-firms are not likely working for school nor the immigrants or “poor areas”.

The real poor areas of the future are those with a lot of brick walls and no sense of community at all.

These “problem areas” (incl school then) is the future of society and we should all recognise this and see reality as it is and not like unsocial mediatries to spread.

And yes, I’d personally be happy to abandon the negative reporting, but I have to protest when idiocy time after time conquers common sense and is allowed to be spread in unsocial and social media. I go mad when I hear about stupid homework assignments, detentions or even arrests occur in school that truly not belongs to a modern or future school.

So how does future school look like? Is it possible to understand that if no one talks about it? All these good examples that is there not for us to see, who describes those and who spreads the stories..? What’s the real situation?

A more nuanced picture

You all in school – bombard us others with the 99 positive stories of the fantastic students, teachers, parents, the wonderful society mix and the passion that’s there – every day! Use social and unsocial media, make films and spread them. And above all show upon the future, get to the edge, let the parents kids come home happy, uplifted, energetic, curious, inspired and make sure their personal hopes fir the future and road-map exists and is nurtured and developes continuously. Make sure they get the chance to enter society and make sure society enters school. Use the caricature, use the problems, visualize, make movies, use Facebook, take pictures, talk messages, communicate, communicate and communicate.

A whole new set of goals for everyone

How would you like the school to be in five years? How are you going to get there? Is it through and by following the instructions of the central national school board, some politicians old opinions or is every teachers internal spirit and the student’s natural forces that can create change? Can parents help or should they just stay away? Can small or big companies help? Local communties, organisations?

Utilize your education community, help each other, cheat, work “under the radar”, take the help of students, former students, retired, unemployed .. Collaborate with other schools, change classrooms, play games, collaborate, cheat in grops, do the tests together, sing together, dance, create and make something of every day!

How are we supposed to have time for all this?

Piece of cake

Easy for me to say, huh? -Yes, it is. But please do come give advice to the work-place I’m at on how we are going to be a learning organisation, how we can make sure we can hire the right competent personnel, develop, be innovative and conquer the world, tell us how to create happy employees a d above all – how can we work with change management so that no-one falls behind? But don’t come dragging with the 5-year plan, the economy control plan and quality management, that is something that we have enough of already. In fact, that’s the first thing we need to change.
How does the opposite plan look like? I’d welcome any suggestions – maybe we can come up with something together? And shouldn’t the education system including all research that is done have some clear answers? Shouldn’t business and industry look inside schools to see the future..? I’m very happy when I find people like this wonderful thinker:

In tune with the present and leaning forward curious at the future as well. I wonder what school and teachers he had.

The analytic people has found the brain

No, there’s nothing wrong with the human brain. But often we end up in conflicts between two ways of thinking in our professional life. The model based on the brain (which works differently actually) refers to functions in the left and right hemisphere. What we need is sneaking in right brain specialities – perspectives, art, design, meaning, the bigger picture in everything we do. The right side is not just something we are supposed to do on leisure time, it’s a natural part of daily life and in anything we try to do – just add the fun and everything will be of better quality!

No matter what the brain researchers say above learning and pedagogy I will believe that freedom and own will is the most important factor and the balancing between focus and perspectives (reflection – standing back from the immediate) is key to efficient learning and a sustainable future.
This is of course no silver bullet but I believe we can end all pointless discussions around school development if we accept both models.

The school does not need to be a conflict. And integration issues does not need to either but if you refuse to give the “footwork” people power and trust you will never succeed. We have to give in for the spontaneous, distributed responsibility and the unplanned – anyone can do anything, or could if they’d been allowed to.

We need to be better on thinking entrepreneurial and to take smaller steps at a time but without losing sight if the vision of the future. Everything does not need to be planned in smallest detail and be controlled in military fashion. We are not dealing with threats, we are dealing with learning, the most fun thing you can do with your clothes on. If breeding of the human race was the critical factor of the development of the human race – how would you go about solving that “problem”?

Play, gaming and life deadly serious

It’s possible to be productive (the more work-related productive), accurate and fulfilling a lot of goals by playing, testing and “Poking the box” (Seth Godin) and by for example letting students try out and do as many cheramic pots they can instead of just focusing in doing one perfect and then produce a better result on the same time.

Derek Sivers explains it pretty well. This every teacher, student, parent and last but not least all old farts over the “I have learned enough”-age filled with old knowledge but with no Internet-knowledge at all, need to apply. Large successful global enterprises has now tried out the own fifth work day for own innovations without requirements and control – and it works, ask Google. They produce more this way. This would be a very good start to introduce – but with overarching rules of course and the chance to present gain stuff of course. Then you would have time to synchronise with reality and maybe begin the communication and create the communication channels with the outside world and maybe most importantly start the communication between generations. Why not let young people inspire old on how to use Internet – pay the bills from Internet, ancestry research, youtubing (publish own old/new films), search music, play bridge, bingo, watch TV, find relatives on Facebook, write memoirs/stories etc. Meanwhile young people can learn and document cooking, synthesise stories from the past and give life to how it was before Internet. Piece if cake – it sure is if you believe so. If you don’t it’s probably impossible.
I do not think the real future school is Utopia – it’s for real. It’s for real people with a love for learning.

Please contribute to change the image of school so that I and many others can help spreading. I need good examples those teaches us on the way forward pointing towards the new happy model of education.

Hopefully the debate on the education system/school will take off in winter. More than ever reality intrudes. Homework is perhaps the most stupid rest of the old school who should be the easiest thing to get rid of. Support the cause!

The own will is deciding

The word “Homework” itself does not feel right it’s duty, it’s control, it’s a tone of seriousness. Try it yourself and give your child (or your neighbours if you don’t have one of your own) homework to build LEGO. And then let him/her know there will be an inspection to see if all pieces are right and so on. Force the child to play with the homework while you eat ice cream or something. Set requirements on the playing and tells the child that the playing should contain people, some mission and a happy ending.
After a number if homeworks and tests (learn to remember the “manual”) you pass on a grade of how good the child is on building LEGO.
This is an extremely effective method destroy the happiness in something that is so genuinely fun.

I freak out – control, lack of knowledge of human nature, lack of trust and an absolute assumption of that one has to force children to learn and also force them to learn from a specific template – the template for ALL in the interests of justice. Everyone should have the same education so that the conditions in the public school are fair.

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Interest and commitment


Another important aspect is interest and commitment around what you are supposed to learn. My oldest son has an intense interest of things (just like me) that is he becomes very into different things and focuses and investigates these things until enough is explored. Then it’s time for the next thing..

Translated into the world of schools this means that when he sits with math, that is fun, in 40 minutes he has to break this activity because it’s decided so in the plan.

Then we have calculated that the lesson has become boring so we have to change subject.

But it doesn’t have to be that way – as a matter of fact the next lesson becomes boring when another subject is in the plan – he has to suffer through 40 minutes when he’d rather finish the math or play table tennis. And then when the school bells ring then he becomes happy, he gets out of the class-room finally and gets break – and another nail in the learning coffin.

This switching between subjects not related I thought was the worst in school. No one had time to discuss properly. Everything was on a superficial level, learning without thinking – the deep useful had to cultivate itself – I read books, that was what I thought was the most fun. Moreover, it was never someone / something that managed to engage me in school so that I would have to make an effort. My interest was to get away with things as easy as possible – teasing everyone else was possibly the main subject. Homework could be done on the bus to school or you’d simply take a chance – the test was the important grade-setting tasks. No question that the purpose was to create a channel to the parents – yes, by the way, if you have not done homework, there was a reason for the school to bark at both student and parents simultaneously.

If the will is present enthusiasm and interest is created – the interest and commitment is creating own will .. yes, something like that. If desire is thwarted it dies after a while, I died there for a while ..

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School is in the competition

The school isn’t the center of the universe anymore. Certainly students are there physically all day, but mentally you find yourself (on now am I not talking about those who think the school is excellent in its current form) all the time in other places – either playing computer games, or doing some sport or activity, or the usual focus on a certain  girl / boy. Competition is fierce and it is not good enough to just sit and listen. To create enthusiasm and interest interaction is important – in a class, it is actually British parliamentary levels of sound (if everyone was on) the is the norm but because there is rules of silence it becomes a time to turn off the senses. If you are connected in a game, full interaction is the case – much like when being on a pub for some older students. To unwind, be numb and just listen to any lectures on China’s mountain types or the substances found in a person’s palate is not interesting if you compare. So even if you are a top-grader there is an opportunity to do so much more. For school to be the most fun place you have to compete with the most fun in their spare time – the school needs to learn what leisure time consist of  what the children / young people enjoy doing from their perspective.

-But we are adults who are responsible and you can not really have fun all of the time!

Yes, you can actually. Interaction, commitment, interest and pleasure can actually be found and created if you allow it. A simple trick is to solving boring tasks together.. So, should you necessarily want the students to learn Chinese moutain types, you need to use other tricks than a pulpit, a classroom, a book and a test.

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Connection to the meaning, context and interaction

Maybe it’s age or the Internet or all the choices we have in the future, or our everyone’s (almost) recognition of the fact that our small planet that we live on out in the cosmos is fragile and the only home we’ve ever known. There is always a larger context that we can feel secure with and we can lean on. Or is it somehow a compulsion. Compulsion (eg being forced to do a lesson you are not interested in) creates uneasiness today – so it was in the past also but then you could find comfort in the fact that the adults definately always knew better.

Now adults don’t know anything – they have currently zero track of what applies on the internet, in the gaming world, the music world, in terms of humor, etc. They know nothing – they are good at cooking, working, washing, cleaning and so but the important thing – Internet? They’re clueless. Moreover, they are so incredibly slow, they never get it and they simply do not understand.

In the past, the parents, the church, the teacher or village was the larger context. Today it could be the planet, but usually it’s the Internet or Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber or Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Because the Internet is so vast and complex we end up in confusion mode – we do not see the big picture of life for all the details. Everything is just a long list of to do things that are dead boring so we shut off. A single long futile wait, a pointless wandering in the journey toward the certain death .. or the school’s end and life then.

This, I have probably seen 14 times now:

The divided brain 

The context, the meaning of life and personal development is something that can not be delivered on plates – it must be created. The interaction with life, with friends, with the adult world, with the globalized planet needs to be grown and nourished. Breeding grounds must be in school and from there need seeds to grow freely – not under constant surveillance, measurement and machine-like control, but through encouragement, kindness and by being very security that can show the context (outside and in the future)  for example by sending out students to make assessments of the community can discuss issues and find out the facts.

Trust cannot be built these days or in the future by grades from school or a doctor’s hat -the future requires social skills and social networks – the old education paradigms are obsolete.

Should the mountain types of China be on the agenda it will needa a challenge and the question should be: “- How do you climb Mount Everest?” Should you necessarily teach about the human palate, you might want to connect it to the organic decomposition, biogas, dental care, the economy, or cooking (why are some pizzas tastier than others?).

It is found in all human activities, something everyone (actually) longs for – the feeling of being part of a larger context, a family, a group, a team, a neighborhood, a city, etc.. and then everyone appretiates a good challenge, wants to do the effort and work hard and then of course win! In school, everyone should be allowed to be a winner.

In games and play we can allow ourselves to shine

In the game of school , everyone would be able to win if only will, commitment and total interaction existed from all parties, but this requires the consensus of each role’s equal worth. We all need to reprogram our minds and start caring about each other, the future, and not least our own ambitions that died there some time in school – dreams are to be realized! Not that I want to be too cute, but the world has never been smaller and the opportunities have never been fewer. Try it – failure is probably second best way to learn – eventually you’ll find the right idea, the right formation and the right conditions for the dream to become reality. And if you can not be Zlatan Ibrahimovic you can always run Plan B and find the joy in having done the utmost and still be happy.

School have homework to do

When will the school do the homework and get out of old habits, ingrained behaviors and locked structures? There are many out there who really want to change and be changed but “the system is as it is.” Many students and former students express powerlessness and hopelessness – that gives energy to the occupy movement.

And if you do not want or dare to embrace the new era – who has trained you through all the years, so you ended up in this state? Would you have needed another type of training? Creativity? Innovation? Entrepreneurship? Self awareness? Cooperation? Mindfulness? Yoga? Artistery? Courage? Do you feel that you never got the chance? Or did you get a chance in 14 years but never knew even that you had the chance?

Thank you all thinkers out there – please contribute with thoughts or your work. I felt it necessary for a part 2 just to help ME think. Hope I can help YOU discover something useful.

… And I have definitely not forgotten Seb Paquet’s Intentcasting: http://emergentcities.sebpaquet.net/blueprints-for-networked-cocreation-1-intentc

Now, this is in alignment with my experience the starting point for any leader: somebody wants something, in fact that goes even deeper, it’s a prerequisite for starting any kind of relationship. The intent, will, wish, dream, vision, goal etc. directly from the site:

What is intentcasting?

“Interest brings groups together, but intent is what brings teams together to actually get things done.

Intentcasting is deceptively simple to describe. It consists in broadcasting your intent to make something happen. That something could be anything:

  • “I want to have a party at my house!”
  • “We want to raise $1,000 for Japan!”
  • “I want this piece of software to exist!”
  • “We want this work of art to exist!”

There is a capability that is complementary to intentcasting: intentcatching. Intentcatching means connecting to an intent that has already been cast, in effect signaling, “I want this to happen too” or “We want this to happen too” and moving from a passive to an active stance towards the intent.

At its core, intentcasting is invitation into a possible future. It is a statement of possibility and will. Although it does not have to spell out how the intent is to materialize, it contains the germ of an architecture of participation.

In order for intent to catch on, it has to meet a few conditions:

  • It must describe a promise – a future state of affairs that could conceivably happen, explained in a way that people understand.
  • It must open participation in one or more well-defined ways.
  • It must be expressed in a way that enables it to travel and spread over the communications infrastructure.
  • There must be other people or groups out there who resonate with the intent and can get excited enough to connect.

Once enough people have caught the intent, so that it has become shared intent, things can get moving pretty swiftly.”

When the common intent is established it’s must easier to work together – then that becomes the leadership. “Putting a man on the moon” – is an excellent “leader”. Or perhaps “consume yourself to death..” Building the global community is not yet simple enough.

The complexity of common intent

Now, to describe reality the right way we need situation awareness and to be able to be aware of what people want we need a Common Intention Picture. Traditionally we end up in some kind if map – could be a geographical – and the look of it basically depends upon what you need to be able to search in it.. Are there other ways? Gaming? A dream map? Yes, of course. I always like what John Kellden writes – although I don’t understand everything it always seem to resonate with my thinking (which I sometimes don’t fully understand either btw). Is there a method of distilling the common intent to one agreeable great intent?

From John’s blog Distill at ConversionLab:

Distilling common intent

“Life has this propensity of bringing lots of things to our attention, more or less unfiltered, and/or filtered in ways we at first don’t recognize, nor easily can make sense of. As we go through life, we develop this knack of filtering so as to get to, and get to keep the good bits. For an organization, it is essential to remain in touch with all kinds of input, intelligence, market conversations and whatnot, and remain on top of what to filter, what to sift and sort, and out of the things deemed important, what fractions to throw away and call market research, and what to keep, and call business. Most of the hard work involved, most of the action, consists of being mindful of what language is used, and how to put it to good use. A common approach, is to throw a lot of these distilled findings all together in a big bucket, and call a theory, a model, and/or a method. This is all good, fine and proper, as long as we remember that other people go around carrying their own buckets. The capability to bring water to others, and the related knack of helping others with wayfinding, charting paths to reliable wells, while avoiding most of the tigers, that’s what matters.

Usually, things that matter are embedded in situations that most of the time are rather complex.

This is one of the reasons why ConversationLab is offering Method Cards for Storytelling. Through using them, you can begin to make (more) sense of your own situation. This typically results in time saved, headaches reduced, and the ability to better tell your own, and listen to others stories. At times this also means you will get better at sharing knowledge with others. Here’s where the distillation comes into play, among a couple of other words that will follow in later blogposts. Through knowing what you and others have distilled, your game will improve. Oh, and speaking of play, the method cards are playable, a bit like a card game. But it is really a tool. A tool for working and playing well together.”

The game & play becomes the leadership and everyone can participate and feel a part of it – I like that very much.

Stories – “Feeling good” leadership?

The feeling is always important, like in:

“This idea feels great! Let’s go on investigate further!”

There’s a very unscientific hunch that does the synthesis in the brain distilling the plus and minus and gives the verdict in milliseconds. That’s why the pitch and packaging is so important. If you can’t get through with the message within like 7 seconds you’re toast – especially if the idea means change, development or any kind of effort-like suggestion. In a story however you have more time.

You can actually talk for around 7 minutes before you’re toast if you are good at it (a movie-story can last hours). The synthesis and complexity can be described simply if the movie-format is used. You can mix a lot of different stuff (pears, apples, oranges.. trucks, cities – life) and people will love it if you have a good narrative – the “red thread” as we say in Sweden.
Mark Frazier helped me the other day with excellent stuff – thank you – on Narrative Fractals (what might that be!?), from Quora:
Narrative fractals

“In brief, I believe six elements can be found wherever we look carefully into what goes into (scale-insensitive) narratives of interaction.

These elements are:

(feeling)

  • Attractor – interest-generating opener [emotion: curiousity]
  • Challenge – disruptor of settled understandings/relationships [emotion: tension]

(imagining)

  • Opportunity – vision of a desired outcome [emotion: inspiration]
  • Strategy – path to realize vision [emotion: hope]

(doing)

  • Test – trial to confirm strategy [emotion: confidence]
  • Followup – implement strategy, reframe/reloop, discard [emotion: resolve]

As far as I can tell, this pattern can be used to tag activities in physical and social realms, regardless the scale of the entities involved.”

So, “Peace on Earth” works fine until the doing part – that’s the tricky part. “Putting a man on moon” wasn’t that as impossible? Hmm.. probably, but there was a competition. So five-six continents in a competition on who’s the first to reach reasonable peace-levels wins? What’s the prize..?

Anyway, Mark helped me with seeing “my” story – and I could actually see what was missing in both mine and the Narrative fractals model.

The past, present & the future

I always seem to start with the situation, the background, the needs, the requirements, the frames, the prerequisites, the conditions etc. There’s a huge difference between putting a man on the moon and putting a man on.. Pluto. And huge difference between Peace on Earth and Peace with Yourself. Although thinking of putting a man on Pluto might help you a lot when planning for that little moon-trip.

Where am I going with this?

Well, continuous improvement is a universal leader and there are some models (PDCA, OODA… let’s not mention MODAF, DODAF etc) which I will only mention briefly. Basically it’s always:

  1. Background, prerequisites
  2. The situation [WHAT]
  3. System design [HOW]
  4. Implementation [WITH WHAT]
  5. Verification & Validation [WHY - it will work]
  6. Operations – decide on improvements – reason for actions

And then it goes back to step 1 and the situation. But there’s no feeling here, there’s nothing about change management (oh, my that’s whole new Part 3), there’s nothing about finding intent. Usually these parts are handled by the management organisation – but on building the Global community there is no management. And that brings me back to the new Command & Control of the commons. In school the might call it flipped classroom.

Flipped governance

If you think you know anything about Command & Control please forget all of it (except that in my other blogpost) and consider this:

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It means that the General is active strategically during planning Like Governance levels sets up the frames, laws, standards, game rules, information exchange protocols etc. And then sort of takes off the uniform and joins the soldiers as the good leader (remember Gandhi), the teacher becomes the coach and the servant and the civil servants REALLY becomes the servants and part of the people’s common intent.

Now, I realize I need even more parts.. but before I continue on the commons I better talk to Helene Finidori again.. :)

And “Oh crap..”

Just a few more, then we have that excellent thinking of LEAN in industrial environments – shifting that up to a global LEAN perspective with citizen participation (incl whistle-blowers). I tried to find some proper resource that I can share but I realise that my knowledge of is slightly different than probably that Toyota-thinking.

It’s a good improvement model where it’s important to raise issues on “waste” and make improvements in real-time adjusting things on the fly. Of course on an industrial line things will have to be fast – but that also applies to society and a potential Global community? I mean, 6000 children die everyday of infections. Pretty alarming and more urgent than any process in the world I’d say.

And wow, yes I have to mention Karl-Henrik Robèrt’s (and many people with him an his/their work) The Natural Step and the FSSD model – a framework for strategic sustainable development: http://www.stackcoordination.com/site/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/FSSD-Summary.pdf

Here’s Karl-Henrik himself explaining the world’s main problem – the lack of leadership : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSehb1ezltc . Any method/process can do the trick really, but it takes a strategic view and to step back from the details and the fragments of the reality. Listen again to Karl-Henrik going through the 4 principles of sustainable development (Rio +20, what where you thinking of?):  http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=XaZUgnYenb4&NR=1

I think we’re back at Peter Senge, again:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRrgJO4QCik&feature=player_embedded Do we have the capacity? Without a doubt: yes. We “just” need to coordinate efforts..!

Millions and millions of $ (what the heck are we doing??) is spent on converging methods and technology and making contacts (relations) but nothing is coordinated. Everyone is running their own agenda in their own stove-pipe solving unsolvable problems. We are all in this together – there’s only on boat and we are all in it. We need to have built in future resilience wether it’s sinking or not. Let’s join forces, let’s find that magic common intent!

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