Author Archives: Venessa Miemis

Facebook - The Social Accelerator?

We live in a world of accelerating change. As our communication technologies evolve, it becomes easier to connect more and more of us around the planet to each other. The web collapses space and time, dissolves geographic boundaries, and gives us windows into each other’s worlds. This is causing shifts in the way individuals perceive themselves, their immediate relationships with friends and communities, and the context of how they relate to society at large. David Kirkpatrick, author of The Facebook Effect, prognosticates, “Just by increasing the efficiency of communication and reducing friction in relationships between people, particularly on a global basis, it will lead to a more integrated sense of humanity.” While the potential for an evolutionary leap is there, it’s up to us to raise our awareness of the possibilities. Could global connectivity empower human and societal development? Could it help us form cross-cultural relationships, find our tribes, and … Continue reading

Posted in Psychology, Social Media, collaboration | Leave a comment
The Bank of Facebook

How will Facebook and the global economy interact in the future? There has been much speculation recently about the role Facebook Credits could play in becoming a global virtual currency, and even the possibility of Facebook becoming a bank. In many ways, it already is becoming a bank – just not in the traditional sense. Facebook is harnessing the power of the social graph, and has certainly adopted an expanded definition of what ‘currency’ means. It’s time for the rest of us to hop on board. As I’ve been conducting research for The Future of Facebook Project, the experts and thought leaders interviewed shared some compelling views about the evolution of virtual currencies, and Facebook’s potential role in their development. A big takeaway is that while we typically associate currency directly with money, the rise of the social web and quantification is shifting that reality to become more inclusive of … Continue reading

Posted in Innovation, Social Media | 1 Comment
Open Foresight

We recently introduced the concept of ‘Open Foresight’ as a process we’re developing to analyze complex issues in an open and collaborative way, and to raise the bar on public discourse and forward-focused critical thinking. It’s a work in progress and constantly evolving, but here are some of the basic principles we’ve developed so far. 1. What is Open Foresight? In simple terms, open foresight is a process for building visions of the future together. 2. The Big Picture Context If you look around, it’s undeniable that there’s a new global narrative emerging in the way we fundamentally understand ourselves as humanity – how we do business, how we learn, how we generate value together, how we interact. This transformation is being driven both by new communication technologies, and by the emergent behaviors these tools enable. The context of our relationships is shifting, and we still don’t know exactly what … Continue reading

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10 Commands for a Digital Age

Program or Be Programmed by Venessa Miemis Thanks to digital technologies and networked activity, we’re living through a global transition that is redefining how culture and commerce operate. We’re presented with the opportunity to be active participants in this process, steering ourselves into new modes of civilization, verse being just passive spectators. But if we don’t understand the biases of the tools and mediums we’re using, we’ll risk being slaves instead of masters. This is not the first time this has happened, but it may be the most significant one so far. Every media revolution has given the people a sneak peek of the control panel of civilization, and a chance to view the world through a new lens. When humans developed language, we were able to pass on knowledge and experiences, and allow for progress. We could both listen and speak. When we developed alphabets and literacy, we were … Continue reading

Posted in Psychology, Social Media | 2 Comments
Has the Online Privacy Backlash Begun?

Though some may like to believe that the age of privacy is dead, recent developments in Do Not Track browser options would suggest otherwise. Microsoft recently announced a new feature for Internet Explorer 9, called Tracking Protection Lists, enabling consumers to limit the data third-party sites can collect about them. Yesterday, Mozilla announced they will incorporate a Do Not Track header into the upcoming Firefox 4.1, which would essentially notify each website the user visits that they want to opt-out of third party, advertising-based tracking. And Google just made a new Chrome extension available called Keep My Opt-Outs, which permanently opts your browser out of online ad personalization via cookies. While these efforts are underway for our browsers, tools are also being developed for our social networks. WSJ just covered a new tool called uProtect.it, whose tagline is “Protection from Facebook on Facebook.” The free app encrypts your comments and … Continue reading

Posted in Psychology, Social Media | 4 Comments
Humanity's Next God - You?

In a recent article in The Economist, futurist Paul Saffo claims humanity’s overdue for a new god. He points out that throughout history, great new religions took shape during times characterized by uncertainty and social unrest, combined with an ability to spread compelling new ideas and world views virally. And here we are today, he says, equipped with the Web as our communication channel, and a cultural climate bubbling with that same potential for something new to emerge. The article ends there, with only an image of worshippers gathered around an iPad to suggest where we might be placing our faith next. It was just a prompt, but it’s made me wonder.. is this where we’re headed? Will the next “great” mythology be a story about how technology is going to save us? And can we do better? If a new zeitgeist were to capture the minds of billions, what … Continue reading

Posted in Psychology, Social Media | 1 Comment
3 Tools for Futures Thinking & Foresight Development

(Design Thinking Meets Futures Thinking followup) The last post outlined a general framework for “futures thinking.” Here, we look at three techniques for honing your ability to see beyond the horizon. 1. Trend Analysis In order to develop the capacity for imagining alternative futures and create design solutions accordingly, it is useful to be aware of the current driving forces and megatrends underway. The “STEEP” categories [Social, Technological, Environmental, Economic, Political] give us the mental framework for understanding the complex web of change around us, and can also be further broken down into subcategories for refinement. For example, “Social” could be viewed at the more granular levels of culture, organization, and personal. Once a trend is identified, both its causes and impacts can be considered. For instance, a rise in life expectancy might be caused by rising living standards, better medical treatments, and healthier environments. The corresponding impacts of this … Continue reading

Posted in Innovation, Strategy, marketing | 1 Comment