May You Live in Interesting Times

I have been blessed to be a part of 3 very interesting times.

Right after High School, I moved to New York to go to art school. New York was just starting to have a resurgence and there was a lot of excitement happening in the East Village Art scene especially around Performance Art. I just so happened to have started a Performance Art Troupe in school and we played theaters and clubs, bending the definition of art and theatre.

During the Tech bubble, I helped to start a dotcom and I got to experience that heartbreaking but exhilarating time. We really believed at the time that we were changing the world.

When I left my first eLearning Guild conference, I thought to myself “How fortunate am I to be able to do this a third time.”

When I expressed my enthusiasm to an old friend she chuckled and said “People have been predicting big changes in learning for years but I haven’t seen anything.” To be fair, this is right to some degree. There is a lot of inertia out there. Also, the change is not exclusive. Performance Art did not eradicate paintings. Dotcoms did not eradicate brick-and-mortars and eLearning did not eradicate classrooms.

The forces at work on workplace learning, however are relentless and change is inevitable. This is not good news for those who want to maintain the status quo. Their ability to dismiss the changes will diminish quickly. This is good news for people who embrace the future and see the opportunities.

What are these unstoppable forces? Firstly the Internet with open access to information written into it’s DNA, and the generation brought up with it who think of learning as a self determined right. There is the business environment where the relationship between organization and individual has become transactional at the same time as it is being acknowledged that the value of a company is intertwined with the ability of its people to learn at the speed of change. Finally there is technology that is creating ease of connection and access that fundamentally changes the way we learn.

This confluence of learning and technology means that anyone with passion around these two things gets a front row seat to a great show.

“May you live in interesting times” is known as the Chinese curse but it is not Chinese and it is not a curse. It is a blessing to be involved in events that are shaping the way that humanity grows.

May you live in interesting times.


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