I’m just back from two days at Greenbelt, a Christian arts festival held every year at the Cheltenham race course with about 25,000 attendees.
There was a huge range of talks and two in particular that I went to that I’d like to blog about, one on what technology and social media are doing to society and the second intriguingly entitled “The English Civil War and the Future of the Church of England.”
Today I’ll confine myself to the talk on technology and social media given by John Bell, a member of the Iona Community.
John went through a list of different technologies from Skype to Facebook by way of mobiles phones and texting, and asked whether these things are doing good to real human relationships and society as a whole?
He illustrated each point with a story before asking the concomitant questions. Three examples he gave quite shocked me:
Businesses are subjecting our young people to all these hi-tech products and services without us understanding what the impact might be on them as people. (It also makes me think twice about whether my use of my iMac 27” desktop computer is having a similar effect on me!)
John points to Proverbs 2:6:
For the LORD gives wisdom,
and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
Knowledge alone is not enough – the web abounds in knowledge but we require knowledge AND understanding if we are to be wise.
This has helped me to confirm the original excitement when I first saw Dave Snowden present and began to realise the value of tools made to work with how humans really make sense of things – and to help organisations both make sense of and manage better, complex situations. It also reconfirms my intent in using SenseMaker™ and other Cognitive Edge tools to try and work on the level of understanding in organisations in the hope that this will lead to wiser decisions that somehow contribute to the greater good of society.
For more detail of how SenseMaker™ can help in “Making sense of thousands of stories, suggestions or complaints” see Tony Quinlan’s latest blog entry. Tony is the Director of Narrate, where I work as a Project Manager.