When Ken Robinson talks about “being in your element” for me he is talking exactly about the same thing as Joi Ito does when he refers to his friends, the people volunteering in networks such as Global Voices, Mozilla, Creative Commons, Wikipedia, Ubuntu, people involved in the revolutions all over the world to build something new and sustainable from the bottom-up. I would say these people are in their element. They love what they do, they do it well and their work ignites their passions. Since I do know quite a few of them, I know that this sense of commitment gives their lives direction and purpose. They have indeed found their element, the sweet spot in their life where the things they love to do and the things they are good at come together.
In other words they proof the “element-theory” in practice. This might not be rocket science, but it’s something completely human and – as a matter of fact – something very natural. And what it also proves is that when many people in their element come together they create an environment, a culture, in which new things can flourish and emerge. In such cases we are NOT talking about re-inventing an old system or reforming it – these cases represent totally new structures ready to face the challenges of the 21st century. They also show that growth doesn’t only mean growth calibrated in economic terms, by numbers, by ROI. Growth in these cases has a much broader basis – and that broader basis is society. Their endeavors help society to grow as a whole and help improve all our lives: in education, in government, in media, in politics, in enterprise.
I think it’s important that we connect these things and that Ken Robinson and Joi Ito connect and set new, concrete examples. Examples which others can follow. They do indeed have the capacity to do so … It’s about bringing two worlds together – the traditional teacher crowd and politicians (Ken Robinson’s crowd) and what I call the true believers (Joi’s crowd). Tie these connections and create something even better …
I am still overwhelmed by the response of the launch of our we_magazine.
Thanks to all our authors who spread the idea throughout the Web and thanks to all those who read about us and continued to report on it! I had about one hundred mails to answer: congratulations, invitations and ideas how to proceed. Thanks for all this positive input!
In my function as the editor I only received one harsh critique regarding Sugata Mitra’s article “Hiring Indians – The we of working together”. The critic himself – being Indian – felt very much insulted by Sugata’s description of Indians and appealed to my responsibility as the editor not to publish such phrases. We are working on this to find a solution which hopefully will cover all needs.
So for me, and I think I can speak for the whole we_team, it was a great day yesterday. It really showed us how the web is working and what immense energy can be released if people become a “WE”.
We are really looking forward what will come next!
For those wh haven’t been on the website yet, here is the line-up for the first we_edition: