Re:Purposed Art: A Parallel to Online Learning?

Lisa invited me to the Re:Purposed Exhibit at the John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota last week. I was delighted to have the chance to go.

The exhibit features ten artists who take discarded refuse from bottle caps to plastic bottles to faded pink flamingos to crocheted tams and audio cassette tapes to make art. According to the exhibition book, the artists’ first motivation is not to recycle or make a political statement about waste in society but to offer perspectives on issues of identity, record “time and changing circumstances”, and build spaces that co-locate “dance, performance art, community organization, and environmental activism.”[1] Little of this was immediately apparent to me! But the exhibition guide had interviews with the artists that helped me appreciate each composition more than I could have on my own. Read more

We are all philanthropists in this digital age

Most of us want to give back, help out, make a difference in the world on a local, regional, national, international, or individual basis. In my blog from February 10, 2015, My 5 Tech Trends for 2015: How will they impact you and your organization I looked at how the digital age was changing fund development for organizations. It is also changing the landscape for those who give, and this blog outlines how.

Like most people at tax time, I reviewed my charitable contributions to declare on my taxes. It prompted me to review the other contributions I had made that are not able to be declared because the dollars, time, goods, etc. I gave did not go to a 501(C)3 charitable organization. I either gave directly to a needy family, person, or cause, not thinking of a tax benefit, and know that those contributions did a lot of good. Donating money at a fundraiser for a family in my town devastated by cancer; donating cans of food to the USPS food drive; buying presents for the giving tree at Christmas time; paying for a hungry young person’s sandwich when they didn’t have enough change, etc. You also have this kind of list, I am sure.

This kind of giving, to me, is part of our humanness. Although easier to do on a local level, the digital age has ushered in a new age of philanthropy where this personal kind of giving can be done for larger causes while still going directly to the source of need.  Read more

Striving for Greater Fitness At Work

A few weeks ago, I hiked the Milford Track in New Zealand over three days and reflected on the journey in this blog.  I observed that “less time at the computer, and more hours walking and building stronger muscles BEFORE my NZ trip” would have allowed me to enjoy the glorious surroundings more.

I also referred to Lisa’s assessment that “Research shows that those who move, do better, achieve more, and feel better and more satisfied.” In particular, one study cited by the Harvard School of Public Health blog where researchers surveyed the dietary and activity habits of  50,000 middle-aged women for six years concluded: Read more

Learning in new ways: this means me!

Doris and I have just begun taking an interactive, completely asynchronous online “workshop” with one of our main influencers, Jane Hart. The title of the “workshop” is Modernising Training Content (she is British, hence the spelling differences). Here is the description:

Much of today’s e-learning is unappealing, and differs greatly from the resources enjoyed daily on the Web. This workshop looks at how to modernise training content to bring it more in line with that found on the Web, as well as how to make it available in more flexible ways.

Jane will be our learning guide. She says this about the structure of the workshop:

Jane Hart, our Learning Guide

Please note this is not a traditional online course. As it is hosted on our social platform, think of it more as a place for socialising and learning from one another – rather than an online classroom! Each week a set of reading and practical activities will be released, and you are invited to work through them as best suits you and fits in with your working life, and then share your thinking and your work with the group. Although nothing is compulsory, you will find that the more you “learn out loud” with the other participants, the more you will get out of the workshop

Doris and I have written a lot about online learning, working and learning out loud, and creating learning networks and bubbles. Although we have participated in MOOCs and other online professional development opportunities, Jane is explicitly giving us permission to learn and work in the course as we can. She does emphasize, as you see in the quote above, that the more you invest in the workshop, the more you will get out of it. Read more

Leading to Learn from Diverse Perspectives and Conflict

Eighty-five percent.

The percentage stunned me. I could not believe it. Even if it is only half as much, say 43%, it is still a large number. Please let me explain.

In Lisa’s blog post of February 26, The new leader: an online convener of diverse perspectives for systems change, she cited the work of Margaret Heffernan, a recognized entrepreneur, CEO, author (Wilful Blindness and A Bigger Prize) and speaker in Great Britain and the USA.

Lisa summarized the message contained in Heffernan’s Ted Talk on Dare to Disagree this way: “system leaders must be comfortable with conflict, manage conflict so differing views lead to new learning, encourage all voices to be heard in constructive ways, and view conflict as a healthy part of any change process.” Her assessment intrigued me to watch Heffernan’s Ted Talk. It is a very good primer on using input from all sources, including rivals/opponents to strengthen organizational decision-making.

Heffernan said the 85% statistic which surprised me came from a survey of European and American executives. Read more