Friday, 21 October 2011

New World: Old World

 I have just been reading an excellent piece in 'Down the Avenue' on a talk by Prof Anne-Marie Slaughter (from Princeton) : A New Networked World Means Rethinking Professions


Figure: "The Whole Internet," a popular visualization of the diffusion and interconnectedness of the global Internet. Image ©1999 Peacock Maps, <>.

It's all about Foreign Policy but it equally applies to the Mission World  .....

We're at the beginning of a new world, she asserts

"Where we're going is bottom up: build local and go global"

Advice that she gives:
1. Don't just stand there, do something.
2. Connect, but not too much. Do not connect all the time. Be focused about their networked communications and don't overdo it.
3. Small is beautiful. She refers to Clay Shirky's work. If you want to get the energy of collaboration, you want small communities to be more effective.
4. Portals and plug-ins everywhere. Government has always thought in silos. Open government is about breaking down those silos. 
5. Self-organization is better? The power of what we see in the Middle East is self-organization. Government needs to facilitate not do.

The whole idea of what foreign policy is going to change profoundly. She says, "If we're going to do this, we're going to have to change the way we think about our professions."
In a New World, we have to think about existing professions differently and gives the following 'spot-on' answers.

  • Editor (old world) to Finder, Mapper (new world)
  • Publisher (old world) to Aggregator (new world)
  • Reporter (old world) to Verifier, Curator (new world) 
  • Public Relations (old world) to Convener (new world - person who brings together lots of actors)
  • Diplomat (old world) to Connector (new world)
  • Leader (old world) to Catalyst (new world)
In these new roles, she concludes, we can build a networked world, one that is open, working from the bottom up. And, as a result of this, foreign policy will dramatically change. Enter, the new actors on the global open platform political stage.

The implications  for Mission are equally old world: new world.  In our new decentred, interconnected world, we need new paradigms.  Network Mission requires new ways of organising.......

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