Future of Work – Futurists’ Twitter Chat Thursday 4:00-5:00 EST #apf #futrchat #futureofwork

The Association of Professional Futurists (APF) is hosting its thirdtwitter chat on Thursday, December 9, 2010 from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. EST. Use these hashtags: #apf #futrchat. You can find information about the first two futrchatshere.

How do you see the future of work?


An organization called

The Future of Work is composed of HR, IT, and facilities professionals. On their website, they make several provocative claims.

  • Work is no longer a place you go; it’s what you do.
  • The future of work will be radically different than anything we know today, or can even imagine. In the economy of the future people will get their work done where and when they need to-or want to.
  • Managing work and talent in today’s dynamic, distributed, mobile economy is incredibly challenging-but highly rewarding. We offer guidance and advice on how to succeed in a world that’s being turned upside down by technology, globalization, demographics, and environmental concerns.

Questions about the future of work

As we were planning this chat, Jennifer Jarratt and I wondered about the future of professions. Our respective fields, journalism and architecture, are both traditional professions that are not sure of their futures, or if they will even remain professions per se.

  1. Will we continue with disciplinary silos? Do specialty fields still serve a purpose or are they a thing of the past?
  2. How will aging affect work?
  3. How do knowledge migration, crowdsourcing, co-creating, social media, and communication technology change the ways we work?  Are trades or professions more affected?
  4. How does globalization of manufacturing and services affect work? And the corresponding notion of localization?
  5. What is the connection between the current lackluster job market and the future of work? Is a weak job market a temporary anomaly or the shape of things to come?

How will we work in 2020, 2030, or even 2050 differently than today? Here is aTED video by Jason Fried, author of Rework, about the future of work, featured on CNN last week. He proposes non-talk times to enable creative work without distractions. I love that idea. Is it realistic?

<object width=”640″ height=”385″><param name=”movie” value=”http://www.youtube.com/v/5XD2kNopsUs?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US”></param><param name=”allowFullScreen” value=”true”></param><param name=”allowscriptaccess” value=”always”></param></object> 

I bookmarked a few links on the future of workhere.

Please Join Us – an open tweet chat

You are welcome to join the APF #futrchat to share your ideas about the future of work. We’ve hosted chats on the future of education and thefuture of money. Both were exhilarating experiences. I think people learned and shared at a pace you cannot find. If I had to say one word, it’s intense.

Jennifer Jarratt will pitch provocative questions and I will add color commentary. You can add your own colors, add links (if they pertain and are not promotional ads), and reveal your ideas about the future of work. Together, we will make some sense about future possibilities.

After all, we all care deeply about the future of work. Its what we do, how we spend a great deal of time, an identity, and how we create, produce, and build wealth. Are you working in a new paradigm, or are you supporting a current or past way of work?


What do you think will be the future of work?

Join us on Twitter by searching for #futrchat. Please use #apf #futrchat in your tweets and the Question # such as Q1, Q2, Q3 etc. 

As alternative to twitter.com, here are two sites where you join the chat.

Images:hate my job andwork and unity on flickr creative commons

Future of Money – Futurists’ Twitter Chat Thursday 4:00-5:00 EST #apf #futrchat #futureofmoney

The Association of Professional Futurists (APF) is hosting its second twitter chat on Thursday, November 18, 2010 from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. EST. Use these hashtags: #apf #futrchat. 

Venessa Miemis  will join us as an invited guest  to share thoughts from  her recentSIBOS  keynote presentation and FOM research.


The Future of Money 

Beyond the currency arguments between nations, another more fundamental debate brews. You could say that it’s the difference between people who trust the traditional banking system and those that believe there’s a better way based on transparency, open data, and social bonds.   

Venessa Miemis ,Gabriel Shalom , and Jay Cousins developed a short film,“The Future of Money,”  for the recentSIBOS conference  in Amsterdam. In a series of interviews, Gen Y’s say why they feel distrust or a disconnection with the current system and what they see emerging in the social currency space.  


On twitter, you can find tweets by searching for #futureofmoney. Here’s some recent posts pertaining to SIBOS.

  • Venessa believes that traditional financiers and Gen Y’s areliving in different worlds.   Her proposals and concerns: 
    1. Intelligent investing opportunities likeGroupon  local deals but for investing.
    2. Real-time data visualizations for money management likemint.com .
    3. Social network analysis for co-production opportunities that helps visualize network connections
    4. Local currency projects such asMetacurrency .com
  • Gabriel Shalom  comments on responses to the film andthe future of the FOM .
  • Chris Skinner , a financial expert and co-founder of Shaping Tomorrow website, attended Sibos and executive produced the video. He wroteblog responses  to Venessa’s ideas and added a number of other points.

And here’s a few developments since SIBOS.


What do you think?

I’m watching to see what people believe about money. We all use it and by necessity, we each manage it for ourselves and/or for businesses. Is there anything more emotional than the power of currency? And how do you define currency? Economic, social, environmental, political, cultural?

What is money? What does it do and what does it mean? Are you worried about the future of money? Or is it all roses ahead? What drivers could plague money, and cause drastic change? Are we at or nearing a turning point? Is there a significant, fundamental gap between financial experts and us, the regular people? If so, is the gap in communications, worldviews or something else? Is the distinction or gap useful or an us against them battle? Will it be useful in the future?

I wonder if we will see a range of ideas, conflicts of opinions, or will we agree quite readily on the future of money. What, do you believe, are the big issues for money by 2020? Or by 2030? Is it social/community, trust, transparency, or are other lumps or gems on the horizon?

Please Join Us – an open tweet chat

You are welcome to join the APF #futrchat and say what you believe will be the future of money. At our premier chat last month on the future of education, an intensive hour flew by and the results gave a snapshot of many varied perspectives and experiences, like a speed scan or survey.

As we did last month, Jennifer Jarratt will pitch provocative questions and I will cajole, contribute, coax, and retweet the saltiest items. You can do the same, add links (if they pertain and are not promotional ads), and teach, inform, persuade, thrill, or terrify us about the future of money.

What do you think will be the future of money?

Image: Organic Grapefruit onThe Value of a Dollar Project by Jonathan Blaustein

The Future of Education: A Twitter Chat #apf #futrchat


The Association of Professional Futurists (APF) is hosting our first tweetchat.

  • Thursday October 14, 2010 from 4:00- 5:00 Eastern time, Washington DC/New York (check your time zone via world clock )
  • Topic: Future of Education
  • Hashtags: #futrchat #apf

 We welcome anyone that is interested in the future and/or education to join us.

Jennifer Jarratt  and I plan to co-host; I think Jennifer will be throwing out questions and I’ll try to spark conversations. If you have ideas for questions, please send them to either of us.

What’s a TweetChat?

For those who haven’t participated in tweetchats before, here are a couple of how-to’s by Content Maven Meryl.net (pt 1  and 2 ).

You can view the tweet chat a couple of different ways:

  • Tweetchat  is a special site just for this purpose.
  • Tweetdeck  you can search for the hashtag #futrchat which will open a column with all the tweets in a timeline.
  • Tweetgrid you can search for multiple terms: #futrchat, #apf, education, future, or any of our twitter names.

I have participated and lurked on a few chats over the past six months. What I’ve learned is:

  1. Always include the hashtags #apf #futrchat somewhere in the tweet.
  2. When you arrive, say hello and introduce yourself briefly.  
  3. Always start your response with the number of the question, Q1, Q2 and so on.
  4. If you like someone’s comment, retweet it so that others see it.
  5. Add links if appropriate, which builds value. People can read these later.
  6. Comment as often as you think of something, at least once per question.More comments are better.
  7. Ask other people direct questions if they say something that intrigues you.

We are building a community and exploring a topic. I hope in the end we have a transcript from Tweetchat to share. More importantly, I hope we learn something together.


Future of Education

A few of the futurists in APF specialize in education and plan to participate. I worked on nearly 100 education facilities as an architect and teach in higher ed.

That’s the thing about education – we all have a vested interest. Education matters. People are immersed in today’s education problems; the key here is to think long-term.

What will be our problems, our needs, our realities in 2020, 2030, or 2050?

In terms of education, are we preparing people for careers in 1990 or 2030? How do we deal with the explosion of change? Longer life spans? Who are the students? What is knowledge in 2030 or 2050? Its speedy obsolescence? New technologies? What tools, new or old? Preparing teachers? Building schools? Engaged and integrated in communities, at home, or in classrooms? Participatory action learning? Global connections? Remote teaching, remote learning? Creativity, practical vocations, science, math emphasized? If everyone learns differently, how do we build learning communities?

Dr. Michael Wensch, an inspiring teacher and cultural anthropologist, studies the effects of technology on students. I recently saw him speak at a TEDxKC event, a treat.

You are the key!

I hope you will join us! Thursday October 14, 2010 – 4:00 East coast US time. Let me know if you have any questions, here or on twitter as @urbanverse.

We plan to do these on the second Thursday of the month. Your ideas for improvements, new topics, and questions are appreciated. We may invite special guests at future chats, including some APF members.

Here’s a few education links from my delicious site.

Images: Kids learning: School Gate, The Times Online; Millau Bridge, Arctic Puppy on Flickr CC

Twitter for Futurists #apf #futrchat #socialmedia


The Association of Professional Futurists (APF) is planning to host a new apf #futrchat. The inaugural chat is Thursday Oct 14, 2010, 4:00-5:00 pm EST on The Future of Education. Use #futrchat #apf; we’d love for others to join in.

Some members asked for a quick intro for using twitter.Here’s the basics.

  1. Sign up . It’s simple; requires a 160 character bio, avatar image, and eventually a background. All which can be changed later.
  2. Build your community. To find futurists, start with my list . Frank Spencer @frankspencer runs a futurist twibe . Sign up. Follow intriguing accounts, people you know. You are beginning to build a network.
  3. Join the conversation. Please let me know you’ve arrived, just cc: @urbanverse  in the tweet and I will see it. Then I’ll reply/tweet back and others will see you. Re: content, I rarely post what I am doing. Breakfast news? Naw. Giving a presentation? Sure. Peak oil stats, a new vertical farm, those are worthy. Post a link to an article or something meaningful about the day, your work.

Not: What are you doing? It’s: What can you share?

As you converse and follow, your community grows. Twitter is a light, loose tool; you make it what you want. You can see others’ conversations and they can see yours – get used to it. It’s all public. Follow whomever you want, theQueen of Jordan or the local bakery to catch today’s specials. 

Tweetdeck allows you to have multiple columns open simultaneously and group people according to interests. This is the “client” tool I use for most of my tweets because I’m working from a desktop or laptop. Hootsuite enables sharing, managing, and analyzing from a single dashboard. Close to half of all tweets are from mobile devices so people use other applications.

What’s different for futurists?  

What is particularly useful for futurists? In a word: Search. While searching is perhaps intriguing to others, it’s the lifeblood of futures work. On twitter, you see real time stories by witnesses and advocates (recognizing the pitfalls of immediacy), articles posted by authors, links via experts (such as my futurists list), and information through news feeds like @nytimes. It’s a bit like RSS or Google with expert guides, who are the people and organizations that you follow. You shape your experience with those follows and your searches by topic. When you open your twitter homepage, you will see in your feed what we (the people you follow) are searching today.


The best way to search on twitter is to build your network and watch for patterns. It’s the most time consuming too. Some tools will help you organize specific searches

  1. For particular topics, try the Twitter.com search box or the advanced search.
  2. Tweetdeck allows you to have multiple search columns open simultaneously.
  3. Addictomatic and Tweetgrid give you a dashboard of multiple searches.
  4. Here’s a comparison of six search services.
  5. This list of 50 ways to search twitter should satisfy your needs.

Initially, you might find primarily today’s news. Many search apps focus on trending topics, which are frequently curious and amusing but rarely useful. I did get a sense that the average twitter age was decreasing based on trends, long before stats came out. But that was more of a casual observation than a research project, a sense because I was in the space daily. To get better hits efficiently, you need to craft your search terms, build a network of trusted sources, and monitor patterns.

The Agora

Twitter is not a stand-alone site. It’s a screen for monitoring and connecting. Darren Rouse @problogger calls it, an outpost. He puts his blog in the center of his web presence; that’s the way to think for monetization purposes. You want to attract people to your site, your storefront.

For accessing the public brain, twitter is the center. It makes sites, ideas, people, events, causes visible. It is the agora, the public square. As a futurist and researcher, I think in terms of open knowledge, (pre)emergent ideas, and a shared community that is accessible on twitter.

If your interest is to influence as a thought leader, then you want to spend far more time on blog content development, follow lists of influencers (different than early signals), engage them on twitter and on their blogs, and track twitter and your blog traffic daily with analytics.


What’s Your Experience?

I wonder how other futurists use twitter and the other social media sites?

Do non-futurists use it in a similar way? Or do you have a different take?

Ok, new users (or current users), does this help? Make sense? I have internalized a lot of the early steps, so please, if you have questions, just ask.  

images: 17 ways to visualize the twitter universe. on Flowing Data.


FTF Architects, New Media, and New Brains: #AIA2010 Highlights


Here’s one paradox of online friends. I know an incredible community of people via social networks. Now, thanks to the generous tweets during AIA2010, I realize I have far more reasons to actually BE at the convention.

I experienced an oddly compelling separation anxiety. Why wasn’t I there, dancing in the street with Tabitha Ponte @designstudio26 and Susan Welker @ladyaia? How did I miss @stevemouzon’s presentation? Or Mike Plotnik @somechum, Ned Cramer @architectmag, and Marc Kushner @architizer’s panel?

In other words, paradoxically, online engagement makes real life ftf meetings more essential. Next year in New Orleans, I’ll be there. A tweet up, anyone?

Best Session 1 – Dan Pink
Two sessions stood out via tweets. These sessions just so happened to begin and end the convention. Some folks weren’t there yet on Thursday at 8 and others were gone by Saturday afternoon. Too bad.

The convention formally opened with Daniel Pink’s keynote Thursday. I own several of Pink’s books so his topic “The Role of Right-Brain Thinking in a Modern Economy” grabbed my attention. “People need to teach children to think like an architect.” Well, what self-righteous architect would argue with that? He suggested the US economy should be concerned about Asia, automation and abundance. By abundance, I think he means watch out for scarcity thinking. There’s not just one pie to divide up; make more pies. To take advantage of our right-brains, we need to think in terms of design, stories, and symphony.

Best Session 2 – New Media 
At the Saturday afternoon New Media panel, the dynamic trio of Mike Plotnik @SomeChum @HOKNetwork, Ned Cramer @Architizer, and Marc Kushner @architectmag covered all the bases– architecture firm, print/online media, and architects’ social network.

  • Ned Cramer @architectmag says that online media tries give the feel of the print experience, its materiality. You can see that’s their goal in Architect Magazine’s page-flip format; it even mimics page flipping. To avoid the sins of pure eye candy (as much as we architects appreciate gorgeous buildings), they balance culture, technology, practice, and design.
  • Marc Kushner @architizer set out to create a new model of information exchange for architects. They want to be what LinkedIn can’t be for architecture – a purely open sourced network. I would say Architizer operates a lot like a wiki; part firm brochure, part resume, part architecture culture, part social. The amount of material is exploding.
  • Mike Plotnik @SomeChum of @HOKNetwork made the statement that stuck most in my mind: social media should be more about sociology than technology. Isn’t that true about architecture and urban design too? Shouldn’t we be considering a human approach?

Mike described HOK’s process of setting up HOKLife in 2008. Because of a dearth of prior architecture models for social blogging, they visited the new media lab at the University of Virginia. HOK’s site now has what he refers to as a “living room AND a family room;” meaning the formal marketing portion and the blogging portion. He sees the two merging in the future. Their social media component has helped “solve a true business challenge,” that is, recruiting new talent.

His final thought: “It’s important not just to be on social media nodes, but to have a point of view.” You bet it is. That’s always been true about architecture. I’m seconding that.

[Mike recently invited me to write the first guest post for HOKLife, an excellent experience for me. including a couple of new friends.]

Architects Social?
With social media, we have to express our philosophy in words AND in buildings. In a social world, people can judge our words better than they can understand our architectural designs. We lose the mystical veil of expertise and have to simply talk with people.

I’m hopeful we can make the shift to the new sociability; are you?

See you in New Orleans May 2011? I’m thinking about a social tech session. Who would you want to hear? What should we cover?

Gratitude and resources:
Photo credit @liraluis posted “one of the more innovative booth designs” http://ping.fm/Ir4PL. Let her explain that one. It confused and amused people all week. Hint: Rhino modeling.
Daniel Pink’s Keynote — thank you Susan Welker @ladyaia and @archaerie!
New Media Panel – thank you @stevemouzon, @GinaRMiller, and @Architizer!
You can see handouts online: http://tinyurl.com/244vj8x (Thank you, Heather West @heatherwestpr).
I was intrigued by WorldViz’s booth on virtual reality, always looking towards next innovations.