john seely brown
play itself is a space of permission
via keynote at
iphone – curiosity amplifier
how to move from networks to ecosystems
The Global One Room Schoolhouse:
(Highlights from JSB’s Keynote at DML2012)
social practices –
how about talking to self, talking to others, follow your whimsy – as the day
institutional structures –
how about in the city
on the fly – by the kids (youth) themselves
make contexts – meaning emerging as much from context as content
connected yet unfinished.. a conversation rather than a presentation
play – a permission, a tinker, an epiphany
amphliphying the change
interview jan 2014:
dml conf 2012 keynote (John starts at 14 min):
Cultivating the Entrepreneurial Learner in the 21st Century. Keynote Presentation at DML 2012 Conference in San Francisco, CA. Thursday March, 1st 2012.
18 min – how to participate on the ever moving flows…
role of tacit knowledge – increasingly important – how do you cope with that… it flows hidden beneath us all the time…
everything is up for grabs
22 min – our heroes really understood learning environments – (montessori/dewey)
26 min – fanfiction
28 min – 15,000 new ideas a night – guilds turning out to be knowledge processors – an amazing knowledge refinery… and passed into action every 24 hours..
what is the social dynamics for that form of learning
31 min – kids creating tool kits to measure self to get better..
we have a lot to learn from them
32 min – Chris Avenir – thrown out of college for using a tool kit for learning – collab studying – their defense: –
- learning should be hard
- there is no structure of regulation for online learning and that makes it incompatible with academic work
- it is our job to protect academic integrity from any threat
ie: unless learning is hard and directed by others it fails to meet the standards of academic rigor
2008 – overruled – Chris let back in
39 min – Mimi – how to build sophisticated matching of mentors…
46 min – yes – remix is important – but through remix.. you change meaning
49 min – we learned in order to belong – maybe now we belong to learn – rather than learn to belong.. that sense of belonging is a sense of personal agency – in order to make things actually happen
50 min – collectives – unlike communities of practice – make no demands/measures…
52 min – how do you rebuild a conceptual lens…? play
key aspect of play is permission to fail, tinker/imagine
54 min – simple example of reframing – via riddles
knowing, making, playing
tinkering brings knowing making and playing all together..
56 min – sense of play in a world of constant change through a lens of tinkering – embodied emerging.. deep structured..
1:03 – back to future – one room school house in new frame…? -city as school.. ness
1:22 – proof of pudding is – show me your portfolio – and then let’s talk through it…. (i’ve never looked at a transcript)
– – – – –
find follow John:
his books that took us by storm:
books link to amazon
JSB on world of warcraft and business –
15,000 new strategic ideas.. in self-organizing system
looking at the capabilities of these guild structures… not just self-organizing.. have a constitution, meritocracy based…
3:24 – can’t play in these worlds without building dashboards…
in business – dashboards are measurements that are superimposed on you by your boss
in w of w –
you embed a dashboard for yourself….
our own dashboard, our own source of measurements..
a talent accelerator for myself..
gets back to notion of passion, curiosity, interest-driven phenomenon that unleashes exponential learning … of a dimension that’s unimaginable almost any other way
notes from earlier days:
wednesday, november 3, 2010
watch them all.
i read his post, and couldn’t stop thinking about it.
drew up this..
now i must get the book.
sunday, february 13, 2011
not gpas, tests,
but their ability to form study groupstalking about surfers abouta good idea will make it around the worldto prep students, it’s not a skill it’s a disposition
sunday, february 13, 2011
john’s goes until 48 min
know a lot of stuff but have little curiosity
more correlation to kids that know how to form a study group than their sat scores.
curious thing about these study groups, they turn out to work virtually as well, basically equally production,
social life and intellectual life co-mingling
case in toronto – student prosecuted, had 150 in study group to do chem, very productive, but one of deans said these kids are having too much fun, they can’t be learning
a new blended learning… open courseware + study groups
learning about – explicit knowledge
learning to be – tacit knowledge
importance of critique
indwelling in the space – tacit to the individual – is there a way to blend the cognitive and tacit
indwelling is a marinating in the cognitive
speed chess – if you take 2 groups of people, 1) tries to figure it all out with models 2) other, engages in speed chess, 5 min games
by and large, grand masters did speed chess, not the ones that thought it all through
something happens in speed chess, that you are able to integrate the board in your head, that you don’t even realize what you’re doing
don’t expect hackers to understand what they do, they just have instincts to indwell in that space
open source community, want to write codes so that others can learn from it..
mit – open community, conversation, open construction
we don’t think much about deep tinkering
how do you develop a gut feeling.. an intimate familiarity with the knowledge in hand
maybe it’s deep tinkering that unfolds this indwelling.
nuance of it is this freedom to fail fail fail again, fail fast, and then slowly get it right
one characterization of extreme surfers – this
sense of play – play of the imagination
in play – every once in a while you get an epiphany
re-register the world around you
a kid who has an epiphany has it for life
where we spend a tremendous amount of thinking in terms of knowing and making, maybe we need to look at deep tinkering as playing with complex systems that has a sense of immersion in it
deep tinkering, playing at its deepest sense, riddling the system
learning about, learning to be, learning to become
learning to become so that you don’t fear change
the value of play is never found in a static state, it’s found in becoming, always about the next challenge
how to honor intuition more
how do you let your kids experience a sense of awe, curiosity and a sense of humility
sunday, february 20, 2011
vast amts of info + deep personal motivation = unexpected, unplanned, innovative use of space
public & info based + personal & structured = same
started to see the difference between learning & being taught (Doug’s college students when gaming) p. 32
a mechanistic view – steps to gain mastery = efficiency
an environment/organism view – unexpected results = thrivability
limited knowledge of result is good – so you don’t interfere with the process,
it’s the process itself that is interesting
not necessarily fixing a problem in ed, rather growing a solution
adapt: culture is the environment, you teach about, you prove you know info
create: culture emerges from the environment, you learn from engagement within, you change info
Heraclitus – no man ever steps in the same river twice..
well – used to be river was going slow enough that we kind of could, but no way today.
70 yrs for 1 thing – color tv, 10 yrs for for everything – on internet
tech is no longer simply a fast way to transmit info, it’s a participatory medium that is always changing
wikipedia makes change visible, britanica just as erroneous, but wikipedia allows us to read across time, britanica forced choices of inclusion/exclusion, excludes then invisible
today – we are not stable/constant – which that allows for more play
play is a strategy for embracing change, as opposed to a way to grow out of it
we need to marry structure and freedom
give a man a fish and feed him for a day.
teach a man to fish, and feed him as long as the fish supply holds out.
but create a collective, and every man will learn how to feed himself for a lifetime.
collective is the medium for participation, for peer to peer learning, and once they can no longer do so, their can simply cease to exist
(in most basic sense: a group constantly playing with and reimagining its own identity)
community: learn in order to belong – about belonging
collective: belong in order to learn – about participation
on p. 54 brown and thomas write:
at this point one might be tempted to ask how we might harness the power of these peer-to-peer collectives to meet some learning objective. but that would be falling into the same old twentieth-century trap. any effort to define or direct collectives would destroy the very thing that is unique and innovative about them.
public vs private
the boundary between the two are becoming more permeable
personal is diff than private, and public implies scale and anonymity, collective is narrower than that
is public vs private really the best way to distinguish anymore?
because you have selected your collective, sharing something personal with a collective is very diff than taking something private and going public with it
throughout life, people continuously learn things they have personal interest in, those things are rarely acknowledged in ed environments.
classrooms are predicated on the sense of the private and the public
transmit info in a public way to the private minds of the students
why student called on can’t answer even if they know answer, they’ve been asked to go public with what had just before been private
what makes Kiva work is not a traditional community but the participatory nature of a collective – there is not a learning objective, nor a right or wrong way to do things, free to play and imagine businesses ina space they never had before
Richard Light’s revelation of study groups
to many – learning must be difficult and directed by others, otherwise it threatens academic integrity.
but actually, groups where students can do whatever they want, where learning can even appear easy or fun, collectives can encounter more theories and applications than they ever could in a classroom, following passions/desires in fruitful ways
Michael Polanyi’s – The Tacit Knowlegde
in a world of exponential change, focus exclusive to explicit is no longer viable
tacit grows through personal experience and experimentation – it’s not transferable – you can’t teach it to me, though i can still learn it.
tacit happens not only in the brain but through all the senses of the body – experiential and cognitive
it’s not about being taught, but of absorbing
because our mind/bodies/senses are always learning, we pick up vast amounts of tacit knowledge just by going about everyday activities
understanding and knowledge are shaped to a far greater degree by tacit than they ever could by explicit, esp in a world of constant change
different people when presented with exactly the same info in exactly the same way learn diff things. most ed has no room for this, so eliminates student imagination
students learn best when able to follow passion and operate w/in constraints of a bounded environment.
w/o the boundary of an assignment there would be no medium for growth.
most kids don’t know how to answer.. what are you most passionate about, never asked that before, or, they have come to believe that if they care about it that much it’s not valid for ed
p. 81 – saying that if you give a kid the internet and tell them to seek their passion, they would meander around finding bits and pieced of info that move them from topic to topic and produce a very haphazard result.
know, make, play
on know: facts have become things that can be located, so the question moves from what to where, where allows for a multiplicity and sophistication of response, more a question of where that question means something than what an isolated answer is – the increasing importance of context
expertise is less about having a stockpile of info/facts at one’s disposal, more about how to find/evaluate info on a given topic (conrad wolfram’s computer based math)
on make: where one chooses to post, where on links to or where one is linked from does not just serve as a locus for finding content. it becomes part of the content itself
learning content through making – still concerned with the what
learning content through shaping – concerned with the where
both cultivate imagination – basis for play
by participating in the making of meaning, we learn how to judge and eval
in a world where images/texts/meanings can be manipulated, awareness of the play of context and ability to reshape it become important in decision making
on play: huszinga, play is most overlooked aspect in understanding how learning functions in culture
all systems of play a- are at base – learning systems
play reveals a structure of learning that is radically diff from the one most schools provide, and which is well suited to the notions of a world in constant flux
play provides opp to leap, experiment, fail, and continue to play with diff outcomes, it’s an organizing principle.
the nature of epiphany – finding that meaning could not happen w/o the playfulness of mind
how one arrives at the epiphany is always a matter of the tacit
tuesday, february 22, 2011
John Seely Brown is a visiting scholar and advisor to the Provost at University of Southern California (USC) and the Independent Co-Chairman of the Deloitte Center for the Edge.Prior to that he was the Chief Scientist of Xerox Corporation and the director of its Palo Alto Research Center (PARC)—a position he held for nearly two decades. While head of PARC, Brown expanded the role of corporate research to include such topics as organizational learning, knowledge management, complex adaptive systems, and nano/mems technologies. He was a cofounder of the Institute for Research on Learning (IRL). His personal research interests include the management of radical innovation, digital youth culture, digital media, and new forms of communication and learning.John, or as he is often called—JSB— is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Education, a Fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence and of AAAS and a Trustee of the MacArthur Foundation. He serves on numerous public boards (Amazon, Corning, and Varian Medical Systems) and private boards of directors.He has published over 100 papers in scientific journals and was awarded the Harvard Business Review’s 1991 McKinsey Award for his article, “Research that Reinvents the Corporation” and again in 2002 for his article “Your Next IT Strategy.”In 2004 he was inducted in the Industry Hall of Fame.With Paul Duguid he co-authored the acclaimed book The Social Life of Information (HBS Press, 2000) that has been translated into 9 languages with a second addition in April 2002, and with John Hagel he co-authored the book The Only Sustainable Edge which is about new forms of collaborative innovation. He has just completed two new books – A New Culture of Learning with Professor Doug Thomas at USC and The Power of Pull with John Hagel.JSB received a BA from Brown University in 1962 in mathematics and physics and a PhD from University of Michigan in 1970 in computer and communication sciences. He has received five honorary degrees including: May 2000, Brown University awarded him an honorary Doctor of Science Degree; July 2001, the London Business School conferred an Honorary Doctor of Science in Economics; May 2004, Claremont Graduate University granted him an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters; May 2005, University of Michigan awarded him an Honorary Doctor of Science Degree, and May 2009, North Carolina State University awarded him an Honorary Doctor of Science Degree.emphasize the roll of mentorship
if you get the edge really high performing, the core takes noticewhen you can move to a full inquiry method..we need space for messing around in order to find our sweet spot – love it
petri dish is where learning happens
andarchitect – someone who can transform constraints intoone room school house like a petri dish have to teach others – best way to learnwe have to be able to show what we’ve accomplished – ?1/2 life of any skill has moved from 30 years to 5 years or less
so we need to learn how to embrace change – turn everything into a learning oppotunity
through the collective
listen with humil
ty to others and to the pushbacks of the situationstructure and agency vs structure and freedom
Agency is what we rob kids of in school, as the typical picture, and thus goes motivationlearning in collective:
in regard to kids not doing anything on facebook, etc
harry potter – kids absorb everything… they live it – they’re learning to be
indwelling – not thinking about the learningindwelling plays at the tacit level – tacit is where you live“Finite players play within boundaries; infinite players play with boundaries.” James Carseproofs and refutationsit’s about making visual arguments
you can completely change the movie as it’s perceived by changing the audio – you can almost change what’s seenAndrew Hiskens: ‘The computer scientist Chrstipopher Langton observed several decades ago that innovative systems have a tendency to gravitate towards the ‘edge chaos’: the fertile zone between too much order and too much chaos’ – Steven Johnson (sorry to keep quoting him!)clay shirkysurprised we don’t study more – true expert coaches..
friday, december 31, 2010
business with passion
1) what is success – she has a new definition
nancy anderson – her book: work with passion, ow to do what you love for a living
2) business incubators
national business incubator association
80% from incubators still successful after 5 years
80% not in incubators not successful after 5 years
3) push vs pull
push has served us well, but in today’s volatility those predictions and forecasts become more challenging, instead build platforms of connections where you can draw out resources where and when you need them.integrating passion and profession – 6th proposition
the questing disposition
how do workers respond to unexpected challenges
if not passionate:
1) ignore it
2) hide it
3) get back to assigned work.. challenge is a distraction
1) wow – that’s really interesting, how would i handle that, challenging me to go beyond what i’ve experienced, who would i reach out to to try to figure this out
2) don’t wait for the challenges to come to you, constantly seeking them out to test yourselfthe relationship between passion and connection
in regard to your profession
1) how often you go to conferences
2) how often you partake in social media
3) how often do you go to lunch w/someone outside your company but related to your workpeople who say they are passionate are actually twice as connected as people who are not passionatetest levels of passion in the workforce
united states last year:
20% of work force are passionate, 80% are not
level of passion is inversely related to the size of the companyintegrating passion and business – 5th proposition
dilbert paradox – top priorities – if talent is top, how do you explain popularity of dilbert and the office which graphically demo the sculptifying effect of business environment on talent
so – what are you doing about talent
if you are developing their talent better than anyone else – why would they ever leave
as to “what training programs” – training programs less and less relevant, it’s not about training but about constructing and designing the work environment so that you maximize talent on the job on a day-to-day basis
most today (esp schools) are not designed for talent development
they are designed for efficiency of operations and predictability
if you are interested in talent – rethink all operations, business strategies, and it platforms4th proposition
move from knowledge stock to knowledge flow
from this post: challenge and opportunity for women…
knowledge flows- not large databases flowing through cyberspace.
The knowledge that has greatest value in times of rapid change is tacit knowledge, the knowledge that we all have in our heads that is tied to certain contexts, often quite new, and that we have great difficulty expressing to ourselves, much less anyone else. This knowledge is usually experienced holistically rather than reducible to abstract categories and isolated modules. For all of these reasons, this knowledge does not flow very well at all. In the words of my esteemed collaborator, JSB, this knowledge is remarkably sticky.
break from videos to reflect on this incredible post i read today.. a gold mine of insight worthy of the ending of a super year:
this post: passion and wisdom – a must read – really
make thrivability, rather than sustainability, our reality.
Both are long-term quests,… in stark contrast to our prevailing push mindsets,…of…. short-term predictability.
…both passion and wisdom are not predictable – that is in fact their great strength, they are continually coming up with new ways to create more value. The tragedy…this makes both … deeply suspect … and..more needed than ever.
really – go read it.. here it is again
continuing on with videos from his fb site
the power of pull
passion of workers as a shift index
when we’re talking about passion at work, we’re not talking about happiness, quite often passionate people at work are often the most frustrated… but the most passionate people are the most connected people – this is key to participating in knowledge flows
target conferences in areas that are well beyond your expertise, because that causes deep immersion in the issues and questions that these people are addresses and often finds unexpected encounters that extend way beyond current comfort zone
choices of where you locate (physical and virtual) – but all are very crowded – so what actions can you take to attract and lead people to you to make those encounters,
experimentations with social media: best way to attract is to present yourself holistically, integrate personal/professional etc.
reasons for not doing sm – risk and waste of time
problem is we often focus on the risks, we need to be much more articulate about the rewards
the google approach only works when you know what you’re looking for
but when you don’t know – how can you increase the likelihood of these unexpected encounters
serendipity is not just pure luck, we can shape the places we go and the people we connect with
cross connections are huge to this as well – [seeing fractals, analogies]
in edgy areas where these innovations are happening, these people are telling stories to each other
your passion as your profession
if you have passion at the core – i’m not worried
what i’m worried about are these people that are so very competent they are getting bored – john seely brown
the experience curve often gets you into ruts – key role of an institution, how do we take these deeply competent people and put them in environments that bring in life and passion
not a free agent theory – but an incredible infrastructure for the firm/institution
energizing people in the core – whole new game if the workers become the front line, on the edge
bringing the core to the edge
often bringing the edge into the core ends up smothering the edge
better yet – get the core out into the edges
a new kind of valley of death – if you can reverse and bring the core to the edge, for that to work, board of directors need to realize there’s a certain level of unpredictability – you move from scalable efficiencies to some kind of random improvisations
the deeper the core competencies can deal with the on the fly edge
life on the edge is more interesting if you have core competencies
the edge is risky, those in charge need to have the mindset to stick through the hard/shaky times
scalable efficiency to scalable learning
almost everything you learn in business scale relies on scalable efficiencies and that curve is now a diminishing returns curve
what if this new learning structure says scalable efficiency is not the gain
how do you get scalable ways of new ways to learn things…
no longer is it organization and routine, but how do i break out of my rut, how do i see things differently
actualizing new ideas as fast as you can, rather than digger deeper on the same path
we’re not running faster and faster to stay in the same place, we’re running faster and faster and falling farther behind, no wonder we’re all stressed
big shifts are creating big changes
the past were punctuated shifts
change the underlying architecture
public policy shift and tech potential are moving on to new heights
push for absolute performance if done right leads to innovation, if done wrong kills
when in times of uncertainty, tend to look inward to reliability, we lose sight of these longer term opportunities/trends
big changes are here
why the big shift
1) infrastructural transformation – something we’ve never seen before, no longer an s curve, now an exponential – digital infrastructure driven by moore’s law, no more plateaus (stability) in the curve, people having a hard time figuring out how to play off these
maybe the notion of organizational routines might not be right anymore – because of micro and macro disruptions
kevin werbach interviews john in 2009
dang – no sound
Burning Man Conversation Selects
the greatest freedom is to put enough order into this so that it can go and it can spread..
a play of imagination – not creativity – but imagination – we need to play out imagination more..
Artists are not included in our debate on how we build the economy for the future.
how do you reframe the world – art as a technique to help us see differently
reimagine jane jacobs – how would she react to burning man… she would love the emergence..
how do we move from clocks to clouds… precision to emergence
art is something you do for yourself to see differently
may 2015 – commencement at asu:
8 min – kayaker – reading what lies beneath the surface.. not just the signals at surface.. read the moment.. having a conversation with the flow…
the access of balance.. analogous to authenticity (the capacity to know yourself) and integrity.. base of operation
sometimes it’s the people who no one imagines anything from who would do the things that no one can imagine – Turing
turing – because of his ability to see/sense no one else could.. because of his authenticity/uncompromising nature..
the greatest thing – see something and explain it a simple way.. to see clearly is poetry/prophecy and possibility all in one..
What does it take to be a world-class technology company?
today.. i think we play this game diff.. i think real catch – how to take seriously.. bringing outside world into co and inside world out.. look at both incremental and radical innovation.. by being much more permissive and pervasive… ie: what is happening
going to root of problem.. but using much more powerful tools.. today speed of innovation is such that the old approach.. ie: 10 yrs to invent.. no longer cuts it.. move fast.. get leverage wherever you can.. from edges of everywhere.. bring them together… to create sparks.. for a cutting new idea..
today it pays to pay a lot more attention to edge phenomenon.. (all over.. all ages).. this game is opened up.. ideas come from anywhere.. catch is to hear/absorb them..
from april 2017
john seely brown (@jseelybrown) tweeted at 9:40 PM on Mon, Mar 12, 2018:
Yup… networked imagination is now more key than ever.. see end of paper… https://t.co/Jq4IbOIhAW
20 page paper: http://www.johnseelybrown.com/SensemakingStanford.pdf
The imagination is what enables us to escape the tyranny of the present; it allows us to see beyond what our present assumptions define as possible. Almost all our training about how to look at the future extrapolates the present. How do we begin to blast out of that?..t
stop training.. instead.. listen to curiosity
How do we orchestrate serendipity for maximum learning?..t
This idea of the “endless newbie” has to be, to some degree, the new default for everyone no matter your age or your experience. (kevin kelly)
We talked about how incremental learning will no longer suffice, but now I’m going to claim that beyond continuous learning we must also be willing to constantly reframe our understanding of the world. We must regrind our conceptual lenses, and regrind them often. To say it somewhat differently, how do we come to build understanding, living in this global networked age where change is exponential and everything is densely interconnected? We used to be able to isolate things and learn about them in isolation. Today that no longer works.
did it ever..?
Said very simply, we need new ways to move from mechanistic thinking to understanding contexts and problems that change and evolve because of entangled sets of exchanges with complex feedback loops.
We must move away from “techsplaning” everything and instead use radical humanism to come to terms with the problems that we ourselves are creating with and for the world. The unique power of the human imagination comes in part from its ability to integrate opposing qualities like emotion and reason, curiosity and certainty, or man and machine
How do you create a kind of distributed community of practice that has a sense of interconnection enough to be able to create something quite new called a networked imagination?
We’re not trained to think holistically and yet we have created the very technologies that now demand that we’re able to do that..t
14 pg pdf on grad speech june 2018
Esko Kilpi (@EskoKilpi) tweeted at 6:40 AM – 23 Jul 2018 :
.@jseelybrown “what human and machine might be able to do
together – each learning with and from each the other.” https://t.co/0Sn9Nt6nkz (http://twitter.com/EskoKilpi/status/1021374612217778177?s=17)
you will find that it is essential to develop what Ann Pendleton-Jullian calls a polymathic curiosity .. A polymath is a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas — not shallowly but at depth. Polymathic curiosity is about having the intense curiosity of an ‘insider’ in fields that are not your own by training. It is one that helps you listen deeply within and across your own areas of expertise. ..t
quoted tweet from john:
Yes it helps you listen generously and generatively https://t.co/WO2hGtMbDP
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/jseelybrown/status/1021419811178307584
Of course, most of the above is not something one learns primarily in classrooms, but rather in the world, itself
Might there be new ways to learn – what might almost be called ‘cognition in the wild’ – a kind of situated learning-in-action,..t.. expanding your muscles of imagination in order to engage with contexts in a way that gets to a deeper understanding of what affects and influences them
AI may soon be able to optimize situations in ways that are at least marginally different, and probably significantly different, from how humans would optimize them. But at that point, will AI be able to explain, in a way that humans can understand, why its actions are optimal? Or, will AI’s decision making surpass the explanatory powers of human language and reason?
let’s not use ai for decision making.. but rather for listening and connecting
Through all human history, civilizations have created ways to explain the world around them— in the Middle Ages, religion; in the Enlightenment, reason; in the 19th century, history; in the 20th century, ideology. The most difficult yet important question about the world into which we are headed is this: What will become of human consciousness if its own explanatory power is surpassed by AI, and societies are no longer able to interpret the world they inhabit in terms that are meaningful to them?”
I hope so.. our new book Design Unbound-designing for emergence in a white water world .. mitpress this oct. Also see our little book Pragmatic Imagination https://t.co/pxgFx1KbIg
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/jseelybrown/status/1021472094326992896