Studying the impact of innovation on business and society

The Undercurrent of a Cultural Renaissance

I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Melissa Pierce recently at The Computer History Museum in Mountain View. Brett Petersel of Mashable and Jane Quigley of Crayon insisted that we connect and I gladly obliged.

Melissa is a professional life coach and also the producer of Life In Perpetual Beta, an ambitious interview-driven documentary that features stripped-down, honest, and unpretentious one-on-one conversations with thought leaders and pioneers in the fields of New Marketing and Social Media.

Life In Perpetual Beta explores the nuances of, and rewards for, listening to who you are, not who you, or those around you, “think” you are. The video series is a catalyst for discovering and unleashing your creativity and living in the moment, every moment. You can shape and define your destiny if you continually invest in its definition and cultivation.

Melissa and I spent some time together, on camera, and the unrehearsed discussion was both refreshing and invigorating. She has a special talent for unlocking and inspiring people to uninhibitedly share their soul, passion, and vision.

During our discussion, lessons and observations from my fieldwork online and in the real world suddenly rushed into consciousness.

The link between authenticity and creativity though technology…

I’m inspired by people and ideas, and finding them in new places everyday. Social tools are bringing dynamics of the real world online.

Ambient intimacy versus ambient irrelevance…

The evolution is evoking a new genre of communications. We are forging deeper and more intellectual relationships that are contextually interwoven. Concurrently, we are striking ambient relations and event/opportunity-based connections that are harnessed to intermittently share transient ideas, promote causes, spotlight brands and products, invite participation, etc.

There are also many cases of ambient (pervasive) irrelevance. Because social tools are lowering the barrier to entry for anyone to create a lifestream online, there’s also a parallel increase of extraneous noise and chatter. The socialization and democratization of content creation, curation, and publishing is inducing a real world state of attention scarcity. Relationships are either earned or lost based on what, when, and how we contribute to and invest in their advancement.

Pay It Forward…

The Social Web is powered not by self-promotion, but by the value of the community and the selfless act of recognizing, showcasing, and connecting the great people around us.

The undercurrent of a global cultural renaissance…

Going through life, process by process, in order to meet an end-goal is formulaic and ingrained in our intellectual DNA because it’s how we were raised, which is a reflection of how our parents and grandparents were raised. The Web is sparking a cultural renaissance that is globally surging with free thought and insight. And, it’s changing how we think about life, how we go through life, and how we share experiences and stories…We’re going to see a fundamental shift in everything – especially our priorities.

The evolution of knowledge…

I had a conversation with a 15 year-old who had already created and sold a startup and several applications, and the question surfaced asking whether or not a traditional scholastic experience was necessary for, or beneficial to, him. Will kids in the future need to go through their academic career studying the same topics and learning the identical skills and trades that we were taught? Everything is changing to the point where the foundation for education may need to adapt or it risks irrelevance – and may eventually hold future generations back from succeeding in the real world.

Society is changing and in turn is going to influence how we structure and meet our goals, while also opening up a broader set of opportunities and ideas to pursue and attain – even those we previously deemed or thought impossible.

Personally, I am accomplishing things that I never imagined existed in the realm of possibility. I’ve surrounded myself with those who’ve helped expand my horizons for learning, while also opening my eyes to view and appreciate the subtle nuances that spark innovation. I’m learning each and every day.

We can define our destiny and our place within society…

There’s a great deal that we can learn from each other as we lay the foundation that will serve to inspire the next generation of leaders. We’re paving the way for children to learn new things in new ways. What they’re learning, remembering, honing, and in turn, what they’re sharing, will say everything about who they will become. And, most likely, it will not emulate our traditional processes of discovery and education. In a sense, we’re all learning new things together, in new ways.

This new world of discovery, sharing and studying will redefine everything and create an unprecedented era of media literacy. It will set forth a new institution of education that will reshape what we learn and when. Perhaps our children will be a bit more capable of defining and creating their own destiny than we ever were. If you think about how society over the centuries influenced our evolution and through education, defined our place within it, we were conditioned to study hard up to, through, and potentially beyond college so that we may earn a better living. And, for the most part, this is still true and incontestable. Now, with highly visible and far-reaching Web platforms that spur individual freedom of expression and our self-empowered ability to globally spotlight why we’re uniquely special as a personality, thought leader or valuable member of any given community, we can create our own plan and earned providence – as long as we’re empowered and encouraged to do so.

Other documentary interviews include:
Seth Godin
Jeff Pulver
Loren Feldman
Chris Saad
David Armano

Related reading on PR 2.0:

The Socialization of Your Personal Brand
In the Social Web, We Are All Brand Managers
The State of Social Media 2008
The Social Revolution is Our Industrial Revolution
The Essential Guide to Social Media
The Social Media Manifesto
– Introducing The Conversation Prism
Now is Gone (Available on Amazon)

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