Organizing Dialogue, Experience and Knowledge for Complex Problem-Solving

How Serious Are We About Learning?

by • July 26th, 2012

When journalist and book author Daniel Pink tweeted the above image the other day it provoked thinking about what real learning means and what it takes to achieve it. We produce enormous amounts of knowledge, yet struggle to put it into use, but we also teach much and learn little because the systems we’ve designed […]

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Disruption by Design

by • March 13th, 2012

If we are to expect that the fields most connected to social action and the promotion of wellbeing are to contribute to our betterment in the future, they need to change. Disruptive design for programs, services and the ways we fund such things is what is necessary if these fields are to have benefit beyond themselves. Long past are the days when doing good was something that belonged to those with a title (e.g., doctor, health promoter, social worker) or that what we called ourselves (e.g., teacher) meant we did something else unequivocally (e.g., educate). Now we are all teachers, all health promoters, all designers, and all entrepreneurs if we want to be. Some will be better than others and some will be more effective than others, but by disrupting these ideas we can design a better future.

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(Un)Building a Mystery: Peeking Behind the Curtain in the Academic Land of Oz

by • December 16th, 2011

The gap between what academics do and what those outside of the academy think they do is enormous. The mysteriousness and elite status that universities enjoy may actually serve to undermine the very values of inquiry and education that it seeks to promote. In this second in series of posts on academic life, I take […]

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The Alien Shores of Academia: Requiem for A Dream

by • December 15th, 2011

Aside from the church, the university remains among the oldest continuous institutions in our society. ┬áLike the church, universities are facing challenges from massive changes in the way society views knowledge, authority and the role of the credentialed leader. This post begins a series of personal reflections looking back on a career in academia and […]

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The Persistent Myth of the Lone Genius in Art and Science

by • June 7th, 2011

Of the many persistent myths about innovation, the lone genius is about the most sticky. Continued research shows how untrue this is.

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Do we have to be this way?

by • May 10th, 2011

Recall Morpheus asking Neo, “What is the question?”

Translate from feature fiction film to real life.

Start with language.


Do you (we) really “have to be this way”?


What question stimulates that answer? What if we change the question?

This video explores the quest for survival by a generation overwhelmed by the glut of social media. What choices do they really have? What choices do you have? How — and who — will find the answer?

When does collective learning become collective intelligence?

This video is the result of undergraduate students living the question during a Communication course on Media and Culture at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Building from individual videos for the Visions of Students Today project by Michael Wesch, this video includes excerpts of TED Talk lectures, contemporary musicians, dancers and other intellectual artists depicting some of the social realities of media and culture relevant in 2011.

Watch the companion video, Re-Solving Survival (Controlled Drowning?), aka, “What makes us normal?”

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