Wednesday, March 24, 2010

#LS2010 Sir Ken Robinson: The Element - How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything – Wed Keynote

My live blogged notes from Wednesday keynote at Learning Solutions 2010 in Orlando with Sir Ken Robinson.  His most recent book is The Element.


Las Vegas is an idea…a coming together of people’s imagination.  There’s no good reason for Vegas.  The same could be said of Orlando.

Imagination powers human beings.

There are no facts about the future.

There are forces at work in the world for which there are no precedents.

The arc from 1950 to now is almost inconceivable…people never used to leave their towns, they’d marry the kid next door, they had seven kids, there were two types of phones.

If you went back in time and gave your iPhone to your grandparents, they wouldn’t know what it is.

Most of our learning systems – the things that were devised to help us make sense of the world we’re living in – most of these systems were devised in 1850.  Classrooms, training, prof dev – rooted in the last century. 

Education, learning and eLearning needs to transform.

This is a new profession, and a critically important one.  How do we make sense?  We need to be courageous in how we rethink basic principles in how people connect.

We connect differently – Twitter, Facebook, etc. – the potential to connect in the ways we do is unprecedented in human history.

If we are to make sense of this revolution, we need to think differently about ourselves.  Too many of us play down our talents.

We don’t just live in a physical world.  We live in a world shaped by our beliefs, by our culture.  We carry our culture with us in our heads.

Cultural differences – e.g., “quite” – in UK it means moderately, in US it means very/extremely.

Culture Shock – when you move to another country, you don’t quite get it.  This current and desperate dash into the future – our old values haven’t evolved -- “Future Shock”.  (Alvin Toffler, Book: The Third Wave)

People over 25 typically wear wristwatches; people under 25 typically don’t.  (Note: I don’t wear a watch – I use my phone!)  People under 25 are surrounded by digital devices that tell the time.  Those who wear watches just take it for granted. 

“Technology is not technology if it happened before you were born.”

In the West, our eyes are drawn to what we think is the center of the image.  (He shows a picture of a tiger.  In the West, people see this as a tiger.  In southeast asia, they see a jungle.  This was part of a research study).

In the US – the cult of the president/the head honcho – the individual. 

We (westerners) get drawn to the subject of the picture, the Asians see the whole of the picture.

We take these things for granted, they affect our perception – it affects what we look at and how we think about it.

We live in a culture dominated by narrative stories.

Most people have no idea of what their real talents are.  And many people don’t enjoy the work they do.  They just get on with it.  People who love what they do – they are in their element.

When you’re doing something you love to do – time flies.  It’s all about your energy.

To be in your element means two things:

1. Doing something you have a natural capacity for.  You just get it.  (the role of instrinsic talent!) Part of it is aptitude.  You need to explore your own aptitudes.  Being good at something isn’t enough.  To be in your element, you need to love it.  When you love it – you never work again.

2. Practice what you love

Find the nexus of passion and aptitude.

Pay attention to what interests you.  Pay attention to your own individuality.

Our lives our created by our interests, our values, our imaginations, our senses of possibilities. We evolve our futures.

New technologies could be the greatest creative opportunities.  They transform how we connect, how we think…Hard to predict where they will take us.

He was talking to someone at Apple:  Today’s supercomputers are still just very fancy calculators.  They do, but they don’t have an opinion.  They are tools. In 5-10 years? – computers will be able to process and learn.  They will be able to rewrite their own operating systems based on their own experiences.  In 2020 a computer will have processing power of an average human brain.

The Singularity – the point at which computers integrate with the human mind.

Our profession is at the threshold of something extraordinary.

The challenge is to engage with technology as it is now, but to be expansive in where it might take us eventually.

The element – what it means to be a person.  We need to keep our humanity.  Recognize the conditions under which human beings flourish.  Find your passion and practice it.

Now watching a docu-vid of the Blue Man Group:

We ALL can be creative.  “If ordinary people can find their element, extraordinary things can happen.”

“We all share a common humanity” – the blue man as an everyman.  But also an outsider.  See the pop culture trappings through the eyes of an outsider.


Combine these 3 principles with the sense that life is not predictable.  And…

We now have an extraordinary set of tools.  These tools could diminish our sense of humanity – as part of our practice, we can put the humanity in there and maintain it.

“I am not what’s happened to me.  I’m what I choose to become.”


whistlepunch said...

Thanks for blogging this!

Anonymous said...

Thank for the info! I have ordered the book and already gone and watched Sr. Ken on Ted Talks. Inspiring.