I have 'discovered' Don Tapscott, he's the author of 'Wikinomics' (best selling management book of 2007), 'Growing Up Digital', and the recent 'Grown Up Digital'. It basically refutes the view that young adults/Generation Y are lazy and dumb, etc. - with a little help from a $4 million dollar study across 10 countries. I had no idea the current crop of pundits were so misguided and fearful.
It's hopeful, and exciting too. I'm really looking forward to what the humans can accomplish with these new technologies and the brains that know how to use them.
Below is a messy 'live blogging' style transcript of a podcasted interview he did recently. I _highly_ recommend a listen.
they don't even think of it as 'technology', it's like the air
20M young people engaged in mybarackobama.com
coddled, violent, bad work ethic, narcissitic, net-addicted, dumb, selfish?
smartest, less crime, more civic engagement,
good bs detectors
fearful old people, Aristotle says kids these days are disrespectful, mooch off their parents
generation gap? generation lap
his son says him talking about internet is like telling people how to change channels on a TV
baby boomers watched TV 24 hours a week - passive
different brain structure
modern kids have better switching ability, better active working memory
computer games exercise their brains
school, model of pedagogy is wrong
memorising facts is useless - old way was graduate and you're set for life - now, graduate and you're set for 15m
finding facts is good
think, learn lifelong, reinvent their knowledge bases, communicate, put things in context
smartest kids are gaming the school system to get As without going to lectures
"I don't read books - use web, google books"
straight A student, president of the Florida State students council ($15M budget), on 18 University commitees, pals went to New Orleans and set up a health clinic in the 9th Ward (still going, serves 9,000), head of a global peace exchange he founded with a couple of buddies (hope to get a global summit of heads of state)
both parents passed this year (he's the eldest) - kids play WoW to keep the family together, live in different cities
next year - MPhil at Oxford in London on his Rhodes scholarship (British Healthcare, w00t)
CEO of Deloit
Is it true that this generation are the dumbest ever?
most focussed, most discliplined, smartest ever
they build more, have happier clients
not an ADD epidemic - focussed on 5 things at once, or 3 hours of videogame
get your kids to mentor you - wiki, facebook, twitter, post on youtube
Don has clients that use Twitter as the new metabolism for how they run their business
mybarackobama had a iPhone app [!]
come into a company with their culture of collaboration, customisation, innovation, speed, authentication, scrutiny
hit Dilbert Inc., boss is teh Authority
? I've been an authority on something since I was 11
social networks are the new operating systems of business
talking to the CIO of a state recently - the Governer had banned Facebook (young people wasting time at work)
is this a technology problem? are you sure it's not a management problem, workflow, job design, motivation?
they went to MySpace
young person said it was the single most demoralising thing management has ever done
"we don't understand collaboration, your technology, or trust you"
Brad Anderson, CEO of Best Buy
Blue Shirts: they're the closest to our customer, most like our customer, and their culture is the new culture of work
between them and me are layers of management that are trying to prevent them from reinventing this company for the 21st century
my job as CEO is to unleash the power of human capital, given them a license to self-organise
25.000 member 'unauthorised' social network "Blue Shirt Nation" - generates Dozens of recommendations per week on how to improve the company
after a 'meeting' (sitting around talking with ~8 young people) said "This is how I learn about the future of this company"
if he didn't listen to them - "half an hour after walking out of a meeting there'd be 5,000 people in this company who think I'm a jerk"
Amber has friends in early 20's - if they're in a job where they ban Facebook - they leave that job
[if thats typical - thats a huge selective pressure]
interviewed 11,000 young people in 10 countries
there are 80M in the US alone - compared to 78M baby boomers
will dominate the 21 century based on their demographic muscle alone
beginning of profound changes to the nature of democracy, the relationship between citizens and their state
Obama will use his social network to Govern
Don wants Obama to organise a digital brainstorm - 3 day conversation of the population of an entire country on the web
pick a topic: global warming, improving the economy, fixing US's reputation in the world
marketplace for ideas
if Obama fails to engage them - they'll call him to account
they'll do it anyway
they are not passive
entrenched interests will fight against this
the only way you're going to win is with an epic battle
generation next, 0-12 yrs
very different again [!]
Leo, the host: "The only real choice is how quickly we become irrelevant"
Don Tapscott: "That's probably not an overstatement"
10 years ago, cocktail party of educators
woman in her 60s, high school math teacher
got some support, money, laptops
doesn't give lectures any more
the kids are learning like they've never learned before, I know more about every one of those kids after a month than I ever have in a year
I'm a new woman, can't wait to get up in the morning
get on the bus, or wave goodbye
the promise of the 60s is finally coming true, and it's thanks to digital technology, new media