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Alchemy of Change is no longer active. Instead, check out The Vital Edge, which explores the future of technology and business, while asking what we want technology to be when it wakes up.
What was the Focus of Alchemy of Change?
There are two great levers we humans use to shape our modern world: organization and technology.
Organization is the way we humans come together to coordinate work. We’ve been doing it since before we were even human. The way we organize ourselves is changing, thanks in large part to new technologies of connection. Top-down hierarchies aren’t going away, but they are making room for networks and forms of less formal types of collaboration. These changes in the way we organize ourselves affect us on a deeply personal level; some might even call it the level of the soul. At the same time, our organizations also deeply impact society and the other living systems on which it relies.
Technology accelerates change like no other force on the planet. On a individual level, it shapes the way we think, the way we live, what we eat, and eventually it will reconstruct us. Technology also shapes our organizations, and through them, it shapes the way we structure our society. Technology is now even competing with the most basic forces of nature to reshape the planet in fundamental ways. In the end, technology may well transcend organization. In that process, what will it do to society and to the soul?
What’s the Perspective Here?
Every writer has a bias. As powerful as technology and organization are, they are both neutral forces. Each can be used to create health and happiness or pain and suffering.
I’m a huge technology enthusiast – a geek, through and through – and I like thinking about networks and new organizational structures. But I believe we are using technology and organization in ways that are causing us to lose our way as a species – and that it is time to stop doing that.
Alchemists of old were purported to be able to transform lead into gold: a metaphor for fully tapping that greater something that resides deep inside each and every one of us – whatever we may choose to call it. Joseph Campbell used to call it the hero within each and every one of us. I like that. To me, it represents the best of our shared humanity. And if you look closely, you will find that hope embedded in all that you read here.
Thank’s for coming. I’m hoping to create some conversation here through your comments on individual posts here and on Google+.
Alchemy of Change background image tile by Patrick Hoesly. He has beautiful images up on Flickr. Thank you Patrick.