The other presentation that inspired me at The Web and Beyond was by Josephine Green. Her proposal is simple: we’re moving from an age dominated by pyramids to one made up of pancakes. She was talking about corporate structure (of course).

In the social media and business spheres, this sort of talk has been going on for some time – corporate hierarchies are part of the old industrial age; a flatter, more collaborative, corporate structure is more effective.

What was great about Josephine’s talk (and she’s a professor of history so knows her stuff), was the way in which she drew everything into her argument: climate change, finite resources, changing social expectations, emergent human behaviours…

The “techno-market” age is behind us, Josephine says: we are now entering the “socio-ecological” era. As an example of this change in focus, she cited her old employer, Philips, which has re-branded itself from a consumer electronics company to a “health and wellness” specialist.

And if any of us are in any doubt as to what we (like Philips) can do to make the most of this apparently unprecedented opportunity, Josephine quotes Ghandi: “Be the change you want to see in the world”.

Amen to that.

How social tech maximises the workforce at IBM

Photo: Kevandem