Serious and Studiously Mobile

I Chaired Ron Edwards 2nd Seriously Mobile Conference which Reuters hosted last Friday. It was streamed out of Reuters to the world and, with only a couple of technical hitches we had a panel from the University of Central Florida joining us and we flew around the PA Consulting Island in Second Life guided by a virtual host in a very attractive pink skirt that billowed gently when she walked.

My friend Jay Cross did a great session on Free Range Learners in the Age of the Ubiquitous Chicken House.Despite having to return to the West Coast of the USA and live 8 hours behind UK time, he has already posted a comprehensive account of his presentation on his Internet Time blog. He beat me!

There were other highlights: Tom Glocer the CEO of Reuters talking about the Grateful Dead

and Lizbeth Goodman from SmartLab demo-ing an immersive world build for child with Spina Bifeda so she could live out her dream of flying. She lay on a complex hydraulic chair that moved with the twists and turns of the screen that wrapped around her. Not quite seriously mobile as interpreted by the rest of the conference, but giving virtual mobility and joy to those unable to juggle PDAs phones and laptops.

I kicked off by making three points:

Everyone is looking for mobile solutions.  It simply reflects the way we now work, but many of the mobile apps are still technology looking for a solution and many are unworkable in practice.  But there is a bigger vision, which is how to mobilise the whole workforce, and the leading quote from Tim O’Reilly really punches that home:

‘Creativity is no longer about which companies have the most visionary executives, but which have the most compelling architecture of participation…..(so) a wide range of contributors (can) offer ideas, solve problems and improve products.’ 

The prize is about reinforcing a philosophy of work and engagement rather than getting more from a mobile device.  

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