Future of Work

I’ve really been impressed with the collaborative work platform, Podio. Not only is it a great product but also they’ve been very effective in engaging with their user-base, especially through their Future of Work events.

One recent event was led by the futurist Anne Skare Nielson and Podio released a short video interview from after the event.

In the interview she links products such as Podio with a broader shift from an industrial paradigm of accumulation – wanting more – to a post-industrial paradigm of wanting better. This mirrors acknowledgement that having more stuff does not lead us to be happier. She also talks about the need for us to “do” innovation, creativity and openess rather than just talk about it. But such a change takes time and “old, people have to die”.

As a few signals that the shift is coming she pointed to Ikea acknowledging that to sustain their current business would require two planets by 2020 and their growing emphasis on sustainability. Or MacDonalds suggesting people should eat less but “better” 9as if we know what that would be like) MacDonalds food and the wider concerns with what economic growth really means that have gained prominence since the financial crisis forced to think about how society works.

And Podio fits in as an example of what Anne Skare calls simplexity. The world is ever more complex – I liked her comments that if you don’t think to yourself, “I’m not understanding this” at least once a week then “you need to get out more” – but we should be seeking out simpler solutions: the solution to IT problems is not more IT solutions but better, simpler solutions giving power to the user. Her example of soap as a simplex (partial) solution to the complex problems of disease control is a powerful one.

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