Designing an Agile Learning Culture for Teams and Organizations

CultureCon 2012I was fortunate to attend CultureCon in Boston, which focused on designing workgroup practices that embrace agile, nimble learning. This is the world into which our students will be growing.

(I’ll be processing all the conference insights for a long time. In the meantime, here are my raw tweets.)

One of the most exciting sessions led to the adoption of a set of definitions, drafted by Jim McCarthy, for Culture Design and Culture Hacking, intended as a first step toward the Agile Manifesto principles which have been applied in software development and beyond.

Until Jim posts the “official” version, here’s a sneak preview:

Culturecon 2012 Lexicon

This is a V0.1 lexicon to enable us to speak coherently with each other and others interested in this work during the dawning era of culture design. It is difficult to foresee what language we will need in its entirety, but here are a few terms we know we need right now.

We are some of the riders of the Happy Bus from Philly Culturecon to Boston Culturecon from September 12-September 14, 2012 or other culture tech leaders who were involved in or leading up to those seminal community creating events.

A Culture is the collection of behaviors, values, commitments and practices that both defines and gives expression to a group. Those components are Culture Elements.

Culture Design is the act of specifying culture elements — along with whatever collateral materials are needed — in order to enable third parties to produce intended cultural effects reliably in their own cultures of interest.

Culture Hacking is culture design that does more than one of the following in notable, admirable ways:

a) Respects/promotes/extends personal freedoms.
b) Increases personal/group democratic powers.
c) Protects personal, psychological, and/or creative safety.
d) Improves the world and/or sets it on a course of continuous improvement.
e) Subverts illegitimate authority.
f) Is especially admirable for one or more of its elegance, cleverness, beauty, efficacy, humor, and other design values of its implementation.

Culture Tech is the whole spectrum and marketplace of designed cultural innovations.

This document was written by Jim McCarthy, and had about 20 signatories. (He has the original and will, I am sure, be posting the entire list.)

Sustaining democracy in the digital age

From the Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities:

America needs “informed communities,” places where the information ecology meets people’s personal and civic information needs.

This means people have the news and information they need to take advantage of life’s opportunities for themselves and their families. They need information to participate fully in our system of self-government, to stand up and be heard.

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Transparent governance is the new fad (China Daily)

“In China people tweet on t.sina.com.cn and among the most avid tweeters is ‘Minister Wu’. Yes, for real, he is a government official, but not quite ministerial ranking.

“Still, a government official who openly tweets is a novelty here and naturally, Minister Wu – as he is affectionately referred to by fellow tweeters – has many fans and is one of the most read twitters across the land.

“Minister Wu is the deputy director of the publicity department of Yunnan province. He openly supports government transparency and presses for monitoring of government behavior. I am not sure whether this has won him friends within government circles (probably not) but he has found support on the Internet.”