Director's Corner by Jim Turner
September 30, 2005
“The Only Constant in the Universe is Change” — Spock, Star Trek
And, change, like technology’s advances, is accelerating, not only in the world, but also here at the Acceleration Studies Foundation. At the recent Accelerating Change 2005 Conference, I had the opportunity to introduce myself as the new Executive Director of the organization, tasked with filling the shoes of the inimitable Iveta Brigis who has worked with John and Jerry to bring the organization to the place it is today.
Without talking about myself too much, I have been managing events and businesses, both for-profit and non-profit, for over ten years. And, as I shared with the AC2005 Conference audience, I have never experienced the level of energy and excitement in a venue as I had the opportunity to experience at that show. The sheer level of engagement that the attendees and supporters of the ASF have is amazing to me and is harbinger of the great things that we can do as a community. I am honored that the ASF has asked me to help them and I am looking forward to working with all of you to better understand the future that technological change will bring.
One presentation that struck me, as I believe it did many of those in attendance at the AC2005 event, was Tom Malone’s presentation on The Future of Work. In the book by the same title, he speaks about management not as a matter of dictating to a group, but of coordination. And he writes of coordination, “coordinating…means…assembling activities so that the desirable outcomes can occur. More specifically, coordination involves establishing three key conditions – capabilities, incentives, and connections – that enable a group of people to produce good results.”
The ASF is a community of people with similar goals and objectives focused around the phenomenon of accelerating technological and societal change. The fact that the opinions of the affects and results of that change differ is a value to that community and not a hindrance. Coordinating that community is the job of the organization and a task that I am looking forward to taking on. And, I am looking forward to working with all of you, as members of the community, as you lend your capabilities - talents, skills, and opinions - to the organization to help it in its imminent accelerating growth so we can increase the incentives for you as a member of the community and help to grow the community, increasing the connections.
The ASF will become the community hub for all of you and we are working on plans for projects that will help us to do just that. For Instance, we are already in the process of growing our Future Salon Network throughout the U.S. and Europe and we are seeking new ways to deliver information of interest to you and future generations of future-seekers. With growth comes growing pains and missteps, but I am confident that with your help we can increase the value of the ASF to you and to the community as a whole.
I will be chiming in periodically letting you know the latest news about the things that we are doing here at the ASF to achieve this growth. I will also be letting you know about how you can help us to achieve those goals in periodic “Calls to Action”. Please be sure to write to me and let me know if you would like to lend your capabilities to the organization and how the organization can be of value to you as a member of the ASF community.
“To Infinity and Beyond!”