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“We’re smarter together than separate”

This is cross-posted from my blog, Beckyblab:

The best part about the TechSoup Global Contributor’s Summit was seeing in real time the power of networks. A lot can be said for nonverbal communication and the effectiveness of meeting each other face to face!

Although at first I was intimidated, it was heartening to hear how many others found the task of networking at events daunting–many admitted to being shy but forcing themselves to get over it. I was soon won over by the welcoming atmosphere that was set from the first evening.

Microsoft’s Akhtar Badshah posed a critical question at the beginning: How do we become the innovators to drive change? He also spoke about harnessing disruption and moving from the transactional to the transformational.

Daniel Ben-Horin, Co-CEO and founder of TechSoup Global, reminded us that “geeks and activists” share core values and have a natural affinity–I’m not sure which side of that equation I’m on, but certainly I do agree that technologies are disrupting the status quo. The quote in the blog post title is also from him: “We’re smarter together than separate.”

However, I couldn’t help but feel “it isn’t enough”–in the sense that even though technologies are supposedly making our lives easier or better, they haven’t fundamentally made us any happier and often only make our lives more complicated. Hence, the premise behind Inner Engineering–technologies for well-being…

That said, I did gain a tremendous amount from hearing about the participants’ experiences with technology and sharing my own. I most enjoyed the last day when the Netsquared participants came together to discuss the issues particular to us, many of whom were based in or from the developing world. It was great hearing about all their inspiring projects and getting to know them in a more informal setting.

That’s my overall take! For more insights, see Beth Kanter’s post on “Inspiration Overload.”


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