The Future (of Work) is Distributed

I had the pleasure of attending the NewCo Shift Forum last month in San Francisco. I’m already a huge fan of John Battelle’s thinking, so attending this was a treat. It, like his writing, aligns my passion for technology, innovation, the future of work and social change — all which feel extraordinarily significant given our current climate of a consolidating technology industry and an extremist political environment.

The icing on the cake was moderating a lunch table of attendees interested in sharing  best practices for distributed workforces. We had folks ranging from companies as large as Dell to as small as Sched, products to professional services, all sharing their experiences with coworkers across geographies and time zones.

You can read my 2-minute summary of our discussion I read onstage here (scroll all the way down :).

Me “backstage” so to speak, taking them up on an offer to chat a bit more given the time constraints onstage. Alas the recording didn’t happen, but this great shot for my mom did.


False Equivalence

The latest installment of inequity-induced outrage came across my feed today. And it reminded me of an important principle.

False equivalence underpins my intense distaste for and impatience with Libertarians and privileged folks. Its simplistic approach neglects history and context and leads to us repeating the same mistakes.

Maddeningly, intelligent people pursue this anemic line of thinking all the time. It’s understandable in that it’s a convenient construct that supports a status quo serving a select few, and eases the conscience through the fallacy that everyone enjoys the same spot at the starting line.

Take the time to understand the bigger picture. Go beyond your own experience and assumptions. Your world will be richer as a result.

Sometimes you need to just scroll down….

I’ve been a proud supporter the World Affairs Council and enjoy seeing all of the wonderful educational events they put on in San Francisco. I was thus quite surprised to see Dick Costolo as the honoree at their annual awards dinner. If you know anything about the CEO’s flippant attitude towards progressive causes, you’ll only chuckle deeper as you read the premise for the honor: “…for helping to achieve positive social change through private enterprise, and for his leadership of Twitter, which is making a transformational impact on societies, economies and polities here and around the globe.”

Certainly the medium of Twitter has supported many noble journalistic and human rights initiatives. On the other hand, it’s also been used for countless (and some say increasing) cases of abuse and harassment. Should the one taking credit for all of Twitter’s noble uses escape accountability for the myriad of destructive uses?

But if you simply scroll further down WAC’s page, the mystery quickly clears:


Now the WAC has educated us in something again: that payola is alive and well in both tech and non-profit.