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Communication, Knowledge and Information in the Human Ecosystem

Communication, Knowledge and Information in the Human Ecosystem | Knowledge Broker |

In the Digital Age, the age of Communication, Information and Knowledge, the possibility to capture, express, observe, visualize and understand the patterns for behaviour, emotion, opinion, expression, movement and more, potentially for hundreds of millions of people at a time, has brought the term “ethnography” in the spotlight for both academic and popular crowds.

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

In the 2 1/2 years that I've been curation, I haven't come across an article that I didn't quite know how to capture. It is a challenging read, but there are some interesting ideas about awareness of one’s position within a relational ecosystem.

Lis Marrow's curator insight, August 5, 2014 7:40 PM

again....thanks for helping!

Eli Levine's curator insight, August 23, 2014 10:15 AM

All is perspective.  We each and all have different interpretations of the reality that is around us, because we each and all have different brains and sense organs which pick up and interpret the reality that is around us.


Some opinions and beliefs, however, are more accurately sensing the real world than others.  Furthermore, the only appropriate way to pursue information and data about the real world is to be like an interrogator, seeking the truth, and a gold prospector, panning for the valuable and relevant information in your given area.  It's when there is open communication, honest dialogue, and a spirit of cooperation that we get the end results that are useful to us, as policy makers, and as social scientists, trying to uncover the truth about our world.  All other perspectives, attitudes, and methods, are most likely bunk and produce bunk relative to our common reality.


Reality is a dictatorship.  It simply is and does not care what you think feel, believe, or hope for.  You only obey it, or you die.  That's my new insight into the world.  Screw post-modernism.

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Live Rich

Live Rich– A spoken word film about the true meaning of wealth.

‘Live Rich’ is a film about our relationship with money in a world where we are always being sold to, and how the most important things in life can’t be bought.

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

Live Rich is written, performed and directed by Gary Turk. I highly recommend that you check out his website You can also follow Gary on Twitter here: @Gary_Turk

Live Rich (Transcript)

How we spend our days is how we spend our lives,
and we all spend it spending.
We live to consume, we consume to live,
and our desire for more is unending.

Whenever I get paid, I just can’t wait to spend it,
it disappears so quickly and I’m left to mend it,
I pretend it will all be okay,
to give a week’s wages away in one day.

But we try our best, still money seems to go,
we’ve been told many times that money doesn’t grow on trees,
But it’s a disease, the elephant in the room,
it’s the big bad wolf that’s making us consume.

They get more money, if we’re regular buyers,
so they manipulate are needs, and twist our desires.
They are liars, a shady institution,
where they create a problem and sell us a solution.

They will use fear, so we buy things we don’t need,
say you’re dying, you’re ugly, it’s all out of greed.
They mislead, make you buy things that wont last,
planned obsolescence should be a thing of the past.

They’ll do anything to trick us, try and take our money captive.
Sell us happiness and sex appeal, and ways to be attractive,
so we go out and buy it, and fill our lives with clutter
only we still feel the same, but with money in the gutter.

It’s a cycle, of perpetual spending,
a disposable culture with no sign of ending.
We’re pretending like they’re our own choices
and ignoring the fact that we can hear voices in our heads.
It’s Consumerism, banging at our door.

Saying our lives should be better, that we should have more.

But we’re just as bad, we shouldn’t pass blame,
we’re all part of the same money game,
But they’re winning, and we always lose,
we’re giving them our money because we join the queues
of people, all keeping up with the Joneses,
buying the latest and the newest, but what no one shows is
it’s difficult to make ends meet,
when all these temptations are thrown at our feet.

But I have a solution, which you’re welcome to ditch,
it’s hard but it’s worth it, Spend Less – Live Rich.

As simple as that, just tune out the noise,
Take in what you have and appreciate the joys
of living, without being told what to buy,
or else you’ll always want more, until the day that you die.

It’s a struggle, living day to day,
trying to stay afloat when your worries weigh you down.
You’re in your overdraft, you have been for years,
Everything you owe is being paid in arrears.

And it’s tough, you don’t know what to do,
you cant control your money when money controls you.
You need help, but you have too much pride,
you’ve used up all your credit and your cards have been denied.

You could get a loan, but that’s not the way to wealth,
when you borrow money, you rob your future self.
Ask for help, think ahead, no one wants this stress,
you may need money now but later you’ll have less.

What you earn doesn’t matter, only what you save,
you can spend what you have, but don’t be a slave
to the system, they will find a new way,
to numb the pain that you feel when it comes time to pay.

We had cash and cheque, then onto chip and pin,
now you keep hold of your card when you buy anything.
You don’t feel it, when your funds go in a flash,
just try and go a week where you only pay cash.
Then you will notice, as your stash runs low,
the wage you work hard for, how you just let it go.

Think of those in the world without shirts on their back,
when you see clothes in your closet that are still in their pack.
Realise you have what you need, when your money runs low,
And the voices on the TV start telling you to throw,
Things away, to buy the new version.
They only want your cash; they don’t care about the person.

So take control of your money, and take control of your lives,
saving money isn’t boring when you start to realise
what it stands for, the choices and the freedom,
the security of those pennies in the times that you need them.

You see true wealth isn’t in the numbers to you name,
It’s in knowledge itself, and the experiences you gain,
It’s about the priceless, and the things you cant buy,
Like memories, and loved ones, and feeling that high
When you realise, that life’s full of free gifts,
When you live in the moment, and forget that money exists.

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Higher Consciousness

What is “higher consciousness,” really, and can it be unmoored from the baggage of spiritualism and superstition to enrich our secular understanding of what it means to be human?

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

Higher consciousness' sounds mystical and possibly irritating. It shouldn't. It just captures how we see things when we go beyond our own egos.

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Engagement is Relational, not Transactional

Engagement is Relational, not Transactional | Knowledge Broker |

If journalism didn’t exist today, it wouldn’t be created in the top-down distributed model it has used in the past. Journalism must adapt to this new interconnected reality if it is to be relevant and trustworthy to the public. The industry has invested resources in new business models and in finding ways to grow the audience by examining analytics. But very little attention has been paid to reimagining public engagement with the news.

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

Social media won’t fix this situation. But engaging with and empowering the public can provide an opportunity to help build the community, as opposed to tearing it down.

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Growth Mindset: Clearing up Some Common Confusions

Growth Mindset: Clearing up Some Common Confusions | Knowledge Broker |

Carol Dweck's work has made growth mindset a hotly discussed topic in education. It has also spawned misunderstandings about growth mindset and what it means in education.

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

A growth mindset is the understanding that personal qualities and abilities can change. It leads people to take on challenges, persevere in the face of setbacks, and become more effective learners. As more and more people learn about the growth mindset, which was first discovered by Stanford Professor Carol Dweck, we sometimes observe some confusions about it.

This article summarizes some common confusions and offers some reflections.

Matthew Farmer's curator insight, November 17, 2:16 AM

Research has shown that developing a growth mindset is beneficial in a variety of contexts, from education to the workplace to interpersonal relationships to sports to health. It leads people to take on challenges they can learn from, to find more effective ways to improve, to persevere in the face of setbacks, and to make greater progress, all of which we need to further cultivate in education. 

RebeccaMoore's curator insight, November 18, 8:15 PM

Mind Shift shares misconceptions associated with the term "growth mindset" and shares ideas to change our own thinking and that of our students. Practical advise on how to move forward using a growth mindset helps readers to put into practice the clear explanations. 

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Will Digital Books Ever Replace Print?

Will Digital Books Ever Replace Print? | Knowledge Broker |

Digital books stagnate in closed, dull systems, while printed books are shareable, lovely and enduring. Where do we go from here?

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

Our relationships to our most meaningful books are long and textured. And until we can trust our digital reading platforms, until the value propositions of digital are made clearer, until the notes and data we produce within them is more accessible and malleable, physical books will remain at the core of our working libraries for a long time coming.

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Twitter is teetering because it has turned into one big pyramid scheme

Twitter is teetering because it has turned into one big pyramid scheme | Knowledge Broker |

Why is the San Francisco-based company laying off almost 10% of its workforce, after posting a near-$600m loss last year as user growth flatlined?

 Illustration: Andrzej Krauze.

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

Social media’s struggles sum up a modern malaise: the inability to recognise value beyond market-driven metrics.

Stephen Dale's curator insight, November 8, 6:33 AM

Having been a Twitter user since 2007, I'm used to its foibles and deficiencies, not least knowing how to dodge the growing number of bots and marketing bullshitters. Having grown my followers organically, and appreciate every single one of them, I never cease to be amazed at the concept of "buying" followers. One day these people will realise that it doesn't make any financial - or ethical - sense. I refuse to follow anyone who has hundreds of thousands of followers yet has only tweeted infrequently. For them, followers are juts commodities.The sooner this practice is seen for what it is the sooner we will reclaim the "social" space that was always the original intention for Twitter.

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A Toolkit for Building Better Minds: Wi-Phi

A Toolkit for Building Better Minds: Wi-Phi | Knowledge Broker |

Wi-Phi is an open access philosophy project created by Yale and MIT. 

Wi-Phi's mission is to introduce people to the practice of philosophy by making videos that are freely available in a form that is entertaining, interesting and accessible to people with no background in the subject.

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

On this website you can explore everything from cognitive biases to the good life, as examined by PlatoAristotle, and Kant.

Dig deeper into their Youtube channel and you’ll find more simple but not simplistic lessons on the philosophy of mathematics, language, ancient China, and much more.

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Bertrand Russell & Buckminster Fuller on Why We Should Work Less, and Live & Learn More

Bertrand Russell & Buckminster Fuller on Why We Should Work Less, and Live & Learn More | Knowledge Broker |

In far too many cases in fact, the work we must do to survive robs us of the ability to live by ruining our health, consuming all our precious time, and degrading our environment.

Gary Bamford's curator insight, November 2, 12:38 PM

Take charge of your destiny!

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Screw Finding Your Passion

Screw Finding Your Passion | Knowledge Broker |

If you don’t have any idea what to do with yourself, what makes you think some jackass with a website would? I’m a writer, not a fortune teller.

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

The problem is not a lack of passion for something. The problem is productivity. The problem is perception. The problem is acceptance.

The problem isn’t passion. It’s never passion.

It’s priorities.

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Everything Hinges on the Narrative of Your Work

Everything Hinges on the Narrative of Your Work | Knowledge Broker |

It is human nature to tell stories. From Hamlet to The Hunger Games, narrative is the lifeblood of the human condition. To this end, knowing what you do professionally and how you do it is important, but knowing the story you tell yourself about what you do is evermore meaningful.

Via David Hain
Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

On a primal level, we seek narrative because our minds are hardwired to sort chaos into order. We seek and desire stability of behavior, and it’s difficult for us to look at something and not immediately wrap a story around it. We create stories to give meaning.

How does this apply to work and what you do?

David Hain's curator insight, October 15, 7:11 AM

What story do you tell yourself about the work you do? It can make all the difference.

Dave Wood's curator insight, October 16, 12:41 AM

So true. All coaching clients come with a narrative about their situation. Especially when the issue is in relationship to somebody else.  Then its a case of "what's your story about them". This is when visually mapping the stories can be so useful.

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If You’re Not Paranoid, You’re Crazy

If You’re Not Paranoid, You’re Crazy | Knowledge Broker |

As government agencies and tech companies develop more and more intrusive means of watching and influencing people, how can we live free lives?

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Stop Googling. Let’s Talk.

Stop Googling. Let’s Talk. | Knowledge Broker |

What have we done to face-to-face conversation? 

These days, we feel less of a need to hide the fact that we are dividing our attention.

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

In a 2015 study by the Pew Research Center, 89 percent of cellphone owners said they had used their phones during the last social gathering they attended. But they weren’t happy about it; 82 percent of adults felt that the way they used their phones in social settings hurt the conversation.

A fine post by MIT professor Sherry Turkle. She is the author of Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in the Digital Age.

Stephen Dale's curator insight, October 15, 4:49 AM

Perhaps confirms what we've all suspected - smartphones are killing the art of face-to-face conversation. Relationships are developed - and ended - on the keypad. #socmed

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What to Think About Machines That Think: Leading Thinkers on Artificial Intelligence and What It Means to Be Human

What to Think About Machines That Think: Leading Thinkers on Artificial Intelligence and What It Means to Be Human | Knowledge Broker |
“Once we had neurons. Now we’re becoming the neurons.”

In the 2015 edition of his annual question, John Brockman invited 192 of today’s most prominent thinkers to tussle with these core questions of artificial intelligence and its undergirding human dilemmas.


Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

The idea that artificial intelligence isn’t some futuristic abstraction but a palpably present reality with which we’re already living.

Excellent curation by Maria Popova on Brain Pickings. 

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Photographer, filmmaker and artist Yann Arthus-Bertrand is one of the few people I'd quit what I'm doing to work with.

In this new documentary, Human, he asks:

What is it that makes us human? Is it that we love, that we fight? That we laugh? Cry? Our curiosity? The quest for discovery? 

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

Driven by these questions, Yann Arthus-Bertrand spent three years collecting real-life stories from 2,000 women and men in 60 countries. 

Watch part 1, 2 and 3 on Youtube via the link above and follow #WhatMakesUsHUMAN on Twitter. 

Part 1 deals with the themes of love, women, work and poverty.

Part 2 deals with the themes of war, forgiving, homosexuality, family and life after death.

Part 3 deals with the themes of happiness, education, disability, immigration, corruption and the meaning of life.

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Does the Internet Threaten Creativity or Nurture It?

Does the Internet Threaten Creativity or Nurture It? | Knowledge Broker |

The Internet is the most important storytelling invention since the concept of language.

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

At this year's Aspen Ideas Festival, a group of people who work in media, design, and the arts answered if the Internet is inspiring or stifling.

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The Paradox of Choice

We face an endless string of choices, which leads us to feel anxiety, guilt and pangs of inadequacy that we are perhaps making the wrong ones.

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

In this RSA Animate, Professor Renata Salecl explores the paralysing anxiety and dissatisfaction surrounding limitless choice. 

Salecl is the author of The Tyranny of Choice.

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Wire Cutters

A chance encounter proves fateful for 2 robots mining on a desolate planet. Keyword: cooperation. 

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

Jack Anderson spent about a year just rendering his tale of a chance encounter between two robots mining on a desolate planet. It was worth the wait.

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Do we see reality as it is?

Do we see reality as it is? | Knowledge Broker |

Cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman is trying to answer a big question: Do we experience the world as it really is ... or as we need it to be? In this ever so slightly mind-blowing talk, he ponders how our minds construct reality for us.

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

In his research to uncover the underlying secrets of human perception, Donald Hoffman has discovered important clues pointing to the subjective nature of reality.

Rather than as a set of absolute physical principles, reality is best understood as a set of phenomena our brain constructs to guide our behavior. To put it simply: we actively create everything we see, and there is no aspect of reality that does not depend on consciousness.

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Not an Introvert, Not an Extrovert? You May Be An Ambivert

Not an Introvert, Not an Extrovert? You May Be An Ambivert | Knowledge Broker |

Psychologists and behavioral scientists are looking more closely at ambiversion — a personality type that can adapt to social or solitary environments.

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

Psychologists studying personality have long looked at the extreme traits of extroverts and introverts. Now they are focusing on the ambiverts in the middle.

Daniel Pink also writes about ambiverts in To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others.

Interested in knowing more? Then check this conversation between Dan Pink and Adam Grant: Why To Sell Is Human and this article on Brain Pickings about Pink's book: Ambiverts, Problem-Finders, and the Surprising Psychology of Making Your Ideas Happen.

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A man with a typewriter-head tries to get rid of his out-of-control thoughts.

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The Zen of Not Knowing

The Zen of Not Knowing | Knowledge Broker |

In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s there are few.

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

We all want to be the one who knows. But if we decide we “know” something, we are not open to other possibilities anymore. And that’s a shame. We lose something very vital in our life when it’s more important to us to be one who knows than it is to be awake to what’s happening.

I also recommend that you read Not Knowing by Steven D Souza and Diana Renner and Richard Martin's blog post In Between

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Daniel Kahneman: ‘What would I eliminate if I had a magic wand? Overconfidence’

Daniel Kahneman: ‘What would I eliminate if I had a magic wand? Overconfidence’ | Knowledge Broker |

The psychologist and bestselling author of Thinking, Fast and Slow reveals his new research and talks about prejudice, fleeing the Nazis, and how to hold an effective meeting.

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

This is a interesting interview with Daniel Kahneman where he talks about his personal life. 

Dave Wood's curator insight, July 24, 1:48 AM

A thought provoking article from the author of Slow Thinking.

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The Psychology of Your Future Self

The Psychology of Your Future Self | Knowledge Broker |

"Human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they're finished."

Dan Gilbert shares recent research on a phenomenon he calls the "end of history illusion," where we somehow imagine that the person we are right now is the person we'll be for the rest of time. Hint: that's not the case.

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

Daniel Gilbert, a psychology researcher at Harvard University who did this study with two colleagues suggests that people generally fail to appreciate how much their personality and values will change in the years ahead — even though they recognize that they have changed in the past.

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In a village 2500m high in the Indian Himalayas, life is changing. Many of the younger generation seek to chart a new course, different from those of their parents. This is one man’s story of juggling responsibilities and fighting for dreams, both for himself and for his community.

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

The Economic and Social Research Council in the UK recently awarded 'The prize for Outstanding International Impact' to Dr Jane Dyson who captured her academic work in this thought provoking documentary.

Défricheur XX1's curator insight, August 2, 1:37 PM

The Economic and Social Research Council in the UK recently awarded 'The prize for Outstanding International Impact' to Dr Jane Dyson who captured her academic work in this thought provoking documentary.


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The Death of the Universe

The shape, contents and future of the universe are all intricately related. We know that it's mostly flat; we know that it's made up of baryonic matter (like stars and planets), but mostly dark matter and dark energy; and we know that it's expanding constantly, so that all stars will eventually burn out into a cold nothingness. 

Lesson by Renée Hlozek, animation by Giant Animation Studios.

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Curated by Kenneth Mikkelsen
Thinker ★ Speaker ★ Writer ★ Leadership Advisor ★ Learning Designer ★ Connector of ideas+people ★ Loud Listener ★ Horizon Scanner ★ Polymath ★ Humanist

Kenneth Mikkelsen is co-founder of FutureShifts. We help visionary companies identify and tackle the big shifts in the world by cultivating the skills, mindsets, behaviors and organizational cultures needed to succeed in times of change.