Futurism

The Structure of Information Revolutions

In 1962, philosopher Thomas Kuhn published his landmark work The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, forever changing our view of the history of science. Kuhn showed that scientific revolutions follow a certain pattern, in which periods of conceptual continuity in normal science were interrupted by periods of revolutionary science. In this article I’ll argue that the…

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MESA Part 5: The Future of Work That MESA Envisions

MESA Co. considers their method not just a problem-solving tool, but an entirely new way of working. As their ambitions have grown, they’ve begun looking toward a future in which this way of conducting work is nothing more than common sense.

In this article, I’ll outline a vision for what the future of work might look like if MESA has its way.

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MESA Part 4: The Origins of MESA

The MESA Method is full of firmly held beliefs and sharp distinctions. To understand why they’re so important, you have to understand where they came from. I recently sat down with Bárbara Soalheiro, the founder and CEO of MESA Co., and Lígia Giatti, her number 2, to try and understand the origins of this new way of working.

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MESA Part 3: The Art of Unlocking People’s Creative Potential

In Part 2, I laid out what I believe are the 10 principles that MESA Co. uses to fine-tune the working environment.

But what are they fine-tuning the environment for? Unlocking people’s creative potential.

The open secret of MESA (and other Accelerated Work Experiences) is that, beyond the rules and guidelines and structures, their true purpose is to unlock people’s potential to achieve more than they imagined was possible.

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MESA Part 2: The 10 Principles of Work Sprints

Enter your email here if you’re interested in hearing more about MESA in the future. In Part 1, I described the basics of the team-based work sprint methodology known as MESA. In this article, I’ll take a closer look at the underlying principles that tie together MESA and other kinds of Accelerated Work Experiences (AWEs)….

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A Maker’s Ethos in the Era of Networked Attention

Once upon a time, we faced the scourge of Information Overload. Too many emails with too many details producing too many open loops to keep track of. But now we have a new challenge: the Information Apocalypse. Not only is there far too much information to consume or manage, much of that information has now…

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Emergent Strategy: Organizing for Social Justice

When I moved from San Francisco to Oakland in 2014, I was just trying to pay cheaper rent. I never expected to be influenced by the movements that flow through Oakland’s veins: the movements for social justice, for environmental justice, and for black liberation. I’ve since had the privilege of working with some of the…

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Why I’m Moving to Mexico

My partner Lauren and I are moving to Mexico City later this year. This post explains why, both to clarify for myself, and to be able to share with others. We’ve been able to identify 5 reasons for why we’re moving. I’ll elaborate on them below, from most to least important. 1. It’s time for…

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The Future of Ebooks

I’ve published a few ebooks over the past year, and have plans for a couple more before the end of the year. In contrast to fears about the “end of reading,” my self-publishing experiences have led me to believe that we’re in the midst of a transformational revolution in reading. But it remains to be…

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Trekonomics: The Economics of Post-Scarcity

I recently finished listening to the audiobook of Trekonomics: The Economics of Star Trek (Amazon Affiliate Link), by Manu Saadia. It was probably the most fun I’ve ever had thinking about economics, due to the outstanding premise: What if we treated the Star Trek universe as if it was real, and used it to draw…

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Supersizing the Mind: The Science of Cognitive Extension

You enter your kitchen for a quick lunch: how is it exactly that your brain solves the problem “prepare lunch as efficiently as possible”? Your brain effortlessly, almost instantaneously “assembles” a diverse mix of problem-solving resources on the spot. These “resources” can include knowledge, tools, or structures, and can be: Mental: knowledge, experience, intuition Physical:…

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The Rise of the Full-Stack Freelancer

A Portfolio Approach to Modern Work In the past, being a freelancer meant being a specialist. The only way you could generate enough income to make it as a free agent was to focus on a single, highly monetizable skill. For example, copywriting, coding, graphic design, photography, journalism, or language translation. You had to be able…

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