Jay Cross


In Uncategorized on January 9, 2009 at 11:44 pm


It is great to interact with people who don’t need to be instructed in the rules for brainstorming. Thank you for your suggestions; the words are prodding me to flesh out my vision of what’s taking shape.

First of all, this is a non-profit endeavor. The goal is to change the world. Participants will be rewarded with karma. Of course, when you change the world enough, and people notice. Our name can’t be frivolous, for that doesn’t match the dream.

Our primary purpose is fostering innovation in learning in organizations. My interest is in corporations, but learning underlies everything in life, so it’s not a business-only deal.

The economic spasms shooting around the globe are the precursor to a new age. The rigid, mechanical, predictable, slow-moving, top-down industrial age is giving way to flexible, erratic, rapid-fire, empowering web of relationships. Things are not going to snap back to “normal,” for we’re redefining normalcy.

This phase change makes the times ripe for bold experiments and unprecedented innovation with human learning. On the one hand, yesterday’s classrooms and workshops are too slow, cumbersome, and expensive to meet today’s needs. On the other, we know that people learn best from one another in the context of working with one another. Economic turmoil and survival instinct can force staid corporations to get serious about the social, networked, peer, sharing, bite-sized, need-driven, self-serve, collaborative learning we’ve been talking about amongst ourselves.

Our group will host challenging conversations among well-meaning people from multiple disciplines. Not just learning and organization development and knowledge management consultants, but also mash-ups of cognitive scientists, labor leaders, CFOs, anthropologists, psychologists, historians, executives, and others.

Our agenda is change. We’re trying to influence business culture, not start a school or produce erudite white papers. I’m leery of names that smack of theory instead of practice. These are too theoretical: emergent, meta-, competenz, education, knowledge. The word learning itself is dangerously close to the line.

Positive words are next, commons, innovation. I wish we find a way to shoehorn in concepts like humanism, holistic, and heartwarming, too.


Jay’s technology session at Learning Technologies 2009

In Uncategorized on December 29, 2008 at 11:14 am

Learning Technologies 2009

Track 1   Session 1

Learning technologies: the road ahead
Under the radar: great technologies that you could be using

Collaborative Learning;

Blip.fm for exploring music (and our soundtrack)  MariaFernanda choconancy

Backnoise for back channel, to get more conversations going. Go here to take part.

Poll: Jane’s Top 100 List

  • Write a blog?
  • Twitter
  • TED talks
  • RSS Reader
  • YouTube, SlideShare
  • Skype/Instant messaging
  • Google Docs/collaborative writing

Learner redefined. Prospering in community with others. Becoming who you are. Getting good at what you do. Figuring out how to do a good job. Preparing for an uncertain future. More




Smart Search, e.g. Informal Learning Flow. Tony Karrer. Jay Cross

Activity streams, e.g. Jay’s FriendFeed. FriendFeed. Jay’s Tumblr.

Jay’s learning ecosystem


Research page





Mimeo on-demand publishing for training

Lulu on-demand publishing for books

Veodia video directly to the cloud. Example.

EyeJot for video email and a sample

Scribd “social publishing” for documents


Google for an ever-greater array of services. Docs.

Delicious tools for shared bookmarks

MindMeister for collaborative mind-mapping

Emergent Learning Forum

In Uncategorized on December 21, 2008 at 9:01 pm

“He who is not busy being born is busy dying.” Bob Dylan


The Emergent Learning Forum is a non-commercial, diverse community coming together to foster innovation at the intersection of learning and business.

Mission: Foster innovation in organizational learning

* We tell it like it is
* We are stridently non-commercial
* We share our findings freely

* Face-to-face conversations of people from diverse disciplines
* Fishbowl conversations shared live on the web
* Online community, archives, recordings of sessions, and discussion area
* Unconferences and events when we feel the need

How We Operate
* We are purposely edgy; we consider ourselves innovators and provocateurs
* We do not offer consulting services and do not charge for research reports
* We eject people who attempt to use our forum for self-serving sales pitches

Emergent Learning Forum is in formation. We are recruiting advisers and expect to begin the conversation in January 2009.


Innovation is the product of mashing up diverse disciplines. Learning is already a core topic among practitioners of training, knowledge management, talent, change management, social network analysis, and organizational development, but they don’t talk among themselves enough. The Forum intends to push further, to enrich the dialogue more by adding perspectives from politics, the arts, visualization, the sciences, network studies, management science, information architecture, and other fields.

Our premise that humanity is going through a phase change from the industrial age to the network era. Last time around, clockwork replaced working to the rhythm of nature, mind-numbing piecework replaced working with nature, urban slums were invented to house people who once lived in the countryside, and people died of stress, but in the end, we live the most luxurious life-style in history as a result of their torment. We are convening Emergent Learning Forum to spark the innovation that will enable us to reach the other side of this chasm with a maximum of joy and minimum of tragedy.

Human ingenuity knows no limit. Learning is how our species adapts. Our environment shapes us, we shape our environment, we optimize for each step of evolution. Learning is the art of maintaining an ideal fit with one’s ecosystems. The Forum picks up Doug Engelbart’s challenge: to augment the group intelligence of human kind.

Potential Events

Collaboratory session. Three hours. Profesiional video. About one/month. Slice and dice for the web.

Hillside Club Emergent Learning Forum. Evening events. Tech + social mashup. Every six weeks or so?

Small face to face meeting, online fishbowls. Anyone can run a meeting on their own provided they share what they learned.

CLO online show?


In the early stages, Jay will act as benevolent dictator, making the rapid decisions required for lift-off, with or without the approval of others. However, since Jay does not relish being a despot and wants to hand off leadership once the ball is in motion, I encourage participants to think of themselves as partners in this effort, not subjects. A small board helps figure out how we can change the world and  makes suggestions to keep the effort on course. We are actively recruiting board members.