Jay Cross

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.

  1. We’re searching for a more vibrant name for this thing. “Center for Learning Innovation” was a candidate but it sounds too much like a program at Stanford. Furthermore, we aim to be edgy, not centered. The search goes on.

  2. Few ideas, shooting from the hip:
    – Learning Hub
    – Knowledge Hub
    – eLearning Hub
    – Learnx (as Learn in the power of X) – cannot show it in this font..
    – Real life learning squad
    – Learning collective

    I will try to be more creative over the weekend.

  3. Some additional ideas:
    – Knowledge Knight
    – future learning forum
    – Tomorrow’s knowledge foundation

  4. Last names for the day:
    – Learning Circle
    – The Knowledge consortium
    – Learning on the Edge

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