This a.m. as I was getting ready to head to the office a story came to my mind: back in the early 90s our neighbours came to woke us up one Saturday morning. We rushed down the stairs to see what the fuss was all about and realized that a young foreign woman, travelling with her backpack, had slept inside our building entry. She spoke no Portuguese and my neighbours little English so they came to fetch my mother and me as they suspect our English would be good enough to communicate with her.
Back in those days no one spoke of couchsurfing or AirBnB or the sharing economy, Internet connections at home were scarce, low-cost airlines hadn’t arrived yet, there were no cafes with free wi-fi, no idea of what crowdsourcing or co-creation was. Those were different times. We were less expose to new ideas, to new cultures, to new ways of living and thinking about life and travels and everything else.
She was travelling, she needed a place to sleep (I had no idea why she was there since we did not live in the city center nor that was a tourism spot), the building door was open so she decided to spend the night there. I can’t remember where she was from. But I remember she asked us if she could have a shower. Everyone was so puzzled that our initial reaction was to say she had to leave (our amygdala must have been screaming “danger! danger!” to us) . I regret sending her away till this day.
That little story made me think how things have changed so fast and so dramatically in 20 years and how different that story would have probably turned if it happened today (with the amount of good value-for-money hostels and similar lodgings around, she probably wouldn’t have had to sleep in a building’s hallway). How times change…
I wonder what the next 20 years will bring.
I know, though, what 2013 brought:
- the pleasure I had in meeting and talking to some great people at events like the Enterprise 2.0 Summit in Paris or Social Now in Lisbon. How I miss some of those conversations…
- the thrill of being invited to participate in an Enterprise 2.0 Summit discussion panel on the challenges of enabling the digital workplace
- the joy I always feel in teaching, especially at the Porto Business School (this year with the extra bonus of having the class Skype with John Stepper. Thank you John!)
- the excitement of seeing some book chapters published! Luck (or faith) had it that in 2013 the chapter 13 of the “Handbook of Research on Enterprise 2.0: Technological, Social, and Organizational Dimensions”, entitled “Critical Success Factors in Enterprise 2.0: The Importance of Business Performance”, was written by yours truly! And finally the book on new trends in marketing intelligence, where I (co)authored four chapters was also out
- the honour of being invited to write a post for CMSWire on “Organizing for the Social Enterprise”
- the happiness I have discovered in singing at the office choir and the many emotional and fulfilling experiences I’ve lived because of that. I’m a better person because of it!
- the need to, at some point, step back and allow myself to slowdown, to say no to new projects, to have time to let my mind wonder
- the craziness of one of the busiest 4th quarter of the year I have ever experienced (work-wise) and the effort and dedication I had to put into the projects I was handling
I’m not yet sure what 2014 will bring. I hope I get to leisurely travel more than I have done this year.
And I’ve been thinking a lot about how I can give back (to borrow an idea from my friend Sérgio). “A little less conversation, a little more action” is the motto that comes to mind. I’ve been actively involved in events’ organizing since 2010: IMPACT0, Ignite Portugal, Talks 2.0, Cidadania 2.0. They have all been important stages for ideas and experiences sharing and, hopefully, for bridging gaps between different people. But I’m craving for something different, something that looks more like “field work” and less like “backstage work”.
And I’ve also been thinking a lot about humanity and organizations. But on that I shall say no more for now.
So, as you can see, I’m ending 2013 and starting 2014 with some ideas to mature which is always a good thing. Here’s to a New Year! Cheers everyone.