Pushing Against the Membrane of the Future

Was on the phone today with the CEO of DesignShare talking about “School 2.0” and an upcoming talk he has with architects, educators and administrators as well as the content of the report I published last month on the Rise of the Participation Culture. At one point, I used my now oft-uttered phrase, “pushing against the membrane of the future” while describing how I provide guidance and insight in my consulting activities without providing either a magic bullet or absolute answer to a situation or business problem since, quite frankly, neither exists.

This phrase means to me that we ALL are in the same place on the time continuum and no one knows for certain what the future holds as none of us are there yet! We therefore are all looking back on what’s worked in the past, what is occurring right this moment, and then taking our best guess on what is the likely future scenario our idea, a market, or even a competitor might take. I believe there are no experts (just some who have more knowledge at some given moment in time) and that the mass collaboration/connected consciousness/collective intelligence we’re experiencing right now with our global internet is massively and rapidly shifting what informs us as well as our ability to push and make the membrane a tad bit more transparent.

This notion of pushing against the membrane of the future is one of my personal guiding principles since I realize some of us can push a little harder than others and make the membrane less opaque and thus the future a little clearer. This is done by seeking out thought leaders. Creating strategies with the best information you can muster. Performing intricate scenario planning that chooses likely influencers on strategy. By sheer dumb luck of stumbling across the perfect answer or by simply thinking far enough ahead of what YOU want to be possible and just inventing the future.

Attitude, intention, creation, aligning incentives and partnering with more experienced and smarter people, implementing systems to “harness” the collective input of others are all elements that come together to understand and thus succeed in pushing just hard enough to make that membrane a tiny bit more transparent and significantly increase your odds of success.

If you haven’t guessed it already, the membrane before me is about community, mass collaboration and communications. Pushing against that membrane is manifested for me through blogging, going to relevant events, linking to others using social software and connecting with people I meet virtually, putting forth effort to educate others with my free report and blog posts (I receive A LOT more than I give), and trying to think the big thoughts about how that membrane can be made increasingly transparent over time…and for all of us.

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  1. Zack Lynch on December 5, 2006 at 6:48 pm

    Nice post. I too enjoy living on the membrane. Now only if I could figure out how visit/experience multiple membranes (yours, mine and others) more efficiently, then I think we might have a breakthrough. Right now, I guess we’re stuck with web 2.0 until some membrane surfer develops a membrane multiplier, like a neuralextranet.

  2. Steve Borsch on December 5, 2006 at 7:41 pm

    Nice one Zack!

    The more I write about this stuff the more I think about the Borg on Star Trek. At some point our wireless access augmentation devices will be to slow…and we’ll all clamor for that brain jack to be plugged in and eliminate any latency of direct thought connections.


    Even writing THAT paragraph feels really strange.

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About Steve Borsch

Strategist. Learner. Idea Guy. Salesman. Connector of Dots. Friend. Husband & Dad. CEO. Janitor. More here.

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Podcasting hit the mainstream in July of 2005 when Apple added podcast show support within iTunes. I'd seen this coming so started podcasting in May of 2005 and kept going until August of 2007. Unfortunately was never 'discovered' by national broadcasters, but made a delightfully large number of connections with people all over the world because of these shows. Click here to view the archive of my podcast posts.