culture change

The social networks are a visual experience of the subconscious

…but the dreamers of the day are dangerous people, For they dream their dreams with open eyes, And make them come true. ~D.H. Lawrence

A VISUAL EXPERIENCE OF THE PSYCHE: The social networks are a visual experience of the subconscious. We are re-membering the ability to communicate via extra-sensory perception. To say this more clearly: the Interwebs are a training ground for communicating via thought alone. To phrase this a third time: when one uses the Interwebs to communicate, one is peering into the collective unconscious…the realm of collective imagination…you are literally looking into a catalogue of humanity’s thoughts and dreams.

THE NATURE OF THE AVATAR: The Sanskrit noun avatāra is derived from the verbal root tṝ “to cross over”, joined with the prefix ava “off , away , down”. The implication in regards to one’s Facebook profile or Twitter account is fascinating: namely, that a digital social avatar is a separate, living entity fed by YOUR blood, your dreams, your fears, your desires…and by the context in which it flourishes. To say it again: your digital “avatar” is a “crossing over” “away or down” into the social fabric of the Internet. And, I would argue, this avatar has already come to life and is attracting a community (context) every second of every day as others interact with your content, your expression, your 24/7 presence.

NAVIGATING THE IMAGINAL: What the social networks taught me: how to travel to a lived physical experience via the imaginal. To say this a second time, in a different way: a human can create a collage of image, text and relationship in social networks that yields a path into a desired physical experience. And yet again, to say this in a third way: you have assembled your desired location via the stories, images and relationships engaged within the Interwebs.

Architecting Heaven: the action of writing one's ideal world into being

For it is important that awake people be awake,
or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;
the signals we give–yes or no, or maybe–
should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.

~William Stafford

Perhaps the most confusing aspect of being human is the experience of being alone. We want to connect with one another, to know one another, to be immersed in love with one another. And so we enter the Internet and spend truly huge amounts of time creating worlds to connect within. But for some, deep down,
there is an unsettling feeling that this entire experience in social networks is not meeting what we are looking for. And the question arises as to why this unsettling feeling persists.

Perhaps this feeling is about coming to terms with that moment no-one has mastered…the moment
of passing from flesh into mystery. The moment of physical death. A thousand philosophies speculate on the passage from physical life into the hereafter: from
becoming fodder for worms to reunion with friends and family in the lap of God. The reality is that we cannot avoid this day that eventually comes to us all. So
we keep strong and love those around us the best we can. I believe that humans are architecting spiritual realms via social networks. And I believe that this is what the massive growth of communication in today’s world is all about…a discovery of how to contend with the final doorway, a planning of how one would like “forever” to look like, a participation in a fantasy world that one can make real in a very short amount of time.

To say this again, more directly: The myriad groups and circles that now exist in the digital realm are really a spiritual creation as well. Perhaps we are at a point in history where community created in these digital-light realms precedes or presages the fabrication of such experience in the spiritual realm. Whether one believes in life after death or not, this possibility is here with us now: the bonding of “invisible” presences across the world through image, light and thought. We do this via our laptops and mobile devices every day. And perhaps this is a global training in how to do this with only our minds, only our hearts, only our feelings.

What a truly amazing experience these social networks can be! The experience: I can now see the invisible through my glowing screens. To be clear, I can see the faces and hear the voices of those who share a specific passion with me, who share a common dream with me, who also believe what I believe. Social networks are dream-maps. And it is via these dream maps that I can expand into all that I am meant to be. Giving oneself to one’s deepest passion and discovering a community of support for this has never been so easy, so simple and so satisfying. With one keyword entered into a search field, an individual can make a passage from loneliness into togetherness, from fear into love, from death into life. And that’s a major gift of this experience we are all sharing presently in these networks of light and life.

My conclusion is that humans are architecting their heavens every day via social networks. Humans are writing their ideal worlds into being within the Internet. When I find those who love what I love and share time and food and presence with them…I know, in that moment, that I will have experienced what I believe about the hereafter. These millions of digital circles are a massive proof of humanity’s core desire to be reunited. To find a specific Twitter list, a specific Facebook group, a specific LinkedIn group and to correspond with those who occupy this group…this is an image of humanity’s greatest aspiration: to find one’s people…and be with them, in the flesh, in the spirit, in the heart.

Research leads to freedom

FREEDOM: Many individuals want to break free from corporate walls, familial boundaries and cultural structures. This, in fact, is the story of progress and also of experiencing depth. There are many systems of thought that offer paths to freedom. If one considers the interior of his/her psyche as akin to a corporate structure, then we can go further with a few metaphors that may be of help in finding freedom. Before getting into this though, it is vital to know that freedom comes from taking 100% responsibility for one’s own actions within a given context. This singular truth is the key to freedom. The intelligence gathering process for business and government provides leadership with clarity, security and power. And the best kind of power emerges from individuals who have taken 100% responsibility for the process of discovery and subsequent strategy.

INTELLIGENCE IS MAINSTREAM NOW: For our current article, we will take the market intelligence community and its function as a means to discovering freedom via responsibility. Market intelligence used to be a rarified action, not frequently discussed amongst co-workers on your average coffee break. In fact, in many traditional settings this is still true. But there are many forward-thinking corporations, communities and individuals who understand the power of deep intelligence on any given topic or interest. The market intelligence (MI) process has actually become more widespread in the corporate world due to the advent of social media monitoring tools like Radian6, BrandWatch, Sysomos and PeopleBrowsr. Even very basic Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Google searches provide the average man and woman a point of view previously unknown. For example, one may type keywords related to a specific interest into the search field at a social network and discover people nearby who share that interest. A new “in-the-flesh” experience becomes possible through such location-based searches related to an interest.

THE FIREFIGHTER AND FUTURIST: The advent of readily available intelligence brings humanity as a whole to an entirely new level of responsibility. Answers to most questions are at everyone’s fingertips. And this experience of responsibility translates into freedom for the corporation, the community and the individual. The process of going from a passive “bored at work” search for one’s passion to standing up from the chair and diving into a completely new life may be described as going from the “Firefighter” to the “Futurist”. To explain: the Firefighter is approaching an interest on an ad hoc basis, reacting to outside stimulus and “sitting at the station” waiting for an emergency. The Futurist is deeply engaged on both a global and local level, using intelligence to drive a process of rewarding, pro-active discovery. The Firefighter has no focus other than the emergency he reacts to…the Futurist is immersed in a broad, deep and future-oriented journey that draws in topics, people and places outside the immediately relevant environment. To be clear yet again on this comparison: the Futurist is creating the reality that the Firefighter often reacts to.

The Futurist has realized that reality may be defined ahead of the curve of fate or karma. While the consequences of an action take place within the boundaries of a specific world, the Futurist has moved on and discovered a completely novel experience, devoid of the content and context wherein the previous consequence was generated. He/she may then transform “the past” via valuable learnings, cultural understandings, and innovative approaches discovered “in the future”. A leading solution helping Futurists do this now is Recorded Future.

RESEARCH LEADS TO FREEDOM: The deepest importance of Market Intelligence has to do with creativity. When one discovers the complexion of an eco-system surrounding a specific interest, then he/she may tweak the elements of that eco-system and create what he/she wants. This is why researchers and business leaders must work hand-in-hand to shape our world. And this is also why it is inexcusable for any individual to say he/she cannot find a path to a dream. Even the simplest location-based search around an interest will place one in the company of others who have thrown themselves with passion into achieving very similar dreams to one’s own. Try this today, using the search fields in the various major social networks. Go deeper with social business intelligence tools.

The beauty of human expression in social networks

The most beautiful parts of an individual are often expressed in the most private of settings. What the world loves about “the stars” is that these individuals have chosen to bring slices of their hidden beauty before the world. Social network profiles have provided everyone in the world a chance previously unknown in known history: instant expression of innermost beauty to the world…again and again and again. Appreciation of this expression in all of its forms is an essential mannerism of humanity in current times. The variety of expression is truly astounding. Beyond words.

Inspired by Greece

The speakers at NIC 2012 – The National Innovation Conference today were truly inspirational.

About The Conference: The NIC 2012 conference IS a living community of inspired, successful and unique people who believe in Greece and the potential of Greeks. Every person at this conference is at the center of a community, a parea, a unique network that has tremendous vitality. For an example of a very dynamic slice of those present, check out the 40 Under 40, an esteemed list of young Greek leaders in North America who have excelled in their respective business endeavors and who simultaneously strive to make the world around them a better place through community involvement, philanthropy and/or volunteerism. WHEN such networks are activated fully, Greece truly will realize itself, to quote Peter Economides, as the “apple of the Mediterranean.”

George M. Logothetis, Head of the Libra Group, stood out as a leader that could very well take the helm of Greece itself. He said, “Greece is an ancient society that has overcome many difficulties. Greece just needs the ceiling of negativity and cynicism to be lifted. Let us talk about what Greece can be.” The house filled with applause at this statement by Mr. Logothetis. He went on to quote his grandfather, who said, “The impossible I can do. It is miracles that will take a little longer.”

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Paul Efmorfidis, founder of Coco-Mat Beds, encouraged the audience to “Look around you. What is around you? Work with that.” Mr. Efmorfidis went on to speak of a good business, a business that can say, “We are proud of what we are doing. Our doors are open. We do not have secrets.” Efmorfidis also insisted that “we have to be alert in this life…we have to be awake.”

THE PHILANTHROPRENEURISM PANEL: A panel discussed Philanthropreneurism, focusing on how Greeks can use entrepreneurship and new technology for the benefit of Greece. The panel included Basil Mossaidis, Director of Ahepa; Endy Zemenides, Exec. Director of Hellenic American Leadership Council; Emanuel Manoussakis, Co-Founder & CEO of Groopio.com; John Pyrovolakis, Exec. Director of Innovation Accelerator; Loukas Pilitsis, CEO of Piraeus Equity Partners at Piraeus Bank; and Kostas Mallios, VP, Intellectual Ventures.

QUOTES AND THEMES FROM THE PHILANTHROPRENEURISM PANEL:

“Think positive and be realistic.”

“Make sure creativity does not get lost during the process of setting up a new business.”

“Young professionals in Greece are choosing to live with family or groups of friends and become entrepreneurs vs. working for increasingly low wages or jobs where pay never arrives.”

“Social networks are in the DNA of Greeks.”

“Mentorship of young entrepreneurs in Greece is crucial.”

“One of the most actionable steps in the short term: familiarize young Greeks with how to connect with funding and wealth.”

“We are living a technological revolution in Greece.”

“The Israeli innovation model is what applies in Greece.”

“We need a true innovation eco-system in Greece.”

“Israelis push for leaders, they cultivate leaders, they push young leaders. This is the model we must also choose.”

“We must find leading students and teach them, involve them in internships, mentor them.”

“We must train and cultivate young Greek leaders here in America and then send them back to Greece.”

“The private sector should lead Greece.”

“We must have successful private sector leaders actively participating in hand-holding and mentoring. We must leave the State out of this.”

“In 1974, when Cypriots lost everything, Greek-Cypriots came and rallied and brought Cyprus back to health.”

“The path to integrity is through the crisis itself. This is not just a financial crisis. This is also a social crisis. The crisis itself will create honesty and integrity.”

“Corruption has happened because it can. When corruption cannot happen, then changes will happen.”

“Greece has hit rock-bottom. There is nowhere to go but up.”

“We must get those in need of menthorship in touch with mentors. Social networks can do this.”

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Stefanos Sitaras (http://www.stefanossitaras.com/), a film director and super creative thinker, asked, “How do you learn to take a crisis and become a better person through it? The mechanism of doing this is like an elevator that takes you to the very bottom where you hear negative voices and you really feel and experience the crisis within your body. And then you sacrifice all of this fear, timidness and pain. You give it up. And you eliminate your dependance. And you see who you are and rise to your best self.”

Arianna Huffington (who joined by video), said that all humans must learn to “Stop looking for the victor on the white horse to arrive and start looking at the victor in the mirror.”

Peter Economides, founder of FelixBNI, closed the conference with THE riveting and exact presentation on ReBranding Greece that has won hearts and minds the world over. He praised Athens as the city that “inspires love” and as “the most inspiring place on the planet.” Mr. Economides emphasized how “brand are a set of impressions inside of our heads…brands push the human race forward.” He insisted that Greece IS “the apple of the Mediterranean” and that it is up to Greeks to nurture this beautiful reality. Economides’ rooted his talk in the truth that “everything communicates” and that it is up to Greeks to nurture, guide and create the Greece that will be victorious.

Leda Karabela (http://yhesitate.com/) led a powerful session after Mr. Economides’ talk, in which she asked the audience to state words that captured their feelings, voice plans that could be driven by these feelings and make vocal commitments that would bring these plans to fruition. The audience fully participated with many voices chiming in and contributing to a rich close to the conference. The hall outside afterwards buzzed with conversation as networking and introductions ensued.

One could definitely say that Gregory Pappas and the Greek America Foundation put on a truly successful event, which we hope will contribute a significant slice of human capital to the growing support for Greece worldwide.