Adi Gaskell writes about the latest trends in social business, collaboration, and innovation for sites that include DZone, Social Business News, Social Media Today, and Work.com.
Tell me about your career.
I’m a horizon scanner, so I basically look at the latest university research and some of the most innovative case studies, and try and make that information accessible and digestible. I love this quote from science fiction author William Gibson – “the future is already here, but it’s unevenly distributed.” My goal is to try and find that future and distribute it a bit more evenly.
What do you find interesting about the social business space?
It’s amazing how many different ways there are to bring people together to do great things. This includes collaboration within our organizations, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), open innovation, citizen science, or even the sharing economy. There are so many great social ways of doing things now. It’s a very exciting area to work.
What are some of your favorite social technologies?
A slightly unusual choice perhaps, but I adore the various citizen science games on the market, such as EyeWire, Phylo, and Eterna. These allow people to learn about things like neuroscience while playing games, and the game playing contributes to scientific research at the same time. With each game having hundreds of thousands of players, that’s a whole lot of good research being done, so maybe ditch Angry Birds and go with one of these instead 🙂
What are some brands that are succeeding particularly well with social business, and how can others achieve the same level of success?
I think GE has been one of the best examples, with projects like Garages and their partnership with Quirky a good example of how even the largest of organizations can be open and innovative. NASA has also been a proponent of open innovation, and if they can accept that they don’t have a monopoly on the best knowledge, I think there is a lesson for all of us.
What role do you think social media plays in workplace learning?
I’d say that it’s pretty fundamental. We’re living in a golden age for learning at the moment, and we’ve never had access to as much (free) information as we do now. Some examples include taking a MOOC on your favorite topic, learning a language from Duolingo, or coding from Codecademy. This also includes staying on top of your favorite thinkers via blogs or Twitter or checking out the latest TED talks on YouTube. So much learning is at our fingertips – the challenge becomes finding the time to make the most of it.
What are three of your favorite blogs on social business?
That’s a tough one as there are so many. Three that I always enjoy are:
What are your hobbies? What do you do for fun?
I love to cycle, especially in the mountains of Europe, and will be heading out to the Dolomites in Italy for a race at the beginning of July. They’re the most beautiful place on earth in my opinion, and there’s no better way of exploring them than on two wheels.