Howard Rheingold is someone I’ve started paying careful attention to (one of my earlier posts includes a video from Rheingold in which he highlights his ideas about Learning to Inquire). He almost always challenges my thinking or at least provides me with a new way of thinking, and lord knows I need new ways of thinking more than I need much of anything else.
Whenever I watch or read something of his, I feel like I have direct access to one of the most interesting thinkers alive and I would love to be able to take a class with him someday. But thanks to sites like YouTube and TED, I DO, in fact, have this access, and this is one of the great benefits of social media that I am learning and teaching about.
In this video below, Rheingold has some provocative things to say about our innate desire to collaborate — that’s right, innate. I once heard someone say that debating nature versus nurture is like debating whether length or width is most important to understanding the area of a square, and I am in no position to take a stance about this. Nonetheless, I think that the specific examples that Rheingold cites — corporate examples, technological examples — speak to the power of working together instead of against each other. Another note: Rheingold used this talk to launch The Cooperation Commons — the “Interdisciplinary study of cooperation and collective action.” We could use more of this, too!