Thursday, August 6, 2009

My Secret Sauce to Cook Up Multiple Careers

Last Tuesday I participated in a very innovative networking event in Second Life hosted by the principles of ThinkBalm, Erica and Sam Driver. (I have since created a machinima that you can view here.)

I have been working on a presentation that ties metacognition and reinvention and the new workplace models to my six careers. I feel like poster child for how today's learners will function in the workplace in the 21st century. The critical importance of learning how to learn, and thinking about thinking. And the fact that 85% of the jobs that today's learners will be doing have not been invented yet.

After seeing an amazing demo by the team from HealthyWorlds last spring, complete with a huge T-Rex on stage and oversize fruit falling from the ceiling, I was struck by the tremendous and as yet largely untapped potential of immersive environments to be much more cinematic, much more involving.

Rather than just put up PowerPoint slides and speak to them, or even stream video into these spaces, why not do something totally new...something you simply can not do in any other type of forum.

So I teamed up with three tremendously talented artists - RacerXGullwing (scripter extraordinaire), and two amazing designers - Xandi Mars and Random Cole.

Together, we worked up a storyboard based on my earlier Bennington presentation, distilled it to five minutes, and created several moving visual elements to make it *come alive* for want of a less clich├ęd qualifier. And it was quite impactful.

The six careers I have had since I graduated from college 35 years ago were laid out on a giant GANTT chart. I briefly described each one and images from that phase of my life popped up. I also talked about the compelling event that inspired me to move from one to the next.

I then introduced my *secret sauce* - the three key focus areas that helped me to move through these careers. They are: antenna, brand and network. Simply put, I trusted my instincts and followed my bliss, was always very aware of my own personal brand - what makes me unique - and focused on the ongoing and constant nurturing of an ever-evolving web of contacts.

Words representing the various factors that influenced my shifts - lifestyle, technology, social, political - floated into an antenna that appeared above my head.

Then the four elements that make up my brand appeared - Musician, Philosopher, Techie and Communicator - each with a unique font and color and style - two above and two next to me. After a few moments, allowing me time to speak to each, they merged into my name - *Christopher!*

Finally, a 3D image of the many social networking tools that I use appeared behind me, followed by a matrix of faces representing my broader network. Both images drifted away from the stage one after the other, out into the audience and then dissolved.

I ended with images from my Moo card which has my avatar portrait and my contact information.

It was great fun! I look forward to doing it again. The plan is to shoot a high quality machinima of this piece and then post it. I also want to flesh out the whole scenario into a longer, much more detailed and really immersive experience. I'll keep you posted.