Think Global. Act Yokel.

It's like stepping out onto the moon for the first time.

That is, the point when I went from the online social media and meeting world, to the What’s Next Lecture Series last night: The Revolution of Work. In Santa Cruz. Where I actually live.

With infrequent exception, most of my working world to date has been virtual B2B. Meaning that most of our networking, prospecting and business to date with HR suppliers has occurred online and via the phone.

Yes, we've been on the floor at industry events much more meeting face to face with our customers and prospects, and that continues to evolve with our agency business.

But still.

It's like stepping out onto the moon...

Giant steps are what you take, walking on the moon...(think Police song)

The premise was this:

The nature of work is fundamentally changing. Technology, demographics, an increased emphasis on environmental sustainability, and a renewed quest for good, old-fashion sanity are driving this once-in-a-century shift in how, where, and why we work.

We talk a lot about this is the HR marketplace, but it was exciting to be a part of the conversation in my own backyard. Refreshing actually.

The panelists included best-selling author Rom Brafman whose latest book is called Click: The Magic of Instant Connections; Joyce Shimizu, VP of Innovation at Plantronics; and Beau Trincia, Senior Environments Designer at IDEO. Sandy Skees, CEO of Communications4Good moderated.

One of the intro folk used the phrase:

Think Global. Act Yokel.

That pretty much set the tone for the rest of the panel discussion. Fact is, the very nature of work is (has/will) changing more than ever before. Serial entrepreneurship is at all time hight and according to a stat I heard last night, there are about 22 million single-employed business owners today. And growing.

There are also more collaborative part-time workers worldwide than we've ever seen before.

And it's the clicking with one another that makes for this collaborative magic.

According to Joyce Shimizu we're at the historic convergence and alignment of megatrends affecting the way we work, which sounds like the tagline for the movie 2012, but really is a good thing.

This includes communication online and off, the flexibility of scheduling, the mobility of the work space, the growth of collaboration, the growth of the knowledge worker, and so many others.

The concept of knowledge work is practiced via these four modes:

In that order of priority.

As another intro speaker put it:

We need leaders to lead this entrepreneurial revival of environmental sustainability and the new way in which we work.

I can dig that. Now that I'm acclimated to the moon's gravity, I look forward to more of the What’s Next Lecture Series. (What’s Next Lectures is a collaboration between UC Santa Cruz, NextSpace Coworking + Innovation, and the City of Santa Cruz.)

Think Global. Act Yokel.

Think about that when you're at SHRM 2010 next week.

Post by Kevin W. Grossman (join me on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn - and now join HRmarketer on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn!)

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