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Happy New Year. Or happy trial to the new year. Some years ago, I read a tweet that basically said it all. With everybody coming back from holidays - or even still being off - January always is kind of a trial period for the rest of the year. We try it on, see if it fits and then happens what always happens: We forget to cancel the trial in time and we are stuck with whatever the rest of the year brings. So enjoy your trial and I wish you all the best for the rest of your subscription! I'm trying to play my part in making it enjoyable as possible!

What we wrote

What's the way to the Ark again?

What's the way to the Ark again?
We live in polarizing times. The world is full of Us vs. Them. Us the ones with the “right” political corner vs Them, the ones who “don’t understand what the world needs”. If they would just wake up. Us the “responsible” climate activists vs Them, the “reckless” climate arsonists. If they could just stop to pollute the planet. Us the "clever" vaccinated vs them, the "silly" unvaccinated people. If they would just get vaccinated. Us, the "educated" people who listen to science vs them, the "stupid" people who believe in Fake news. If they would just listen to facts.

Recently, I noticed a new sheriff in town with a badge saying “Hi, my name is The Agile Movement”. I am a big fan of the principles of agile. I believe in a lot of what it stands for. What I don't frantically believe in I still can see as a good and reasonable cause. But recently one central concept from that movement starts to stand out rather as a buzzword and voices from that community get louder and louder: Us, the "evolved" resilient ones with all the cool mental tools to thrive vs. them, the "retarded" un-resilient. If they were just more resilient.

You see, the word “just” itself is not as simple as it appears to be. If you look up definitions of the word - I did that research in the Merriam Webster - there are basically two ways to interpret it. One way is to use it as an adverb. When used like this, it always means something that is not far off from the recent standpoint: very recently, immediately, by a small margin, simply or exactly. The other definition for the use as an adjective circle around proper, lawful or reasonable. So while it implies that we don’t have to move so far from our current standpoint, in time and in mental space, it also tells us that something is right as it is.

Don't get me wrong! Resiliency is a great skill. But sometimes what agile principles are asking is to leave behind what people learned for years and generations. Do we want to get there in a reasonable way, which for me equals a sustainable unlearning of hindering mindsets? Or are we asking them to change immediately, no matter the cost? Sometimes, for me it is not quite clear to tell and taken that the word "just" is always used as an adverb in the given examples - a word that provides more information to the sentence - I please ask to be forgiven if I tend to see it connected to the latter.

If we want to fight future crisises, also the ones that are already knocking at our door, such as climate change, we have to work together. Hand in hand. Of course, we could leave the "unevolved" people behind. But how much would that align with our humanistic principles? We will lose people on the way. But if we intentionally set out to go as the leading tribe without looking left or right, we are no better than the rest. We would definitely be no better than the tech tribe that leads by exclusion. One size fits all. Take it or leave it. Come to our side or stay behind. This train is not waiting for you. Consequently, the ethical discussions about this approach to grow and the implications to equality, inclusion and society are starting to take over the floor.

The Agile Movement claims to be big on inclusion. We claim to welcome individuals as they are and leave them better as we found them. So why do we seem to fail to put into consideration who has access to our mindset, therapy, to appreciative circles? To coaching, agile ways of working, the freedom to experiment? Are we allowing them the time to grasp what they are facing and grieve what they will lose?

We don't have to drag everyone along. But we need to be willing to create bridges for people and help them on the way, who might not be 100% on board with us yet, because our privileges are not their advantages. One part of that is the fun in it. But how can we put the fun back in when we are so much focussed on optimising for resiliency?

Why does it trigger me so much? I guess because I don’t want to see the agile movement turn into just another ivory tower discipline. Lately, in one of our workshops, we had a participant who said at the end "I thought this was just gonna be another Agile meeting and I really wasn't looking forward to it". I think we’re past that point where these disciplines change anything for the better. The participant continued his feedback: "But this was not like this. This was fun". Grassroots movements change the world - so if we want to be the change we want to see in the world, we should quickly stop the construction on that ivory tower, put the fun back into what we are doing and continue finishing the ark that we started!

What others wrote

No text I ever write just comes out of my brain from some form of abyss. I am not that genius creative. I read a lot of stuff that forms my opinion. Not all of it makes it into my articles. Some things are just a brain tickler. So I will share good pieces with you, so maybe they also tickle your brain.
Moxie Marlinspike, the founder of the messaging app Signal, has something to say about web3. It's a great piece to understand the basics of what we are talking about here and to get an eyeball on all the different terms and words around it. It also illustrates in an excellent way that not every hot topic coming out of tech is also flamed by the tech folks but by investors, VCs and anybody else having a big interest in the money in the system but a really low interest in understanding the mechanisms of the cosmos.
New year, new questions about what this year will bring. For tech, Ben Evans gives a nice overview on what could become important in the upcoming year.
Imagine there is a major natural catastrophe anywhere in the world - and nobody would know any details about it! That is what is currently happening to the archipelago of Tonga. On January 15 an underwater volcano off the coast of the country erupted and since then the country has gone mute. No internet signal whatsoever has left the island and so no local details left either. It is most likely that the eruption destroyed the undersea cable that connected Tonga to the internet. Undersea cables however are extremely complex to repair. And this might take its time.

A word from...
Adam McKay

"The book movie to read watch is not the one that thinks for you but the one which makes you think" - (mostly) Harper Lee
This month I want to deviate from the habit of presenting you a book here and instead lead your attention to the excellent movie "Don't Look Up" that everyone should watch.
Don't look up
Wikipedia describes the movie as a science fiction film. I would say, they got it 50% right. It is a film that analyses how we deal with and listen to science in a crisis (Spoiler: not well). However, and here's the bad news: It's not fiction at all. The film shows to an astonishing extend how especially the western societies right now tend to bounce between collective denial and depression. It is the perfect movie for these doomsday times and it plays with every and all the cliches in such a poignant way that it is hard to not just wait for the asteroid to hit the earth and end it all.

The Good News

Governments are traditionally slow to react to the changes to markets. You could say, it's not their job. What is their job, however is a duty to create equal opportunities for people to meet their basic needs. One of these needs is transportation. Not all private companies share the humanistic approach to make business. So governments can step in and make the situation better for everyone involved. And Rio de Janeiro is showing, how this can work!

What's new?

I have a "Now" page. So everyone can see what is going on.
What is a Now page? It's "a page that tells you what this person is focused on at this point in their life. Think of what you’d tell a friend you hadn’t seen in a year." The idea was first brought into the world by Derek Sivers. So this is me sharing myself with you, just as I would do with friends I haven't seen in a year. Even if we have never met in person.
That's it for this month. Thanks for reading the eighth Edition and for your support. Please let me know what you think of the newsletter. All feedback welcome!
And on a last note, just to let you know: This newsletter, as any, was made by the loving support of snacks and the vastness of the internet.
We actively want to bring in colours, not just lighten the place up! We want to create the space, where ideas from other dimensions are included, where thoughts outside of the black and white realm find a touchpoint with the spectrum. We want to explore possibilities how our society can be a better one when we don’t fight the unknown but embrace it with open arms and a curious mind. It is an offer to think differently. It’s an offer for different views, opinions and insights so that the “One Size Fits All” story of technology becomes a range of various stories that show us the immense beauty of digitalization.
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