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Written by Robert England | Uppsala
on August 28, 2012

I get up on a Saturday morning and everyone is still snoozing around the house. My wife with her toes sticking out from under the covers. My teenage son with his duvet bunched up around his waist. All’s well with the world.

I myself have a head full of thoughts. Deliveries, invoices, salaries, new projects, new ideas, all fighting for air time. My ideas always happen in the early morning, and really kick in after breakfast. And then I realize, I’m conditioned by the last century.

My sons, born in 1992 and 1998, have a completely different rhythm. They could happily crawl out of bed at 3 PM. And only then, it’s the hunger that wakes them. They trudge around bleary-eyed from their rooms, get something to eat, and then they connect to cyberspace.

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The next generation finds connecting via cyberspace a natural process.

It’s amazing to observe. Over the summer, my younger son played Minecraft and my older son made music. Both work and play collaboratively over the Internet, both learning or building with someone at the other end of a chat. These young people were raised with the Internet as their window to the world.

Henry, the younger one, screeches with hoarse adolescent laughter as his building companion in Ireland cracks a joke about a renegade sheep. Their banter over the headset is friendly, supportive, jovial, respectful. Henry tells me often, with a lot of excitement, that he’d like to meet his friend IRL one day.

I am a child of the 60‘s. Physical presence in a classroom, workspace or office was the only way to interact. The children of the 90’s are conditioned by the endless possibilities of remote interactions. They get to choose exactly the person they like hanging out with. This will inevitably affect they way they think about work.

Since I joined UP* There, Everywhere a year ago, we’ve done lots and lots of remote collaborative projects for life science, from company websites to identity and message building. It takes a little getting used to, but the results are phenomenal. Things move fast. No boring office meetings. You get to meet and work with really bright people. The energy levels are inspiring. You spend less time burning fossil fuel, and a lot more time thinking, creating and collaborating meaningfully. This is good for building relations among people, for building communities, and ultimately, for building a more tolerant world.

 

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