TedXMac 2017: Dean Whittaker, Jason Sosa: Back FROM the Future


Dean Whittaker, Jason Sosa: Back FROM the Future

  • most of us do not think past 5 years
  • 50% of US jobs at risk because of automation (robots and artificial intelligence)
  • changes to the baby boomers: globalization, demographics, technology
  • technology = revolution
  • we can’t adapt fast enough so we must learn to anticipate change
  • human adaptability is not matching the rate of change in technology
  • change is revolutionary vs. change is evolutionary
  • the ‘gig economy’ working on multiple projects and with diverse teams around the world
  • this time is different
    • automation will replace workers (self service and augmented reality)
    • reality itself will change
    • the entire work force will need to be retrained
    • “robe advice” “robe doctors”
    • machines will be able to outperform humans at almost all tasks
    • be continuous learners and retrain self
    • abundance for some and hardships for others
    • communities will lose financial resources
  • “we need radical mindsets for this radical time”
  • technology might displace us from our jobs
  • “Gig economy” value freedom and flexibility and can do work from anywhere
  • Hope and preferred future
    • rapidly deploy new skills
    • acquire wealth through skills
    • Wisdom from the past, leadership of the present, and vision for the future
    • value diversity
    • own the robots
  • there is a human advantage
  • “as a community, will we choose to embrace change”
    • develop a learning center to re-skill our work force 24×7
    • connectivity is a key
    • implement model community initiative
    • be daring to try new ways of working and networking
    • accept failure as learning
  • “our future is determined by the choices we make today”
  • create the preferred future that is meant for us since we know with 80% certainty where it is headed

TedXMac 2017: Sara DeVries, What’s next for libraries


Sara DeVries, What’s next for libraries

  • libraries used to be the place that collected and shared learning and stories
  • the digital age has allowed everyone to be able to share their stories
  • the local librarian is a digital navigator for all of us
  • as a society we are losing connection with our neighbors
  • “We don’t know each other”
  • the library is a currated collection of global knowledge available to the local community
  • What if the libraries became the publisher of the community to share with the world? Examples:
    • Nuestra Comunidad Hispana: collecting, sharing, honoring, and preserving the stories of local Hispanics – these stories can be checked out from the library
    • Lakeland Library has a seed library as a result of working with individuals in the community who had a large amount of knowledge about heirloom seeds
    • libraries can help us share knowledge
    • Human Library “Books” – participants can check out a human who has a particular story to share
  • Try it out:
    • My name is…
    • I am passionate about…
    • My work in this community is…
  • We all hold valuable stories. Tell your story.
  • “Your story has power and you are the only one who can tell it.”

TedXMac 2017: Jack Johnson, The Importance of Perspective

Jack Johnson, The Importance of Perspective

  • 1898’s was when the first car, “Gasoline Carriage”, came to west Michigan
  • large automotive economic platform in West Michigan (more than 150 companies in local chamber)
  • what is the next economic platform?
    • AES “Advanced Energy Storage”
    • more products are battery powered
  • limiting views
    • we currently think of batteries in a limited way, consider it more like an engine
    • there are many types of lithium ion batteries
      • lithium ion phosphate
      • nickel manganese cobalt
      • nickel cobalt aluminum
      • lithium titanium oxide
      • etc.
  • The market is growing to be a $40 billion and is currently growing at double digit rates
  • innovation in West Michigan from many organizations and companies with research, manufacturing, and services
    • Michigan State University Bioeconomy Institute
    • Volta Power Systems
    • Midwest Energy Group
  • what’s next
    • learn – it isn’t what you have been told – look at doing things in new ways with batteries
    • invest – opportunity is everywhere – invest time and energy to look at creative applications

TedXMac 2017: Sarah Morin & Will Lowry, The Future of High School Education


Sarah Morin & Will Lowry, The Future of High School Education

  • High Schools lack direct purpose to life outside of the classroom
  • AP classes are no longer a differentiator (4 million AP tests taken this past year)
  • independent study could be a solution
    • study outside of a classroom in the community
    • only 3.45% of local students participate in independent study
    • re-frame what an independent study is and turn it into a differentiator
    • business leaders should take initiative to give students an opportunity to work with them
    • many students are leaving the state of Michigan because they are not connected to local businesses
    • schools should be open to having students leave campus to work in businesses
  • what’s next
    • high schoolers need to believe in themselves
    • the community needs to believe in the potential of our students

TedXMac 2017: Dirk Hughes, Bee Keeping


Dirk Hughes, Bee Keeping

  • “You can help the world by keeping bees.”
  • distinct roles of bees in a hive:
    • queen lays eggs
    • male drones mate
    • thousands of female worker bees do all the work: construction, repair, cleaning, defense, raising young, forging, making honey
  • benefits
    • honey and bees wax are useful
    • honey improves health
    • pollination of plants (food for animals and people) more bees = more food
    • bee keeping is meditative
  • how to get started (less than $500 to start with 1 hour per week per hive)
    • reach out to local bee keeper association (Holland area bee keepers association)
    • build or purchase an appropriate hive (top bar hive or land
    • pick appropriate location for hive and follow local ordinances
    • get bees
  • “more food, healthier lives, and a healthier planet”
  • “Help the world by keeping bees”

Healed and Healing

I wrote this article for the eNews from Fellowship Church of Holland, MI

We sang a song this past Sunday called “All Ye Refugees.” The following words, in particular, keep circling in my mind:

Oh refugee, I did not cast you out
In death and broken ground, Salvation springs
My body and my blood, the healing that you need
Come and receive

Welcome home, gather round
all ye refugees, come in.

It is sung by Sandra McCracken. You can listen to the song here.

The word refugee has it roots in the word refuge. A refugee is one who is seeking refuge. In our current context we think of people throughout the world who might be oppressed and seeing refuge in America or other countries.

Spiritually, many in our world are seeking refuge from pain, hurt, and struggles. The good news, as we heard from Pastor Brian, is that the gospel provides refuge and healing. This message is that God came to this world as a human to carry all of our burdens, brokenness, anxieties, fears, and sickness in order to conquer them once and for all. Yes, we still face challenges, but we no longer face them alone or in hopelessness.

This time of year is always a reminder to me of what it is like to be in a place of brokenness. My brother passed away on January 28, 1996. This happened after his body rejected lungs from a transplant he received that was supposed to bring him new life from his Cystic Fibrosis. It was a time of darkness and mourning as I cried out to God with pain and wondering on why he didn’t heal my brother. In this pain, God changed me and transformed me. I would not wish this type of challenge on anyone. At the same time, God has somehow strengthened me, given me peace, and changed how I view others and the world.

I pray that you might experience His peace that passes all understanding and that you might be healed from whatever pain you are experiencing so you can proclaim, like David in Psalm 30:11-12

You did it: you changed wild lament
into whirling dance;
You ripped off my black mourning band
and decked me with wildflowers.
I’m about to burst with song;
I can’t keep quiet about you.
God, my God,
I can’t thank you enough. (The Message)

This is the good news of the gospel and it isn’t just for us. Let’s share it with our neighbors and the world. If you haven’t experienced this for yourself and want to learn more, please reach out to any of the staff at Fellowship or others in the congregation.

Welcome home, gather round
all ye refugees, come in.

Where do you need healing?
How have you received healing?
Where might God be asking you to provide healing to others?

## The Art of Working Together – Alan Mulally #GLS2016 Session 2

The Art of Working Together – Alan Mulally #GLS2016 Session 2

It is important to place people first and work together to see and share problems in order to solve them by working together. To do this, use data and information to see current reality. Healthy teams need to be able to hold 2 things in tension at the same time:

  • Deal with reality
  • Have a plan to deal with it

Consider using the colors red, yellow, and green when sharing goals and monitoring all aspects of a project.

The Lenses of Leadership – Bill Hybels #GLS2016 Session 1


The Lenses of Leadership – Bill Hybels #GLS2016 Session 1
There are four lens’ of leadership that require the attention and are the responsibility of the leader:

  • Passion (red framed glasses): Keep passion alive in your spirit because it is infectious. Read materials that ignite passion, be around people with passion, and go to places that inspire passion.
  • Culture (shattered lens glasses): Care about people because God cares about people. Feedback is very important so don’t shy away from doing it and building it into the culture.
  • Goals (adjustable lens glasses): Watch out for too many or too few goals in an organization. Pay attention and keep adjusting.
  • Legacy (glasses with rear-view lens attached): Look at your past to see where most of your energy has been spent. Align your energy with how you want to be remembered. Start now!

Enough?

This is an article I wrote for the February 17, 2016 newsletter for Fellowship Reformed Church

For the past few months I’ve been on a quest to remove clutter from my life. I believe the reason for my desire to see things clean, orderly, and simple is because I will have to move out of my office at Fellowship by the end of April. This is something we, as a staff, will all be doing so the construction crews can start the office expansion and renovation. In this process, I’m seeing all of the piles of papers that need to be filed or shredded and the books that need to be sorted and donated. Sometimes this feels overwhelming and other times it makes me sad. The sadness comes from realizing all of the hopes and dreams that are tied up in objects. Some of the books look really great, yet I haven’t read them. Some of the papers might hold secret treasures that would have helped me make a better decision. As I write these words, I realize even more clearly how much energy all of these possessions and clutter take from me. Peter Walsh, author of many books about organization, has this to say about clutter:

“It means anything that stands between you and the vision you have for your best life. It could be a pile of inherited furniture or a jumble of kids’ toys all over the living room. But it could also be the constant self-doubt that creeps into your decision-making, anger about how you’re treated at work, shame about your weight or looks, or a tendency to respond defensively and critically when your spouse challenges you. Whatever the case, you have to ask yourself, “Does this item or thought or response move me closer to my vision for my best life?” If it does, great. If it doesn’t, what is it doing in your life?”

This past Sunday, Marlin Vis shared the story from Mark 10:17-31 about how a really good guy, who happened to have a lot of stuff, came to Jesus and asked what it would take to receive eternal life. Jesus tells him to remove the clutter because it is standing between him and what is best for his life. OK, I’m paraphrasing, but doesn’t this sound a bit like what Peter Walsh said in the previous paragraph? I hate to put Peter Walsh and Jesus in the same paragraph, but also recognize that both are speaking truth about the hold clutter and possessions can have on us.

So what might we receive when giving up those things that have a hold on our lives? Marlin shared two guarantees about what we receive when we choose Jesus over stuff:

  1. We will have enough (When we have more than enough, we share it with those in our community who don’t have enough).
  2. We will be made well.

I don’t know how this sounds to you, but it makes me feel energized to stop holding onto the security of clutter and start holding onto the promises of God. Enough! I need to go recycle some papers.

Trained vs. Untrained

I recently attended a safety and security presentation. One particular element that I found particularly interesting was how trained vs. untrained people respond during a crisis. It looks like the original source for the information is from the Center for Personal Protection and Safety

trained-vs-untrained

As you can see, the path for trained and untrained start in the same way but then take very different paths. It made me wonder about how these play out in all of our non-life threatening situations.

When I’m stuck, do I commit to action or descend into helplessness? Conversely, is it possible that when I’m feeling helpless I might need to respond with action?