How to Bridge Generational Divide in Technology-driven Industries
Connected Legends provides an online opportunity
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This is the decade of the autodidact. Never before has there been more opportunity to learn about anything and everything – to use YouTube, Pintrest, Quora, Ted, KhanAcademy or any of the other host of self-improvement sites to gain knowledge: be this for self-enrichment or professional development. All of them carry immense benefits.
However, a common distinction made within the world of epistemology relates to the difference that exists between tacit and explicit knowledge. For autodidacts, explicit knowledge is easily found; the deliberate, communicable facts of a subject – from the process of photosynthesis to the concepts of Keynesian economics – can be communicated to suit any learning style; visual, aural, written. The resources available are endless.
In the world of technology specifically, it has never been easy to investigate the details of products and the development processes that support them. Wikipedia alone will have you fluent in the specifics of microprocessors quicker than you can say octa-core symmetric multiprocessing. But imagine for a moment that you had – to take a few clichéd examples – Bill Gates or Steve Jobs in front of you. Would that be an opportunity you used to identify the technical details of the A9 processor? Would that be the time that you asked Bill Gates how Azure is meeting EU Data Protection Directive demands?
The answer is probably not. If you had one of these legends in a room, then the questions one would probably choose to ask would be far more directed at their personal experience of being at the top of their game; the tacit and intangible elements that influenced their path, the historical events that in retrospect were fundamental in shaping their futures. Indeed, if you were sensible, you wouldn’t ask any questions – you’d sit – ears open – and listen to the wisdom that they felt was the most important to share.
This is – at its heart – the idea of ‘Connected Legends’ – a new online platform launched in February 2018 through a collaboration of Fiorenza Mella (Founder of Xpresso communications) and Denise Kennedy (VP Marketing at Xpresso Communications). The idea is for industry veterans and industry newcomers to come together through a platform where they can learn and share information, creating a knowledge bank that capitalises on the experiences of those who have been there, done that and got the t-shirt (or, perhaps more accurately, have a whole drawer full of old-school IBC lanyards). Initially focusing on technology players in the broadcast and media technology industry_where both founders come from_, Connected Legends aims at involving the protagonists of other tech-oriented fields.
More than this though, the combination of ‘new blood’ – with its energy, passion, creativity and perspective – along with ‘old souls’ helps to bridge any concept of a generational divide within the industry, and capitalise on the different strengths that each group brings to the field. We are all too aware that the technology industry changes at an alarming rate. It can thus be all-too-tempting for newcomers into the market to believe that the stories of the past are irrelevant and anachronistic. In reality though – not only are these stories fascinating and almost impossible to contemplate for recent graduates (days of multi-million pound hardware sales at tradeshows, first class flights and free-flowing champagne?) – but they carry important tacit lessons for the way that the industry changes, and what this means for customers, clients, creators and competitors.
Connected Legends focuses on delivering these lessons in a way that maximises the ability to build a tacit knowledge base, using one-to-one interviews, question and answer sections and the ability to contribute knowledge and experience from veterans in the field – recounting anecdotes, exploring experiences and communicating knowledge in the deepest and most meaningful of ways, full of personality and emotion. The platform plans to soon expand to include more video based content.
Regardless of whether you are a legend or a learner, Connected Legends is certainly worth a visit over your next coffee break, be it to reminisce over the good old days of the Betamax/VHS war, or to ask what the hell Betamax and VHS even are. Or to understand how lessons learned there have set the ground for many iterations of format battles, through from HD-DVD versus Blu-ray to Android versus IoS. What shaped the winners then, and what will shape the winners of the future?
Connected Legends bases itself on the idea that learning about history helps us grow our futures. After all, as the famous quote goes ‘Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it’. And let’s face it, nobody wants pagers, the dreamcast or MySpace to turn up back on the market, do they?
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About Connected Legends Ltd.
It’s an online platform featuring and connecting technology players of the past, present and future.
The main goal is to create a legacy (or a bank of knowledge if you prefer) for the new and future generations to look back on and learn lessons from the past. It’s also the aim of the platform to facilitate a dialogue between individuals of different ages, cultures, and backgrounds who have something in common: the passion for and the curiosity about technologies.