Creativity and tech savviness is not something you are born with, not even web-natives. Anyone can develop their creative muscle.
A while ago I read Philip Weiss’s book HyperThinker, Philip reminds about how a daily routine of brain games and problem solving, reading books, watching educational videos or listening to podcasts can stretch your mind. I therefore thought I share some of my sources of inspiration to stay curious, alert and open-minded to tech:
Try, it is never too late.
If you feel out of shape or as a beginner, I recommend you to get inspired by 106-year old blogger Dagny Carlsson, from Sweden, proving the point that it is never too late nor impossible to become tech fit.
Keep healthy habits.
In order to get fit we should pay attention to online health risks, such as the privacy we use as a currency to access ‘free’ online services, they way algorithms tailor what we are exposed to based on calculations of what information we already browsed, shared and clicked on. Sally Kohn explains in less then 5 min the effect of clickbait and why we should keep healthy habits (a few years old but still worth seeing).
Be childishly curious.
As grown-ups we tend to fear change, in particularly when it comes to technology. ‘Cyberphobia’ stands in the way for curiosity and it tends to jeopardise our own and others online security and safety (my blog post). Children though have not yet formed a fixed mindset so for them it is easier to learn new things. Check out Sugatra Mitra’s fascinating talk, illustrating the width of what children can teach themselves through the Internet. Another fascinating talk is Linda Liukas’s talk about how to teach coding to children.
Astro Teller tells about the “moonshot factory”, the story of what a tech giant as Google can do, when money is not an issue and failure an asset. I really like the idea of dream big and dare to fail, even if most of us do not have the preconditions of a company such as Google. In a work environment, resistance to change sometimes does not necessary have to do with whether the people within the organisations are tech-friendly or not, but with budget constrictions. Non-profit organisations (where I have my background) often rely on externally funded projects and membership contributions as well as rather limited and already overstretched personnel capacity. Unfortunately, money is power and power is the freedom to take risks to develop, expand and profit.
Women, do it.
For the women that tend to question their ability to take on a new territory (especially when it comes to tech), ask yourself: would a man do it? If the answer is yes (which it almost always is as men tend to have an unprecedented high confidence), go ahead! The book and movie “Hidden Figures” is a great inspiration, about Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson; three badass African-American mathematicians writing (her)story while working at NASA.
Keep on going.
A last fitness tips are my three favourite podcasts: Note to Self, Replay All and Chips with everything that I listen to on a regular basis, all about the latest tech updates. Finally, more food-for-thought than healthy snack, is Black Mirror, Netflix brilliant TV-series about the dark side of the future of technology that is already on its fifth season.
I hope some of these tips triggers your creative muscle too. Please share your tips on how to stay tech fit.
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