Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Hyperthinking: a different way to think

Philip Weiss at MacEwan University.

What allowed Google to come out of nowhere and become one of the biggest companies in the world? 
According to Philip Weiss, chief hyperthinker of ZN Consulting, hyperthinking is to thank.
Weiss conducted a lecture on Nov. 20 as part of Corus Entertainment’s Distinguished Lecturer series. He spoke to a crowd of over 200 students, faculty and entrepreneurs at the Kule Lecture Hall at the City Centre Campus.
“Hyperthinking” is Weiss’s term for the new way people need to approach problems and business models. He points out that the traditional education system does not prepare students to work with new social media realities and internet communications, which are revolutionizing society.
“What we’re experiencing today is an increasing number of black swans,” he explains. ”Let’s look at the Arab Spring – right until it happened, people had no clue this would happen. They didn’t know it was even possible. Lots of experts in Washington and Europe, all over the world, they didn’t predict this. Because we don’t understand the new rules of the game.”
To begin the lecture, Weiss showed the crowd the introduction to the Kony 2012 video, released by the organization Invisible Children. Following the video, he points out the ability of viral phenomena to come out of nowhere. He suggests that this is because people do not inherently trust governments or institutions, but they do trust other people. They presume people would be willing to tell the truth.
“There’s two sides to this,” he points out, referencing the H1N1 vaccine scare. “On the web, scary stories spread like wildfire.”
Hyperthinking, Weiss explains, is a set of skills to allow a person to navigate and thrive in this new information maelstrom.
Hyperthinking consists of four parts – hypershifting, hyperlearning, hyperlinking and hyperacting.
Hypershifting looks at changing our reality tunnel. Everyone has a different way of looking at the world and to be able to understand problems and communicate with vast audiences through the internet. We need to be able to shift our worldview into another person’s perspective. This can help avoid pitfalls like accidentally offending someone.
Hyperlearning argues that to function in the information age we need to be able to teach ourselves, because “we cannot depend on education to keep up.”
Weiss suggests a daily regimen of at least 10 minutes devoted to learning something new a day. He also stresses creativity and argues that it can be developed by drawing up mind maps and using “thinking hats.”
He also suggests taking free online classes through institutions like MIT to continue polishing your skill set.
Hyperlinking is the concept of using your digital networks. Weiss pointed out that today we are connected to people all around the world. These people can be useful sources of information, fact checking or possibly even work. 
Lastly, hyperacting is the actual process of putting your idea into practice through trial and error. Weiss emphasises that ideas need to be adaptable and that mistakes have to be made.
“The internet is now the ultimate source of power. It’s not just the post to overthrow governments; it’s the power to shape perception, because if you can change perception, you can change behaviour. If you change behaviour, you change the world. This is the new world we live in, and it’s changing everything.”

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