Friday Faves – What We’re Reading This Week

Friday Faves is our weekly blog series highlighting a few select pieces from the REG team’s reading lists. You can catch up on past Friday Faves on the archive

Why Do We Feel Awe?


Photo: Jakkii Musgrave

Jakkii says: Inspired by Dacher Keltner’s keynote at JiveWorld17, I took more notice of feelings of wonder and awe over the weekend as I explored Yellowstone National Park with a friend. I found her experiences of awe served to reinforce – and, on occasion, heighten – my own, something I’m not certain I’d have otherwise focused in on.

As some follow up reading, I visited the Greater Good Berkeley site and came across this piece that delved further into the idea of awe. What I found particularly interesting is the idea that awe helps embed “the individual self in a social identity.” Further, the team’s studies have shown awe leads to improved cooperation and sharing of resources. The article goes on to consider the answers to the question “Why Awe,” though I am struck by the idea that awe may help us in our workplaces – and in our communities. Perhaps future “team building” or “corporate retreat” days in organisations should focus a little more on instilling a sense of awe and a little less on ‘trust exercises.’

Keltner points out in the article that it isn’t necessary to trek to the mountains to find a feeling of awe – we all feel it in mundane things that may strike us as extraordinary. Perhaps while we are working on our “mindfulness” and gratitude, we should consider the quest for adding more ‘awe’ to our lives equally as important.

Even if it (literally) stinks.


Photo: Jakkii Musgrave


Technology to drive future workplace trends


Joel says:  Do you think you work in a futuristic workplace? Chances are it’s still not as forward thinking as this office in Sweden.

Epicentre, a business that provides office space to tech types in Stockholm, has recently embedded radio-frequency identification RFID chips in the hands of about 150 staff. At the moment, they can open doors, operate the photocopier and access vending machines with their chips.

This technology opens the doors (pun intended) for limetless opportunities that could come out of this type of thinking. Imagine the possibilities that could come from this technology not only in the workplace but in everyday life. Soon we may not need to have physical bank cards or drivers licenses it could all be stored in our ‘chip’.

Of course with this evolution in technology privacy risks are a definite problem. Some workplaces are using them to track and locate employees. Not in a spying scenario, but used in flexible work environments to know where employees are working from. However, there’s no doubt with that comes the ability to use the tech maliciously.

Have a read of the full article and let us know if you would let your employer chip you or what benefits you can see in the future from ‘chipping’.


How Moral Are You?



Nat says: My share this week somewhat ties-in with Joel’s article around the future of business and the inherent ethical dilemmas that arise. As part of the digitisation movement, self-driving cars are increasingly being viewed as cars that are ‘programmed to kill’. The question is, however, who should they kill? By presenting ethical dilemmas through different scenarios (commonly referred to in psychology as trolley problems or ‘trolleyology‘ more broadly), MIT have created an online moral machine for people to respond to life or death scenarios involving self-driving cars. Results collected from the moral machine are being used to help designers understand both the moral differences and similarities we all share in our ethical decision making.

We tend to forget that computers are programmed by actual human beings, so whoever a self-driving car “chooses” to kill in a certain scenario (the passengers on board versus the people on the street) is something the programmer quite literally has to decide and then program into the algorithm. Ethical concerns regarding self-driving cars have been going on for a few years now, yet the broader issue of ethics in terms of an increasingly digital world should not be overlooked entirely. If, as Joel asks, you’d let your employer put a chip under your skin, what are the ethical issues involved with this decision? What is the organisation going to do with your collected data? Where are they going to store your data? How are they going to ensure that data about you is accurate? And how are they going to ensure your data remains private? These questions only become more relevant as we move towards the somewhat ‘omniscient’ organisation.


What’s Wrong With Twitter’s Live Video Strategy



Emilio says:

“…Twitter’s core experience isn’t about photos. It’s a world of text…”

Guess who’s joining the live video streaming bandwagon? In a fresh move to reinvent itself and chase that elusive growth, Twitter was reported to be embarking on a video strategy that would bring live video and streaming of shows and long-form video content to users. On the surface, this new direction looks promising and intuitive – with video now proven to be THE content form that generates the best engagement online. So desired is video that social media behemoth Facebook has been pushing its live feature, and placing huge emphasis on video in its algorithm. As we know it, other social platforms have been following suit – but is Twitter’s new video direction going to pay off?

The piece drives home some valid points about why live video might not be the best direction for Twitter – and I tend to agree. What makes Twitter unique amongst all the social platforms is that it is short-form communication at its finest, delivered in real-time, facilitating online conversations. Whether reactive or proactive, tweets deliver concise commentary quickly. It is perfect for breaking news, or even just to share one’s thoughts and ideas concisely. But to make live video, particularly by third party content creators, production and broadcast media companies, as the core focus of Twitter as a means to monetise its follower base and generate ad revenues, would be a blatant disregard of how people actually use, and why ‘tweeps’ love, the platform.

In its quest to increase followers and generate revenues, Twitter might as well look hard beyond the social holy grail that is video with an alternative strategy that would not alienate its loyal users. Until then, Twitter needs to find another saving grace apart from that tweeting President whose ominous 3 a.m. tweets has the world engaged, horrified and amused to no end.