Heidi Forbes Öste is a Social Strategy Advisor and Trainer, a Visual Practitioner and author of The Art of Social Strategy. She has over 20 years experience consulting in public and private sector on strategic use of new technologies; education technology, international marketing strategy, knowledge management and community building. She is a social entrepreneur with a passion for connecting people globally for building and maintaining mutually beneficial relationships. Currently as part of her doctoral studies in Human and Organizational Systems, she is doing research on Leadership in the New Social Paradigm applying field work in this area.
The Art of Social Strategy is based on her vision for drawing value from stories, defining social strategy with results, discovering effectivity from the Internet, managing and sharing our knowledge, and building new bridges. She presents award winning keynotes and workshops at conferences around the world about how to use the new social tools more effectively and strategically as well as the benefits of knowledge sharing.
Okay enough of the boring version, the “official bio” (and the third person thing). I am a global nomad. I love to learn about different cultures, people and places. This leeks into my work in understanding how different people communicate and the importance of clarity in communications. Not just in the translations but how and when; relevance. The fascinating thing about having lived in many difference places is the network that I have accumulated over the years. Each member is unique and interesting, and the common link they have is me.
I started my professional career a bit on the geeky side of things. Nothing like passing the day away with hard coding html and manipulating databases. Fortunately, I had a knack for people and understanding the big picture. I became a communications bridge between the technology and the users as well as the ones signing the checks to pay for it all. This hasn’t changed so much despite the technology having moved to where I no longer code, and fortunately I do not have to. What it does mean is that I understand the potential of the technology but relate to the people who use it and need it to be more effective and grow their businesses or organizations.
Since 2006, there has been a wonderful mix of traveling around the world teaching social strategy from corporate board rooms in Europe and Asia to capacity building workshops in Europe, Africa and Asia. Each has provided greater insight into social strategy development as well as many memories and connections. Although born in America, a Bostonian, I have spent the majority of my adult life and professional career outside of the States. This has provided me with a unique balanced perspective that is appreciated by my clients. I am excited by the capability for social tools to connect individuals and organizations globally and more democratically than ever before. This opens incredible potential for developing markets to reach their global consumers. I love being part of the process to help make that happen.
I come from a large extended family with the inherent understanding of the value of the network, creativity and collaboration. The wealth of connections and broad range of knowledge that my network holds is priceless to me. The understanding of the value of paying it forward whether it be from shared knowledge, a roof over ones head or a shared meal was intrinsic. Now living in Sweden with my husband and two kids, I appreciate the ability to access my extensive network like never before through social tools both personally and professionally.