Business through pleasure

Living social strategy at the Swedish AffairAfter an intensive and enjoyable three days in Los Angeles, the Swedish Affair is over.  And yet, it has only just begun.  The intent for connecting the Swedish creative industries with their peers and potential partners in LA was accomplished.  Fun was had by all, and deals were made by some.  The connections on site ranged from reconnection, to friends of friends, and some totally new faces.  All had something to share, even if it was a smile.  Personally, I made some great contacts and got insight into what it will take to take my transmedia project from concept and content to product and reality.  There is a lot of work to be done, but potential partners identified and interested conversations is a good head start.

My project began as a method for delivering research in a usable format expressive of the concepts delivered.  Somehow just writing about how social technologies impact leadership just didn’t communicate clearly.  It would be like using bullet point laden powerpoint to teach  the importance of visuals.  The stories needed to be told, shared, and experienced.  So the journey begins to create what will be Who’s Next, Leadership in the New Social Paradigm as a transmedia project.  For those of you not geeky enough to know the term: it is multiplatform storytelling.  In the case of Who’s Next,  it uses film, online networks and mobile gaming.  More to come as the story progresses.

I enjoyed catching up with Nolan Bushnell to continue our conversation on gaming in education. I was happy to hear that he had evolved his approach to supplemental rather than as a replacement.  I look forward to seeing where his project goes, especially having a son who would thrive using the formats he proposes.  Best of luck to you  Nolan.  Thanks for charming us with your rendition of the Swedish classic “Helan Går.”

Ewa Björling was a welcome guest who shared the groups enthusiasm for events such as these to build relationships and highlight some of the greatest capital Swedish has to offer, knowledge and creative.  Let’s hope she encourages more events of this type in the future.

The investor panel encouraged the groups to be bold, be prepared and be strategic.  It is a big pond over here for little fishes, but that also means there is more money to support the pond.  Make sure you do your homework to know what kind of pond it is and what the other fish are doing in it.

Thanks to Media Evolution, The Swedish American Chamber of Commerce in Los Angeles and Sten Selander for inviting me to join as a Swedish delegate.  A special thanks to Frankie Verdugo and the Home Foundation for getting the word out about Who’s Next and the Swedish Affair.

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“Who’s Next” goes to Hollywood

Off to Hollywood and The Swedish Affair this weekend. I was invited to share “Who’s Next: Leadership in the new Social Paradigm” as a transmedia project accelerating leaders evolution. Wish me luck! I’ll keep you all posted!

Interested, check out

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Innovation Incubator Impact a la Ilspiration


Always inspiring work with Ilspiration on a Strategic Visualisation session. Put two redheads together and magic happens.t

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Are You Evolved?

Forbes Öste's Social Optimisation Stages

Stages of Social Optimisation as Relates to Erikson’s Psychosocial Stage Theory

At what stage have you evolved towards social optimisation? Where is your organisation? As with human development, we cannot run before we walk.  Adapting social strategies in organizational cultures or leadership that have not evolved past Stage 5 (Identity, brand and marketing focus) can lead to greater confusion and chaos.  Consider where you are, listen to where others are and where your teams are.  How can you help your organisation evolve?

The evolutionary process of Social Optimisation, building and maintaining mutually beneficial and effective relationships, as correlates to Erikson’s psychosocial development is as follows:

Erikson's Psychosocial Development Adapted for Social Optimisation

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Presence instead of Presents

Date night?

For you, my dear
Presence is the gift.
My heart is here.
My thoughts not adrift.
I pack away
The source of distraction
for a pause of play
and intent interaction.
For if all were amiss
And this moment passed
The devices are cold
My heart would not last.
Presents are things
Of which I’ve no need.
Your presence it sings,
my heart is does feed.
-Heidi Forbes Öste (2012)

The house is prepared for the holidays. We settle in as the snow begins to fall. It’s the time of year again where the wish lists come out and thoughts of New Year’s resolutions start buzzing. There is only one gift that I wish to give and to get for my family this year: Presence.

All too often we find ourselves with iPad or phone holding our concentration. From the breakfast table to date night, there never seems to be a sacred moment without it. We used to say the world would not stop if we disappeared. Now each vibration causes a habitual pattern of thought even if we do not respond be checking to see the source. Most times, we cannot resist sneaking a peek just to make sure it is not “critical.”

Each year we struggle to find ways to reconnect, to discover who we are and where we are going. In our over-connected lives this often means one thing: remote location, no wifi. I look forward to a pause in the buzz. I long for the uninterrupted conversation, thought and silence. I crave a hike in the mountains, a walk on the beach, a game of cards, a snuggle in a hammock, sharing a nice bottle of wine with presence.

I hope you all will consider giving and receiving presence and the value of that gift. Extend it beyond your family, as you go about your holiday parties. Ask about people’s passions and take the time to listen with presence. You might be surprised what you learn. It might just be a present in itself. How will you share presence this holiday?

This post is dedicated to Björn; my hero, partner, playmate and champion who I look forward to sharing presence with.

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Learning Styles and Social Strategy

I made a promise to myself recently to be more true to that which I teach: the importance of learning, fun and visual communication. These are all elements of evolving as a social strategist. Searching for the best route to clarity: communicating complex concepts in easy to understand forms. Often when dealing with the global element of my work, verbal language and culture differences bring out the importance of seeking alternate approaches to achieving clarity. Read More

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