I recommend this to anyone wanting to market their business online. The content is a great refresher, even if you're already selling online. It covers the basics and is a reminder of how important the details are in digital marketing.
What are automation apps?
Automation apps are internet-based technology platforms designed to do things autonomously. The free automation apps I use now are for customer service and involve email newsletters, calendar events, progress reports, and help chat. I use apps that work with my Squarespace website and implementation was relatively quick: Acuity Scheduling, Pure Chat, MailChimp, and Google Sheets. I like automation applications because they give customers an immediate response and enable people to take action while also saving administrative cost that means more billable hours.
Leadership tools, free and paid options
What you might notice is that many of these automation technology platforms are free to use. This is the case for all of the applications I have listed above. (Paid options, for businesses that need more support and use.) The idea that the basic services should be free in low-income brackets aligns with the transition going on to stabilize infrastructure and promote sustainable community development.
We need more people who have leadership skills to meet the needs of the future as changing economies and ecologies impact large segments of the population. Sharing information and resources is key. The transition has been taking place, like it or not. We have seen the impact of an internet of things in music industry CD sales, newspaper sales, and other digital media products and services.
Building automation for the future
What these kinds of new technologies share is distribution and visualization of data in real time based on a persons activity and interaction. While tracking technologies are tricky, they do play a significant role in visions of the future, as explained in a documentary by VICE on the internet of things and the third industrial revolution.
Reflecting on automation and the future
How do you use automation in your daily life? You might use automation several times every day like when you pump gas at the station, take cash from the bank machine, book your yoga class online, or purchase something on Amazon.
What do you imagine the future to look like and how do you see leadership? I imagine a future where the quality of life is optimized for all being on the planet. That requires a great deal of collaboration and communication to distribute the right things at the right time. Making the best of the work at hand is an art, a creative life is an adventure with many free and intrinsic rewards!
Here are my top 3 favorite talks from TEDx Santa Barbara's 2017 event. If you don't know, "in the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection."
1. The World Needs a New Definition of Activism | Lea Ann Mallett
This delightful storyteller, activist, mother, and TEDx speaker, Lea Ann Mallett is worth a watch if you would like to do more good in the community without having to endanger your livelihood by climbing a redwood tree or spending time in jail for civil disobedience.
Her definition of activism is very similar to what is taught in the program Enchantavism: Changing the World with Story, Myth, and Inspiration. I attended the four-part series at Pacifica Graduate Institute this fall and I highly recommend it!
"For more than thirty years, Dr. Chalquist has collected resources for bridging reflection and action through the medium of reenchantment, hope, imagination, and story. Change the story and you change the system. He calls this approach Enchantivism. Quiet people can do it. Burned-out activists can do it. You can do it, and it’s fun. Unleashed, Enchantivism can help communities find renewal and creative ways of affecting positive change for a future we can all thrive in."
2. What Civilians Need to Understand About War | Andy Carroll
This talk is about letters and communication between active duty military service people and civilians. It brings out the depth of feeling and meaningful connection between individuals and family by showing some example from an archive of real letters. The preservation of history and culture is so inspirational to me. I have been working on the theme of Mermaid Love Letters for the last year and aspire to create a similar feeling in that fantasy game project.
3. Ending Preventable Blindness: reinventing cataract surgery | Jeffrey Levenson
Wow! This talk took me by surprise because of the amazing scale in impact being accomplished with simple surgery methods. Vision is a HUGE part of my life and knowing that organizations are out there preventing blindness and giving people their sight back just blows my heart open. It made me think, what misconception do I have about resources and procedures that limit the potential good I could be doing for others?
Jean Houston presented Myth and Present Madness, at a public event hosted by Pacifica Graduate Institute November 2nd. I was so inspired by her point of view and imagination. She is able to communicate complex ideas while also engaging in a playful and humorous way. This complex and multi-sensory form of communicating is something you can practice using her methods. Below, are two videos of Jean's recent work and you can see her teaching style and even learn from the online video. If you are interested in learning more (like me!) here are a couple other links to check out:
A Passion For The Possible - Body Mind Exercises by Jean Houston, 1996. "Jean Houston leads the viewer in a series of exercises to help activate the kinesthetic body - the body of muscular imagination. We learn ways in which we can inhabit our own bodies with more mindfulness and find the hidden possibilities that allow us to think more creatively. We learn to engage our imagination, our memory and even learn how to do many things at the same time. Dr. Houston calls this "multitracking" - finding within ourselves a larger, deeper, more adventurous life and spirit. Jean Houston is widely known as one of the great explorers of the human potential. Mentored by Margaret Meade, she has reached her own human potential as philosopher, cultural historian and author of 15 books, Beloved and A Mythic Life. Well nurtured by her father, a former comedy writer for Bob Hope, Dr. Houston also has been given the great gift of humor, which resonates throughout her work."
Imagine you are 16 years old and leaving home to travel to a new country without your family. Young students from all over the world have this adventurous experience each year with AFS, American Field Service. I learned about this program because I was named after an Iranian AFS student who lived with my father's family. In 1998 I moved to Italy for a year where I learned Italian and became a member of another family, that I cherish dearly.
The lessons of this international exchange are the foundation of my compassion for myself and others as we all move ahead into the uncertain future. Founded after WW2 this nonprofit organization is a solution to humanities challenges today. Because of challenges I experienced and overcame, I fully support this program and highly encourage you to participate in any form.
AFS programs foster transformation that lasts a lifetime. Today’s exchange students are tomorrow’s changemakers: diplomats; thought leaders; influencers in the international business and non-profit communities. Every new exchange student is another global citizen in progress—an individual primed to help build a more just and peaceful world. And the impact doesn’t stop with the students. Host families’ lives are transformed by new members from across the globe and host communities gain greater cultural diversity. That’s THE AFS EFFECT.