Like e-business, e-knowledge uses ICT to transform
relationships, processes, and value propositions relating to the
creation, management, and sharing of knowledge. This is a good place
to begin: with the expectation that e-knowledge will dramatically
transform processes and practices. But the upside of e-knowledge
extends further to enhance our capacity to advance knowledge and
New Visions, New Terms, New Experiences,
and New Behaviors
Transformation often requires a new vocabulary. Old
words carry the baggage of established, implicit meanings. The same
is true for existing disciplinary and topical constructs and familiar
organizational structures. Learning and knowledge management have
well understood meanings today. As they change into something quite
different from todays practice, what new visions, terms, and
practices will be necessary?
And what new experiences? How can we develop new knowledge
patterns in the large segments of the workforce and learning force
whose mental patterns and preferences are well established, even
entrenched in a slow, sequential, patterned approach to learning
and knowledge assimilation?
How can we use our anticipation of these emerging
conditions to accelerate and shape their development and prepare
for a future for e-knowledge that improves ourselves, our institutions,
and our society?
Transformation will require new competencies and behaviors
from knowledge workers of all kinds. For example, we need to dramatically
enhance our capacity to cultivate and share tacit knowledge, especially
the tradecraft and bits of know-how relating to learning in context.
The new patterns of behavior that evolve over the next few yearsbe
they a supercharged version of swarming and klogging, conducted
in peer networks and communities of practice, or something altogether
different are likely to surprise us. Its less important
that we be able to precisely predict that new behavior. Rather,
we need to be able to cultivate and nurture it.
Uses of Foresight
Transforming e-Knowledge aims to motivate reflective
foresight on the future of e-knowledge. Richard A. Slaughter (2002)
of the Australian Foresight Institute identifies three kinds of
- Pragmatic foresight is the most common, directed at simply
carrying out todays business better. Foresight can be used
to yield greater efficiency and productivity in a straightforward
- Progressive foresight is different, containing an explicit
commitment to systemic improvement. It is linked to efforts to
reform business practices in view of wider social and environmental
concerns. Reinventing processes, products, and services to achieve
these goals is the essence of progressive foresight.
- Civilizational foresight takes yet another leap into
the future, seeking to understand the characteristics of the next
level of civilization, lying beyond the current configuration
of technology/ industrial/ capitalistic interests and paradigms.
It is based on the view that we are involved in long-term shifts
towards a more sustainable world. Using the civilizational foresight
lens forces us to question the worldviews and paradigms that will
drive future society and its enterprises.
The chart on the following page compares and contrasts
some of the changes that the future of transformative e-knowledge