A revolution in the sharing of knowledge…

Transforming e-Knowledge  
TABLE OF CONTENTS     What is e-Knowledge?
© SCUP 2003
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Beyond Existing Knowledge Concepts and Experiences (continued)


Chapter 1

What is e-Knowledge?

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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 even wisdom.

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 today’s 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 years—be 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. It’s 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
About e-Knowledge

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 foresight:


  • Pragmatic foresight is the most common, directed at simply carrying out today’s business better. Foresight can be used to yield greater efficiency and productivity in a straightforward manner.
  • 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 will hold.


Slaughter’s framework below can serve as a guide to our foresight about e-knowledge in the following ways.
Pragmatic e-Knowledge
  Progressive e-Knowledge
  Civilizational e-Knowledge
Individuals and organizations can use foresight of e-knowledge to improve the efficiency and productivity of existing learning and knowledge management practices.   Guided by progressive foresight, individuals and organizations can begin to reinvent and innovate processes and practices for learning and knowledge management.   In visioning our e-knowledge futures, a key consideration should be the capacity to use global e-knowledge to reach a higher plane of sustainable development and societal well-being.
ndividuals and enterprises can take immediate actions that will accelerate their readiness for
e-knowledge and improve existing circumstances.
  Individuals and enterprises can build the perspectives and competencies that will lead to significant, progressive change.   Our visions of the e-knowledge future should engage a wide range of possibilities, including transformational change.

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