Scoble and Israel join up the dots #AoCUK #CIPR

[L to R] Neville Hobson-Shel Israel-Robert Scoble

About 100 people gathered in Google’s London campus last night to hear Robert Scoble and Shel Israel talk about concepts, ideas, experiences, trends and realities surrounding some of the themes and topics in their new book, Age of Context, published in September.

The widely-anticipated event was organized by the CIPR and sponsored by Precise.

Age of Context is the embracing term to anchor five converging forces the two authors see as profoundly changing almost every aspect of work and life in the next decade: mobile, social media, data, sensors and location.

Copies of the book were to be given to every event attendee. But, as Shel explained as the discussion got underway, the packages being delivered by DHL never made it in time for last night’s event, inevitably linking DHL to the hashtag #DHLfail.

Once the books do turn up, the CIPR will arrange for copies to get to everyone who bought a ticket to last night’s event.

My role as discussion facilitator was to keep the conversation going, moving it across the spectrum of topics the book addresses. If I’d had any concerns about continuity and flow, they were unwarranted as both Shel and Robert are articulate conversationalists on topics that both have clear, strong and passionate views about.

The conversation was wide ranging and did what I see as the book’s crowning achievement – helped join up the dots of disparate-looking and seemingly-individual technologies and human behaviours that enable you the reader to see and better understand how and why convergence of the five forces the book addresses is already happening, what it will mean to each of us as individuals and to society at large.

In the book’s foreword, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff tells us to “be prepared to see the future in these pages.” Both authors helped everyone in the room see more than just simple glimpses of that future.

Which led to a good discussion on a topic that rears its head ever more these days – privacy, discussed at length in the book itself.

As you’d expect at any event worth its salt, a great deal of commentary and opinion about what people thought and were experiencing was shared on Twitter linked to the hashtag #AoCUK. Gabrielle Laine-Peters has done a great job capturing much of those conversation contributions – tweets and photos – in a terrific Storify curation.

The full one-hour discussion was video- and audio-recorded. The video will be published by the CIPR; the audio will be published as an FIR Speakers & Speeches podcast. Both should be available sometime next week – keep an eye on the #AoCUK hashtag for news.

In all, a terrific event, well organized and managed by the CIPR. Thanks to Shel Israel and Robert Scoble for sharing their insights and giving us opportunities for seeing more clearly what’s happening, what’s coming and what we can do about it as communicators.

And thanks to everyone in the audience last night who asked questions, tweeted their opinions and became integral parts of the conversation.

Talk about converging forces!

(Montage of photos at the top of this page courtesy of Thomas Power.)

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