Well, happily, our world did not end. Yet all around me, I certainly do see the beginnings of a new world forming. Whether it be the developments in workshifting that enable digital workers to work from around the globe, the emergence of the data layer atop the world or the shift of the role of creatives within communities and organizations -- a new world direction is making change.
Workshifting - our ability to work from anywhere at any time - has delivered the new opportunity for workers to apply for positions all around the world while working from where every they are. Pairing the internet with their virtual private networks companies are able to leverage skills outside their geographical boundaries. Those with skills and talent who live in remote or rural areas find that they can be a productive and integral team member without having to change their lifestyle. Imagine the ability to land the job of your dreams without having to move away from Central Illinois to perform it. Virtual work constructs make it possible and are growing as organizations are seeing the benefits. Both highly productive and highly engaged, the Virtual Worker was recently named "Best Job in America." Often these workers perform their duties from the comfort of their homes but many are beginning to network and co-work together in shared spaces.
Here at OneFire, we are experimenting and delivering client success through a variety of disruptive technologies. One of those technologies, augmented reality or AR, is exciting to say the least. Augmented reality imparts the ability to "see" the world in a new way - via handheld device like your iphone or android - and soon enough, via lenses like "Google Glasses." We have been experimenting with ways our different central Illinois industries will adopt the new technology, assisting with exploration of our region and building new interfaces for client interaction. Those who have experienced our builds have reacted with wide-eyed giddyiness, saying "How did you do that?" and "Show me again!" Our greater desire is to help our industries to use the technology in manners that help move our region forward as a whole. By building interactions that ready and position central Illinois as an awesome place for work and play - a place that integrates all aspects of a successful and happy life - we can help attract, assimilate, and retain digital natives.
Central Illinois creatives play a crucial role in the success of these types of initiatives. People with artistic skills and creative talents, those with ideas for digital development and initiatives to deliver, are positioned to play a prominent role in central Illinois' revitalization. Our region has long been known for delivering innovation and forward thought, one only has to look at Caterpillar and State Farm to see that empires can be built from the consistent application of innovative thinking. This is the world we hope to build in 2013 - a Central Illinois that enables creative thinkers, makers, developers, designers, and dreamers with insight-building tools, a network of knowledgeable mentors and proven builders, and a collaboration-enabling environment.
All under one roof - all powered by one fire. The Mayans may not have gotten it right, but they weren't far off. Here's to changing the world.