In June and July, my focus was Virtual Working as I hosted the first Virtual Working Summit. This was such a success that it’s happening again next year, with taster events each month. You can sign up for these at the Virtual Working Summit site. It’s free to register.
Anyway, while I was talking with experts from around the world about building trust remotely and how to grapple with the tools for virtual work, my children were exploring a new game. It’s called Club Penguin and it allows children to create their own penguin. Then they can connect and interact with other children from all around the world. Both my girls, aged 8 and 10, took to it straight away. In fact, they didn’t even seem to think that it was any different from any other game. They explained the rules you have to abide by (or you lose your penguin) and told me all about how they made friends virtually with other penguin youngsters from around the world.
It struck me that they were naturally doing a lot of the things that those of us in older generations have taken a long time to learn. The thought struck me that we might not need a virtual working summit in 2025.
Finally, though, it seems that maybe, just maybe, the virtual world of the future might need some help. My elder daughter failed to connect with a school friend two afternoons in a row after school. It turns out she didn’t have a Plan B (ie the telephone number of her friend Katie) in case they didn’t manage to meet up at the set time inside the Club Penguin game.