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Cloud Alchemy: A Thinking Heart

Posted Jul 23 2009 10:22pm

Ladies and gentlemen, I propose a new plateau of collective intelligence.

The brain we have formed through our use of digital communication tools is now functioning. We have thoughts, and we are sharing them in deluges.

I propose we recognize this as a new brain capacity – specifically a global brain capacity – and that we orchestrate our global thoughts with the highest possible intentions.

I propose we recognize that this is what we have already been doing. Through these new media tools we have a thinking heart. This is what fuels my own daily journey as a teacher and articulator of new media.

This huge, benevolent, thinking heart. This heart which pulses through the vast onground servers to the vast online cloud.

Being a practical midwestern gal, I want you to understand what I’m proposing without a lot of folderol. To that end, I have written a manifesto. I call it “Cloud Alchemy.”

The manifesto explains in simple terms what it means to participate in the global conversation through new media tools. I want you to read it. I want you to become part of my conversation. You.

Before I send you to the manifesto, let me demonstrate cloud alchemy. There will be many demonstrations of this force at work. I call these demonstrations “alchemy labs.” Here we go.

Alchemy Lab #1
July 23, 2009

Preface: In my work as an online communicator and teacher, I have the privilege of engaging hundreds of very bright, active minds. New media tools make this possible by delivering the daily offerings of these bright minds in manageable little bits.

Daily I am struck by recognition of special possibilities, if, for example, I could help one mind recognize another.

Now this “connecting” I am talking about could be called networking. It certainly is a form of networking. What makes it cloud alchemy is two things:

1. It can happen instantly, easily, with minimal effort, because of new media tools.
2. I am delving deeper than a simple networking-style “introduction.” I intend to trigger a resonance between two people (or two hundred) by sharing with each person a relevant detail about the other. In other words, I am pulling the thoughtstogether. Bringing them into close quarters so they can become a new energy source – a spark – recognition – joined thoughts.

That’s the alchemy: My brain wants this brain to know that brain.

Begin the Lab:
I’m beginning these Labs at the top. Today, July 23, 2009, I recognize Dr. Ellen F. Weber as a “brain area” of the first order. I will let you discover more about her work. I also recognize Liz Strauss, a leader and a gatherer. I want to connect these two.


a. Triggering the thought process, let me point out that Dr. Weber is a brilliant neuroscientist who brings great kindness to her offerings. She teaches leaders how to work in what I call a “brain-friendly” way for maximum positive outcomes. Her website is Brain Leaders and Learners. She can be found on Twitter as @ellenfweber.

b. Now I will bring in a second force, someone I know helps and influences many thousands of people. She is a leader and another force of kindness. Her name is Liz Strauss. The reason I want these two brains to connect is simple. I want the global brain to have a new brain area which is informed by Dr. Weber’s understanding and connected to the social prowess – super high brain connectivity – of Liz Strauss. Find Liz on Twitter @lizstrauss. (For a stellar example of cloud alchemy, see and look at her list of Blue Feather Association Tweeters.)


Many possible outcomes. My work is to tell the story my brain concocts, point Ellen and Liz toward one another, and expose my own audience to this process and these two brains. Sometimes I will persist in deepening the recognition of two people. Other times I simply allow the alchemy to do its own work.


This is one example of an Alchemy Lab. I’d say this is a longish version of the Labs. Tomorrow, I’ll demonstrate a Lab which employs Twitter.

Twitter, by the way, is a supreme form of cloud alchemy. For the people who have engaged Twitter fully, there is a constant thought-share happening. Enormous thinking-heart activity is enacted hour by hour on Twitter. If you blog, you might want to conduct longer Alchemy Labs. You could, however, use only Twitter to connect and electrify powerful new brain areas. That’s some great alchemy right there.

About that manifesto
The manifesto, “Cloud Alchemy,” will clarify your role in the global brain. It invites you with simple steps to become an active part of this conversation.

Boomer Women and Men
I dedicate this first version of Cloud Alchemy to women and men in the vicinity of 55. (That’s a broad vicinity, reaching from the 40 somethings to the 90 somethings. I call that “Web 55.0.”)


The emergence of Boomer women and men into new media is a real paradigm shift. Mature minds can be enhanced greatly by engaging the learning curves of new technology. Once the challenges are met, these minds can offer up their richness, their decades of experience, skills, and life-juice, to the conversation. The mature mind is needed in order to bring balance to our changing world.

Is it difficult to grasp?
Boomer women and men may find the paths of new media quite obscure. This is natural. We Boomers don’t have brain areas for communication technology. While we were indeed the ones who brought it into existence, we have not, for the most part, engaged the super-charged speed of change as these tools have become integrated into business and social cultures. We have to build these brain areas.

That’s a bit of a problem. But it is not as big an obstacle as it once was. Now, for your learning pleasure, we have teachers and tools which can be engaged quickly. The brain area grows when curiosity and openness are nurtured. The next day, it’s easier.

Cloud Alchemy is for you, my fellow Boomers. It’s for us all. But today it’s for you.

Join my web family. Read Cloud Alchemy. Begin your own new brain area. You are needed.

Suzanna Stinnett
Please join us: Type your email in the upper right corner and click to receive the manifesto.

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