Pushing the Edges: Venessa Miemis on Facebook, Technobuddhism and Emerging Collective Intelligence
Venessa Miemis flows deftly between worlds of evolving media, consciousness, technology and the web, merging them into something beautiful. I never fail to be blown away by her unique meld of staggering intelligence, deep understanding and real soul. So happy to be joined with Venessa today...
What's the best thing that's happened to you so far this year?
a lot of good things have happened already this year. i just finished my graduate program (MA in Media Studies) at The New School, so that is awesome. i launched a new project, The Future of Facebook, and we've already been fully funded on Kickstarter. i'm being flown to Mumbai, India, and then Sydney and Melbourne, Australia for speaking events in June. i've never been to those places, so i'm super stoked for that. i'm also helping organize a big conference around peer-to-peer technology and social innovation called Contact, which will be held in NYC this october. besides all that, i have a handful of other projects and ideas still in incubation, so life is very exciting right now.
You mentioned, "the transition to a new understanding of humanity is already happening, and for some, has already happened" -- can you talk about this transition?
i think there's some kind of cyber-spiritual awakening underway. or maybe call it technobuddhism. basically, i think people are starting to wake up to their true nature and potential, and i see that being aided by the web, and the relationships we're able to forge via social media. i think the rate at which we are able to find people who resonate with us is accelerating, and that empowers us to manifest ideas and take collective action.
What can we do to help bump this along, and maybe also not be left behind?
find your tribe and yourself.
Where have you been able to find the net to catch you as you plunge into this other side?
As Thich Nhat Hahn put it, "The next Buddha will be a Sangha," meaning a community of people with a shared story and shared purpose. The net is all around us, if we choose to be a part of it.
What is the story your heart is bursting to have told?
i tell it every day by living a life characterized by growth and transformation, and encouraging others to find their passion and inspiration.
Why does this matter?
well... i've found that life is vastly better when infused with meaning and purpose.
If you could have anything in the world, or any condition, what would it be?
i would like there to be a free global communication infrastructure, so every human on the planet could have access to each other and the wealth of knowledge and information that is out there, allowing people to have the capacity to empower themselves in every way.
Any obstacles you've encountered to transforming the inspiration in your mind and soul into manifestation in physical world? How you were able to overcome these...?
i feel like i fail constantly. but i just keep pushing.
What's the hardest thing you've ever done?
found the ability to believe in myself.
Why did you feel the imperative to create the Future of Facebook project?
well, it's not even really about facebook. facebook is the entry point to the conversation, but it's really about people, about connecting, about creating meaningful relationships and "thick value" together. it's about asking some aspirational questions. facebook has over 600 million people on it. so it's like "ok. we're all here. now what do we do?" we haven't even scratched the surface yet of what it really means to leverage collective intelligence and create positive change in our own lives or in the world around us.
What do you see for FB's future - how long do you reckon until Facebook goes the way of myspace or every other previously hot social network, or will they adapt?
i think facebook has already had a big impact on our perceptions about openness and information sharing, even among friends. regardless of what happens to facebook in the future, that behavioral and cultural shift has already been triggered. i think as people see how sharing and collaboration enriches life and makes achieving goals easier, they will not go back to the 'lone hero' mentality.
What's your favorite part about pushing the edges in your life and work?
at the end of the day, we're all just people. but when you overcome your fear and put yourself and your work out there, embrace your inner artist, you create beauty that influences and inspires others in a way that is so much bigger than yourself and extends further than you could have imagined. that to me is very powerful.
Looking ahead this year, what are you looking forward to above all?
i'm actually very much looking forward to taking a roadtrip out west with my loving and supportive husband, and just enjoying some time being present with him and off the grid.
This interview is one in a series connected to the Edge Flow project. Sign up for my capturing Epic Flow email series to be notified of the next interview (and pay attention, I'm planning to give away my Art of Epic Flow ebook for 48 hours to subscribers soon).
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