Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

The Rooster Club: Dealing with the divisions of gender, class and race...and the rise of the nomadic digital societies/tribes

Posted by Tom Foremski - October 23, 2005

By Tom Foremski, Silicon Valley Watcher.com

Rooster_Vane.gifIn proposing the rooster club, twenty years on from the birth of the Churchill Club, I chose the rooster as a symbol of gender-neutral qualities that are admirable, that describe our times, and can be applied to all people.

[Please see: The Call of the Rooster...]

Yet we live in a society that is still divided along gender, ethnic, economic, and other lines. Those divisions are being dealt with in many ways, through many organizations and the vast goodwill of many people.

I'd rather not drag those divisions into the rooster club which is a place to focus on meritocracy, a salon of peers-not podiums. And meritocracy is a key element of the unique culture of Silicon Valley that should be highlighted.

Mobile, fragmented, and unrooted

These days our culture is becoming more mobile because we have a vast torrent of mobile digital devices and the infrastructure to allow us to be more mobile, to become more nomadic.

We are no longer tied to the desktop PC, nor to the laptop; and we will soon have access to our digital lives from any device anywhere, anytime and anyplace. We are becoming digitally-enabled mobile/nomadic peoples.

We are also more mobile in our thinking, more able to spot the obstacles to progress that gender, ethnic, and economic divisions create.

But we live in an increasingly fractured world because we belong to distinct groups/tribes defined by our employer, our friends, our professional associations, our ethnicity, and our sexual preferences.

Hopefully the rooster club will be a meeting place, online and offline, that can bridge our fractured worlds.

A return to our nomadic roots?

The first human cultures emerged from the nomadic tribal communities where it was common to celebrate the qualities of an animal, its spirit, its qualities, its energies.

We seem to be going back to our roots and becoming nomadic peoples again--or rather "nomadig" people: living in digitally-enabled groups but not necessarily *technology* focused in the same way as when the Churchill Club began 20 years ago.

And this time around, we are no longer tied to a particular geography, and nor is our thinking. Much of the culture of innovation is no longer tied to Silicon Valley, there are centers of innovation all over the planet.

We are mobile and seemingly in constant motion, travelling thousands of miles in a day, in a week, in a month, yet we remain rooted within our online worlds as if we hadn't budged an inch. Our physical address changes more often than our online address.

And our digital technology is disappearing into our surroundings, becoming embedded and almost invisible; as the word "digital" is embedded and almost invisible in the word "nomadig."

The call of the Rooster

In the time-honored tradition of when the first nomadic tribes adopted animal spirits and celebrated their unique qualities, I ask you to join me in the rooster club, and let us celebrate the rooster's best qualities--not its gender.

Do you dig? I know you that you do :-)

Look out for the roo-star sign up sheets...coming very soon!


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