One reason we go to EDUCAUSE is to find the future. Maybe we'll also find William Gibson wandering the exhibition floor and popping in on the sessions, searching for what is coming next. Gibson's most famous quote (which I'm sure he's tired of by now) is, "the future is already here – it's just not very evenly distributed". If Gibson's next book is to be on higher education he would not find a better place to start his research than at EDUCAUSE.
Zero History, the 3rd book in Gibson's Bigend trilogy, is about fashion (or anti-fashion), military contracting, inflatable spy drones, and much else. If you read Pattern Recognition and Spook Country (and if you have not you should), I'm betting that Zero History is already on your reading device. If you are not a Gibson reader you should become one, a week in Anaheim being the perfect place to start.
What would Bigend, the multimillionaire founder of the viral advertising / cool hunting agency Blue Ant, want to know about higher education?
In Pattern Recognition, Blue Ant is described this way:
"Relatively tiny in terms of permanent staff, globally distributed, more post-geographic than multinational, the agency has from the beginning billed itself as a high-speed, low-drag life-form in an advertising ecology of lumbering herbivores."
Perhaps in the next book, Gibson will have Bigend create a similarly nimble and agile university. Or perhaps he will advise existing institutions on how to become more like Blue Ant.
Let us know when you find the future at EDUCAUSE.
See you in Anaheim.
What are you reading?