Monthly Archives: March 2011

Brooks on the “New Humanism”

We are at the cusp of a revolution in consciousness, argues author and New York Times columnist David Brooks.

This revolution could be summed in roughly as “David Hume was right: the British Enlightenment trumps its French counterpart.” Essentially, what we’ve learned is that our emotions count for much more than we ever imagined – insight that holds major implications not only for us as individuals but as Extension professionals.  Problem-solving is not just about bringing rational thought to bear on a problem.  As Hume contended, emotion informs rationality.  Even more significant, these two sides of human nature are inextricably linked.

Brooks’s TED lecture is informative, inspiring and even a little sublime, as corny as this sounds.  One caveat, though: viewing this is no substitute for reading his book “The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character and Achievement.”

As I said, the implications for Cooperative Extension work are profound.

A Call to Action (for the Sake of Our Survival)

I’ve just completed what I consider to be one of the most important publications I’ve ever written as an Extension professional:  “A Social Media Call to Action.”

The role of Extension educators as knowledge providers, innovators, and change agents is under threat unless we learn to operate effectively in the increasingly crowded information landscape. This call to action outlines how Extension professionals can stay relevant by becoming engaged, networked educators using the latest technologies to maintain the charge that is ours to keep.