Serendipity is at the heart of today’s emerging society


Serendipity is for me a deeply meaningful word.

The more than dozen posts discussing serendipity on my blog include how we created “enhanced serendipity” at an event I ran in 2003 in New York, more details on the story of the word serendipity and how to enhance it, the importance of the “serendipity dial” and far more.

One of the reasons I love Twitter so much is that it provides a rich substrate for serendipitous connections. A majority of the worthwhile connections I make these days come from Twitter. One of those connections is @AnaDataGirl. We have followed each other and had some conversations for a good while. So I heard multiple times that she did a gem of a presentation at SwitchConf in Oporto, Portugal last week.

Here are her lovely slides – while I’m sure they don’t do justice to the presentation itself they are well worth going through, as they capture some of the key concepts of serendipity and provide some delightful examples.

I think that those who immerse themselves in Twitter intrinsically understand serendipity. The way it works is almost impossible to grasp for those who do not actively expose themselves to serendipity in their information flows and connections.

I would go so far as to venture that serendipity is at the heart of today’s emerging society. That is where the action is, that is where the excitement is, that is where new things are bubbling forth. You must experience it to know it. And it is a delightful place to be.

Ana has written about the background to her presentation on her blog:

This was a labour of love. And the love story began many months ago. When young Ricardo Sousa – organizer of the Switch Conference – invited me to speak there, I almost instantly knew that serendipity would be the topic.

Why? Because it’s a concept that brought so many opportunities, challenges and great people into my life that I wanted to celebrate it. Because I thought that maybe the audience wasn’t familiar with it, so it would be a good change to share something truly different. And because I’ve lately come to realize the importance of the concept for business.

At the bottom of the post Ana has put a great set of links to resources on serendipity – check them out if you want some happy accidents…