A new word for a new vision
The concept of the noosphere was introduced by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin in 1922. French philosopher, Jesuit priest, paleontologist, geologist, decorated for valour during WWI, world traveler, and explorer who participated in several scientific expeditions in China, India, and Africa, Teilhard authored several publications that were very controversial in their time and were banned for many years by the ecclesiastical order. When finally published, though, they influenced generations of intellectuals, artists, and scientists — an influence still felt today.
Teilhard’s life of physical, intellectual, and spiritual adventures is a true inspiration, and using his concept of noosphere is a way for us to honor the memory of a courageous and brilliant visionary who lived a rich and meaningful existence.
Teilhard perceived a directionality in evolution along an axis of increasing Complexity/Consciousness. For Teilhard, the noosphere is the sphere of thought encircling the earth that has emerged through evolution as a consequence of this growth in complexity / consciousness. (Noosphere, Wikipedia)
Even though he constructed the foundations of his theory while serving as a stretcher-bearer on the battlefields of the Great War that erupted over a century ago, Teilhard's vision is remarkably modern and contemporary.
Increasing complexity and consciousness, a sphere of thought encircling the earth: These words accurately qualify a major trend that has kept growing since the emergence of the Internet as a massively disrupting technology that acts as a catalyst for this evolution.
Even as we can easily see and understand the emergence of a sphere of thought through the ubiquitous, pervasive, and universal growth of information technology, increasing consciousness seems to emit a much weaker signal. Although less noticeable because of its more intimate and elusive nature, consciousness is probably the most important part of this equation, as its expansion, both at the individual and collective levels, is the key factor for a real evolution and a profound paradigm shift.
Beyond the contemporaneousness of the noosphere concept, Teilhard's approach is truly modern as it transcends the frontiers separating scientific fields as well as religion and spirituality. We believe that the convergence and transcendence of historically compartmentalized disciplines and schools of thought are more and more necessary to address the complex nature of the questions and challenges we face as individuals and as a society.
Teilhard and the noosphere, the man and his ideas, are both very potent and salient guides that help us articulate our own vision for Advantys, a company that has been a witness to and an actor in the digital revolution over the past twenty years.
Fast forwarding from the mid-20th century to the present time, Kevin Kellyprovides a timely transition to introduce the "Flow".
A hundred years ago H. G. Wells imagined this large thing as the world brain. Teilhard de Chardin named it the noosphere, the sphere of thought. Some call it a global mind, others liken it to a global superorganism since it includes billions of manufactured silicon neurons. For simple convenience and to keep it short, I’m calling this planetary layer the holos. By holos I include the collective intelligence of all humans combined with the collective behavior of all machines, plus the intelligence of nature, plus whatever behavior emerges from this whole. This whole equals holos. Kevin Kelly, "The Inevitable”
In Kelly’s holistic approach to technological evolution, the concepts of fluidity, flows, and processes are presented as the driving forces of the third age of computing, characterized by a state of constant flux and transformation.
Constant flux means more than simply “things will be different.” It means processes — the engines of flux — are now more important than products. Kevin Kelly, “The Inevitable”
Of course, as a software vendor offering business process automation solutions for over ten years, this vision resonates deeply with us.
Working daily with organizations worldwide who face the challenges of digital disruption, we have first-hand experience of the importance of well- designed and adaptive processes. But the new wave of change described by Kelly and others will raise the bar even higher when it comes to building processes for an environment in a constant state of flux.
To address this new wave and to design relevant technologies, our strategy is to become the flow, to embrace the paradigm shift and to constantly optimize our transformational process both as individuals and as a company, in every aspect of our activities from the way we perceive our environment to the way we create our reality.
Back in 1995, in our early twenties, we founded Advantys to materialize a vision of Internet technologies as new ways for enterprises to build business applications. It sounds totally obvious today, but back when performing a demo at a client’s office involved a 9600 baud modem, a land line, a 10 kg monitor, a laptop fed by floppy disks — not to mention a ton of patience and the serenity of a Zen master — it’s probably an endeavour equivalent to selling quantum computers today.
Today, our vision is not based on the adoption of a new technology. Our vision is a process — a constant transformational process.
We believe that all organizations will have to enter this constant transformational process sooner rather than later.
We have entered the process ourselves:
to deliver fluid, transparent, ubiquitous technologies that will help others master complexity with simplicity;
to craft refined and frictionless tools that will enable the deployment of adaptable processes with the most direct path from ideation to actual implementation;
to do our part in the growth of consciousness by facilitating hyperproductivity that will free more time to think, love, play, create; to help us become who we are; to be more.
Constant transformation isn't a destination — it's a journey.
We've named this journey Noosflow: Flowing towards the noosphere.