SXSW Interactive 2013

How Swordfighting taught me Social Business Skills

In a world of abundance access, hoarding knowledge is becoming less and less useful, as it depreciates in value rapidly over time. We instead need to learn new real-time skills to navigate and manage the many rushing input streams of information. We can learn by looking at age-old methods from areas beyond information management such as martial arts that have long dealt with processing real-time input and split-second decisions.

This session will share the knowledge and concepts from Japanese sword fighting that can apply to information work, or social media. It breaks down the steps to recognizing patterns, reaction and flow into new positions of readiness, and turning the energy of momentum against itself. Rather than just talk, we want to demonstrate how this plays out with a series of real demos of freeform sword fighting with wooden weapons, and live target cutting with real swords. Strangely enough, your Fruit Ninja skills can teach you skills for the workplace.

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  1. How do you know what is important to notice in a situation?
  2. What can I learn about the person I want to engage with?
  3. How do I quickly simplify my choices and options, and decide on what I should do?
  4. What should I do after the engagement?
  5. How can I use this in what I do, outside a swordfight?



Rawn Shah, Social Business Strategist, IBM

Meta Information:

  • Event: Interactive
  • Format: Dual
  • Track: Work and Career
  • Track 2
  • Level: Beginning
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