Last week two contrasting experiences got me thinking about our community and the way we work with customers and partners. We live in interesting times!
First, I had the opportunity to review Mary Meeker’s 2017 Internet Trends Report. If you follow online trends and marketing, this is a must read. (Google it if you have not already done so—you’ll thank me later!) This yearly presentation is an invaluable repository of data related to the Internet.
As I reviewed the slides, a number of details stayed with me. The pervasiveness of the Internet impressed me—almost half of the world’s population (3.4 billion people) is now online! The ubiquitous presence of smartphones (2.8 billion activated) across international boundaries also stood out. And it was difficult to miss the increasingly rapid growth of Facebook (~60% year over year) and Google advertising (~20% year over year). All in all, I was struck with the reality that change is continuous, technology exposes us endless possibilities, and our world is getting larger.
I also had the opportunity to attend a meeting with a number of local leaders last week. We shared updates about our organizations. We discussed how our collaboration would bring benefits to the local community. We reflected on the impact that state legislation was likely to have on businesses in this area. So much has been accomplished over the years in Southwest Riverside County through meetings just like this one.
And our region will continue to grow due to the efforts of such collaborative groups.
As I reflect on these experiences, I am left with the impression that working, serving and leading effectively in our community often requires us to navigate seemingly divergent factors. In this case, we are pushed to embrace both cutting edge changes in technology that influence how people relate with our organizations and traditional methods of community partnership that have served us well for some time. Doing so requires flexibility, openness to change, and willingness to learn.
As with so many people and organizations in the community, we at Azusa Pacific University are doing our best to serve the greater good in these surprising times. And, whether you are seeking the education to help you stay on the cutting edge or looking for a partner in the community, I hope you will reach out to us!