pj, I really like what you're bringing out about serendipity, it's one of those intangible things that we cannot hold or see, but great things often happen because of serendipity. How often have we all heard the phrase "it's all about being in the right place at the right time..." The more you experiment and reach out to others, the more chance you will fail probably, but also the more chance you will have to bump into some kindred spirit who gets where you're going and wants to join in.
In fact, this is exactly how my current work unfolded over the last year since LCL1. I had invited a small group of colleagues to join me on this LCL journey, not knowing how on earth we would ever take what we learned here - assuming I could learn anything from MIT (maybe I wasn't going to be smart enough to grasp the concepts!) and anything in the course would relate to my non-digital work world - and in the end, only one of my group of colleagues ended up really taking the course seriously. We started reaching out to each other near daily, sharing what we gleaned from that week's readings, ruminations and assignments. We started co-creating a shared language that we both could understand, and in the end it changed our lives, both professionally and personally. So yeah, all of that happened because of serendipity. We were both in the right place at the right time, both looking for something new and different. We were both open to exploration despite not knowing where we were going or where the journey would take us.
In fact, one of the main aspects of our re-tooled learning events is that we talk about the concept of a "full body response" - one where you have to bring your full being to the work, you cannot wear a work hat and then walk out the door to go home and put on your personal life hat, you have to bring ALL of you to the table at all times. It's non negotiable.
mpoole, I also really like your comment about safe learning spaces.
That is a philosophical element of necessity that is so obvious, and yet so stifled in many "learning" spaces. Dare I say, most learning spaces are really "teaching" spaces, meant for top down, teacher driven agendas. But a true learning space is one where anyone is welcome, and nothing is too weird or bizarre to explore - everything is worth exploring. That safety, in my opinion, is the foundational essence of creative learning. If we created a "Creative Learning Periodic Table" (oh someone please take the time to do this!), I think "safety" (Sf) would be as important as Oxygen is in the regular table of elements!
That's got me thinking what elements we'd put in that table: Safety (Sf), Play (Pl), Tinkering (Tk2), Sharing (Sh)...what else?!