Elections and networking are both essential for individual and societal growth. But let’s be honest, networking can be tough. It’s a big hassle to collect business cards and remember whom you spoke to last. And what about elections? Elections are ripe with hassles, including missing ballot boxes, hanging chads, and long voting lines. With the recent scandals that have rocked the presidential primaries, and with companies attending networking events but coming home with very little opportunities, is it any surprise that both networking and elections are prime for a big disruption?
Voting is an opportunity to express a voice and opinion to the world. Voting brings us together and creates a space for us to share our ideas with one another. It’s a fundamental way that societies share their experiences with each other. And it’s an opportunity to set a course of action that will benefit society as a whole.
Now let’s look at networking, and specifically, networking at events. Similar to voting and elections, networking is an opportunity for individuals to share their knowledge and experiences with one another. Networking enables people to grow in their careers and grow their business. It, too, is a fundamental way that people, groups and businesses can learn new ideas, speak openly with one another and create a course of action.
So why are both of these essential activities so painful to accomplish? Why do so many people shy away from networking? And why do so many people not show up to vote?
The answer, they are not user friendly. What does that mean? User friendly implies that people using the product or system actually enjoy the experience and feel a sense of elation when they see it in action. User friendly suggests low stress levels, easy-to-use and understand, and practical. There is no need to fear doing something wrong or missing out on an opportunity when something is user friendly.
So what can governments and businesses do to make the experience more user friendly, and as a result, capture more voters and grow their business?
States like Virginia, Idaho, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington and now Texas have recognized this problem and have begun to implement a system called Verity by Hart InterCivic. This system is a touch screen voting system that allows users to vote with confidence and ease. It gives voters assurance that their vote was cast properly and will be counted.
Networking is beginning to see the benefits of technology with tools like the Loopd wearable smart badge. This device uses Bluetooth technology that allows attendees to exchange contact information with the touch of a button (a button that sits on their name badge). This passive device makes the user experience of exchanging information with fellow attendees much more user friendly because that person’s information shows up in the persons phone within seconds. Most importantly, once you remove the hassle of having to retrieve a business card, or trying to scan some bar code that keeps changing direction, you can actually focus on the most important part, which is building a real connection.
Networking technology has a huge opportunity to give corporations the ability to understand what potential clients have the most likelihood of buying products. It also gives individuals an opportunity to collect information about people with similar interests and have all their information available on their most precious device, their smart phone.
This type of technology is changing the way we interact with one another. It is giving us an opportunity to have confidence in our election process as well as our ability to follow up with people who might share similar career or business objectives. The more we improve our ability to be heard, the more we improve our connections, the more opportunity we have to create value in our world.