As I drove to meet my old friend Rex at his school, Siri was giving me directions. It’s a novel app for me right now; only used it a couple of times. I reflected back about eleven years ago when Rex and I had first met co-leading the 82nd Westminster Cub Scout group, and how he had brought along these cool GPS gadgets “borrowed from work” to take our Pack geocaching through the neighbourhood.
This was 2005; personal GPS’ were still new and very, very cool. Rex was, and still is a gear-head. I was more a map and compass guy. Rex took the lead with the new tech, and we had the group match it with the old tech as we roved around the area; under a bridge, behind houses and apartments, between little shops in the area.
One evening, one activity, 20 eager minds, and we covered environmental, social and economic spheres of sustainability. Without even knowing it. Further, we took these young Cubs through the “simple recipe” use of the GPS unit, progressed to more complicated map-based orienteering and finally became more aware and involved in the amazing complexity of the physical and social environment. In a sense we’d moved through the simple-complex-complicated, the cake-rocket-child model of innovation that Westley, Zimmerman and Quinn Patton describe
(2007). Without even knowing it.