"Visions of World Benefit & Global Responsibility: Perspectives of McGill Students

Thursday, July 26, 2007


Networking is truly a term which saw its expansion with the introduction of the internet (a.k.a. the net). Its magnitude is felt by all. Networking refers to people, groups or objects that are interconnected with each other. Information can be easily transferred between each party thus maximizing the potential for information distribution and thus the potential for growth. What we do not often realize is that networking has always occurred and on varying scales as well.

On the atomic scale, atoms also engage in networking. Atoms, interconnected by their electrons, respond to temperature changes, molecular interactions and electrical charges together. Temperature changes as well as the rest are after all forms of information to which the atomic system reacts. On the molecular level, proteins, viruses, immunoglobulin, steroids and amino acids can interact through receptors and triggers the transfer of more molecules; the molecules can also interact with each other and trigger more responses, whether they are chemical or electrical. This is our own internal networking. We should not be surprised that the principle of networking existed long before the internet, after all, the coding (DNA) of these molecules is information itself.

Networking is of particular importance as we see the importance of not only information but sharing it as well. It is a concept that is reinforced and that is seen to be reinforced by nature. Our own bodies engage in networking in order to assure that everything is functioning correctly. In many ways microbiological networking is far more complex than our social networking, with the many methods and types of transmission, reception and even information that can be found. It is a system that is far more adaptive and dynamic.

The 21st century is an age of alternative thinking and systems thinking. We now find ourselves analyzing our environment and the systems that are already put in place by other organisms in addition to our own bodies and try to apply them to our business interactions. Microbiology can potentially be a great tool in developing our networking skills, maximizing our efficiency and communicating with greater ease. The parallels drawn from the exterior of the corporate organization can be the most fruitful as they are not bound by preconceived ideas of how the corporation should function; they allow the corporations to be built from the idea and not the idea from the corporation which is far more innovative.

The benefits of networking from a microbial perspective can be numerous. Corporations could prosper from more effective informational channeling, better market adaptation, as well as having a generally more dynamic company. Evolution is what our bodies were subjected to; evolution is the fine tuning of our bodies over vast periods of time. Evolution is the natural trial and error process. This is why we see the systems found in nature to be successful; time has proven them to be effective. The microbial parallel is one that uses the most tried and tested complex networking systems known and that is why leaders can benefit from it. Microbial networking can be seen as the pinnacle of networking.

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