THRIVING IN A WORLD OF
ALGORITHM & ASYCHRONICITY

A manifesto for the reclamation of human values

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About The Human Business

The Human Business assists organizations and individuals successfully navigate a world increasingly defined and constrained by technology. We promote and teach the rediscovery of those characteristics and traits of human thought and social interaction that promoted the growth of our civilizations, markets, and societies; the realignment of social, professional, and organizational practices and policies to ensure that the means justify the ends and that the central concern is the individual; and reinvigorate the search for a collective future that is both fulfilling and meaningful. Depending on the individual needs of our clients we come at this practice through attention to ethics, leadership and followership, intellectual history, communications theory, organizational dynamics, systems analysis, and practical engagement. We all want to be better at what we do, and we believe being a better human is the first step.

How We Help

Organizational Consulting
As technology has appropriated many of the tasks and decision-making opportunities that humans have traditionally embraced we've found that organizational cultures and practices often fail to recognize what's been lost, and what might be gained if the old and the new were well integrated. This is what we do for organizations big and small.
Individual/Executive Coaching
We work one-on-one to help individuals navigate the questions of value, purpose, and agency. And, how to bring all of those to bear in a world of distributed responsibility, algorithmic decision making, and dispersed social relationships.
Workshops
Helping humans interact better with each other and with their machines is the core of our workshop business. Additional topics may include: culture, ethics, decision-making, leadership, and customer relationships.
Speaking
Whether to small teams over lunch or packed auditoriums as a keynote, we offer inspirational explorations of what it means to be fully human in a technological world.

People

PETER BG SHOEMAKER

PRINCIPAL

As an entrepreneur, as a senior executive, and as a consultant, Peter has spent a quarter of a century helping companies and governments understand their constituencies, build meaningful, real relationships, and design for the future. From start-ups to Fortune 500s, from educational auditoria to legislative chambers, he’s served as an advocate for the role of the human experience in highly technologically-mediated contexts.

Peter’s belief in commercial and civil experiences as designed spheres of mutual respect and benefit has been applied to successfully developing relationships between customers and companies and their employees in markets as diverse as personal care products, medical devices, and IT, and between stakeholders and governments in policy arenas such as surface transportation, energy, and electronic commerce. He excels in reframing interactions between individuals and organizations, and organizations and their operating environment. The result? Clarity, purpose, authenticity, and a renewed sense of value.

Peter holds graduate degrees in the humanities and social sciences from universities in the US and the UK, and spent five years in the United States Marine Corps. He currently serves as an adviser to the global democracy initiative Climate Parliament, sits on the Expert Panel for Techcast, and is a member of both the Long Now Foundation and the Association of Professional Futurists.

STEVEN L. SMITH

PRINCIPAL

Steve has spent over three decades in executive level positions in the military and academia. In the former role he's been an author, advisor, and consultant on the free exercise of religion, humanitarian issues, ethics and morality, cultural dynamics, and leadership development. In the latter he's been a member of various academic committees and councils to review and develop undergraduate and graduate degree programs, foster viable relationships with community leaders and businesses to assist them in their employee development, and led the creation of dynamic classroom environments for learning.

These professional experiences along with diverse human interactions have contributed to Steve's outlook that the future belongs to those who can think critically, communicate effectively, possess a keen sense of moral awareness, work and live in collaboration and reverence, simultaneously view perplexing dilemmas from an all-inclusive frame of reference, and operate from a leader-follower dynamic. He's skilled in guiding organizations in determining the nature of a problem then working towards a realistic solution and implementation leading to a recognition of the significance of trust, cohesion, and the human benefit of shared accomplishments.

Steve's graduate degrees are in theology, and leadership and education (along with a diploma in military science). He spent twenty-two years in the United States Navy, seven of which were in the United States Marine Corps. Currently, Steve teaches courses in business and liberal arts and serves on the Inter-Tribal Advisory Council to the Coconino County (AZ) Board of Supervisors. He is a member of the International Leadership Association and Association for Practical and Professional Ethics.

On the human business (a blog of sorts)

Autonomous vehicles talk at ITS New Mexico

Last Thursday I had an opportunity to speak to the New Mexico chapter of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America about some of the intersections of humans and machines in the world of autonomous vehicles. My approach wasn’t overly pessimistic, but I was—and am—concerned that in the rush to market and policy we risk...

The most horrifying robot we’ve ever seen.

One of the great challenges of the next couple of decades is going to be analysis and writing that engages successfully with the inevitable silicon valley hyperbole about robotic and AI-based technologies. And while there is plenty of tradition in the engineering communities, and an emerging cadre of ethicists, willing to explore the technology...

What makes us unique?

And by us, I mean humans. And I point that out because one of the most important questions that we have to answer, or at least be confident that we’ve explored, is just that. In a world increasingly of the machine, and on the latter part of Kurzweil’s trajectory towards the singularity (or alternatively,...

Need to balance the best of human
with the best of machine? We can help.