Learn about yourself and the forces of collaboration
Have you ever participated in the “marshmallow challenge”? You will get a lot of learnings from this experience, even if you have a look at the videos about it. But I recommend to go into it without consulting the wikipedia or watching videos about.
I had the opportunity to take part in the context of Peace Innovation Lab – Berlin – Meetup (more precise “Empathy at work – Collaborative Sandbox”) and I learned a lot about attention, conflict and leadership.
Idea of a “lead stick”
The group has been reflecting the team processes and insights in the circle. Realizing the structural problem of “unclear leadership” I thought, that there is a simple tool, that should be tested – the lead stick. It is a simple concept to rotate team leadership in a frictionless way under the condition of high time pressure. The rule is simple: if you think, that you have a good idea in a team process and you want to take the lead, then you take the stick on your side of the table. If you realize, that you are lost, then you put it into the center. Another one can take the lead then.
Why that? Typically if in the first minutes a leader “emerges”, just since he is talking more about his solution idea then others, then he feels a pressure, to be in this position all of the time – the role becomes static. This increases stress and makes the others feel to be in a kind of hierarchical setting (“tragedy of the lead” 🙂 ). The stick liquidifies the roles, allows easy rotation without talk. People feel and are more participatory, more ideas get into play. At least in theory. So let us test this the next time, when we are in a similar team setting.
Since the nuclear catastrophe at Fukushima following the Tsunami in 2011 (wikipedia) the situation is still very difficult – there are efforts now in October 2013 to ask for help of international experts
Living Bridges Planet network wants to be part of this process and facilitate building bridges
There is a facebook group Fukushima Open Dialogue – The Asia Institute and I found that (as usually in groups like this) the facebook platform is extremely limited in usability, when one needs to share knowledge – this gave me an impulse, to create a collaborative space on google docs [web address will be published, when the structure is a bit more mature; the graphics shows an image cutout of a slide for brainstorming]
How to transform a Facebook group into a collaborative ecosystem?
Facebook groups have very limited usability to organize knowledge flow and management. But many FB groups want to stay on facebook because of the reach and friends still being there.
The solution is to combine the best of both worlds — facebook reach and Google+ collaboration tools, google docs (and possibly Google+ hangouts).
The metaphors of river (fast moving information), pond (for accessible knowledge) – and table (for the synchronous communication and getting close) are very helpful to understand the workings of this minimal ecosystem.
The youtube video is creative commons –
social foresight network 2013 – creative commons BY-NC-SA
Clustered ideas Click on image to zoom (2.476 x 1.488 px)
Some harvested insights from the neighborhood group
– This is all about a change of real behavior, not only the attitude – Two strategies – – 1 – in dimension of SPACE -> places – – 2 – in dimension of TIME -> events – How to get from early adopters (circle A) to wider adoption of sharing culture – The group created nice ideas for some PLACES to communicate the “sharing economy” to new folks – – We call them “SHARING DOCKS” – – Possible sharing docks / partners: – – – libraries – – – adult education center (Volkshochschule) – – – parks? – – – second hand shops? – – – make a “share cafè”? – EVENTS for actions? … spreading the word, community building – – JUNE 2, 2014 = Global Sharing Day! – – … an opportunity to be visible with all the existing platforms, projects, “sharing docks” – – Maybe it is even a “sharing week” if a day is not enough 😉
“Cities are shared spaces. That’s why we gather, in part, to share basic infrastructure, to socialize, to satisfy our human instinct to congregate, to make culture together. The call for a Shareable City simultaneously inspires us to imagine a transformed urban culture but also to notice the invisible ways we already share life all the time.”
The workshop was about making Berlin a thriving Sharing City, by putting the spotlight on its burgeoning sharing economy scene, and finding out new ways to go further. “Whether it’s about launching new sharing initiatives, establishing meaningful public-private-citizen partnerships, or designing sharing-friendly local policies, this sessions at putting Berlin on the global spotlight of the hot Sharing Cities topic ! We have audaxiously called it: How can Berlin become the sharing capital of Europe?” socialmediaweek.org/berlin/events/?id=86701#
What about the content? How to save the world? The idea of the planet school network is a really wide open concept. The purpose of planet schools is it to be part of a mindset and lifestyle transformation.
We need a kind of global educational revolution
Why? To accelerate the intelligent adaption to the boundaries of our precious planet earth
Despite a lot of green economy, green startups, green consumers – the dominant paradigm in politics and economy is still not planet friendly
We urgently need “planet schooling” on all levels, from kindergarten to business schools
Including practical and social learning and tools/apps enabling new sustainable and mindful behavior patterns
Workshop Designing for Collaboration (Peace Innovation Lab – Berlin) On August 29th I had the great opportunity to brainstrorm and collaborate on the concept of planet school network. The topic Designing for Collaboration was fitting perfectly for this endeavor. I am still in assessment and will create another post/update soon. For now some first image showing the (color interpreted) poster. Thank you, Anne Kjær Riechert of Peace Innovation Lab for the invite to be host in the (accelerated) world café setting.
First insights and revisions
My first insight so far is (inspired by the presentation of Ulf Brandes) to think about a shift in the concept – from competitive elements to collaborative and enabling elements. My first concept was about a kind of crowdsourced rating and badge system (see Open Badges system of Mozilla – openbadges.org).
Any learning space around the world, any app or any online or offline course can register and be evaluated in the three basic sustainabiltiy dimensions of people, planet, profit. I realize now, that this basic idea need not to be too much in a competitive scheme. To have local / regional / global “leaderboards in sustainable practice” is nice, but maybe we can have “leaderboards in collaboration”!
E.g. think about a local school A, which is a mentor for local school B and shows how to teach-and-do in permaculture, photovoltaics or mindful meditation! Being a gateopener and enjoy the spreading of good practice.
UPDATE: Designing for Collaboration | Stanford Peace Innovation Lab
“Collaboration is essential in our interconnected world, and everything inter-esting has become “cross”, “multi” and “inter” today: international, inter-disciplinary, cross-functional, multi-generational, multi-sectoral. You name it!
Yet, often it seems harder to collaborate than not. We are largely unaware of a shared purpose and feel disconnected. We’re unsure if we can trust, in whom to trust and in what to trust. We fear making ourselves and our organizations or businesses vulnerable.”
In 2012 I have been part of the endeavour to facilitate the emergence of a network, the Living Bridges Planet – actually the open facebook group is approaching now the 3.500 mark in member size. Bert-Ola Bergstrand (Social Capital Forum, Gothenberg) initiated the facebook group during the process of Social Capital World Forum 2012 and I was part of the little facilitation team, responsible to conceive and build the architecture. Step by step a working digital ecosystem of social media and platforms for connecting, conversation and collaboration emerged. Here is the current mind map of the ecosystem – with facebook, wordpress and G+/youtube as the main pillars: LIVING BRIDGES Planet – Mind Map (bit.ly/livingbridgesmap)
Understanding “social capital” + how to create and connect spaces
In the last 12 months I made much progress in understanding the social dynamics, the mental, cultural and the technnological side of it. Not to be too narrow, I am experimenting use the expression “social energies”. This term is broader than “social capital”, and less loaden with debate. Finally it is more in the spirit of resilience thinking or postive psychology – as I have noticed the expressions “social capital” and “social ressources” sound a bit extractive for some.
There have been these short posts about the learnings so far.
Finetuning the social process design for glocal engagement
After the Chicago event as a debut in “organizing glocality” with a certain size, the LBP facilitation team is now approaching the second opportunity: “Celebrating the Future – Empowering Youth” in Oslo – August 5, 2013. This occasion encouraged me to create kind of introduction into the concept and basic process design of glocal events.
Living Bridges Planet – A network about change and social capital
The Social Capital World Forum 2012 is unfolding following the motto of this year “Living Bridges”. This strong metaphor lead to the dynamics of a network of networks, embodied simultaneously in a network of agile networkers and change makers. While the central information space is realized as the site scwf12.wordpress.com the social dynamics is flourishing in the facebook group LIVING BRIDGES Planet (1.850+ members today, still growing). Please visit the post on scwf12.wordpress.com for the details.
UPDATE: As of 2013-08-02 the size of the group is approaching the 3.500 mark!
Situation: Virtuality is more and more an option in collaboration
Here are some contextual facts:
Physical face2face gatherings enable collaborative productivity, but are rather costly compared with virtual solutions.
With reliable broadband connections and video chat as a standard the experience has improved.
Conclusion: The possibility of instant virtual gatherings has become an increasing attractive option.
Problem: No established behavioral patterns and tools for hybrid global-local events
The field of experience during JellyWeek 2012
When I had to think a bit deeper about the architecture and organisation of the global-local event JellyWeek 2012 I worked with some typical use cases in mind to increase a parameter, that I intuitively realized as a key parameter for a succesful hybrid, global-local event.
This parameter is SID = social interaction density – Maybe the expression is used differently in other domains, however I found it adequate for the challenge of a “viable social information architecture” for the JellyWeek with its specific hybrid characteristic, connecting local groups (jellies) and single attendees, scattered around the globe together in a space of encounter.
Some aspects of the design challenge have been described in the post about the JellyWeek Social wave and the working sphere – the specific challenge at that time has been conceived as “Building a coordinative space for remote co-workers” – there is even a little screencast explaining the ecosystem.
But do not get distracted – the core issue here is how to find design principles for coordinative spaces, that facilitate the communicative spaces, i.e. finally maximizing the social interaction density
Have some fun to watch the short video underlining the importance of a “coordinative space approach”.
Part 2 will demonstrate the solution and what can be learned and generalized from it.
Update 2012-05-16 Integrated the Social Capital graphics
How we work has radically changed during history. The social wave (with social technologies for networking, new concepts and mindsets to collaborate) has reached the working sphere for some years. E.g. there are 1.200 coworking spaces around the world now. And there is a new mindset in town with that mode of working.
Worldwide global-local event: #JELLYWEEK 2012
Today a global-local event starts to connect the growing community of coworkers. Up to now there are 206 jellies from 34 countries registered, some with even a program for the whole week. Never heard of “jellies”? Find more on the event website: #JELLYWEEK 2012
Close observer and an active node
To come close to these new phenomena/movement as a researcher and to promote and foster transformation (I know well, that these are two different roles) I was very excited about the opportunity to be a part of organizing this open, self-governed and swarm-like event. Or less paradoxically: To create (hybrid/orbital?) spaces for communication and co-creation in the spirit of Open Space and Art of Hosting.
Challenge: Building a coordinative space for remote co-workers
It is a challenge to build a Social Information Architecture having no budget, no coder, no databse – and in the shortest time of some weeks. It resulted in decentral kind of swarm design (the swarm intelligence hype may be over – but this concept is no fashion, but just a principle of construction). The structure is inspired by wiki thinking, but even more light, fragile, open and with a maximum of decentrality: A cloud of etherpads is having an essential role. Other “orbital” element: Google hangouts, e.g. permanent hangouts.
We are curious, whether this will work … yep, pioneering comes with risk of total failure …. “We”, that is Anni Roolf from Wuppertal and I as the core team. Anni is the initiator and founder of the worldwide #JELLYWEEK 2012. I am very grateful for the opportunity to create something new with her as a passionate and smart person. And we only met once and did completely remote collaboration with using, google docs, facebook, skype etc., a tiny dose of project management of basecamphq.com – and plain phone calls are still in use too. To get a bit of the spirit, here is a short message from a New Zealand space.
The #JELLYWEEK 2012 was a great success
… and it was a huge experience and learning space to understand the phenomena, dynamics and the advantages of the diverse “connection and collaboration tools”. I will report on the learnings in a future blog post. For now I want to complete the post above with a link to the (quick and dirty) introduction video, an introduction into the light-weight “social information architecture” for the decentral global-local event.