Leveraging the social energies, building the “glocal”


Building digital spaces for self-organisation

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)

LIVING BRIDGES Planet - mind map of core ecosystem
LIVING BRIDGES Planet ecosystem in early stage


Images above are taken from the Chicago event and EduLab hangouts in 2012. livingbridgesplanet.wordpress.com

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.



OuiShareFest #1 – Bridging Collaborative Cultures

This was a great international gathering with lot of enthusiasm!


Go co!
After attending the first OuiShareFest in Paris May 2-4 I only have short time to report, will update later! It is about the Collaborative Economy and after two days of conference + unconference today on Saturday there is an open day – to visit the movement of sharers, makers, hackers – and the platforms to do so – all the people “going co“.
I really endorse the globally growing OuiShare community and ask you to join!

Excellent program. Highlights like p2p mastermind Michel Bauwens of  p2pfoundation.net

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Chicago #NextSocEnt – video and impressions


Great cooperation 

Thanks again to

  • Social Enterprise Alliance – Chicago Chapter (SEA/Chicago)
  • Illinois Task Force on Social Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Enterprise
  • Groupon Grassroots
  • MacArthur Foundation
  • Chicago Ideas Week

Special thanks to Sheri Gibson, the Groupon tech team and Living Bridges Planet (Social Capital World Forum) facilitation team making this glocal event about the Next Generation of Social Enterprise possible. Thank you Sheri Gibson for sharing the photos. Material has been taken from photo set facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.203558762991000.60746.163165077030369&type=3

Proof of concept for “connecting the local with the virtual”

The screenshot from the tweetchat feed shows the part of the virtual audience around the globe. This has been a proof of concept for “connecting the local and the virtual” – despite the challenging timezone difference for Europe and Africa (e.g. the Chicago 6:15…

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Annual fail – The Davos top down approach (World Economic Forum)

Keep course – make irrelevant concessions

Primarily the WEF is kind of apparatchik gathering, though there are some really great minds in between all this groupthink. I have made a test and followed the livestream of some panel discussion. This is a good exercise in ethnographical analysis of “collective rituals of self-affirmation”. There is a very clear agenda – and one easily can sense the invisible “red line”, when attending a “discussion” via livestream. Ethnographically it is a cult with totems and taboos. If the panel allows for some questions from the audience, then you have a litmus test of power. The function of the whole thing becomes crystal clear: Commanding the rules of interpretation, selective perception of reality, setting the parole.


Ethnographically a cult of totems and taboos

Example by accident: A panel about obesity as a growing problem. Any average informed person knows that the fast food industry is a relevant topic in the debate about the issue (super-size food, seductive advertising, questionable additives etc.). When someone from the audience asks for the responsibility of politics and corporates then the panel’s/moderator’s function is to bring the debate back onto the “right track”, e.g. self-responsibility. Other strategy: Ignore the question … So, this is all quite usual and nothing new. But it should surprise us in the year 2013, where the relevant people listening to such a livestream are on a better level of information so that they will perceive a “guided discussion” like this utterly ridiculous.

So, what about a real World Change Forum instead?

But isn’t there a lot of “critical issues” talked about – e.g. climate change? Sure, it is, but it is not mapping to actions, resolutions – so in the end it still is an annual PR show for the status quo. The planet cannot afford a political-economical elite like this and it cannot afford an event like this. The leaders are actually inactive, when contrasted with the decisions they should take to solve the global mess. What we need instead is a powerful meeting of changemakers – but no, not the kind of “World Social Forum”, which is stuck in rituals and logic of  political camps, counter-lobbyism, it even has been criticised as a “NGO fair“. Please, couldn’t we have a glocal multi-sectoral forum, mixing social change agents and tech innovations, new models of governance, best practices in resilient lifestyle from all continents? A World Change Forum!


The global-leadership industry needs re-engineering – economist.com

Davos Man (“stateless elites”, Lawrence Summers etc.) – Wikipedia

Jim Harris: Davos: Talking Champagne on a Sinking Titanic – huffingtonpost.ca

Facebook goes Amazon – The social networks evolution goes on

Funny, “facebook goes amazon” gives me no results on Google in verbatim (phrase) search! So, well this is a bet more than a serious forecast – some risk involved. But I had to  respond to this news headline and the details:

Facebook trials a new way to push your buttons (world.edu)

“Want”, “Collect” and “Buy”

Depending on its performance in the current trial, Facebook may deploy a “want” button, with you – or your friends – indicating that you want a specific product or service, as promoted by this or that commercial entity.

Image source: world.edu/facebook-trials-a-new-way-to-push-your-buttons/

I did read further and actually they come to the same conclusion in the text:

That wishlist, in turn, hosts a “buy” button – also being trialled – offering a click-through feature to buy a given product, setting up Facebook as a competitor to Amazon. Of course, in clicking through, users provide the company with yet more information about themselves and, by inference, their associates.

Why is this important for you as a FB user?
Ok, you will see new interest in Facebook now on investors’ side for sure. What does it mean for the users of social networks? This is part of the consolidation phase in the realm of social networks. If Facebook shifts to be more a meta mega 24/7 store, then despite all the words of Mark Zuckerberg the user experience goes away from the social networking and sharing moments with friends experience. Not to kill it, but maybe resulting in a tectonic shift in the realm of that social web players. I think that Linkedin, Google+ and newcomers will profit from that move – a move, which is strategically reasonable in terms of the company logic and questionable at the same time in the terms of the user interests. The shareholder value of Facebook will be rising, the user stakeholder value will decrease.

A perspective on connected systemic change – Don Tapscott

This blogpost about connecting networks was inspired by Don Tapscott and catched some interest, so I reblog it here.

Wrong here! Please go to our new site: livingbridgesplanet.wordpress.com

Significance: Don Tapscott’s taxonomy of multi-stakeholder networks helps to understand the complex landscape of solution partners in your work as a living bridge.

Context: Huge gathering of geeks
Today I listened to the insights of the wellknown futurist thinker and author Don Tapscott at the Campus Party Europe (#CPeurope), a gathering that happened first time in Berlin, at a huge old airport hangar, attracting thousands of “campuseros” (hackers, developers, gamers and geeks) around Europe. The concept of Campus Party has been created by four friends in Malaga, Spain, which were “united by their passion for new technologies and wanted to create a space where others with the same interests could come together”. The organization started with 250 and “now has offices in Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Germany and the United States“. (more). Remind the Margaret Mead quote:

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can…

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Creating tools for Social Capital generation (2): Living Bridges Planet

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!

UPDATE: 2013-11-05: 4.200+ members. 

The future of social networks is in (user-controlled) openness

Watching the Facebook IPO hype
In these minutes I am monitoring the IPO of the Facebook Inc. – it is not only hyped, but actually it is a huge step in the history of online social networks. And it is made a “developing story” on mass media like e.g. CNN.

CNN tv covering the IPO of Facebook

Business genius Mark Zuckerberg digitized and industrialized our Social Capital
Translated into “the industrialisation of friendship” this headline sounds quite a bit offending. The problem with this truth is, that our social graph is something yery private by definition. And so is our interest graph: If we share the books, movies, politiicians we like, if we publish our favorite quote etc., then we become more and more transparent to the people we are sharing this with. But much more problematic is the transparency for a commercial structure like Facebook. The personal data have to be monetized – after the IPO the pressure is much higher now.

Remember what happend to the walled garden of AOL some years ago
Maybe the Facebook IPO is marking the peak of monetizing social network dynamics. Technology is progressing. The same could happen to Facebook, what happened to walled garden models like AOL. There are concepts around to have open and federated social networks. Think about having a mail client program – no one controlling with whom you connect – no one trying to make money out of your mail communication. “Liberated” social networks might look like this usage scenario – all is under your personal control.

Mark Zuckerberg, planet thinking and the Nobel Peace Prize
However controversial Mark Zuckerberg (and his team) is until today – concerning his stance to privacy, I like this guy and the attitude to hack business forward. He did not only see the epochal business opportunity, but he created something really great, a platform for around 1,000,000,000 users, connecting people beyond geographical borders, connecting and syncing people during the Arab Spring, catalyzing the generation of real social capital around the world, building trust, feeding the spirit of collaboration.
He is not alone of course with this tech-based gift of felt borderlessness, there is Skype and Google contributing their tools to this experience too. I would not be surprised to see Mark Zuckerberg and his likeminded business hackers and business model inventors as contenders of the Nobel Peace Prize (see last year’s news). I personally see them (whether they intend this or not) in the light of an emergent “planet thinking”, the spirit of global collaboration – after hyper-competition the next phase of globalisation, hopefully.

Update 2012-05-18: Adding the image to the text, adding a link, correcting various paragraphs.

Update 2012-05-18 18:35 CEST

Interesting tweet from 5:29 PM – 18 May 12

Update 2012-07-31

Improved the title from
“The future of social networks is in (self-controlled) openness” to
“The future of social networks is in (user-controlled) openness”

Creating tools for Social Capital generation (1): Some field of experience

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.
Communication. collaboration are connected with the generation of Social Capital – now think about the ongoing (megatrend) shift from physical to digital interaction spaces

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

Rethinking schools and learning in the 21st century (2)

Traditional educatinoal institutions under pressure –Why?

The developmental logic is this:

  • (A) The communication infrastructure of the internet plus powerful end devices allows to have learning situations everywhere
  • (B) The motivational factor of learning can be realized with social web logic (co-learning) plus personal tutoring via a learning platform

Result: Instead of sitting rather passively in front of a teacher in a lecture format there are now learning formats available, that are much more engaging and effective. And this is not a hymn to technocentric e-learning systems, but blended, life-long, hybrid, social, deep learning processes. A first haiku diagram about the new synergies waiting to substitute some inefficient institutionalized old school learning settings.

The upwards spiral of co-learning, co-creation and co-working
The upwards spiral of co-learning, co-creation and co-working

Connecting this with the betasalon yesterday: First, of course I do not restrict “coworking” to coworking spaces in the institutional form. But second they are great hubs for local change, breaking boudaries between working, learning, having fun, they are fine candidates for the new learning spaces we need.