One of the major catalysts that broke me out onto the technology scene was an invitation by Ideas Project to submit a video for their site. In case you’re unaware, Ideas Project is hosted by Nokia, and features videos and articles by people who are thinking about the future of communication and technology. Anyone can submit an idea (like I did), and the site can keep you busy for hours learning about new technological developments, inspiring projects being done, and disruptive ideas about where things are headed.
At the moment, they’re running a “Question of the Week” series, and this week they posted mine. I only had so many characters for the question, so I want to frame it within its context a little better, and maybe you can submit a comment to the site if you’re intrigued.
As you may know, we just got the Junto conversation prototype up and running on Friday, and the concept is totally taking off. The long view is to build an infrastructure, ebiidii, which will run these live video-based public discussions so people globally can connect and solve problems that matter. And the amazing thing is, like Twitter, it would be a 24/7 discussion. We could get things done QUICK. (To learn more, check here and here.)
This entire pursuit manifested out of my explorations into the power of networks, and why they could be so important. Over the months, I’ve become very aware of who I follow on Twitter and who’s writing blogs I enjoy. I now have everyone I follow on a list, and I’m now in the process of refining my lists to indicate where people seem to fall within a process. For instance, there are those people who are front end – Instigators, Manifestors, Catalysts, Inspirators – people who bring in the vision, the resources, and the excitement to start a project. Then you have the middle people – your Pathfinders, figuring out a course of action, Facilitators and Propagators moving things forward, Advocators spreading the message, Archivers and Spectators and Reflectors and Readers, documenting and thinking about what’s happening and what could happen, Pacifiers keeping emotions balanced, Provocateurs challenging the norms and questioning assumptions. And I don’t know if there are end people…. is our work ever really done? (Thanks to @notthisbody & @wildcat2030 for framing roles in this way for me. Check out more by them in Friendships in Hyperconnectivity on Twine.)
I think life is iterative, and we just keep pushing forward.
So that brings us to the Ideas Project question. So, what will happen when we get better about understanding of our gifts and skills and how and where we fit best within a process? (and there will be overlap, we play many roles). What happens when you understand the people you follow, what they have to offer, and build trust with them? What happens when you can extend that trust network into other trust networks working on similar ideas and initiatives? And this could literally be anything – the challenges we face as individuals and as people are tremendous. Whether its coordinating with other people to share resources to build a business, engaging in peacebuilding across nations, developing infrastructure in 3rd world countries, or figuring out how to solve the energy crisis – I truly believe that there are no problems we face that cannot be solved through global cooperation and collaboration.
So, with that said, please follow the link and post your comment about what could be accomplished with a trust network:
When groups of people begin self-assembling into “trust networks,” what kind of power might they leverage?
jeff turner said:
Listened to a Harvard Ideacast this morning on Enterprise 2.0 and this dovetails nicely with the conclusions on that podcast. It is the very concept of emergence that makes them so powerful. We simply can’t get through the chaos in a better way than how self-assembling trust networks form and function. And the beautiful thing is, I have no idea what kind of power it will generate. I just know it will.
Nuno Raphael Relvão said:
Answered on the Ideas Project site.
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Had the honor yesterday to be in a 6-7 person virtual #Junto on said prototype with Venessa moderating at times. Was surprised at
a) the mental energy that sparks when realizing trust circles connect.
b) the time it takes for roles to emerge enough for me to realize, in my view of others, as well as for myself. A training issue.
This prompts me to rearrange concepts discussed elsewhere on this blog – among them indicators of emotion and other utilities to mark up a session record. The overall idea is to help people find the bits of wisdom they are after at a given time. It looks as if roles invited to or assumed give a useful context to speed up understanding.
Now, I have trouble integrating how roles made explicit may improve or impede a purposeful improv performance, other than along the tested lines of business project leadership. More may emerge by getting used to the process once the novelty and excitement of being connected in a shared space (finally) gives way to specific outcome-focused collaboration. Expanding the can-do-now power of the individual into the leverage of a trust network navigating an agreed course of action. An open project.
Pradeep Mahalik shares a rich framework of fundamental project questions, including roles, in his primer project charter aimed at six sigma improvement initiatives.
Lisa Hickey said:
What’s fascinating to me is that you develop “trust networks” based on shared values. Then you use those networks to create stuff that has *even more value*. The trust is build because you share the values in the first place. The innovation happens when people who are all passionate about the same values decide to move things forward. I always think of social media as “the sharing of ideas that move people to action.” There’s not much more powerful.
Venessa Miemis said:
i wholeheartedly agree.
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Jerry Michalski just posted an interesting idea – unbundling voting, so that one can target your votes based to a candidate’s position on issues – on the IdealProjects site.
I can’t get a reply on it to post there. I’m doing so here in hope it may be useful.
I would love to see what you have proposed. Trustnets might advance it – as well as other gamechanging reforms – through steps like these:
1) Visually map key issues
Members in the trustnet, for example, can use wiki tools such as Debategraph (http://www.debategraph.org) to visually outline issues of concern
2) Hold Twitterviews with candidates to get their positions clarified
Structured “Twitterviews” could be done candidates to clarify their positions on key reform issues. Sample (nonpolitical) Twitterviews are at http://j.mp/5ZkjhBhttp://j.mp/5ZkjhB . These interviews then could be linked to the Debategraph.
3) Pool pledges of help via PledgeBank.org
In response to candidate positions, trustnets could form online groups that pledge their future votes/volunteer services/donations for those who advance the reforms they care about. (Early ideas on this are at http://j.mp/89U1ge ).
I hope trustnets will use the opportunities outline in 1 through 3 above to promote your political reform idea!
When social networks turn into trust networks, gift economies can begin to arise. Where people can say what they need, and others will help them without expecting anything in return. So its not an exchange.
When trust networks turn into caring networks, gift economies can really flourish. People are constantly looking out for the good of the whole and helping each other. The caring networks become a community that has qualities of resilience, autonomy, and self-healing.
We’ve been building a caring network in our town which is growing week by week as I write. We have over a hundred people now gifting each other their services. http://bit.ly/dmYifA http://bit.ly/bRlSEy
Ours happens to be in physical space, by this can also happen online
My sense is that trust networks can play important socio-economic-political functions.
Take couchsurfing.com for instance. Its a networking site that allows people to connect up with each other for places to stay in different towns/cities. On first hearing about it some people’s reaction is “you can stay at a strangers house?” . The surprising (to some) truth of the world is that yes you can, the world is made of a lot of nice people. And because this couchsurfing network has the properties of an open collaboration : individual autonomy, emergence, gift economy (its free to stay), self-organizing, non-hierarchical, open, and participatory it can grow big very fast. Just like Wikipedia is now bigger than Encyclopedia Brittanica, couchsurfing.com can grow bigger than the Sheraton and Hilton hotel chains, if it hasn’t already.
The open collaborative properties of couchsurfing.com allow it to be a complex adaptive system that can adapt very quickly to different socio-economic needs. So when the Iceland volcano blew, many people left stranded were housed through the couchsurfing.com network.
This couchsurfing network could have many versions of it that could help the socio-economic-political needs of a society. For instance one version of it could be grow a network to house the homeless ( surprisingly to some, there are many people out there willing to do the ‘risky’ thing of housing homeless people).
Another version of it could be used to help integrate different segments of society. So for instance the United Religions Initative is a chaordic bottom-up selforganizing trust network where people of different religions come together to learn about each others religions and to bridge religious divides and help heal religious strife in their area of the world. People who have become trusted members of the United Religions Iniative around the world could then open up the houses for people to couchsurf at. It would allow people of different religions to stay at each other’s homes which would help different religions to grow in trust with each other.
(The Junto network too could eventually have a couchsurfing.com spinoff where you could travel the world and be able to stay at different Junto members houses.)
This is the first idea emerging from various points of interest that strikes me as profoundly operable personally. For me many “exchanges” and gifts easily made locally. This vision of mobility seems to me a great thing in and of itself, but mostly a great beginning for a new and practical consciousness and life.
The dimension and subtle magnitude of this!
Thanks OP, Venessa, et al
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