A few weeks ago I wrote up a post drawing attention to a trend I’m seeing around the world of ‘superhero schools’ cropping up, giving examples of these physical locations that serve as hubs for innovation and personal development. I framed it as:
superhero school. center for disruptive innovation. continuous learning zone. collective intelligence. live/work startup incubator. community center. hackerspace. makerlab. autonomous zone. permaculture and sustainable food production. cooperatively owned communications infrastructure. resilience. r&d lab. a place for creative troublemakers.
I can imagine that these locations become networked, so information and resources can flow between them, and people then have a range of options around the world to come together around short or longer term innovation projects. Pepper it with some internal currencies for the network, and it becomes quite interesting.
I recently found another word that supplements this idea – collaboratory. Originally coined in 1989 as a ‘center without walls’ for scientific research, the wikipedia page also defines it as follows:
“a collaboratory is more than an elaborate collection of information and communications technologies; it is a new networked organizational form that also includes social processes; collaboration techniques; formal and informal communication; and agreement on norms, principles, values, and rules”
At any rate, now that I’m on the lookout for superhero schools & collaboratories, I’m seeing them pop up everywhere. Just the other day, I saw this article on CNET – Peter Theil floats cash to floating tech incubator, and so discovered the Blueseed Project. Continue reading
I got done chatting with a colleague this morning, who went on a bit of a rant about the failures of the Occupy movement. Their comments were similar to ones I’ve seen in the media – lack of apparent leadership, lack of specific demands.
Of course, I’ve also seen several cogent arguments that this is something ‘different,’ and the people are well aware what they’re angry about, and are figuring out how to level the playing field. (see Wall Street Isn’t Winning – It’s Cheating, by Matt Taibbi; Think Occupy Wall St. is a phase? You don’t get it by Douglas Rushkoff, and his followup Occupy Wall Street beta tests a new way of living; the youtube video of Mark Ruffalo, or for some cold hard stats – Here Are Four Charts That Explain What The Protestors Are Angry About or The Shocking, Graphic Data That Shows Exactly What Motivates the Occupy Movement.)
I personally am rather inspired by many potentialities in the movement. I’ve been thinking a lot over the past few years about emergent organizational structures, systems mapping and analysis of value flows, coordination of human activity across distributed environments, more robust understanding of self and group identity, roles, strengths, and the deeper drives and motivations that guide and influence behavior.
While many of us are having conversations about these topics, we have few functional examples to reference. (well, maybe Nature.) We are still on the cusp of it, but as many are well aware, the components to actualize it are already in the ether, just waiting for their moment to coalesce. Continue reading
this is the first post in a series to highlight the people and projects coming together at this year’s Contact Conference, Oct 20, 2011 in NYC
There are several big themes we’re focusing on for the upcoming Contact Summit, one of which is the opportunity space for social enterprise in a networked p2p society.
How does our ability to connect, collaborate and share resources via social media accelerate social innovation?
I connected with just a few of the amazing and dedicated individuals that will be participating in our event this October, and asked them about their projects and inspirations. Here’s a brief overview of what they had to say:
Danielle Lanyard :: Third Rail Ventures & Green Breakfast Club
Danielle started Third Rail Ventures, an embryo stage triple bottom line startup whose mission is to support and accelerate underserved entrepreneurs and their triple bottom line ventures. She’s also kicking off Green Breakfast Club this June in NYC, which will be a monthly networking event series to accelerate social innovation and sustainability. Continue reading
2nd radio interview for the Future of Facebook Project! My partner Alvis Brigis and I got a chance to chat with Phil Bowermaster and Stephen Gordon of FastForward Radio about our project and the Open Foresight process.
Check out the podcast here: http://blog.speculist.com/2011/03/fastforward-radio—-the-future-of-facebook.html
I was approached recently by Design Feast, a blog described as “a go-to resource for students, professionals, educators and the design-curious—delivering relevant and diverse design content, creative voices and projects” to contribute some thoughts about the hows and why of blogging. Below are my responses, originally posted here.
Venessa Miemis describes herself as a “Futurist” and “Metacog.” She is an avid reader, from The Age of Spiritual Machines to her latest indulgence in complexity science. Adjacent to her reading appetite, she practices her hobby of picking up new hobbies like yoga and gardening, even beer brewing. She also takes full advantage of the highly diverse cultural scene of New York City. One of her pursuits is a Masters in Media Studies at the New School which shares space with Parsons. I discovered Venessa and her blog Emergent by Design via@designthinkers. It is where I discovered her insightful post about design thinking. Her blogging reflects her holistic attitude and practice, and her sustained web-based publishing experience may help your entrance into the blogosphere or further inform your current work in it:
Why did you create a web site of regular entries?
I had a lot of ideas swirling around in my head, and got really frustrated when I couldn’t articulate them to people in conversation. The process of putting it down on paper and figuring out how to communicate in a clear, simple manner has been incredibly helpful in understanding what it is I’m actually trying to say. It’s also intrinsically rewarding to have people come to the site and engage with the ideas presented there. Continue reading