Saturday, July 28, 2007

Creating intelligence

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No...this is NOT an essay on religion, but more a reflection on evolution and the Renaissance that we are all in the middle of. Like the printing press was a catalyst for Renaissance 1.0, the internet is most certainly that for Remaissance 2.0 - enabling the spread of knowledge and collaboration across geopgraphies and time as if they don't exist. And indeed, they are no longer barriers.

Collective intelligence is the capacity of human communities to evolve towards higher order complexity and harmony, through such innovation mechanisms as differentiation and integration, competition and collaboration.

This week brought another great example of how our connectedness with others through social networking rapidly builds intelligence and progress when I was contacted by LA-based social media entrepreneur, Richard McKinnon,as a follow-on to my blog and Linked-In profile, which was in turn connected to Des Walsh, a business blogging expert who delivered 2 workshops at our Innovation Festival in June. Des was in turn recommended to me via another blogger in the US, whom I contacted via another Knowledge blog, IT Toolbox, in November last year. In turn, we all have some mutual business acquaintances in common, eg Ross Dawson, author of Trends in the Living Networks and producer of the Future of Media Summits, and to my surprise, Rolf von Behrens, an expert in Sustainability, both of whom I met when I created the first Ryze offline social group in Australia going some 5 years now. (What I find so interesting is how these social networks go through "swarming phases"....Ryze was certainly my first....YEARS before the Web 2.0 phrase was coined, that was followed by LinkedIn, then MySpace - which I gave a miss, then Facebook, which I have again joined- mostly because its less limiting than LinkedIn but alas, at age 45, most of my school contemporaries are obviously in the dark ages and cannot be found in FaceBook!)

Suffice to say- it refocussed my attention to return to more regular blogging-although in my case, I blog for artistic and creative pleasure and philosophical reflection more than being a subject matter expert. (I was also reading some musings on Ross' blog yesterday about the relatively low percentage of Aussies that blog compared to the rest of the English speaking world. I have my own theory about that...its called LIFESTYLE! We have such great weather that I guess, like me, most people would rather be out there and enjoying it than couped up and slumped over the computer_ I have tried multi-tasking by blogging at the beach but the glare makes it a hopeless exercise!)

But, blogging eats up quite a lot of time....I am not talking about simple snippets that merely link to other people's stuff, but considered reflection and synthesis. At the recent Future of Media Summit, I heard a great definition of Influence through Blogs...the first is people who are merely "connectors", the second, and more influential, are those who change the debate.

I think my best value is in doing and showing rather than the academic perspective (I get bored with writing things up, though I know its important) but therein the benefit of the network; others do the commentary and writing if you involve them, which leaves me free to do more of the doing!

And so, together with strangers, all of whom share a common interest and passion, we rapidly knit a tapestry of wisdom, insight and experience together in a way no single individual could.

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