Presenting to myself on collaboration and social innovation

Here are some slides I developed over the Christmas holiday, not for any specific event, but just to clear my mind and provide a framework for thinking about social innovation and collaboration. I often don’t really know what I think until I write it down, and after making notes, drawing mindmaps, downloading a few iPad doodling apps, I hit on the idea of producing a presentation to myself.
(I suggest clicking view on Slideshare and then full screen because the notes are a bit small).

Towards the end of last year I was getting a bit sluggish on two fronts … what I wanted to blog about, and what sort of projects I wanted to do. And how to link the writing and doing.

I spent a lot of time last year writing about Big Society, and more recently Our Society, on this blog and also here and here. I’ve continued to do some social reporting at events, run workshop games, floated ideas like the social app store, and become increasingly convinced of the importance of developing networks blending face-to-face and online.

I was excited by the potential of the dotgovlabs innovation hub, the Simpl marketplace, the Social Spaces work of Tessy Britton and her Travelling Pantry, the merging Knowledge Hub. I had a great conversation with Antony Mayfield about workflow, because it is increasingly evident that what people (can) do online is very much determined by what they are trying to achieve, what devices they have, their preferences, the working context. But we keep throwing in apps (bits of software or web sites) and hoping they will solve a problem.

I was wondering whether all this hung together in some way, or whether I was being hopelessly divergent and just needed to focus on one aspect. But when I tried to do that, I realised – remembered – that you have to think about people and their roles, the situations they are in, the networked connections they have or need, the resources necessary … and then the methods. It’s all part of a system, and these days the system is defined by austerity, new policies, shifts in influence, new forms of communication.

So here is some thinking in progress, posted in case it is useful to anyone else, and also because I’ll want to refer to it later and fill out the links a bit more. At this stage the emphasis is on how different domains of activity and thinking may relate in collaboration spaces … it doesn’t cover process. That’s another piece of thinking I need to do.

However, there are some first ideas at the end of the slides for a new workshop game, developed with Drew Mackie. The other thing I’ve remembered is that none of this has much value if people can’t understand, use and socialise the ideas. Games push you to create frameworks, rules and props to help people do that … and their conversations can help evolve a framework that is more useful that the first one you thought of.

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