The Era of Collaboration: A Powerful Revolution

There are many good things happening in the World. Even if we see the Television news or read the traditional news papers and end up totally depressed, we just have to open our eyes a little bit to discover that there are actually a lot of good things to celebrate and be happy about.

One of my favorite “good news” is that we are shifting from an era of competition to an era of collaboration.

Share. That is the key word. We just have to open Facebook and look at that small, yet powerful, blue button that allows us to share information, knowledge and fun stuff with other people.

fbshare

Younger generations see sharing as a natural thing. It is very simple; if you read something useful, you share it with other, so that everyone who is interested in the topic, can increase their knowledge about it. However, I don’t think is crazy to say that this sharing mentality was not always common, and that one of the most predominant behaviors of the last century was Competition. From biology, to business to politics and nations, everything was conceived as “a war” where only one wins.

On the contrary, nowadays Collaboration is starting to become a predominant behavior. Words that hardly existed 2 decades ago, such as Cross Sector Partnerships, Multi stakeholder alliances, Business coalitions, Crowdsourcing, Crowdfunding, Coworking Spaces, or Co design, are now being more and more used, and are becoming trends. These transformational collaboration patterns are now shaping our reality.

This new philosophy has led to the creation of organizations that are designed around a culture of generosity. Big companies [1]are starting to have co creative and crowd sourcing initiatives in order to engage with costumers and society and gain access to creative ideas for them and for the world. And more important, small enterprises and social enterprises are being born with this philosophy, through collaboration and for collaboration, working together with others to tackle local and global problems. These initiatives will play a key role in solving the world’s future challenges.

 

[1] IBM, Unilever, Nike, etc.

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Collaboration = New Revolution

Collaboration and technology have allowed our ideas to travel around the world and “have sex” like never before. But, why is this relevant?

As Matt Ridley said in a TED conference[1], the “meeting and mating of ideas” is what contributed to the evolution and progress of the human race.[2]  Interconnection of people, communication, sharing of ideas and collaboration, are the base of technological progress.

If we want to solve the world’s problems, we must collaborate and share, so ideas can combine and solutions can be found.

Conversation bubbles

Conversation bubbles

The potential of Crowd sourcing

Crowdsourcing is the process of obtaining ideas (or content) by soliciting contributions from a large group of people, especially from an online community. [1]

Today’s technology (internet, mobile phones) have showed us that we human beings are more than just passive consumers; we like to be proactive, to create, to apply our talents, to engage with a task and a purpose, to enter into “a state of flow”[2], do something and share it with the world for others to enjoy. The spectrum of collaboration is wide: From people that create “memes”, to people that participate actively in platforms of solutions for global challenges (civic value).

As Clay Shirky states, [3], the combination of technology, collaboration and human generosity (motivation to share our talent and free time) is making possible that ideas that contribute to solve social problems, travel very fast around the world, in order to be replicated. People are willing to engage and help. He calls this magical mix “cognitive surplus”, which has a huge potential since there are more than 1 trillion hours a year of participatory value to be used.

Can you imagine what could happen in the world if every person dedicated 1 hour a week to contribute to solve a global problem just by giving ideas??

So, to summarize, we are at the beginning of an era based on collaboration (instead of competition); this is great for sharing and combining ideas; technology is on our side and we have a lot of spare hours to use. If you Google “crowdsourcing” you can clearly see that is next to problems, community and solutions. Let us use those hours in a positive way through collaboration, for collaboration; to find the solutions we need to create a better world.

abandoned-crowdsourcing

 

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crowdsourcing

[2] Martin Seligman, founder of Positive Psychology movement talks about “flow” in his books “Authentic Happiness” and “Flourish”.

[3] http://www.ted.com/talks/clay_shirky_how_cognitive_surplus_will_change_the_world

 

[1] http://www.ted.com/talks/matt_ridley_when_ideas_have_sex

[2] Labor specialization and trade gave us more time to do other things, think about other matters and have more ideas, which led us to prosperity. The exchange of ideas between different cultures, are at the base of innovation.

 


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