As visual practitioners we all believe in the power of visuals to create engagement and clarity.
At the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference <http://www.cop15.com/> we are the next 12 days using this power to help WWF create clarity around what is happening at the conference and what a good deal and agreement may look like.
We invite you to help us bring a lot of visuals into the negotiations and out to the public and hereby raise the understanding and prove the power of visuals.
In working with many diverse groups of people, coming together to solve complex problems, I am absolutely flummoxed by this paradox: young minds struggle with complex, inter-related problems, while "more mature" minds struggle to learn new concepts.
Rather than throw both brains out with the bathwater (what a badly mixed metaphor!) how best do we design collaborative projects and discussions that accommodate all brains, whether wily, worldly or wise?
When older people can no longer remember names at a cocktail party, they tend to think that their brainpower is declining. But a growing number of studies suggest that this assumption is often wrong.
Instead, the research finds, the aging brain is simply taking in more data and trying to sift through a clutter of information, often to its long-term benefit.
The studies are analyzed in a new edition of a neurology book, “Progress in Brain Research.”
For example, in studies where subjects are asked to read passages that are interrupted with unexpected words or phrases, adults 60 and older work much more slowly than college students. Although the students plow through the texts at a consistent speed regardless of what the out-of-place words mean, older people slow down even more when the words are related to the topic at hand. That indicates that they are not just stumbling over the extra information, but are taking it in and processing it.
Graphic facilitator Gavin Blake writes us of his exciting collaboration with other facilitators and scribes at a national summit in Australia's capital, Canberra.
The objective was for the 1000 participants to generate big ideas over a range of 10 topics including Governance, Productivity and Creativity in Australia. All of the ideas will make up our vision for Australia in 2020.
It was a blast meeting music god Peter Garrett, now Minister for the Arts (not sure if you guys know the band Midnight Oil, but I’m a huuuge fan) and Australia’s 100 foremost creative minds.
Yes, there were a few celebrities there (Hugh Jackman below) but, there was some serious intent and genuinely insightful ideas thrown around the room.
I’m very chuffed this video with our drawing of the journey of the day made it into the news. Stoked. Here are some more photos of us having a ball.
The Point brings together problems, people, and the pressure of collective action. The site allows users to create campaigns and encourage other people to join anonymously.
Using the principles of Gladwell's Tipping Point, once the number of members reaches a certain critical mass (10, 50, 2000) and action is triggered: a sale, a press release, a protest.
Campaigns are tools for people to organize a group action that occurs only when enough people join to make participation worthwhile. Campaigns can be used for any situation where people want safety in numbers, from planning a party to boycotting a corporation to saving chickens.
Check out the simple, clever animations used to demonstrate the types of people, the problems they want to tackle, and the resulting campaigns--that can use The Point to catalyze change.
MANAGERS striving to foster creativity often use the time-worn phrase “thinking outside the box” to encourage workers to come up with something nobody else in the room is thinking. But the improvisational actress Patricia Ryan Madson has a better idea: Look inside the box and take a fresh look at what’s already there.
The author of “Improv Wisdom: Don’t Prepare, Just Show Up,” Ms. Madson helps organizations find new ways to play off one another in an unscripted romp toward what might be. Turning the planning process inside out, she says, is an important part of learning how best to “ready, fire, aim.”
“We’re all creators given the conditions and permission to do so,” she says. “All too often, there are corporate cultures that say: ‘Be creative, but don’t make any mistakes.’ Improv opens doors to doing things a different way.”
PHOTO: African scientists installed servers and set up a new volunteer computing project for AFRICA@home, a website for volunteer computing projects which allow your computer to contribute to African humanitarian causes.
An African saying teaches: "“If you want to go fast, go alone; If you want to go far, go together…”
Jeff Hamaoui is one of the many contributors to the Skoll Foundation's multi-blog portal on social enterprise, Social Edge. He starts off his discussion on Radical Collaboration declaring:
"The time for playing small and separate is over."
The key ingredients of radical collaboration include familiar basic elements (such as shared opportunity, relationships and simplicity) and can be applied to any community of practice--especially those collaborative enterprises focused on social change.
In the January edition of Neuland's newsletter, Master Facilitator, Steve Davis, discusses the pros and cons of the the emerging pratice of virtual facilitation. His article, Balancing Technology with Touch, emphasizes that with everything that is given by technology (ex. connectivity across distances) something is lost (ex. body language):
There are hundreds if not thousands of graduate students and post-docs out there right now laboring to crack the most enigmatic conundrum of the modern age. You guessed it: Teleconferencing.
The main question seems to be, How do we create monsterously expensive machines that emulate what we see and do every day?
[IMAGE: Custom-made Jaron Lanier bobble head by HeadBobble.com. DISCOVER Vol. 27 No. 07 | July 2006 | Technology]
Personally, I have test-driven scores of the by-products. These include virtual whiteboards, tablets, projection devices, touch-screen monitors, and--I'm not making this up--dry erase pen ifrared prophelactics. This gizmo requires the user to put big, bulky plastic covers over the pens, thus enabling two ifrared sensors to track every movement of the hand. Awkward, to stay the least. And the results are marginal.
Each attempt to make the tele-immersion experience of writing bulletpoints on a white board seems to miss the main issue--the human nervous system is a greedy bastard always clamoring for more input.
This is why even having a bad, but physically present lecturer is more interesting than the most engaging talking head on a computer screen.
The one exception is, however, grandparent + grandchild + computer videocam. Believe me, that combo never gets old, at least for the older demographic in the equation.
Jaron Lanier has been wrestling with this for a couple of decades. He actually coined the term "virtual reality" in the 80s and later served as the Lead Scientist of the National
Tele-immersion Initiative--the federally funded project to create the real world prototype of the holodeck.
Over 500 Years ago, craftsmen rarely worked for a company. They were contracted for a period time and then moved on to the next contract. To remain competitive in such an atmosphere, many formed “guilds” or organizations designed to provide networking, ongoing training, standards, certification, and even some social services among their members.
Kings did not post jobs in the classifieds to find craftsmen, they contacted guilds who did not compel the employers to hire their members but simply were the only ones who could produce the work.
As “Chief Architect” of PixelCorps, Alex Lindsay merges the very old idea of a guild system made up of independent craftsman with the demands of mastering new and emerging media. PixelCorps serves as a guild for the next generation of craftsmen--digital craftsmen.