Monday, July 09, 2012

Web Video, Crowd Accelerated Innovation and Radical Openness?

Like most people who follow TED talks, I watch them to get inspired. A presentation with TED’s head curator, Chris Anderson was right on my ‘open source’ wavelength so that I had to write about it here.

Anderson opens his presentation by saying something awesome about what large human crowds can do.
Crowds can be overwhelming (I tend to avoid crowds like the plague). Our population explosion is terrifying. But sometimes, a large human crowd is a good thing.  Innovation emerges out of groups. As social beings, we spark off each other.  
In this ‘Age of Participation’ a fascinating example of 'open source' in action is taking place. It's a worldwide phenomenon that organizations and individual people can tap in to and Anderson calls it Crowd Accelerated Innovation (CAI).
 In brief, you’ve got these ‘cycles of improvement’ driven by people watching web videos.
Web taught? Absolutely!
Be it in the evolution of dance where you have dancers challenging one another to get better, TED speakers spending more time in preparation, or even scientists publishing peer-reviewed work on line,  poetry and spoken word and on and on, people can learn by watching the best and the brightest, and get inspired to step up their game.
Step your game up alright.
Anderson notes three areas that are needed to kick start CAI:
1.       A crowd of people who share a common interest. They are creating the eco system from which innovation emerges.
2.       Light. Clear open visibility. The best of what people are capable of- that's where you will learn, get inspired and participate.
3.       Desire. Without it innovation is impossible.
So on the web, all these three elements are connected! "The crowd shines a light on them and fuels the desire." Anderson describes this as a self-fueling cycle of learning. The internet makes it easy to find the best stuff.  You can watch repeatedly and gain knowledge and skill.
This possibility of a new type of global recognition is driving huge amounts of effort. Because you can see the best, everyone can learn.
Anderson points out that this is a model any organization could use to nurture its own cycle of crowd accelerated innovation: “Invite the crowd, let in the light, dial up the desire.”
 But there is a catch. To tap into its power, organizations will need to embrace what has come to be known as ‘radical openness.’
What does that mean?  It means you have to share. You have to give. You have to let people see your deepest self.
When TED started opening up their talks to the world, billions of people started spreading the word. The idea of radical openness works for TED. And it can work for you.

It works so well this web video learning because our brains are uniquely wired to decode meaning through face to face. As Anderson says, “It’s an ancient art form gone global."

What does that mean for global education you ask? Chris Anderson asks, “Is it possible to imagine a similar situation? Does it have to be this top down painful process?
Chris Anderson replies, “Why not a self fuelling cycle in which we all can participate? Schools can't be silos we can't stop learning at 21.” 
 “For the first time in human history, talented students don't have to have their potential and their dreams written out of history by lousy teachers. They can sit two feet in front of the world's finest.”

We know it. The world's universities are opening up their curricula. Self-directed and passion-lead learning has never been easier to do. People are finding new ways to learn and to share data and knowledge. Our future is "many to many not one to many."
There’s a whole lot more that Anderson says but for this post lets end with this:
What if the crowd could be net contributors as opposed to net plunderers. Who is the teacher? You're the teacher. You're part of the crowd that maybe about to launch the bigger learning cycle in human history – a cycle capable of carrying all of us to a smarter, wiser more beautiful place. 

1 comment:

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