Applied Collaboration Studios: Transforming Complex Problems into Systems of Continuous Social Innovation

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July 2009

Our image of the world now, constructed by people we once thought we could rely upon for such work […] is actually and philosophically false. It’s time to replace it with an image that actually works. What we need is a framework for the sort of change that fits our world – and that lays a foundation for the widespread personal involvement of millions of people that will make such change useful, durable and sustainable.”

Joshua Cooper Ramo

This paper asserts that the voluntary or social sector plays a pivotal role in generating and disseminating social innovations through collaboration with diverse partners. The authors explore the potential to engender a quantum leap in the sector’s efficiency, reach, and impact through the combined use of open source technologies, social process tools and collaboration platforms. The objective is to contribute to a new generation of intelligent social systems, enabling an evolutionary recalibration of relationships among ourselves, our social and economic institutions, and the planet.

As a means of integrating and disseminating the most promising approaches, the concept of ‘Applied Collaboration Studios’ is proposed. Their primary activities would be: i) dissemination of open source technologies; ii) ongoing instruction and coaching in the use of social process tools; iii) the assembly and launch of multiple collaboration platforms; and iv) collaboration with other like initiatives to create ecologies of scale that inform and precipitate systems’ change toward greater resilience.

The paper concludes with a reflection on the conditions necessary for such a project to come into being as an open source initiative, and an invitation to contribute to an ongoing discussion at Applied Collaboration.

Continue reading here.

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