“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.”
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.
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