Immersion in Design Science as a Wealth Creation Strategy Using Web 2.0

There has been some interesting discussions lately about Human Computer Interaction. After all, isn’t that what much of ICT is? Or is it? Another way to think about it is ‘computer augmented interaction.’ This is where the virtual, the electronic, merge and begin a dialogue effecting us as we effect our created world. No place is this as profound and powerful as in the area of design. The steps from dreaming and imagination, to rendering and drawing, to inhabiting in 3 dimensions, and then innovating before construction –offers an additional dimension to typical emergent systems. Through the use of the immersive internet–characterized by virtual worlds, web 2.0 and serious gaming–it is now possible to inhabit a design collaboratively, and co-create before a single tree is cut down. This is true of social, governmental and other systems which we design, in addition to structures or instruments.

Well, all very interesting –but what has this to do with wealth creation? First of all I am not speaking about Development. ICT4D is not going to do it. The process of innovating using Information and Communication Technology is an emergent one–for it to succeed. Emergent in the sense of an up swelling from below, a bringing forth from the bottom. It is critical to see the process of full capacity transfer as imitating biological processes more than specific historical political agendas, which the term “Development” surely implies. But “emergence” is something else. Thriving on diversity, openness, equity, deep self knowledge, respect for differences, risk, support for errors, serendipity, chance, collaboration–imagination, synthesis and creativity. This is not a factory environment. Happily there is a strong moral and ethical foundation in this process, based on a deep ecology.

The best way to transfer capacity at this very powerful level is to design, and redesign our environment and the sustainable systems which support and characterize it. Through a process of building a thorough knowledge of your biome–by building the many wikis of our cultures–we encounter the innumerable opportunities for designing a better world. But as importantly, the process by which this is learned and transfered, is itself a practice of the goals.

How does this create wealth? An emergent culture or group proceeds through a confident deep self knowledge to test and refine solutions to improve their way of life.
By taking advantage of the resources now available through the immersive internet, especially new technologies, software and devices that address the disabled, it is possible to have human computer interaction in a profound way. Solutions and efficiencies present themselves and soon emergent innovations and ideas are leading to new opportunities. No, it is not a get rich quick idea. The excellent part about this process is that it can be participated in by everyone. That is one the basic ideas, to get as much input as you can. Children can draw, what others can design, describe and build virtually, which others can improve, and then others build, inhabit –and the cycle repeats.


Creating a Knowledge Economy with Wikipedia

Reflecting on the power of wiki’s, I wonder about the correlation between number of entries in a given language and GNP in Wikipedia? When we think of a knowledge economy and how to transition to one, what are the steps necessary? How can we measure and assess the transition? Most of all how can we facilitate this transition?

The lesson of environmental economics is that the cost of resource extraction to the biome is not accounted for in the price of the item. Buckminster Fuller suggested that the ‘cost’ to the planet to produce one gallon of gasoline was a million dollars. Was that in the 50’s? I can’t fine the quote at the moment. But clearly this insight suggests that we are dearly in debt to our planet and that cost will be felt in the up coming years. The idea of a knowledge economy compares to this debt ridden extraction economy along the lines of extracting ideas instead. Of course, we will always be extracting resources in some way, but hopefully in a more sustainable manner. But the resource of human capital–as it is sometimes called– is limitless. I am not comfortable with the characterization of human capacity as ‘capital.’ The process of acquiring the ‘goods’ is also not one of ‘extraction.’ This is entirely a new beast, like the transition from agrarian to industrial. “Fossil fuel’ thinking, as I like to characterize the extraction model, is consumptive and imperialistic because it can be monopolized and hoarded. But creativity and self knowledge, this is different.

The creative economy, or the creative industries are aspects of the emergent knowledge economy, but not its end sate. There are embedded techniques in the creative economy process that can help raise a community into an awareness of itself, its resources and potential. This step in self knowledge is a process where the medium is the message.

I’ll keep working on this, what do you think?