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.


Satori: Evolutions of Nous

Viewer Supplied Content changes everything. This is a mantra for understanding the seismic changes occurring. The ages of glaciers is over, the time of Tsunami upon us. The Nous is responding, can you tell?
In his article A Seismic Shift in Epistemology Chris Dede opens a fissure in one of the leading indicators of change: epistemology: first defining Web 2.0–
“The term Web 2.0 reflects a shift in leading-edge applications on the World Wide Web, a shift from the presentation of material by website providers to the active co-construction of resources by communities of contributors.” He goes on to say: “the Web 2.0 definition of “knowledge” is collective agreement about a description that may combine facts with other dimensions of human experience, such as opinions, values, and spiritual beliefs.”
Contrary to Alexis de Tocquville’s worry in Democracy in America about the dumbing down of America through egalitarianism run amok, crowdsourcing is pushing the bar ever higher. This is somewhat counter intuitive and seems to be the case because of the self organizing attributes of an emergent phenomenon. Indeed, this is what Wikipedia is all about after all, and the reason its level of accuracy and usefulness is increasing, just as entombed encyclopedias are becoming that, entombed. Read ‘textbooks’ please.

In a presentation I heard recently a leading lawyer in the IP field looking at Viewer Supplied Content noted that recent attempts to craft legislation for this area had moved to abandoning this direction and instead was retuning to custom. This is a very profound development because what it means to me, anyway, is that the decentralizing effects of web 2.0 have put the process back into one of transition and flux, essentially an emergent situation. This is evidence of a self regulating system at work and why I would characterize this as the world mind, represented by the internet and its collective contributions, taking steps to evolve.

Viewer Supplied Content is, by definition Bottom of the Pyramid (BoP), (okay, the WHOLE pyramid) and has embedded within it a paradigm shift equal to the seismic shift alluded to. It has to do with wealth creation as well. This is the deeper meaning behind the collapse of the financial system and a foreshadowing of things to come as institutions in the old paradigm collapse. So returning to the idea of a knowledge economy reflected in the entries to Wikipedia, an earlier post of mine, we can see some emergent characteristics related to wealth creation through web 2.0 phenomenon; namely micro enterprise at the BoP.

One last observation along these lines. The Obama administration is not naive about this paradigm shift. Efforts to re craft government into
a more participatory and web 2.0 environment are in the works. See this interesting article:
Facilitating an environment for emergence is the key to survival, sustainability and wealth creation. This is a reflection of a shift to a meritocracy and away from an oligarchy, for which we just voted.

Response to Microfinance and Global Philanthropy: The New Realities

Microfinance & Global Philanthropy: The New Realities

Check out the post by Jerry Peloquin

Please see:

Hi Jerry, Great concept paper. I found myself getting very excited as I read it because it focuses a feeling I have about the paradigm shift occurring. I see concurrent trends in education, local food movement, the nascent and not well defined so-called eco-tourism movement–, and renewables. It seems like a web 2.0 ground swell that is focusing on small and local is beautiful. A gentleman I am acquainted with–Dr. Jose Antonio Vanderhorst-Silverio from the Dominican Republic has an interesting proposal in the energy sector called: EWPC–electricity without price control (not unregulated) but shifts the power infrastructure from one of centralized monopolies and megalithic companies to a diversified assemblage of micro grids. His blog:
It is no coincidence that the MArtin Luther King movement has refocused its initiative to the Dream Reborn of Green Empowerment.
It is here in these grass roots initiatives that we see a return of power to the people–literally, renewable power, as the key to economic transformation and sustainability.
As an educator I have been swept up in the excitement and transformative power of web 2.0 which is turning traditional institutions of higher-ed on their heads with sweeping access to knowledge, equitable access; such as Harvard and MIT’s OpenCourseWare–
challenging epistemology and the monopolies of knowledge and power that have been in place since the middle ages.…
And so I feel your vision of the shift to Emerging Human Capital is parallel to these changes, along with the possibilities of financing and investment. I feel these are cataclysmic shifts accompanying our transition from fossil fuel thinking and its dinosaurian Goliath’s like the Big 3 automakers, to the truly democratic and diverse focus on local biomes.
How about the air car being developed in France:
But I would add not only developing countries to your list of emerging markets–but right here in the west.–right here in my back yard. We must transform our economies away from a suburban model of consumptive debt to a community based one of local control over local resources–human as well as environmental. This step to a creative knowledge economy offers the best solution to our present economic crisis–and points the way to what real ‘geotourism’ can offer to every community.
Hmmm, so I’m not sure if I gave you any substantive feedback, other to say YES, develop the idea and give investors the opportunity to create real wealth that is lateral–get rid of the pyramid altogether!

Design, Build, Operate (Experience), Innovate

This is a ‘Blended Learning’ strategy appropriate for many skill levels and ages. In a collaborative atmosphere this strategy can lead to emergence.  I’ll try and just quickly outline this to get it out there.  This is also a completely immersive kind of model that allows you to engage students.  Choosing which point to introduce or utilize computers would depend on your resources. My bias is that time in a classroom should not be spent in front of a computer except for key lessons and introductions.  Let the students work on their computers at home or in their study labs. We speak about project based learning.  And we can expand that concept into a  ‘productivity centered’ model that is holistic and inclusive of the larger systems we find ourselves within.   In keeping with this pedagogy, we turn our attention on to the sustainability of the ecology of the systems around us: biological, cultural, civic, etc. 

    Design.   Beginning with design is exciting because it immediately puts the creative process into action.  Doodling, sketching, drawing, coloring–let your imagination run wild.  This is empowering.  It says your creativity matters, show us what you are imagining.  The design team can kick the ideas back and forth, sharing drawings, collaborating on the outcome desired.  One cool example might be to work with SketchUp and insert your school into Google’s virtual gallery.  From there you can start creating many companion design projects.


    Build.  Virtual building is really the best alternative for many ideas.  The environmental award of the decade should go to creators of virtual worlds, especially Secondlife.  In these applications many levels of competency and challenges exist–all the way up to AutoCAD.  Discovering textures, or going out and photographing to create textures for the project is important for creating the sense of immersion.  Learning to apply textures has many applications in your virtual build.  If you have a budget and are engaged in something like bio-remediation, or the production of algae for methane production–there are many micro builds that get your hands   has many awesome productivity centered projects to create the ‘ecological campus.’ 
    Operate and Experience.  Perhaps you designed and built a go-cart, a car. You designed a ‘composter’ or a grey water system. Better yet a micro-solar renewable energy system for a computer lab–if your build was virtual there are more challenges at this operational stage.  Unless you are in an immersive environment like Secondlife.  In a repertory dance plot where there are a number of designers involved the limitations of the actualized design quickly become apparent to the operator/designer.  This would imply changes in the ‘build’ –the location, instrument choices, color and kinesthetic application of the design.  Immersion is present in every step through engagement, challenge, collaboration and most of all–arousing the creative juices. So ‘operation’ might be another way of ‘living’ within the constructed design. If the design was culturally or civic based it may involve doing a survey, vlog or podcast, for example.  A electronic newsletter could be printed and distributed for feed back.  A public policy exercise or proposal for the community is certainly designed, written, and applied.
    Innovate.  In the process I’m trying to describe, properly documented, each step of the way are the chapters of a digital story.  I try to have screen shots of my work taken at least at the end of each session–any number of tools such as video, blogs, cameras, iPods could assist in the reflective process. In reflecting upon the process, the outcomes–and the experience of the ‘operation’ of the design, students have prepared the ground for innovation and–perhaps–emergence.  New insights will pop up, changes, suggestions–all kinds of improvements.  Is this creating the environment for innovation or emergence?  That’s what I’m working on.  Give it a go, let me know!

A New Year: Musings on Media

The act of blogging is so vastly different from the personal Journal I have kept. Being read, accessible, revealed was not part of that writing experience.  I never expected to be published.  And so for generations only a few writers emerged into the public landscape by luck, persistence, genius, market forces, accessibility to resources, etc.  So with the evolution of media suddenly millions of our voices are emerging.  The blogging has changed me.  It has brought me to a new and swiftly evolving universe.  I read, see, experience other people’s “Journals” with that same sense of intimacy and mystery.  And these feeling evolve as you get to know the various blogs.  My pedagogy is quickly evolving in the face of this evolution of media.  I’m moving my entire program learning outcomes and competencies into a model based on an eportfolio for life long learning, assessment and development.  Many thanks to Dr. Helen Barrett whose comprehensive and clear exegesis of the subject continues to help my professional development on the topic, and its implementation. But it has been the idea of emergence –soaking through my consciousness, re-evaluating, re-imagining my past experiences–that is driving my being.  Isn’t consciousness a form of emergence? Synapses combining in unexpected ways leading to new insights, that transcends previous understanding.   If I reflect upon years of performance production, emergence occurs when the design, production and performance teams collaborate to produce a show that easily exceeds the sum of the whole.  That moment of transcendence during, for example The Zero Gravity Sky Dancers, when the elements of light, music, motion and form combine.  Just as we are moving towards a more egalitarian contribution to awareness, to knowledge bases–emergence trumps the cult of personality.  This has been one of the most difficult aspects of working in the arts, egoism.  I have touched upon the idea of extraordinary talent, or the Hero, in a previous post.  I purposely use this mythopoeic description.  Since myth now has the connotation of  ‘false,’ the emerging envisioning and aggregating of ideas and elements occurring through web 2.0, is reawakening our myth making nature. — I’m struggling to get this thought out. — So the definition of knowledge is impacted. It is more than the union of the knower with the known.  Our participation in the emergent process includes chaos and the unknown.