The Evidence Hub: Harnessing the Collective Intelligence of Communities to Build Evidence-Based Knowledge

Conventional document and discussion websites provide users with no help in assessing the quality or quantity of evidence behind any given idea. Besides, the very meaning of what evidence is may not be unequivocally defined within a community, and may require deep understanding, common ground and debate. An Evidence Hub is a tool to pool the community collective intelligence on what is evidence for an idea. It provides an infrastructure for debating and building evidence-based knowledge and practice. An Evidence Hub is best thought of as a filter onto other websites — a map that distills the most important issues, ideas and evidence from the noise by making clear why ideas and web resources may be worth further investigation. This paper describes the Evidence Hub concept and rationale, the breath of user engagement and the evolution of specific features, derived from our work with different community groups in the healthcare and educational sector.

The Evidence Hub is a contested collective intelligence tool for communities to gather and debate evidence for ideas and solutions to specific community issues. By aggregating and connecting single contributions theEvidence Hub provides a collective picture of what is the evidence for different ideas, which have been shared by an online community.”

Read the full paper here.

Posted in Academic Research in CI, Technologies That Support CI | 1 Comment

Mindful Together: shared mindfulness amplifies

Good night, good morning

Instead of talking about, can we try talking from and to mindfulness? From mine to yours, from yours to mine. Embodying it right here and now, as I’m writing these words, and you embodying it wherever you are, as you’re reading them. Even separated by time and space, and connected by a shared curiosity, we can be mindful together. But mindful of what?

I’m at the end of a long day and mindful of its wear on my body, the pull of the dreamworld. I am also mindful of your presence, without which I would not have a reason to write. I’m also aware of the social space that connects us, including HuffPost, and the broader field of mindfulness bourgeoning in the UK. How about you? What are you mindful of, right now?

I pause here… and before I welcome the blessed night, I enter one of my favourite meditation spaces, inspired by Thomas Hübl. It consists of focusing my attention on the exploration of the inner world of my body, my emotions, my thought, my consciousness, and the web of my beloved relations, in short sequences, staying on each stage long enough just to feel an authentic connection with it.

Whilst I’ll be in my sleeping break, why don’t you pause reading this blog and turn your attention inward, onto a similar journey, just for the fun of it…

Now, it’s morning, and the first thought of the day goes to you. Where did we leave it off, what would be good to share next?

 

Matryoshka mindfulness

1200px-Russian-Matryoshka2Imagine being inside a set of Russian dolls of decreasing size. Inside the innermost, smallest one of the nested, hollow matryoshkas there’s a baby that is you. These dolls are not the usual wooden ones; they are made of some kind of semi-translucent bubble material. The baby is sensing the presence of layers upon layers outside its immediate bubble, but can’t see clearly the patterns painted on them until it knocks on the dome above its head. It is that semi-translucent bubble we call “reality” is where we live, most of the time.

With proper training in the arts and sciences of mind-fitness, we can become aware of several layers of our reality, concurrently. For example, we will be able to hold in our awareness some of our body sensations, our emotions, our thoughts, all at once. With trained attention, we can add to the mix the broad segments of the geographic and social worlds that we’re embedded in. Why would we want to do that? The more we can listen, the more we can hear. The more we can hear, the wiser and more adequate our response will be to the challenges and opportunities that life presents to us, individually and collectively.

 

From me to we to all of us: growing the fruits of shared mindfulness

To meet critical challenges, as groups, communities and organisations in our VUCA times of increasing Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity, we must act from a higher level of individual and collective consciousness. Becoming more mindful as a person is an important first step but it is insufficient if not extended to cultivating shared mindfulness if we are to make a larger, positive impact in the world.

In my experience, when all of us in a conversation or collaborative action are practicing expanded attention or other mind-fitness disciplines, then a potent inter-subjective field comes into being that is much more than the sum of the individual mind states. The resulting “shared mindfulness” allows us to sense what is happening more accurately, think more clearly, act more coherently, and achieve greater results.

How are we going to scale the achievable, shared mindfulness of small groups to organisations, co-intelligent local and regional communities, and wiser social institutions that truly care for the whole and all parts of it? The first thing is to notice what is already moving in that direction, even if it is only a relatively small step. For example, did you know that a recent session of the UK All-Party Parliamentary Group on Wellbeing Economics meeting was focused on How Government Policy Can Improve Wellbeing: Mindfulness in Health and Education? Or, have you heard of the fledgling Mindful Together community on Facebook?

Another sign is a series of “wisdom at work” workshops coming to London in June, where mind-fitness, shared mindfulness, and their fertile relationship will be addressed.

How can we co-evolve practices for growing greater mindfulness at increasing scale? We can do that through such innovation mechanisms as cultivating mindfulness as a community art, and having a differentiated approach to develop various mind-fitness disciplines, then cross-train ourselves in them. The “how” is the subject of future blogs.

Meanwhile, those of us inspired by the possibility to realize a wider range of benefits from mindfulness beyond the individual, let’s connect with each other and learn from our experiences. If that appeals to you, come over and join us in the fledgling Mindful Together community on Facebook.

George Pór is an integral mindfulness mentor and learning partner to change makers in business and society.

 

Posted in CI Within, Shared Mindfulness, Thomas Hübl | Tagged | 2 Comments

An experiment to combine electronic and mindfulness amplification processes

To follow on what I started exploring in my note about the personal and transpersonal meaning of increased technical connectivity, I want to put some seeds in the ground about the possibility combine electronic and mindfulness processes that amplify  the connectivity in the emerging global brain and heart.

Couldn’t it be an interesting experiment to explore the difference between “natural” amplification using our the built-in social tools of our various electronic campfires, and conscious amplification adding intentionally enhanced discoverability.

Here’s what I mean by the latter. If the YouTube recommendation wouldn’t have gifted me with this video, I may have never learned about it. If it was tagged, indexed and made part of an evolving outline structure that attend, my chance to discover it could be much higher. Same is true if it its was captured by any of the video to text tools, and made searchable.

Another experiment that I’m even more interested in is the combination of electronic and mindfulness amplifications. Its purpose will be maximizing the electronic connectivity of this blog and meshing it with such tools and processes as Chaordic Chat and ContemplaTweet. Who else is interested?

Posted in Shared Mindfulness, Technologies That Support CI | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

A note about the personal and transpersonal meaning of increased technical connectivity

I like to watch YouTube vids while working out on my exercise bike. Since YouTube’s algorithms are getting as good at suggesting vids for me as Amazon does with books, usually I graze its recommendations page before jumping on my bike. That’s how I discovered the “Data, Storytelling and Narratives” conversation between John Kellden and David Amerland.

At 5:43, David is talking about the connectivity factor as amplification factor. Doing so, he is brilliantly describing also one of the key insights that happens to drive my research on shared mindfulness. What is obvious is that the more connected a person, a thought, a video is, the broader its reach. What is less obvious is the transpersonal dimension of the  amplification factor.

In the very same act of one’s ideas reaching a wider audience, something else is happening, too, at the same time.Through the billions blogs, vids, tweets, likes, and comments that we post every minute, the neurons are forming in the nervous system of our global meta-being. These early-stage neurons are very crude and they will probably not get much smarter before the generalizations of semantic video, semantic search, and the radically disruptive social practices that will be associated with them.

What does all that have to do with shared mindfulness? A lot. First, it provides an analogy and a narrative to talk about the transpersonal dimension of transcending solo  mindfulness, as a need grounded in our tech-enabled, emerging planetary reality. A key feature of that reality is the “innervation” of the social hypercortex, which Teilhard de Chardin talked about half a century ago. More about that, another time, once I finished a new blog about the subject.

The  other way, in which shared mindfulness and increased connectivity relate to each other is this: The first can turn the second into a compelling opportunity to wise up our communities, organizations, and social institutions. That takes us closer to the Holy Grail of CI research: how to boost of collective wisdom at increasing scale? When we’ll have figured that out, then the “radically disruptive social practices” will kick in.

Thank you John and David for triggering this note.

p.s. A sequel to this note is here: An experiment to combine electronic and mindfulness amplification processes

Posted in Shared Attention, Shared Mindfulness, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Somewhere, on our way to humankind’s awakening…

Somewhere, on our way to humankind’s awakening to its collective wisdom, global heart, and sentience… self-organizing communities of co-creation and practice will master the combination of swarm intelligence ( see also starlings as teachers ) with wildfire learning (see chapter 7 in my Federated Framework for Self-evolving Educational Experience Design on Massive Scale).

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CI as collective consciousness in action (both being and doing)

Yet another definition:

“Mastering collective intelligence is the deliberate exercising of collective consciousness in action (both being & doing) where we can see and recognise the steps, relationships and rational process that is contributing to the power and potential of any group. Collective intelligence is energy and information working together to imagine a future, explore new possibilities, address an issue or solve a problem.” (Zenergy)

Posted in Definitions | 3 Comments

Dysfunctional Collective Intelligence

Below is an excerpt from How to Create a Group Mind | 100 Trillion Connections, by Duncan Work.

“A dysfunctional society, or group mind, is full of emotion-laden biases, fears, animosity, internal hostilities, greed, bitter or violent competitions (winner-take-all), or is simply deeply fragmented and incapable of making good decisions. All of these traits are indicators of very unhealthy group minds – so unhealthy as to be called insane, broken. So broken it doesn’t feel right to call them minds at all.”

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