Commenting on my entry about The emergence of CI, an online experiment, Jay Cross wrote in his blog:
> I’m interested more in group mind than individual consciousness, but I figure they’re both complex systems, why not see how one viewpoint cross-fertilizes the other.
I think of consciousness as a continually emergent quality of the self, individual or collective, by which it recognizes itself and its relationship to other selves.
An explorer of collective intelligence–defined as the capacity of communities to evolve towards higher order integration and performance through collaboration and innovation–I became curious of the tipping point, the transition from a collection of intelligences to collective intelligences. Jay’s entry gave more fuel to that exploration. He wrote:
> George Por lit my fuse this morning. Using his blog entry as a starting point, I let whatever come to mind guide my thinking.
I guess, that’s how our blog connections work most of the time; one person’s entries become triggers of free associations in another person’s mind and blog, creating a rich soil of loosely linked thoughts in the noosphere, at the tune of probably millions of new entries every day. That kind of connections occurs in loose networks or communities of learners that I differentiate from communities that learn.
In the slide of John Seely Brown that Jay posted in his blog (see below) JSB is talking about a shift from tools supporting individuals to tools supporting relationships.
The shift that I try to understand and promote is a more radical one that what JSB is referring to. I’m focusing on tha nature, enablers and obstacles of a qualitative jump from a collection of intelligences to a collective intelligence that transcends and includes the individual minds, from a community of learners to a community that learns, which transcends and includes the intelligence of its members.
I’ve been theorizing about the tipping point of that transition for many years but without successful hands-on experiences I couldn’t get very far. In fact, understanding ad supporting that tipping point has been a big part of the motivation behind why I became a facilitator of virtual communities. All my efforts to help communities to reach that tipping point had very limited impact. From a hindsight, I can see that in the 80’s and the 90’s the time was just not ripe for that. Is it different now? I’m not sure but ready to give one more try with the online experiment.
Whether it will succeed it or not, will depend whether it will attract players more fascinated with the unknown potential of the collective mind than the meandering of their own, people with a passion for contributing to something greater than themselves, bloggers who want to break some new ground from which the surprising capabilities of a truly collective intelligence can emerge.
Thank you, Jay for the opportunity that your entry gave me to articulate a bit more clearly my intent. Maybe that’s how collective intelligence emerges: we start giving sustained attention to one another’s highest aspirations and discovering the common patterns that pull us into a future worth collaborating for.