Large-scale, collaborative meaning making is a vital condition for dealing with crises and turning breakdowns into breakthroughs, locally and globally.
To be effective, the social technologies for facilitating that transformation need to be supported by the best what emergent electronic technologies can offer. For example:
Imagine to couple Personal Brain with a robust taxonomy-builder and a semantic engine,
all rolled up into a rapid-deployment learning environment that can be easily customized
for any knowledge domain or project, by community tech stewards, including non-programmers.
What do you see? What could such system enable?
What new community, organisational, and global capacities could be afforded by it?
Here’s my take on what it should help us with:
– connecting dots in fast-moving, kaleidoscopic landscape
– portraying 3d patterns of emergent meaning
– ensuring that large bundles of meaning embedded in rich media can travel far and fast
– freeing unseen and unimaginable social creativity, at all scale
Such a virtual environment should assist us in making sense of the world, under the simultaneous, current conditions of devolutionary danger and opportunity overload.
It can be envisioned and prototyped only in a collaborative effort by all those who have talents and energy to bring to it.
Interestingly, it is a low-tech, paper-based tool that can come handy in the initial brainstorming about the affordances that we’d require from such system. It is called CardSorting, and now that I’ve discovered it, I want to experiment more with it and report you on the results.
Btw, I started playing with and wrote about technologies for collaborative meaning making in 1986 (see the TranspacNet story), but the current articulation of these ideas is inspired by conversations I had in London with colleagues and friends last Friday, in the KIDMM meeting in the British Computer Society, and in the RSA.