Learning expedition into global-scale CI

One of my first inspirations that lead to the ideas about wrapping a conference in a blanket of collective intelligencewas “Learning Expedition into Higher Order Global Learning” (1990) a funding proposal that came two decades too early and never got funded. It seems that the proposal’s problem definition is even more timely today:

“A growing number of women and men, communities and organizations from many cultures, are dedicating themselves to seeking sustainable solutions. Some of these efforts are large-scale and well known, but most are small and unpublicized. They frequently are lonely, disjointed journeys against tremendous odds. Lacking a unifying vision and a systemic framework, using inadequate tools and models for operational and meta-level communications, we duplicate our efforts rather than achieve what we are capable of.”

What I suggested was a Learning Expedition to seed and grow a network of local nodes that research and design tools, methods, and educational opportunities to empower collaborative learning in transformational communities. We were targeting the creation of multi-dimensional cognitive maps and mental models; advanced visual thinking; personal and group knowledge ecologies, integrating scientific and intuitive knowing. (Later, I expanded on the ideas of 1990, in a paper on “Designing for the Emergence of a Global-scale Collective Intelligenc,” presented at the Global Brain Workshop in 2001.)

I am grateful to UQAM and the organizers of the 4 International Conference on Community Development for giving me the opportunity to re-visit those “old” ideas, whose times are slowly coming…

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