Cindy Romaine and I metat Nike when we both worked in the Design Resources Group. She, Kevin Carrolland I continue to connect and work together in the betterment of all we do, forand within the companies we work for. We recognize that the future iscollaborative, and our ways of working reflects this. The outcome is greaterand our success is greater as a result. Here are a few thoughts on the power ofcollaboration for our futures.
As we continue to experience a collaborative effect in competitivebusiness, social innovation and cultural creativity, our interconnectivity willonly become more robust.
Web 2.0 tools and powerful networks have accelerated collaborationand the availability of useful knowledge. Almost anyone can easily follow newideas and like-minded people for little or no cost. Groups collaborate becausethe scope, scale, and interconnectivity of the problems that we are tacklingare too big to face alone. Fundamentally, we collaborate because it is part ofour nature as human beings. On the most primitive level, connections supportour survival. We share information for the betterment of all.
Combining the need to collaborate and the power of Web 2.0makes this a powerful trend. Both of us agree that a fundamental shift is inplace, and only the most future ready will surf the wave.
In the realm of sustainability, collaboration offers usaccess to coordinated action. Darcy Winslow, principal of DSW Collaborative and one-time GM ofSustainability at Nike, powerfully states:
“What is it going to take to changethe game for future generations?
Unprecedented leadership,unprecedented collaboration, innovation fearlessness, and a huge sense ofurgency.”
Darcy clearly points out that it’s no longer business asusual. In the 21st century, we need to get messy and we can’t afford turf wars.We need to agree to some big, hairy, audacious goals.
Here’s a case in point: Bill Gates, one of the world’swealthiest people, presented his one wish—not his goal or his plan, but hiswish—at this year’s TED conference. What is his wish? Innovating to zero carbonemissions. It’s a wish, because even with the considerable resources Mr. Gates commands,he cannot address the problem in isolation. Moving the needle on carbonemissions requires a highly coordinated collaboration of industry, governmententities, NGOs, and individuals, each with very different motives. It should beexciting to watch.
The giving and getting culture is native to Generation G.They focus on generosity versus greed, and push open-source versus proprietary.Everyone is invited to be a part of this paradigm, this generation is inclusiveand is not aged based.
Collaboration is empowering some interesting projects andgenerating some strange bed-fellows. Here are just a few examples:
·GreenXchange– is a marketplace for collaborating on intellectual property focused onsustainability. Superficially, it looks like members are giving away valuableand usually closely guarded corporate secrets, but information is deliberatelyshared in order to broaden access to sustainable processes by anyone, evencompetitors.
·The CollaborationProject – is an independent forum of leaders committed toleveraging the interactive web and the benefits of collaborative technology tosolve government’s complex problems. Powered by the National Academy of PublicAdministration, this “wikified” space is designed to share ideas onthe adoption of Web 2.0 technologies in the field of public governance.
·Joint US-ChinaCollaboration on Clean Energy – this non-profit organization bringstogether international expertise and technologies with the goal of acceleratingthe use of clean, efficient energy in China. Their aim is to create visiblechange within 10 years.
·Youth are working within this paradigm. They are movingfrom hipster to helpster with incredible sites and projects such as:
oJerri Chou (seeour blog on her)
oChangeConnections.comand ideation platform by The Feast Conference in collaboration with Nokia
·GlobalReporting.org– Mike Wallace, an associate from the west coast who moved to Amsterdam, isworking with a group to unify the global standard messaging around what we meanby a financial eco bottom line. Take a look at these links:
oGRI Reporting TrendsPresentations which includes the latest statistics
oGRI spreadsheetsfor 1300+ reporting organizations
So please, share your stories. We’d like to hear about yourcollaborative efforts. How are you coordinating action? Did you create a sharedvision first? Are you taking advantage of social networking tools? Do tell.
Of course, we collaborated to produce this blog post.