We Think: Why mass creativity is the next big thing

While we are awaiting the wonderful videos and photographs of our First Show N' Tell here is an incredible video we used to kick-off the night! It is a great animation outlining Charles Leadbeater's Book "We-Think" which has sparked debate on how we learn, collaborate and function in today's society while highlighting the challenges and opportunities in the way we now communicate and share information. It is a wonderful synopsis and touches, very well, on what we are all about.

The first three chapters of We-Think is available on their website. In the first chapter they go into further detail of the positives and negatives of information sharing on the internet, discussing democracy, freedom of speech and those who want to control it. Here are some great excerpts:

  • We will look back on this decade to come as a period of unparalleled social creativity a time when we sought to devise new ways to work together to be more democratic, creative and innovative, potentially on a vast scale... This book is about how we can make the most of the web’s potential to spread democracy, promote freedom, alleviate inequality and allow us to be creative.
  • The more connected we are the more opportunities for collaboration there should be, but the more vulnerable we also become...what little is left of our common culture could fracture and split as people pursue their own, separate conversations.
  • Without effective self-governance idealistic web communities, like so many communes and cooperatives before them, will collapse into an avalanche of diverse perspectives, rants, lies, gossip, falsehoods, truths and hearsay.
The chapter also discusses some very interesting case studies including Wikipedia:
  • In Africa, even where communities do not have access to the internet, teachers are using copies of Wikipedia downloaded onto CDs. Wikipedia may get the odd thing wrong, but that misses the bigger picture. Jimmy Wales and his community have created a new way for us to share knowledge and ideas at scale, en mass, across the world. Wikipedia’s message is : the more we share, the richer we are.

They also discuss as an interesting experiment called  I Love Bees which was a real world game created by 42 Entertainment and devised as a marketing tool for the release of the video game Halo 2. Using the website www.ilovebees.com as a subliminal message in the Halo 2 trailer, fans were led on an adventure trying to solve the mystery of the missing bee keeper shown on the website. Millions of people viewed this site and thousands, from around the world got involved, setting up groups and teams to help piece together the mystery and even self-organized a world wide telephone tag at various pay phones in different cities needing to pass on one message to the next with less than 5 minutes to do so. The game was a great success and has won numerous awards. What is most interesting is the motivation of these fans, not being about money, but more about the game and recognition. It's a very interesting read if you have the time, although I have to admit there are MANY spelling mistakes and errors. So many, that I'm starting to question if that too is some kind of social experiment... we'll see, I've made a google doc collecting most of the errors, so don't say I didn't warn you. More on Charles Leadbeater