I have been rolling that question around in my head for quite some time now. The short answer is that I have various ideas, concepts, and thoughts about information management in humanitarian response that I want to share and get feedback on. I want people to collaborate with me to find the best solutions, new ideas, problems with my logic, and new bits that make my ideas work. I want to put my pieces on the table and start working. I do not believe that I have brilliant ideas, but rather I want to discover them. I am never going to come up with great ideas in isolation. I want to fail quickly to learn fast. And, of course, I would be honored if an idea I posted turned out to be an element of another’s great idea.
The longer answer is a bit more complicated.
We are in a time where we are moving away from the top-down, centralized problem-solving model. I believe in the principles of openness, collaboration, and the sharing of data and intellectual property. I want to share my thoughts, gather comments, brainstorm online, and find creative solutions. My blog will be a place to record my hunches – essentially a component of a modern version of a Commonplace book - I want to get my ideas down so that I can think about them, roll them around in my head, but also to get others to contribute their thoughts.
I want to change the way we do things; I have a passion for simple and sometimes even seemingly childish concepts, I am always willing to question my core assumptions (best way to learn), and I want to get the answers from everywhere especially the source. I have confidence in my ideas – but that does not mean I believe that my ideas are RIGHT, it means I am willing to try them out.
I am happy to be wrong. Why? Being right keeps you in place. Being wrong forces you to explore. When we’re wrong, we have to challenge our assumptions, adopt new strategies. Being wrong on its own doesn’t unlock new doors in the adjacent possible, but it does force us to look for them.
I want to learn a little bit from a lot of people. Open-mindedness is a prerequisite for innovation, but only to a point. Creating anything new involves an extraordinary amount of listening. I will listen to what you say.
I know people will tell me that things I suggest cannot be done. Look at history: during the introduction of trains, many scientists worried that traveling at a certain speed could actually make our bones fall apart. I am not claiming to have ideas as revolutionary as trains, but perhaps they will spark something that creates a larger idea that eventually invents a new train.
And finally, I simply do not want to let my mind sit idle. A quote from George Orwell may sum it up best: “Perhaps a man really dies when his brain stops, when he loses the power to take in a new idea.”
I trust this post will be the beginning of an interesting, creative and inspiring journey.
Most of the concepts outlined above have been developed from my recent reading. Most specially, they include:
- Social Entrepreneurship : What Everyone Needs to Know (David Bornstein and Susan Davis)
- MacroWikinomics: Rebooting Business and the World (Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams)
- I Live in the Future & Here’s How It Works: Why Your World, Work, and Brain Are Being Creatively Disrupted (Nick Bilton)
- Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation (Steven Johnson)
- Little Bets (Peter Sims)
- Coming Up for Air (George Orwell)