To view our current projects, please select from the following:
- NATURE HAPPENS | A Declaration of Inter_Dependence
- THE IDEOLOGY OF ENVIRONMENTALISM
- THE THREEFOLD WAY: PLAY, MASTERY, AND EMPOWERMENT IN THE POST-INDUSTRIAL WORKPLACE
- STAR WARS BUSINESS MODEL
- ANOMALIES: THE ACCIDENTAL APPEARANCE OF WHAT NEVER HAPPENS
- ASYMMETRIC LITERACY
- ENERGY IS CAPITAL
- TAO OF CREATIVITY
- SUPERHUMAN - SUPERFEELER
- FAMILY INCHOATE
- SPIRITUAL MEDIA: REDEFINING THE DIVINE IN GLOBALLY NETWORKED MEDIA
- FEELING OF HOME: OBSERVED THROUGH THE FRAMEWORK OF STRATEGIC CREATIVITY
- POSSIBILITIES IN EDUCATION AND WORK FUTURES
- TACIT KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE IN KNOWLEDGE-BASED HYBRID COMMUNITIES
As water levels continue to fluctuate across the globe, escalating and
depreciating beyond comfortable margins of predictability or what the market
will bear, the spectre of our activity comes into sharp focus under the
glare-free scope of an age-old precision instrument— human consciousness.
There's a crack in the medium. The zeitgeist is being permeated by a growing
awareness that we may have a problem on our hands, a problem that is
evidently difficult to identify as we appear to be embedded right in the
thick of it by nature of who we are. Nature happens all the time and all
around, every day in every way implicating us in such order of complexity
that everything we do and do not do invariably matters. How we proceed from
here is fast becoming the most consequential question of our time
infiltrating and connecting all areas of science, communication, research,
policy-making, economics and people - globally and locally. A serious threat
to habitat and habitude has been identified and while there are terms that
attempt to describe these phenomena the sheer magnitude eludes description.
Our future is at stake— it has always been, and when in the course of human
events it becomes clear that we must 'do something' that some sort of change
or action might be called for to safeguard our investment we have always
risen to the occasion.
This work joins a growing and concerted dialogue taking place throughout the
world on a multitude of levels. It reports on findings from an inquiry
centered on understanding what it means to be a human living amongst human
and non-human life-forms in the natural world and what it might take to
continue doing so cogently. This particular investigation began with the
certitude that 'the hardest thing to see is what's in front of our eyes"
(Johann Wilhelm von Goethe) and no matter how banal it might seem, that
realising this was not only the first step toward resolving whatever
problems we might face, but that in so doing we might avoid these problems
in the first place.
While the findings from this research project make clear a staggering web of
interconnecting factors here to be addressed it is also evident that in
order to do so the process of cognition - or how we see and do not see - is
first on the agenda. Cognisance is central to this scope - cognition of
self, or self-awareness, awareness of the life in which we are steeped,
recognizing it's nature - how it works and how we might emulate and work
with it. It is the opinion of this researcher that while our condition of
being human is part of the 'problem' we herein find ourselves that it
simultaneously holds the means to address these difficulties. As human
beings we are 'native instruments' equipped with powerful talent and ability
to see, feel, empathize, will, imagine, hope, connect and cooperate, these
are in truth our natural resources.
This document will be presented as a declaration of inter-dependence in the
hope that perceiving what is at stake we might naturally self-correct and
avert disaster by reclaiming the ability to "see what is in front of our
eyes" and to then do what it is we know we must do to live in the world in a
manner that coheres with the immanent limits of nature, those preexisting
the supposed limitations constructed by human culture.
The language of environmentalism has become ubiquitous within Western culture, with concepts such as "sustainability," "eco-" anything, and "green" having become buzz words, prevalent in the media and in conversation. This paper aims to uncover the ideology (or ideologies) of environmentalism, in order to understand the scope of environmentalism's influence on society. This will involve a critical analysis of the egocentric perception of nature as "the natural environment" and as a "natural resource" that is readily available for human use that is prevalent in Western society.
Key to this investigation will be an understanding of what it means to be an environmentalist, both for those who identify as such, and those who do not. This will involve identifying and making a distinction between attitudes and behaviours that are genuinely focused on sustainability and ecological responsibility (drawing from the field of pro-environmental behaviour), and attitudes and behaviours that are instead intended to simply assuage guilt, with no other positive results. An aspect of this line of inquiry will be an examination of environmentalism's current representation in the popular media, and how this propagates (and is propagated by) both types of attitudes and behaviours described above.
By examining the ideology of environmentalism, the aim of this paper is to make the complex nature of the human relationship with (and perception of) the natural environment transparent, enabling a more thorough understanding of current practices (behaviour) and revealing opportunities, and potential for change and innovation.
This project examines signals in business, technology, and behaviour to develop an understanding of how the cultural dichotomy between “work” and “play” has been established, reinforced and subverted in industrialized economies and cultures.
With a focus on individual motivation and the psychology of empowerment, this project aims to discover principles and best practices which may enable the deconstruction of the work-play dichotomy and promote the humanistic reintegration of these now- separate activities, for the benefit of individuals navigating the shift to post-industrial economic reality, and to foster strategic advantage for the organizations they serve within this evolving context.
The resultant principles and best-practice findings from this exploration will be disseminated as a series of client workshops and course materials, to augment and inform the Beal Institute for Strategic Creativity’s pedagogy and practice.
Future of Work, Play & Identity in the Networked Landscape (S&T September 14, 2006)
Next Generation of Work & Play Behavior (S&T November 30, 2006)
Psychology of Play (S&T December 7, 2006)
The Third Way: Predisposition, Practise & Passion (S&T March 22, 2007)
Article: Google Culture & The Threefold Way, Part 1 (May 3, 2007)
Article: Google Culture & the hreefold Way, Part 2 (May 10, 2007)
Article: The Threefold Way in Pedagogy (May 1q8, 2007)
Article: Choosing Your Decisions (Undesigning) (July 5, 2007)
Matthew Fraser explores the role of pre-competitive innovation in the creation of George Lucas’ business empire, and how the pursuit of his vision has changed, and continues to change the cinematic universe. It is clear that Lucas saw something that everyone else seemed to miss. He understood the impact of the Star Wars story, not just as a film but as a platform for which a business model could be built upon. He understood the significance of developing technological innovations as a means to realize his strategic vision, while opening doors for other like-minded people and organizations. This is the essence of pre-competitive innovation – a strategic tool that looks beyond the traditional frameworks of competition, and toward facilitating imagination and strategic creativity.
“Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise, seek what they sought.” - Basho, 17th century Japanese poet.
Exerpt from the Official Press Release:
"Access Copyright, The Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency and Creative Commons Canada, in partnership with Creative Commons Corporation in the US, announced the development of a Canadian public domain registry, to be the most comprehensive of its kind in Canada. The project will create an online, globally searchable catalogue of published works that are in the Canadian public domain, making published works easily identifiable and accessible in an online catalogue.
The Wikimedia Foundation, developers of the popular online encyclopedia Wikipedia, will supply software that will allow the public to contribute information to the registry, and its backbone will be Access Copyright’s Rights Management System, the largest database of copyright information in Canada. Individuals will be able to use the registry to determine whether a published work is in the public domain. The public domain registry will be a non-profit project and freely accessible to the public online."
ANOMALIES: THE ACCIDENTAL APPEARANCE OF WHAT NEVER HAPPENS
What is special to one person is normal to another. One's anomaly is another's already-realized standard. Anomalies are things that almost never require pointing out because they are obvious departures from an agreed upon way of doing or seeing things. When an anomaly appears we are given the near impossible task of agreeing upon what is normal, in an increasingly changing context. Under these conditions it makes sense that we discover anomalies in any setting.
This is less so with digital cultures. Even though the perception of any anomaly is a cue to inquire beyond our definition of normal, digital cultures handle these questions far differently than before we became so enabled by our media.
Given that we can characterize digital cultures by the way they come to expect anomalies, and anticipate innovation on a daily basis, each new strange thing is really quite normal. We expect to be surprised. We expect that people will remix, rebend, reshape and reinvent. We expect anomalies to drive our culture's development at a high rate. Setting standards for high rates of innovation have become the mean value for enabled cultures.
So what's the tipping point? When does an anomaly become normal? It depends on our treatment of all previous anomalies and our persistent vision of utopia.
Perhaps we are at cross-purposes with anomalies when they arrive, recycling them into new surprises for ourselves and for others later. So when something out of the ordinary happens we can allow ourselves to be intrigued and surprised, and maybe even enjoy it while it lasts.
Mathew Lincez & Richard Thomas
The asymmetric context is one that was aligned with, but has drastically shifted in relation to ones capabilities, knowledge base and communication methods. These changes may be environmental, political, technological or social, but ultimately they render ones perceived strengths, into present weaknesses. What was once advantageous and beneficial in one context may fog ones operational and explorative potential in the new one.
Differing from traditional notions of literacy defined by reading and writing, or competence in a given field, asymmetric literacy in a broad sense is concerned with perceiving and participating in times of change and imbalance, when ones modes of perception and participation have been compromised or obsolesced by the transformative nature of the environment. It is a path of discovery that is simultaneously inside and outside of the normative. Its purpose is to empower individuals, groups and organizations to see every moment as both a learning and expressive opportunity. That is, identifying pre-competitive opportunities and loopholes, as potential passages for achieving ones goals.
The most valuable skill in the asymmetric context is the capability to learn how to learn. The constant learner absorbs, inquires, diagnoses and conducts themselves in tandem with the weakness and strength composition of themselves in relation to their environment to reach their goals, and realize their desires.
Asymmetric Literacy is a way of mind and a competence that acknowledges and leverages:
- Unorthodox methods and practices for the acquisition of knowledge via self curated non obvious entry points.
- Unconventional modes of expression and representation of knowledge, and action: maximizing their strengths for the disruption, denial, degradation or destruction of barriers
- To achieve a given goal and/or satisfy a motivation
More so a form of seeing the world, than any one formula of action, literacy of the asymmetric context exploits properties of behavior, tools, systems, cultural logic, and the psychological climate through imaginative forms of inquiry and action.
Article - What are You Looking At
Article - Asymmetric Literacy
Sady Ducros & Mark Poon
This project aims to provide a historical analysis with specific focuses on products and services as a way to gauge the relationships between Technology, Business and Behaviour. What are the interactions within an interdependent system that trigger developments in the sectors of Technology, Business and Behaviour, and the higher level systems of Culture, Politics and Education, towards the present.
By conducting an initial analysis looking back 5, 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 years, with a deliberate focus on technology, business and behaviour, we can observe and chart the socio-cultural transformations that took place. This will be used as the basis for a narrower focus, the creation of a tool for evaluating specific points of confluence to further establish the relevancies of past events within a system that is interdependent and that requires interaction between the aforementioned constituent parts.
Backcasting Project Charter
Backcasting (Show & Tell, March 8, 2007)
Backcasting Google (Show & Tell, March 29, 2007)
Backcasting Viagra (Show & Tell, March 29, 2007)
Article: Dataspace and Disability: Empowerment on the Threshold (March 30, 2007)
Article: Empathy and Apathy, Elements of Foresight (April 2, 2007)
Article: Unanswered Queries (April 3, 2007)
Article: Advertise Without Advertising (April 18, 2007)
Article: Google, The Brain, and DARPA (May 8, 2007)
Backcasting of Sexuality (Show & Tell, June 7, 2007)
Michelle DesGroseilliers, Mark Outhwaite, Priscilla Li, Catharine MacIntosh, Michele Perras, Jasmin Kwak, Ilkka Heino
In a perfect world, shoppers would never have or need to leave the mall. New models of urban and architectural design are shedding light on how urban spaces can be designed to facilitate retail and commercial pursuits together, while at the same time preserving the environment and ambience that shoppers need in order to satisfy their need to socialize and interact with others in a market place.
During the course of the Beal workshop, we discussed the ideal shopping mall experience imbuing a sense of freedom or liberation, through services that allow you shop unencumbered. This principle not only applies to the physical objects we cart around (coats, bags, and strollers) but the mental as well. Freedom from the everyday world – at this mall, you do not worry about what you had to do in order to get here, and you do not worry about what tasks are waiting for you when you have to leave.
The Malltopia report will include suggestions on creating incentive, in wayfinding, hygiene, architecture, etc. A mall should be about great experience from head to toe, be it in the seamless integration from parking to shopping space, clean and pleasant bathroom solutions, comfortable ambience, to practicality in way-finding and navigation,.
This paper will outline how to create a compelling experience for shoppers so that they become a key player in the mall experience, suggesting strategic methods to generate healthy revenue for developers and alternative retail practices and applications of mobile technology in order to achieve the best possible retail experience.
Malltopia Workshop Summary
Malltopia: The Utopian Mall Experience, by Catharine Macintosh (April 16, 2007)
Malltopia Journal, by Jasmin Kwak (April 17, 2007)
Malltopia: Sea, There's Potential, by Ilkka Heino (April 17, 2007)
Malltopia: THE IMPORTANCE OF STORYTELLING, By Priscilla Li (April 23, 2007)
Malltopia: Le Monde Marche (April 26, 2007)
Untitled Malltopia, by Isabelle Rousset (May 7, 2007)
Energy can be defined as "the potential for causing change", and is therefore the cause of any change.
Socrates said: "Let him that would move the world first move himself"
I can say: "My spine moves but my spirit moves me. "
The scope of this report is to examine the nature and potential of Energy as Capital and to disclose new opportunities and sources for its creation, distribution and sharing. While there are many energy generating systems in existence, the greater part of the premise here is that the activity of people, especially activity that is herein defined as 'spiritual' activity has the potential to create useful, inspiring, and transmittable forms of energy.
This report will focus on the Energy potential offered by people and to people via the current and developing landscapes of Dataspace, networks, grids, and their physical extensions, particularly those that liberate and empower people on an individual basis and as communities and interest groups. How can sharing our work, lives, work, and narratives benefit others and benefit us? How can the infrastructures currently in place be grown and developed to best serve and fit what we are evolving towards individually and globally?
The Energy in discussion herein is Energy that can be stored, transferred, and used in potentially new ways. This is energy created through work for the heart, mind, and spirit. Note: The term Spiritual Capital as used in this context includes any act or activity that is driven by our desire, ability and effort to love, create, share, drive, believe, produce - whether manifesting through work or play - ideally, both. When work and play occur in unison the potential for a sustainable, non-depletive flow-state (of energy) is possible.
Not Just Potential but Active Potential.
Not Just Energy but Energeia.
Not just work, but in work.
Not just relativity, but relationship.
Spiritual capital differs from Human or Social Capital in its potential to be self-transcending. Where do we go from self actualization? We can go beyond ourselves in ways that benefit others, that can benefit the whole.
To be (live) is to be (working at) being, for oneself and/or for others
Energy is Capital (Show & Tell, January 11, 2007)
Kingdom Shift (Show & Tell, February 2007)
Priscilla Li & Matt Fraser
Since its inception in 1901, 766 Nobel Prize winners and 19 organizations have been recipients of the Nobel Prize. Surprisingly, only 1.69% are South Asians (comprising India, Bangledesh, and Pakistan) and 2.87% are East Asians (China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Vietnam) totaling less than 5% for the entire continent. By contrast, North America holds 25.37% of the winners, and Europe a staggering 65.67%. The statistics shed light on a contentious question: Why does the continent responsible for the invention and production of paper, printing techniques, the compass, gunpowder, silk, and chopsticks, have such a small presence on the international stage for innovation?
The Asian civilization is one of the oldest in the world, but there have been remarkably few studies exploring creativity and innovation among the Chinese. Elisabeth Rudowicz, Department of Applied Social Studies at the City University of Hong Kong, noted, "To understand China and the Chinese with their long history of inventions, unique art, literature, poetry, and music, and at the same time a high reverence towards tradition, is an almost impossible task." The idea of a continent renowned for its fierce pride in tradition, customs, and conformity, teaching their children to be anything like the care-free spirits or imaginative thinkers that is encouraged in the West, seems almost contradictory.
The Tao of Creativity examines the similarities and differences people from the East share with their Western counterparts. Comparing two very different ideas of creativity within the context of two very different cultures, this report also considers how their different interpretive capacities, discretion, intentions, family values, and social expectations affect how creativity is taught and learned in the classroom. It will also explore and analyze
- The Three Great Teachings of China – Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucisianism, and its influences on creativity, originality, and ego illusion
- The Taoist idea of P’u, or the Uncarved Block. Defined as the true nature of the mind, a state of potential and perception without prejudice, preconceptions and illusions, unbridled by knowledge or experiences. P’u explores methods of learning that are not dependent on understanding, knowledge, books or level of education, focusing on true nature instead of learned intelligence or cleverness
- Creativity as a risk, in accordance with the stereotype that many Asians become accountants, lawyers, or doctors, and why for most Asian parents, creativity is a risky investment because the financial security is very low, and its payoffs ambiguous, especially compared to investments in “traditional” education
- Asian students in the classroom, and why teachers see creative students as disruptive, obnoxious, and abnormal
- The link between creativity to ethical and moral standards, possibly stemming from the Chinese belief that all good traits come together and that the study of literature, poetry, and music will develop moral goodness
Article: The Tao of Creativity: A Brief Introduction (March 30, 2007)
Article: Buddhism, Business & Strategic Creativity (April 2, 2007)
Article: Beal Perspectives on the Tao of Creativity Response (Mark Outhwaite, April 3, 2007)
The Tao of Creativity (Show & Tell, May 3, 2007)
Article: Response/Discussion - China's Social Tech and the Tao of Creativity (Kelly Seagram, May 10, 2007)
Superhuman - Superfeeler
The purpose of this report is to explore the potential of what it means to be human and what it takes to be 'super human'. The outcome of this report will essentially be 'a call to arms': a call to human courage and imagination and to embracing the talent, gift, or superpower we all share which is the 'gift of being human'.
How do we achieve an excellence at being human, humane, superhuman... superheroes even... a point of departure will explore the fictional and real-life superheroes as well as heroes in mythology.
To be discussed also: Sense, sensibility, and intelligence - how do they co-relate? Permeability - ours. We are becoming more porous in our actuality, in our ability to share with one another and in realizing common ideals and goals. Talent and the implications of a moral obligation to self and inevitably to others that the talent be developed and applied. We know that if we are not the best we can be that we cannot be happy...
Self-actualization in the case of those bearing rare gifts requires special consideration.
Question: What is a superhero? Fictional superheroes are generally normal human beings capable of experiencing all the pain, shortcomings, and fears that come wrapped up with mortality. Superheroes however, share the common trait of having a super sense, ability, or power around which their lives are determined in the servitude of humanity. A difficult, vulnerable, and potentially lonely life.
For us there is no such thing as a passive future, it's something we need to chart. The role of audience or receptor is not satisfying and we want rather to be self-deterministic and part of the relay, grid, community - the whole. Shooting from the hip, we look directly into the future with ever-growing confidence that our ability to bring about the favourable realizations that not so long ago constituted as only vague hopes or longed-for possibility, are in fact quite sound.
in • cho • ate (adjective )Just begun and so not fully formed or
kin • ship (noun) blood relationships • a sharing of characteristics or
co • ter • mi • nous (adjective) having the same boundaries or extent
in space, time, or meaning
The origins of this strand are borne of efforts over the past several months to process cities, Socialpedia and 'relational artifacts' as a similarly oriented genus of social technologies whose evolutionary motive may lie in iteratively reforming and re-envisioning what it means to feel emotion and communicate it to others using constructed media, thereby affecting the evolution of technoculture as such through the literally evolving technologies of simulation worlds. Simulation worlds are discussed here as social environments where their emergent components may eventually yield in future, a program for human affiliation more contingent on the validity of Rogers' and Jackson's sub-theorem of assortativity, one of a number of key
empirical regularities of socially generated networks stated as: "...The degrees of nodes that are linked to each other tends to be positively correlated, so that higher degree nodes are more likely to be linked to higher degree nodes, and lower degree nodes are more likely to be linked to other lower degree nodes..."
Data Transfer & Empowerment (Show & Tell September 20, 2006)
Ubiquitous Participation & Kinship (Show & Tell January 11, 2007)
Pay them to be Human (Show & Tell March 15, 2007)
Family Inchoate: Coterminous Kinship in Emergent Game Worlds | Introduction (March 30, 2007)
The purpose of this project is to explore, identify, chart and examine the emerging and adaptive behaviours around spiritual media and technology; to view how media leverages spiritual behaviours, and understand how spiritual individuals and communities use and favor certain media to maximize their core belief systems and authenticate the self. How has the global spiritual climate shifted and changed over time, even over the past two or three decades, given the widely spanned influence and ubiquity of media technology?
Crucial to beginning this exploration is defining what spirituality is, and what it means to media technology today, taking into consideration the majority view as well as drawing on the research of key contemporary scholars in this field, such as Genevieve Bell (director of Intel’s User Experience Group) and Roy Ascott (founder and president of The Planetary Collegium and professor in Technoetic Arts). As a starting point for these purposes, spirituality in this context of research should not to be confused with the concept of following a doctrine or religion. Contemporary spiritualist thought values and embraces a multi-media approach to transcending the self. Deciding what constitutes spiritual media is a matter of discovering the points where human spirituality and media technology intersect. This can be defined on a number of levels, and at many discreet moments in time, by looking at phenomenal and fundamental evolutions in areas such human-computer interface design and online social networking as well as behaviours compliant with varying states of consciousness or states of mind, in relation to a particular medium.
Finally, given the current undeniable qualities of spiritual media, there is no doubt a powerful relationship between spirituality and strategic foresight methods, is existential to human behaviour. If we can imagine the advantages and disadvantages of collective consciousness integrated with personal value systems, then we can envision how new innovative possibilities in research and business can emerge by means of authenticating matters of the spirit.
Spiritual Media (Show & Tell, December 14, 2006)
Interpreting Spirituality in Global Economies (Show & Tell, February 2007)
Redefining the Divine in Globally Networked Media
How do we develop the feeling of home? When we are displaced, each of us experiences physical and emotional changes: constant confusion, feelings of being out of place, clumsiness, surprises and amazement. There are so many people all around the world who feel displaced for one reason or another. I’m here in Toronto because of my own will to explore the world, to see and to learn. Still I have feelings, longings for home. It’s a mental state – a need to find what places to go, to map myself where I am. It’s about settling down. Or maybe getting up and exploring. Depending on the situation, the place and the people, it may take different ways and means to cope with. All the little feelings of displacement have made me understand how important it is to create the feeling of comfort (A synonym for the feeling of home?). I have now come to realize it’s really deep down, this want and need for comfort. It’s the fundamental human purpose or goal to reach out – to feel like you belong and are no longer displaced. It’s to be seen in the ways people search for comfort in new environments. For example, in Toronto - a city of multiple cultures, the idea of home is seen in the form of many localized communes and living areas. City areas such as Little Italy, Portuguese Village, Greek Town, Korea Town and China Town are all clearly seen as examples of people looking for comfort and belonging. These people have literally created homes here, little nations of their own. They’ve gone extreme in the search of their feeling of home. So far that they’ve create more of a physical reflection of home instead of the mental state of home. I’m interested in this feeling of home and how it can be reached when you are displaced, through traveling or moving to a new place or even in your normal environment. How do we gain the needed feeling for comfort when being physically displaced?
Research Project Proposal - Home as a Mental State and a Physical Place in a Mobile World Observed Through the Framework of Strategic Creativity
Article: Framing the project - Feeling of Home (April 24, 2007)
Feeling of Home (Show & Tell, May 3, 2007)
This report aims to provide a perspective, which anticipates and assumes that the “road ahead” will include a wide variety of new and presently unimagined job types and career paths that remain hidden in their latent states. Therefore, it is not our goal to describe the future of education, rather the future job description, career, skill set and roles (cultural-social-economic-other) that are likely to emerge as a result of currently identifiable and widely anticipated behavioral, technological and social-economic signals. In doing so we aim to raise awareness of future possibilities and inspire strategic dialogues by providing a variety of destinations (thinking points) from which deeper and more focused educational and organizational planning can take place. To inspire a mindset and inquiry that nourishes imaginative
pre-positioning, the strategic resituating of current and emerging capability, in organizations and institutions for the purpose of shaping the future.
Imaginative Question Sets and Scenario development will describe these perspectives, serving as a mechanism to fuel dialogue and action in the present. In addition, a further inquiry will be developed to inspire ongoing dialogues.
Strategic Foresight Lenses: Translation & Migration (Show & Tell, January 11, 2007)
Article: New Models, Schmoo Blodels – Preamble (April 3, 2007)
Article: Capability Emergence pt.2.5 (April 10, 2007)
Article: Representational Capabilities (April 16, 2007)
Article: Capability Emergence Pt. 1 (March 30, 2007)
Michele Perras, Accepted at Knowledge, Creativity and Transformations in Societies, December 2007, Vienna
In recent years, techno-centric cultures have witnessed the emergence of knowledge-based hybrid communities, fueled by massive increases in techno-economic development, social media, literacy, mobility, accessibility and geolocation. While responding to institutional and closed systems of knowledge, tensions and opportunities in the ways that these communities use technologies as platforms for the acquisition and exchange of tacit knowledge, ethical values, social norms and identity have developed. For these purposes, a knowledge-based hybrid community is one whose constituents possess and encourage literacy, intent and mutual support that allows increased mobility along a continuum of digital mediation with the express purpose of exchanging information, creating fluid and purposeful contexts that have the most value and potential for socially motivated innovation when the capabilities of digital and non-digital presence are bridged. Throughout this paper, I will explore and argue the significance of these communities, and their actual and potential impact on knowledge, culture and education.
Within these communities, the need to create flexible and lightweight architectures to exchange tacit knowledge emerged – to share the subjective knowledge that is articulated and exchanged through experience, expectation and interpersonal relationships as it builds the contexts for social formations and cultural narrative. In response to the difficulties of identifying, quantifying, codifying and exchanging tacit knowledge through digital platforms, certain hybrid communities, such as the international BarCamp movement and its tributaries, have to some extent designed for the emergence of Transmedia Literacy. By encouraging the critical representation and communication of meaning and intent along various points on the mediated continuum, community members are able to generate, acquire and exchange empathetic, temporally accurate, contextually relevant forms of tacit knowledge to create shared socio-cultural narratives and the mechanisms for affective change.
While these communities are using the same technologies which disrupt, displace and obsolesce the institutional and explicit systems of knowledge exchange upon which they rely, they are also creating the foundations for new and emergent systems of knowledge and literacy which are self-critical, flexible and embedded with the potential for social, technological or economic transformation.