Category Archives: concept

2014 – Looking back, looking forward!

fb group header 2013:2014 JOLONext steps, next levels 
Wow, a year of many activities and learnings is over. Let us reflect a bit, finding insights on the operational as well as the strategical level. When I did write on my social foresight blog in August 2013, I was proud to see the network still grow. Since then the number has increased again from 3,500, now approaching the 5,000. Some steps into the new have to been taken orga-wise and in “community gardening” (I prefer the metaphors of gardening and care to the term of “community management”, which is often used in a topdown manner).

Open team: Complementing do-ocracy with collaborative leadership
To be honest, it often was not easy, and sometimes even stressful to organize the events and the platforms/channels. It is time that we reach some more structured process. Anna, Joachim and me had a short hangout yesterday and I was glad to hear the expression “professionalisation” in this chat. Indeed, the challenge is to have only a minimum of structures and principles – else a team can end up in “consensus debates”, bureaucracy and rigidity, killing spontaneous action.

“… is an organizational structure in which individuals choose roles and tasks for themselves and execute them. Responsibilities attach to people who do the work, rather than elected or selected officials.”

Sounds very cool. If there is low complexity in a set of tasks, then this works quite fine – you need no project management to cook a meal. But some LBP events at least evolve into the complexity zone of wedding planning 🙂 We want to have more transparency, so that people who are new know whom to approach for a certain purpose. It will be something like rotating roles: Being findable, adressable and somehow accountable for glocal events, hangouts, wordpress issues etc.

Learning by doing – The team as a learning space
Related with the above is the goal to increase the “knowledge and learning flow” of the LBP community. We could have “interns” in the team, so that they can learn all the stuff: From making successful hangouts and glocal events to social media hands-on practice.

Peers Help Peers (PHP) – Successful first experience 
In December I have made a first test of Peers Help Peers (PHP) of coaching a new bridger in the case of crowdfunding for a workshop. It meant a lot of learning for me, e.g. thinking about a check list and step by step help.

Learning loops, lean startup style
The open team will use feedback forms in the future, so that we can learn about our performance (e.g. in hangout moderation) and the real needs and pains. I think, that we simply should adopt the Lean Startup method of build–measure–learn loops. Only this principle allows for short learning curves and adaption. If you are interested, here is the beta version – (the form was intended for the last Oslo event, but the first part of the hangout was too bad for technical reasons, so I did not post the request). Please DM me (Willi) on facebook for feedback and ideas.

Creative Commons – Some Rights reserved – Thank you TheGiantVermin @ flickr.
Creative Commons – Some Rights reserved – Thank you TheGiantVermin @ flickr.

New: Cosy, private “Coffee Table Meetups” – not streamed, not recorded
So far the LBP community offers two types of “services”. Now in 2014 we want to extend this set, since we do not want every hangout to be public. Nobody goes onto a stage to make friends, right? And to make it really easy to share and to manage I have set up a public calender. We are currently in the planning phase (which day? hour? – the timezone thing), so the events in the  calender (see the new calender tab in the navigation) are not real dates so far. The basic idea is to offer the Coffee Table events as a regular slot, once in a week. They are announced on the facebook group and people can show interest and (if they like) suggest a topic – like talking about their challenge or a book they have read. But actually it is just intended to be a gathering of like-minded folks.

Looking forward to a great 2014 with a lot of fruitful talks and bridging, sharing and supporting!


/Willi, facilitation team
(This post is a personal view.)


A perspective on connected systemic change – Don Tapscott

Significance: Don Tapscott’s taxonomy of multi-stakeholder networks helps to understand the complex landscape of solution partners in your work as a living bridge.

Context: Huge gathering of geeks
Today I listened to the insights of the wellknown futurist thinker and author Don Tapscott at the Campus Party Europe (#CPeurope), a gathering that happened first time in Berlin, at a huge old airport hangar, attracting thousands of “campuseros” (hackers, developers, gamers and geeks) around Europe. The concept of Campus Party has been created by four friends in Malaga, Spain, which were “united by their passion for new technologies and wanted to create a space where others with the same interests could come together”. The organization started with 250 and “now has offices in Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Germany and the United States“. (more). Remind the Margaret Mead quote:

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

Margaret Mead, US anthropologist (1901 – 1978)

Rebooting institutions - Don Tapscott
From presentation “New Solutions for a Connected Planet” – Don Tapscott 2012 (c)

Don Tapscott’s taxonomy of multi-stakeholder networks
The quote above surely is in the spirit of Don Tapscott, who since years is talking and writing about the impact of new technologies on society and business. “Living Bridges” typically use the new social and collaborative technologies extensively and they can get some inspiration from the Tapscott stance on global challenges, transparency, openness and the potential of mass collaboration. The special thing I want to point you to is Don Tapscott’s enlightening taxonomy of multi-stakeholder networks. I recommend you to view the slides (which are from a different event).

Slide 33 – Click to go to preso “New Solutions for a Connected Planet” – Don Tapscott 2012 (c)

You find good examples of these nine types in the slideshare presentation. It is interesting to conceive the emerging Living Bridges Network as an instance of “7. Platforms” = “Some networks seek to provide platforms for other networks to organize.” – isn’t that, what we do here and in the facebook group? So we are in the nice neighborhood of Ushahidi. Discuss if your choice is different. Comment is free.