Growing Knowledge for local action

In our last blog how local communities are powered by digital collaboration we looked into the upcoming Crowdsourcing Week Summit at the Arctic Circle in Voullerim. A village that cross-pollinates global knowledge with their own local action and demonstrates the power and resilience of a local ecosystem that is woven into a global network. Vuollerim, however, is not alone. Around the world local initiatives and platforms are popping up which cultivate the exchange between global knowledge and local action. Among those are the Neighbourhood Economics project, Balle – Be A Localist, POC21 and networks like GETDecentralized which uses methods to amplify the continuous interplay between global knowledge and local action by connecting local projects with the latest knowledge and technology from around the world.

Transformation of global data into local action requires sensemaking

Kaliya Hamlin helped to understand the dynamic of “Polarity Management” as a model of a continuous interplay between global data and local action. It’s fairly easy to understand that global knowledge needs to be applied in local action to create real impact. However, there are several challenges in how to make that happen. One of those is to make sense of data. One of our main dilemmas today in the networked society seems to be that we are drowning in a raging flood of new information (big data), and that it becomes increasingly difficult to make sense of all this information (smart data).

Dee Hock`s book “One from Many” provides a good illustration in how VISA, a decentralized organization, was born and how it went through its time consuming process of collecting the data, aggregating it into information, understanding it, transforming it into knowledge, and finally apply it into practice. If we are effectively going to make use of global exchange of knowledge into local and sustainable action in places like Voullerim it’s vital to learn how to manage these processes.

Support on its way

A good thing, however, is that there are actors trying to solve these challenges. Among them the EU which recently brought the Collective Awareness Platforms for Sustainability and Social Innovation (CAPS) call into practice. This demonstrates that also government agencies increasingly support processes to create awareness of problems and possible solutions which request collective efforts and enable new forms of social innovation. Distributed knowledge creation and data from real environments is in the center of interest.

Also investors move impact and decentralization more into focus of a next macro trend. Fred Wilson from Union Square Ventures underlines for example during his talk at Le Web the need to transform bureaucratic hierarchies into technology driven networks. He clearly sees the need to “unbundle” or in other words to decentralize everything that we see tied into platforms today. The new social dynamic that will result from this will be more then ever driven by societal and behavioural learning processes enabled through the interplay of global knowledge and local action.

Want to learn more

If you are interested to learn more about this topic, there is a series of events coming up where you can connect yourself and your project to the global network and already today, Feb 23 you can follow “Crowdchat for Good” – a Hangout on air. The link and more info can be found here: Crowd Chat for Good.



Blog post by: Bert-Ola Bergstrand and Joachim Lohkamp

Twitter: @ContChange @JockelLohkamp

#GETDcent #ImpJou15 #CSWGlobal15 #Jolocom #Ouishare #NordicSoCap #MN2015

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