The Moment has arrived!

I am excited to announce that I’m beginning a new stage in my changemaking journey: together with my amazing and talented partners Daniel Rose and Greg Judelman, we are launching a new enterprise focused on collaborative innovation and systems change work called The Moment. We just launched publicly for the first time June 8th, as co-sponsors and facilitators of GovCamp.

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A Wish List for Wicked Projects

In April, my friend Peter Macleod inspired me with his MASSLBP Wish List, which he sent out in a newsletter to MASSLBP’s network. Peter was in turn inspired by a Christmas card message: “work for what you wish for”. Expressing the intention, out loud, for all to see, of the kind of work that you want made a lot of sense to me.

Fired up by the success of our recent collaboration at the Collingwood Conference, my frequent collaborator Daniel Rose started a conversation about our dream projects. These are projects that can take full advantage of our capabilities and that also really push us in our practice while making a big difference in the world. We referred to this cheekily as “Project Mongoose”, but really what we’re talking about are Wicked Projects.

Addressing Wicked Problems

What is a wicked project? A wicked project first of all aims to address a wicked problem.  Wicked problems are all around us: climate change, economic transformation, poverty, healthcare, urban transportation and human migration to name just a few. Solving wicked problems is meaningful, purposeful work. They’re complex, intertwined, ambiguous, messy and frustrating. Wicked problems fight back as you try to solve them.

The projects that would make our wish list would be centered on one of these problems. Our role is not to be the content expert in the chosen field. Our role is to bring both proven and novel processes and tools to these projects while working with and learning from some of the smartest people we can find.

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Rethinking Government Panel | Collingwood Conference 2010

via live.cc2010.ca One of the better panel conversations I’ve seen on the topic. My friends David Eaves and Peter MacLeod are both in particularly fine form in this one.

http://vimeo.com/12030236
via live.cc2010.ca
One of the better panel conversations I’ve seen on the topic. My friends David Eaves and Peter MacLeod are both in particularly fine form in this one.

Meaningful work/fun at the Collingwood Conference 2010 #cc2010

via flickr.com I had the pleasure of working alongside colleagues Daniel Rose, Ryan Coleman, Liisa Sorsa and Disa Kauk to bring various kinds of participatory engagement for the Collingwood Conference 2010: Imagining Ontario’s Future. This was a l…

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I had the pleasure of working alongside colleagues Daniel Rose, Ryan Coleman, Liisa Sorsa and Disa Kauk to bring various kinds of participatory engagement for the Collingwood Conference 2010: Imagining Ontario’s Future. This was a long-term focused ideas conference put on by the Ontario Liberal Party, organized by Laura Miller and wrangled by Kelly Legris.

We all enjoyed bringing our skills to the table with a large and very professionally-run conference like this one, with its clear connection to important public policy issues and the challenges of our shared future. These are the kinds of issues that my practice was created to help address by bringing social technologies (both digital and analog) to enable participation, public engagement and collaborative problem-solving for the public good.

I remain an agnostic non-partisan, but I have to say that I was genuinely impressed that a provincial political party was willing and able to create a large-scale event like this with big ideas, bold content and then share it with the world in new ways. Hearing personally from the Premier himself that he appreciated the participatory nature of the event was very gratifying.

The conference was a hit online, with live streaming video and online discussion, it was the #2 or #3 trending topic on Twitter in Canada most of the weekend. The liveblog took almost 5,000 comments!

The in-person experience was as (ok, more) important as the online experience, so we brought a variety of graphic facilitation methods, included beautiful live graphic recording of Friday night’s keynote addresses from the Premier and Malcolm Gladwell by Liisa and Disa and a massive 500-person sticky note theming exercise.

You can see all the conference content (session videos are still being uploaded) by visiting http://www.cc2010.ca/. Check out the participant-created interviews on the YouTube channel and the great shots created throughout the conference on Flickr. And you can still follow the ongoing conversation on Twitter at #cc2010.

Why Come To TVO’s #AgendaCamp? (and #ChangeCamp)

via youtube.com The AgendaCamp model evolved since last year, incorporating both open space and world cafe methods into a new hybrid, designed to help create a broadcast of The Agenda with Steve Paikin the night following the Camp. Great testimoni…


via youtube.com
The AgendaCamp model evolved since last year, incorporating both open space and world cafe methods into a new hybrid, designed to help create a broadcast of The Agenda with Steve Paikin the night following the Camp. Great testimonials.

Behind the scenes at AgendaCamp London @mikeminer @theagenda #agendacamp

Look at is this way: a byproduct of yesterday’s discussions and actions is a television program. When you add a public broadcaster to the camp event, you harness its expertise and resources to seek out participants from government, the business co…

Look at is this way: a byproduct of yesterday’s discussions and actions is a television program. When you add a public broadcaster to the camp event, you harness its expertise and resources to seek out participants from government, the business community, academia, etc., and also to take the work that participants have done and forge it into a debate to probe and share the insights revealed at AgendaCamp.

 

To me, this seems like a natural extension of the work that goes on at all camps. There, the community comes together to gather the information, to mold it into useful forms, and to spread that information. Public television is truly a part of that community, and events like this are a great example of public television doing exactly what it is meant to do.

 

Tune in tonight to watch as we broadcast live from the University of Western Ontario (and please join me on the live online chat that will go with it). What you will see is something new that TVO is working hard to help develop: open source television. This program is entirely the product of the community we are in, their ideas and concerns, and the resources here to help articulate their particular perspective on the province in the world. It’s very much like a bottle of wine, whose flavour and character is determined by the soil that nurtured the grapes.

I’m happy to see TVO continue the work we began together with last year’s AgendaCamp, making their own and tweaking the model from what they learned last year. Big thanks to Mike Miner for the shout out on this post!

Open Source Journalism

Journalism and media are undergoing a massive transformation. Many inside are feeling the pain, not the least of which are the CBC’s 800 employees about to get the axe. Clay Shirky recently wrote an important piece about “thinking the unthinkable” in newspapers, highly recommended reading. I took note of this in his concluding paragraph:

For the next few decades, journalism will be made up of overlapping special cases. Many of these models will rely on amateurs as researchers and writers. Many of these models will rely on sponsorship or grants or endowments instead of revenues. Many of these models will rely on excitable 14 year olds distributing the results. Many of these models will fail. No one experiment is going to replace what we are now losing with the demise of news on paper, but over time, the collection of new experiments that do work might give us the journalism we need.

My work with TVO’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin has been fascinating and rewarding in this context of massive change in the media business model and questions about the future of journalism as craft and practice. I think that what is important during this transformation is to unpack, unbundle and reconfigure the elements that we think of when we think about “broadcaster” or “newspaper” and reimagine how they can be reconfigured to deliver more value to more people. Value that people want to pay for.

The Agenda: on the Road project is an interesting experiment along the lines of what Shirky describes above. What began as a way to bring TVO’s flagship current affairs program into local communities has developed into an ongoing experiment in open source journalism and community engagement.

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Public Media 2.0: TVO’s The Agenda on the Road, pt.1

Wow. Dan and I are still processing the impact and learnings of the first AgendaCamp and TVO’s The Agenda on the Road, which took place in Windsor earlier this week. Overall, it was a huge success and something we’re going to build upon for the next four events and shows in other communities. The best part for me was the end of day reaction of Steve Paikin, host of The Agenda and one of Canada’s most respected journalistic talents.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tim6cyfX-o

The format called for 6 simultaneous 1 hour sessions. After 50 minutes, participants were asked to wrap up their discussion and tasked to produce a 2 and a half minute video that summarized their conversation using our inexpensive Flip Video cameras. It proved to be a powerful format and we will tweak it in order to help gather even more and better video content from our amazing participants. You can check out the content on the budding AgendaCamp wiki, YouTube, Flickr and get content updates by following AgendaCamp on Twitter.

We just love our participants’ passion and we felt their desire to come together as a community to make the place they call home a better place. They tackled the big questions of economic renewal in the context of a rapidly declining auto industry, and they planted their seeds of their own future.

The next step is to support this budding community as they continue their work together, providing them with tools to help their collaboration and ongoing conversations. I hope that we can find a way to connect this grassroots energy and enthusiasm to power and influence in a way that can meaningfully effect change, but that really depends on the community.

The thing we’re most interested in seeing evolve is how AgendaCamp participants and content interact with the broadcast. With five events, five shows and five different producers in five communities, we’ll get to see a number of variations on this combination of bottom-up engagement, online interaction and major current affairs broadcast platform. So much fascinating stuff! We’re excited for the next event in Sault Ste. Marie November 16th and 17th.

How to participate in TVO AgendaCamp from your couch

Sunday is the first TVO AgendaCamp, taking place at the Art Gallery of Windsor, Windsor’s jewel overlooking the beautiful riverside walk and the Detroit skyline. A stunning location for an innovative new format in citizen-powered exploration and social-media enhanced journalism.

Creative facilitator-ninja Dan Rose and I will be helping to run a 3-ring circus of citizen journalism and economic policy thinking.  Linking social media, a BarCamp-inspired unconference and one of Canada’s premier public issues broadcast journalism platforms is a very exciting opportunity for me. The topic – Ontario’s changing economy with a focus on the manufacturing sector and places like Windsor that depend upon it – couldn’t be more relevant or timely.

For those of you who can’t make it to Windsor, TVO.org will be the place to be from 10:00 am Sunday until 4:30pm. Arm-chair policy wonks and social media junkies can follow along as video is streamed live, as citizen-journalist YouTube videos and Flickr images are uploaded, the Wiki is populated with content and the whole event is live-blogged and Twittered. Use and follow the tag: AgendaCamp. We have MacBooks and FlipVideo cameras available on-site for participants, plus pro equipment and staff from TVO helping to capture the content and stories.

The strategy and platform for this was built by TVO.org’s great production team, helped along with insight and guidance from Sean Howard.

We have a great platform, an amazing group of on-site participants, a bunch of technology and a beautiful and inspiring venue. I really can’t wait! I hope you can join us online and help us start an important new conversation.

AgendaCamp: Citizen-driven economic intelligence

The global economy is undergoing what appears to be the finance equivalent of a heart attack, the circulatory system of credit now frozen.  The policy response looks like shock therapy. $700 billion in public bailouts (or is that ‘investment’) hanging in the balance, $630 billion in new money being printed by the Federal Reserve together with central banks around the world and sudden and frightening drops in global stock markets. Meanwhile, news that talks on Canada-EU economic integration are due to begin mere days after the Canadian federal election has gone largely unnoticed. It is clear that we are not living in normal times.

How will this instability in the system affect citizens and businesses in the places they call home?  Even before the Wall Street meltdown, Ontario’s local and regional economies were under stress and changing rapidly. The current crisis appears likely to accelerate and exacerbate these changes.

It is said that all politics are local. What about economies?

Dan Dunsky, Executive Producer of TVO’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin, believes that we need to think about Ontario’s economies in the plural and his team has identified that major sectors of Ontario’s economy correspond to our geographic landscape and its people in specific places. How do these places and people adapt to global forces that are largely outside of their control? How can we get ahead of the change curve and make our regions more resilient and adaptable to accelerating change?

To tackle this critically important question about our future well-being, TVO is launching an innovative new project that brings together collaborative events and social media together with premier broadcast journalism and expert inquiry.  I am advising and supporting TVO for this project, “The Agenda with Steve Paikin: on the Road” & AgendaCamp.

We’re looking for participants – like you. More after the jump…

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