24 February 2020

Activating the collective – it’s time!

That old adage ‘good things take time’ is so accurate when thinking about Collective Intelligence. Our previous CEO, Mary-Beth Robles, instilled in me that we must learn to turn the flywheel every day, not rush, be patient, do things well, and then let the flywheel turn a little quicker each day.

So, in 2020, after 13 years of careful curation we are about to activate ‘the collective’ in a number of intelligent and elegant ways.

Why activate the collective?

Up until now, Collective Intelligence has resembled a group of isolated houses, with 8 or 9 people residing in each house (our teams). Now it’s time to connect these houses into a village, both in the physical space and via technology.

My dream is to grow our member ecosystem and create a place where an unrelated and diverse range of people can help each other in unpredictable ways, using the power of generosity and trust.

An ecosystem is a kind of biological ‘being’ with biodiversity at the heart of its engine room. A community that can regenerate and produce results for populations, and a thing of true beauty. Think of the Great Barrier Reef (before it was buggered up). I had the great fortune to snorkel there some years ago. Millions of biological species thriving in an ecosystem that was beneficial for every species that had evolved within it.

I believe Collective Intelligence can become a thriving human ecosystem, if we add a good dollop of bravery and mix up people from many backgrounds. Our biodiversity is represented by the variety in age, gender, ethnicity, political, geographical, world views, industries, and other stuff like this (that I can’t remember).

The common thread here is like-hearted people, evolving together to create a better world.

I have known for some time that there is an underlying trust that exists between our members. They might not know each other, but when they meet up in unexpected circumstances they immediately connect and have a rapport. I love this aspect of Collective Intelligence and it’s time to flick the switch on this.

How will we activate the collective?

1) Via our UNconference – 22 & 23 May 2020

Anna Guenther has been on my case, like forever, to run an unconference. Her point was that our community has such an amazing range of people, doing very cool things, so imagine what could happen if we got them all together in one place? Agreed! However, I have been holding back to make sure we got the right time to launch it.

The time is right, with an experienced, talented and dedicated team to pull it together. The interest is there from members and the public and as I tour the country, I love asking people what sort of conversation would they like to host? Or what would you like to learn? The responses have been varied and lively. I blogged about my first experience attending one and why it appeals back in November 2019.

Youth (<18 years) will be welcomed, scholarships will be awarded for inspiring change-makers that are short on resources, and it’s open to anyone who is interested in participating in two days of real, interactive sessions focussed on creating a better world. Inclusivity is something we practice at Collective Intelligence, so expect to be involved in whatever capacity you choose. Our event website has all the details, and Anna and I will be conducting a Facebook Live conversation that you are all welcome to join – head to our Facebook page on 2 March at 7pm. You will be able to ask us questions and get answers instantly.

Need no more convincing? Get your tickets here!

So, that’s the face-to-face element of connecting our village, what about the technology one?

Later in the year we will be launching our:

2) BAP = Business Asset Platform (name under review)

This is a concept I have wanted to instigate for the past 5 years as I’m the only person, sitting in the middle of the community, who gets to see all its magnificent parts.

I have manually connected people and businesses up many times, to great advantage to all involved. It’s left me wondering how to connect members and our community, without having a flurry of emails storming my Inbox.

Well some clever buggers in Hawke’s Bay are developing a tech platform as you read this. It will be a secure platform for members to display assets for others to see and if agreeable, hopefully for use as well.

What sort of asset? Anything that may help another person or business. This could range from a professional skill, governance experience, commercial application or tangible things like holiday homes. Most assets are woefully underutilised, and under-connected. Especially to the right people.

The platform will have two main values underpinning it – generosity and trust. These will be our gateway values and will need to be respected at all times.

The aim is to create so much more value to members and our surrounding community. We’ve got a way to go to explain the full extent of its function and value. However, testing will get underway very soon with a select team of critical thinkers. I’m super excited about the potential of this ‘un’social media platform.

To me, both these approaches are aimed at creating a modern village, with you at the heart of it, a place where old-fashioned values help us to help each other to achieve what we want to achieve.

Simple eh! Watch this space and I look forward to seeing you all in May.

Ian Harvey (Harv)


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