Mass communications, mass transportation, mass markets – how does the increasing participatory culture of the web affect human behaviour and human interactions? I have commented elsewhere that technology and globalisation have shrunk the planet to only 3 degrees of separation which sounds disarmingly small. But with a practically infinite number of combinations, the question is which path to take through the highly connected but labyrinthine networks? In an article about cyber crime this morning, the BBC’s Today programme on Radio 4 referred to the internet rather predictably as the ‘wild west’. Borrowing that analogy for a moment, who are the new cartographers of this new frontier?
To start to discuss some of these issues and to begin to lay out the tools, techniques and foundations, we are hosting an event ‘Mass Collaboration?’ on September 11th 2007 in London. I’m delighted to say that we will hear from Howard Rheingold and Mark Earls, two writers who examine and challenge traditional perceptions of mass behaviour change and cooperation. This fits closely with our objective to stimulate innovation through extreme collaborations. This event is intended as the start of a conversation on how to optimise the potential social impact of technology, and its impact on how we should think about mass collaboration for innovation in the UK and beyond. If you are interested and able to attend please register here. Please also let others know who may be interested and able to attending.