72 Hour “Moon Shot” like Stop the Spill Challenge

I don’t think there is a single human being on this planet who does not want to see the leak in the Gulf stopped….so why don’t we invoke Clay Shirky’s “Here Comes Everybody” mantra and get the world involved in solving it’s most urgent and important challenge?

The problem that we face TODAY cannot be solved with the same level of thinking that created it. Lets try to push this meme. My own fear is that, unlike the Financial Crisis, BP itself is too “small to solve” this problem we need a world-scale ideation and prioritization scheme to address this issue and we need it NOW!

We need those who are currently working on this issue to be prompted to think differently and those with adjacent skills to help frame the problem differently to see if there are transferrable concepts that can help stop this leak.

Imagine if all the petroleum engineers on the planet, irrespective of where they work, each dedicated two hours of serious brainstorming to this effort. What if we then mashed this up with disciplines of industrial design, architecture, fluid dynamics, and physics to land upon a plausible and immediate portfolio of potential solutions?

This is NOT a technology problem. IBM could provide their Jam technology to drive a 72 hour brainstorm and winnowing process to determine the top ten solutions (Facilitated Ideation plus Predictive Market Prioritization).

Once ideas are at the solution stage virtual team rooms can be provided to cross functional teams in a 2 Day Solution Planning Challenge to come up with project plan/budget for their proposed solution according to a standard “Top Sheet” template.

A board of experts would then review these plans and select the most likely solutions and the order in which they would be attempted.

In a nutshell we need:

      Crowdsourced ideation
      Predictive market prioritization
      Virtual collaborative solution co-creation
      Board reviewed prioritized set of plausible solutions

More importantly, all of this could be accomplished within the NEXT FIVE DAYS if we could aggregate resources and capabilities in a Web 2.0 way across industries and academia.

It is time to take a page out of Nike’s book …. we need to JUST DO IT! What may be possible in practice may take too long to vet in theory. We need the world’s biggest brainstorm here and we need it NOW!

To borrow a line from IBM current marketing campaign with a little twist, we need to leverage the smarts of the whole planet to stop the spill and we need to do it now it NOW!

Taking this approach certainly cannot hurt and most likely would help address something that will impact each and every one of us.

In the time it took you to read this, how many more thousands of gallons have spewed into the Gulf?

If you believe this idea has merit, please propagate via your SoMe channels.

3DTLC Day 1 Update

Great day yesterday!

Erica and Sam Driver gave us a readout on how the barriers associated with getting the industry across the chasm. You can get the report here

Next Ron Burns from Proton Media gave a great demo/presentation and lots of buzz created when he demoed SharePoint integration!

Next, I provided an overview of my book (written with Karl Kapp) – Learning in 3D: Bringing a New Dimension to Enterprise Learning and Collaboration. It is coming out in February and can be ordered here.

A lot of you asked about charts. Here they are:

Next, Chuck Hamilton from IBM gave us a deeper look at the how to leverage affordances of virtual worlds to create immersive learning and collaboration environments. He has been asked to write a book on this….so watch this space.

Next, Randy Hinrichs of 2B3D led a GREAT panel covering cases of a Virtual Chocolate Factory, A Virtual Gym, and a Trading Floor. The panelists mapped their cases to the Design Model. It was wonderful to see such a broad array of virtual world applications!

Last but not least, Koreen Olbrish of Tandem led a great panel talking about real ROI of virtual worlds. Again the panelists ranged from MBA Onboarding to Border Patrol Training, to Automotive, to a wide array of applications from ACS.

If you want to learn the detailed scoop. Go to Twitter and search on #3DTLC!

Smart Work Global Jam Today

I have the distinct honor of being a Jam Host at IBM’s Smart Work Global Jam starting TODAY at 3PM.

Check out this video to give you a sense of what the Jam will be all about.

IBM has been using Jams for quite a while now. If you have not been part of one, this one would be the one to participate in.


See you online.

BTW there is also a Webcast at 2PM with John Iwata and James Surowiecki…you may want to check that out toom

Co-Creating the Sensibilities

Been getting a number of e-mails, Facebook messages and comments on the blog that are suggesting a few more sensibilities that differentiate virtual worlds.

My original seven, developed over two years ago, are listed below and I write about them in this blog here:

Chuck Hamilton (Longg Weeks) and I keep banging on these things every time we get together. He is adding a sensibility that has to do with “Universal Visual Language.” His explanation is that in a virtual world the context or surround ships with the freight…or as he likes to say “A chair is a chair is a chair” in virtual worlds. No need to describe it in multiple languages because it is already understood by the avatars who encounter it.

The next one is yet another of those wild and whacky encounters that emerge from the soup that is Web 2.0. I was participating in IBM’s most recent Innovation Jam focused on the Enterprise of the Future. In one of the discussions we got into jamming on applications of virtual worlds to help support the Green Agenda. In the chat one of the Jammers asked me if I was Wada Tripp. He mentioned that he had been reading my blog and found it quite useful. Turns out that he was a Senior Director for Philips Design in Holland. Later he e-mailed me the following note:
I am a fan of your work and use a variation of your sensibilities. It is a great list. I always add one aspect I find valuable and that is “The Space of Serendipity”.
Especially in the light of innovation and creativity.

Finally, one of the wonderful things about working at a world-class institution like Duke is the truly awesome people you get to work with. I have had the pleasure of working with Julian Lombardi on a number of fronts over the past few months and we have really been pushing the think space on Virtual Worlds. One of the many keen insights he brought to my awareness in one of our recent discussions was how he viewed the virtual space (even non-avatar mediated) as a virtual place for integration. Just like a room where I am on the phone looking over your shoulder at an application on your screen and listening to a conversation across the room. I become the point of integration of a number of software programs and human interactions. By having a virtual place in cyberspace we can have an integration space that does not require so much back end coding ; )

Another of Julian’s gems is the Visual Compression of Information meaning two things…the ability to visualize and interpret data more effectively either individually or collectively and the fact that in virtual worlds, since we have always processed in 3D the visual compression and richness of the virtual world becomes an affordance in and of itself in helping us remember the interactions and insights gained during the immersive experience.

So there you have it: A few more to add to the list:

    Universal Visual Language
    A Space for Serendipity
    A Place for Integration
    Visual Compression of Information

Keep them coming and lets continue to iterate: Rip, Remix Reload ….. isn’t that the culture of the Web 2.0 world?

Over and Out from my basement in Raleigh ; )

The Play Element of Learning Leadership

Last Month I had the opportunity to participate in this wonderful symposium organized by University of Utrecht and IBM. Here is the conference agenda. Great line up of speakers.

It was a mixed reality event. There were participants physically co-located in Amsterdam and The Eduverse Foundation hosted a simultaneous event in SL. To do this show I was in my office in Durham on Skype with another machine open to the SL venue. It was a lot of fun but definitely demanded every ounce of attention I could muster to manage the various media streams. A Digital Native I am not ; )

You can check out videos of all the symposium talks here. Chuck Hamilton from IBM also spoke and I would also like to draw your attention to David Williamson Shafer’s talk where he brings up some very good points about the need for game design at the epistemic level as opposed to simply working at the skill and knowledge level.

HBR: Leadership’s Online Labs

I was in the Houston Airport today and saw that the May edition of HBR has finally hit the stands.

Byron Reeves, Tom Malone and I have an article in the issue that talks about two research projects we conducted looking at the application of Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPGs) and their application to Leadership. I have talked a lot about his research in previous blog posts that you can read here.

This is a big day for those of us who study learning, leadership and virtual world technologies ; )

A very well respected business journal talking about gaming and learning. I must say that I am very proud to have been part of this effort. On that note, credit is due to a number of folks who made this article happen. This research could not have happened without the foresight of David Yaun, VP of Communicaitons at IBM who leads the GIO project among other key innovation initiatives. Furthermore, beyond David’s insight, without the ongoing support and guidance from Kris Lichter, Director of the GIO program, it would never have been realized. Finally, when it came to the running the internal survey with IBMers who were also gamers my colleagues Eric Lesser and Michael DeMarco were instrumental in driving this work to completion.

18 months ago I shared with Tom Stewart the research we were doing and suggested that HBR readers might find it of interest. He put us in touch with Paul Hemp who was wonderful in helping take our research and helping us craft it into a piece worthy of publishing in HBR.

Today, a year and a half later, I see the article in glorious technicolor print in Houston. It has been a long journey, kinda like getting to level 70 in WoW, but we made it!

Thanks to all. Publishing in HBR truly is a collaborative, co-creative sport!

The i-web Singularity Redux

Virtual Worlds III is in full swing up in New York and around the blogosphere. The big news is that IBM announces a development deal with Second Life to bring their platform to the enterprise. This is yet one more piece of the puzzle that falls into place for a vision for what I am calling the i-web singularity: A technological black hole at the apex of four technological vectors that is moving forward at an exponential pace and integrating across vectors at the same time.

I have noodled on this topic before, but this time I think the focus is getting sharper.

Vector 1: Flatland 2D Learning applications integrate with Knowledge sharing repositories. The outcome here is that truly NETWORKed Virtual Spaces emerge. These spaces will integrate Synchronous Sharing with Asynchronous Storage so there is finally a one stop shop for storage and sharing of content. Since MS owns Sharepoint and Live Meeting they could create a slam dunk in this arena. Cisco bought Webex for 3.2Billion dollars (Austin Powers comes to mind) recently so they must be looking for some kind of value-added play here too and I know that know that my students would love nothing more than more jumping back and between Illuminante to Vista (Blackboard) and Yahoo Groups to get their work done.

Vector 2: Web 2.0 meets Knoweldge Sharing Spaces. I won’t go over well trodden ground on how Blogs, Wikis and Social Media sites like Facebook and Myspace are revolutionizing real-time interactive KM concepts. However, the true transformation lever in the Web 2.0 revolution for me is is the one least discussed: Tagging/Folksonomy. Pretty much everyting created and stored in the Web 2.0 domain (people,profiles and content) is TAGGED. This means that contextually relevant knoweldeg through people or content is much more easily or even serendipitously encountered. More tagging means more knowledge accidents of both the people-to-people and people-to-information kind. In the attention economy, information is the currency, people are the transport mechanism and conversation is the transfer mechanism. The mash-up between real-time tagging and NETWORKed Virtual spaces will jack up knowledge accidents and drive the immediacy of access to key information and interaction with key people around a given task or activity. In this emerging virtually afforded, contextually relevant matchmaking world, knowledge discovery and expert encounters becomes like air, it just happens and people don’t give it a second thought.

Vector 3: The 212 degree point for for both Trend 1 and 2 is when the web enters the next dimension, literally. With the infusion of 3Di technology, it is only a matter of time before 3D Social Networking taking off. The 3Di space is a different kind of cottage industry. It is the first one I have encountered that is run on blogs. The time between idea and actualization is tending towards zero. Case in point, at Virtual Worlds II in Christian Renaud’s Keynote introduction Ruben Steiger predicted that one of the key Social Networking sites (Facebook or Myspace) would go 3D in 2008. Later that SAME AFTERNOON the Active Worlds booth was demoing a 3D Facebook page mash-up that someone had sent them. When you think about it it just plain makes sense. Look at MySpace. They will truly become MySPACE (and not MyPAGE as it is today) and actualize their brand promise by integrating 3D technology. It is just too obvious an outcome for it not to happen. This social movement will, in turn – like its more stripped down relative instant messaging – will then force corporate CIOs to develop enterprise grade 3D Facebook/Myspace mash-ups for their for corporate citizens. Forterra is already playing with integrating sametime into their platform and Proton Media already has enterprise grade 3D Myspace built into its archtecture. So from both the consumer, enterprise and vendor side of the equation we are seeing convergence here.

Vector 4: Last , but by no means least we see how Synchronous 2D learning platforms will enter the third dimension. As is the case with social media, it just plain makes sense that flatland distance learning systems like Webex, Adobe, Citrix and Illuminate will be pulled into the 3D realm, particularly given the activity in the other four vectors. Karl Kapp and I have written extensively on this and I have a summary of our notion of learning applicaitons escaping flatland here.

These four vectors are on a collision to creat the i-web: Immersive, Interactive, Immediate and Intuitive. When this world-wide, three-dimensional, avatar-mediated Cognosphere emerges we will truly reach a singularity: a point where technological progress reaches infinity as it relates to leveraging and enabling human capital.

The i-web will become a worldwide virtual platform that allows people to exercise their skills and abilities passion around endeavors that matter most to them (and get paid for it too). The i-web will be like e-bay for trading work rather than second-hand products. No one will work for the i-web. Instead the i-web will work for them. Providing i-web dwellers the opportunity to find both work and people to work with on endeavors that they share a passion around. e-Bay allowed people to sell their personal items in a world-wide yard sale, the i-web will allow people to sell their personal skills and abilities in much the same way.

Free agent nation – nay virtual planet – here we come! If you think the i-phone was cool, wait until the i-web consumes us (or our avatars).

Here is the 2minute 30 second romp through the model on YouTube: