Dirk Messner asks: How Can We Learn to Cooperate in a World of Nine Billion People?

April 10, 2014 in Freedom to innovate, Freedom to learn


The enabling mechanisms of cooperation - copyright: contributing authors Messner, Guarin, Haun 2013

The enabling mechanisms of cooperation – copyright: contributing authors Messner, Guarin, Haun 2013

Last week, I took part in a webinar with Dirk Messner on “the enabling mechanisms of cooperation”. The lecture was part of the massive open online course “Leadership for Global Responsibility” of GIZ.

My takeaway has the form of a hexagon, more precisely the “cooperation hexagon” (see picture).Messner (with co-researchers Guarin and Haun) managed to find a nice form to sum up old wisdom: People do cooperate, if they feel that reciprocity is in place in the six dimensions of trust, communication, reputation, fairness, enforcement and we-identity – also across borders and cultures. Such a conclusion is really pretty close to the outcomes of research on cooperation of FOSS communities (no wonder, Messner cites Benkler, who comes from FOSS research). Unfortunately, I will not be able to add Messner’s work as a citation in my forthcoming article on “learning by sharing”, where I drew a table of factors that make people share knowledge –  which it turns out, is motivated by pretty much the same hexagon. I will do that for the next edition 🙂

For now, I recommend to you to read the article on “The Behavioural Dimensions of International Cooperation” (the hexagon is on page 15), to watch Dirks talk and, if you like, to join the (ongoing) online course  on “Leadership for Global Responsibility”. As always, feel free to comment, add or substract 🙂

Why open innovation helps to scale up development impact – Great new article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review

September 6, 2012 in Freedom to innovate, Freedom to learn

Steel Wool Sparks on the Beach

Now that is sparkling (innovation?) – Picture by: Evan Photo Extremist, licenced under CC BY-ND 2.0, source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/thevlue/5813641070/sizes/z/in/photostream/

The Stanford Social Innovation Review just published an article on “Open Innovation: A Muse for Scaling” – Good chances, that this paper will become my personal “favorite article of 2012”. Why?

Well, the paper manages to explain in just two pages and in plain words, why open innovation has the potential to drastically increase the impact of development interventions. It is very prone to scale. As they sum it up: “Open innovation enables community participation, distributed accountability, and knowledge creation—all behaviors that provide the groundwork for scale”.

So let us all work on getting the five tips right in our own work, which are:
Tip 1: Turn beneficiaries into co-creators
Tip 2: Move from enterprise to ecosystem
Tip 3: Master the art of gifting
Tip 4: Spark entrepreneurship inside and outside your organization
Tip 5: Allow for mutability

Very relevant stuff indeed for development cooperation and international cooperation. For more info (on two pages), check Open Innovation: A Muse for Scaling or here on the Alumniportal: APD-copy of Open Innovation: A Muse for Scaling [This is a link to content within the Alumniportal Germany (register or login first to access the link)]. Cheers, Balthas

P.S. Thanks and Kudos to Jeremy de Beer who pointed me to the article.

Note: This text was first published on the blog of Balthas Seibold at the Alumniportal Germany (www.alumniportal-deutschland.org/en/). Check the blog ( register or login first). All blog entries represent the personal views and ideas of Balthas Seibold.