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 🙂

Learning Creative Learning – interesting new open online course by peer-to-peer university and the MIT Media Lab

February 4, 2013 in Freedom to learn

The Peer-to-peer university (p2pu) has worked with GIZ’s Academy for international Cooperation (AIZ, where I work) last year on “Selbstlernen”. Now p2pu and the MIT Media Lab are experimenting with a new course approach on “Learning Creative Learning“. It’s being organized as a massive open online course, meaning everyone is invited to join. The organizers have asked to “tell your friends about it”. Which is what I do with pleasure, copying below the course announcement by p2pu. Cheers, Balthas Seibold

“Learning Creative Learning is an online course for designers, developers and educators. Offered by the MIT Media Lab & yours truly, the folks at P2PU. It’s based on a course Mitch Resnick teaches at the Media Lab. And now it’s online for the first-time through a collaboration with P2PU. That’s pretty cool. You learn a whole lot about learning. And because learning (and learning about learning) is more fun with other people we’ll group you with other students, so you can share ideas, give each other feedback, and make new friends. Each week we’ll focus on a particular topic related to creative learning, such as “Interest-Based Learning” or “Powerful Ideas” or “Tinkering.” We’ll host a panel discussion, inviting some of the world’s best thinkers and builders to join us in person or online. You’ll be able to suggest questions beforehand and follow along live (or watch it later). We’ll also design a hands-on activity for each week that you can tackle on your own or in a group (more fun!). You’ll get a chance to experiment with lots of different technologies and projects. More information: http://info.p2pu.org/2013/01/29/medialabcourses-launches/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=medialabcourses-launches

„Amorphous action communities for commons-based peer production“ – some thoughts on networking in the future

November 1, 2012 in Freedom to innovate, Freedom to learn

seibold_future of global networking for international cooperationYesterday, I tried to put the future of „global networking for international cooperation“ in one slide –  looking five to ten years ahead. My first problem was to find a name for the future. I ended up with „Amorphous action communities for open innovation and [commons-based] peer production (globally connected, innovating locally)“.

Then, I outlined some of intermediate steps in networking such as „Open networks of trust“ and „Communities of Practice“, which we are already seeing popping up. My final guess was on some of the driving forces, that will lead us from today’s networks all the way to the „amorphous action communities“.

So here’s the picture, with the steps and the driving forces:

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Peer-to-peer learning with seven billion teachers – but: what motivates people to learn by themselves?

July 2, 2012 in Freedom to learn

Logo of the peer-to-peer university / copyright: p2pu

Logo of the peer-to-peer university / copyright: p2pu

Last Friday, I had the chance to take part in some interesting discussions at the „Summer-Academy” of GIZ’s “Academy for International Cooperation“. The issue was “self-empowered and self-guided learning processes”. we learned at the event, that this paradigm transforms trainers into coaches for self-guided learning, requires different pedagogical methods and is fuelled by the open models of learning catalyzed by the Internet (such as open learning events, open educational resources, social learning and peer-to-peer learning online and offline etc – see some of my previous blog entries on more …).

But I was struck by another point. …

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“Participation in education” – the story of yet another embattled concept …

June 26, 2012 in Freedom to learn

This picture is how the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom visualized "participation". Licenced under a cc attribution 2.5 licence. Source and copyright: http://www.wilpf.org/2010CSWInvitation

This picture is how the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom visualized “participation”. Licenced under a cc attribution 2.5 licence. Source and copyright: http://www.wilpf.org/2010CSWInvitation

So I am listening to the speakers of the panel “Learning is  a two-way street: Participation in Communication and Education” of this years’ “Global Media Forum” of Deutsche  Welle. And I keep thinking that the speakers on the panel seem to describe another case of a “stolen concept” here:

Kanchan Malik from India’s University of Hyderabad starts by defining “participation”. She explains,  that the original meaning of “participation” was taken away from the practitioners, more precisely the power of defining it was taken away from the “communities”, who are supposed to participate in communication, learning and  political transformation. Quite an irony.

I also hear lots of other formulations that hint at the perception of a distortion. The speakers emphasize, that “participation has often been reduced to a multipurpose label  to give respectability to projects”.

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‘Peeragogy’ – towards global online peer-learning

May 30, 2012 in Freedom to learn

Howard Rheingold in 2004. Picture by: Mikegr. licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license. Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Howard_Rheingold_by_Mikegr.jpg

Howard Rheingold, who coined the term ‘peeragogy’ in 2004. Picture by: Mikegr. licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license. Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Howard_Rheingold_by_Mikegr.jpg

So I learned a new word this morning containing the component “peer”:  “peeragogy” comes from Howard Rheingold. He defines it “as the powerful idea of making our class into a community of co-learners”. Also called “Paragogy”, it’s a nascent theory of tech-powered peer to peer pedagogy. What I find particularly interesting in connection with my field of international development cooperation: peeragogoy is looking at synthesizing individual and organizational learning, and it’s looking at ways of radically scaling education to a global level through online networks.

So let’s see, if peeragogy has the long-term potential to outdo my current favorite: “commons-based peer production”.

More on  “peeragogy” at Howard Rheingold’s blog.

The non-experts are the real experts – open innovation talk at re:publica

May 2, 2012 in Freedom to innovate, Freedom to learn

From DIY to 'Who hacks whom'? Author: Berishafjolla. Licensed under  Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license, Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Virus.jpg

From DIY to ‘Who hacks whom’? Author: Berishafjolla. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license, Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Virus.jpg

So re:publica 2012 has started today. Not only with a call for freedom by Harvards Eben Moglen, but also with an interesting talk on ‘open innovation and the contribution of non-experts’ by Beth Kolko.

Here’s my summary of it: For Beth, non-experts have the skills to innovate, but lack the recognition and credentials by institutions. They are outsiders, but that also makes them great rule-breakers: think of them as both innovators and challengers of institutional experts: They form communities of disruptive technology, as they think outside the box. Plus, they are willing to embrace a re-mix approach, that is truely ‘open innovation’. Examples include hackers, builders, DIY-activists, functional engineers

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India, the (knowledge) commons and a plan for the future of democracy

April 25, 2012 in Freedom to innovate, Freedom to learn, Open Source & Asia

copyright: wikipedia, licensed under a creative commons share alike license, see www.wikipedia.org

An example of a self-goverened commons: Wikipedia. Copyright: wikipedia, licensed under a creative commons share alike license, see www.wikipedia.org

It is rare these days to see high-level government thinkers talk about the commons. Here is one: Arun Maira of Indias Planning Commission makes the point that commons-based models are important tools to plan for the future of democracy worldwide.

Here is the summary: “The world is full of complex problems, but humanity’s main organizational tools — governments and markets — leave much to be desired. Arun Maira, a member of India’s Planning Commission and previously the chairman of Boston Consulting Group in India, points to a third way.”

Statue of Gandhij in  Baroda, now called Vadodara, India / Picture by Brian Glanz / Licenced under CC Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) / Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/brianglanz/2767070246/

Statue of Gandhij in Baroda, now called Vadodara, Ghandi, in my view, was one of the inventors of the “commons” for a common good.  / Picture by Brian Glanz / Licenced under CC Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) / Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/brianglanz/2767070246/

I like his focus on “Four L’s” — localization, lateralization, learning and listening, and of course his praise of Ostrom. My only criticism is, that the piece is not dwelling enough on the issue of “knowledge as a commons”, but that may be the next topic of the Indian planning commission …

And here’s the full piece.

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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.

New online courses on GNU/Linux skills by the Free Technology Academy

March 2, 2012 in Freedom to innovate, Freedom to learn, Open Source IT business

Logo of FTA, copyleft 2007: FTA, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution share alike license, source: http://freeknowledge.eu/FTA

Logo of FTA, copyleft 2007: FTA, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution share alike license, source: http://freeknowledge.eu/FTA

Just got news about this years courses by the Free Technology Academy, which is a partner of http://www.ict-innovation.fossfa.net. See the following announcement: The Free Technology Academy expects to run two course modules for users and systems administrators who want to get started with GNU/Linux systems. Skills in this area are increasingly demanded and hard to find for employers [1], making these topics very interesting for any IT professional.

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