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  • StephKetti

    Collaboration is an absolute necessity in the world today. In order to achieve our goals and improve our businesses we must first be willing to collaborate. This does not mean that we have to be best friends with everyone on our team- but we do have to respect and value their ideas and opinions- even MORE so when they do not match our own. These are the ideas that inspire change and jump-start improvements.
    I like the last attribute discussed: education. I am a believer in the idea that ignorance is truly man kinds most dangerous weakness. If we are educated on the topic at hand then we are more likely to make positive contributions to the collaboration. This goes for most all aspects of life as well- not only this idea on how to harness larger teams effectively.
    I will be a teacher in an elementary school classroom and these big ideas trickle all the way down into these small classrooms with these small people and that is where it all begins. By teaching these young children how to collaborate effectively and learn to work together we are creating a better chance for future engineering of our culture and the world we live in.
    This article is very stimulating and makes me think about my effect I have on those that I teach and how it may just help (or hurt) the world one day! Who knows, I could have the future president in my classroom and teaching that youngster the right way to collaborate will have a large hand in the fate of our country.
    Learning to work together with those around us makes life that much easier for us all.

    • Artur Maklyarevsky

      Well put. the more we all connect, share, and now Co-Create - the more we will realize that we are all one.

  • Kristin Pedemonti

    Collaboration is Key to Stimulate Creativity, Contribute more and perhaps and do it Better and realize we are not in a vacuum. Energized by the ideas shared. Thank you and I hope to attend DIY NYC. HUG, from me to you.

  • Jordan Bryon

    "Imperfections are inviting." Poetry.
    Love the article Ele!
    Legitimising collaboration as an industry might be a way to get it integrated into common processes and systems more. And faster. The 'types' who may dismiss the crowd as a feasible design partner may be the types who respond to collaboration when it's endorsed as an 'industry' ... this is a risky thing to say in such a firey thread but I'll take my chances!

  • James

    Agree, the old geometries of the pyramid and the cube are crumbling (and we're getting bored of them anyway), and being replaced by structures far more fluid and emergent. It's exciting, but precarious...

  • Danielray Pickrel

    Those buzz words whorling around give me hope out here in Decatur IL. I need a system to build a vision of local food production instead of vacant city lots and rainwater harvesting systems instead of preaching for rain when the grass and gardens are dead. If I follow to find the people who put these buzzing words together I may find people interested helping a prayfull enterprise. Thanks.

    • cajun

      Check out Will Allen's "Growing Power". His daughter has a similar venture in Chicago. Also American Community Garden Assoiciation.This is one area I am definietly interested in.

  • KaeBender1

    Calling the article "bogus" is rather... bogus. It is a concept piece. On the other hand, innovation doesn't grow out of factual admiration, only out of mutual stimulation.

    I agree: We ARE taught to be too diplomatic and polite, and when we're not, we tend to be abrasive rather than constructive. Public officials have forgotten how to stimulate effective debate that results in effective solutions, and as a society we tend to live obliviously in our comfort zone and neglect to relate to surrounding reality.

    Tomorrow's success will be found beyond the borders of today's knowledge. We'll only get to the innovations of tomorrow if we open our minds to learn something new and commingle our hopes and dreams and creative ideas into a synergy of new potential.

    But we can't improve on today without some constructive interaction between opposing points of view. Collaboration isn't only for like-minded participants; that results in inertia. Rather, effective collaboration requires mutual stimulation that produces AHA moments that take thought into new trajectories of possibility. Deprecating anyone's input is counterproductive to the desired result. The point of collaboration is to create new potential.

  • jamestrojas

    I love working with crowds to find design solutions.

  • juandavid

    Agreed on the piece being "bogus" or as collaboration as an industry. There is no mention of participatory action research or community based participatory research as examples of collaborating with community around program and research design. And no mention of actual outcomes based on these models such as housing first, needle exchange or community institutional review boards.
    Instead it sounds like a lot of buzz words thrown together without any real meaning or understanding of collaborative work that is actually happening on the ground.

    • Ele Jansen

      so, gsalerno and juandavid are identical profiles. thank you very much.

      • juandavid

        I don't know gsalerno or am, him or her, but try "stepping out" of your comfort zone, and accept when comments that are "being candid". I read somewhere that "Collaboration needs conflict to come up with something new" so give it a shot and embrace "constructive critics". Let's see you model what you write about.

        • Ele Jansen

          Apologies if I got that wrong, and yes controversy is good. Your language is harsh and that's surely not what I mean by conflict. I didn't aim at giving a survey of practices here but I'm looking into various methods for my ethnographic PhD on the topic, which also includes working on the ground. Thanks for your hints, I will consider them. All good.

  • gsalerno

    Well, I thought this piece was bogus, but that feeling started with the first sentence for me. And normally I wouldn't even comment, but I found this so off-base that I double-checked the ABI Research and it does NOT say what you attribute to it. There's no reason to lie about research, and one shouldn't misquote or misuse it.

    Collaboration is not an industry. It's a process, and handled properly, it can be productive, but as the rest of the article describes, it's seldom handled properly (yet), and may never be.

    • Ele Jansen

      Hi gsalerno, thanks for your critical comment, the numbers are correctly quoted (see: And if collaboration is or will be an industry is surely debatable, and depends on how creatively you think about markets.

    • Adele Peters

      It looks like this is the ABI study: ABI seems to consider it an industry, but like you, I think that's a little strange. What does it mean to call collaboration an industry?

  • Artur Maklyarevsky

    Great Article.

    Here at JuicyCanvas - We see the same vision.

    We believe creative expression to be a primary requisite of happiness.
    Unfortunately, for most people, creativity is suppressed by career choice, family responsibility, and the contemporary urbanization and industrialization of society.

    For tens of thousands of years, humans have always shared and sold custom-built products with each other. The Industrial Revolution, for all its benefits, also brought with it mass production and homogenization. The individual’s voice was snuffed out. We aim to bring back that voice and put ‘custom’ back into ‘customer’ by enabling the once passive consumer to engage in the fundamental act of creation.

    JC’s appeal is that it gives buyers more than just the usual, passive pick-and-buy-a-product transaction.
    With just a few simple clicks, it offers the user an experience: the chance to create art and become an artist (which for some may have always been a lifelong dream).

    For the first time in consumer art history, "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" truly comes to life. "Non-artists" all over the world will now feel proud to show off their new collaborative artworks to their friends. Bold statements during dinner parties such as, "why yes... I made that piece there with this new artist I discovered from Buenos Aires," and "oh, this is from my new summer t-shirt collection that I co-created " will become commonplace.

    JC makes this dream possible. If you think about it, the dream is what motivates people to buy feel-good items all the time: from clothes that make people imagine they look cool, to the sports car that makes people imagine they look successful, to the dream vacation that makes people feel adventurous, JC is in the same business – the dream-making business.

    - Artur | founder