Thinking of ideas as being "in space" is certainly a visual metaphor, but we've been pushing the concept to see if it has solid operational value as part of an innovation methodology. Now we're going to make an even more irritating claim:
In working with our clients, we developed the concept of "search patterns" within a landscape of ideas.
In Ideas in Space (1) we came to the conclusion that, using a dimensional approach to innovation, we might think of ideas as already existing in a metaphorical space, rather than being created or generated.
For several years we've been working on what might be called a "dimensional" approach to innovation, in our work with clients. Although it has many precedents, it is possible we've pursued it more literally and monomaniacally than most.
Last week I had a great discussion on the challenges of healthcare IT for long-term care, as opposed to acute care. Talking with Greg Fortin, CIO at Isabella Geriatric Center, I was struck by the value of relatively small innovations he's developed on the ground, close to the day-to-day needs of a complex organization.
What if there were a way to use social media to help with the challenge of caregiving at a distance for people with long-term care or aging issues?
We're seeing two very interesting technological trends involving the elderly ...
1) Remote monitoring of safety and health using sensors, wireless networks and cell phones
Remote Health Care: Body Parts Make Phone Calls - BusinessWeek
2) The rise in the use of social media among older adults;
Fastest Growing Demographic on Facebook: Women Over 55
I'm very indebted to Adam Hansen (@adhansen on Twitter) for pointing me to Sternberg's work on the "propulsion model" of leadership. We were discussing the dimensionality of ideas ("ideas in space") and he mentioned the propulsion model as the closest thing he'd come across.
Robert J. Sternberg, James C. Kaufman, Jean E. Pretz
Adam is absolutely right. Sternberg's concept of creative leadership is described in terms which require a dimensional metaphor ... a "spatialization" of different variations on product ideas, market position, business strategies, etc.
We're working on a series of projects related to arts-based learning as applied to science education and STEM (Science Technology Engineering & Math) skills. We don't have a name for the program yet. Perhaps the Art of Learning Science, or ArtSTEM? Suggestions welcome!
In developing the proposal, we did some thinking about what the arts have to contribute to science. Those thoughts are outlined below, divided up into four different categories of value:
1. Experience in the arts can help develop general creativity skills in the context of STEM-related topics, problem-solving and workforce objectives (e.g. innovation, design thinking, new technology & product development)
We've been providing advice to a very exciting project to build a neighborhood knowledgebase of caregiving services for seniors. The idea is to enable caregivers, seniors, their families and friends to all work together in collecting, discussing, and validating ... a caregiving neighborhood empowering itself through knowledge sharing. It seems like an ideal application for social media but ...
The neighborhood is largely low-income and of course the target audience is seniors. How many people in this group spend all day online typing text into Twitter, FaceBook, etc.? Will a conventional wiki, blog, or microblog interface be useful in either collecting or disseminating information? We're concerned that we'll build a conventional text-based digital clubhouse and nobody will come.
Conversations which are already happening on social media platforms can be shared, archived, sorted, aggregated, analyzed and networked around the world. But obviously there are a lot more conversations that are NOT already social-media-ized. And despite the millions that connect daily with Twitter, FaceBook, MySpace, and other popular platforms, there are billions more that just ... don't.
Do we (relatively early adopters) care about that? Do we simply wait until everybody else joins us, sooner or later, as we are sure in our hearts they will? Are we going to twist arms or preach sermons to get them all to sign up? Or should we find ways to extend our own conception of (digital) social media to include and embrace other forms of conversation, when there are real benefits to doing so?