San Jose Tech Museum is not what you might expect. Normally we imagine a museum as a place that stores objects from the past. The Tech offers its visitors a platform to re-create the future. They call their approach Museum 2.0 and base it on Doug Engelbart’s collective intelligence ideas.
Last Tuesday we had a meeting in the Tech to help design their Future Talk TV project and here’s what came out:
Can we realistically improve our collective intelligence without improving the structure of our global brain that embodies it?
Our global brain is composed of institutions: science, education, corporation, media informing… and, of course, the museum. Those institutions bind us together into enabling or disabling structures. What we will be able to think and do collectively will largely depend on those structures. What we will be able to do outside of them may well turn out to be symbolic and tiny relative to the enormous power they embody.
So here is a twist on our collective intelligence theme: Let us focus some of our energy on modifying our key institutions in a way that makes them supportive of our collective intelligence. Let us make our existing global brain more intelligent.
The task of changing the institutions might appear as Herculean or even utopian. Yet by combining two of Doug Engelbart’s key ideas – ‘bootstrapping’ and ‘collective intelligence’ – we readily arrive at a strategy:
We can employ our collective intelligence in the task of re-creating our institutions!
We do not need to know the solutions. It is sufficient to offer a medium (a project, a set of tools…) by which the solutions may be co-created. Or to use Doug’s term, all we need to do is create a C-level institution for co-creating institutions.
To a large extent, that is what the Tech Museum is already doing – you have created a space, for all of us to engage in and collectively re-create the institution of the museum. Not only that – the museum we are creating together is a space where the great minds of the San Francisco Bay Area will be able to come together and co-create the rest…
You may read the whole draft, including a note on how polyscopy and knowledge federation fit in, on my Future Talk page.