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Keeping it simple also keeps it low cost.
The Dicole software I am working with provides many excellent collaboration tools, but they are designed primarily for large organizations, which means it is expensive and requires expensive maintenance and very secure hosting.
However our deal with the company is a straight exchange. They need a 'case' which companies can review and 'see how it works'. They cannot, for obvious reasons, allow potential clients access to an existing commercial client's use of the software (at least not in any useful depth). We (the SOS members) need the tools, but we don't have the money (or the skills). So there is a useful synergy.
The SOS network will probably interest several ETers (you know who you are) and thus these people will have a chance to see how it works.
But rhere is another interesting aspect that I'm not sure I have mentioned previously: My main partner and fellow founder in the SOS group is a mentor for quite a few high-level Finnish executives. The mentoring is in English. Most of his clients have come to him because they are unhappy with the way organizations are managed today, and they want to do something about it, personally. He now has the chance to reach a wider audience by formalising the reflections/insights of his one-on-one mentoring for larger groups - who will in turn reflect and customise for their own situations.
I see that an interface between these people and certain parts of ET could be very fruitful.
So, what comes to mind is the following: that we would provide a workshop area for ET at the new site gratis, with all the collaborative tools, when it is needed (ie when a subgroup of ET needs to work together on a report or something using all the tools of the system (which goes up to videoconferencing and beyond). I know this is possible - because one of the principle features of the software is the easy birth of new working groups and the rapid customization of tools and access.
Whether the software company wants to extend this possibility is another matter, but I will raise it in discussions. I can't see any reason why not, as long as it would be part of the 'case'. By that I mean that potential clients could view what was going on. And 'view' only. Just as anyone can 'view' everything at ET. Access control is very easy to manage in the system, and can be dynamic at many different levels.
Whether ETers would want to take part in such an experiment is for you to comment on.
I see what my group is doing as being a useful part of a cluster. We are specialising in methods for changing organizations, using the very tools that we think will be needed to effect and manage change. It would be great to share such insights, just as it is great to receive all the insights from being a member of ET.
So I am all for the cluster concept, providing that the ways of linking them are simple and easy to customize. And I think this will be the next software/technology focus (Web 3.0 maybe?).
I am not going up on the mountaintop, but I do have a vision of a noosphere - communities from all over the world connected together, and able to act together. There is great power in numbers. If the noosphere IS a giant brain, then it will also take on the way a brain has evolved, not as closed off neural network units that don't talk to each other, but with the synaesthetic connections of the brain.
Oh, you don't agree that speech evolved synaesthetically? Well we can argue that one too ;-)
You can't be me, I'm taken
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