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Tools and Services for More Intelligent Meta Networks

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This presentation gives an overview of the importance of meta networks, which are decentralized networks of networks based on shared values and goals.

The presentation also summarizes some of the tools and methods that can make meta networks more visible, intelligent, and useful.

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Tools and Services for More Intelligent Meta Networks

  1. 1. Tools & Services that Make Meta Networks More Intelligent A social business proposal.
  2. 2. What Networks Are Good For • Weaving community – increasing & using social capital. • Accessing diverse perspectives. • Building & sharing knowledge. • Mobilizing people. • Coordinating resources & action. From Working Wikily article in Stanford Social Innovation Review, June 2010.
  3. 3. Networks come in layers A Personal Network (e.g., me and all my contacts) An Organization‟s Network (a single org and the networks it is in touch with) A Single-hubbed network of orgs. (e.g., Advantage West and its network; a VC; a foundation) A Meta Network (a multi-hubbed, decentralized network of networks)
  4. 4. Meta Networks: • Are large networks of networks; • That are multi-centered – having no single center of control; • Yet bound together by trusted relationships and shared values, goals, and experiences.
  5. 5. an example of a social purpose meta network: This is an partial map of a small cluster of organizations that work with social entrepreneurs and their organizations. The background represents a meta network of related organizations that is much bigger than this small cluster.
  6. 6. Other Meta Network Examples:  A regional or national network of early-stage entrepreneurs, economic development agencies, and investors.  The global network of organizations and their supporters who are working on the “Sanitation” Millennium Development Goal.  The global network of organizations and individuals working on clean, sustainable energy solutions and businesses.
  7. 7. The Largest Meta Networks are Global in Reach. “No one knows how many groups and organizations are working on the most salient issues of our day: climate change, poverty, deforestation, peace, water, hunger, conservation, human rights, and more. This is the largest movement the world has ever seen. …Large as it is, no one knows the true size of this movement.” Paul Hawken, May 3, 2009
  8. 8. Compared to hierarchically controlled organizations – Meta Networks can be:  More intelligent and adaptable.  More universally accountable.  Better able to bring about shifts in global awareness and behavior.  Better at distributing ideas, resources, and talent to where they are most needed.
  9. 9. Meta Networks Matter Individual professionals and their organizations need more effective meta networks, especially if they are: • Entrepreneurial, • Innovative, • Have critical goals that are too big to accomplish by themselves.
  10. 10. Meta Networks • Help solve regional and global problems… • By making organizations and people more successful. Everyone benefits.
  11. 11. Results from better meta networks: More success due to: Better collaboration with other organizations. • Developing & influencing regional policies. • Better coordination of activities & resources. • Better sharing of knowledge & ideas. Inside intelligence, influence & introductions to obtain: • Funding, partners, customers • Employees, experts, advisors • Press contacts, etc.
  12. 12. Yet due to their decentralized and fragmented nature, the potential of meta networks is much larger than their current capabilities. Fragmentation means: Different parts of large networks are mostly invisible to each other.
  13. 13. Why networks are fragmented To understand the fragmentation of networks, let‟s first look at the organizations in a sub-section of a meta network, without showing any connections between them:
  14. 14. Why networks are fragmented If we show some of the trusted personal connections between individuals in the network, we can see that the potential connectedness of the network is very big
  15. 15. Why networks are fragmented But this would require that each person in the network be a perfect reflector -- reflecting all the trust, attention, influence and ideas coming through each connection back out to all other connections.
  16. 16. Why networks are fragmented Yet this isn‟t the case; so in reality most of the network remains hidden to any single organization or small cluster.
  17. 17. Why networks are fragmented Because to be perfect reflectors, people would have to be omniscient. Which we’re not.
  18. 18. Why networks are fragmented Far from omniscient, people are busy and focused on their own worlds. So even if I know you and want to help you, I don‟t know most things about what you know, who you know, and what your skills, interests, and needs are. In addition, we‟re all flooded with information from all sources and have time to take in only a small part of it. Even though “we’re all connected” the right information often doesn’t get to the right people at the right time.
  19. 19. What are the effects of hidden network connections? Fragmentation of the network that impedes flow of ideas and resources. Making more mistakes than would be made in a „brighter‟ meta network. Delay, excess cost and effort, or failure to deliver needed money, talent, knowledge and ideas that are vital for success.
  20. 20. And the effects of more light? Even a small meta network, with fewer than 100 organizations, contains at least hundreds of thousands of trusted and relevant connections within 2 degrees, and at least several million Within 3 degrees. (2 degrees = contacts of your contacts; 3 degrees = contacts of those contacts) If that many relevant and trusted connections exist, and if most are hidden to you and your organization, what more could you achieve if the network were even a little brighter – and more intelligent?
  21. 21. What can make networks brighter and more intelligent? Five things: . 1. Illuminating more of the useful but hidden connections. 2. Getting more people to make better use of existing tools. 3. Weaving the network to make it brighter and smarter. 4. Adding capabilities to make existing platforms more intelligent. 5. Making use of a more visible network to expand knowledge-sharing, dialogue and collaboration. We’ll look briefly at each of these.
  22. 22. 1. Illuminate more of the useful but currently hidden connections. Solutions to this already exist: . Global-scale Social Network Platforms. Social network platforms solve the „omniscience‟ problem by having each person tell the network what and who he knows. Then the network can combine and use all that information to make hidden 2nd and 3rd degree connections visible and accessible. Users can search for their immediate needs, and also see whom they know who can provide inside intelligence, influence, and introductions.
  23. 23. 2. Get more people in the network expertly using existing tools For all their popularity, global social network platforms are surprisingly underused in the ways that could most help organizations and networks. Training is important, and so is encouragement from their peers to get into the habit of using these tools to accomplish priority goals of their organizations and the network as a whole.
  24. 24. 3. Weave the network to make it brighter and smarter A network weaver is someone who intentionally weaves connections that create mutual value and lasting trust. Network weaving is a skill, and some people are naturally good at it. Yet, it‟s important to have a good strategies and training for making connections that will create most value and make the network smarter. Because an important part of network weaving is knowing about network members‟ skills and needs, social network platforms can help make network weavers more effective. Social network platforms can also actually help the network members weave themselves together.
  25. 25. 4. Add software capabilities to make existing platforms more intelligent. For various reasons, global-scale social network platforms have not yet added some advanced capabilities that can be especially valuable for organizations and networks. Global platforms still have great value; but we and others are developing additional capabilities that can make them still more valuable (described briefly later).
  26. 26. 5. Use the increased light to expand knowledge-sharing, dialogue & collaboration. With more visibility and omniscience in the network, individuals can more easily “self-organize” into small groups with the perspectives and expertise needed to analyze problems, innovate, and produce better solutions, polices and decisions. When forming collaborative groups, getting input from trusted personal connections can be very important for evaluating how well different people will work together.
  27. 27. Next Steps
  28. 28. These five tasks will involve two types of social businesses: 1. Enabling Meta Network Enhancement Projects. This first approach is a services approach: Consulting, training, coaching, community building. 2. Designing and adding new software and Web services for Meta Networks. This second approach is a software development process: Designing, developing, and implementing interoperability between collaborative projects.
  29. 29. Meta Network Enhancement Projects Learning to walk before running, our first step will be: Launching a short-term, low-cost, Meta Network Demonstration Project for one or more selected network hubs.
  30. 30. Meta Network Demonstration Project (Summary) Will: • Last 3 to 4 months. • Involve a cluster of organizations that is a part of a larger network. • Require minimum cost and participant time. • Produce tangible results related to critical participant objectives. Project objectives will be related to goals at different levels: • Goals and priorities of individual project members and their organizations . • Goals shared by participating project member organizations. Priorities of individuals members and their organizations are likely to include obtaining new partners, customers/clients, investors, donors, employees, advisors, knowledge, ideas , expertise, and sources of influence.
  31. 31. Meta Network Demonstration Project (Summary) Demonstration project components may include: • Identifying priority project objectives. • Use of a “seed group” strategy. • Training in use of existing social network and social media tools and platforms. • Network Weaving training and coaching. • Help in implementing a viral campaign to ensure maximum participation and results. • On-going collection of results related to objectives. • Learning sessions, e.g., sharing best practices and solutions. • Project evaluation and determination of desired next steps.
  32. 32. Software and Web Services to Enhance Network Intelligence Includes Data Integration IT projects that integrate private data and apps with „public‟ social network platform data and apps. Developing intelligent add-on social apps to combine and extend existing social media platforms.
  33. 33. Network Intelligence-Enhancing Software . Our first steps for this will be: Designing a framework and first simple apps that add value to existing platforms. This will include a simplified trust-exchangeTM layer to enable user- customizable control of access to attention and private content. The trust-exchange layer will support other add-on applications, including: - Dynamic social network mapping. - Support for network weaving. - Diversity-synthesizing reputation systems. -Context-sensitive attention management. - Tools for scaling dialogue & collaboration.
  34. 34. These two initial projects will be carried out by members of The Social Catalysts Collaborative. . Including: Duncan Work. Inventor & designer of social software for the Internet; organizational consultant. former Chief Scientist for LinkedIn. June Holley, Network Weaver, Network mapping and analysis, network weaving, self-organizing communities And others listed at
  35. 35. This has been a high-level overview. For more detailed information on our rationale and plans for Meta Network Expansion Projects and Network Intelligence-Enhancing Software Please write to request a confidential executive summary and social business proposal. Duncan Work