Analogical thinking: exploring the borders of creativity

(post originally written for linked in)


We recently had a very interesting experience during an innovation project on logistics. The group had a creative epiphany when making an analogy between their work process and… coconuts! Yes, the famous brazilian coconut is a logistic wonder! It has such properties that it can be considered a symbol of economy of resources, inteligent packaging and flexible transportation.

But all poetic thinking, and analogy in particular, is an underutilized capacity in the management world. Although we still use it on a daily basis to explain to a kid, for example, that the subway is like an earth worm, we tend to be very literal in how we describe reality in organizations: business is business. The risk is that we tend to rusten our ability to correlate different groups of perceptions and concepts, and thus bring a whole new understanding to our world and our problems!

Distant universes, such as logistics and the coconut, could be enlighting when connected by similarity ou by difference, as I’ve proposed in the image above. Are the works of Rivane and Kapoor different or similar? The dryness of Rivane’s work, that reminds us of dry skin, and the mirror effect of Kapoor’s ball, that reflects our image, aren’t they both ourselves? Don’t they remind us of who we are: skin and image, real people and seductive reflections in a mirror (or on facebook)?

Of course I’ve cheated, provoking your brain by puting two round images together, and thus forcing some immediate similarity. But we don’t always have that. Analogy doesen’t come naturally: it is an exercise that we must undertake, because all creative process and all innovation, is based on our capacity to open our minds to the different, the divergent, the unusual, be they other realities or other people.

But hey? Why are you posting such phylosofical stuff on linked in? this is supposed to be a professional network!

That is exactly why. My question for all of us is: how can we recover our poetic capabilities and therefore reconnect our minds to the immense creative possibilities of the world around us? How shall we engage people in building innovative images of how our products, our processes and our future might be?


What is MAP-SE?



The narratives we choose to organize our reality hold sway over our behaviour and our mindset, but we live too attached to pre-defined narratives, often culturally defined.

MAP-SE relates intimately to the following question:   how do we construe new narratives to deal with reality?

How does it happen?

The MAP-SE methodology begins with an insight into what we already have. This is the ‘DETECTS’ stage. It is necessary to understand the data, to analyse that which has already been done, to look closely at the networks that are already present. This is achieve with the use of technology, SNA, with the analysis of narratives and with desk research.

template cidade MAP-SE limpo

From that we extract whatever comes up as essential – this is a key ability for today we are inundated with high volumes of information. This volume makes it difficult to formulate original narratives because, when facing the excess, we tend to fall back into ready-made discourses.

Then we reach the ‘CONNECTS’ stage, when we put together the agents involved in the problem’s solution to talk about it, keeping in mind the information that has been gathered. This is done by gamefying the conversation, turning information into icons and proposing a template, a board that contains a metaphor. The metaphors help us create new images, they raise our level of freedom in the conversation and thus help us to come up with more innovative narratives. This is the ‘CONNECTS’ spirit: to bring people together to create, even if the problem is complex and the conversations are tough. When we finish that, we have a map drawn by everybody, a map that becomes a strong engagement factor and that already contains the various views of those present in the MAP-SE meetings.

After that, comes what we call ‘IMPACTS’. It consists of a dialogue about how we can influence the reality that we wish to change. Therefore the ‘IMPACTS’ is intimately related to transformation, to projects, to liaising and this stage will be different in each case. It has to do with management of change, with mobilizing more people and with the search for coordinated action between the actors who are committed with the process of change.

How MAP-SE was born

Why maps?

Traditionally, cartographers attended to orders placed by specific clients, as one can see in the old maps created by the Portuguese or by the British Empire. Where there was knowledge, icons for tribes were designed, as were those for seas and mountains. Where knowledge was lacking, came in icons for monsters and new symbols. Symbols were invented for that which was yet unknown to men.

Nowadays we face almost the opposite problem. We have the need to give meaning to an enormous flux of information. Moreover, we need to do that using, as much as possible, the intelligence of collectives of people.

How our interest began?

In 2005 we experienced a concrete situation at SENAC. The corporation defined the quality policies. But how was it put them into practice in each one of the 80 SENAC branches and what parts of the policies made sense in each branch, some with up to 80 employees and others with only 5 of them? The strategy was to build a map that allowed people to see how exactly quality was developed in the different locations. The drawing of these maps by employees from the branches opened up the dialogue about the practices that would really make sense for the different activities that SENAC developed in the state of São Paulo. The maps also allowed us to put together people with similar problems and to place side by side those who could learn from each other. The drawing of the maps brought people to an environment of open dialogue.

Although the experience with SENAC wasn’t yet called MAP-se, it was a definite breakthrough as it brought about the understanding of how people got engaged with the work with maps.

Strategic maps as a starting point

The MAP-SE also draws influence from strategic maps. Throughout Dobra’s history we have developed many of those. They are always a projection, but rarely are created collaboratively. Traditional strategic maps are tools for knowledge distribution and for engagement, but not a resource to materialize and gather knowledge from the collective. This is the MAP-SE differential: we believe it to be possible to activate the intelligence of the various actors around a problem but not only to solve it, also to enhance perception of the “terrain, to identify the resources that are present, to raise points of view and to accelerate the search for solutions.

MAP-SE comes to answer the question: how can we use collectively drawn maps to solve systemic problems? And how can we do that in a fun way and in a way that facilitate dialogues about complex problems such as sustainability, strategy or the engagement of stakeholders?


Another starting point for MAP-SE was the systemic map, as it is paramount in multi-stakeholder innovation processes: those in which the problems are shared among many actors and therefore lots of them need to be engaged in the solution. A good systemic map pictures lots of variables simultaneously, brings to the fore that which is more profound and helps to understand what are the roots to those problems. With MAP-SE we feed this understanding with information that was mapped from the network of people relevant to a problem or context.   The information may be about the network of relationships around a common theme or even about narratives, about how people talk about what is happening.   A deeper understanding of the system is achieved when quality information is collectively extracted from the maps.

To create together generates engagement

One key point of MAP-SE is to generate deals, agreements among the participants by putting them together to create. As people talk and draw the maps, it becomes clear what the goals are, whether it should focus on a specific type of knowledge or whether a broader terrain should be mapped. This is when MAP-SE’s design elements come into play: icons and templates of what was discussed are offered so the group of participants can paint a picture of what has been discusses. In that sense everyone becomes a cartographer, everyone becomes an author of that vision of the problem’s terrain. The engagement of the participants is stimulated for they feel represented during a MAP-SE session.

Contribution for leadership

From the point of view of leaders, MAP-SE brings about two key contributions. It is possible to make more quality decisions by combining institutional directives with the knowledge that comes from the base, brought by the people who work in the front line. This process enables the leader to clarify points yet obscured and to redefine priorities. At the same time, strategic decisions can be intertwined with the terrain that was collectively mapped. Thus there is a common ground of understanding that gives meaning to what is being proposed as a decision.


Our website: www.mapse.net.br


We must change ourselves to change society after all

This blog post is part of a dialogue with Augusto Cuginotti on his post Bummer, We Can’t Change Society After all.

Augusto is very skeptical on how apt we are to change a system we are part of. If are part of a web of conversation that formats the way we live, think and event shapes our brains, how can we change that system? Fishes are not aware of water; they’re immerse in it as we are in consumism, materialism, modernism and many other “isms” that paved our way to the present disaster.

But I disagree with Augusto in some way, and that pleases me, because we usually agree so much that our conversation might not be creatively relevant J. He’d agree that variety is the basis of innovation (to use Paul Pangaro’s words).

My point is that new language emerges not only as adaptation to changes in the environment, as my friend argues. I’d point to some possibilities of emergence of new language, conversation and societal innovations that might be of another nature:


The first one, of course, and very dear to me is art. Take literature, take Nietzsche for example. His words are certainly not reactive, although he cannot speak from anywhere other than where he stands: German society in the second half of the 19th century. Says him:

“When someone hides something behind a bush and looks for it again in the same place and finds it there as well, there is not much to praise in such seeking and finding. Yet this is how matters stand regarding seeking and finding “truth” within the realm of reason.”

We usually find in things what we have put in them, therefore we are trapped.

Maybe that is what Augusto means when he says we must step out o four own world to try to see it more clearly. That is exactly the operation proposed by Maturana with his powerful question “how do we do what we do?sharkspan

Now Nietzsche is a philosopher. Take Leonardo, or even contemporary artist Damien Hirst and his intriguing piece called “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living”, featuring a huge white shark that seems alive against all possibilities. We cannot imagine what death is, even when facing it. All we can think of is “it looks alive”, we cannot feel death even then.

So being close to artistic perspective is today more important than ever, because we need to dare, we need odd questions, enigmas. We must imagine the unimaginable.

Analytic imaging

On the other side of the spectrum there are “analytic guys. I’ve never been so fond of engineers and programmers as I am today. In the classroom I can feel they are good listeners (be logical and convince me, them I’ll follow you) and can be highly creative.

In his book Program or be Programmed, Douglas Rushoff proposes we must crack the codes of society, we must understand what is behind the life we live, specially after technology blurred our consciousness of how things work by offering beautiful digital interfaces. That is a job for hackers (not necessarily evil, as most people like to imagine), but it’s a job for all of us. It is time to hack ourselves and that is a lot of work. It is about asking all the “why”s in the world and letting go of some usual “hows”.

My last post (in portuguese) about servicizing as a way to build innovations that really matter for sustainability is about building new “hows” after understanding important “whys”. Engineers, economists, scientists led Spree, author of the video, to combine math and imagination. It is all about calculating what will make the most difference to our world at this point and building public policy around it. Why not? Creativity applied to that as well. We need all intelligence we can mobilize.


And then we have this marvellous ability to ask questions. Neruda’s “The Book of Questions” is Always with me.

“Tell me, is the rose naked
or is that her only dress?

Why do trees conceal
the splendor of their roots?

Who hears the regrets
of the thieving automobile?”

We have children to remind us of questioning all the time and in my consulting activity with innovation teams, mapping questions is one of the best ways to spark a creative process.

We must find the relevant questions before looking for answers, and to find those answers we must meditate.


In Otto Scharmer’s Theory U, the bottom of the U is about meditation. In that state we can have some contact with a kind of wisdom that maybe goes beyond consciousness. But event if you are not fond of meditation, you might annotate your dreams or take surrealist writing exercises to get in touch with your inner language. We are crossed by fluxes we might not even imagine, our creativity is as mysterious as that. I am a mother, a professional, a girlfriend, a crazy woman walking on the streets of my neighbourhood. There are many perspectives within me.

How much we dare to access the unknown in us, and to engage in conversation about what really matters? It is painful and it takes stepping out of our daily trance. But I really believe that this is another path for new language to emerge. Of course, as Augusto puts it, conversation will be creatively fruitful if we have diverse people in the room. But it all starts with us facing our own internal variety.

So my guess is, we must change ourselves to change society after all. It’s the obvious, but inevitable.

Lets make it happen, somehow.

Metadesign and Innovation

On December 1st we had another interesting conversation here at JuntoSP, our coworking space in São Paulo. It was about metadesign but the innovation theme was brought up again, it seems to be what makes hearts and minds uneasy.

Ours guests were architect Caio Vassão and conversation designer Luiz Algarra, in addiction to some communication professionals, designers, executives, and partners from Dobra’s network as well. It was a really interesting mix of people.

Where does the term “meta” come from?

According to Vassão, the first term to use the prefix “meta” was “Metaphysics”. Legend has it, that it was a way to classify some of the books of prime philosophy by Aristotle, which had no name. As they were positioned after (meta) the physics books, the term metaphysics was created. But the word metaphysics has important consequences.

It refers to matters of ontology, namely, it belongs to the same category of thought we use to reflect about something, adopting the position of an observer of our own lives: a meta-position.

For me, Humberto Maturana´s question: “how do we do what we do?” is the great and powerful meta-question. We can ask ourselves about how we do physics, how we work or how we design the spaces we inhabit. “The metadesign is the project’s own design project,” says Vassão.

He gave the example of the program METAFONT, a publishing system that, as the name says, programs fonts. The person who programmed the system to program fonts, was a metadesigner.

It’s as if life had layers and we were rising and rising to increasingly higher levels to observe what we do. These layers, Vassão says, are levels of abstraction. Being a Metadesigner is to place oneself in a higher level of abstraction to reflect upon the reality being created.

Metadesign and complex systems

When we face complex systems, as an organization or a community, for example, we can’t create a closed project.

The system is constantly changing and adapting. Metadesign then creates an environment of decisions made of few basic guidelines, criteria that make life easier for those working within the system. These criteria are not control parameters, but operators to guide action within the system which are validated (or not) by use.

The principle behind it is that simple elements can generate complexity. Reversing this reasoning, we may say it is possible to find the simple elements that build a complex system. The Metadesign seeks to identify those simple elements a posteriori, creating what Pierce called opportune categorical system.

Shared criteria for operating in a complex system: it is easier to say than to define them, but they can help us give a positive answer to the question “is it possible to project complexity?” If we think about working and learning contexts, this is a key question, since the growing connectivity and availabity of information increases the complexity of the systems we operate in. It is a great temptation to simply categorize and cut the system to pieces to understand it, with great risks of ending up with inadequate analytic answers.

Algarra pointed a critical distinction: what makes us human is that we talk about these criteria or ontology. This is one of the foundations of the collective intelligence concept, which rises in Bateson (Steps to the Ecology of Mind) and is further developed by Pierre Levy.

That might sound harsh, “headstrong”, ultra-reflective, but then another interesting concept was brought to stimulate the conversation: the homo ludens. According to this concept, the basis of culture is a play.

Then what makes us human is our ability to play with concepts and ontologies, to play with the design of how we live what we live. Playing is an essential, yet overlooked skill because it leads us to revise, combine and generate concepts creatively.

We lead the life we are able to perceive and talk about. Playing with concepts that underlie our lives would be metadesign.

From this point on talking about innovation was inevitable.

What is innovation anyway?

Algarra brought up Maturana, and proposed innovation emerges to save something we want to conserve. We want to conserve a way of life, the possibility to have affordable energy, the possibility of dealing with scarce resources and yet have comfort; we want to sustain the business of an organization. Actions, ideas and changes are articulated on the basis of what we want to conserve.

Vassão suggests: innovation is manipulating ontologies. We can do it top down from pre-defined categories or bottom up as we watch the events and create ontologies from this observation. For Vassão, this second path is much more innovative.

So innovation would be “to confront the cognitive boundaries of the reality that we build.” I´ve  twitted this statement of Vassão´s and Paulo Ganns (@ pganns suggested:) “Breaking instead of confronting?”. Well, maybe innovating is “dissolving the cognitive boundaries of the reality we build.”

But why innovate? Where does this desire come from?

Again we returned to the point of the previous meeting: the reason why of innovation.

We discussed two opinions about the origin of our motivation to action: the reaction (negative motivation generated by a  perception of error) or affection (according to Deleuze, affections are our real drivers). People who work with innovation know it very well that there is a big difference between these two motivations!

Innovating in response is not the same as innovating in search of a path built upon affection and desire. It is much more difficult to generate radical innovation from the first path, when the decay of something is imminent, but, yes, there are many who only get moving in this kind of situation. We are inside the box.

Then someone says: we live in alienation, we lack awareness of where we are, and it is difficult to be connected to one´s own emotions when we’re trapped in this kind of place.

Think outside the box? What box?

The box would be this ontology, these categories of thought that inhabit us without our being aware and determine what we can see. A metadesign conversation opens these boxes and these categories to reflect and play with them. As Maturana would say: Do I want to conserve this way of thinking?

Is Innovation always a good thing?

That got us into a conversation about the binomial innovation x ethics, and about how we think of innovation in a complex system (the communities where we live in).

In a complex context, an innovation unleashes a series of systemic reactions. Vassão reported the case of the pocket car project in which he participates.

Thinking about a new type of car means rethinking the entire production chain of the car. If the engine is oversimplified what will happen to the jobs of steelworkers who make engines? If the cars are shared, what will happen with the insurance companies?

As consequence, we can consider that the real challenges of innovation begin, in fact, after a new product or action is launched. Innovation needs will be multiplied by the actions we have to take to deal with the systemic consequences of that launch.

How do innovations emerge in culture?

Innovation irradiates through new concepts that will penetrate and spread in a given culture. It may be a new product, but it may simply be a new concept with which we begin operating.

Someone asks: does it come from a new need? Or we create new needs?

Who needed the cellphone before it existed? The need seems to be more of a consequence. The innovation arises; we become accustomed to what it provides. From then on the need emerges and is nurtured.

But innovation goes far beyond product, services and processes. It may simply be a concept, a new way of living. (The term “to stay” – for example, was created less than 20 years ago to name faster forms of love relationships – in Brazil at least).

These easily replicable concepts that change our lives are memes.

Thus innovating is agencing possibilities. If you do not understand it yet, do not worry, if you are curious about it, read a bit of Deleuze, but let´s make it simple: possibilities are vectors that are available, someone or something finds an intersection or a new combination of these vectors, and voilá here’s the innovation.

Being attentive to the events that emerge around us without categorizing them a priori, allows us to think of new ontologies.

Innovation is experimental, says Vassão.

Yes, we live in Beta.

Mariana Gogswell, another colleague places: “How can we develop the emotional resources to live like this?”

Good question! We´ll stick with this one and reflect upon its consequences to education, learning, smart work and innovation.

5 Reflections on Open Innovation

What is the big buzz about open innovation? What’s the big change? The subject was discussed at the Connecta 2010 Congress in São Paulo and at Stefan Lindegaard´s workshop (during The Hub SP Winter School). It´s been approached in books and web communities and accounts for more than 12 million links at google search. Here are some thoughts about the theme from the last few weeks.

Social network mapping by Felix Heinen
1. All innovation is open. This conception was clear both in the speech of Matthew Heim, CEO of NineSigma, at Conecta 2010 as in Stefan Lindegaard´s.

Today open innovation has become a “buzz word” because new online tools have opened up possibilities that where not devised before, but in a few years all innovation will be open, or connected, as Jeff Bellairs, director of General Mills worldwide Innovation Netwwork, puts it in Lindegaard´s book. In addition, all innovation has always been somewhat “open”, since it requires a huge range expertise to be implemented. The mith of the Genious is far behind, we all know innovation is in most cases a collective achievement.

The difference nowadays is the availability of new mechanisms for building conversation networks around innovation. There are far more sophisticated ways of searching, connecting and managing such networks. Any company that has a well defined innovation question, a good “Elevator Speech” (making its innovation vision clear) and the right tools can have access to virtually any connected professional in the world. (That is not enough to keep an innovation network alive, but it might be a good start).If each person is a portal as Augusto de Franco put it during Conecta, the possibilities are endless.

So although basic characteristics of innovation, such as the need to coordinate a diversity of players and the inevitable stumbles inherent to the creative process, are the same, there is a significant increase in the complexity and connectivity of innovation networks and of organizations themselves. New questions emerge in this context, such as how to stimulate agents to connect and generate value in an innovation network and how to deal with and profit from these new possibilities. Open innovation potentiates the creative capacity of individuals and organizations, but it is a new way of discovering, relating and doing business.

Perhaps the big issue is creating a management paradigm to fit such a connected business environment. The verb manage has to be reinvented to deal with elements such as control and instability, creativity and organization. Innovation lies at the edge of chaos but it takes very wise management to deal with the paradoxes inherent to this state. Who is ready? How will partners in a network collaborate and deal with power relationships, for example? Which network patterns will emerge from open innovation?

2. It must start at home. One point that is placed as a success factor by several experts and case studies is to start articulating the organization’s internal network. It may seem trivial, but creating a network culture in which the relevant innovation questions can be shared with staff members and direct partners is a big issue.

The lives and conversations inside companies are still largely organized into “clusters” (work areas, processes) and it is difficult to visualize the larger map of innovation when time is short and accountability for results relentless. One must deliver the planned. How will organizations deal with emerging issues that change nonstop?

In this sense there are great challenges in terms of culture and organizational environment, such as to enable engagement in innovation projects (not only those projects that are already the responsibility of each one), to open space and to recognize that engagement. Most organizations are still far away from a “project” culture, where one can engage by his or her own desire to put to use the top of one´s knowledge. How will that be proposed to the external network if it is not the proposal internally?
3. Networking is bonding. There is a good discussion about how to promote the engagement of different actors in open innovation. There are two clear paths, and in Matthew Heim´s vision they are complementary. In the first case, actors enter the network to help answer a specific innovation question. In the second case, a permanent network is formed, and individual actors have a lasting bond.

There’s a difference between these two paths. In the first case, thinking of network management can make sense: you need to manage the innovation questions and the actors that can help solve them.

But in the second case, who manages the permanent network if each organization is (at principle) just another actor? And in the case the network is managed by a big company, how will creativity and self organization emerge? How will power affect the development of fair share relationships, as Umair Haque suggests in his behavior innovation approach?
Sustaining a permanent network implies network ethics. Today it is very common for large corporations, for example, not to respond to work proposals developed by their partners. Imagine how this behavior would be seen in a network, where spontaneous contributions among agents is what brings value to reputations.

Relate this to the theme of “being the preferred partner,” posted by Lindegaard in his book, and imagine how network relations represent a change for organizations. It must be a new way of living if you really want to have it in its full potential.
4. The network builds on diversity. Venessa Miemmis, who defines herself as a digital ethnographer, provides some inspiration to think of win-win relationships not as equality, but as something to be built from the different roles that actors play in networks in which they participate.

Venessa has posted a very interesting chart about the different roles that actors have in networks (which was deeply discussed, if you have the patience to read the comments).

When I looked at the chart I thought about the level of complexity of any sort of “management” or even setup of a network. Each actor takes on different roles in the networks it participates, and those roles change as time passes. To maintain a network with an ecology that allows both the diversity of actors and the diversity of roles played by them is pretty challenging. It is worth reflecting on how this affects  open innovation.
5. Creating conditions to be affected by a network is one of the biggest open innovation challenges. I’ve been reading It’s Alive by Christopher Meyer and Stan Davis where I found a wise statement I play freely: networks make us more sensitive but also more vulnerable to chance.

It is not just a question of demanding solutions from a network, though that can lead to good problem solving. The point is also to improve organization sensitivity and improve the quality of its problem finding capacity. Being connected increases the capacity to perceive transformations in business environment, but that depends on the network pattern you are living. This is about asking and being asked, to demand contributions and contribute as well. That is why understanding network patters will be so important to open innovation.

Finally, a question that maybe just time will respond: will open innovation undermine the organizational models as we know them? How?

10+N things I learned at CIRS

The CIRS Conference was held from on march 10th to 13th. It was a Social networks conference held during #CICI 2010, the International Innovative Cities Conference at Curitiba (State of Parana) Brazil and I decided to post about it in English. But what should I post? There were so many interesting conversations within and outside the lectures!

Here I compiled some of my personal learning.  Not everything is indexed by authors. In my mind everything has mingled and transformed, just like it happens on networks.

Here it goes!

desperate nodes dispute energy plugs

1. A network is not its nodes but its patterns. A network is pure movement so it is not possible to know what could modify or influence it. Even mapping a network is only an attempt to photograph a territory that is constantly modified. Mapping networks is archeology, as said by Clara Pelaez.

2. Being in social networks is to inhabit the unknown. Due to the abundance and irregularity of connections it is not possible to know how an information or idea will flow, where it will end up, and how it will be transformed, reinterpreted or buried.  Understanding this, Twitter is changing its configuration and enabling users to engage their applications into it. The network resists imprisonment and businesses need to gain plasticity to profit from it.

3. Living in networks and cooperating are human attributes that have been fundamentally modified by the available tools. The easiness of connection radically diminished transaction costs of cooperating in networks and enabled many initiatives that would not exist if companies were required to manage them, so tells us Clay Shirky. The firm is simply not a viable model for most human desires and projects due to its increasing transaction costs.  Coordinating network action is much cheaper.

Moreover organizations distort the network pattern and make it difficult for self-organization to happen, just as buildings make it difficult to see the landscape. (I live in São Paulo and could never draw the real landscape!) This idea was already in the CIRS opening ceremony performed by Augusto deFranco.

4. What gives life to networks are the emotions behind the speech of each member. There is much discussion on information running on the network but not on emotion. The network is a place of storytelling, says Pierre Levy.  It is a place inhabited by real people and real desires. Maybe that’s why brands have a certain difficulty to appear legitimately in networks. Brands are not people.

5. The entry into a network has to be voluntary. Those who don’t enter voluntarily don’t really connect, share knowledge much less motivation. Involuntary entrants usually won’t be live nodes. Network is expression.

Cacau Garnieri talks about the real experience of Peabirus and its network organizational model at the Open Space Dialogue.

6. “Small is powerful” when you are connected, says Clay Shirky. Forget big networks. Even within a larger network there is a small one that inspires, energizes and makes it happen. The anxiety of a large organization to have such a large network does not make sense in this context. The network is not born from a central desire but from the capillary desires and the connections established between them.

7. Leadership in a network is volatile, it evaporates as the task it helps coordinate is finished. The choice is either to engage in other desires or projects present on the network or be replaced. The big difference is that this not a bad at all. Living in a network is letting go of the status, the movement is constant and if you are not the leader of the moment you may want to read a book, go to the beach or simply continue living in the network.

8. The great network frontier is not given by tools but by the cultural environment. A network creates a common system of meaning that changes and renewals as information flows. There are beliefs, values and customs in each network. Clay Shirky tells us that there is a singular bargain for each network: an implicit set of rules of operation and, most important, a purpose or “why” the network was created. Culture creates agreements and obstructions that show what is off bounds. These boundaries, however, are liquid. The network is a moving territory.

9. “Tagging knowledge gives a kind of access to the subjectivity of others who know, who post, who tag.” “There is an emotional energy connecting the discursive process”. These and other phrases and interpretations are tagged under #2010CICI (mostly in portuguese). This tag came to be among the top 10 of Twitter during the Conference and shows that the discussion of semantics as crucial web crawler continues. Pierre Levy gave us a taste of it, although he made it clear that he is not talking about the same as Tim Berners-Lee. “The image of a coordinated semantic system mathematically processed, where we can find all the concepts and the transformations they might go through…” Well, those who have the curiosity to explore his website will see where he´s going with collective intelligence at this point. It´s worth it!

Pierre Levy inspired by I-Ching

10. Without personal knowledge management there’s no collective knowledge management. Nowadays a huge challenge, as also pointed out by Pierre Levy, is keeping personal focus when learning and producing knowledge on the web.  Personal knowledge management is the basis of collective intelligence because it initiates the cycle of expliciting knowledge and feeding our conversations. When we talk we use words and concepts, we make deals and progressively create common metadata that becomes the collective knowledge management.

11. …N. We learn about networks in networks. I heard it from a friend named Luis Bouabci who is deeply involved in the study of social networks. We were leaving the event when we started a conversation. We sat on the steps and watched the workers dismantle an immense panel with the title of the conference to open up the overall view of Curitiba in front of us.

More interesting than the theory is the practice of networks where everything is being built online. There are so many possible variations that the theory would not and does not account to explain. Explanations don´t replace life. One must live networks.