Disorganisation and networks

I was sorting out my books at home last night and was reminded of two Demos publications that I think are really interesting and offer some important and useful insights to the context for this project.

The first of these is Disorganisation: why future organisations must 'loosen up'. It's got some great scenarios about the organisations of the future which touches on the issue of affiliation that we want to explore through the research dimension of this project.  read more »

Research thoughts

I really hope this posts in the right place of this site as I'm finding it a little hard to navigate!

 At any rate I wanted to add some thoughts from the RSA's perspective about what we'd like to see from this project.

 I suppose the trend that all this discussion is trying to capture is the journey from 'membership' organisations to 'movements', and what that means for the nature, structure, purpose, and business models of existing membership organisations. No mean feat to cover all of this and as someone with a thinktank background the breadth of the issues being asked here makes me a little nervous.  read more »

A question and invitation to researchers

Are there any researchers out there who can help me with this question: how do you research potential adoption of social media in memberships organisations if the people you are talking to may not understand what you are talking about?

One of the work packages for this project is "research", and as you can see here one of our partners, the NCVO Foresight team, have pulled together some resources, and also suggested how to develop a Guide.  read more »

Why academics may not share openly

Steve Walker provides an interesting insight into why there is a strong disincentive for him and fellow academics to publish research in the context of otherwise open explorations with practitioners, like the Practical Design for Social Action (PRADSA) project.

Academics get recognition through publication - and Steve explains that these days the framework for determining research funding includes measures of how far articles are cited by other articles. What counts are traditional closed, subscription-only publications rather than open access ones. So here is a direct reward for not-being open. As Steve says:  read more »

Our Big Question: what to say to the Cat

Alice and the Cheshire CatAlthough we started this project by Throwing mud at the wall, I think we are coming to the point where we need to address the Cat Question, from Alice in Wonderland:

"Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?"
"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat.
"I don't much care where--" said Alice.
"Then it doesn't matter which way you go," said the Cat.

In other words, what and who is this project for, in the digital wonderland. We have said that it "explores how the social web and other factors are changing the ways in which we may belong to groups and organisations" - but we'll need to be more specific if we are to engage people, as we hope, in a collaborative exploration that produces something useful at the end. I've found two main strands emerging: one with a research focus, and the other around products and services. I think we want to end up with:  read more »

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