is it time to Think: before it’s too late?

I mentioned in a post last week that I was reading the book Wikinomics: How mass collaboration changes everything.

As stated on the inside book cover:

Don Tapscott and Anthony Williams reveal the nuances that drive wikinomics and share fascinating stories of how masses of people (both paid and volunteer) are creating TV news stories, sequencing the human genome, remixing their favorite music, designing the human genome, finding cures for diseases, editing school texts, inventing new cosmetics, and even building motorcyles.

Early in the book, with the subtitle “Age of Participation” Tapscott and Williams suggest:

Call them the “weapons of mass collaboration.” New low-cost collaborative infrastructures — from free Internet telephony to open source software to global outsourcing platforms — allows thousands upon thousands of individuals and small producers to cocreate products, access markets, and delight customres in ways that only large corporations could manage in the past. This is giving rise to new collaborative capabilities and business models that will empower the prepared firm and destroy those that fail to adjust.

There are some impressive stories and case studies in the book on collaboration at work. For example, the story of how Boeing has taken collaboration to a new level. All the various components of Boeing’s new jets are manufactured around the world; once everything is ready a jet is put together in a matter of days at Boeing’s facilities.

The opening story of the book is about Canadian miner Goldcorp turning the common practice of proprietary geologic science in mining – on its head. They opened some of their private, generally highly-protected geological information to the general mining community and various scientists — so as to get assistance in better identifying potential ore bodies and such. The project has been a huge success.

There’s also the stories of pharmaceutical companies such as Proctor & Gamble starting mass collaborative science initiatives (InnoCentive) whereby the general population can look to solve some of the companies various product development issues and problems – and get paid for it.


One of the other authors I really enjoy – and have commented on several times in other posts – is Edward de Bono; the creator of the the term and practice Lateral Thinking.  I just recently discovered de Bono’s blog Six Thinking Hats and his new website.

In a post from last summer de Bono highlights his new book:

My latest book (published July 2nd) is called ‘THINK: before it is too late’. In it I suggest that the biggest problem facing humanity is not climate change but inadequate thinking. We are very complacent and even proud of our thinking. We can land men on the moon. WE can tap atomic energy. We have the internet, WE have supersonic flight etc. We have done very well in the area of science and technology because we have developed ‘thinking for finding the truth’.

I have suggested the new word ‘ebne’ which means excellent but not enough. Our existing thinking is ebne but not enough. We have never developed ‘thinking for creating value’.

In conflicts we rush to judge who is wrong and seek to punish that party. We do not try to design a way forward.

Edward de Bono 20th July 2009

When it comes to wild salmon — can we begin a process of mass collaboration?

When it comes to wild salmon — can we get past ‘I’m right, you’re wrong’; ‘my science is better than your science’; ‘I have more rights than you’?

When it comes to wild salmon — can we stop searching for “the truth” and simply design a way forward, while “creating value”?

Many folks might suggest we better: Think: before it’s too late.


Some might suggest it’s already too late — just ask commercial fisherfolks from California to Washington State who haven’t had a season in a few years.

Or just ask fisherfolks on the Fraser River where sockeye fisheries have been largely non-existent the past three years — after close to 150 years of commercial fisheries

Or just ask First Nation individuals and communities on the Fraser River who have been harvesting salmon for thousands and thousands and thousands of years and who now largely have to look to trucks and other communities for food fish…

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