I recently joined a group of change facilitators and social media enthusiasts in organizing an online conference on the question What tools and principles do we need to help change to unfold? Social and technological development as means for better organizations, and a better world:
The development of the World Wide Web as a tool for global connectivity has given rise to a participatory culture, opening new possibilities for communication and collaboration to effect and facilitate change.
There are plenty of examples that show the ease with which people actually link up with each other and coordinate complex projects as well as social and political change, including the wikipedia, coordination of aid efforts after natural disasters such as fires, and earthquakes through twitter or tools such as ushahidi, but also recent events such as the “Moldava Twitter Revolution”.
These tools, also called social media, are complementing an already existing large toolbox of methods for facilitation of whole systems change such as Open Space Technology, Appreciative Inquiry, Theory U, just to name a few. All these tools are means to an end, which is to change organizations, societies, or communities.
The conference will discuss how the different tools available can be used to foster collaboration that goes beyond mere sharing of information to create action. How can we combine social media tools with real time facilitation to address the essential questions and challenges arising in organizational and social change? Which tools support which kind of collaboration needs? What are the underlying principles that need to be observed to ensure that collaboration effects change?