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Creating emergent, adaptive systems in organizations

In my keynotes and executive sessions I often use the analogy of ant colonies, in which the collective intelligence of the colony is far greater than that of its individuals. Since the collective intelligence of many – or even most – human organizations is significantly less than the intelligence of many of its participants, there

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Strategic positioning in the flow economy: 3 action steps

Below is an excerpt from my book Living Networks that describes how to develop effective strategies in what I call the “flow economy” of information of ideas, where today almost all value resides. You can also download the complete Chapter 7 on The Flow Economy from the book website. While the examples I used in

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The brave new world of intellectual property

Here is an excerpt from my book Living Networks, giving an introduction and context to my coverage of the fundamental shifts in the intellectual property landscape today: In 1421 the government of Florence awarded the world’s first patent to Filippo Brunelleschi for a means of bringing goods up the usually unnavigable river Arno to the

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A story about Connected: The Film and why you must see it

I saw Connected: The Film by Tiffany Shlain last night at its Australian premiere, organized by Annalie Killian. The first thing I have to say is that the film is absolutely fantastic. It nails how we as humans live an intensely interdependent world, and how our recognition of and response to that will determine our

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While the subtitle of my book Living Networks referred to the ‘hyperconnected’ economy, the reality is that living networks are built primarily on human relationships based on mutual knowledge and trust. Here is a brief excerpt from the book about what is changing in the world of trust. Trust is a business perennial—from the days

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Chapter 5 from Living Networks, on Distributed Innovation – Intellectual Property in a Collaborative World, is still immensely relevant today. We are still relatively early on in working out the implications for innovation of distributed value creation. Here is a section towards the end of the chapter which provides 5 recommendations on managing innovation in

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Download Chapter 10 of Living Networks on Liberating Individuals Every chapter of Living Networks is being released on this blog as a free download, together with commentary and updated perspectives since its original publication in 2002. For the full Table of Contents and free chapter downloads see the Living Networks website or the Book Launch/

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Here’s a brief excerpt from Chapter 1 of Living Networks on the sexual life of ideas – I’ve always had a good response to this and it remains a relevant metaphor 🙂 Ideas don’t like being alone. In fact they like copulating promiscuously with any other idea in sight. There is no such thing as

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A Declaration of Interdependence

A just got an email from Tiffany Schlain, who had just seen my post on how hyper-connectivity is literally bringing the networks to life. I know of Tiffany as the Founder of the very influential Webby Awards. What I didn’t know is that she is also a filmmaker. Tiffany pointed me to the film she’s

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When I started writing my book Living Networks in early 2002 I thought that it was important to demonstrate that the concept of ‘living networks’ was not just a metaphor, but a reality: we, together with the networks that connect us, are literally a new life form. To show this I drew on the literature

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Five steps to effective content distribution strategies

When I wrote the book Living Networks the content distribution landscape was in the early stages of unfolding. Yet the strategies I prescribed then seem to be just as valid today. Here they are, excerpted from Chapter 8 on Next Generation Content Distribution: Creating Value When Digital Products Flow Freely. POSITIONING FOR CONTENT DISTRIBUTION 1.

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Some of my most interesting work in in helping clients create effective processes for participative strategy. The traditional approach to strategy is that it is generated in the executive suite or by highly-paid consultants, then it is communicated to staff, usually rather ineffectively. There is an increasing recognition that many people across the organization have

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About the Blog author

Ross Dawson Photo

Ross Dawson is globally recognized as a leading futurist, entrepreneur, keynote speaker, strategy advisor, and bestselling author. He is Founding Chairman of AHT Group, which consists of 3 companies: consulting, publishing, and ventures firm Advanced Human Technologies, future and strategy firm Future Exploration Network, and events company The Insight Exchange.

Ross is author most recently of Getting Results From Crowds, the prescient Living Networks, which anticipated the social network revolution, the bestseller Developing Knowledge-Based Client Relationships, and Implementing Enterprise 2.0. (click on the links for free chapter downloads). He is primarily based in Sydney with a secondary base in San Francisco.

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