Knowledge Federation History

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We have developed Knowledge Federation through a series of events, by building on the work of historical giants.


Historical roots

Standing on shoulders of giants!

Next step – all's prepared. Here just some snapshots provided, as threads:

Technological roots of Knowledge Federation

In his 1945 seminal article As We May Think, Vannevar Bush (the MIT professor and dean who during the Second World War served as the director of the entire US scientific effort) warned the scientists that the war being over, another urgent strategic issue – the organization of global knowledge resources – called for their concerted attention and highest priority. "The summation of human experience is being expanded at a prodigious rate, and the means we use for threading through the consequent maze to the momentarily important item is the same as was used in the days of square-rigged ships." Technology could enable our civilization to organize its knowledge resources as an associative hyperstructure, Bush observed, just as a single mind does. And he urged the scientists to develop suitable technology, and corresponding co-creative practices.

Having read Bush's article as an army recruit in the Phillippines, in 1951 Doug Engelbart foresaw that the digital computer technology, when equipped with interactive facilities and interconnected into a network, cold provide exactly what Bush envisioned. Such technology could lead to a quantum leap in the evolution of our businesses and institutions. By evolving "a super new nervous system to upgrade our collective social organisms", we could vastly augment our "collective intelligence", and become capable of understanding and resolving our increasingly complex issues. Doug instantly decided to dedicate his then beginning career to the realization of this vision. On December 9, 1968, in what is now called "The Mother of All Demos", he and his SRI-based team showed the core elements of the computer technology with capabilities that are now common – created as building blocks for realizing his overarching goal.

Without doubt, one of the reasons why this so timely development has not yet spread like forest fire across our institutions is that we are lacking an institution that can practice and streamline this new way of working. It is clear, in particular, that the academic discipline – which has evolved around the task of dividing and conquering the exploration of the mechanisms of nature – will not at all be suitable.

Pragmatic view of Knowledge Federation

Same, repeated with Peccei, Wiener and Jantsch (in windows).

Epistemological roots of Knowledge Federation / contemporary science and phlosophy

Emergence of Knowledge Federation

Historically, we began as an organization of... We soon realized ready to change the world... So in 2010 began to self-organize as Self-Org. coll. mind. Journalism – xxx. Event to look at first perhaps - because it shows how exactly transdisciplinary group may come together and do it!

Glossary of events

We here list the events chronologically, so that they compose a coherent history of KF.

  • Knowledge Federation Workshop IUC Dubrovnik 2008 Charting knowledge media tools and approaches The first Knowledge Federation workshop brough together a small multinational group of knowledge media researchers, who gathered to chart the existing technical tools and approaches and to begin a community. It became clear to us that the technology that we and our colleagues were developing had potential to revolutionize knowledge work; but that the critical task that remained was the corresponding change of practice. That task required that we organize ourselves differently, and develop a different way of working.
  • Knowledge Federation Workshop IUC Dubrovnik 2010 Initiating a transdiscipline At the Second Knowledge Federation Workshop, knowledge media researchers were joined by a transdisciplinary community of academics, field specialists and other stakeholders (see Knowledge Federation community). The participants were invited to perceive themselves not as individuals pursuing a career in a certain discipline or profession, but as cells in a collective- and at the limit global mind; and to begin to self-organize as it might suit this larger role. The title of this workshop was "Self-Organizing Collective Mind."
  • Knowledge Federation Workshop at Triple Helix IX, Stanford University, July 2011 Enabling systemic innovation Subsequent self-organization enabled us to report—at our next workshop, which Knowledge Federation organized within the Triple Helix IX international conference at Stanford University—our vision that the IT innovation was about to expand in scale from its conventional focus on technology, to the design of key socio-technical systems (systemic innovation). By its organizational structure and way of working, Knowledge Federation has been evolving as it might be needed to enable systemic innovation.
  • Knowledge Federation Workshop Belgrade 2011 Charting the foundations frontier Systemic innovation gives us the possibility to continue the age-old search for the right approach to knowledge in a completely new way — by treating the social creation of truth and worldview as a socio-technical system, and by creating a transdiscipline that will evolve it continuously. A goal of our Belgrade workshop was to consolidate this aspect of our work.
  • Knowledge Federation Workshop Barcelona 2011 Co-Creating an Innovation Ecosystem for Good Journalism At our workshop in Barcelona, systemic innovation was applied to journalism. The researchers that convened formed an ad-hoc transdiscipline (or 'innovation ecosystem'). This transdiscipline drafted a model public informing that represented a clear paradigm shift.
  • Knowledge Federation Workshop Palo Alto 2012 Co-Creating The Game-Changing Game After the Barcelona workshop the journalists returned to their editorial desks and researchers to their courses. The challenge of changing the practice still remained. It became increasingly clear that the people that will embody the new systemic structures will need to be the ones whose life and career condition supports such moves — such as students and entrepreneurs. This insight led to the ZIG Project, through which the prototype drafted in Barcelona is being practically realized; and to The Game-Changing Game as a generic procedure by which practice can be changed. A prototype of The Game-Changing Game was completed at our recent workshop in Palo Alto, and presented at Bay Area Future Salon on July 16, 2012.
  • The Club of Zagreb Inaugural Meeting Europe House Zagreb, September 27, 2012. The Club of Zagreb is a creative redesign of The Club of Rome. The focus on understanding global issues is replaced by the focus on implementing key systemic improvements, through systemic innovation and The Game-Changing Game. The members act as mentors, patrons, sponsors and inspirational figures, empowering young people to co-create the world they will want to live in.
  • Knowledge Federation Workshop Dubrovnik 2012 Knowledge Media for a Living Society Inter University Centre Dubrovnik, September 30 - October 3, 2012. Creating 'a living society'— a society capable of seeing, adapting and evolving — is a natural application domain for knowledge media. It is also a natural, and arguably necessary, approach to 'sustainability', 'thrivability' or more traditionally 'pursuit of happiness' . The goals of the Knowledge Federation 2012 workshop in Dubrovnik were to consolidate the work on this frontier further, through theoretical contributions and real-life redesigns in science, education and health.
  • Knowledge Federation Course 2012 Systemic Innovation for Collective Creativity. University Centre Dubrovnik, September 30 - October 6, 2012. When the goal is to create a 'living society' – capable of adapting and evolving – then education – whose potential is to re-create the world with every new generation – naturally plays a key role. Through this course Knowledge Federation is developing an educational project that consistently re-designs the conventional educational model, toward making education a key factor in society's continued self-renewal. In the early 1950s, when the few computers that existed were number crunching behemoths, Douglas Engelbart dared to dream about networked computers enabling people to think together and resolve increasingly complex contemporary issues. This first Knowledge Federation international course brought together a group of international students and knowledge media and collective intelligence experts, to make critical steps towards realizing this vision.
  • Launching the Program for the Future Challenge At Googleplex in Mountain View, on December 9, 2013, in collaboration with Program for the Future (KF and PFTF seem to be becoming two brands of a single community of people), Knowledge Federation launched the Program for the Future Challenge – an international 'uncompetition' to continue and complete Doug Engelbart's unfinished revolution: “Many years ago, I dreamed that people were talking seriously about the potential of harnessing a technological and social nervous system to improve the IQ of our various organizations. What if, suddenly, in an evolutionary sense, we evolved a super new nervous system to upgrade our collective social organisms? Then I dreamed that we got strategic and began to form cooperative alliances of organizations, employing advanced networked computer tools and methods to develop and apply new collective knowledge.”
  • Launching the Authentic Hercegovina Project In its workshop at the Infiniti Heritage Seminar 2-14 on October 18 2014 in Mostar, Knowledge Federation with collaborators launched the Authentic Hercegovina project will continue and complement the Mostar 2004 post-war revitalization project, by revitalizing the economy and culture. From the point of view of systemic innovation, the Authentic Hercegovina project implements and showcases this simple and elegant idea: Information technology can now enable a different, authentic approach to tourism and travel; an approach that supports authentic, local economies and cultures, promotes authentic meeting of people and cultures and exchange of vital memes. In a nutshell, we are developing a technology-enabled business model that uses the technology that led to globalization — to reverse the negative consequences of globalization.
  • Knowledge Federation Workshop Dubrovnik 2014 When everything has been said and done, the key challenge still remains — to begin to realize Doug's vision, by beginning a systemic change toward collective intelligence, not just in a community that's been created for that purpose, but in the existing knowledge-work organs and tissues; and in a way and in a place where it can scale... Such an opportunity has presented itself when the International Society for the Systems Sciences undertook to self-organize toward becoming collectively intelligent — an initiative curated by Alexander Laszlo as ISSS President, around and during the ISSS 57 yearly conference in Haiphong, Vietnam. At the KF Workshop Dubrovnik 2014, with Alexander as co-director, and a suitably chosen mix of participants, the stage was set for discovering the profound potential for impact of this way of working, and to self-organize toward helping this most timely initiative develop and scale, and become a state-of-the-art project and showcase of academic and more broadly knowledge-work self-organization.
  • Tesla and the Nature of Creativity (TNC) 2015 A scientist reaches a result that has the potential to impact a number of fields and our culture at large; but his findings are written in the inaccessible vernacular of quantum physics. By federating Prof. Dejan Raković's research about the nature of creativity, we at the same time developed a showcase of knowledge federation in practice.
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