Open knowledge, working out loud, sharing ideas and our mind at large

A simple and small shoot: to open our mind out large…

Opening our mind, such a simple complicated thing... (Credits - Tanyew Wei)
Opening our mind, such a simple complicated thing… (Credits – Tanyew Wei)

I always wanted (and still do) to try the experiment of accepting with one or more persons – for a given limited time – to give each other the option to check at absolutely any time what the other is thinking about and to accept sharing it. A risky experiment, I agree, but what a fabulous shortcut to each other’s mind and ideas this would be too. The power of Open, in all its terror.

Another experiment I always wanted to do is to share what we are working on as we are working on it: opening Pandora’s box of our half-baked thinking, our weak reflections, our incomplete search for evidence, our half-started/half-aborted attempt at revisiting good sources from the past and combining new ideas. Now that is not too risky an experiment, and it’s a direct contribution to ‘working out loud‘, with perhaps even wider implications for the audience we might influence at large.

My colleague Peter Ballantyne recently wrote this excellent blog piece from a recent trip he did to Michigan State University to attend an ‘Open Knowledge for Agricultural Development Convening’ and he’s also sharing views about the importance of collective work using e.g. wikis. Have a peek at the presentation, it’s really worth it!

Even before we reach that collective stage, we can open up our working cabinet to let others in on our thinking, on the ideas that are crossing our mind. Blogging is a way to do this of course; yet, however draft-like our thought pieces become, they are already polished one level further compared with the moment when we get struck by an idea…

Tweets are another point in case. We can reveal what’s crossing our mind on a tweet – but rarely do we end up exploring this with our Twitter crowd much further than another tweet or two.

One piece is missing thus. John Tropea has got it: with his ‘snippets’ TumblR, he’s keeping track of some useful fragments of text that strike a cord with him and that he might want to come back to.

I have just decided to start my own TumblR as an experiment – as an antechamber and experimental springboard to this blog. On that TumblR I plan to keep fragments of writing that I find interesting and want to come back to later. I will also share simple ideas that I may come back to on this blog for (slightly) more elaborate thoughts. I might start by pasting the list of blogging ideas I have on the side (about 50 or so ideas for possible blog posts).

The idea is simple: the earlier we share our ideas, the earlier others can use those ideas, reflect and comment on them, and the more likely we are all better off with enriched ideas, good conversations and stronger relations. And better suggestions for the next blog posts…

Let’s see where this leads me…  and you!

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Published by Ewen Le Borgne

Collaboration and change process optimist motivated by ‘Fun, focus and feedback’. Nearly 20 years of experience in group facilitation and collaboration, learning and Knowledge Management, communication, innovation and change in development cooperation. Be the change you want to see, help others be their own version of the same.

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  1. “the earlier we share our ideas, the earlier others can use those ideas, reflect and comment on them, and the more likely we are all better off with enriched ideas, good conversations” you couldn’t have said it better! thanks for this insightful piece!!

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