Good Ideas Salon São Paulo: Collaboration

With Collaboration as its motto, the Good Ideas Salon São Paulo was the first to happen in South America.

With Collaboration as its motto, the Good Ideas Salon São Paulo was the first to happen in South America. About 60 people attended the event, which brought together speakers with radically different backgrounds to discuss the theme.

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Marta Schonhorst, a former Brazilian Olympic rhythmic gymnast, exposed her experience on how collaboration is fundamental to the development of sports, particularly given the synchronized dynamic so particular to her sport. Ricardo Freire, a travel blogger, spoke of how his readers have became co-authors of the content he publishes, limiting his role to curator within a highly collaborative information network. Augusto de Franco, a self-denominated “Netweaver”, explained some of his research and experiments with horizontal social networks and how their configuration represents an antithesis to a hierarchic, command and control, centralized structure. Ari Raynsford, a PhD in Nuclear Physics with a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering, both from MIT, is a specialist in Integral Vision due to his extensive studies of Ken Wilber’s work. He stated that social networks are potentially an evolutionary experience with a greater human conscience, arguing that nobody detains all the truth and only through an integral model that accepts collaboration between individuals can we continue to evolve.

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At one point Ari said the evolutionary process is inherently hierarchic, because as you transcend from one level of consciousness to the next, new elements become part of your rationale, rendering the “system” increasingly more complex. Augusto offers a contrasting view, making clear that he does not believe in esoteric explanations nor does he believe human beings exist in different evolutionary stages. If this were the case, society would legitimatize the power of one individual over another, and that is not what collaboration and horizontal social networks are all about. Ari then said that while this vision may be partially true, it certainly does not constitute the whole truth. Hierarchy and human evolutionary stages in the negative form that Augusto sees them, Ari says, originate from a misconception caused by our present level of consciousness, which is insufficient, and we are thus unable to judge nor properly understand subjective matters through an objective prism. Quite deep and complex, to say the least.

Wikis, crowdsourcing, democracy, spirituality, blogs and grassroots movements: the discussion became deeper and broader with new methods and tools for collaborative models mentioned. If there’s one key takeaway to remember, it’s that there are a number of ways to structure, manage and sustain collaborative models, and that no one model is necessarily the best for everyone.

The event took place at The Hub, a collaborative and collective workspace. In their own words:

We’ve been working across four continents, and 12 cities to create places for people who want to change things. This is the ambition. We set out to create places that borrow from the best of a member’s club, an innovation agency, a serviced office and a think-tank to create a very different kind of innovation environment. Places with all the tools and trimmings needed to grow and develop new ventures. Places to access experience, knowledge, finance and markets. And above all, places for experience and encounter, full of diverse people doing amazing things. We call these places Hubs. In many ways we’re just getting started. And we’d like you to be part of it.

The next Good Ideas Salon, São Paulo will take place 1Q 2010 on ETHICS.

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