This first conference on Collaborative Innovation Networks (COINs) brought together a multi-disciplinary international group of practitioners, researchers and students of the emerging science of collaboration.
The conference was sponsored by the Savannah College of Art and Design(SCAD), MIT Center for Collective Intelligence and Wayne State University College of Engineering–Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, and was hosted by SCAD in Savannah, Georgia.
Conference organizers define Collaborative Innovation Networks, or COINs, as cyberteams of self-motivated people with a collective vision, enabled by technology to collaborate in innovating by sharing ideas, information, and work. Although COINs have been around for hundreds of years, they are especially relevant today because the concept has reached its tipping point thanks to the Internet. COINs are powered by swarm creativity, wherein people work together in a structure that enables a fluid creation and exchange of ideas. ‘˜Coolhunting’ ‘“ discovering, analyzing, and measuring trends and trendsetters ‘“ puts COINs to productive use. Patterns of collaborative innovation frequently follow an identical path, from creator to COIN to collaborative learning network to collaborative interest network.
The substance of the conference centered around measuring and visualizing the emergent patterns of communication within social networks, identifying and tracking trends as they ripple throughout a social system, then pulling out the social and anthropological meaning of what we observe, allowing us to better understand and perhaps even forecast human behavior. This creates a unique opportunity to enhance the productivity and effectiveness of collaboration, and to find the trendsetters, thought leaders, and gate keepers within any given network. “Bleeding edge” doesn’t quite do this stuff justice; this is the blade that precedes the bleeding edge.