community genius: leveraging community to increase your creative powers

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  • Shelly D. Farnham, Ph.D.Waggle LabsIgnite, April 29, 2009

    Community Genius: Leveraging Community to Increase your Creative Powers

  • What is Community?

    "I define "community" as networks of interpersonal ties that provide sociability, support, information, a sense of belonging, and social identity. Barry Wellman (2001).

    Seattle Cupcake Society

  • Community is to Social Capital


    Love is to Babies

  • Community Groups Enable Transitive RelationshipsHey Im in The Cupcake Society too !Can I borrow some sugar?Sure!And try my special recipe!

  • Process of Creativitynovel ideasManifested into reality


  • Tip 1: Seek Diversity

  • Tip 2. Seek High Rotation in Weak Ties

  • Tip 3: Develop Colleagues/Friends with Good Flow

  • Tip 4: Get a White Board

  • Tip 5: Play Different RolesPassive observerActive participantLeader

  • Tip 6. Play Nice

    Reputation spreads like wild-fire

  • Tip 7: Hang Out a Lot in Bars

    Conversation drives creativity

  • Tip 8. Give Away Ideas and Knowledge FreelyThe Love Cat Way

    Be a Love Cat!!

  • Tip 9. Play the Yeah, and Generative Idea GameDudes, lets do something really geeky!Yah like with LASERSYah and it plays music like a giant harp!Yah and like youre inside a giant brain playing laser neurons!!!Yah like a Giant Robot Brain!!!Dudes this is going to be sooo cooool

  • Tip 10. Generate *Many* Ideas, but Pick Only a Few Ideas to ExecuteReality Checks:Skills?Passion?Time?Resources?Venue?Steve the Robot H.E.Ai.D.

  • Tip 11. Have PlaceHangouts where you can do stuff as a group

  • Tip 12. Have Project DaysSaturday HouseArt DayWednesday Night Project Night

  • Tip 13. Give up Control

  • Suggested Groups and EventsDorkbotSeattle Tech StartupSeattle Robotics911 Media Arts CenterBCWA (Burning Man, Ignition Northwest)Seattle Mind CampBarCamp SeattleHackerbotIgnite!ThingamajiggrFrayed Wire

  • Frayed WireJuly 11thOne dayeventart , technology, communityPresentations, workshops, discussions

    Web of relationships, Ongoing exchange, Feel a part of a larger whole, Relationships last through time*Transitive trust and reputationTransitive emotional and instrumental supportIdeas and knowledge proliferation

    * Its a myth that creativity occurs in isolation, it is often through a social process of recombining, remixing diverse approaches and ideas*Do you hang out with all the same kind of person, people just like you?Seek out people who are NOT like youTo find diverse groups with diverse memberships:Get on communication channels (mailing lists) Go to their meetingsGo to their hangouts

    *interpersonal ties are social connections (sociology)more novel information flows to individuals through weak rather than strong ties [Granovetter]

    *EngagedLoss of self-consciousnessBalance between your abilities and sense of challengeWhole is greater than the sume of the partsEffortless, fun

    *Put it in your kitchenOne rule: anything can be erased at any time

    *Being less involved is ok: being a flake is not

    *Being less involved is ok: being a flake is not

    *presentations, workshops, discussions, an open lab space.Speakers: Ward Cunningham (, Trimpin (Artist), Robin Oppenheimer(Professor, UW), Jeff Brice (Professor, Cornish), Susie Lee (Artist), Sumit Basu (Researcher, MSR), Robert Campbell (Professor, Cornish) Workshops: Intro to Arduino, Processing, Basic electronics