(Part 1 of 3 in the Architects, Inventors, and Collaborators blog series.)
The theme of Social Media Week this year, Open & Connected: Principles for a Collaborative World, has been the catalyst for a number of hot debates in the Social Media Week offices. Identifying what, exactly, openness, connectedness and collaboration mean in an increasingly social world can be, well… tricky.
As conversations around the idea continued to percolate, so did a noticeable shift in their direction. The focus was no longer how to define the social media landscape, but a question of who was defining it. Who are the influencers, producers, and shapers driving social media?
While sifting through the heaps of notable tastemakers, we discovered most belonged to one of three distinct archetypes: Architects, Inventors, or Collaborators. So, we decided to dedicate three days of the conference (and this three part blog series), to exploring what that means.
Architects: devisers, makers, creators. At a time when “openness” is zeitgeist and transparency and collaboration are the very nature of social and digital media, architects must rethink traditional structures and develop new frameworks that reflect those ideals. It’s quite the paradox: design boundary-less boundaries.
This seemingly daunting task has done little to deter trailblazers like Susan Crawford. A visiting professor at the Harvard Kennedy School and former Special Assistant for Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy to President Barack Obama (for more on her laundry list of accomplishments, click here) her Fall class, Solving Problems Using Technology, embodies this type of progressive design process.
Her students, from both Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, partnered with three community groups and The Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics in an effort to address Boston’s urban and civic challenges through technology. This month, The Mayor’s Office will select and fund the best of the student’s designs.
It’s this type of innovative approach to 21st century architecture that will inform the future of social media, and it’s imperative that we embrace and learn from these new models. To learn more about Susan’s work, and the work of other “architects”, join us at our new Global Headquarters on February 18th.
We look forward to seeing you there!