You may now ask; how can Koios be better than current approaches to solving problems or how can
it be better than using other online services? Why should we move to the Koios platform?
Why it is better than other virtual environments
There are today no online virtual environments or platforms that are designed ground
up for the entire process of solving complex social
Instead there are lots of services that can be used for parts of the process. Many
teams therefore end up using a mix of tools like Skype, Google docs, Insight maker, online mind mapping tools, E-mail, Wikis, DebateGraph, InsightMaker,
Twitter, forums like PhpBB and perhaps Slideshare and social networking services like
Ning, facebook or linkedIn. Some teams also add custom tailored web site frameworks
like Drupal or LMS's to their mix of tools.
The big problem with this approach is that the mix of tools becomes a Frankenstein solution that is neither very useable, user-friendly nor useful.
Users have to jump between
websites, information is duplicated, people can't find what they are looking for, and people can't get an overview.
They are often spammed with information that is not relevant. And most importantly there is little organization, coordination and process to steer the group towards a goal.
The amount of noise
and cognitive load is so high that very few find it fruitful to work in such an environment.
Other typical issues are described by the MIT center of Collective Intelligence.
There are also several ready-to-use services particularly built to support social innovation
or social change, but most of these are very simple. Some of these let you come up
with new ideas. Activities such as research, critique, simulations,
deciding on solution criteria, stakeholder analysis, root cause analysis, systems modelling, group
management, planning, task management etc. etc. are missing.
Why is Koios better than traditional problem solving methods
There are today thousands of organizations, communities or groups around the world
trying to solve various social problems. Experts in governments, international organizations,
research institutions, think tanks, NGO’s as well as activists, fund raisers and
social innovators are doing a phenomenal job.
The most formal and established organizations employ advanced research methodologies
and infrastructure but the people working in these teams are relatively few and
have therefore limited capacity.
The less formal groups on the other hand consist of many times more people but are often limited in various ways
often because of limited resources, limited skills, limited infrastructure or limited knowledge.
Koios seeks to bridge this gap by giving the smaller and less formal teams new tools,
and a network including access to knowledge and best practices.
As Nadler and Hibino points out in their book Breakthrough Thinking,
we would traditionally not have the resources to focus both on the problem and solutions.
It was simply too much work to analyse it all. Now with crowdsourcing techniques we can call on people all
over the world to investigate the problem and the solution space at the same time as solutions are being tested.
Compared to traditional ways of solving problems,
Koios has the potential to accelerate problem solving by letting more people work in parallel and to reuse data.
In a problem solving process there will always be roadblocks.
Information is repeatedly needed to take decisions and to move ahead.
A crowdsourced approach helps to rid the path of impediments such as this.
List of benefits
The Koios solution is under development but here are the benefits as we envision
them, when compared to traditional off-line problem solving methods:
Benefits for newcomers, informal and non-expert problem solvers
- Lower barrier to enter complex problem solving. More user-friendly and accessible
- Problem solving process with techniques and strategies are built in to the system
so you don't have to search for these processes and tools.
- Step by step process with forms and fields guides you effectively through the process.
You don't need to have a PhD to get started.
- A community of problem solvers.
- More motivating as you are part of something bigger. (Thousands coming together and solving the world’s problems)
- Learning material and mentoring features helps you become a better problem solver.
- A network of problem solvers that can assist and give feedback.
- Built in policies, checklists and workflows helps you to think objectively, to avoid
bias and unsound judgement.
- Many eyes - Multiple independent verifications - continuously checking
the shared content for errors. Correcting, rating confidence, reviewing and voting, helps to prioritize and to remove bad content which results in better content quality.
- With traditional forums, wikies etc new participants often get overwhelmed when they join
and are faced with hundreds of posts. It is difficult to gain a sense of the current
state of thought. Koios has status overview dashboards, key insights listings, current focus areas and much more to accommodate new users.
Benefits for experienced problem solvers, researchers and analysts
- More coordinated problem solving both between projects and within
a project (when participants are not co-located).
- Access to manpower to help with simple tasks. (Crowd sourcing/citizen science)
- Koios can make your project more visible and help to attract more resources.
- Social networking for increased visibility of crucial knowledge of other Koios members.
- Help potential contributors find you and your team.
- Options for much faster review and feedback.
- Collaboration is essential and often participants will be located around the world.
With traditional collaboration you often get a scheduling nightmare. With Koios
you store the full history and anyone can work anytime and anywhere.
- The traditional sequential document-centric approach of moving documents from person to person
takes too long time. On Koios everyone can multi-task and work in parallel.
- More options to get help when progress has halted. Possibilities to get new ideas
and find collaborators with complementary knowledge.
- Get tools to help you manage a team. (Role, groups and permissions management as
well as project management tools and guides)
- Object oriented data model to enable links between topics and corpus of relevant
- Past problem solutions bring insight and help you to solve new problems quicker.
- Data, information and knowledge from other problem spaces can easily be reused in
your problem space saving you time and work.
- Versioning to keep track of changes.
- Process improvement frameworks are built into the system and will be used to further develop and make Koios better over time.
- All-in-one-solution. Collaboration in one coherent portal. Avoid fragmentation and
- One site with unified news, alerts and notifications means less noise.
- Help you work on multiple problems at once.
- Get more recognition.
- Be part of a larger problem solving community. Discuss problem solving matters with
Benefits for everyone
- With one well known portal, Koios, for the world's problems, important
social issues can be highlighted. This can help to create awareness to a cause so
to attract more resources to the effort.
- Deliberation is supported with both analysis and synthesis to produce high quality holistic results.
- With our integrated problem solving tools you do not have to learn several different tools with completely
different user interfaces. You don't have to switch between different software.
You don't need to install new tools on your computer.
- A structured data layer makes data accessible as web services/API’s and queryable
by remote computer systems to allow for Science
2.0 / science
grid /Linked open data.
- The site is designed around openness and transparency. Openness fosters engagement.
Transparency improves quality. With engagement and quality comes more efficient
- Versioning can provide a glimpse into the process which again can be used to improve
processes and as learning material.
- The collective knowledge of experts will overtime be encoded into the system with
semantic technologies so that it can be reused more effectively.
- Solving problems on Koios in more fun because of a reward system with points, leader
boards and badges. When it's more fun people also spend more time on it and more
problems can be solved.
- Features for rich narratives and presentations of your problem space make your work
easier to communicate to others.
- If you don't have time to work on the problem someone else can take over. The project
will not die out as can happen if all your work is stored on your local computer.
- Other online collaborative tools like forums or social media tend to become
a very long debate that doesn’t result in anything productive. Discussions are repeated
as there is no way to federate or organize insights or conclusions.
Koios makes this more effective by using argument maps and other structured deliberation techniques.
- Greater potential for learning when there are more ideas and more perspectives available.
Large groups of independent, motivated and informed contributors can often collectively make better judgments experts, because their collective
judgment cancels out the biases and gaps of the individual members.
The long tail - the openness and reach of the platform allows for more participation and much greater diversity of ideas.
Since people often develop new ideas by forming novel
combinations and extensions of other ideas there is a greater chance of synergy effects and finding better solutions.