You may now ask; how is Koios be better than current approaches to solving social problems
or how is it 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 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,
The brain (online mind mapping), E-mail, Wikis, DebateGraph, InsightMaker, Basecamp,
Hojoki, Twitter, forums like PhpBB and perhaps Slideshare and social networking
services like Ning, facebook or linkedIn. Some teams also have custom tailored made
web sites using frameworks like
CMS (e.g. Drupal) or
LMS's (e.g. Moodle) to their mix of tools.
The big problem with this approach is that the mix of tools become a Frankenstein
solution or solution set 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 coordination
and few processes 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. Support for activities such as research, critique, simulations,
deciding on solution criteria, stakeholder analysis, root cause analysis, systems
modelling, group management, planning, task management etc. etc. is completely 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 such as having 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.
Nadler and Hibino points out in their book Breakthrough Thinking that we have
traditionally not had the resources to work on both the problem and the solution at the same time.
It is simply too much analysis/work. This is a critical limitation for today's social change agents. 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 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 and learn these processes, methods 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 you can learn from and exchange ideas with.
- 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 plans fail not because of what was in the
plan, but what was not in the plan. ”
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.
- Koios has status overview dashboards, task lists etc. to help users get up to date quickly and to avoid users being overwhelmed.
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 tasks.
- Koios can make your project more visible and help to attract more resources.
- Social networking features shows relevant knowledge and expertise of other Koios members.
- Help potential contributors find you and your team.
- Faster review and feedback.
- Improved collaboration for participants around the world.
In traditional teams working across time zones you often get a scheduling nightmare. With Koios
you store the full history and anyone can work anytime and anywhere.
The system significantly decreases the need for coordination and status meetings.
- 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, group and permission 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 and to enable undo 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.
- Be part of a larger problem solving community. Discuss problem solving matters with
- Accountability, complience, audit-trail/traceability is built into the system.
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
- Easier to collaborate. With the clearly defined process steps, your team can easily divide tasks and work on specific parts of the problem.
In traditional analyis work many simultaneous writers would typically have coordination problems such as covering what's important and not writing overlapping content.
- 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 sites 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 coupling each discussion tightly to a very concrete question within a clear process with clear goals.
- 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.
- Information on different problems are presented in a uniform way across the platform
making it easier and faster to digest.
- People working in non-profits are often caught in a cycle of responding to short
term needs, and the realm of control is often very narrow. These organizations are
often vulnerable to blindsiding. Koios can help these to get a wider perspective
and think more long term, avoiding unintented consequences as well as being able
to address the deeper root causes that will actually.
- Get recognition for your work. Your work is visible to anyone.