Civil Situation Awareness

Sometimes you are just ahead of your time and you bang your head against brick-walls and you have all time in the world thinking and finding new concepts, perspectives and versions of your idea that you are trying to get through. Sometimes you find yourself right on time, in time and then you’re way to busy to think at all.
In both cases you can be greatly helped by sharing your ideas instead of sitting on them wondering if they are any good. If the ideas are well thought through of course.

We (as in different groups, co-workers, researchers, friends) have been working on this idea since 2007 but the timing hasn’t been right. We did a prototype called Situation Awareness Engine and another called Sensemaking engine demonstrator. It basically contains an advanced civil Common Operational Picture with reports (as you can find in the Ushahidi platform for example).

Crisis management for every day life
We come from the Crisis Management research area where we have discovered that in order for society to work efficiently during crisis it must do so also in times of “peace”. In fact, if co-operation is efficient and cross-organisational using a common “map” and perception of the current situation much is gained and work can begin to focus on what needs to be done in the future instead of finding out what has happened in the past – this leads us to cross-organisational co-operation in general and innovation, sustainability, complex project management and a number of different “new” areas since anything we do these days as humans is complex endeavours. And for example looking at the environmental work or the globalisation as a long-term crisis we then know exactly what society and the citizens needs in real-time.

Taking the next step
Last year we “investigated” further and identified needs for a Common Intention Picture (where you register vision, objectives, activities, problems/solutions/resources/ideas), a Collaborative Budget Engine (similar to crowdsourcing) and an “eBay” for resources (people, goods, energy, time etc). We are building reports on an innovative INSPIRE-similar format but we need to have the information fusion tools similar to BizTalk as well to be able to create a Generic Information Arena (yes all concepts are three letter combinations by intention. 🙂 ) along with the semantic web. To filter and search information we use subscribable information channels of the INSPIRE-directive-like format. This means you can search and filter intuitively in a number if different ways like in geography, in time, in information domains, by tags, in priority, in relevance and in 4-5 other dimensions in different tools.

Implementing the improvement processes
To be able to measure society and what it is to be accomplished and the measures that are introduced and to be able to begin the improvement processes we need sensors (physical, virtual and human) and we need wizards going through the steps of a successful co-operation growth. Central in the whole thing is a Facebook-similar tool with many-to-many-communication, messageing, blogs, notifications, a common calendar etc that we call Safebook – governance levels and a lot of people have problems with social media and privacy aspects and need internal social media tools in common intranets. We also need a generic platform with Safebook interface to create games and challenges – sort of a Common Process Engine.

Some kind of wrapping it up
Of course the wicked problems that we are dealing with cannot be wrapped up or even be solved. We can only try and have an open mind and begin trusting each other. With that said… in the crisis management expertise area and in military circuits we can conceptualize it as Command & Control, Computers, Communications adding Co-operation, Coordination and Convergence leading to C7-levels and self-synchronisation. The last months has shown yet another C for Co-creation. But in the civil and innovation expertise area we need other terms and concepts that we are now developing. The ideas are a blend of open/closed platforms common and professional tools on all sorts of devices always accessible and easy to use. One of the most important conclusion on systems or used tools is that it has to have interfaces for both in- and outdata and that information needs to flow freely between systems/tools. We need a more advanced format than RSS…

I hope any of this is useful for you and if you need more info on technology or socio-economic strategis or plain or complex tools don’t hesitate to message me!
And I can’t offer you a site yet but surely during 2012 we will have something public up and running helping “region” earth.

In collaborative endeavours the absence of leadership is both the problem and the solution. In collaborative endeavours it’s the bottom-up shared vision that represents the leadership and top-down leadership is transformed into inspiration.

… and of course apologies for the swenglish…


One thought on “Civil Situation Awareness

  1. Pingback: Global collaboration tools of the Future « Shared tracks

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