Open Space – Session 1

Session 1

Cafe – Definition/Characteristics of Co-Creation

*Non-hierarchical – there may be leaders but they may not be as obvious. There may be many different coordinators who have different areas of responsibility. Rather than “leaderless”, it is “leaderful”.

*There is often a difference between an initiator/s and a leader/s in co-creative contexts

*There is shared authority.

*Collectively shared vision

*Collectively designed goals and objectives

*Collectively designed process

*Shared responsibility and authority for activities and outcomes; there is often contribution from many others.

*Inclusion is a core value.

*Emergence is a key value/concept – you need to relinquish your expectations regarding outcomes to some extent. There is a required adaptability.

*Process is as important (OR critical to)** as the outcome; the process has its own impact.

*Listening to different stakeholder elements. A good co-creative process generates an impact.

*Empowering people.

*There are a diversity of ideas reflected.

*There may be shared but differential access to “benefits” of the co-creative process.

*Involves creative thinking

Core Values


*Non-hierarchical but coordinated

*Shared Authority and Responsibility


*Process is more important (OR critical to)** than outcome; the process has its own impact.

*Adaptability, flexibility




*Transparency, openness and communication


*Allowing space for failure is key

*Creative, out-of-the box thinking

*Conscious of which decision-making frameworks are being used throughout the process but they may vary according to the moment or context.

**This is a point of some (semantic?) disagreement in the group.


Also see Nathalie’s session, ‘what’s the difference between collaboration and cocreation?’

Red Umbrellas - What is the difference between co-creation and collaboration ?

What is the space between collaboration and co-creation ?

Collaboration can be defined in a “access-edit-delete” mode. (definition courtesy of Collabforge)  Collaboration is about combining forces.

In a world of uncertainty, unknown and complexity, collaboration is not enough anymore.

Paraphrasing Nathalie: cocreation is the ‘new’ collaboration.  In the same way that the collaboration management theory-practice wave emerged and spread… cocreation feels like the next wave – the next level of practice ‘above’ collaboration.

In co-creation : “create” is the most important word. It makes the difference with “working together”. We need to approach the world differently, a transformation process.

Co-creation is future-oriented, and a questions-based model. It’s a collective imaginative artistic process. It’s almost an “anti-space” : a real “let-going” space for emergent.

Either co-creation applies to the outcome and the process, or the output is a given, and the process to get there is co-creation.

Collaboration features : sense of present (time) and known (environment)

Co-creation features : sense of future (time) and unknown (environment). It includes fear and uncomfort..

In co-creation : we meet uncertainty with uncertainty. We cultivate collective doubts. And we expect light out the collective doubts. It requires humility. Humility  is letting-go certainty and egos. Up to now, we were arrogant enough to meet uncertainty with certainty.


Also see the parallel session ‘defining co-creation

Meeting Room: Resourcing your co-creation/Nic

What are your outcomes?

Advertising? Can traditional methodology work?

How do you bring people into your co-creation and answer the “what does he want” and “what’s in it for me?”

Is there a business model for your co-creation already in existence that could work for your?.

Events: Ticket sales/sponsorship/scholarship fund for no income participants

Seth Godin. Impressionados.

How do you build a brand around your authentic co-creation.

Creating citizen engagement.

People fund outcomes not processes.

Confidence is an initial factor to float the message.

Example: (Nadia) An Anti-Corruption Council with self appointed officers.

The need for key influencers, people with social capital.

Credibility, legitimacy, authenticity

The TwitterStorm. Press conferences on Twitter.

A personal connection. A larger impact generating organization like Avaaz.

PEERS. Lobbying organization for AirBnB. Distributed dinner system. Sponsoring food for a dinner at their home.

The Secret Supper Club

You don’t need to appeal to that many people. Does it sound essential?

Best crowd funded project was to create a zombie game!

Thinking about the share model, the strategy

Nic comes from marketing and business, and has carried his knowledge into the third business, a paradigm breaking medium, there was no investment model to apply to it and therefore ingenuity…it required huge doses of ‘hopium’

The question now therefore is now, how to finance another project, something contrary to establishment. He wonders how to market this request for co-creation ( Healist )

Question, conscious media has no attention, but your content is challenging but there is a well understood business model so?

Media is based on advertising, so hits traffic etc, but it was new but there was no existing media or metrics and so there was no substance to the business model. Plus- if you did get funding there was a control aspect of the message…needed autonomy , financial agnosticism…

In 2004 there was not a subscription model sufficiently developed at the time, the cost of servicing micro payment was also too much.

Irma: how do you balance the convening and holding of space with the direction setting? One voice to many voices? How do yu make it clear what the values and incentives are for the contribution, set out how and what you bring and the space in which to do so. this could be applied in many different ways.

How to get cross sectoral collaboration btw many players… Most are thinking , “what do they want” ? Distrust… How do you break this?

There is : events…

But the cost of entry is exclusionary…

But there are different models… List

But if people want other people to be there… (mention of Godins workshop)

Create a web presence, allow people to Participate with people in large groups around a pay it forward influence system, and so how to create this model?

They have become a web presence and so they sell this information…

“learn how to work from home and make 10,000 pounds a month.”

This is not co-creative, its destructive…

Irma:There is in the public sector a need for citizen engagement creation, giving local neighbourhood a say, empowerment, but the speed and action is difficult.

Nadia: we are not going there, ER was an exception, but was very linked to insider involvement…there is inherent bias toward the new… Look away from the public to the private sector

Irma: if you want to create a system of innovation (water) … The reason to go is direction is from experience but how to pull it off is difficult, a plethora of voices, these folk can become effective in creating large systems of co-creation, if they combine, cut out the bullshit and get down and dirty

Nadia: not worth it, the predators are going to be in…

Tom: mentions a company given 4 million, who almost spent  it all…eventually found an approach…

Nic:There is a created outcome intent, but because there is a need for more purpose driven activity , can you still use some of these activities to raise money, how can you create a real outcome for people?

Simon: there is a company ‘a roof for my country’ they gather students go to slums and build rooms or parts of houses, they are simple structures. It is a weekend affair , it is a lot of fun, and community engaging, he doesn’t know how they fund but it is uge , they grow exponentially… They make millions of houses…part of their resources are from the communities, materials are coming om corporations,  they are improving the way of iife etc.

How did they get the message out? How did they get that model out to the general public?  (name) popularised it, he gave it his personal brand attention and popularised it … (celebrity endorsement)

So can you take this principle and apply it to something else

One of the preconditions is confidence that you should be resourced, and so to have this confiden… You set up an expectation that all is free and so its hard to get the structure right..lhave to believe in the value, that it is deserved.

Nic: it was like this for conscious media…it was by word of mouth, pass the word, make it available , tell folk and pass it on. So, now, what do. Have now ? What do we have in the future, what is coming about?

Nadia: the labour market and work identity, “the anti-corruption council” employ yourself, you get business card, you can do a course and you can make an invitation to send to officials and you make a record of the invitation, and so apply pressure , public shaming, so you can hire yourself to affect public change.

Crowd-doing… And so how do you do this? Money is the signifier of attention, its the attention that makes it happen. So how to we bypass money to amass the attention? So creating the feedback loops, they need influencers and power to spread the idea, the social capital, and therefore it is the people who have become visible with integrity and networks who are watched and that spreads, you need the groundswell of this…

So there is a legitimacy concept, it is what the network recognises as being interesting… Twitterstorm, you get it to trend and then the Guardian call up when it trends to request an article, so harnessing these trends is important.

What are the outcomes? (I want this) what is required? How do you resource the outcome to get to that place? The outcomes are too far in the discussion? What is something for you that you now want and would be willing to put money on the table for?

Nic’s Healing methodology, biofeedback through audio.

He is interested in how to get resources…and so Tom says : he pays for the opportunity to meet interesting events and he pays for the feeling of being a good person and for belonging, for helping friends, and so hat are the things that appeal to people in this space.

Oran: people, (friends) and Avazz, (what I give money to)

Nadia: wikipedia

So impact, friends, causes, knowledge services, things that should be done.

Offering a toolkit… But tools are not everything the technology is the least interesting thing, the relationships? Technology does not affect human instincts and desires but it gives rise to different relationships… (why we are here for instance)

Patience, service the infrastructure so it can accomplish later…

Service a sales team… Buy clothes that are big so people have an excuse to talk to you…social proof is important…you need to see other people on the bus… The customers in the window of an otherwise empty restaurant.

Peers are Airbnb ‘s legislator support, they have a distributed dinner system, anyone can host in the location and anyone from the internet could come along, there was an insidious process where people begin to speak about airbnb…

So you cook, invite the people from the internet, and you charge cost price, and then at the dinner you raise a topic and get it covered that way, stealth coverage for a topic – introduction to co-creation dinners.

Tom- don’t try to appeal to everyone, appeal to a few people, don’t have folk think its ‘nice’ , find a niche, that is underserved, and go about it that way. The australian project that was most funded was a zombie game, its a niche thing.

Be specific… Broad appeal doesn’t work, if everyone thinks ‘thats nice’ it won’t work. (sexercise, hopium, vajoyster – themepark for your vagina)

Waterfall – Training – Hester

Pool – How in Remote Areas – Peter

These two sessions merged and attracted a flowing dialogue with rotating participation.