Jack Mason, IBM Strategic Communications
What do nanotechnology, the Greater IBM alumni social network and virtual worlds have in common?
They are each, and all together, about innovation intersections…the convergences, mashups, cross-fertilizations and new collaborative configurations where truly new stuff develops.
At the Nanobiology Initiative conference a few weeks ago these parallax trends came into focus, and I wanted to examine the overlaps in the hopes of igniting some new
connections and possibilities with the differrent audiences that my epiphany might relate to….
Most people today operate in a complex Venn diagram of social and
professional circles. For example, my current swirl of work includes:
- Helping IBM launch a business social network — The Greater IBM Connection — for current and former IBMers to collaborate
- Working with a large new team inside IBM –The Virtual Universe Community — on the future of the “3D Internet”
- Contributing to the mass collaboration that is e-health
transformation, a major strategic front for big blue, through this blog
and related efforts
- Participating in the company’s efforts to lead on other Web 2.0 fronts
Not only do each of these streams have lots of of internal intersections and criss-crosses. But all of these elements are playing off or feeding each other. Life seems to be more and more like the Web itself…defined by linkages and networks within networks like the
russian stacked doll called a matyroska (I just learned the proper name of that familiar object, via Yahoo Answers, btw).
For example, I would like to encourage an exchange on nanotechnology across the Greater IBM network, since nanotech is one of the most multidisciplinary and collaborative frontiers for deep societal innovation. Who’s with me?
Also, my immersion in the leading virtual world of Second Life has also made me aware of some of the ways that these 3D environments are advancing health care. Not only is this strange new medium being used to help people with Asperger’s Syndrome and Cerebral Palsy, among others, it is also serving as a virtual meeting places for all kinds of
disease support groups, as well as a new medium for therapists to work with patients.
Just yesterday, I discovered that the Centers For Disease Control have launched a presence in Second Life. And there’s also an interesting new offshoot of the Serious Games initiative called Games for Health that is investigating how game-like environments can help in areas such as CPR or triage training and simulation.
Of course IBM is exploring how its role in the networking of healthcare and virtual worlds may come together.
On that front, I’m all ears on how you might imagine how nanotechnology, social networks, health care and synthetic digital environments may get mashed together to enable deep societal innovation.