KM Blog May 2007

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Exponential Knowledge for Web 2.0

Web 2.0 has certainly helped us move even faster from incremental and episodic knowledge creation to continuous knowledge creation and sharing, at an exponential rate!

People, all around the world, are creating inspirational videos, commenting and sharing knowledge in video and blogs, creating new knowledge in radically new ways with wiki-editing tools and hybrids, and tagging, organising and distributing information and knowledge in all sorts of clever ways.

It feels like this process of creating, sharing and learning is now happening so fast around the world, that it has become 'beyond human' comprehension.

The richer and increasingly varied inter-connections, and increased collaboration, with people we don't even know but who we increasingly depend on, to make it all happen, is quite extraordinary.

As a KM consultant, I am particularly interested in rich and complex informational associations and connections that, even when made explicit on the web, are increasingly resembling knowledge forms and representations of the brain.

I believe that progress in this area, for Web 3.0 will be staggering and exponential over the next 5 years.

Ron Young

Monday, May 14, 2007

Encyclopedia of Life - The world's knowledge about plants and animals

It was so exciting to read in the Daily Telegraph, Thursday 10th May, 2007, about the launch of the Encyclopedia of Life - The whole story of life on Earth to go online at:

The aim is to list 1.8m known species and animals and other forms of life, and the project could take another 10 years to complete. So far, £30 million has been pledged in grants from charitable foundations and academic institutions to complete it. The design looks very good.

From a knowledge management perspective, I am very interested in the collaborative effort to achieve this. No doubt, some inspiration has come from the wikipedia initiative to demonstrate radically new ways to collectively create new knowledge.

The Encyclopedia of Life website says:

"Comprehensive, collaborative, ever-growing, and personalized, the Encyclopedia of Life is an ecosystem of websites that makes all key information about life on Earth accessible to anyone, anywhere in the world. "

I do particularly like the reference to an 'ecosystem of websites'. I think that there is much we can do to further develop more natural knowledge ecologies. It's also interesting to see that the information and knowledge will be with contributions from scientists and amateurs alike. So I imagine an academic 'peer review' process acting together with 'wikipedia like' capturing of new learnings, ideas and insights?

Dr Richard Lane, the Natural History Museum's director of science said:

" It is a monumental project that will open up the world's knowledge about plants and animals we share the planet with".

I am sure that the Encyclopedia of Life is the start of an exciting trend in global knowledge management initiatives for the good of all on Planet Earth.

Ron Young

Thursday, May 03, 2007

India and/or China lead Knowledge Management Once again, Europe and USA have become complacent.

Last time it was Quality management. This time it is Knowledge Management.

I remember Duran saying that although he developed his ideas around Quality management in the USA, he could never get people to truly see what he was trying to do. They were too busy, couldn't easily see the ROI and were generally cynical of anything new.

They were not hungry enough for new innovative ideas and methods.

Eventually, the Japanese embraced Quality Management the way he envisaged, and the rest is history. We learned how to do QM properly from the Japanese.

I see the same with Knowledge Management.

The West has still not got it entirely.

We are still playing around the edges of the field. Also, we are too busy, cannot immediately see the ROI and are, also, generally cynical about change.

I predict that India will get it fully. I predict China will get it fully. Why? Because they have deep and rich cultures that have always highly valued knowledge. Because they are incredibly intelligent, talented and innovative in this area. Because they know this change has to happen, and they want it. The Far East will continue to provide innovative technologies to support innovative knowledge creation and sharing.

Then, I expect that Europe and USA, at least, will all learn from India and China how to do KM properly.

One example: Take a look at the Vedas and Upanishads, the great spiritual heritage of India.

The first books of knowledge of several thousand years ago.

Then you will see that they will undoubtedly understand what 21st Century knowledge management should be, if they don't already!

Ron Young

Go to daily blog 'KM-Consulting'


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