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Hey Michelle A really interesting idea indeed. I wonder how this would work framed around particular 'problems' and challenges: the literature on open innovation and wide-search innovation - taking problems from one field into completely different fields to find solutions - suggests there is great benefit to be found here. Two or more fields grappling with similar challenges might benefit from co-hosting a conference around that area. For radically mashed up conferencing, events like Interesting ( offer an, um, interesting model. Alternatively, just inviting someone from outside the field to keynote at an event, or people from different fields to take part in key panels, may be a way to at least shake up unquestioned assumption that are often implicit in homiphilous gatherings...
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Thanks for another really helpful post Kevin. If you do discover that grass roots research I would love to hear about it too - as understanding drivers and barriers to engagement in civic discourse, and civic discourse through social media in socially excluded community contexts is key to working out the true potential or pitfalls of moving more dialogue into the digital realm.
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Dec 21, 2009