CollaborAction Items

The Co-ignite Collaborative Blog
Tags » creativity
  • A Choir of Thousands of Voices

    Jeff Young
    Jeff Young on May 04, 2011
    Tagged in: teams, purpose, innovation, creativity, collaboration

    What if we were to all come together to make our own unique contribution on projects that are deeply meaningful to us? What would that look like? Well, perhaps Eric Whitacre gives us a rare example of how it can be done – beautifully. You need to see this video from TED. Go ahead, click the link. I will wait for you right here. When you are done, come back here so I can share with you what I see as significant that can be applied in our workplaces and in our non-profit organizations.

    What I see in this video is that each person wanted to be part of something bigger than themselves. They chose by themselves to participate and brought their own voice to the larger group. Each individual voice is small when listened to alone but, when blended together, creates this wonderful richness that is impossible unless all these people came together.

    It also takes a conductor to organize the tasks so that it is easy for each person to participate. They make room in the music for the variety of voices out there and construct a way to put them all together to achieve a clear, compelling, and meaningful goal. Here is the kind of result that is possible.

    What if you had never heard a choir before? You wouldn’t know the beauty that is possible by coming together and blending each person’s contribution. Our workplaces are the same.


  • Ken Robinson Does it Again!

    Jeff Young

    Ken Robinson does it again.  Here is a delightful video created by RSA that illustrates the shift in paradigm being called for in education.  (Link to the Video)  The video tells a clear story of what has happened that is causing the need for change.   

    We are not so much needing higher standards or a different curriculum as needing to shift from a manufacturing process of education to one of developing the individual capacity of each person.  This requires a different process of learning than the current one of focusing on the subject and lecturing on it; encouraging students to find the one right answer.  Instead, we need to focus on each person as a creative being and giving them a learning environment where they can grow into who they were meant to become.

    This is the central purpose of Infinite Discoveries.  We believe that each person should be looking to find a place where they can be in their own element; where they can thrive and bring forth their unique gifts and contribution to something that is important to them.  We then loosely organize ourselves into collaboratives where we can collectively work on projects that are important to us that are aligned with our gifts. 

    We believe that learning and growth happens in collaborative groups formed from a common purpose; that learning and work are not and should not be separated.  Work gives us the context for expressing our gifts and we need to continually learn how to be more skillful in that expression.


  • Introduction... an experiment

    on Mar 21, 2011
    Tagged in: purpose, learning, education, creativity

    The Image

    Dreamy-eyed, I look to the horizon across the Puget-Sound and imagine an ocean vast and terrifying. My life, a story, rises and falls with the waves which distort the image I see, like Narcissus captivated by his own reflection. Yet, instead of reaching for this ungraspable phantom and drowning myself, I shall reach past the image into the depths, fight the whale of a monster, and ride the waves.

    Shall I float and survive this monster beneath the surface? Only time will tell; but I can’t fight him alone. Come, be my army; peer through my looking glass. Adventure, mystery, pain, confusion and much more lie on the other side. Hold my hand as I plunge myself into the waters of the unknown. Only then may I reach what is under the image of my life-blood, my dreams. 

    The Vision      


  • Social Networking – Size Isn’t Enough

    Jeff Young

    This past week I saw a story on my computer that Facebook celebrated reaching 500 million users.  What huge accomplishment in this new and exciting world of social networking.  As a society and as a world we are much more connected with each other than ever before in human history.  

    We instantly send messages to each other, find schoolmates we haven’t seen in decades, share our vacations, our triumphs, and our dazzling moments with our children.  As a parent, I keep up to date with my grown children easier than any generation before me.   I share and participate in what is going on in their lives without them even having to call their parents or feel guilty because they didn’t.  This is really cool!

    Last week I also attended an eye opening presentation where people were sharing their latest ideas of how we can bring innovation to social issues.  What I saw was an exciting portfolio of ideas on how to leverage the same social media and Facebook-like technology to make a difference in our communities.  But, as I listened, I was struck by the image of each of us sitting behind our own computer or cell phone chatting by text to one another.  In this image we are isolated behind a veil of technology telling unseen others about the actions we are individually taking to make a difference in each other’s lives.  It seemed sadly ironic to me and I was left with an empty and hollow feeling of being alone; a feeling similar to how my home now feels with my daughters both grown and our dog of 16 years permanently sleeping under our peach tree as I sit and write this post to unseen readers I have never met.  Is this really the kind of connection we need?

    Where Are WE?

    As a family we used to gather around our dinner table every evening and share who we were and what we cared about.  We listened and supported each other.  We laughed and we cried together.  We cared about each other’s success and we supported and consoled each other in our disappointments.  We got angry and we made up.  We often shared family hugs that even the dog understood was special, leaping up on hind legs – reaching to be part of the tangle of warm arms and legs.  Wherever we were in our travels, or our journey, whatever we were becoming in our lives, we were a We – not just a collection of individuals.