COLLABORATIVE INNOVATION AND THE OVERVIEW EFFECT
We say that the underlying root cause of many intractable business, community, government, political, healthcare, social, and conflict resolution problems is the lack of intentional Collaborative Innovation between people and between organizations.
In this Article we offer three powerful and intuitive practices that will revolutionize your life, your relationships, and your business. These are:
1. Practice of the Overview Effect.
2. Practice of Innovative Collaboration that emerges
synergistically from a mutual intent informed by the
3. Practice with an ancient indigenous people’s tool called “The
Talking Stick,” that helps Collaborative Innovation to
emerge and be sustained.
The Overview Effect is a cognitive shift in awareness reported by some astronauts and cosmonauts during spaceflight … It refers to the experience of seeing firsthand the reality that the Earth is in space, a tiny, fragile ball of life, ‘hanging in the void,’ shielded and nourished by a paper-thin atmosphere. The experience often transforms astronauts’ perspective on the planet and humanity’s place in the universe. Some common aspects of it are feeling of awe for the planet, a profound understanding of the interconnection of all life, and a renewed sense of responsibility for taking care of the environment. Frank White: The Overview Effect: Space Exploration and Human Evolution (1987/1998/2014
Edgar Mitchell, sixth man on the moon said: “You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it. From out there on the moon, international politics looks so petty…, it’s a feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear or wonder.”
On the 40th anniversary of the famous ‘Blue Marble’ photograph taken of Earth from space, “Planetary Collective” presents a short film, documenting astronauts’ life-changing stories of seeing the Earth from the outside – a perspective-altering experience often described as the Overview Effect.
The Overview Effect is a moment almost too elusive to put into words in which, as with the term ‘love,’ the experience begins to disappear the more you talk about it. The more words, the less Wonder and Awe, the less resonant feeling energy is there. Significance and meaning evaporate in our attempts to define just what the Overview Effect is.
Still, to a degree, and with some regularity, even if not consciously acknowledged, we experience the Overview Effect in nature, in unthinkable collaboration, innovation, intimacy, in business moments of profound change, in kindred spirit relationships, and in cultural shifts not already possible. A friend of ours compared it to the birth of his first child, a consuming moment with no history, an unfathomable experience of mind and body. Another recalled meeting his first love, who came to him with a total positive sensation, as if from a universe he’d never felt before.
The Overview Effect, we suggest, is a way of understanding everyday reality as a ‘Holon’ – something that is simultaneously a whole and a part, an unfathomable context of Universe and a practical gateway to Collaborative Innovation at the same time. This Holon is an anatomy that goes to the heart of human creative potential. It energizes the creative potential of a group of diverse participants to generate breakthrough solutions. In this sense,