Collaborative Innovation: What Turns It Off And What Turns It On
In such a world, collaboration requires a cognitive decision and a volitional act. The creation of this journal is just one indication that this description of a solipsistic perception of reality is pertinent. Individualism, however, is not a manipulated or unnatural disposition. Wilson (2012) argues that although we have become hard-wired to co-operate in groups, we also have an individual and self-concerned drive for survival. Part of the human condition is the discord between these two impulses. The question now becomes: What do we need to understand about us as a species that can be utilized to restore a positive acceptance of our natural, collaborative disposition?
What Connects Us
One of the most compelling discoveries about our non-volitional connection to others, is the existence of mirror neurons. These are a set of neurons in the motor and pre-motor area that respond to movement when observing another as if making that movement yourself. This shared neural experience of movement enables the observer to assess the intentions and compatibility of the observed prior to reflective consideration: the activity of one exists within the brain of another, directly connecting the two “selves” (Gallese, et al, 1996; Kaplan & Iacoboni,2007). Natural processes like this show that humans have an automatic and unavoidable response to the presence (and the absence) of other people for the distinct purpose of enabling and enhancing interaction and social engagement.
Other obvious capacities are language and gesture, whose principle purpose is to communicate mental states across the “social synapse” (Cozolino, 2013; Stephani & Marco, 2019), defined cornea of the eye to enable others to know and follow the direction of eye gaze (Tomasello, et al., 2007) and empathy, which enables us to have a felt sense of another to enable and enhance emotional engagement (Riess, 2017). These all are implicit capacities that contribute to our natural connection, social engagement, collaboration and co-operative creativity.
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