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Fostering Social Creativity

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List of FiguresList of TablesIntroductionSocial Creativity and Social Capital: A Conceptual FrameworkSocial CreativitySocial CapitalThe Seeding, Evolutionary Growth, and Reseeding Process ModelAnalysis of Existing Success ModelsOpen SourceExperts ExchangeExamples of Socio-Technical Developments Promoting and Relying on Social CapitalCodeBroker: Evolutionary Construction of Reusable Software Component RepositoriesThe Envisionment and Discovery Collaboratory (EDC)Courses-as-SeedsAssessmentAddressing the Adoption Barriers of Collaborative TechnologiesMotivationTrustEvolution by Designers and Evolution by UsersSelf-ApplicationConclusionsAcknowledgmentsReferencesContribution to a Book (eds: Marleen Huysman and Volker Wulf) about “Social Capital” (based on the May 2002 Workshop, Amsterdam) Fostering Social Creativity by Increasing Social Capital Gerhard Fischer1, Eric Scharff 1,Yunwen Ye1,2 1 Center for LifeLong Learning and Design Department of Computer Science University of Colorado Boulder, CO 80303-0430, USA +1-303-492-1592 {gerhard,scharffe,yunwen}@cs.colorado.edu 2SRA Key Technology Laboratory, Inc. 3-12 Yotsuya, Shinjuku, Tokyo 160-004, Japan +81-3-3357-9011 Abstract Complex design problems require more knowledge than any single person can possess, and the knowledge relevant to a problem is often distributed among all stakeholders who have different perspectives and background knowledge, thus providing the foundation for social creativity. Bringing together different points of view and trying to create a shared understanding among all stakeholders can lead to new insights, new ideas, and new artifacts. Social creativity can be supported by innovative computer systems that allow all stakeholders to contribute to framing and solving these problems collaboratively. Technology alone, however, is not the complete answer to social creativity. Social capital that characterizes the features of a social group—such as networks, norms, and trust, which all facilitate coordination and cooperation for mutual benefit—is of critical importance to foster social creativity. In this paper, we discuss (1) the roles that social capital plays in facilitating social creativity and (2) approaches to increase social capital. We start by analyzing existing success models (Open Source and Experts Exchange) that support collaborative knowledge construction in order to create a conceptual framework to understand the social-technical aspects of promoting social capital. We further illustrate this conceptual framework with our own efforts in creating social capital-sensitive computer systems (e.g., Evolutionary Reuse Repositories, Envisionment and Discovery Collaboratory, and Courses-as-Seeds) that support collaborative design, problem solving, and knowledge construction. These systems show the importance of encouraging users to act as active contributors and illustrate some of the motivational challenges upon which these systems rely. The assessment of these activities provides evidence that collaborative technologies are necessary, but not sufficient, to create more collaborative communities. Without a deep understanding of the motivation, reward structures, and the creation of new mindsets and organizations based on a greater emphasis of social capital, the impact of these new technologies will be negligible. Keywords social creativity; social capital; social capital-sensitive systems; meta-design; seeding, evolutionary growth, reseeding (SER) model; Open Source; Envisionment and Discovery Collaboratory; reusable software repositories; motivation; trust; self-application Fischer / Scharff / Ye 1 Social Capital PaperTable of Contents 1 Introduction________________________________________________________ 3 2 Social Creativity and Social Capital: A Conceptual Framework ______________ 3 2.1 Social Creativity_______________________________________________________ 3 2.2 Social Capital _________________________________________________________ 4 2.3 The Seeding, Evolutionary Growth, and Reseeding Process Model _____________ 5 3 Analysis of Existing Success Models ____________________________________ 6 3.1 Open Source __________________________________________________________ 7 3.2 Experts Exchange______________________________________________________ 8 4 Examples of Socio-Technical Developments Promoting and Relying on Social Capital_______________________________________________________________ 10 4.1 CodeBroker: Evolutionary Construction of Reusable Software Component Repositories _______________________________________________________________ 10 4.2 The Envisionment and Discovery Collaboratory (EDC) _______________________ 13 4.3 Courses-as-Seeds _____________________________________________________ 15 5 Assessment________________________________________________________ 17 5.1 Addressing the Adoption Barriers of Collaborative Technologies _____________ 17 5.2 Motivation___________________________________________________________ 18 5.3 Trust _______________________________________________________________ 20 5.4 Evolution by Designers and Evolution by Users ____________________________ 21 5.5 Self-Application ______________________________________________________ 22 6 Conclusions _______________________________________________________ 23 7 Acknowledgments __________________________________________________ 24 8 References ________________________________________________________ 24 List of Figures Figure 1: A Screen Image of the Expert Exchange ____________________________________________ 9 Figure 2: A Screen Image of CodeBroker and Its Architecture _________________________________ 12 Figure 3: The Envisionment and Discovery Collaboratory ____________________________________ 14 Figure 4: Two General Models of Creating and Using an Information Repository __________________ 21 List of Tables Table 1: Summary of Social Creativity and Social Capital Aspects of the Environments Discussed _____ 17 Table 2: Information Repositories Evolved by Specialists versus Evolved in the Working Context ______ 22 Fischer / Scharff / Ye 2 Social Capital Paper1 Introduction Complex design problems require more knowledge than any single person can possess, and the knowledge relevant to a problem is often distributed among all stakeholders who have different perspectives and background knowledge, thus providing the foundation for social creativity [Fischer 2000]. Bringing together


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