Laboranova Meeting Notes Monday July 10 INSEAD Participants

Laboranova Meeting Notes
Monday July 10
Insead: Albert, Thierry, Eleni, Alicia, Pradeep
Kartoo: Nicolas Baleydier and Patrick Dumas
BIBA: Alexander Hesmer
UBC: Esteve Almirall and Steve Willmott
University of Dauphine: Anne Jubert and Emmanuel Josserand
LivingLab Denmark: Max Moller
Agilience: Olivier Raiman
Morning session 10h30 – 13h30
1. Introduction, participants & expertise:
Agilience- expert location agents, content analysis of emails to map connections
between people.
UBC- Social networking, knowledge and agents, distributed AI, web services and
building service-oriented systems- infrastructure and integration & extension of
people working together in networks. Also responsible for LivingLab dimension.
LearningLab Denmark- Coordinators. Games for learning and working. Involved in
Change Masters as well.
U. Dauphine- Collaboration, IT and management. Innovation scoreboard- focus on
measurement, what to visualize, what to measure. Responsible for internal
communication and KM, project managent and dissemination.
Kartoo- Responsible for visualization, software-based mapping of information and
Insead- role is on games + support to other WPs from a user perspective, c.f. content
in Laboranova wiki. Insead not responsible for management (which will be in the
hands of UoD, LLD and UoN)
UON- no representative
2. SP4 Connection Space overview and roles:
WP 4.1 Connection Space
Look at basic questions about connection space
(Albert) To date, we have taken a design perspective. Recommend taking a user
perspective by clarifying what the connection space is, who the users are, what the
user sees, what the user experiences, how to motivate collaborative innovative
c.f. Laboranova wiki as a first step towards shared knowledge space
Agenda item 1: Users, from the user’ perspective
 Who are the users ?
In what contexts? educational vs organizational vs community, etc
What drives participation and involvement in the CS? Motivational
How to best measure satisfaction and value for and by the user?
Agenda item 2: Lay of the land, again, from the user perspective
 What does the environment look like? What features, what support
services, etc?
 Key characteristics, components users will interact with?
 Key dynamics and events determining the life cycle--- non connected
people/ideas in and connected people/ideas out
Agenda item 3: User experience within CS
 What are the key events from the first time a person enters into the CS
through different states of experience (segmentation of users)- lurkers,
guru, etc
 Additionally, what are the different ways to experience these states
 The Selfish Gene (book from the UK, Richard Dawkins)- who selects whothe individual selecting the ideas or the ideas selecting the appropriate
people ? Related to games and competition, with different ideas competing
for recognition
 The Selfish Meme- genes as ideas
 (Esteve) Social world compared to the biological world, with the former
having a purpose. Selection of best fitness. Conditions for the evolution and
selection of ideas.
 (Olivier) Issue of attention- ideas will be competing for attention
Agenda item 4: CS Types
 Sametime, same place vs anytime anyplace- definition of CS contexts
 Categories of connection space
Agenda item 5: CS, in relation to other Laboranova spaces
 What distinguishes CS from other spaces?
 What is the relationship of CS to other spaces?
 (Max) users themselves may not make the explicit distinction between
ideation, connection, evaluation space- final space will be a more seamless
experience with spaces differentiated only for EC/Consortium purposes
 (Albert) Suggest metaphor of a toolkit rather than a step like process or
distinct spaces- people use the features when they want and can pick and
chose according to need and are not required to follow a specified route.
(Max) Regarding measurement: innovation scoreboard is not measuring the value of
the idea but of the user experience.
Caution against considering an idea as fixed rather than being flexible.
(Olivier) Something to consider. Ideas and knowledge gets stolen and transformed,
and innovated (built upon)- i.e. transformative process.
(Max)- The process of SP 4 is itself an innovative process of generating ideas and
trying to converge at a common understanding. Instead of trying to solve all the
questions we have at this moment, we should document the process, and use this
experience as a point for reflection.
(Thierry)- What about focusing on on-demand and emergent creation of spaces to
support innovation process, instead of predetermined ‘ideation’, ‘connection’ and
‘evaluation’ spaces? Users themselves create spaces as they see fit, with the CS
supporting the process.
(Olivier)- Something to consider is the issue of time and constraints of time to the
game (as part of a project’s life cycle).
(Max)- Regarding EC obligations, we have 8 months to deliver a concept document
(for divergent tasks) and we don’t move into the convergence and selection phase
until month 9. Should take advantage of this time to explore different ideas and not
narrow our focus too soon, too quickly.
Ideation (divergence)- Connection (transition phase between divergence and
convergence)- Evaluation (convergence)
(Anna) Focus on the flow of ideas. Metaphor of the toolbox is too static. Role is to
facilitate process and action. For example, create a demo room to make visible
connections as well as results.
3. Agenda items 2, 3 and 4
3.1 What is the connection space?
I am entering into this space, what do I see as a user?
Key inputs and connections bewteen: ideas, people and networks, dynamics and
knowledge assets (refer to Copenhagen notes)
Ideas- can lead to projects, which are goal directed activities
Knowledge assets
Other resources- time, money
(Steve & Max) Keep in mind that there are different levels within each of the events listed
(Max) Suggests leaving it up to the users to define what an idea or a project is, instead of
pre-defining it. When we have an idea, we can have different ways in which users will
use or transform an idea- the CS should support the emergence of such processes, i.e.
user-driven approach.
(Albert) What are the minimal characteristics for the initial acknowledgement that an idea
is an idea? How to match a person introducing an idea and the resources that are available
in the CS? What are the criteria for positioning a user within this space ?
(Max) goal is to develop a system to be used within the same company to help develop
their internal innovation projects, i.e. organizational tools adjusted to culture of the
company. A policy and not technology choice. Not an open source project but the
LivingLab is a public open space.
(Albert) Is there a template for an idea? Or a filtering mechanism? Balance between too
many and too few ideas.
(Steve) Template is the process of idea development and diffusion
(Max) Getting users to apply their own categories rather than assessing the validity of an
idea- again, echoing the bottom-up approach.
(Steve) unregulated submission of ideas by anyone
(Olivier) What is the first experience of the user when he enters?
(Thierry) First define the objectives of the CS- identify relevant people, form a common
understanding, formation of groups, etc.
3.2 What is the motivation for entering and remaining within the connection
(Albert) Why would people enter the CS?
 Come in touch with new ideas
 To develop an idea or apply to other domain, contexts
 Collaborate on interesting ideas
 To social network and meet smart people
 Look for expertise
 Looking for solutions to a problem
 Recognition, reputation
 Contribution to a company’s innovation processes
3.3 How to measure value generated from the CS experience?
Possible measurement criteria :
 # connections before and after an experience
 value of the connections
 what are the different types of connections
 perceived value by users, user satisfaction (input from others)
 reaching ideal network configurations
(Esteve) Value of the CS process is context dependent- it depends on what the
objectives of the players are.
Will the CS be used to instigate connections within a company or to be used by a
company to connect others outside of the company- c.f. companies as networks
(Thierry) Cautions against too many choices and too many groups which can
decrease performance
4. Presentation by Steve on ‘Ideas’
Motivation- Laboranova will provide tools to support innovation processes
Key question is how will ideas be represented?
Idea as part of a network of ideas- how to represent this network
From an infrastructure point of view- how to organize and manage ideas to allow for
matches, connections with one another and to people.
Afternoon session 15h-18h30
5. Brainstorming on agenda items 2, 3, and 4 on the Groups System
6. Administrative issues
6.1 Internal communication
6.1.1 Decide on an internal communication process and frequency of
 Compile and send out a SP 4 mailing list (responsible: Rachel)
 Fill in wiki page of contact details + skype address
 Document management: Current wiki only allows upload of documents
that already exist on a url page (Thierry)
 Steve recommends a shift to another wiki- and to stick to one wiki and
not multiple tools (Max).
 Also to keep in mind the issue of future migration of data to other
(Olivier) Management should make the decision on communication
medium instead of discussing the issue at current meeting.
(Max) Would prefer a more bottom-up approach but if all partners agree
then management will make a decision.
For the next 2-3 months at least, partners will make do with email and
wiki as primary form of communication + occasional phone conferences
for status updates.
6.2 Deliverables
6.2.1 18 months plan
In 18 months, SP 4 is responsible for 4 deliverables with four different
partners responsible for each.
All partners expected to contributed to deliverable 4.1 (Concept
UoN role and participation, who is leader of WP 4.1.
(Max) recommends that we have until month 8 to produce a concept
document so this should be the time for expansive knowledge gathering
and idea generation. After which the group will have 4 months for
convergence purposes.
o Draft Table of Contents by end July
o Extension of Table of Contents (i.e. paragraphs associated to each
item) by Sept 14.
o Skype meeting August 15 14H-16H
o Skype meeting September 18 14H-16H
Next general Laboranova meeting October 18-20 in Barcelona
7. Agilience presentation on email mining and people connection
Agilience provides several innovation support to accelerate best practice processes
through email mining and matching people based on email content. The technology is
implemented within a company to support the connections among individuals within
that company. The overall goal is to reduce search and connection costs.
 User enters search query
 Agent returns with a list of matches of experts or brokers to contact
 Brokers are pointers to other relevant contacts
 Additionally, agents learn from the referral behavior of system users, for
example if person X’s query pulls up a default contact person, the contact
person may then transfer the email to someone else. This associated will be
recorded by the system for future reference.
Agents are stored on the server and to date, search boundaries are within a company
(i.e. no crawlers to the WWW at the moment)
How to integrate this system to the Connection Space?
 Locate people with particular expertise
 Cross enterprise competency center
 For location of field innovation and best practices
8. Brainstorming on examples of connection spaces
Existing connection spaces
Professional networking
sites, e.g. LinkIn
Sourceforge, opensource
Dating sites,
e.g. Friendster
Blogs, e.g.
Collaborative filtering,
e.g. LivePlasma,
“are blogs and wikis connection spaces?”
Most popular blog is (Steve) they connect people to content and content
to content especially by using trackback.
(Albert) Yes if they reduce the search costs matching people to content.
(Max) Wikipedia is not a connection space but a knowledge repository
(Albert) Yes but contributing to it I get to know people that have already contributed,
I am linked to a social process…
Other examples: ICQ, Myspace (mainly to promote music) and facebook especially
from mouth to mouth
(Albert) Can we have something like wikipedia on innovation? (a simple idea in an
innovation context)
9. Brainstorming on measurement and evaluation
How are we going to measure the success? (Albert)
o By measuring the created connections, we could start from patterns as
Emmanuel suggested.
o By increasing the number of relevant questions because there is no need
to connect everything with everyone…
o By measuring the “stickiness” of a user
What are the minimal features of ideas? (Albert)
Under which features an idea is called something differently than an idea?
(ex. Project)
What will be allowed to enter the evaluation space?
(Max) Everything. A user should define a short summary, a tag line, a text
description with definition of target, specifications…
(Albert) We need a template to define what an idea should have as facets.
(Max) But we should not force people to respect the template.
From the presentation Esteve and Steve will generate discussion on how the
term can evolve.
(Esteve) How do we make this attractive? Representation?
(Albert) We are looking for the formal dimension internally but the user does
not have to be confronted to a template.
(Esteve) We need to start defining the components internally. Bubbles and
connections like a concept map.
Apart from the individual level there is the aggregation level. What is the term
used for a group of ideas? (Albert)
(Thierry) Ontologies…but it is a real pain on design because you need to be an
expert to design ontologies
(Albert) What is a person in a context focusing on innovation? We need two
templates for the ideas and for the persons. We do not need to invent something
for the knowledge assets.
(Max) Why a template of ideas and not for knowledge assets?
(Albert) Because a knowledge asset is static but an idea is more dynamic, is
evolving and we want to assess them… We don’t need to be rigid just
formalize what we are talking about
(Thierry) Ex. Tagging and folksonomies, the structure is going to emerge
organically, people are going to mimic..
(Esteve) But you do not have enough people for tagging in a context of a small
company. Issue of critical mass in order for these methods to produce
meaningful collective information.
(Albert) There will be a template that can be used ex. for ideas: 1) you need an
identity (ex. url) 2) there are some specific purposes, define some structure.
Define the minimal formal representation of an idea through a process of
Connected ideas will bring higher value.
In the ideation space is someone working on that in a company context? (when
does an email become an idea?)
(Steve) the idea is to have a structure that helps us process ideas when they are
expressed ex. a webpage. If you choose a certain structure your choice will
have an impact. Something has to be explicit for automatic processing. Ex.
blogs are easy to recognize although there are million of templates (template as
a visual representation)
(Thierry) What if a number of blog users export RSS feeds and use it in another
(Albert) The data structure will be extensible but minimal definition needed for
1) text, 2) target specification and 3) reference. Basic concern is formal
(Patrick) For example a French company uses anonymous postings for
improvement because of fear of management.
(Albert) So we all agree that an idea has a source. And a source can be a whole
community. We should start reasoning about the source of an idea. And keep it
open because things will evolve progressively.
We should also cross-confront our view to the other packages…
The End