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Hands-On Gamification

The inaugural event for GSUMMITx – Gamification in London, which was hosted yesterday at Capgemini’s ASE in Holborn, provided a sneak peek into the world of gamification and its application to solving real world problems for business and the enterprise.

GSummitx - Gamification in London (at Capgemini's ASE)

GSummitx – Gamification in London (at Capgemini’s ASE)

 

The event featured a talk by author and gamification expert, Gabe Zichermann; a DIY online leader board demo from a startup called Leaderboarded; as well as the problem-du-jour / challenge faced by a non-profit organisation which it would like to solve with gamification. A key high-light for me was the facilitated / hands-on session which demonstrated the use of games technique in the ideation process of gamestorming (or games based brainstorming) for solving a real world problem, in this case: how to enable debates at a global level. The gamestorming technique used was based on the 3-12-3 game, as originally described in the eponymous book called ‘Gamestorming’ (see: my review of same) Some interesting suggestions that emerged from the session included: an avater-based online system (to protect the vulnerable); a global SMS debate platform (to include/reach the widest demographic); and adoption of universal rules for debates, possibly even including ‘Rap battle’ style formats – seriously. The winner by far was the idea of an ‘instagram like’ platform for debating. Btw. you know you’ve got it made when your service / platform is now being used to describe other ideas.

So yes, this was a fun event, with lots of fresh ideas, new information and experiences for the 40-strong audience. More information about GSUMMITx – Gamification in London, including some audience feedback, can be found at their Meetup homepage. Also, you can find out more about Capgemini’s ASE here, (and on here YouTube)

Technology, Innovation and the Business of the Enterprise

January 23, 2012 Leave a comment

“Don’t just ask what the role of the IT department in the Enterprise should be; Ask what the role of Technology should be in the Business of the Enterprise.”

BCSNLB Event Images

 

That was the tagline for last week’s sell-out event at the BCS, Chartered Institute for IT, which featured Capgemini’s CTO, Andy Mulholland. Attendees were treated to riveting talk by Andy, in which he described the trends, implications and impact of innovation, especially the evolution (in back-office) and revolution (in front-office) of technology and the enterprise. To further drive home the point, Andy outlined what he calls the  top ten game changing technology shifts for enterprises to watch and understand, e.g.: people and social tools, the user experience, big data, user driven IT environments (aka consumerisation), and mobility, to name just a few.

And if that wasn’t enough, the second speaker / session at this event provided a practical hands-on demonstration of what might be described as a prototype for ‘crowd-sourced innovation’ in action. This session, which was led by Destination-Innovation’s Paul Sloane, involved attendees forming into small groups in order to explore painful ‘real life’ problems, and to come up with an innovative approach to resolving one of them. The outcome was then played back to the larger group, and suffice it to say that some of the suggestions were astonishing, and one attendee commented afterwards, saying: “It’s amazing what you can achieve in a short period of time”.

Overall, this event provided a great mix of comprehensive knowledge and innovation foresight, along with some practical application of innovative techniques to address them; resulting in a balanced, demonstrable experience of how challenges posed by technology disruption may be met in turn by an innovative approach designed to harness individual creativity. For an event organised, in their spare time, by a bunch of volunteer committee members / helpers of the BCS, North London Branch, (including yours truly), I think this was an excellent outcome.

Predicting 2010: Wisdom of Sheep or Silence of the Crowds?

December 31, 2009 Leave a comment

“The wisdom of crowds” is a phrase that often evokes lofty thoughts of how collective wisdom and collaborative effort can be harnessed to achieve truly remarkable outcomes. However, like most things, there is a fine line between hype and reality, especially when it comes to online content and social networking.

The Wisdom of Crowds concept does not purport to be a cure for everything, and even its most ardent supporters will readily admit that sometimes the crowd can get it wrong, but it is a proven phenomenon that crowd wisdom can make far more accurate predictions, and better decisions, than the typical individual or expert. Such is the popularity of the crowd concept that it has spawned other related neologisms like “crowd-sourcing” and “crowd-funding” which both have key elements of social networking.
However, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing, and it easily gets to the point where such crowd-based allusions start to resemble the bleating of sheep, or the rush of cliff-bound Lemmings. With that in mind, I wonder what the crowds, (wise or otherwise), will make of the following predictions for 2010, and beyond:

  1. Privacy is a luxury that the Internet Age can ill-afford. Openness will be the new private, and hopefully soon this tired generation of privacy-sensitive individuals (including yours truly), will either learn to accept this fact, or eventually die off, in order to realise the enormous potential and necessary mind-shift of a truly-connected world, populated with privacy-desensitised social networkers.
  2. Speed is of the essence. Ideas are a dime a dozen and failed ideas are worth much more. The increasing trend for most ventures to learn fast and fail quickly, (i.e. on Internet time), only lends credence to the emerging school of thought that an ever-accelerating pace of innovation will bring us to that tipping point in the near(er) future.
  3. Mobility is the way forward. The humble mobile device will continue to evolve into its rightful place as the key device through which people around the world will access digital content and interact with each other. It certainly appears that the approaching decade will be all about mobile, location-based / contextual services. Period.
  4. Economic evolution. The sharing economy (i.e. of content and information) will continue to grow in parallel with existing commercial money-based models for a while yet. Piracy, or what is currently regarded as such, will eventually decline, but only perhaps with even wider acceptance of a more flexible and open access and usage models (i.e. think evolved global copyright scheme).
  5. Money is so yesterday. The underlying system of values we currently use to judge success and failure of a venture will undergo drastic re-evaluation, especially in the face of continued challenges to extant economic models. Money may no longer be the best yardstick to measure wealth in the world of tomorrow. There, I said it!

Ok, that ought to be enough to start a minor stampede among the traditionalist, just-say-no-to-change, crowd, and a chant of “yes-we-can” from the ne0philes among you, but what about the rest? Do they even care? I suspect that this silent majority will decide which side emerges victorious from this debate; therefore it would be most interesting to understand what they think of it all. Perhaps we ought to run a Yes / No poll on the above five predictions, in order to gauge the response from the silent crowd, but the key challenge would be how to go about it given that they are so damned quiet.
PS. Just out of curiosity, what do YOU think about the five predictions and why?