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Thursday

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Systematic Engagement

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by Brian Haven
@ 12:00 PM

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» Design Thinking
» Participation
» Platform Thinking
» Research
» Thoughts

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The fourth example of participation, systematic engagement, is supported by a platform designed to act as an organized system that accommodates or even encourages adaptive behaviors. This platform is comprised of a set of fundamental guiding principles established and structured to enable an individual to engage in creating or modifying a product. It allows for these types of changes to occur without the need for the time, money, or intellectual application typically required to develop a product by an originating enterprise. Platforms are the most sophisticated method for enabling the systematic engagement that has initiated the recent shift in the making process.


The OpenSource software development movement is the best example of systematic engagement involving modern technology. OpenSource is the creation of a base framework for an operating system or software application. linux-online-inc.jpg
[The Linux Mascot from file-extensions.org]
This framework is freely distributed to the public for the express purpose that other individuals develop enhancements and integrate them back into the source — anyone can write code for the application, and that code is available to anyone else to modify or enhance. Additionally, these software developers contribute to a larger community through collaboration in online discussion forums. This activity is unique because the majority of commercial software applications are under the centralized control of an originating enterprise and can only be developed by in-house employees.


OpenSource is an excellent example of systematic engagement because it blurs the lines between the adapting enterprise and the originating enterprise. One could argue that the success of several OpenSource initiatives, such as Linux and Firefox (Mozilla Project), are excellent examples of adapting enterprises undergoing a metamorphosis into originating enterprises. These are early signs of a possible shift to a platform-based approach to develop products for commercial endeavors. Some larger institutions, namely the tech industry, show the early signs of embracing this movement (such as IBM). But for most, the thought of placing a product entirely in the hands of its constituents is nauseating.

 

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Members of adapting enterprises pursue engaging and meaningful interactions that...
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