Conference Program

Opening Plenary


Peter Gloor

Peter A. Gloor

"Coolhunting Through Swarm Creativity"


As managers, we need to shift our thinking from command and control to coordinate and cultivate - the best way to gain power is to give it away. - Tom Malone.

"Coolhunting" and "swarm creativity" are about identifying emerging trends and discovering the trendsetters. They are about uncovering hidden innovation and innovators. They are about converting new ideas and new knowledge into products and services that correspond to the collective human mindset.

Humans swarm around like-minded people, with whom they not only feel comfortable but also can collaborate to produce winning ideas. Collaborative Innovation Networks, or COINs, are cyberteams of self-motivated people with a collective vision, enabled by technology to collaborate in achieving a common goal - an innovation - by sharing ideas, information, and work.

COINs have been around for hundreds of years. Many of us have already been a part of one without knowing it. What makes COINs so relevant today, though, is that the concept has reached its tipping point - thanks to the Internet and the World Wide Web. COINs are powered by swarm creativity. People work together in a structure that enables a fluid creation and exchange of ideas. It may look chaotic from the outside, but the structure of a COIN is like a beehive or ant colony, immensely productive because each team member knows intuitively what she or he needs to do.

This talk teaches how you can become a "swarm instigator." The trick is to trigger the swarm, like yeast as a catalyst for fermentation. Creating new creative swarms entails three main steps: First, unleash Swarm Creativity by setting an innovative idea free in a community, "gaining power by giving it away." Second, mandate intrinsic motivation, ensuring that swarming takes place on the basis of genuine internal inspiration and altruism. Third, find "trendsetters" to convert ideas into trends.

When it comes to tracking swarms, calculating results, and studying patterns, Knowledge Flow Optimization (KFO) identifies communication patterns through time to chart complex group dynamics. Temporal Communication Flow Analysis (TeCFlow), a software tool, creates cybermovies of communication patterns in various formats (e.g., from e-mail, Web site links, and blogs) to trace interaction patterns in social networks. Basically, KFO and TeCFlow connect the dots to show how a team operates, who the lead communicators are, and how knowledge flows in the organization.

The talk draws on experience with more than 40 organizations during the past decade. It is based on Peter Gloorís latest book "Swarm Creativity - Competitive Advantage through Collaborative Innovation Networks", published this January at Oxford University Press. It brings a powerful and practical framework for unlocking and applying Collaborative Innovation Networks within your organization.

About Peter A. Gloor

Peter A. Gloor has a unique combination of academic and industry experience. In the academic sphere, he is a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Coordination Science at MITís Sloan School of Management where he leads a project exploring Collaborative Innovation Networks. He is also a Mercator Visiting Professor at the University of Cologne, lecturer at Helsinki University of Technology and a Research Fellow at Darmouthís Tuck Center for Digital Strategies. Earlier, Peter was an adjunct faculty in the Department of Computer Science at Dartmouth and a Post-Doctoral Fellow at MIT. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Zurich in 1989.

Peter is equally at home in the commercial world. He is president and chief science officer of iQuest Analytics, Inc., a software developer that concentrates on discovery applications that employ temporal visualization of unstructured data to paint a graphic picture in real time of the relationships of people, ideas and organizations. Until the end of 2002, Peter was a Partner with Deloitte Consulting, leading its E-Business practice for Europe. Before that, he was a Partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Section Leader for Software Engineering at Union Bank of Switzerland. He has also been CEO of Internet start-up CyberMap Systems. Peter has led large Internet Strategy, Knowledge Management, and IT Systems integration projects for clients such as UBS, Zurich, Generali, Banca del Gottardo, Novartis, Roche, Norsk Hydro, TUI, DaimlerChrysler, Caterpillar, TRW, Lafarge, Holcim, United Nations and the Swiss Government.