Sense Making – Co-Presencing

It seems we often feel disconnected or, at best, distanced from the capacity to do something about our current situations. It is painfully obvious in the U.S. that our political system is or has been devastated by the apathy for or inaction of citizen involvement. The same can be said about other systems that are nearly bereft of true functionality. How do we compensate for this? Is there a solution?

What is co-presencing?

Co-presence for good: Using the sense of being together with other people in a remote environment to drive concrete, productive actions, engagement and understanding across barriers of geography, exclusion and timezones.

Some of the challenges we grapple with in terms of effective technology-enabled strategies include how to:

  1. Secure the attention and action of the right people at a timely moment for those people and for the needs of human rights context on the ground
  2. Generate empathy and engagement, while avoiding gawking/voyeurism and a skewed first-person driven understanding of situations
  3. Represent co-presence and engagement to both remote and directly present participants
  4. Provide an action option that is relevant both to the capacities of remote co-present participants and also useful and meaningful support to directly present participants
  5. Secure ongoing participation in a series of actions over time

There are many examples of how change has been affected by collaborative action. The examples in the video below, proved by U.Lab and the good folks at MIT, demonstrate the results of how certain processes have been able to resolve challenges in various systems to date. In our emerging future citizen action is critical. Change is possible through engaging each other intelligently.

Even with the examples, there is an increasing need to scale up this activity to engage the systems necessary to create a sustainable process that will have a global effect.

If you are interested in learning more, MIT’s U.Lab has a great opportunity. Check it out.

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