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Uncovering the power of crowdsourcing for KM at KMWorld Connect 2021  

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Meta Knol, director, Leiden European City of Science 2022, and Michael Peter Edson, a digital strategist, writer, and independent consultant, walked participants through the process they used to create a “reference survey” for the European City of Science and illustrated how such a process can be used to guide new initiatives at institutions around the world in their presentation at KMWorld Connect 2021.

Leiden will be the first European city to present a 365-day science festival. The festival will explore science, knowledge, art, and skills through various scheduled exhibitions, workshops, excursions, activities, and events. The major issues of our time will be discussed during international conferences and scientific meetings. Leiden European City of Science 2022 will also offer a program in which a different topic is explored every day and invite local residents to interact directly with science.

In the “KMWorld Spotlight” keynote, titled, “Crowdsourcing for KM,” Knol and Edson explained how, at the beginning of many new projects, leaders often ask, "What websites should we look at?" or "What have you seen that is good?" But with the vastness of the internet and large number of new apps and technologies appearing every day, it can be hard to answer those questions in a way that creates useful, actionable insights for teams and decision makers to benefit from.

Both fellows at the Getty Leadership Institute, in February 2021 Knol posted a question to which Edson responded. Knol’s question was: What is the most engaging, interesting, mind-blowing and inclusive, accessible website and/or online campaign you’ve ever experienced in the field of art and/or science? He went to work on exploring the options to contribute to an answer.

According to Knol and Edson, as of January 2021 there were 1.2 billion websites, 1.96 million apps in the Apple App store and 2.87 million apps in Google Play Store.

In trying to narrow down choices, Edson explained a process involving 10 steps to both seek out and distill inspiration:

  • Reach out
  • Frame it
  • Brainstorm/gather things that turn you on
  • Categorize but not too much
  • Write, explain yourself – what, why
  • Own it, give enough detail so others can understand
  • Share it
  • Frame it (redux), explain your approach, provide an perspective
  • Do a bias check
  • Synthesize (why why why why why why why)

Knol shared her learnings from the process of seeking input, making choices, and taking inspiration, and said:

Learning #1: The messy stuff wins

  • Let go of control, build on trust
  • Allow spontaneous original ideas to win from fixed formats every step along the way
  • Don’t let the rational get in the way of the intuitive
  • Exceed your own expectations and do let go of those of others

Learning #2: Be generous

Bottom-up inclusivity only works if

  • You are performing continuous bias checks:
  • You keep reaching beyond your own networks
  • You follow the pathway from public awareness to public engagement to public participation
  • You create real ownership

Learning #3: It’s all about curiosity

  • Open boxes, take corners, tempt people to open up their brains and senses
  • Ignite, surprise and delight: enlight!
  • The power of curiosity reaches far beyond classical target groups and/or pre-fixed media strategies
  • So, let’s let go of those classical formats

Learning #4: CHOOSE

What’s the essence of your project?

  • How can you make that essence even bigger, wider & more present, in order to create more impact?
  • In our case, it’s: CURIOSITY + 365 DAYS + OWNERSHIP

KMWorld Connect 2021 is going on this week, November 15 -18, with workshops on Friday, November 19.

On-demand replays of sessions will be available for a limited time to registered attendees and many presentersincluding Knol and Edsonare also making their slide decks available through the conference portal.

For more information about KMWorld Connect 2021, go to www.kmworld.com/conference/2021.

Access to session archives will be available on or about November 29, 2021, so be sure to check back for on-demand replays.

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